Easy and Customizable Healthy Lunch Ideas For Every Day of the Week
Whether you’re working from home or going into the office, lunch can be one of the easiest meals to deviate us from staying on track and eating healthy. It can be time consuming to plan meals ahead of time, and re-invent the wheel. The good news is, we’ve got a plan for Monday through Friday that is healthy, fun, and very customizable, to switch up with different ingredients and variations each time. Some of these meals can easily be crafted with basic ingredients from your grocery store deli, while others that can take a little time to cook can also be made in a crockpot or cooked in large batches and frozen to enjoy at a later date!
Save time and money with these 5 customizable lunch inspirations you can easily meal prep! Check out additional recipes included below each idea for specific step-by-step meals you can make today.
Monday Lunch: Lettuce Wrap in the style of your favorite sub
- Full Romaine, Iceberg lettuce, or package of comparable lettuce that can easily act as a boat or shell
- Your preferred meat, either from the deli, pre-cooked, or ready to cook
- Cheese of choice including Provolone, Swiss, American or Cheddar cheese in slices or shreds
- Preferred toppings: (red or white onion, bell peppers, tomato, pickles, bacon bits olives, etc.)
- Your favorite condiments: (pesto, ranch dressing, buffalo sauce, guacamole, mustard, mayonnaise, olive oil and vinegar)
- If you have any meat that needs to be cooked, be sure to start this process first. You can opt for a rotisserie chicken, ground poultry, beef, tuna, or if you have deli meats such as turkey, chicken, roast beef and salami, or even fresh or smoked fish have these ready and at hand. For a vegetarian-friendly option, consider chickpeas or tofu.
- Lay out your largest lettuce pieces on a plate or foil sheet first. If you are using a spread such as pesto or guacamole, spread it on the inside area of the lettuce leaves.
- Add your prepared meat, then layer on cheese if you are using it.
- Sprinkle on toppings including onions, pickles, tomatoes or any other choices you prefer.
- Lastly, add your favorite condiments or some oil and vinegar and enjoy!
Tuesday Lunch: Chipotle-Inspired Burrito Bowl
- Your preferred meat (we recommend ground or shredded chicken, ground beef or ground turkey)
- Packet of preferred taco seasoning
- Brown or white rice
- Black beans
- Additional preferred veggie toppings such as corn, peppers, and guacamole or diced avocado chunks
- Monterey Jack cheese, Cheddar cheese, or Mexican cheese blend
- Cook your meat as needed with your favorite spices and/or seasoning (cumin, salt, black ground pepper or red pepper seasoning, garlic powder and onion powder) OR follow instructions for simmering meat with your favorite taco seasoning. To make this meal vegetarian, substitute step 3 for this step with options such as beans, tofu or chickpeas.
- Once you have started cooking meat, prepare your rice following instructions for whichever rice you selected.
- If you opted to include beans in addition to meat, you can also start to prepare these after your meat and rice are complete (or while cooking, depending on your multitasking!). A great recipe for copycat Chipotle-style cilantro lime beans can be found here.
- Once cooked, start to layer food groups into your container or bowl, starting with the rice, then beans, and any meat.
- Add your favorite toppings including cheese, any veggies, onions, lettuce, tomatoes and guac and garnish with an extra squeezed lime. Enjoy!
Wednesday Lunch: Adult Lunchable
- Pre-Cooked chicken or turkey slices or deli meat (For a vegetarian-friendly option consider kidney beans, chickpeas or tofu)
- Pasta salad or rice from your local deli
- Cubed cheese
- Carrots, broccoli, grape tomatoes or your favorite veggies with dipping sauce if preferred
- Your favorite fruit including sliced apple, strawberries or blueberries, apricots, cherries, orange slices or watermelon
- Regular or gluten free crackers or pretzels to accompany your meat and cheese
- A piece of dark chocolate, a cookie, or gluten free cookie for dessert
- You will need roughly 4-6 small containers, all depending on how many components you selected for your lunchable, or if you already have a container with dividers or a Bento Box, this will be ideal.
- Chop up any fruit that needs to be diced or sliced for a container.
- Divide out a serving of meat and cubed cheeses.
- Add in your veggies and a separate, covered container for dipping sauce if you opt to include it.
- Include other portions in separate containers for additional items such as pasta salad, crackers or pretzels and dessert. If you don’t have a divided container, look for a Bento Box or bag that can snugly fit all your individual containers securely.
Thursday Lunch: Asian-Inspired Sesame Stir Fry Bowl
- Chicken, beef, chickpeas or tofu
- White or brown rice
- Broccoli, carrots, snap peas and/or your favorite stir-fry veggies
- Sesame seeds
- Water or chicken stock
- Soy Sauce (or coconut aminos for soy-sensitivity)
- Have your favorite asian-style marinade at hand, or easily combine ingredients to make a honey-sesame sauce using ¼ cup chicken stock or water, ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce, ¼ cup honey (or maple syrup), 1 tablespoon sesame oil, ½ teaspoon red pepper flake and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Set in a small bowl off to the side.
- Cook your rice according to the instructions on the package and set aside.
- While your rice is simmering, In a large skillet, toss some olive oil to season your pan and add your broccoli, snap peas and any veggies until tender. Set aside with rice separately.
- Back in your main skillet, add some more olive oil and cook meat or your protein of choice with salt and pepper, and seasonings such as red pepper if you prefer.
- Once meat is thoroughly cooked, add your sauce and simmer on a lower heat for a couple minutes until the sauce has thickened.
- Assemble your container starting with your rice, then adding in your veggies, and topping with your protein. Garnish with sesame seeds if preferred and enjoy!
Friday Lunch: Keto-friendly turkey, veggie or beef burgers
What You’ll Need:
- Full Romaine or Iceberg lettuce leaves or package of comparable lettuce that can easily act as a boat or shell
- Your preferred choice of meat, including turkey, beef or a veggie burger
- Cheese of choice including Provolone, Swiss, American or Cheddar cheese in slices
- Preferred toppings: (red or white onion, tomato, pickles, bacon, etc.)
- Your favorite condiments: (pesto, ranch dressing, Buffalo sauce, guacamole, mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup)
- Cook your burger according to package specifications with any preferred seasoning, salt or pepper.
- Assemble your sliced cheese on top to melt as soon as your burger is ready.
- Add your favorite toppings such as tomato and onion.
- Spread any condiments, sauces, or dressings on your lettuce and wrap around your burger. (If you will be prepping your meal ahead for the following day or couple days, put toppings aside in extra container to avoid your lettuce becoming mushy).
- Store in airtight container if you are going to be eating at a later time.
- Enjoy with homemade sweet potato fries, homemade french fries, chips or your favorite veggies!