Look up ‘work lunch ideas’ on Google and you’ll find page after page of delicious looking lunches that anyone would be happy to tuck into on their lunch break.
The problem is they’re often time-consuming, expensive and call for ingredients you don’t usually buy and leave wasting in the fridge. This makes it hard for your grocery bill budget. We don’t all have time to be Heston, Gordon or Jamie, especially first thing in the morning.
That is why we’ve put together a list of 6 real work lunch ideas (not one-off recipes). These ideas are all versatile options that anyone can use to make quick, easy and flexible meals that are also delicious and nutritious.
1. The Flexible Lunch Bowl
By far one of the easiest and most versatile lunch options because it can made with almost anything.
You just need four basic components:
The flexible lunch bowl fits the bill for our real work lunch ideas because you can use what you already have on hand, ensuring no waste. Lunch bowls are also delicious cold which makes them hassle-free and can be changed every day so we’ll never get sick of the same thing.
Some easy recipes to start with:
2. The Killer Salad Dressing
As we mentioned, this one is so important we wanted to give you lots of details! In general, people can fear dressing making because it’s a little bit more effort. Well, fear not! We have the answer.
Learning how to make a killer salad dressing is a simple way to add flavour to your lunch. It isn’t as hard as you might think. Don’t bother memorising specific dressing recipes, just learn the basic components of the dressing and experiment.
Ingredients will fall into four basic categories:
Then all you have to do is mix until blended and you have a cheap and delicious flavour booster. Even a simple 3 ingredient salad tastes amazing with a killer salad dressing.
It is a skill that can extend past just salads. Adding a dressing is something you can do to your sandwiches, lunch bowls, roast potatoes and more.
Start simple: try one part lemon juice and three parts olive oil with a little salt and pepper to taste and experiment from there.
3. The All-Purpose Avocado
The humble avocado is the grab-and-go ingredient that is the ultimate starter for a range of real work lunch ideas. Throw an avocado in your lunch bag in the morning and most of the hard work is done.
It only takes a couple more ingredients to make a filling and delicious meal at work. You can mash it onto dry biscuits, cut into cubes to have with steamed rice and a bit of soy sauce, or simply halve and enjoy with a lemon vinaigrette.
For those of us that need a bit more, you can make the all-purpose avocado go even further putting together simple salads, sandwiches and wraps.
For the true avo’ lovers, an avocado almost makes a meal by itself. Tuck into it with a spoon and follow up with a couple of boiled eggs, cut veggies and a handful of nuts.
Get busy with avocados:
4. The Reliable Boiled Egg
A boiled egg is cheap, easy to make and delivers a punch of protein. This means it can be a strong base for many real work lunch ideas.
Like the ‘all-purpose avocado’, the boiled egg requires very few extra ingredients to make an easy lunch. You can use it to enhance a sad looking salad, fill out a thin sandwich or tie together a mismatch of leftovers into one very delicious meal.
Pro tip: If you like your boiled eggs by themselves, try rolling them in dukkah or smearing with your favourite condiments.
More ideas for your reliable boiled egg lunch
5. The Enhanced Work Sandwich
How good are sandwiches? Put something between two slices of bread and magic happens.
Unfortunately ‘work sandwiches’ aren’t always as exciting. A lot can go wrong with a sandwich, especially when it has to sit in a lunch bag for half a day, so most people play it safe with their fillings.
These tips for the enhanced work sandwich mean you can stop making compromises and start making better sandwiches:
Check out this great article for great tips on how to wrap your sandwiches to make them easier to eat in any working environment.
6. The Versatile Soba Noodle
Soba is a versatile Japanese noodle that can be used for just about anything including noodle salads, noodle soups and dipping in condiments. You can find it in the international aisle at all major supermarkets.
One of the best things about soba is that it is delicious when cold. Eating cold lunches makes them hassle-free and you don’t have to worry about how good it will taste when reheated.
On top of that, like the flexible lunch bowl, you can put whatever you want with your versatile soba noodle to create a delicious and fresh real work lunch every time you make it.
To really simplify things, make up a batch of soba at the start of the week, and use any leftover proteins, unused raw veggies, and other bits and pieces on hand to whip up a brand new dish.
Some easy recipes to start you off:
7. The Reinvented Leftovers
Taking leftovers to work is a fine way to get through the working week. However, tastebud fatigue is a real issue! Re-inventing our leftovers into new meals keeps things interesting.
Be creative. Approaching leftovers in this way will not only add more variety, but it will also make our food go further and our meals more workplace friendly. And of course, reducing your eating out habits, you’re looking after your day to day budget and that’s a win!
Have you got any great tips that help you plan hassle-free lunches for the working week on a budget? Let us know in the comment section below.
You should read this bit: The above links belong to a variety of websites and not Nimble, so clicking on, and using them, will take you away from Nimble’s website meaning we’ve got no control or responsibility over the content. Nimble does not endorse and is not affiliated or associated in any way whatsoever to the businesses named in this blog post. The information in this blog post is general information only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. The information contained in this blog is correct at the date of publication.