25 Easy Lunch Ideas to Prep Ahead

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Lunch is my most favorite meal of the day and I think it deserves some attention. If you watch my IG stories, you know I love prepping ahead. Sunday night I cook a feast so I can mix and match things for lunches! Here are some of my favorite easy lunch ideas to prep ahead and that travel to work like a pro!

A few weeks ago a reader emailed and asked for more easy lunch ideas and some that can manage NOT being reheated. With different companies and states having different rules and regulations for office etiquette these days, I made a list below with my favorite easy lunch ideas that are great room temp or cold.

LUNCH IDEAS: SALADS

Ginger Soy Herb Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin) / Easy Lunch Ideas
Chickpea Chopped from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin) / Easy Lunch Ideas

Ginger Soy Herb Salad – I’m a bit of a salad snob. Avocado is non-negotiable. Lots of different flavors and textures. And they need to be substantial! This one is loaded with tons of fresh herbs, ripe avocados, thinly sliced radishes, and some farmers market lettuce making it a perfect salad to prep for lunch. Just add the avocado right before you head out the door so it doesn’t brown.

Easy Chickpea Chopped Salad – This Greek inspired Chickpea Chopped Salad is one of my favorite make-ahead and easy lunch ideas that’s packed with protein, veggies and a bright lemony dressing! 

Deconstructed Falafel Salad – Co-workers will be majorly jealous of this insta-worthy salad!

Mango Cucumber Chopped Salad – This refreshing Mango Cucumber Chopped Salad takes about 10 minutes of prep as far as knife skills go, and then it’s time to eat. You’ll be obsessed with the flavor combos here.

McCarthy Chopped Salad – It’s my spin on the McCarthy Cobb. Spoiler alert: it’s delish. Cubes of cheddar, chicken, beets, avocado, lettuce… you name it. 

Greek Chicken Salad – It’s packed with protein and pickled red onions and it’s perfect when you’re on the go! (no need to reheat, the chicken is great chilled)

Asian Chicken Slaw – If I could eat this every day, I totally would! It’s 90% vegetables, 10% chicken and all of it is tossed in an addictive peanut soy sauce dressing. It’s one of my favorite easy lunch ideas because it only gets better with time.

Cucumber Feta Salad – It’s the perfect bright, light, and briny side salad for any leftover steak, chicken, or fish, and it couldn’t be easier to make.

Chopped Thai Salad – This Chopped Thai Salad is LOADED with everything you need to keep things light and bright. Tons of veggies and a really light vinaigrette that you’ll love. You could add some shrimp or chicken if you want extra protein too.

Avocado Kale Caesar – Get ready for the Caesar Salad of your DREAMS. This Avocado Kale Caesar is everything plus the dressing is seriously not to be missed.

PASTA SALADS:

Castelvetrano Greek Pasta Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin) / BBQ sides / Easy Lunch Ideas
Pasta Salad / BBQ sides / / Easy Lunch Ideas

Castelvetrano Greek Pasta Salad – Pasta salads are one of my go to easy lunch ideas. This one’s got cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, castelvetrano olives, red onions, and really good feta.

Artichoke Pasta Salad – This Artichoke Pasta Salad with a basil vinaigrette, plenty of fresh mozzarella, some sun dried tomatoes, and corn is incredible.

Tomato Confit Pasta Salad – This is no boring pasta salad by any means, and it’s SO MUCH better than any mayo-based pasta salads! 

Pesto Pasta Salad – It’s light, fresh, bright, and so flavorful. Basil, Chives, Dill, the works. Plus bacon to give it a little zip.

Basil Vinaigrette Pasta – It’s simple but so delicious! You’ll be obsessed!

LUNCH IDEAS: SANDWICHES AND WRAPS

Avocado Shrimp Spring Rolls from www.whatsgabycooking.com / Easy Lunch Ideas

Avocado Shrimp Spring Rolls – Stuffed with all sorts of goodness, including the most important – AVOCADO!! These are the perfect lunch!!

Ginger Scallion Chicken Wraps – Grab a rotisserie chicken from the store and get into it!

Greek Chicken Stuffed Pitas – Another one of my favorite easy lunch ideas that also uses a rotisserie chicken as a grocery store shortcut. Shred the chicken up, and then toss it with the homemade tzatziki. Stuff the chicken mixture, avocado, feta, red onions, and cucumbers in a pita pocket, and you’re on your way to a delicious and easy meal that took almost no time to throw together.

Triple Decker California Club – I took the traditional club sandwich and gave it a MAJOR FACELIFT. 2 kinds of cheese, sprouts, avocado, tomatoes, bacon, turkey meat and pesto… hello…. it screams California!

LUNCH IDEAS: BOWLS

Avocado Shrimp Quinoa Bowls from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin) / Easy Lunch Ideas

Havarti Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette – This is one of my favorite easy lunch ideas for work that can be prepped ahead. Big chunks of creamy havarti, the most addictive cilantro vinaigrette plus quinoa and veggies! It’s perfect.

Southwestern Brown Rice Bowl – Cilantro vinaigrette doused brown rice is topped with everything you need for a DIY burrito bowl!

Goat Cheese, Beet and Farro Salad – Make this one on the weekend and it lasts for days! Just add the avocado right before you head out the door so it doesn’t brown.

Avocado Shrimp Quinoa Bowls – You know I’m all about a bowl – and this shrimp quinoa bowl will not disappoint! And there’s no need to reheat.

Southwestern Sweetpotato Bowl – Jam-packed with quinoa, feta, roasted sweet potatoes, kale, black beans, avocado and a cilantro vinaigrette makes this the perfect lunch! 

Chicken Tawook Bowls – It’s as simple as adding some grilled chicken breast skewers on top of a quinoa bowl, hummus, garlic sauce, avocados, cucumbers and a bit of shredded lettuce and lunch is prepped! 

If you’re looking for even more easy lunch ideas – check out these 50 Easy Lunch Ideas That Are Better Than Ordering Takeout.

Quinoa Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Easy Lunch Ideas to Prep Ahead

Havarti Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette is hands down one of my favorite easy lunch ideas. Big chunks of creamy havarti, the most addictive cilantro vinaigrette plus quinoa and veggies! It's perfect.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Side Dish, Salad, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup red or white quinoa
  • 2 cups corn about 4 ears, cut from the cob
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced and seeds removed
  • 1 recipe cilantro vinagrette
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1/2 cup havarti cheese cubed
  • chili powder to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cook the quinoa according to the package directions.
  • Once cooked, add the quinoa and raw corn to a large mixing bowl with the chopped jalapeño, green onions, cilantro avocado vinaigrette, all of the lime juice, chunks of havarti cheese and a dash of chili powder. Toss to combine.

For the Cilantro Vinaigrette

  • Make according to the link above but add 1 avocado into the mix before blending until smooth. If it's too thick, smooth out with a few tablespoons of water. The consistency should be that of mayo.

14 Comments

  1. I love your salad recipes! I, too, eat avocados every day. I even eat them mashed on my toast with just a sprinkling of black pepper for breakfast!! Thank you.

  2. Lunch is my least favorite meal of the day – but I can see it becoming my favorite if I would make some of these tasty salads!

  3. Mmmm….I want them all! That beet and farro salad is particularly tempting! Lunch is my favorite meal, too. I go big at lunch time, then would be happy eating a PB + J for dinner! Lol.

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