Lunch Box Ideas (For Adults!)

You know it's true: any tasty lunch you make for yourself will taste 500% better than some icky salad or sad sandwich you would grab from the office cafeteria. Save money and save yourself from a #saddesklunch by making one of these easy not-your-kid's-lunch-box ideas.

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  • 1 of 24

    Turkey-Quinoa Salad

    Granny Smith apple, Gouda cheese, and dried apricots and cranberries give this yummy grain salad its complex flavor. To tote, place this easy lunch recipe in a container with a tight-fitting lid, and put your favorite salad dressing in a separate small container.

  • 2 of 24

    Garlic Lentil Salad

    This garlicky lentil salad is absolutely delicious served on chewy flat bread. Pack this salad in your favorite lunch container and top with a sheet of parchment paper. Lay a piece of flatbread on top of the paper so it doesn't get soggy before lunch. Get our recipe for two-ingredient flatbread here.

  • 3 of 24

    Asparagus and Greens with Farro

    Nutty farro and chopped toasted almonds are a savory, hearty complement to tender asparagus and fresh baby greens. The flavors in this easy lunch recipe will marinate overnight and throughout the morning, so don’t be scared to pack it all together in the same container!

  • 4 of 24

    Instant Noodle Bowls

    Instant noodles in a jar take the stress out of having a satisfying lunch. Simply build the noodle bowls the night before and make sure the jar is tightly sealed. Add hot water at lunchtime, and you've got a meal.

  • 5 of 24

    Crunchy PB&A Wraps

    Perfect for breakfast, snacktime, or a sweet component of lunch, these protein- and vitamin-packed wraps are sure to satisfy. Pack them in a bento box with carrots and a banana and cheese stick on the side.

  • 6 of 24

    Burrito Bowls

    Don’t go out to get your burrito bowl fix! Make these customizable bowls at home using cauliflower rice, pork or chicken, beans, corn, and more. After heating up at lunchtime, top with cheese, greens, pico de gallo, and cilantro.

  • 7 of 24

    Veggie Egg Salad Wraps

    Egg salad goes portable in these energy-boosting wraps. Add red onion, shredded carrots, and summer squash for extra nutrition and crunch. Pack wraps in a bento box with an apple and one ounce of almonds.

  • 8 of 24

    Bulgur Salad with Feta and Mint

    Bulgur is a quick-cooking form of cracked wheat. It’s typically used in Middle Eastern and some Asian cooking. This flexitarian meal (just omit the chicken!) tastes great at room temperature, so pack it in a container with a tight-fitting lid, then take it out of the office fridge about 20 minutes before you want to eat.

  • 9 of 24

    Mediterranean Chicken Wraps

    Fresh vegetable strips add crunch to these healthy chicken breast wraps. Pack two wraps in a sealed container with a side of fresh veggies for a satisfying lunch.

  • 10 of 24

    Prosciutto and Artichoke Panini

    Make these pressed sandwiches the night before -- they’ll still taste AMAZING the next day. Pack in a sandwich-size container, and bring along some kettle chips.

  • 11 of 24

    Edamame Quinoa Salad

    Chilled protein- and superfood-packed salads make incredible desk lunches you won’t be able to stop thinking about all morning. Pack in a tightly-sealed Mason jar or plastic container with a reliable lid.

  • fried cauliflower rice with spicy shrimp in cast iron skillet 12 of 24

    Spicy Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice

    Combine cauliflower, ginger, and red peppers for a healthy dish with a kick. Find prericed cauliflower in the produce or frozen vegetable section at the supermarket, or learn how to make your own here. Simply reheat in the microwave at lunchtime, and don’t forget to pack a few lime wedges!

  • 13 of 24

    Red Pepper Hummus Wraps with Avocado and Cheddar

    Wraps are the quintessential lunch box solution. Make your own savory red pepper hummus and top with lettuce, sweet pepper strips, avocado, microgreens, and sour cream or cheese if desired. Then, use that hummus as a delectable dipper for carrot sticks and cucumbers!

  • 14 of 24

    Succotash Salad with Buttermilk-Avocado Dressing

    Due to their incredibly short growing season, lima beans are much more widely available in the frozen section -- at a very high quality! Pack this hearty traditional Southern potluck salad in your favorite glass jar or plastic container, but pour the creamy buttermilk-avocado dressing into a separate container.

  • 15 of 24

    Greens and Barley Salad

    To make this gorgeous salad a meal, include sliced grilled chicken, pork tenderloin, or firm cubed tofu. Bring the DIY dressing (red wine vinegar, olive oil, honey, paprika, and salt) in a separate container.

  • 16 of 24

    Tuscan Bread Salad

    Capture the feeling of a warm Tuscan afternoon (and forget you’re at your desk!) with this savory panzanella-style salad. Pack in your favorite resealable container, and take it out of the fridge 20-30 minutes before you plan to enjoy.

  • 17 of 24

    Tofu Spring Rolls

    Pack these colorful, crunchy spring rolls in a bento box for lunch, and bring soy sauce for dipping in a separate container (or, pack a few of those packets you never seem to use up in another compartment of the bento box).

  • 18 of 24

    Tuscan Tuna Salad

    Skip that mayo-based tuna salad! This hearty, flavorful (yet light!) salad needs only crusty multigrain bread to make it complete.

  • 19 of 24

    Chicken and Chickpea Buddha Bowls

    This fresh bowl is filled with good-for-you veggies like kale, green beans, and butternut squash. Store chickpeas and Sesame-Dijon Dressing in separate containers so every component stays crunchy for lunchtime.

  • 20 of 24

    Mediterranean Lentil Skillet with Pita Chips

    This hearty-yet-light lentil skillet is best served warm. Pack two containers -- one with the lentil salad and one with goat cheese crumbles, walnuts, and pita chips.

  • 21 of 24

    Peppered Kale Chips

    Kale chips satisfy that salty snack craving without weighing you down. Spice them up with cayenne pepper, or keep things simple with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Make a big batch at the beginning of the week -- these chips will keep for a few days (though we know you’ll eat them long before then!).

  • 22 of 24

    Baked Root Vegetable Chips

    These baked veggie chips come in at just 50 calories per serving (and 0 grams of fat!). Bring a little plastic baggie of them for the perfect afternoon snack.

  • 23 of 24

    Crunchy Peanut Butter Coconut Banana Bites

    Need a little 3 p.m. boost? These protein- and vitamin-packed banana-and-peanut butter bites will do just the trick. Store in a flat, tightly-sealed container until you’re ready to enjoy.

  • Next Slideshow Healthy Lunch Ideas: Brown Bag Recipes

    Healthy Lunch Ideas: Brown Bag Recipes

    Brighten up your brown-bag lunch with healthy lunch recipes. With fresh salads, easy sandwiches, and simple snacks, our collection of healthy lunch ideas will save you from unhealthy choices at the drive-through or vending machine. With a close eye on calories, we made sure each and every idea is full of protein and nutrients to get you through the afternoon.
    Begin Slideshow »
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