10 Cheap & Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work

10 Cheap & Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work

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Sheela Fiorenzo
Aug 30, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

There are two goals most of us strive for when packing lunch: to save money and eat something healthy. By healthy, we mean something that's full of feel-good ingredients like vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Sometimes it can feel hard to accomplish both at the same time, but these 10 recipes prove that it's actually quite easy. Hearty grain bowls, pantry frittatas, and freezer-friendly wraps are wholesome lunch ideas that don't require you to dig deep into your wallet.

1. Greek Chicken Grain Bowls

These satisfying Greek salad-inspired quinoa bowls call for chicken thighs instead of breasts, which are generally cheaper to stock up on.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

2. Marinated White Beans

Crack open a couple of cans of white beans; toss them with lemon, shallots, olive oil, and herbs; and you have a cheap and healthy lunch that's not only great on it's own, but also nice tossed with cooked grains or piled on a bed of greens.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

3. How To Make a Frittata with Whatever You Have on Hand

You probably already have the makings of a healthy, cheap lunch on hand at this very moment. Gather the odds and ends from your crisper drawer, a handful of eggs, and make an easy frittata.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

4. Roasted Sweet Potatoes Wraps with Caramelized Onions and Pesto

This recipe will make more wraps than you need for the week, but that's OK because you can freeze them and make lunch extra easy on yourself in the coming weeks.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

5. No-Chop Cold Veggie Noodle Bowls with Soy Lime Vinaigrette

To pack one of these bowls up for lunch, keep the vinaigrette separate and toss it in just before eating — that way the noodles and vegetables won't get soggy.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

6. Tomato Chickpea Salad

This colorful salad is satisfying on its own, thanks to the protein-rich chickpeas, but if you're extra hungry, you can serve it over brown rice or quinoa.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

7. Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad

Avocados aren't always the cheapest item at the grocery store these days, so if you prefer you can definitely skip them here — the recipe will still be healthy and filling.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

8. Crisp Tuna-Cabbage Salad

While most tuna salad recipes are loaded with mayo, this one takes a lighter approach by swapping most of it out with plain Greek yogurt.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

9. Sweet Potato-Chickpea Patties with Sriracha-Yogurt Dip

These bean and vegetable fritters are pan-fried to ensure they're more wholesome than most. They're great served simply with the dipping sauce but can also be tucked into whole-wheat pita or served over greens.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

10. Vegan Sourdough Portobello Mushroom Sandwich

To make this sandwich packable, grill the mushroom beforehand, pack it with the other components, then toast the bread at the office and assemble the sandwich at your desk.

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