Whether you need to be able to pack a quick meal in the mornings for a day full of classes or a busy work schedule, making a lunch for yourself at home when there are already so many other things on your plate can sound overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be!
Here are some easy lunch ideas that you make in the morning before you start your day so that you can be sure to get all the nutrition you’ll need to get you through the afternoon. Also, to preface, most of these lunches are easier to pack when you have some sort of divided container (with a few different sections to split up food), or several smaller containers that you can stick in a lunch bag.
1. Cheese Quesadillas
This one is pretty simple, and easy to make on the stove either right before you head out the door; otherwise, it can be made the night before and stay in the refrigerator overnight. You just need two tortilla shells and some shredded cheese (your choice of flavor), as well as some sides that I’ll get to in a moment.
Just place one tortilla flat in a pan, sprinkle your shredded cheese onto it, and cover with the other tortilla. Wait until the cheese has begun to melt, and then flip it and wait for the quesadilla to cook thoroughly.
Once it’s finished, you can cut it into fourths and place it in a container. Pack along a small container of salsa for dipping. For sides, pack along some avocado slices or cubes, as well as some grapes. This way you’ll get all of the necessary food groups into your meal! This lunch is pretty healthy, and it’s not too hard to make and store in an insulated lunch bag for a few hours!
2. Salad With Chicken
This is another lunch that’s easier when you make part of it ahead, specifically the chicken. You don’t need much; just grill a small piece that you can cut into pieces the night prior, and then you’ll be able to assemble your meal quickly and easily in the morning.
Once you have the chicken cut up into small pieces, cut up some slices of avocado and a bit of fresh mozzarella, and place all of this on top of some lettuce in your container. You can pack along a small container of the dressing of your choice.
For sides, try this with some almonds and some fruit, such as blueberries and strawberries. This is a healthy, balanced meal that doesn’t require too much work and will be delicious to enjoy on your lunch break.
3. Hummus Wraps
Hummus wraps are super healthy and easy to make. You can use a regular tortilla for this, but a whole wheat tortilla is better for you and will taste more delicious with the veggies that go inside.
Start by coving one whole side of the tortilla with hummus. You can then cut up some carrots and tomatoes, as well as any other veggies—and maybe some chicken, if you prefer—you’d like to go inside the wrap. Lay out some spinach onto the hummus-covered tortilla, and then add the rest of those fillings. Now roll it up and cut it in half so that it’s easier to pack into a container.
Cut up an apple and place some slices into another part of the container for a side and include some carrots for even more color. Feel free to add some snacking cheese to the meal to top it off, and you’ve got a great lunch ready to go!
4. Adult Lunchable
Lunchables are such a nostalgic part of childhood, so why not recreate them with a bit of a grown-up twist?
For this you’ll need some multigrain crackers, a delicious cheese—such as a sharp cheddar or gouda—and some slices of sausage or ham. Cut the cheese and ham to the size of the crackers and place them all in your lunch container.
Now add some dried fruit and some nuts—such as almonds, peanuts, or walnuts—and enjoy this yummy twist on the classic kids’ lunch!
5. Pasta Salad
For this lunch, you first need to choose a type of pasta. Fusilli or penne is probably your best bet, but you can really use whichever kind you prefer. Cook as you usually would, and then drain it and rinse with cold water.
Then you’re going to want to cut up some cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a little red and green onion. Mix all of these in with a vinaigrette of your choosing, and you’ve got a delicious pasta salad to eat for lunch!
For sides, add a few more cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices to your container, as well as some crackers and orange slices. This meal is both good and good for you, and it’s a great way to break up a busy day with some yumminess!
6. Breakfast For Lunch
Don’t have time to eat breakfast in the morning? Make sure you still get to enjoy some breakfast later in the day, then!
Pick a bagel or two and pack along a container of cream cheese to spread on them later. Then add in some grapes, as well as a granola bar and a cheese stick. This is such an easy lunch to pack, and it will honestly take you less than a minute to put it all together. Now you can still enjoy breakfast while getting out the door quickly!
7. Standard Sandwich
You can never go wrong with a sandwich; they’re easy, fast, and totally customizable to your personal tastes. For example, I usually go with a classic PB&J. You could do a simple turkey and cheese, too, or try out something a little fancier if you want to shake up your routine.
Here are some healthy, yummy sides you could include, and these can really work for any lunch, too:
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Pita Chips or Bread