20 Make-Ahead Lunches to Get You Through the Work Week

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

The key to avoiding another sad desk lunch at the office is simple: Embrace make-ahead recipes. Find a smart recipe that you can make in bulk and will enjoy eating all week. There’s no reason for you to order takeout or hit the vending machine when you set yourself up for success with simple, delicious recipes.

From a kale and quinoa salad with dates, to chickpea and cheddar quesadillas, you’ll be brown baggin’ it in style at the office all week long. Monday has nothing on these on these make-ahead lunch options.

Veggie-Heavy Salads

The key to a really good make-ahead salad — one that’s not going to be soggy when lunch rolls around — is starting with hearty ingredients that aren’t prone to wilting, like tough dark greens, broccoli slaw, and cauliflower rice.

Salads Starring Grains, Lentils, and Beans

Not only do whole grains, lentils, and beans make a solid salad base, but they also add a boost of protein that will make lunch more filling.

Sandwiches, Wraps, and Pita Pockets

These are the kind of sandwiches that make you look forward to lunchtime.


Soups are always a great idea for lunch. In fact, make a double batch and stash the rest in the freezer for later.

Other Lunch Favorites

I also like to keep lunch interesting by changing up my routine with savory muffins, noodle bowls, and stir-fries.

With so many choices, how can you choose just one? Play our recipe roulette by pausing the video whenever you like and start prepping your lunch tonight.

Recipe Roulette: Which Lunch Should I Prep?