Healthy Work Lunchbox Ideas for Adults
Food & Nutrition,  Wellness

21 Healthy Work Lunchbox Ideas for Adults

Looking for healthy work lunchbox ideas? These 21 lunches are balanced, nutrient-rich and tasty, too.

21 Healthy Work Lunchbox Ideas for Adults

1. Healthier Cobb Salad

Here’s a healthier twist on the classic cobb salad. Skip the bacon and fill your lunchbox with fresh greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, hardboiled eggs and shredded carrots. Pack your favorite dressing on the side (we love these squeezable dressing containers).

If you want to make your own dressing, here are some great recipes:

2. Teriyaki Chicken Lunch Idea

If you’re looking for savory work lunchbox ideas, here’s a great one: teriyaki chicken. Load up your lunch box with:

  • A serving of rice
  • Teriyaki chicken
  • A handful of broccoli
  • Two small cookies

Use a bento lunchbox to keep your chicken separated from your dessert, or pack your cookies in a separate bag to keep them fresh.

3. Chicken, Rice and Broccoli

Chicken, rice and broccoli is the go-to meal for gym-goers for a reason: it’s well balanced. You get protein from the chicken, a healthy dose of carbs from the rice and a hearty serving of vegetables.

Of course, you can choose any vegetable you want, but broccoli travels well. Stick with plain rice, preferably brown.

If you want to save time, make a big batch of this meal so that you have lunch for 2-3 days. You can use any meal prep container you like for this one.

4. Turkey Burger, Rice and Veggies

If you’re a fan of turkey burgers, then here’s a great healthy lunchbox meal idea for you. Skip the bread and add a grilled turkey burger patty to a small salad. Add a small serving of rice on the side.

It’s a simple but delicious and balanced lunch that will keep you feeling fuller for longer thanks to the protein.

5. Pinwheels, Cucumbers and Carrots

Pinwheel sandwiches are perfect for lunch because they’re bite sized, and you can make a few days’ worth with just one or two tortillas. These pinwheels are loaded with ham and cheddar, but you can make yours with whatever you like.

Here are some ideas:

Add some baby carrots, cucumber slices and dipping sauce to complete your lunch. Rather than packing single-use plastic containers for dressing, try packing your own in a reusable dressing container to cut back on waste.

Related: 20 Non Sandwich Lunch Ideas for Adults

6. Chicken Salad, Veggies and Nuts

We love simple work lunchbox ideas like this one – the classic chicken salad. Cut your sandwich into thirds and add a handful of carrot sticks, almonds (or whatever nut you prefer) and some grapes or other fruit.

Here’s a delicious and healthy chicken salad recipe to try:

7. Low Carb Tuna Salad

Tuna salad is another classic lunch option, but this recipe ditches the bread and amps up the flavor of the salad. Paired with a lettuce cup, cucumbers, tomatoes and crackers or pitas, this is a balanced, healthy lunch to pack for work.

8. Mini Sandwich Lunchbox

This mini sandwich lunch idea is so versatile and travels well, making it an excellent option for work lunch or an afternoon picnic. Use slider buns for your sandwiches. While you can make any variation of a sandwich you want, a healthy option would be:

  • Turkey
  • Lettuce
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Light mayo

Add a serving of fruit and vegetables (grapes and cucumbers work well) and a tasty treat (like pretzels) to your box for a balanced meal.

9. Smoked Salmon, Hardboiled Eggs and Veggies

Here’s a fancy but healthy lunchbox idea: smoked salmon, veggies and hardboiled eggs. Add small slices of bread and a lemon wedge for a lunch that’s packed with flavor and nutrients.

Just 3.5 ounces of smoked salmon has 117 calories, 18 grams of protein, 11 mg of calcium and a ton of other nutrients.

Don’t forget to use your insulated lunchbox for this meal to keep everything cool and fresh until lunch.

10. Kebobs and Cauliflower Rice

This kebob lunch is different from the usual work lunchbox ideas. Add healthy grilled chicken, grape tomatoes and mozzarella bocconcini to skewers. Pair with cauliflower rice and a serving of broccoli pesto dressing.

This is a flavorful lunch idea to help you break out of your sandwich rut. And if you don’t like the idea of broccoli pesto, you can always stick to the classic basil pesto.

11. English Muffin Pizza, Fruit and Veggies

Who says pizza can’t be healthy? These English muffin pizzas are just the right size and paired with fruits and vegetables for a balanced, healthy midday meal.

Just top each half of an English muffin with:

  • Marinara sauce or pesto
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Toppings of your choice

Add cucumber and strawberry slices to complete the meal. Be sure to use a multi-compartment container to keep your pizza separate from your fruits and veggies.

12. Chicken Salad with Yogurt and Mini Pitas

This Mediterranean-inspired lunch will leave you full and satisfied. Chicken salad is the star of the show, but we’re not talking about the mayo-based salad. This salad pairs fresh tomatoes with feta cheese, cucumber wedges, freshly sliced red onion and slices of deli chicken.

Add a few mini pitas and a serving of Greek yogurt for a mouthwatering work lunch that you’ll actually look forward to eating.

Related: 21 Best Protein Lunchables for Adults

13. Greek Couscous Salad

Need work lunchbox ideas for vegetarians? Here’s a great one – Greek couscous salad. Use pearl couscous for this recipe and top with:

  • Chickpeas
  • Tomatoes
  • Sliced red onion
  • Parsley and mint
  • Feta cheese
  • Lemon wedge
  • Dressing on the side

Chickpeas are rich in fiber and plant protein, making them a great vegetarian or vegan option for lunch. If you’re not a fan of couscous, try brown rice instead. Together, chickpeas and brown rice make a complete protein, which makes this a better combo than couscous.

14. Mediterranean Bean Salad

Here’s another Mediterranean inspired lunchbox idea that pairs:

  • White beans
  • Marinated olives
  • Cherry tomato slices
  • Fresh red onion
  • Cucumber chunks
  • Quinoa
  • Tuna

You can omit the tuna if you want a vegetarian variation. Pack a lemon wedge to squeeze over your salad just before you eat. The combination of fresh flavors in this recipe is hard to resist.

15. Balanced Lunchbox

Eating healthy is all about creating balanced meals, and that’s exactly what this lunchbox idea does. It includes a healthy dose of protein and fat and provides servings of fruits and vegetables.

To make this lunch, you’ll need:

  • A hardboiled egg
  • A handful of grilled chicken
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • A few baby carrots
  • Grapes
  • Apple slices

Of course, you can also add a small container of ranch or yogurt for dipping. Feel free to swap out any fruit or veggie you like for whatever you prefer.

16. Turkey Rollups with Veggies and Eggs

These healthy turkey club roll-ups are so easy to make, and they pair well with hardboiled eggs, fruits and vegetables to make a balanced lunch.

Top a tortilla mayonnaise and slices of turkey and bacon. Roll up, and slice into bite-sized pieces. To finish your bento box lunch, add:

  • A hardboiled egg
  • Sliced grape tomatoes
  • Cucumber slices
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Slices of cheese stick snacks

Use a multi-compartment bento box like this one to keep all of your ingredients separated.

17. Egg Muffin Cups, Fruit, Cheese and Nuts

Egg muffin cups take just a few minutes to prep, and you can bake a dozen at a time if you want to make lunch for several days.

This lunch idea pairs an egg muffin with fresh berries, slices of cheese and a handful of healthy nuts.

Here are some ideas for egg muffins:

18. Egg and Cheese Quesadilla

These breakfast quesadillas can be enjoyed any time of the day, which is why they’re perfect for your work lunchbox. Paired with hearty servings of fruit, and you have a balanced meal that will keep you energized all afternoon.

These quesadillas are loaded with:

  • Ham
  • Broccoli
  • Cheddar
  • Green onions

You can use a different protein if you like. Turkey bacon would work well for this recipe, or you can even go with black beans if you want a veggie option.

Add slices of tangerines, raspberries and blueberries to your box for a sweet treat to finish the meal.

Related: 20 Healthy Adult Lunchables to Meal Prep

19. Chicken and Hummus

This lunch idea is a copycat of the beloved Starbucks chicken and hummus bistro box, but it’s healthier and cheaper because you’re making it at home.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Grilled chicken breast
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Hummus (preferably homemade)
  • Mini pitas

Want to try making your own hummus? It’s so easy. Here’s how:

20. Spring Salad with Farro

If you’re in the mood for something light and healthy, this spring salad with farro will do the trick. It’s rich in flavor and nutrients, so it’s a great way to enjoy a balanced lunch.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cooked farro
  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Bell pepper
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Peas
  • Lemon

If you’re not a fan of farro or can’t find it in your local grocery store, you can use quinoa, buckwheat or even barley if you’re in a pinch.

21. Chicken Shawarma

This chicken shawarma lunch is delicious. Making it easier than you think. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chicken thighs
  • Pickled red cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Hummus
  • Pita slices

The secret to the flavor is in the spices used to cook the chicken, which includes cinnamon, nutmeg, chili powder, paprika, turmeric and salt.

Final Thoughts

These 21 lunchbox ideas are perfect for your work lunch and will leave you feeling energized all afternoon.