37 Office Lunch Ideas to Break Your Brown-Bag Rut

Sometimes we “forget to pack lunch” because we were feeling lazy the night before. Sometimes it’s because we’re sick of eating sad salads and turkey sandwiches at our desk. But thanks to these 37 easy, tasty office lunch ideas, we’ll never forget to pack again.

50 Easy Lunch Ideas for Stressed-Out People

1. Kamut And Sour Cherry Meze

Don’t be intimidated by the Mediterranean lingo—this is a really delicious grain salad packed with fresh herbs, feta and a tangy dressing.

2. Sweet Potato, Tomato, Kale And Halloumi Sheet Tray

Set aside 45 minutes on a Sunday to roast a bunch of veggies, and you’ll have lunch for the next two days. (The halloumi cheese is the cherry on top.)

3. Spicy Stir-fried Chicken And Shredded Brussels Bowls

This is even tastier (not to mention healthier) than that leftover takeout you were planning on packing. The coworker envy is real.

4. Green Bowl With Chicken, Citrus And Herbs

If a salad and a chicken bowl had a really delicious baby, it would be this dish. Want to make it even easier? Use store-bought green goddess dressing.

5. Indian Salad Bowl With Crunchy Chickpeas

Oh hey, crispy roasted chickpeas. With your smoky, spicy seasoning, we’d like to put you on everything from here on out.

6. Avocado Chicken Salad

Remember when it was *so cool* to add grapes to chicken salad? We swapped the grapes for avocado to give this dish a modern feel (because avocado is never a bad idea).

7. Meal-prep Creamy Kale Caesar Salad

A $15 salad bar lunch? No thanks—we packed our own and we’re damn proud of it.

8. Buffalo Chicken Wraps With Blue Cheese And Celery

We love anything buffalo chicken and these easy wraps are no exception. The secret? Use a rotisserie bird to cut down on prep time.

9. Chicken Pesto Focaccia Sandwiches

You could make peanut butter and jelly…or you could bring one of these beauties for a change. It’s your call.

10. Italian Deli Pinwheel Sandwiches

It’s kind of like having a cocktail party, just at your desk. (OK, without the cocktails, but you get the point.)

11. Grilled Lemon-herb Chicken And Avocado Salad

Behold: the salad to end all salads. A mix of hearty grains and greens will keep you full through the afternoon, with tons of cherry tomatoes and avocado for good measure.

12. 15-minute Mediterranean Couscous With Tuna And Pepperoncini

This isn’t your usual gloppy, mayo-laden tuna salad. Even better, it takes 15 minutes to make. Super easy and super healthy? Yes, please.

13. Vegan Fiesta Taco Bowl

With all the protein and healthy fats to keep you satisfied, you won’t even notice that there’s no meat.

14. Meal-prep Honey Sesame Chicken With Broccolini

Nothing against a turkey and Swiss cheese sammie, but this meal-prep chicken is just as easy to make, and way more impressive.

15. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Stuffed Peppers

Lightened-up chicken salad still has all the creamy, tangy flavor you crave—minus the whopping dollop of mayo. Plus, the recipe makes a giant batch, so you can use the leftovers all week long.

16. Cauliflower Fried Rice

Since you’re probably not about to fry an egg in your office, might we suggest packing a jammy egg instead? It’ll have the same yolk-y goodness, with much more portability.

17. Salmon And Smashed Cucumber Grain Bowls

Here’s proof that yes, you can bring fish as an office lunch. The key is to keep it far away from the microwave—and luckily, this bowl happens to be great straight from the fridge.

18. Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich

Just as creamy and tangy as the one from the deli down the street (but with the satisfaction of making it yourself).

19. Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower Bowls

Don’t settle for any old rice bowl. Since most of the cooking is hands-off, this roasted cauliflower number is easy, healthy and addictively tasty.

20. Meal-prep Creamy Pasta Salad With Broccoli And Raisins

Whoever invented pasta salad was a genius. This one lasts for five days in the fridge and costs just $1.50 per serving.

21. Sheet-pan Lemon Butter Veggies And Sausage

Hands-off cooking and minimal cleanup? This has our name written all over it.

22. Make-ahead Aloo Gobi

The classic Indian dish features cauliflower, potatoes and a ton of aromatic spices—always a tasty combination. Our big-batch version just happens to meal-prep friendly, too.

23. Slow-cooker Meal-prep Burrito Bowls

When you’re short on time, break out the slow-cooker and make these low-carb burrito bowls. Voilà, this week’s lunch is handled.

24. Make-ahead Farro And Brussels Sprouts Salad

Lettuce? We don’t know her. This Brussels sprout-based wonder will never wilt, even after hanging in your adult lunch box all morning.

25. Lunch Kebabs With Mortadella, Artichoke And Sun-dried Tomatoes

You’re guaranteed to impress your desk mates with these grown-up kebabs. They’re like fancy Italian sandwiches on a stick.

26. Keto Sheet-pan Chicken And Rainbow Veggies

Roasted vegetables and chicken are undeniably delicious, whether you’re on a diet or not. Even better, there’s just one sheet pan to clean afterward.

27. 20-minute Paleo Egg Roll Bowls

When you’re craving Chinese (most days for us), whip up these healthy, savory bowls. Who needs a greasy wonton wrapper?

28. Meal-prep Turkey Meatballs With Zucchini Noodles

We’re suckers for a meatball in any form. By pairing these with zoodles, you can avoid the post-lunchtime nap that a plate of spaghetti might bring.

29. Salmon Bowl With Farro, Black Beans And Tahini Dressing

Omega-3s and turmeric dressing are just what that 1 p.m. slump calls for.

30. The Ultimate Quinoa-avocado Bowl

With crispy kale, spicy shrimp and all the yummy toppings, this foolproof bowl hits all the right notes.

31. Chickpea And Vegetable Coconut Curry

In the time it takes for you to scroll through Instagram after work, you could make a simple, Thai-inspired curry for tomorrow (and the next day, and the day after that).

32. Zucchini Noodle Pad See Ew

Whip up zucchini noodles with steak and tasty brown sauce on Sunday and watch your Monday blues fade away.

33. Firecracker Chicken With Rice

Can you believe you’re 35 minutes away from this spicy-sweet masterpiece? Make it the night before and thank yourself when hunger hits.

34. One-pan Sausage With Broccoli Rabe And White Beans

When you need a break from roasted chicken (it happens), swap in Italian sausage. It’s quick-cooking, flavorful and pairs with just about anything.

35. Blt Pasta Salad

Bread is great, but what about pasta? This creamy, crunchy take on a BLT is begging to be paraded around your office. (Just be prepared to share the recipe with everyone.)

36. Zoodles With Avocado And Mango Sauce

Here’s proof that you don’t need hours of free time to make a healthy lunch for the next day. If you’ve got 15 minutes, you’re in good shape.

37. Low-carb Zucchini Enchiladas

Meet your newest lunch obsession. With all the meat, cheese and toppings, you won’t even notice the tortillas are M.I.A.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...