20 of Our Most Popular Make-Ahead Lunch Recipes

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Let’s be honest: whether you work from home or go to an office, the weekday lunch struggle is real. Which is why I’m a firm believer that make-ahead lunches are totally essential. Arm yourself with a handful of nourishing recipes, especially ones you can make in bulk, before the week gets busy and you’re well on your way to satisfying lunches that will pull you through the afternoon (and maybe even make your coworkers a little jealous).

From sturdy salads to freezer-friendly burritos to DIY instant noodle cups, here are 20 of our favorite make-ahead lunch recipes.

Make-Ahead Lunch Salads

Yes, you can make your lunch salad in advance. Even days in advance. It all comes down to sticking with a sturdy base. Save the lettuce, arugula, and delicate greens for when you’ll be eating right away and opt for a salad base that can stand the test of time, like broccoli slaw, lentils, chickpeas, or grains.

Freezer-Friendly Roasted Vegetable Burritos with Black Beans and Rice(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Sandwiches and Wraps

Here are a slew of lunches you can make for the week ahead and beyond. Consider doubling (even tripling) the recipe for the sweet potato wraps, calzones, lentil pockets, and burritos because they can all get tucked away in the freezer and then defrosted or reheated right before lunchtime.

Red Lentil Soup(Image credit: Coco Morante)

Soup, Noodles, and Other Bowl Lunches

If you’re like me, then soup knows no season in your lunch routine. I love them for make-ahead lunches because they’re easy enough to cook up on a weeknight, can be prepared in big batches, freeze well, and can be easily toted to work.