Do you have a healthy hot lunch idea for work? Would it be easier if we’ve shared some delicious ideas for you? Great! Here we go.
I work from home, but I know plenty of people who go to an office every day. There’s a team lunch every Friday which is a great way for everyone to catch up and unwind. Here are some healthy hot lunch ideas for the office.
Healthy Hot Lunch Ideas for work
1. Homemade Instant Noodle Cups
Just add hot water, and you’ve got ramen that’s way tastier and better for you. Slurp away.
2. Curried Cauliflower Chickpea Wraps
This wrap is delicious hot or cold, but when your cubicle is more like an ice cube-icle, pop this baby in the microwave.
3. Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Casseroles
~Layers of flavors~. Get the recipe here.
4. Egg Fried Rice in a Mug
Assemble the ingredients at home, nuke at work.
5. Bacon Cheeseburger Wraps
Get the recipe here.
6. Peanut Lime Chicken Lunch Bowls
7. Ground Turkey & Sweet Potato Stuffed Peppers
Thirty minutes to whip up a batch, one minute to nuke in the communal microwave.
8. Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches
Basically the DIY version of all-day McDonald’s breakfast. (But better for you!)
9. Light Fajita Quesadillas
Warm it up to get that perfect ~cheese stretch~.
10. Minestrone Soup
Make a big batch, freeze it in portions, take it to work.
11. Homemade Hot Pockets
Just stuff some leftovers in puff pastry and bake. Then microwave at work. Plus, you can nuke these straight from the freezer.
12. Instant Oatmeal Jars
Just add hot water to get a healthy and customizable meal in your cubicle.
13. Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs with Rice and Asparagus
Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
14. Vegan Lentil, Sweet Potato & Kale Pockets
No fork, no problem. Get the recipe here.
15. BBQ Sundae Supper
So you can pretend you’re in the sunshine instead of under fluorescent lights.
16. Country Breakfast Bowls
Eat breakfast for lunch; make all your co-workers jealous.
17. Homemade Alphabet Spaghetti With Meatballs
Bring a little childhood joy to the workplace.
18. Chili-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
A baked sweet potato is basically a ~potato bowl~.
19. And chase these delicious lunches down with holiday spice hot cocoa.
Just keep the mix at your desk for those 4 p.m. sugar crashes.
20 Quick Healthy Hot Lunch Ideas for
Coming up with interesting new lunches every single week is always a challenge.
Everyone likes eating lunch. No one likes to think about what to make for lunch and then actually make it. As such, it’s easy to get into a boring lunch rut or start falling back on less healthy choices. Enter quick healthy hot lunch ideas for work. (P. S. I already have a separate cold lunch ideas for work round-up.) I’ve collected 50 quick, easy hot lunch ideas, ideal for packed lunches, including grain bowls, pasta meals, soups, and lots of Asian-inspired dishes.
I’ve limited this round-up to quick healthy lunch ideas for work to hot lunch recipes. I know that cold lunch ideas are more versatile, as you don’t have to worry about finding a microwave. However, personally, I prefer to have a mix of cold and hot recipes in rotation for work lunches. I know that many of you do, too.
Tips for packing work lunches
When you make your own lunches for work on a regular basis, it’s worth learning how to pack a lunch well. Here are a few tips for maximum flavor and texture in hot packed lunches.
Invest in staple kitchen prep items, high-quality glass containers, and a good lunch box
Packing work lunches is much more straightforward and efficient when you have the proper tools on hand. You don’t need anything complicated or expensive to meal prep effectively. A basic set of pots and pans, good knives, a handful of utensils (i.e., spatulas, wooden spoons), and a set of mixing bowls will cover the majority of the prep you need to do for the lunch recipes in this post. A number of the recipes call for a slow cooker as well, which is a versatile kitchen item you’ll find yourself using all the time.
After you’ve prepared your food, pack it in glass food storage containers. Glass containers are safer and more durable than plastic containers. Purchase a nice lunch box as well for safe transport and storage.
Keep dressings and toppings separate to prevent sogginess
For the recipes in this post, I do my best to give specific tips about when you should pack ingredients separately. With a little practice, you’ll quickly learn when it’s best to store certain ingredients apart from the remainder of the dish.
Generally, it works well to pack individual servings of hot lunches at the beginning of the week
For cold lunches, some recipes work best when you prep the ingredients at the beginning of the week and then assemble the individual portions each night, such as sandwiches and chopped salads. For hot lunches, typically, it’s fine to prep individual servings all at once at the beginning of the week.
Get as much as you can ready the night before
With hot lunches that you pack for work, you’re never making a recipe right before you get ready to go to work. Pack anything else you’ll need, such as silverware, the night before, too, so you can grab the food out of the fridge and go when it’s time to leave for work.
Don’t be afraid to make ingredient substitutions and omissions
No recipe is set in stone. Tweak recipes as needed to cater to your personal tastes or the ingredients you have on hand. If you don’t love a particular flavor pairing or you’re getting burned out on a recipe, swap in new ingredients. A different dressing, grain, or protein can completely transform a dish.
Hot lunch prep methods
There are two primary ways that I like to prep hot lunch recipes for work to keep the weekday work routine as stress-free as possible. I’ve chosen the hot lunch ideas for work in this post with these prep methods in mind.
- Make a large batch recipe for dinner over the weekend. Prepare the recipe and serve it for dinner one night. Then pack up the leftovers in individual containers, so they’re ready to go for the week ahead.
- Prep as many of the ingredients as possible over the weekend. When you won’t be eating the meal over the weekend, you can still do a lot of prep to save yourself time on weekdays. For example, for a salad with chicken, cook the chicken, chop the veggies, and make the dressing.
1. Korean Chicken Bowls
How Sweet Eat’s Korean chicken bowls are one of our all-time favorite dinner recipes. I always look forward to having the leftovers for lunch. You can customize it with the meat and veggies of your choosing. Both raw and roasted vegetables work well. For a work lunch, keep the rice and chicken separate from the raw veggies and other toppings. It’s fine to pack the rice and chicken with roasted vegetables.
2. Sheet Pan Ratatouille with Sausage
I love The Modern Proper’s take on ratatouille. You make it as a sheet pan meal and add sausage to fill it out a bit. There are so many ways to customize this concept.
3. Soy Honey Noodle Salad
I’m pretty sure that I could eat Simply Delicious’s soy honey noodle salad at least once a week for a year and never get tired of it. The sauce is so flavorful, and the noodles soak it up perfectly.
4. Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowls
Two Peas and Their Pod’s roasted vegetable quinoa bowls are so healthy and flavorful. You can easily swap in the veggies and grains of your choosing. For packed lunches, keep the lemon tahini dressing separate until you’re ready to eat.
5. Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas
Real Life Dinner’s honey lime chicken enchiladas is the perfect meal to make for dinner with the plan to eat the leftovers for lunch at least a couple of days that week. The recipe makes a ton, and the dish tastes great when reheated.
6. Chicken Verde Soup
Cooking for Keeps’ chicken verde soup is one of those recipes that warms you from the inside out. It comes together so quickly and has just the right amount of kick, thanks to the store-bought salsa verde.
7. Teriyaki Turkey Rice Bowl
The homemade teriyaki sauce for Yellow Bliss Road’s teriyaki turkey rice bowl really takes the flavor up a notch. This is one of those versatile concepts that you can customize with the meat and grain of your choosing.
8. Roasted Veggie Quinoa Salad
Ambitious Kitchen’s roasted veggie, chickpea, and pesto salad comes together easily on a sheet pan with lovely char on the roasted veggies and a strong garlic flavor (I mean that in a good way) from the chickpeas and pesto. As it’s packed with protein, you don’t need to add meat but certainly can if you like.
9. Pork Carnitas Burrito Bowls
My Kitchen Love’s pork carnitas burrito bowls are so flavorful and couldn’t easier, as the slow cooker (or instant pot) does most of the work. Don’t skip the pineapple-cucumber salsa, as it takes the flavor in these bowls over the top. For work, pack the salsa separately.
10. Egg Roll in a Bowl
The Seasoned Mom’s egg roll in a bowl is a lightened up version of egg rolls that you can make at home quickly. You get all of the flavor you love in egg rolls without all of the calories and grease. Ground chicken is my favorite meat for egg rolls as it’s flavorful and moist without being too salty. But any sort of ground meat works well. You can easily make a vegetarian version, too.
11. Chicken Wild Rice Soup
Pinch of Yum’s chicken wild rice soup is so easy to make and exactly what you want on a chilly day. The ingredient list is simple, letting the chicken and rice shine.
12. Lemon Zucchini Burrata Pasta
The Toasted Pine Nut’s lemon zucchini burrata pasta is one of those ridiculously easy recipes that tastes like something you’d get at a restaurant but can now make in your kitchen in half an hour. Pack the pine nuts, basil, and burrata separately, and add them to the pasta and veggies just before you eat.
13. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Flatbread
When you’re in the mood for pizza but also want to eat something healthy, The Almond Eater’s roasted red pepper hummus flatbread is a great choice. It’s made with pizza dough and topped with roasted red pepper hummus, red peppers, and feta cheese.
14. Baked Turkey Zucchini Meatballs
The Lemon Bowl’s baked turkey zucchini meatballs are made with grated zucchini for a boost of nutrition and to keep them perfectly tender. The post also includes a recipe for tomato basil sauce.
15. Honey Lemon Chicken Bowls
Gimme Some Oven’s honey lemon chicken bowls come together quickly with whatever veggies you have on hand and can be served with rice or quinoa. Finish the dish off with a generous sprinkling of sesame seeds.