Healthy desk lunch ideas
by Harry • 5 minutes read
Last updated: 10 May, 2022
A healthy lunch can feel almost impossible with Deliveroo just one click away and meal deals in every shop, but whether you’re working from home or in the office, prepping a wholesome midday meal isn’t as hard as it seems.
Packing your lunchbox full of nutritious ingredients can give you something to look forward to that will carry you from your break to 5pm. If you struggle to pack a healthy lunch, avoid turning to deliveries or simply need some new ideas, read on for some of the best desk lunch ideas that not only taste great but are great for your health too.
With plenty of calories packed into a balanced meal, this is a perfect option for desk lunches.
Pasta Salads are a portable lunch staple that is just as tasty served cold as it is hot. Pasta salads come with easy prep and great results. Just half an hour in the kitchen at the weekend could provide you 3 or 4 meals for the work week to come. They are easy to vary in flavour and style while maintaining the same healthy nourishment across the board. You can easily find great recipes for vegetarian, pescatarian and carnivorous diets too.
If you’re an avid snacker who’s looking to avoid those unhealthy cravings, pasta salad lunches are a fantastic way to fuel yourself for the afternoon ahead.
Rice salads are just as tasty and wholesome as their pasta counterparts. You can opt for high-fibre brown rice to ensure that you’re fuelled until dinner. If rice salads start to take your fancy, you could even begin to incorporate some grains, like quinoa and couscous to switch things up a little, while keeping the same healthy and nutritious standard.
You can either find pre-cooked rice pouches for an easier option or cook from scratch instead. If you are opting for the latter, make sure you cool and refrigerate the rice within an hour of cooking and avoid reheating more than 24 hours after the original cook time. (Per FSA guidelines)
Traditional and exotic salads
If you’d prefer, you can opt for salads without the carbs of rice and pasta, they are easily one of the quickest and easiest lunches to throw together, but to really fill up on fruit and veg you need to pack your lunchbox to the brim!
Prep for salads couldn’t be easier - just throw everything in a bowl, give it a mix and go. There are almost endless flavour combinations too! You can experiment with different leaves, grains or pulses and layer up the toppings with various fruit and veg, meat, fish and much more! You could also hit your tastebuds with different dressings, spices, seeds and herbs to top it all off!
From traditional Caesars to more exotic salads, the mix of fruit and veg and ease of preparation makes salads one of the best go-tos for desk lunches.
If you’re not a fan of heavier carbs like pasta and traditional sandwiches, then tortillas and flatbreads are a great alternative. If you’re looking to cut out the carbs entirely, there are some tasty lettuce-wrap options out there too! You can opt for protein-rich chicken and fish recipes, or pile on the veggies if you’d prefer.
Tired of a meal-deal ham and cheese sandwich? Try switching things up! You can make a variety of healthy sandwiches with fresh ingredients to go alongside healthy snacks and fill up on your lunch break.
Try club sandwiches, toast toppers or pitta bread wraps… there are plenty of sandwich recipes on the web, using delicious, nutrient-dense ingredients that are sure to hit the spot. You can prep the night before and refrigerate for the next day or pack the ingredients separately to make up at your desk for a super-fresh sandwich.
Soups are a fantastic, low-calorie lunch option for those with microwave access at work or those that have only a few minutes to whip something up when working from home. There are plenty of premade pot options out there, but if you’re a soup-lover I would highly recommend investing in a soup maker which can serve fresh, nourishing soups for a lifetime.
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