13 Office-Friendly Lunch Ideas

As food costs rise, more and more people are starting to take their lunches to work instead of buying something on the go. Brown-bagging is the cost-effective way to get lunch every day, and these thirteen lunch ideas will not only help you save money but also make sure you actually enjoy your lunch. They are flavorful, easy to make with simple ingredients, and super easy to pack up, too.

From sandwiches to pasta salads, these lunch ideas are simple enough for even those who don’t cook much. The ingredients are easily found in any grocery store, so you won’t have to hunt around for exotic ingredients. Make it, bag it, and enjoy it.

1. Orzo Salad With Pesto

An overhead view of a white bowl filled with chickpea orzo salad with pesto.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If you love pasta salad, you can’t go wrong with orzo. This rice-shaped pasta makes it so easy to make a pasta salad. Just cut everything you want to add to it small enough to keep the texture of this type of salad. This Orzo pasta with pesto has a wonderful, refreshing pesto flavor, and the salad works well as a side dish or as a main course. It goes particularly well with chicken.

2. Mediterranean Sandwich

A stacked Mediterranean grilled cheese sandwich on a cutting board.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This wonderful Mediterranean sandwich is probably one of the more “exotic” recipes in this collection. You can easily make it the night before and then pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to warm it up for lunch. It has a wonderful sweet and savory flavor combination that is often found in Mediterranean fare. Serve this with a green side salad for a full lunch.

3. BLT Pasta Salad

Closeup of a BLT pasta salad in a white bowl.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This BLT pasta salad is a tasty lunch you are sure to enjoy. The combination of bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pasta is delicious and flavorful, and it is also office-friendly. However, you might want to consider adding the dressing at the office so your pasta doesn’t become soggy. 

4. Cobb Salad Wraps

A Cobb Salad Wrap cut in half. The halves are stacked on top of each other on a white piece of parchment paper.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Cobb salad wraps are the perfect portable lunch for work. Chicken or turkey, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, eggs, bacon, avocado, and tomato all come together for a delicious, healthy lunch you’ll love. The wrap easily with some plastic wrap or a small container. You can also stick a toothpick in them to make sure they stay together during transit to your work fridge.

5. Apple & Gouda Kebabs

Apple & Gouda Kabobs in a small lunch container on a table next to some books.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

While this is a great idea for a school lunch for younger kids, who says lunch has to be a sandwich or a wrap? Shake things up with these apple and gouda kebabs. These tasty kebabs can be put together in minutes with gouda cheese, apples, and cherry tomatoes, and grownups will enjoy these as much as the kiddos will. This could also be a tasty workday snack. Serve these with a hefty side of veggie sticks and maybe some ranch dip to round out the meal. A green salad would go well with these, too.

6. Chicken Avocado Salad

A closeup of an avocado half stuffed with chicken avocado salad.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This healthy chicken avocado salad is perfect for lunch at work. Full of protein and healthy fats from the chicken and avocado, with a flavorful dressing to pull it all together, this lighter meal will actually fill you up and keep you that way until dinner. Enjoy this with a green side salad or even with some toast. Store this in your work fridge until you are ready to eat lunch. It’s great cold, straight from the fridge. No heating required.

7. Easy Quinoa Salad

A blue bowl filled with easy quinoa salad.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If you want a super easy quinoa salad to take for lunch, give this one a try. The leftovers are great if you make this for dinner and take w what’s left for lunch the next day. It pairs well with chicken, fish, pork, or beef and can even be enjoyed as a plant-based main course. Enjoy it with a green salad to round out the meal.

8. BLT Wrap

A finished BLT Wrap laying stacked on a piece of parchment.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Everyone loves a good BLT. But a sandwich is not always convenient. Sometimes, a wrap is better. This delicious BLT wrap recipe is a great option for work lunches. It travels really well and you can even take the components and assemble it at work if you want something that tastes just-made. It’s a bit lighter on your stomach without 2 big slices of bread, and you can opt for things like low-carb wraps if that’s your preference.

9. Easy Tuna Wrap

A tuna wrap lays cut in half and stacked so you can see the tuna and lettuce inside.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Lunch doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious. These tasty tuna wraps are easy to make in minutes using canned tuna, and you probably already have all of the ingredients in your kitchen right now. With just a few simple additions, lunch is packed and ready to go. It travels well and tastes great cold out of the office fridge.

10. Easy Asparagus Salad

A white bowl holds asparagus salad.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If you want an easy salad that knocks it out of the park in the flavor department, this is the asparagus salad you want to try. It has delicious bits of crispy bacon, perfectly cooked asparagus, hard-boiled eggs, and a lovely vinaigrette-style dressing. Combine all of those together, and you have one amazing salad for lunch.

11. Quick And Simple Mediterranean Bowl

An overhead view of a Mediterranean Bowl With Chicken, cucumbers and tomatoes. Pita chips sit to the side.

This simple salad comes together fast with minimal ingredients while still packing a flavorful punch. It’s a delicious hummus bowl that makes a fantastic lunch. It’s easy to pack in a smaller, lunch-sized container, and you don’t have to warm it up to eat it. This quick and simple Mediterranean bowl is also easy to meal prep. Double the recipe to make a few lunches for the week.

12. Chickpea Quinoa Salad With Fresh Basil

A side view of a white bowl filled with chickpea quinoa salad.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This plant-based meal is perfect for a Meatless Monday lunch. It’s filling thanks to tons of fiber and has plenty of protein as well, thanks to the quinoa, which has all nine essential amino acids. This Chickpea Quinoa Salad With Fresh Basil has a truly fresh flavor and will keep you full from lunch until dinner. You can make a big batch and freeze some for future lunches, too.

13. Broccoli Salad

An up close view of fresh broccoli salad.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Nothing beats a fresh Broccoli Salad. With lots of fresh veggies, including tomatoes, avocado, and green onions, this delicious salad is actually far more filling than it looks. Raw broccoli is surprisingly filling, and the combination of ingredients makes this a salad not to miss. Make a big batch so you’ll have lunch for a few days, or use leftovers as a side dish for dinner.

More From The Gracious Pantry

A closeup of a Carolina Gold BBQ Chicken sandwich topped with creamy coleslaw on a whole grain bun.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Need Dinner Ideas Too?

A dutch oven with a cooked whole chicken topped with rosemary twigs.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

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This originally appeared on The Gracious Pantry.

Author: Tiffany McCauley

Title: Food and Travel Journalist

Expertise: Food, cooking, travel


Tiffany McCauley is a nationally syndicated journalist and an award-winning cookbook author and food blogger. She has been featured on MSN, Huffington Post, Country Living Magazine, HealthLine, Redbook, and many more. Her food specialty is healthy comfort food recipes.

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