This is the main content.

Need a quick lunch to pack for work? We've rounded up some fresh ideas that are low on prep and easy to toss together ahead of time.

1. Kitchen Sink Salad

Dinner leftovers, like roasted potatoes, brown rice, steamed veggies, and lean meat, make great salad toppers when paired with a little low-fat cheese and chopped nuts. Layer over baby spinach or mixed greens for quick and easy lunches. Store a bottle of your favorite salad dressing in the office fridge to streamline lunch packing.

2. Overnight Oats

Oatmeal isn't just for breakfast—make a batch of overnight oats each week and divide into small containers you can grab and go. Add low-fat or fat-free dairy, including milk and yogurt, plus chia seeds, cinnamon, and a little maple syrup or honey for sweetness. The oats soften as they sit overnight, taking on a pudding-like consistency. Top with fresh berries, sliced bananas, or granola.

3. Pesto Pasta Salad

Pasta salad can be made in advance for lunches all week long. Combine cooked whole wheat pasta with jarred pesto sauce, steamed asparagus spears, canned garbanzo beans, and cubed mozzarella cheese. Feeling fancy? Garnish with fresh basil.

4. Hummus & Guac Sampler

A mix-and-match lunch makes eating more fun. Take a container of hummus and pre-made guacamole along with an assortment of dippers and snacks. Try red pepper strips, cucumber slices, whole grain crackers, or a few wedges of low-fat cheese with fresh grapes or apple slices.


Put turkey bacon, lettuce, and tomato between two slices of whole wheat bread with a little pesto or mayonnaise, and serve with a side of fresh fruit. To avoid a soggy sandwich, toast your bread and pack it separately, then assemble right before eating.

Source: "USDA Food Patterns: Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern." 2017.

Make dinner a breeze, too, with our time-saving meal ideas.

This content is provided for general information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or a guarantee of prevention, improvement, or treatment of specific conditions. Always consult with your healthcare provider about your specific medical questions or concerns.