3 Easy Lunch Ideas to Meal Prep This Weekend

published Apr 3, 2020
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Credit: From Left to Right: Joe Lingeman, Maria Siriano

If this is your first time working from home (WFH), there’s a good chance you’ve learned what we tried-and-true remote employees already know: WFH lunch is so hard. Feeding yourself during the day is tricky; add a partner or other family members to the mix, and it can feel trickier yet. It’s definitely not just you.

I’ve learned that the best way to make sure I eat something decent is to meal prep. The best lunches to meal prep right now come with plenty of flexibility for substitutions; they can also be made in big batches and last all week in the fridge or in the freezer; and they don’t require a whole lot of effort during the week.

Here’s 3 easy and wholesome lunch ideas to meal prep this weekend, and how to serve them throughout the week.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Olwen Phillips

1. Veggie-Packed Cabbage Soup

A big pot of hearty, tomato-kissed cabbage soup is always a great make-ahead lunch option. Since it freezes really well, it’s worth making a double batch and stashing some away for later. You won’t regret it. The soup comes together with a couple vegetables and pantry basics, so it’s pretty easy to prep and cook, and when lunch time rolls around all that’s left to do is pop a bowl in the microwave.

Get the recipe: Veggie-Packed Cabbage Soup

Credit: Joe Lingeman

2. Frittata with Whatever You Have on Hand

The only thing better than tucking into a warm frittata as soon as it comes out of the oven, is eating the leftovers. You can reheat it if you want, but remember it’s just as good at room temp or even pulled straight from the fridge. At lunch, eat a slice as is, layer it between a couple slices of bread or a roll with a swipe of Dijon for a sandwich (this is my favorite approach), or serve it up with a pile of greens.

The beauty of frittatas is how flexible they are. Recipes are helpful for flavor inspiration, but getting the basic method down is the most helpful thing because when it comes to the add-ins, anything goes. Leftover meat, vegetables, cheese, and even herbs, all have a place in frittatas.

Get the recipe: Frittata with Whatever You Have on Hand

3. Chickpea and Cheddar Quesadillas

If your fall-back WFH lunch has been tossing a tortilla in a skillet with a pile of grated cheddar for a super quick quesadilla, this is the ideal lunch for you to prep ahead. With a smashed chickpea, cheddar and scallion filling, it’s packed with protein to keep you full through the afternoon. Don’t have chickpeas? Use whatever kind of beans you have in pantry.

The quesadillas will last a couple days in the fridge and several months in the freezer. And they reheat really well from frozen; I know, I’ve been making them regularly for a couple years now. You’ll reheat the quesadillas in a regular oven or toaster oven straight from the fridge or freezer. I don’t recommend using the microwave since it makes them soggy.

Get the recipe: Chickpea and Cheddar Quesadillas