5 Easy and healthy lunch ideas for work
Anyone who knows me, knows I’m bound to spill something on my shirt throughout my meals. Especially when I have lunch at work and have no where to fix the stains. I try my best but to no avail. Since that’s usually the case and I know that about myself, I have 5 relatively easy, mess-free, and healthy lunch ideas for work.
Sometimes, I’ll go out to eat during lunch or have something delivered, but my bank account will scream at me by the end of the week, if not the end of the day.
Thankfully, it doesn’t take much to make a well-rounded meal from home. Throw in some chicken, vegetables, and some rice, and you’re done. You might want a bit more variety sometimes but that meal at least covers all your bases.
I try to be as well-rounded and efficient as possible when making my meals at home. I don’t need much fuss when it comes to my lunch, as long as I’m getting everything I need nutrients-wise, they’re easy to pack, and don’t take long to heat up in the microwave, I’m fine throughout the week.
Having a consistent and standard lunch box meal makes planning and prepping a week’s worth of meals easy and simple. Even if you vary from meal to meal, you’ll know exactly how much you’ll need to spend during your shopping trip and how much time it takes to prepare each type of lunch.
Here are a few of my favorite easy lunch boxes for work:
Chicken, broccoli, and rice
I won’t lie and say this is usually my healthy lunch idea of choice, however, it’s not very creative.
It’s fairly versatile, letting you pair healthy chicken recipes, preferred vegetable options and different grains together.
To make this even easier, I tend to throw the chicken into the crockpot and divide it up to store in my fridge throughout the week. Stick the chicken in and throw in a few extra ingredients to make your chicken flavor of choice and then place them in a box with the veggies and rice and you’re done.
For veggies and rice, I tend to just buy it in bulk and proportion it accordingly. Again, quick, easy, and effortless.
Penne pasta with chicken and peppers
Me and my family have always indulged in pasta. It’s one of our favorite grains to add to any meal, and with six of us, it was an easy recipe for my dad to whip up after a long day at work.
This recipe is also pretty versatile and you can substitute most of the ingredients you prefer more.
Start with chopping the peppers and chicken. Season as you see fit but all you really need is salt and pepper, maybe a bit of garlic for taste. Cook these in a pan, until the peppers have softened a bit and the chicken is cooked through. Boil the pasta until cooked, whichever type you prefer but I’d suggest a shorter noodle when bringing this to the office. Combine the pasta, peppers, and chicken together in a bowl and add a bit of olive oil to keep from sticking. All done!
Like I said, this recipe can work well with various veggies, meats, and pasta choices. I tend to stick with the above, because this healthy lunch idea is chunky and easy to eat without a bunch of mess.
Sandwich and raw veggies
I’m a big fan of ordering Panera to the office and tend to make a bit more of a mess when sandwiches are involved. But with the right ingredients, sandwiches are a great healthy lunch idea to bring to work.
Sandwiches are also extremely versatile in their components. You can choose a variety of meats, cheeses, veggies, and condiments. You can also measure out how much you want on your sandwiches, compared to most dishes where you might have an uneven ratio of ingredients.
You can also pick which veggies you want to pair with your sandwich, along with any dressing or dip that you might prefer. You can always pick chips or another side option, but for the intent of a healthy lunch, we will stick with veggies in this blog post.
If you don’t want to pack a whole bottle of dressing with your healthy lunch, you might try a small container, like this one, to pack a serving of dressing rather than slathering your veggies in Ranch when you start eating at the office.
Stir-fry’s are another common lunch for me to bring in to the office. I like stir-fry’s, mainly because they can be from any country, and they are also completely versatile.
Most of the time, I’ll mix some chicken with a vegetable, usually spinach or a stir-fry mix, and add in a packet of Passage to India. Passage of India packets are gluten-free and come in a variety of flavors and spices. Not a fan of Indian cuisine? You can usually find Chinese sauces or recipes to substitute.
I tend to cook everything separately when making stir fry’s. The meat and veggies are usually fine to combine when cooking, but I’ll put them on top or with a side of some rice.
This works great if you’re vegetarian, and possibly for vegans depending on what you are adding.
Mason Jar Salads
While salads can be particularly messy, they are also great easy and healthy lunch ideas for the busy worker.
The best way to make mason jar salads is to put the dressing and denser ingredients towards the bottom. This way the dressing won’t ruin the other ingredients and wilt the lettuce by being on top.
Mason jar salads are another incredible versatile healthy lunch idea. You can add whichever type of veggie, condiment, and protein you choose to this mix and you really can’t go wrong. You can take out the protein for this dish and create a vegetarian or vegan option as well.
Note that mason jars are great to carry your salad to work but you might have some paper or reusable plates or bowls at the office to use instead of the mason jar when actually eating this lunch. It makes it a bit easier to toss the salad on other dishware than mixing it within the mason jar.
These are a few of the options that I’d recommend for a healthy lunch idea for the workplace, but your options are not limited to these alone. Try your own variations of these dishes or create your own easy lunch ideas.
As long as you try to remain stain free and somewhat mess free, you are on the right track for a lunch idea suitable for the workplace.
Want more healthy lunch ideas? Follow Creatively Working on Pinterest for more ideas and some of my favorite lunches for the workplace.