Lunches are, by far, the most meal prepped meal of the day. These 29 lunch meal prep ideas are some of our favorite recipes AND most of them cost under $4 to make. I like to call these, “recession proof recipes.” With just a little planning, intentional grocery shopping, and only an hour of time budgeted on your calendar, you can have tasty lunch meal prep recipes for the week. Do any of these healthy lunch ideas check the box for you?
Because we get so many questions about meal prepping for lunch, we broke this article up into three sections:
- Cold (No-Heat) Lunch Meal Prep Ideas
- Hot Meal Prep Lunch Ideas (recipes you can reheat)
- Soups and Chili
I’ve sifted through 300+ meal prep lunch recipes on the blog to curate this list of the 29 most popular meal prep lunch ideas. These recipes will have you looking forward to your lunch…no more boring sandwiches! Spending 30 minutes-1 hour on the weekend prepping these recipes is going to make a huge difference through the week.
Meal Prep Hacks:
- Use pre-cut & washed veggies- carrot sticks, cabbage slaw, and pre-riced cauliflower are super convenient on meal prep day!
- Buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken- shred it and use in multiple meals
- Use pre-made dressings and dips- cuts down on prep time
- Just portion stuff out- when I’m really short on time I made bento-style boxes and add my favorite meats, cheese, veggies and dip
- Bix box stores often have sales and lower price by volume… buy in bulk and freeze when possible
Cold (No-Heat) Lunch Meal Prep Ideas
With healthy grains, vegetables and proteins, these cold meal prep ideas are perfect if you’re in construction, transportation, aviation, etc. Anywhere that doesn’t have easy access to a microwave or countertop oven. Making them ahead will ensure that you get an extra serving of veggies in your day! From meal prep bowls to jar salads, these healthy lunch ideas are tasty and easy to prep.
- Korean Beef Bowls
- Asian Crunch Buddha Bowl
- Ahi Tuna Poke bowl
- Chipotle Grain Bowl
- Mediterranean Pasta Bake
- Moroccan Grain Bowl
- Fall Harvest Power Salad
- Spring rolls
- Roasted Eggplant Salad
- Chicken Penne with Asparagus
- Chicken and Avocado Summer Rolls
- Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps
Which of these recipes are your favorite so far? Leave a comment below and let us know
Hot Meal Prep Lunch Ideas (recipes you can reheat)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 small bell peppers diced
- 5-6 dried red chiles
- 1/3 cup chopped green onion + extra for topping
- 2 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked instant brown rice
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp Now Real Food® Organic 1:1 Monk Fruit Sweetener
- 1 tsp corn starch
- Cook rice according to package directions. Divide the cooked rice between small compartments of 4 teal meal prep containers.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add chicken and cook for 8 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.
- Drain liquid from the pan and return to the stove over medium heat. Add bell pepper, chilies, and green onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Whisk together ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl until cornstarch is dissolved. Pour sauce over chicken and vegetables. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, until sauce is thickened.
- Divide brown rice between small compartments of 4 MPOF teal containers. Divide kung pao chicken between large compartments.
- Lamb Meatballs with Zoodles
- Pork Fried Rice
- Middle Eastern Chicken Kabobs (Shish Tawook)
- Dirty Rice with Shrimp
- Spicy Meatballs with Sweet-Mashed Potatoes
- Pepperoni Pizza Chicken
- Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies
- Buffalo Chicken Casserole
- Low Carb Philly Cheesesteak
- Carrot Meatballs and Rice