15+ Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work & Beyond - Dr. Axe

Fact Checked

This Dr. Axe content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure factually accurate information.

With strict editorial sourcing guidelines, we only link to academic research institutions, reputable media sites and, when research is available, medically peer-reviewed studies. Note that the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) are clickable links to these studies.

The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by our trained editorial staff. Note that the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) are clickable links to medically peer-reviewed studies.

Our team includes licensed nutritionists and dietitians, certified health education specialists, as well as certified strength and conditioning specialists, personal trainers and corrective exercise specialists. Our team aims to be not only thorough with its research, but also objective and unbiased.

The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

15+ Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work & Beyond for a More Energized Week


Cashew chicken lettuce wraps - Dr. Axe

Lunchtime can be a bit hectic in today’s always-on environment, and that can lead people to make poor nutritional choices in a rush to eat lunch. It doesn’t have to be this way, though, particularly with the healthy lunch ideas laid out in this article.

Say goodbye to sad desk lunches filled with overpriced salad bar items, preservative-laden microwavable meals and limp salads. These healthy lunches for work are easy to make, travel well and will make your colleagues wonder how you can afford a chef on the side. They’re perfect for the work-from-home employees out there as well!

So don’t hesitate: Revamp your midday meals with some of these healthy lunch ideas.

Healthy Lunch Ideas

1. Cauliflower Fried Rice

This version of fried rice uses cauliflower instead of grains for a low-carb, protein-packed meal. Prepare this the night before. Then reheat the leftovers for one of your healthy lunches for work, or just chow down at room temperature — it’s equally good.

Cauliflower fried rice - Dr. Axe

2. Tuna Salad

This tuna salad tastes better than anything you’d find at the salad bar and for much cheaper, too! The secret ingredient in this one is the dried cranberries, which add tartness and texture all at once.

Eat this one solo, with a side salad or just dip some crackers into it. Yum!

3. Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

If you’re looking for a high-protein recipe that is full of flavor and healthy fats, these cashew chicken lettuce wraps hit the mark. Not only is this a grain-free lunch, but it takes just 15 minutes to throw together.

4. Chicken Salad

Good on a sandwich, in a bowl or as a wrap, chicken salad is a versatile lunch that doesn’t have to be loaded with unhealthy mayonnaise. In fact, this take on a lunch classic uses Paleo mayo, and it combines the health benefits of chicken with celery, grapes, walnuts and lemon juice.

Best of all, you can customize it with whatever veggies and even fruits you want to add.

5. Avocado Grilled Cheese

How do you make a healthy grilled cheese? By using the best ingredients possible, such as superfood avocado. It also helps to utilize healthier cheese options, such as the feta and shaved Pecorino Romano in this healthy lunch recipe.

Plus, this one is sure to leave you satisfied. In addition to the cheeses and avocado, this healthy lunch recipe has garlic, lemon juice, tomato, wheatberry bread and some chicken tenders to really fuel you up.

6. Black Bean Burger

If you’re craving a burger for lunch, this vegan burger just may do the trick. It does take a bit of time, so it’s best to make the patties the night before.

Instead of beef, this healthy lunch uses black beans, and they’re combined with a host of vegetables and spices to make for the perfect burger alternative. As a bonus, this healthy lunch idea doubles as a dinner.

7. Egg Salad

Sometimes simplicity prevails. This traditional egg salad may not be fancy, but it’s a classic for a reason: It’s delicious.

It does, however, make for a healthy lunch by using Paleo mayo, sprouted pecans, celery, onion, dill and parsley, in addition to the eggs, of course.

8. Shakshuka

When you think shakshuka, you may not consider it a lunch food, but you really should add it to your healthy lunch ideas. It makes for the perfect recipe to switch things up and prevent getting bored of your food.

This healthy recipe has a long list of ingredients — such as avocado oil, red peppers, paprika, tomatoes, eggs, yogurt and many more — but it takes just 35 minutes to whip up and is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

9. Broccoli Salad

Often eaten as a side dish, broccoli salad also works a delicious, nutritious lunch. The star players in this on are the broccoli florets and stems, sunflower seeds, raisins, and green onions.

It’s loaded with fiber and vitamin C to boot, and it’s ready in a matter of minutes.

10. Italian-Inspired Macaroni Salad

Store-bought macaroni salad typically isn’t your best choice if you’re looking for healthy lunch ideas, but if you make your own, it certainly can be a beneficial addition to your diet. Luckily for you, this recipe is exactly that: delicious and good for you!

Ready in 20 minutes, this macaroni salad recipe ups the nutrition by using brown rice pasta instead of white pasta, and it adds chicken for a protein boost. Don’t forget the array of other ingredients: cherry tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella pearls, basil, pesto, capers and/or olives, Italian seasoning, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

11. Strawberry Spinach Salad

If you need some refreshment at lunchtime, this strawberry spinach salad with poppy seed dressing does the trick. It helps you eat the rainbow with its vibrant colors, and it’s loaded with health-boosting ingredients.

The strawberries and spinach are the star players, but don’t overlook the onion, avocado, goat feta and almonds, not to mention the homemade dressing.

Strawberry spinach salad

12. Massaged Kale Salad with Pine Nuts & Dried Cherries

Another lunch salad option, this recipe combines kale with pine nuts, dried cherries, lemon juice and olive oil. Easy and quick to make, this one packs a huge nutritional punch and can support just about every aspect of health.

13. Curried Turkey Salad

A perfect way to use turkey leftovers, this curried turkey salad is bursting with flavor. In addition to the turkey itself, this healthy lunch recipe includes celery, apple, green onion, raisin, pecan, sesame seed, black pepper, curry, raw honey and Paleo mayo.

It’s also versatile like other lunch salads, as it can be eaten by itself, on a sandwich, or in a wrap or salad.

14. Vegan Sushi

Not all sushi is created equal. In fact, it often can include suspect ingredients, and the fish used may have sustainability issues.

If you love sushi, however, fret not, as this vegan sushi recipe will hit that sushi craving without any of the potentially harmful stuff. Instead of fish, these rolls are made of cauliflower, nori (seaweed), cucumber, carrot, shiitake mushrooms, avocado, alfalfa sprouts and green onions.

That’s not all. This healthy lunch also uses cauliflower rice — made with almonds and vegan honey, in addition to the cauliflower — and the dipping sauce is liquid aminos instead of soy sauce.

15. Zesty Turkey Salad with Beans & Walnuts

Here’s another healthy take on turkey salad. This one is much different than the curry version, combining the protein-packed turkey with cannellini beans, walnuts, parsley, scallions, oregano, tarragon, lemon zest and juice, and olive oil.

Enjoy it on a sandwich, wrap or salad.

Turkey salad recipe - Dr. Axe

If you’re looking for healthy lunch ideas for your children, check out these healthy school lunch ideas. Here are some other healthy lunch ideas you can try throughout the week:

More Nutrition