HEALTHY MEAL PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Box Ideas for Work or School

HEALTHY MEAL PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Box Ideas

Today, I’m sharing another healthy meal prep with 5 make-ahead healthy lunch box ideas that you can whip up in minutes and will stay fresh in the fridge for several days. Lunch meal prep is key to helping you stay on track with your healthy eating routine. By planning and prepping a healthy, nutritious lunch in advance, you’re less likely to get fast food or indulge in whatever is available at the office.

Today’s lunch recipes are not only super easy to make, but they’re all 100% gluten free and dairy free. You can easily work these recipes into my other meal prep menus for more variety to help you reach your health and weight loss goals much faster.

HEALTHY MEAL PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Recipes for School or Work

How to Successfully Pack Lunch & Snacks for the Day

For packing your lunch on-the-go, I highly recommend investing in meal prep containers that are functional and BPA free.

For today’s recipes, I’m using the Bento Boxes from Monbento as they have extra slots and containers that make packing lunch and snacks on-the-go super easy. You can customize their bento boxes to fit your lifestyle.

Additionally, their bento boxes are BPA Free, airtight, leakproof, and dishwasher safe. Each bento box comes with two containers that are stackable, which is perfect for packing both lunch and snacks.

And, Monbento has been kind enough to give all of my subscribers and followers 10% off their entire website (including promos) until the end of March 2021 (code: KAYLA10).

HEALTHY MEAL PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Recipes for School or Work

Watch Lunch Meal Prep Video Below

Healthy Meal Prep – Lunch Edition

When it comes to prepping a healthy lunch, it’s all about simplicity. I tried to keep all of today’s lunch recipes simple yet still very nutritious and tasty. These lunch meal prep recipes make multiple servings so you can prep them in advance and serve them throughout the week.

Most of them will stay fresh for up to 5 days in the fridge and up to 1 month in the freezer.

HEALTHY MEAL PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Recipes for School or Work

Lunch Box Recipe #1 – Creamy Turkey Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad with Snacks

HEALTHY MEAL PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Recipes for School or Work

This healthy pasta salad can be made using any type of fusilli pasta noodles to fit your dietary needs. Typically, I use a cassava flour fusilli to keep it paleo, but I also like the chickpea fusilli noodles as well.

You can substitute the turkey bacon for regular bacon in this recipe. I’ve also provided my homemade ranch dressing below, but feel free to use a store bough ranch (just make sure it’s healthy!).

In the second container, I packed a few healthy snacks, including a boiled egg, raw almonds, blueberries, and strawberries.

Creamy Turkey Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

Servings: 5 | Prep Time: 10 min | Cook Time: 15 min

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Healthy Fusilli Pasta Noodles (I use either the Cassava Flour Noodles or Chickpea Noodles)

  • 4 Slices Turkey Bacon, cooked

  • 2/3 C. Cherry Tomatoes, cut into halves or fourths

  • 2/3 C. Broccoli Florets

  • 2/3 C. Cucumber, cut into fourths

  • 2/3 C. Carrots, cut into halves or fourths

  • 1/4 C. Purple Onion, diced

  • 1 C. Homemade Ranch Dressing or Primal Kitchen Ranch

  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Cook pasta according to the package instructions. Once done, drain and rinse pasta with cool water.
  • Cook turkey bacon in a skillet over medium heat. Then, cut bacon into bite size pieces.
  • Transfer pasta, bacon, and all remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl and toss until ingredients are fully combined.
  • This recipe will keep in the fridge for up to 4-5 days and in the freezer for up to a month.

Macros for 1 serving of Pasta Salad (full recipe makes 5 servings)

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1
Servings Per Container 5

Amount Per Serving
Calories 440 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 49%
Saturated Fat g 0%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol mg 0%
Sodium mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 11%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Sugars 4g
Protein 16g 32%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Dairy Free Ranch Dressing Recipe

Servings: makes 2 cups | Prep Time: 5 min

Ingredients

  • 1 C. Clean Mayonnaise (I use Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayo)

  • 1 C. Coconut Cream (this is the cream that sits on top of a can of full fat coconut milk)

  • 3-4 Tbsp Water or Coconut Water

  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder

  • 2 tsp Dried Dill

  • 1 tsp Onion Powder

  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice

  • Pinch of Sea Salt

Directions

  • In a mixing bowl, add the mayo and coconut cream. Mix together until fully combined.
  • Add in all remaining ingredients and continue mixing until fully combined.
  • Store in an airtight container or sealed mason jar for up to one week in the fridge. **Feel free to add more water to thin out the consistency.

Macros for 1 Tbsp of Ranch Dressing (full recipe makes 2 cups)

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Tbsp
Servings Per Container 2 cups

Amount Per Serving
Calories 75 Calories from Fat 76.5
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8.5g 13%
Saturated Fat g 0%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol mg 0%
Sodium mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 0g
Protein 0g 0%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Lunch Box Recipe #2 – Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich with Honey Lime Fruit Salad and Date Energy Balls

HEALTHY MEAL PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Recipes for School or Work

For the second lunch box, I’m having an avocado egg salad (gluten free) sandwich, honey lime fruit salad, and date energy balls.

The fruit salad will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days while the date balls will last at room temperature (or in the fridge) for up to 2 weeks. Both of these are great healthy snack ideas not only for yourself, but also for kids!

The avocado egg salad can be eaten alone, with healthy crackers, served in lettuce wraps, or on gluten free bread. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich

Servings: 2 | Prep Time: 10 min | Cook Time: 10 min

Ingredients

  • 6 Eggs

  • 2 Ripe Avocados

  • 1/4 C. Celery, chopped

  • 1/4 C. Purple Onion, diced

  • 2-4 Tbsp Green Onion, chopped

  • 2-4 Tbsp Fresh Dill, finely diced

  • Juice from 1-2 Lemons

  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

  • Optional: Gluten Free Sandwich Bread & Additional Toppings

Directions

  • Hard boil 6 eggs. Peel and roughly dice them.
  • In a mixing bowl, mash the avocados with a fork.
  • Add all remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix until fully combined.
  • Optional: Feel free to eat the avocado egg salad with healthy crackers, lettuce wraps, gluten free bread, etc.

Macros for Avocado Egg Salad (not including bread)

This is based on 2 servings. If you want to reduce the calories even more, feel free to divide this recipe into 3 servings.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1
Servings Per Container 2

Amount Per Serving
Calories 388 Calories from Fat 396
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 44g 68%
Saturated Fat g 0%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol mg 0%
Sodium mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 6%
Dietary Fiber 14g 56%
Sugars 2g
Protein 22g 44%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Honey Lime Fruit Salad

Servings: 6 | Prep Time: 10 min

Ingredients

  • For the Fruit Salad Base:
  • 1/2 Cantaloupe, de-seeded & cut into bite-size pieces

  • 4 Kiwi, cut into fourths

  • 1 lb Strawberries, cut into halves or fourths

  • 1 pint Blueberries

  • Mint Leaves, optional

  • For the Honey Lime Dressing:
  • 1/4 C. Raw Honey

  • Zest from 1 Lime

  • Juice from 1 Lime

Directions

  • Add all fruit to a mixing bowl and toss to combine.
  • In a small bowl, add the honey lime dressing ingredients and mix until fully combined.
  • Pour honey lime dressing over the fruit and mix until fully combined.
  • Store in fridge with a lid for up to 5 days.

Macros for 1 serving of fruit salad (makes 6 servings)

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1
Servings Per Container 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 145 Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat g 0%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol mg 0%
Sodium mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 12%
Dietary Fiber 4.5g 18%
Sugars 29g
Protein 2g 4%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

3-Ingredient Date Energy Balls

Servings: makes 10 balls | Prep Time: 10 min

Ingredients

  • 10 Medjool Dates, pitted

  • 1/2 C. Raw Almonds

  • 2 Tbsp Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

  • Pinch of Sea Salt (optional)

Directions

  • Add all ingredients to a food processor (using the ‘S’ blade) and blend until fully combined. Mixture should form a large ball.
  • Separate ball into 10 equal parts. Roll each part into a tight ball.
  • Store date balls in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature.

Macros for 1 Date Energy Ball

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 ball
Servings Per Container 10

Amount Per Serving
Calories 115 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat g 0%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol mg 0%
Sodium mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 19.5g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2.5g 10%
Sugars 16g
Protein 2g 4%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Lunch Box Recipe #3 – Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich with Honey Lime Fruit Salad and Date Energy Balls

HEALTHY MEAL PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Recipes for School or Work

For the next lunch, I’m making this gluten free Quinoa Olive Salad paired with a grilled chicken breast. On the side, I’m packing extra olives and berries.

Quinoa is actually considered a “seed.” It’s gluten free and actually really easy to digest. So, while it’s not considered strict paleo, quinoa can be part of a healthy diet even for those with digestive issues. This quinoa olive salad is a really simple and delicious recipe that’ll stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days, so it’s perfect for lunch meal prep.

Quinoa Olive Salad

Servings: 5 | Prep Time: 5 min | Cook Time: 15 min

Ingredients

  • For the Salad Base:
  • 1 C. Uncooked Quinoa, rinsed

  • 2 C. Water

  • 1 (15 oz) Can of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1/2 C. Olives, halved or whole (I used Kalamata)

  • 1 Bell Pepper, de-seed & chopped (any color is fine)

  • 1/2 C. Purple Onion, diced

  • 1/2 Cucumber, cut into fourths

  • 1 C. Fresh Parsley, finely diced

  • For the Dressing:
  • 1/4 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 3 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice

  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced

  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning

  • 1/4 tsp EACH Sea Salt & Pepper

Directions

  • In a saucepan, add the water and quinoa. Stir to combine. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to low-medium, add a lid, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. Once absorbed, turn off the heat, and leave the lid on for 5 extra minutes. then, gently fluff up the quinoa with a fork.
  • Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix until fully combined.
  • For the dressing, add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix until fully combined. Pour dressing over quinoa salad mixture and mix until fully combined. Feel free to add more sea salt and pepper to taste.
  • Transfer salad to an airtight container and store in fridge for up to 5 days.

Macros for 1 serving of Quinoa Olive Salad (makes 5 servings)

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1
Servings Per Container 5

Amount Per Serving
Calories 360 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat g 0%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol mg 0%
Sodium mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 15%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Sugars 4.5g
Protein 10g 20%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Lunch Box Recipe #4 – Chicken Meatball Marinara Over Zoodles and Snacks

HEALTHY MEAL PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Recipes for School or Work

For this lunch box, I’m having my savory chicken meatball marinara over sauteed zoodles along with the date balls I shared earlier and celery sticks with almond butter.

If you’re craving a lunch that’s warm and more savory, this one is a must-try! The homemade marinara is dairy free and the chicken meatballs are grain free. The meatballs will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4-5 days and in the freezer for up to a month. So, they’re perfect for meal prepping.

Chicken Meatball Marinara Over Zoodles

Servings: 5 | Prep Time: 10 min | Cook Time: 20 min

Ingredients

  • For the Chicken Meatballs:
  • 1 lb Ground Chicken (or turkey)

  • 1/2 C. Almond Flour

  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning

  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper

  • 1 Egg

  • For the Marinara:
  • 1 tsp Avocado Oil

  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced

  • 1 (28 oz) Can of Crushed Tomatoes

  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning

  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

  • 1/2 tsp Coconut Palm Sugar or Raw Cane Sugar (optional)

  • For the Zucchini Noodles:
  • 2-3 Large Zucchinis

  • 1 Tbsp Avocado Oil

  • Sea Salt & Pepper, to taste1

Directions

  • For the Chicken Meatballs:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all meatball ingredients and mix until fully combined.
  • Take about 1 heaping tablespoon of the chicken mixture and roll into a tight ball (wet your hands if the mixture is too sticky).
  • Bake meatballs for 20 minutes or until fully cooked through.
  • For the Marinara:
  • In a saucepan over medium high, add the oil and garlic. Saute for about one minutes. Then, add all remaining ingredients and mix until fully combined. Let that simmer on low with a lid for about 15 minutes.
  • For the Zucchini Noodles:
  • Cut off the ends of each zucchini and run them through a spiralizer.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil and zucchini noodles. Toss to make sure the zoodles are coated with the oil, add a lid, and cook until they reach your desired texture.
  • Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.
  • For assembly and storage:
  • When ready to serve, add a portion of the zoodles, marinara, and meatballs to your lunch box. Store the remaining ingredients in separate airtight containers for up to 4-5 days in the fridge.

Macros for Chicken Meatballs Over Zoodles

These macros are for one full meal, which includes 1 serving of zucchini noodles (recipe makes 5 servings), 4 chicken meatballs, and 1/2 C. marinara.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1
Servings Per Container 5

Amount Per Serving
Calories 346 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 26%
Saturated Fat g 0%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol mg 0%
Sodium mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2.5g 10%
Sugars 8g
Protein 36.5g 73%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Lunch Box Recipe #5 – Creamy Carrot Blender Soup with Snacks

HEALTHY MEAL PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Recipes for School or Work

This creamy carrot blender soup is dairy free and grain free and perfect for meal prepping as it will last in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 2 months.

On the side, I’m serving some healthy seed crackers and some of the fruit salad I shared earlier.

Creamy Carrot Blender Soup

Servings: 4 | Prep Time: 5 min | Cook Time: 15 min

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp Avocado Oil

  • 1 Small Yellow Onion or 1/2 Large, diced

  • 1 lb Carrots, rinsed and chopped

  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced

  • 1/4 tsp Cumin

  • Sea Salt & Pepper, to taste

  • 4 C. Chicken Broth (can also use vegetable broth)

  • 1 Can of Full Fat Coconut Milk

  • Optional Toppings: Green Onion, Paprika, Turkey Bacon Pieces

Directions

  • In a soup pot over medium-high heat, add the oil, onion, carrots, and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent.
  • Add the cumin, sea salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Then, add the chicken broth.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low-medium and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the carrots are soft.
  • Transfer soup to a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Then, transfer soup back to the soup pot and add the coconut milk. Stir to combine. Continue to cook on low-medium for another 5 minutes.
  • When ready to serve, add the toppings and enjoy!

Macros for 1 serving of Carrot Soup (recipes makes 4 servings)

This includes the calories for the soup only, not the toppings or the sides.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1
Servings Per Container 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 295 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 35%
Saturated Fat g 0%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol mg 0%
Sodium mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 10g
Protein 5.5g 11%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Looking for more healthy meal prep ideas?

If you’re on the search for healthy meal prep ideas, here’s a few of my most popular meal prep menus.

HEALTHY MEAL PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Recipes for School or Work
 

4 Comments

  1. I just found your blog yesterday, and I’m so excited. Finally, recipes that are actually healthy but easy to make with ingredients that I know and know how to pronounce. Other blogs I have found claim to be healthy but don’t use organic or clean ingredients, and others are too complicated, and the ingredients are only found online. So thank you! I will be making all of these meals for sure!!!!

     
  2. Pingback: Easy Weight Loss Meal Prep for a Full Work Week (5 Days!) | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, & Snacks! | Feelin' Fabulous with Kayla

  3. Pingback: Butternut Squash Salmon Patties with Quinoa - KAMS Lifestyle

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