17 Fresh & Healthy Lunch Recipes

Recipes from The Kitchn

August offers the best of everything. All the vegetables and fruits you could ever want are in season, just as lunch season heats up. Back to work, back to school — your lunchbox is ready for a fresh makeover, don't you think?

Whether you're getting ready for a busy fall after a laid-back summer, or you have a kid going back to school, we've rounded up 17 fresh, healthy lunch recipes perfect for any backpack or lunchbox. From a mozzacado sandwich to a chilled black bean salad and seasonal spring rolls, brown-bagging it has never tasted so good.

Let's not forget that it is still summer for another month or so. You won't find any warm soup recipes in this roundup. However, there is an abundance of seasonal-focused lunches, including tartines with basil, mozzarella and nectarines, and a succotash salad.

I've broken down lunch items into three categories: salad, sandwiches, and everything in between. A lot of the recipes are vegetarian or vegan, but can be beefed-up (literally) if you so desire.

Salads

Sandwiches

Other Lunch Options

When I take my lunch to work, it's because I've done a couple things: I either make enough food for dinner the night before that I have leftovers for lunch the next day, or I prep things on Sunday night. If you plan a little ahead of time, you'll have something that's most likely more healthy and budget-friendly than the things you end up buying instead.

(Image credits: Faith Durand; Nealey Dozier; Emma Christensen; Emily Han; Michaela Cisney; Anjali Prasertong; Sarah Crowder; Sara Kate Gillingham; Izy Hossack; Erin Alderson; Andrea Bemis; Karen Biton-Cohen; Megan Gordon)