If you are looking for healthy lunch ideas no microwave then this post will help. In this post I share with you some healthy lunch ideas that don’t require a microwave. It’s always good to have a variety of things that you can pack in your kids lunches if they are eating at school. Knowing what is safe for them to eat and what isn’t can be tricky business. Is anything in the school lunches actually healthy? Does it matter?
With our kids being so young I think they need to enjoy their food while they still will, but I don’t want them loading up on crap either. So my goal is to be flexible with some things that might not be the best choice but may taste yummy or feel yummy, without packing them with too much fat or salt or sugar.
Healthy Lunch Ideas No Microwave
1. Healthy Pesto Chicken and Veggies
2. Avocado Tuna Salad
3. Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
4. Mediterranean One Pot Pasta
5. Chicken Bacon Pressed Picnic Sandwiches with Raspberry Honey Mustard
6. Greek Salmon Salad Bowls
7. Korean Beef Power Bowls
8. Mexican Turkey and Bean Quinoa Bowl
9. Greek Lemon Chicken Bowls
10. Sesame Soba Noodles
11. Curried Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups
12. Roasted Butternut Squash Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Couscous
13. Lentil Greek Salad with Dill Sauce
14. Grilled Shrimp Vietnamese Spring Rolls
15. Antipasti Burrata Panzanella
No microwave. No problem. You can still have some really great make ahead lunches! Here are some amazingly delicious No Microwave Make Ahead Lunches for your meal plan this week!
Just because you don’t have a microwave available at lunch, it doesn’t mean you can’t rock some make ahead, meal prep lunches! You also don’t need to suffer through the same ol, same ol ham sammy.
SHAKE UP YOUR LUNCH GAME WITH MY ROUND UP OF THE BEST NO MICROWAVE MAKE AHEAD LUNCHES!
QUINOA CAPRESE MASON JAR SALAD – MEAL PLAN ADDICT
RAINBOW TORTILLA WRAP RECIPES FROM A PANTRY
CHICKEN AND HUMMUS MEAL PREP PLATE – PROJECT MEAL PLAN
THAI CHICKPEA MASON JAR SALAD – SWEET PEAS AND SAFFRON
PROTEIN SNACK PACKS – THE FORKED SPOON
ITALIAN TURKEY AND FUSILLI MASON JAR SALAD – MEAL PLAN ADDICT
EASY TURKEY PINWHEELS MEAL PREP – PROJECT MEAL PLAN
MEDITERRANEAN VEGAN MEAL PREP BOWLS – SALT & LAVENDER
CHICKEN MASON JAR SALAD (CREAMY NO MAYO DRESSING) – KRISTINE’S KITCHEN
GREEK PITA BENTO BOX – SWEET PEAS AND SAFFRON
18 Meal Prep Recipes For When You Have No Microwave or Fridge At Work
Some days, you can store your meal-prepped lunch in a refrigerator. Some days, you have access to a microwave to heat up your meal to your heart’s content. But some days, you just don’t!
I’ve been there. At my first job, fridge space was hard to come by, especially when the New Year’s resolutions to spend less money buying lunch rolled in every January. But secretly, I’m grateful for my limited fridge access because it helped me find recipes I felt confident eating at room temperature. After all, there’s nothing worse than being ravenous and having to wait in line for the work microwave (that somehow seems to break once a week).
Whether you’re on the go, between classes at school or there is no microwave or fridge at work, I’ve rounded up 18 recipes that I love and are perfect (and safe) to keep at room temperature—no reheating necessary.
What’s In This Post
HOW DO YOU KEEP LUNCH COLD WITHOUT A FRIDGE?
Before we get into the recipes, let’s talk about the tools you’ll need for success. The right lunchbox and ice pack combination can be just what you need to put your mind at ease over not refrigerating your food. These are some of your best options.
PackIt – Though they have many fun patterns and colors to choose from, these lunch bags aren’t just nice to look at. PackIt freezable lunch boxes come in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit your preferences, whether you’re looking for something smaller to fit in your backpack or a tote to throw over your shoulder.
Store the bag in your freezer overnight, and before you leave for work stick your meal prep containers inside. Then, keep it by your desk until you’re ready to dig in! Your lunch will stay chilled inside.
MIER Adult Lunch Boxes – These bags are insulated, leakproof, and spacious, MIER’s adult lunch boxes will keep your food cool (or warm!) for hours.
Fit and Fresh Cool Coolers – Slim and easily packable, buy this set and use as many as you want—or can fit in your lunch bag—to keep your food cold.
Rubbermaid Sandwich Kit – This little BPA-free unit is a great option to not only keep your main meal cold, but also any snacks you’re taking for the day!
There are ways to heat up your food without a microwave:
HotLogic – If you’re someone who loves eating a hot lunch but you don’t have a microwave at your office, you should probably invest in this mini personal portable oven, which allows you to heat up food on the go and it’s totally safe. How cool is that!
RELATED: 10 BEST LUNCH BOXES FOR FOOD ON THE GO
IS FOOD SAFE TO EAT WHEN YOU HAVE NO MICROWAVE OR FRIDGE?
According to the FDA, it is not advised to eat food that’s been left at room temperature for more than two hours—that’s when it starts to enter the “danger zone,” when its temperature hovers between 40 and 140 degrees F and it can start to develop harmful bacteria. Be careful to pack your food in an insulated bag with an ice pack and you’ll at least double its lifespan. If you’re really worried, you can pop a small thermometer in your lunch bag to keep an eye on the temp. Luckily, in most cases, you’ll be just fine if you use your judgment. Don’t eat anything that smells bad or looks funny, and if the first bite doesn’t taste quite right put it down, but odds these no-reheat recipes won’t let you down.
SOME OF OUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE MEALS TO EAT WITH NO MICROWAVE OR FRIDGE:
Veggie Burrito Bowl
A veggie burrito bowl will never let you down, even at room temperature. You can keep extra toppings on the side, too, if you’re worried they will wilt.
Basil Lime Chicken & Peach Kale Salad
This salad is bright, full of texture, and really hits the spot! It is the perfect no-reheat salad to take into the office.
Chickpea, Spinach, Onion and Red Pepper Pita Wraps with Tahini Yogurt Sauce
This sheet pan meal is extremely delicious and versatile! You can switch it up throughout the week to keep things interesting. This meal will stay cool with an ice pack and is perfect for when you run into a situation with no microwave or fridge.
Veg = vegetarian; V = Vegan
NO MICROWAVE OR FRIDGE GRAIN BOWLS
Trendy, yes, but for good reason! These grain bowls aren’t just filling— they’re also great candidates for no-reheat, no-fridge lunches because they taste great at room temp. But the best part is that they’re super versatile—you can switch it up with whatever grain you have on hand or enjoy most.
Quinoa Bowl with Lentils & Mustard Vinaigrette (Veg)
When I’m planning meals for a busy week, I know I’m in good shape if I have lentils and quinoa in my pantry. I love making this grain bowl if I know I’m going to be working remotely, but don’t want to spend $10+ on lunch just because I won’t have a fridge nearby.
Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Salad (V)
One of my favorite quinoa bowls not just because it takes 30 minutes to make, but because it ticks two of my favorite boxes: unexpected but delicious flavor profile and ONE POT. It also keeps like a dream and somehow gets better as the week goes on.
Spiced Chicken Couscous Salad
Couscous doesn’t always get the attention it deserves, but I’m a huge fan. The spices on the chicken and the texture of couscous make this simple recipe a little unique—definitely not your average chicken and rice bowl! I like the idea of swapping in Israeli couscous, too.
Quinoa Tabbouleh (V)
It’s hard not to love tabbouleh, and I love that adding a bit of quinoa makes it so much more satisfying. This recipe makes 6 servings, so it’s great for sharing with a partner or a roommate.
Kale Butternut Squash Farro Salad (V)
This recipe features my favorite grain, farro. I love its chewy texture, and something about the roasted squash and farro combo just makes me feel cozy whether it’s chilled, warm, OR at room temperature! If you’ve never tried farro…I don’t have anything clever to say, I just think you should try it!
RELATED: MEAL PREP SNACKS: THE BEST SNACKS TO TAKE TO WORK OR SCHOOL
NO MICROWAVE OR FRIDGE SANDWICHES/WRAPS
These sandwiches and wraps are self-contained powerhouses. Just assemble, pack, and enjoy when you’re ready, no need to heat up or keep cool. Sandwiches are a great option when there is no microwave or fridge available.
Fruity Peanut Butter Pita (V)
Pita pockets are hearty, durable, and portable, making them perfect for packing into your work bag especially when there is no microwave or fridge. Nearly anything you can put on a sandwich, you can put inside a pita pocket and it’ll be just as good. A perfect example is this upgraded PB&J, or whatever nut butter and fruit or jam combo works for you. Lately I’ve been packing almond butter and sliced plum with a little cinnamon sprinkled inside on Joseph’s pita bread.
Turkey Cheddar & Apple Sandwich
If you haven’t discovered the apple and cheddar and turkey combination, this sandwich is a great and easy start. Two pro-tips here: to avoid soggy bread, toast it slightly before assembling the sandwich and a little lemon juice prevents apple slices from browning—works like a charm!
Grilled Veggie Hummus Wraps (V)
These wraps are packed with veggies, and customizable in just about every way! If you want to take it a step further and make your own hummus as well, here is our easy and delicious recipe!
Curried Chicken Salad
The day I discovered curry chicken salad was a very happy day. Not a fan of mayo, like me? I sub plain greek yogurt with a little lemon juice. Put this inside a wrap, pita pocket, or on toasted bread and you’re in business.
Buffalo Tofu Wrap (Veg)
I was late to the buffalo-anything game, but buffalo tofu and tempeh is now something I crave at least once a month. Great on a sandwich or a wrap, or stuffed into a pita!
NO MICROWAVE OR FRIDGE PASTA SALADS
They’re not just for summer barbecues. After you prepare a pasta salad, the flavors of all the ingredients continue to meld, so that by the time you sit down to eat lunch, it’ll usually taste even better than when you first prepped it!
Mandarin Pasta Spinach Salad with Teriyaki Dressing (V)
One of my go-to pasta salad recipes all year round, especially when you have no microwave or fridge. The dressing is delicious—and when I’m out of sugar, I make the recipe with honey and it tastes just as great. However, it won’t still be vegan if you do use honey. Maybe try agave instead.
Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad With Chickpeas
This pasta salad is great cold, at room temperature, or heated up if you do in fact have a microwave! Choose your favorite store-bought pesto, or if you own a food processor, you can try your hand at making pesto. Here’s an easy recipe that can be your go-to.
Spicy Peanut Soba Noodle Salad (Veg)
So flavorful, and having this easy spicy peanut sauce in your arsenal will be a game-changer.
Greek Chicken Pasta Salad
Give me a Greek salad any day of the year and I’m happy. Add pasta into the mix and your Greek salad will actually have some staying power. The lemon juice is your secret weapon for keeping all the veggies in this salad extra fresh in your bag.
Mexican Pasta Salad (Veg)
Never thought to combine Mexican flavors with pasta? You really need to try this creamy, zesty salad with a kick.