Healthy Food Ideas For Work Lunch


Are your coworkers constantly asking you to bring in healthy food ideas for work lunch? I know mine are. You probably want to bring in something healthy, but aren’t really sure where to start. I have the perfect solution — my delicious and healthy food ideas for work lunch!

Are you looking for some healthy food ideas for your work lunch? We at believe that diets should be made up of simple, satisfying foods, so we came up with a list of easy healthy work lunch recipes for you to enjoy.

Healthy Food Ideas For Work Lunch

1. Burrito bowls

These are a great option to pack for lunches for work as they are so versatile! You can adjust the rice component depending on your activity for the day, and it is also full of colour and micronutrients to keep you feeling energised throughout the workday. Burrito bowls can also be a healthy takeaway option for those emergency days – try opting for less rice and extra salads to really tally up the healthy points!

2. Poke bowls

It is a common trend that bowls are a great way to pack plenty of nutrients into a meal, whether that is burrito bowls, sushi bowls, buddha bowls or poke bowls. You don’t have to use raw fish in your poke bowl if this won’t keep well at work. Instead, swap it out for chicken or firm tofu. Poke bowls are also versatile in that you can adjust the rice or noodles depending on how much activity you are doing on a given day, and can also try different flavour combinations such as teriyaki salmon or sesame and ginger tofu

3. Warm teriyaki tofu soba noodle salad

While the name might sound a little fancy, these salads are so simple to put together so they make a great meal prep option to take to work. Simply cook soba noodles per packet instructions, while stir-frying some chopped broccolini and frozen edamame beans (de-shelled). Mix these together with the noodles, top with pre-marinated teriyaki tofu and some sesame seeds. Easy and so nutritious!

4. Mediterranean tuna bowl

Tuna bowls are another easy to put together meal that doesn’t even require any cooking. Simply mix together a tin of tuna, a microwave brown rice cup, and your choice of salads. We like the combination of cherry tomatoes, baby cucumbers, rocket, olives and finished with a balsamic dressing. You could try feta or sundried tomatoes for a flavour boost too. If you are unsure about eating tuna in the office due to the smell, it tastes just as great swapped out with chickpeas or some chicken breast. 

5. The classic chicken sandwich

Sandwiches are an often-underrated option when it comes to healthy lunches! When you combine a wholegrain bread, with a quality source of protein such as grilled chicken breast, then top with some salads that won’t turn your sandwich soggy; grated carrots, cucumber and lettuce, you’ve got a balanced and nutritious meal that is also filling. You can even bring the ingredients separately in containers to work, and put your sandwich together at lunch to prevent the bread from going soggy. 

6. Don’t forget about leftovers

Lastly, leftovers are of course a favourite of ours for the healthy office lunch! Taking leftovers to work saves time on meal prepping on the weekends, instead just cook extra of your dinner meals so you can take a portion in a container the next day. Foods that can be warmed in the microwave usually work best as leftovers such as a healthy shepherd’s pie, pasta dish, mixed roasted vegetables or a healthy curry. 

While we’ve only listed six healthy options here, there are a lot more healthy meals to take to work. Sticking to the basics in the kitchen, like a good old-fashioned sandwich, or trying creative dishes can help make your workday a little more enjoyable when you have a delicious lunch to look forward to. 

 Healthy Work Lunches You’ll Love

20 healthy work lunches you’ll love

Sick of the same ham sandwich day after day? These easy lunch ideas will make you the envy of your colleagues.

Bread / toast

The sandwich is a lunch staple, but it can get a bit boring. These lunches make bread a bit more interesting. Some you can prepare ahead and take to work, and some need a little cooking in the kitchen.

1. Avo toast tower

Spread wholegrain toast with avocado. Top with sliced tomato, rocket and feta. Sprinkle with toasted seeds and chilli flakes.

2. Pulled meat sliders

Toast a grainy bun. Mix pulled pork or beef with a little barbecue sauce. Spread bun
with a mix of low-fat plain yoghurt and mayonnaise. Add meat and top with a dollop of sauerkraut or chutney.

3. Vege power toast

Top wholegrain toast with a generous dollop of hummus. Add grated beetroot, grated carrot and a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds. Add an egg to this dish if you wish.

4. Crunchy vege wrap

Spread a wholemeal wrap with peanut butter. Add carrot sticks, sliced cherry tomatoes, salad greens and sliced marinated tofu. Roll and cut.

5. Chicken quesadilla

Top one half of a warmed large, wholegrain tortilla with mashed black beans. Add shredded chicken, tomatoes, chilli sauce and grated reduced-fat cheddar. Fold tortilla in half and press down to make a sandwich. Eat as it is, or toast in a sandwich press or hot pan until cheese has melted.

Serve with this salad to add 2 1/2 vege serves to your lunch:

1 carrot, julienned
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1 cup roughly sliced baby spinach
2 teaspoons seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame)
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (flavoured if you like)
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Mix all veges and seeds together. Combine olive oil and lemon juice. Add to salad and toss well.

Rice bowls

Use precooked leftover rice or convenient steamed rice pouches to make these tasty bowls. Brown rice and rice mixed with other grains add a fibre boost. Take all the ingredients to work and assemble in a bowl, then heat when required in the microwave.

Safe cooling of cooked rice

Uncooked rice frequently contains bacteria called bacillus cereus. These bacteria can form protective spores that survive the cooking process. If cooled slowly, these spores can germinate, grow and produce an emetic (vomit-inducing) toxin. Reheating rice before serving will not inactivate the emetic toxin or kill all the bacterial cells, so the rice may not be safe.

Tips for food safety:

  • Keep rice hot, or cool as quickly as possible
  • Cover cooked rice and store in a refrigerator
  • Eat within a day
  • If reheating, reheat until piping hot.

Source: Ministry of Primary Industries/NHS

6. Sashimi don

Reheat cooked brown rice in the microwave. Top with sliced raw tuna or salmon, chopped avocado, diced cucumber and finely shredded red cabbage. Drizzle with a dressing made from a mix of reduced-salt soy sauce, mirin and water. Top with shredded seaweed (optional) and sesame seeds.

7. Bibimbap

Cook a mix of rice and quinoa. Top with sliced leftover cooked steak and add veges such as julienned carrot, sliced spring onion and mung bean sprouts. Add a dollop of spicy kimchi and chilli sauce (optional). You could also pre-make a thin, one-egg omelette, slice and add to the bowl.

8. Vegan abundance bowl

To a mix of brown rice and chia add julienned beetroot, julienned carrot and baby spinach. Add a blend of soft tofu and chilli or chipotle sauce (make this ahead in a processor or whisk together with a fork). Top with chopped Brazil nuts.

9. Poké bowl

A poke bowl (pronounced poh-keh) is a Hawaiian-style dish using raw fish, popular in the US, and similar to deconstructed sushi.

Make a dressing of sesame oil, lime juice, reduced-salt soy sauce, ginger and a little water. In a container combine chopped raw salmon, chopped cucumber, chopped spring onion and chopped iceberg lettuce. Top with dressing, mixing through well and chill. At lunchtime, put cold brown rice in a bowl and top with salmon mixture.

10. Gado gado

Also known as lotek, gado gado is an Indonesian salad with vegetables and a hard-boiled egg.

Make a quick satay sauce by combining peanut butter, sweet chilli sauce, a dash of reduced-salt soy sauce and hot water to make a smooth sauce. Reheat brown rice. Serve with cucumber sticks, carrot sticks, celery sticks, halved cherry tomatoes and a quartered hard-boiled egg.

Noodles / pasta

Noodles and pasta, both hot and cold, make for an interesting change from sandwiches. Load them up with veges — remember the ideal plate — and these lunches are full of goodness.

11. Peanut and vege noodles

Cook rice noodles following packet instructions and rinse to cool. Make a dressing from a mix of peanut butter, sweet chilli sauce and a dash of reduced-salt soy sauce, thinned with boiling water to a smooth consistency. Add sliced courgette, capsicum, asparagus and carrot to noodles. Dress with peanut dressing and top with cooked chicken, beef or tofu, chopped peanuts and coriander. Add sliced chilli to taste (optional). Serve hot or cold.

12. Soba noodle salad

Cook soba noodles ahead and rinse to cool. Make a dressing of sesame oil, fresh ginger, lemon juice and a dash of reduced-salt soy sauce, combined with water if needed. Add ready-made slaw mix to noodles along with toasted sunflower seeds and shredded chicken. Dress noodle salad and toss well to coat. Serve chilled.

13. Tuna pasta bowl

Combine cooked pasta with baby spinach or rocket, chopped cherry tomatoes, olives, capers, lemon zest and blanched green beans. Add a small can of tuna (use chilli flavoured if you like). Serve hot or cold.

14. Courgette noodles with raw green sauce

Make ‘noodles’ from courgette using a spiraliser or peeler. Cook briefly in boiling water or microwave. Make a sauce by blending spinach or silver beet leaves, olive oil, lemon juice, water, garlic and a dollop of cottage cheese. Toss noodles in sauce and top with a generous pile of chopped tomatoes, a few olives and chilli flakes. Serve with a grainy bread roll.

15. Rainbow pasta salad

Cook pasta shapes (eg. penne) following packet instructions then rinse and chill. To cold pasta, add diced capsicum and tomato, corn kernels, chopped celery, sliced baby spinach or rocket and cooked chicken or meat. Dress with a little basil pesto and a dash of lemon juice.


For a salad to be a satisfying lunch, it has to be substantial. These options tick all the boxes: they’re vege and protein-packed, and they taste delicious.

16. Roasted vege and lentil salad

Add leftover roast veges such as pumpkin and carrot to drained canned lentils. Add diced capsicum, tomato, feta and a few olives. Dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds.

17. Boosted Caesar salad

Dress cos lettuce with ready-made Caesar dressing (not too much). Add blanched green beans, broccoli and edamame beans. Top with hard-boiled eggs, grainy toast croutons, grated parmesan, anchovies (optional) and cooked chicken or salmon.

18. Sushi salad

Combine cold cooked rice (brown is ideal) with sliced pickled ginger, sliced toasted seaweed, diced avocado and cucumber, julienned carrot and sesame seeds. Dress with a mix of sesame oil, mirin and white wine vinegar. Top with tuna, salmon, chicken or sliced tofu.

19. Tuscan bread salad

Roast capsicum and eggplant in a hot oven until very soft. When cool, add to a salad of crunchy lettuce, chopped tomatoes and crumbled feta. Add torn-up toasted or stale bread (sourdough is great) and add a vinaigrette dressing. Toss to coat everything well. Add chicken or tuna to this salad for more protein.

20. Quick salmon Niçoise salad

Start with torn cos lettuce. Add blanched green beans, chopped cold potatoes, black olives and hard or soft-boiled eggs. Toss together with a mustardy vinaigrette and top with canned salmon.

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