15 Make-Ahead Lunch Recipes

Take the rush and hassle out of lunch with these delish dishes.

Are you a woman with a plan? Whether you’re a natural-born planner or more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type, planning healthy lunch ideas is often a challenge. Here are 15 make-ahead lunch recipes that will keep your healthy eating habits on track for success.

Mid-day is a tricky time when it comes to meal planning. Even if you’re committed to living a healthy lifestyle, it can be challenging to prepare nutritious meals when you’re in the thick of a busy day complicated by too-long meetings, uncooperative toddlers, or endless errands. But just because you’re crazy-busy doesn’t mean you need to grab whatever vaguely food-like product is in reach.

Healthy lunch ideas like the recipes below can be prepped in advance. Some even pull double duty; prepare the recipe for dinner one night, and then pack a single-serve container to grab for lunch the following day. No matter when you make these easy lunches, you’ll find clean-eating ingredients filled with the protein, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants your body needs.

1. Philly Cheese & Chicken Sandwich
Few meals hit the lunchtime spot like a tasty sammie–and our healthed-up version of the classic sandwich is no exception. This no-hassle recipe is simple enough to prepare the evening before.

2. Chicken and Crisp Veggie Sandwich
With cucumber, radish, onion, and more, make-ahead lunches like this one will have you looking forward to noon.

Skinny Burrito in a Jar

3. Skinny Burrito in a Jar
The ingredients mix in under five minutes for a delicious lunch full of protein and antioxidants. Enjoy it right from the jar, or add the burrito mixture to a whole wheat wrap.

4. Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Forget the deli tuna salad dripping with mayo, fat, and calories. Our skinnied-up version is a healthier recipe full of nutrients and flavor.

5. Mushroom and Steak Fajita Sandwich
Easy lunch ideas like this healthy steak sandwich fuel you with protein to carry you through the afternoon.

6. Asian Chicken Sandwich
Make this sandwich the evening before for a tasty and healthy twist on Chinese takeout.

Clean Eating Nut Butter Slider

7. Clean Eating Nut Butter and Jam Sandwich
Satisfy your inner kid with our grown-up version of PB&J, which delivers that lunchbox taste you crave without added refined sugar.

8. Chickpea and Tomato Salad with Grilled Chicken
Prep this greens-free salad the evening before for easy lunches you’ll feel good about enjoying.

9. Chicken Caesar Wrap
We love make-ahead lunches like this takeout fake-out, which offers café taste, minus the extra fat and calories.

10. DIY Skinny Salad-in-a-Jar
Super simple and super delish, healthy lunches like this salad make good eating a snap no matter how busy your day gets.

Jalapeño Lime Tuna Salad

11. Jalapeno Lime Tuna Salad
Put a yummy twist on typical tuna salad recipes with delish make-ahead lunches like this recipe.

12. Chicken and Black Bean Chili
Easy lunches are as close as your stovetop with recipes like this healthy chili.

13. Paleo-Friendly Meaty Veggie Roll-Ups
This low-carb lunch is versatile–load it with your favorite veggies or with whatever you have on hand, such as leftover vegetables from the previous night’s dinner.

14. Slow Cooker Everything Chicken
Enjoy this as an entree one night, and then pack it for the next day’s lunch; simply slice the chicken over a green salad or load it onto a whole wheat sandwich topped with veggies.

15. Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken Soup
When you want easy lunches that are healthy too, prep this in the crockpot the previous day, and then enjoy it as a yummy lunch. 

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Amy Wagner

Amy is a writer specializing in health & wellness, business, and entrepreneurship. She's a long-time martial arts teacher who has earned a 4th degree black belt in tae kwon do. When Amy's not writing or kicking, she's wrangling sons, reading fiction, or crushing on BBC actors.

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