If you're following the popular Whole30 program, you've likely discovered that packing lunch is the easiest way to stay on track. These 10 lunch box ideas are full of smart ideas (and a few Whole30-approved store-bought swaps) that prove prepping on the program doesn't have to be difficult.
If you're new to Whole30, it's a short-term, 30-day reset that eliminates foods that could have a negative impact on your body. Rather than remind you what can't eat on Whole30, these colorful lunch boxes will help you discover the variety of tasty foods you can enjoy.
Buy the Lunch Box
We're pretty obsessed with this simple-yet-sturdy bento-style lunch box from LunchBots. We prefer this large size with five distinct compartments, but LunchBots also offers other sizes and configurations like this Small Protein Packer. We also love their tiny Condiment Cups for dressings and dips.
10 Whole30-Friendly Lunch Ideas
These 10 lunch box ideas require little more than a few minutes of prep. Each box includes a hearty main and a mix of fruits, veggies, and extra nibbles to keep you energized throughout the afternoon.
- What can and can't you eat on Whole30? Read more about the Whole30 diet here.
1. Potato & Salmon Salad
This recipe calls for canned salmon, but a flaked leftover salmon fillet or hot smoked salmon make really great substitutes (so buy an extra-large fillet the next time you make salmon for dinner). To keep the salad Whole30-compliant, be sure to use mustard that doesn't contain sugar.
- Get a recipe: Potato and salmon salad in lettuce wraps
- Pack with: Bibb or butter lettuce leaves, carrots sticks, roasted almonds, unsweetened applesauce cup
2. Shredded Pesto Chicken
The slow cooker is a blessing to anyone participating in a round of Whole30. This low-effort pesto chicken is made without cheese, and it makes a lot. Stash extra in the freezer for future lunches and dinners.
- Get a recipe: Slow cooker pesto chicken
- Pack with: Sliced cucumber, baby carrots, bell pepper slices, Mixed Berry RXBar
3. Zoodles and Meatballs
Here's how to treat yourself to spaghetti and meatballs, Whole30-style. Finding store-bought meatballs that are compliant can be tough, so it's worth making a double (or triple) batch and stocking your freezer. Start with a classic recipe, but omit the breadcrumbs, milk, and cheese.
- Get a recipe: Meatballs and marinara sauce (our favorite no-sugar sauce is Rao's)
- Pack with: Zucchini noodles, roasted broccoli, roasted cashews, Barre Apple Chips
4. Collard Chicken Salad Wrap
Just because you're following Whole30 doesn't mean sandwiches are banished. Sturdy collard leaves make an excellent alternative to bread, rolls, and wraps. Plan on substituting avocado mayonnaise for the Greek yogurt and traditional mayo in this recipe.
- Get a recipe: Collard green chicken salad wrap
- Pack with: Cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes, roasted cashews, Barre Apple Chips
5. Sausage, Egg & Veggie Muffins
These meaty mushroom egg muffins are the heart of this high-protein lunch. They freeze like a dream, so this is a great contender for weekend batch cooking.
- Get a recipe: Paleo egg muffins with no-sugar sausage, mushrooms, and greens
- Pack with: Radishes, baby carrots, roasted almonds, EPIC bar
6. Cauliflower Rice and Chicken Burrito Bowl
Chipotle is out of the question during Whole30, but with this burrito bowl-inspired lunch in your meal plan, you'll never even miss it.
- Get a recipe: Slow cooker shredded chicken
- Pack with: Cauliflower rice (prepped at home or store-bought), cubed avocado, plantain chips, salsa
7. Smoked Salmon with Lemony Zoodles
Rich and fatty smoked salmon (read the label to make sure it's sugar-free) is the perfect partner to light and fresh lemony veggie noodles. Hot smoked salmon is also a nice alternative.
- Get a recipe: Smoked salmon (no-sugar)
- Pack with: Zucchini noodles and lemon wedge, olives, cubed avocado, Chocolate and Sea Salt RXBar
8. Tuna Salad Lettuce Cups
Sturdy greens like Bibb or butter lettuce make eating tuna salad for lunch loads more fun. An extra protein boost from sliced salami (check the label to be sure there's no sugar or dextrose) or jerky will keep you full throughout the afternoon.
- Get a recipe: Tuna salad (made with avocado mayo)
- Pack with: Sturdy lettuce leaves, radishes, no-sugar pickles, no-sugar sliced salami or jerky
9. Cauliflower Rice & Broccoli
Say hello to our two-ingredient trick for jazzing up our salad game and packing some real crunch into lunch. Start with a bag of cauli rice, toss in some broccoli from the grocery store salad bar, stir in your favorite Whole30-compliant dressing (this is our favorite), and you're ready to go. Easy-peasy!
- Get a recipe: Combine cauliflower rice, broccoli florets, and a drizzle of dressing
- Pack with: Cubed avocado, celery sticks, almond butter, melon
10. Chicken Sausage
Chicken sausage is the star ingredient that's saved dinner more times than we can count, and now it's doing the same for lunch. Not all brands are Whole30-compliant, but this apple-studded number from Applegate is — and it's delicious.
- Get a recipe: Applegate Organics Chicken & Apple Sausage
- Pack with: Sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, plantain chips, guacamole cup