Working from home can be dangerous at lunchtime. It’s easy to just pile a bunch of salty snacks on a plate and wash it down with a cookie (this is coming from a prego, can you tell?) and call it a day. One of the questions I inevitably get asked every single time I do a Q&A is recommendations for easy at-home lunch ideas that are healthy and filling.
I’ve been WFH for years now so I have it down to a science. My lunches either consist of leftovers, ordering in a salad (which I try and limit to once/week), and the other ideas below.
My criteria for a good at-home lunch is that it’s filling (if I need a snack an hour later it didn’t do it’s job), healthy(ish) so I can have a productive afternoon, tasty, and easy to make.
And for some good snack ideas, check out my post on my 15 go-to healthy snacks.
15 Easy At-Home Lunch Ideas
1. Leftovers: My number one lunch reco for working from home is to double up on dinner recipes and heat up leftovers for lunch. Soups and meat dishes often get better as they sit for a night and it’s so satisfying to spend a few minutes heating up a bowl of leftover chili or pasta and having a warm, hearty lunch with minimal effort.
2. Frozen meals: If I’m really short on time, I use the air fryer to heat up pre-bought frozen meals. My go-to favorites are Dr. Praeger’s California veggie burgers, Amy’s bean and rice burritos, and Amy’s veggie pot pie.
3. Veggie, hummus, cheese, meat platter: Another one of my go-to lunches is to just pull out a bunch of goat and sheep cheeses, baby carrots, cucumbers, tortilla chips (or crackers/pretzels), olives, picked veggies, and then dips like hummus, pesto, guacamole, or Kite Hill dairy-free cream cheese. In non-prego days I’ll add rolled up salami, turkey, or chicken too. Basically a healthy snack board.
4. Rice bowl: There are a lot of great rice bowl recipes out there. This rice bowl with peanut sauce is my go-to but here is a list of 15 more that I find myself going back to time and time again.
5. Pasta with pesto and tomatoes: I will often cook up a batch of Banza (or any chickpea) pasta and top it with basil pesto and chopped cherry tomatoes. In the summer, I’ll eat it cold as a pasta salad and in the winter I like to eat it piping hot.
6. Tuna salad: I love tuna salad and have perfected my recipe over the years. I eat it over salad or a toasted slice of sourdough.
7. Buffalo chicken salad/sandwich/rice bowl (pictured above): This one is easy to make ahead of time and one of my favorite lunches.
8. Soba noodle salad: If I make this one I’ll make enough so we can have it as a side dish for dinner too!
9. Kale Caesar salad: I make my vegan kale Caesar regularly (throw back to one of my first recipe posts!). I’ll add an avocado at lunch and if I make it for dinner, I usually add chicken. And don’t judge this one but sometimes I heat up kids chicken nuggets in the air fryer and pop them on this salad and it’s just so good.
10. Power butter: When I have a batch made of this protein and omega-packed nut butter recipe, I’ll make a power butter and jelly sandwich or just dip apples or crackers into it for lunch or a snack.
11. Veggie wrap sandwich: I use whole wheat or almond flour tortillas and put avocado, hummus or pesto, goat cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and whatever other cooked veggies I have laying around and wrap it all up. When not pregnant, I do the same and will often add sliced turkey or chicken.
12. Mediterranean quinoa salad: I like to make a big batch of this one and eat it for multiple meals.
13. Kale salad with carrot ginger dressing: Or really any salad from whatever is sitting in the fridge. Here are my four go-to salad dressings.
14. Breakfast for lunch: If we haven’t had eggs for breakfast, I make myself an egg sandwich or make a little omelet with a side of toast, sliced avocado and tomato, and some berries.
15. Bagel with dairy-free cream cheese: I like to toast everything bagels with Kite Hill dairy-free chive cream cheese, sliced tomatoes, and sometimes a slice or two of avocado too.
What is your favorite easy go-to at-home lunch?
Trader Hoe’s has some great soups in reseasable cardboard containers. In the winter, I like to open one (I get three big bowls out of one container) and pair it with toasted bread or cheese and crackers.. very hearty and filling, and hopefully a little healthier than salty snacks piled on a plate (guilty!)
whoops! typo..sorry! Trader Joe’s!
This is so helpful!! Thank you!
I would love to pin this but it doesn’t allow me to. Can you please look into this problem with pinning from your blog. Has anyone else notified you that they’ve had this problem? Thank you
So sorry about that, Michele. I just tested from two computers and it seems to be working on my end. Can you send me the error you’re getting? Thank you!
Hi Michele, I find that if I press the Pinterest icon under “Share this post” it doesn’t work for me (just doesn’t load). But if I hover over the picture with the mouse, the “Pin this” notification comes up and that works ok. Hope that helps! 🙂
Thanks for the meal ideas, Julia! 🙂