When you’re rushing to get to work in the morning, the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time making lunch. And while it would be nice to have a 5-star meal every afternoon, our schedules are usually more “canned tuna” than “tuna Niçoise.” That’s never more true than around the holidays.
However, in this case, you can have your cake and eat it, too. There are tons of options for quick, easy and delicious lunches to make ahead and take to the office. The only trick? Finding the recipes you love. Below, we’ve put together a list of five of our favorite lunches to pack for work. Give them a try this week, and let us know what you think!
B.L.T & A. Wrap
There are two ways to make the classic B.L.T. better: put it in a wrap, and add some avocado. This recipe has all the basic elements of a B.L.T.: crispy crumbled bacon, juicy chopped tomatoes, and crunchy Romaine lettuce. It takes it up a notch, though, by adding buttery avocado and wrapping it all up in a portable tortilla, perfect for taking to work. The best part of this recipe? How customizable it is. Use a white or wheat tortilla, or even try a gluten-free option. Smash the avocado and spread it on the wrap, or chop it up in chunks and mix it in with the tomatoes and bacon. For a fresh taste, squeeze half a lemon on top before you fold it up.
Chickpea, Cherry Tomato, and Feta Salad
Chickpeas are a great source of protein, making them a perfect choice for a workday lunch. This recipe takes canned chickpeas (or garbanzo beans, as they’re often labeled), and punches them up with quartered cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, and dried oregano. Add salt, pepper, lemon juice, and a dose of healthy fat from olive oil, and you’re good to go. This quick and simple lunch can be thrown together in less than 10 minutes and eaten cold. Pair it with a toasted pita or some crusty bread to soak up the leftover dressing — you won’t want it to go to waste!
V Eight Soup
As the temperature drops, warm lunches – especially soups and stews – start to sound more appealing. This recipe, from The Daily Meal, combines eight different vegetables into a hearty Lebanese soup that will hit the spot on a cold workday. With green beans, carrots, corn, peas, lima beans, spinach, potato, and celery in a tomato-y base, there’s something for everyone. This soup is easier to make than most; just combine the ingredients, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. To get out the door even faster in the morning, make it the night before.
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables
Quinoa packs a ton of protein into a tiny seed, and it’s the perfect base for this fall vegetable salad.Though roasting the vegetables for this salad requires a little legwork, it can easily be done the night before — in fact, the dish is even better after settling overnight. Combine sweet potatoes, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and turnip with a fresh, Asian-inspired dressing, and you’ve got a perfect lunch to pack for work. The best part about this dish? It tastes great warm or cold, making it perfect for days when you eat lunch at your desk.
Prosciutto and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich
Want to feel like you’re at a Mediterranean picnic instead of the office? This sandwich should do the trick. Real Simple promises simple, delicious food, and this prosciutto and roasted red pepper sandwich is no exception. It’s also incredibly easy to make. Just spread half a baguette with Dijon mustard, stack it with prosciutto, jarred roasted red peppers, and cheese, and head out the door. This recipe is incredibly customizable. Don’t love prosciutto? Switch it out for salami or capicola. Add whatever cheese you like — we recommend a hard cheese like Asiago or Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Abby Perkins is Editor in Chief at Talent Tribune, where she writes about jobs, workplace culture, and business solutions.