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 our 20 most popular 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.
- Tofu and Broccoli Salad with Peanut Butter Dressing
- How To Pack the Perfect Salad in a Jar
- Chilled Black Bean, Feta & Cucumber Salad
- Cold Lentil Salad with Cucumbers and Olives
- Quinoa Tabbouleh
- Baked Red Lentil Falafel Salad
- Summer Farro Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers & Basil
- Chickpea Waldorf Salad
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.
- Roasted Sweet Potato Wraps with Caramelized Onions and Pesto
- Italian Chicken Salad Sandwiches
- How To Make Calzones (and Freeze Them for Later!)
- Spiced Lentil, Sweet Potato & Kale Whole-Wheat Pockets
- Freezer-Friendly Roasted Vegetable Burritos with Black Beans and Rice
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.