We dedicated this entire week to easy, make-ahead desk lunch ideas: low-maintenance, high-payoff dishes that are so craveable that when you eat your midday meal, you’ll almost forget there’s a full email inbox in the background.
Whether you’re in the mood for salmon-cucumber wraps or chicken stir-fry, we’ve got a work lunch idea you can get behind. The best part is that all of these meals can be made ahead; we love to double the recipe for dinner and save half for lunch the next day, that way we can enjoy something new every day of the week.
|Vietnamese Slaw with Lemongrass Shrimp and Peanuts
This light, fresh seafood lunch channels the sweet and sour flavors that are characteristic of Southeast Asian cuisine.
|Sesame Soba Noodles with Tofu and Sugar Snap Peas
Here’s a meat-free meal that has it all: crispy vegetables, sustaining plant protein and noodles that keep well overnight.
|Bacon, Cheddar and Potato Hand Pies
Savory hand pies might sound like a strange choice for a make-ahead lunch, until you realize that this warm, flaky pastry is stuffed with everything you need for a balanced meal—bacon, peas, potatoes and more—and perfect for those days when you’re running from one meeting to the next.
|Pancetta, Asparagus and Goat Cheese Orecchiette
Orecchiette, or short, thick ear-shaped pieces of pasta, keep better overnight than their noodle counterparts. Here, they’re the star of a dish that features asparagus and goat cheese.
|Panzanella With Tomatoes, Chickpeas & Tuna
Use this Italian bread salad recipe as a template for easy lunches, mixing different vegetables and proteins with the same dressing and bread.
|Smoked Salmon & Cucumber Wraps
Take a break from sandwiches, opting instead for a hands-friendly wrap filled with smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumber slices and nutrient-dense sprouts.
|Chicken, Broccoli and Cashew Stir-Fry
Stir-fries make some of the most satisfying lunches, because they hold up well when reheated in the microwave. We love this chicken, broccoli and cashew version.