Planning & Prep

20 Healthy Packed Lunch Ideas For Eating on the Go

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Sep 2, 2021

Eating a healthy lunch is essential for having enough energy to get through your day. It is also a great way to save money on eating out. Of course, packing your lunch every day can get boring fast. If you need to shake up your lunch routine, we are here to help with 20 easy-packed lunch ideas.

Why you should pack your lunch

Not only is packing your lunch a great way to save money, but it is also the key to taking control of your health. By packing your lunch, you can choose items that you know are better for you. You’ll also have more time to unwind and enjoy your meal, instead of waiting in line to place an order.

Some quick healthy lunch packing tips

New to the health lunch game? Here are a few tips you can consider:

  • With the use of insulated containers and cold packs, you can pack a lot more than just chips and a sandwich.
  • When making lunch with sauces or condiments, consider packing these separately in small containers, so your food does not get soggy.
  • Some lunches can be prepared the night before to save time in the morning.

20 of the best healthy packed lunch ideas

Ready to jump-start your lunch routine? Here are 20 packed lunch ideas for work to get you started:

1. Avocado toast

Three healthy toasts with egg, avocado, micro greens and tomatoes.

Pack your avocado toast to go by putting your avocado mix in an airtight container. Mix in a little bit of lemon juice to keep it from turning brown. You don’t have to toast your bread either—just use something yummy like fresh ciabatta.

2. Veggie and hummus sandwich

Spread hummus on the bread of your choice and top with thinly sliced cucumbers and shredded carrots. Other vegetables you might include are red onions, radishes, or roasted red peppers.

3. Greek Meze bowl

Start with a bed of your favorite grains cooked in advance. Add 2 or 3 previously cooked turkey meatballs with sliced cucumbers and baby carrots for a filling midday meal. Serve with Tzatziki sauce.

4. Buddha bowl

A Buddha bowl is an excellent healthy lunch, and you can find many recipes online. A Buddha bowl is a vegetarian dish that starts with a bed of cold grains and is topped with a mix of cooked or pickled vegetables.

5. Smoked fish dip

Sandwiches with salmon pate and baguette

Fish is a healthy lean protein but can present an overpowering odor in a group setting. A smoked fish dip has a less powerful smell than ripping open a can of tuna, and it probably tastes better, too. Eat with multigrain crackers or bread with a side of grapes for a light lunch.

6. Greek salad with grilled chicken

When it comes to a healthy lunch, you can’t go wrong with a big Greek salad. Combine tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, artichokes, feta cheese, and chopped romaine lettuce for a winning salad. Top with diced grilled chicken or any other protein you like. Don’t forget the dressing on the side!

7. Konjac peanut-sesame noodles

Konjac noodles made from yam flour have almost no calories at all. That makes them the perfect vessel for decadent sesame sauce. If you like, add shredded chicken or mushrooms. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for that extra special touch.

8. Turkey meatloaf

Turkey meatloaf is an easy-to-make alternative to traditional beef meatloaf. Added shredded zucchini or carrots to your meat mixture, as turkey on its own tends to dry out when baked. Serve a slice of meatloaf with pre-cooked roast vegetable and potato hash for a healthy filling lunch.

9. Chicken breast with rice

Chicken breast with rice is the quintessential healthy packed lunch. When cooking your chicken in advance, experiment with different rubs and spices to keep it interesting. Add a side of steamed or roasted vegetables of your choice, such as broccoli or green beans.

10. Grocery store sushi

Great variety of sushi rolls.

You can find fresh-made sushi at almost any grocery store, and it makes for a quick, easy, and relatively healthy lunch. When choosing, watch out for specialty rolls with mayo-based sauces and other toppings that add on the calories. Stick with the basic Philadelphia or California roll for the healthiest options.

11. Empanadas

Made for on-the-go eating, these delicious handheld meat pies are great to pack for lunch. Make your own stuffed with spinach and cheese, beef, or chicken.

12. Chicken salad

A chicken salad sandwich on whole-grain bread is a classic healthy lunch. Make it even healthier when you swap out mayonnaise with Greek yogurt.  Add lettuce and sliced tomato to get a serving of veggies in your belly.

13. Pinwheel wraps

Pinwheel wraps are great for a packed lunch and can be easily customized for your dietary needs. Spread cream cheese on a large spinach or red pepper tortilla and roll it up with deli meats and fresh vegetables of your choice. Cut it into bite-sized pieces, and you are ready to go!

14. Quiche

Quiche combines a whole meal into a single slice of yummy goodness. Make your quiche at home in advance, using healthy ingredients like mushrooms, peppers, and ground turkey.

15. Vegan BLT

The BLT is an American classic, but for some, the “B” is too laden with cholesterol to make it a healthy meal. The good news is that there are many tasty bacon alternatives. These vegan substitutes provide a similar flavor and texture so you can enjoy your BLT without the guilt.

16.  Fresh Vietnamese spring rolls

A healthy summer roll filled with healthy veggies and shrimp.

Vietnamese spring rolls are easy to make. You’ll need rice paper wraps, rice noodles, vegetables, and the protein of your choice. You can also swap out the rice noodles with konjac noodles for a healthier version. Be sure to wrap them tightly in the morning, so they do not dry out come lunchtime.

17. White bean and kale soup

Load your insulated container with delicious and nutritious white bean and kale soup. Make it overnight in a slow cooker, or cook it in the morning in an Instant Pot for hot and healthy soup for lunch.

18. Fruit smoothie

For an on-the-go lunch, nothing beats a fruit smoothie. You’ll need to pack it in an insulated container to keep it cold through the day. Add protein powder for an extra midday boost.

19. Personal charcuterie board

Indulge with a combination of meat, cheese, olives, pickles, and sliced baguette or crackers. Keep it healthy by avoiding cured meats and choose turkey pastrami or honey smoked chicken.

20. Bagel with lox

Bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon

Lox is a great source of lean protein and tastes delicious on a bagel with tomato, capers, and red onions. Make it healthier by skipping the cream cheese, and instead of regular bagels, buy lower-calorie mini bagels or Bagel Skinnies.

Choose smarter with a healthy packed lunch

Just because you are trying to eat healthier, doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your favorite foods. As the healthy lunch box ideas above show, it is simple to swap out certain ingredients with healthier alternatives. Another strategy is to control your portion sizes carefully. Remember, just by packing your lunch instead of eating out, you are likely to avoid extra salt and sugar that can ruin your diet.

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