20 Non Sandwich Lunch Ideas for Adults
Food & Nutrition

20 Non Sandwich Lunch Ideas for Adults

Delicious Non Sandwich Lunch Ideas for Adults We Love

Are you tired of the same-old sandwich for lunch? We are, too, but finding new lunch ideas can be a hassle. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re working from home or heading to the office, you’ll love these non sandwich lunch ideas for adults.

20 Non Sandwich Lunch Ideas for Adults

From bento boxes to salads, here are 20 mouth-watering, sandwich-free lunch ideas.

1. Mediterranean Chicken Salad Lunchbox

Packed with protein and healthy fat, this Mediterranean chicken salad lunchbox will leave you full all afternoon. This recipe puts a twist on the classic chicken salad, with cucumbers, red onion, feta cheese and olives. Feel free to ditch the pitas if you want to lower the calories and carbohydrate count.

2. Italian Pasta Salad

One of our favorite non sandwich lunch ideas for adults is pasta salad. It travels well, so you can easily pack it in your lunch box. And you can add whatever ingredient you want. This recipe has olives, cold cuts, cheese, basil, fresh tomatoes, bell peppers and more.

3. Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

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Mediterranean Chickpea Salad – Non Sandwich Lunch Ideas for Adults, Photo: Urban Mamaz.

Looking for vegetarian non sandwich lunch ideas for adults? Chickpea salad is always a great choice. Chickpeas are loaded with fiber and protein, and they have a meaty texture. They pair well with virtually all salad ingredients. This recipe calls for tomatoes, fresh parsley and coriander, cucumber, quinoa, red onion and other Mediterranean flavors. Get the full recipe here.

4. Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli

Easy Teriyaki Chicken Fried rice dinner

If you’re looking for flavorful non sandwich lunch ideas for adults, you can’t go wrong with teriyaki chicken. Paired with sauteed red bell peppers and broccoli, this is a lunch that will keep you satisfied. To make the sauce, combine teriyaki sauce with soy sauce and a dab of honey. Serve with or without rice.

5. Chicken Meatballs

Meal Prep Garlic Butter Chicken Meatballs with Cauliflower Rice

Chicken meatballs are easy to make, and they’re leaner than the classic beef meatballs. Pair them with cauliflower rice to keep it low-carb. This recipe adds cheese, garlic and fresh spices into the mix for incredibly flavorful meatballs. The cauliflower rice helps make this meal more filling and satisfying.

6. Avocado Corn Salad

This avocado corn salad is so fresh and flavorful. It’s so easy to put together, and you can add or remove ingredients with ease. Along with avocados and corn, this recipe also calls for fresh cilantro, dried cranberries, tomatoes and onion. The great thing about corn salads is that they travel well, so if you’re headed out the door for work, you don’t have to worry about your lunch tasting funky.

7. Soup and Salad

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Soup and Salad – Non Sandwich Lunch Ideas for Adults, Photo: Daria Klimova, Pexel.

The classic soup and salad combo is an excellent option for a sandwich-free lunch. It can be a healthy option, too. The possibilities are endless here, and they can change with each season. For example, corn chowders are perfect for summer, while pumpkin soup is comfort food in the winter. While this lunch combo is flexible, try to stick with flavors that complement each other.

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8. Quinoa Salad

Roasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a healthy whole-grain (although technically a seed) that’s rich in protein and fiber. It makes a great salad base, too, and will take on the flavor of any dressing you add. You can add classic salad ingredients, like tomatoes and cucumbers, or go with something heartier. This recipe calls for roasted broccoli, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, feta cheese and kale.

9. Lettuce Wraps

Honey Sesame Chickpea Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps are a great alternative to traditional sandwiches and wraps. You can fill them with the same ingredients you’d add to any wrap or sandwich. Bib and romaine lettuce are great for wraps, but you can also use blanched collard greens to create your own green roll-up. This recipe calls for chickpeas and a tangy sauce.

10. Cobb Salad

Easy Cobb Salad Meal Prep

Cobb salad is always a healthy and nutritious option for lunch. The classic cobb salad has romaine lettuce, cress, chicory, bacon, chicken, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, avocado and blue cheese. Add your favorite dressing, and you have a balanced lunch that will keep you full. For vegetarians, try tofu or black beans in place of the chicken and bacon. Or, just add your favorite meat alternative for a tasty lunch.

11. Chicken, Rice and Vegetables

Chicken, rice and vegetables is a healthy, balanced lunch option. The best part is that you have a lot of flexibility with the type of chicken and veggies you add. And if chicken isn’t your thing, you can substitute turkey, beef – whatever you want. For vegetarians, beans, tofu or other fake meat options work well with this combo.

12. Dinner Leftovers

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Dinner Leftovers – Non-Sandwich Lunch Ideas for Adults, Photo: Ella Olsson, Unsplash. 

Don’t overcomplicate lunch. Pack dinner leftovers to simplify your life and save time. Just cook an extra serving of dinner, and save it for lunch the next day. It’s a quick and easy option, and you never have to worry about planning your lunches.

13. Homemade Lunchables

Healthy Bento Lunch Box Recipes 5 Ways

Put an adult spin on the classic kid’s lunch with homemade lunchables. Fill a bento box with a few simple ingredients for a satisfying lunch.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Lunch meat, cheese, veggies and hummus
  • Hardboiled eggs, cheese, nuts and fruit
  • Bean salad, crackers and veggies

The combinations and possibilities are endless with adult lunchables.

14. Egg Cups

Egg cups are so easy to make and a great option for lunch. Use whole eggs or egg whites for a healthier alternative. Fill them up with bacon, cheese, broccoli, fresh herbs – whatever ingredients you love. Grab a muffin tin, add your add-ins to each cup, fill with beaten eggs and bake. Prepare a big batch to have some later in the week.

15. Quesadillas

Spicy Chicken Ranch Quesadillas + Meal Prep

Quesadillas are a fun lunch option because they’re so versatile and delicious. Keep it simple with a plain cheese filling or get fancy and add chicken or beans and corn. Pack some salsa or other dipping sauces to make your lunch complete.

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16. Zoodles Pasta

Baked Feta Zoodles

Skip the carbs and swap traditional spaghetti with zucchini noodles, or zoodles. You can find prepared zoodles in most grocery stores, or you can make your own if you have a spiralizer. Pair with marinara sauce, alfredo or whatever other sauce you fancy. And if you don’t like zucchini, you can use other vegetables, like sweet potatoes or yellow squash. Zoodles are also great for “pasta” salad or Asian-inspired dishes.

17. Pancake Dippers

Banana Pancake Dippers or Sticks

If you love eating breakfast for lunch, then you’ll love this idea: pancake dippers. Keep it simple and use pancake mix, or use your own homemade pancake recipe. Cook them in stick shapes and pack some maple syrup on the side for dipping. These dippers taste great cold, too. Prepare a big batch and have some later in the week to save you time.

18. Burrito or Taco Bowls

Craving something spicy for lunch? Pack a burrito or taco bowl. They’re easy to make and packed with flavor. Best of all, you can add whatever ingredients you want. Here are some ideas:

  • Taco-seasoned ground beef
  • Black beans or refried beans
  • Rice or quinoa
  • Lettuce
  • Jalapenos or bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado slices
  • Cheddar cheese

Add or remove add-ins to build your perfect burrito bowl.

19. Lunch Meat or Veggie Rollups

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Dinner Lunch Meat or Veggie Rollups – Non-Sandwich Lunch Ideas for Adults

Here’s a simple sandwich-free lunch idea: deli meat or veggie roll-ups. The idea is really simple:

  • Place a piece (or two) of deli meat or a veggie slice on a plate.
  • Add a layer of mayonnaise or cream cheese.
  • Top with your favorite toppings. Pickles, olives, sliced peppers and cucumbers are great options.

If you’re going to use veggies instead of deli meat, stick to zucchini, eggplant or cucumber. Thes veggies are more flexible and have the right shape for roll-ups.

20. Stuffed Avocado

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Stuffed Avocado with Quinoa – Non-Sandwich Lunch Ideas for Adults

Avocados are rich in healthy fat and have a pleasant creamy texture. Their little seed pits make them great for stuffing. They’re easy to transport and taste great warm or cold.

You can stuff an avocado with just about anything, but here are some great options:

  • Scrambled eggs and cheese
  • Ground beef, jalapeno, tomato, cheese and cilantro
  • Black beans and salsa
  • Quinoa stew and beans

Keep it simple and light when choosing your filling, and pack them carefully if you’re headed out to the office.

Final Thoughts

Lunch doesn’t have to be boring. Ditch your sandwich routine, and give one of these lunch ideas a try. Don’t be afraid to mix things up and add or remove ingredients to make these ideas and recipes your own.