Make the most out of your lunch with these 50 cold lunch ideas that are both healthy and delicious! These cold lunch ideas for work are the perfect combination of simple yet satisfying and will make your lunchtime a Whole Lotta Yum!
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Why You'll Love Cold Lunch Meal Prep!
- Saves money: Meal prepping/buying ingredients in bulk helps to save money and avoid buying more than you need!
- Helps you eat healthier: You can control the quality of your ingredients as well as avoiding the temptation to eat out!
- Reduces stress: Having your meals planned out gives you one less thing to stress about during busy work days.
- Increases productivity: A nutritious lunch will keep you satisficed and increase your energy levels/focus throughout the day.
- Saves time: Save valuable time in the morning by having your lunch prepared in advance. Just grab it and go!
There are plenty of recipes out there for hot lunch, but what about recipes that don't require heating? Finding cold foods for adults can be a bit trickier. Having a busy schedule means there is not always time to cook or you may simply not have access to a heat source to warm up your food. (We've been there!) On these days, we know the importance of having healthy cold lunches that don't require any heating and will keep you satisfied all day long.
Weather you're looking for something classic like a hearty salad, or something more adventurous like salmon sushi bowls, this list provides a variety of cold lunch ideas for adults that you can meal prep to spice up your lunchtime routine.
If you're obsessed with meal prep as much as we are, you'll also want to check out our meal prepping lists for healthy meal prep for weight loss, easy lunch meal prep for the week, and keto meal prep lunches.
Easy Cold Lunches for Work (No Recipe Needed!)
If you are looking for meals that don't need to be heated up, take a look at these ten cold lunch ideas that can be prepared ahead of time and eaten cold at work. These effortless cold lunch ideas for adults can be swiftly assembled and packed in your lunch bag without the need for a microwave!
- Chicken Caesar wrap: Made with chicken, lettuce, parmesan cheese, and caesar dressing. Add croutons for extra crunch!
- Tuna salad: Dice celery and onions and combine with tuna, mayo, salt, and pepper. Pair with your favorite crackers or on top of greens.
- Veggie and hummus plate
- Turkey and cheese roll-ups: Roll slices of turkey and cheese together and pair with whole-grain crackers and a side of fruit for a more complete meal!
- Greek yogurt parfait: Layer Greek yogurt, granola, and your favorite berries.
- Mason jar salad: Layer leafy greens with your favorite salad add-ins. Top with dressing and shake before eating.
- Caprese salad: Layer sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
- Veggie wrap: Spread a healthy tortilla with hummus or cream cheese and add veggies of your choice.
- Charcuterie board: Add all your favorite meats, cheeses, fruits, and crackers. Add nuts, dips, and spreads for an extra fancy board!
- Chickpea salad: Use canned chickpeas and mix with with fresh, diced veggies.
A cooler bag can help keep your food insulated throughout the day. You can also use a frozen water bottle as a make shift ice pack.
Insulated lunch boxes are usually able to keep food cold for about 4-6 hours. Add an ice pack to your lunch box to help your food stay colder for longer.
There are lots of food options that don't require any heating. Some options include:
-Cheese and crackers
-Hummus and veggies