Healthy lunch ideas for work
By Sarah Lienard – Senior writer – bbcgoodfood.com
Try our delicious, healthy packed lunch ideas. Choose from pasta or rice salads, homemade protein pots, hearty soups or filling wraps and sandwiches.
Pack your lunchbox full of nutritious ingredients and look forward to a midday meal that not only tastes great, but is good for you too. Read on for all the inspiration you need for the perfect packed lunch.
Pasta is a portable lunch staple and is equally delicious served cold in a pasta salad or quickly reheated in a microwave. Cook once, eat three times with our easy meal prep pasta ideas, allowing you to make three different dishes – salmon pasta, chicken pasta and aubergine pasta – in one go, ready to pop in the fridge when you need some midday fuel.
Turn up the flavour with minimum fuss with our healthy pasta recipes:
Linguine with avocado, tomato & lime
Garlicky mushroom penne
Squash & spinach fusilli with pecans
Broccoli pasta salad with eggs & sunflower seeds
Ratatouille pasta salad with rocket
More healthy pasta recipes
Try more healthy rice recipes:
Zingy salmon & brown rice salad
Miso brown rice & chicken salad
Lentil rice salad with beetroot & feta dressing
Miso brown rice & broccoli salad with fiery prawns
If you’re cooking your rice from scratch (instead of using a pre-cooked rice pouch), make sure you cool it quickly and refrigerate, following the FSA’s food safety tips.
Salads are one of the quickest and easiest lunches to throw together – just pop everything in a bowl, give it a mix and go. With almost endless flavour combinations, they’re also a great way to mix up your midweek menu and stave off lunchtime boredom. Experiment with using different leaves, grains or pulses as your base, layer up the toppings with colourful fruit and veg, protein-rich meat, fish, tofu or eggs, then amp up the flavour and texture with nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and dressings. Be inspired by our favourite healthy salad recipes.
Nutritious and tasty salad recipes:
Egg & Puy lentil salad with tamari & watercress
Guacamole & mango salad with black beans
Minty beetroot, feta & bulghar salad
Grilled aubergine tabbouleh
More healthy salad recipes
Protein is an important part of a balanced diet. If you’re looking to increase your protein intake from time-to-time, our homemade protein pots make for a perfect snack or light lunch, and all contain around 30g protein:
Steak & broccoli protein pots
Tuna Niçoise protein pot
Indian chicken protein pots
Try our best ever high-protein lunch recipes.
Flatbreads and tortillas make a great alternative to bread, or you could use crisp lettuce leaves if you’re looking to cut the carbs. Protein-rich chicken and fish make great filling options, or pile on the veggies for a lunchtime nutrient hit.
Try our healthy wrap recipes:
Spicy chicken & avocado wraps
Lebanese chicken wraps
Roasted chickpea wraps
Veggie olive wraps with mustard vinaigrette
Tuna mayo lettuce wraps
Lemony salmon & lettuce wraps
Forget soggy sarnies – our filling pittas, club sandwiches and toast toppers are packed with delicious, nutrient-dense ingredients that are sure to hit the spot. Pack up the ingredients separately and assemble at your desk for a super fresh open sandwich.
Super sandwich inspiration:
Stuffed Moroccan pitta
Green club sandwich
Smoked trout & cucumber open sandwiches
Chicken & avocado sandwich topper
More healthy sandwich ideas
Find more sandwich recipes with health benefits.
To avoid leakage, pop in a thermos flask with a tight seal. If you can make use of a microwave during your lunch break, you could batch-cook soup, freeze in Tupperware (that’s suitable for the freezer and the microwave), then thaw and reheat when you want to eat.
Nutritious soup ideas:
Mexican bean soup with shredded chicken & lime
Seeded wholemeal soda bread
Rustic vegetable soup
Carrot & ginger soup
Bean & barley soup