5 MAKE-AHEAD HEALTHY LUNCH BOX IDEAS for School or Work (gluten free!)

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

Today, I’m doing another healthy meal prep but this one is all about prepping your lunch in advance. I’m sharing 5 make-ahead healthy lunch ideas plus snacks that you can whip up in minutes and will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-5 days.

I’m going to show you how to prepare and pack your lunch box with both your lunch and healthy snacks for the day. 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. I’m sharing a combination of paleo, vegan, and low carb lunch ideas. 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.

LUNCH PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Ideas (plus snacks!)

How to Easily Pack Your Lunch and Snacks for the Day

When packing your meals and snacks on-the-go, it can get a little crazy with lots of different containers. So, it’s important to find meal prep containers that make sense, which is why I’ve partnered with Monbento again for today’s post because their lunch boxes are super functional and great quality.

Additionally, their containers are BPA Free, airtight, leakproof, and dishwasher safe. Their bento boxes are stackable and have plenty of space of both lunch and snacks. And, best of all, you can customize them with added containers to build the perfect meal prepping system.

They also have their new MB Jar, which is perfect for prepping salads, Buddha bowls, etc. and their MB Positive M bottle for things like smoothies, juices, etc.

And, Monbento has been kind enough to give all of my subscribers and followers 10% off their entire website (including promos) until December 31, 2021 (code: KAYLACHANDLER10).

Watch Lunch Meal Prep Video Below

LUNCH PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Ideas (plus snacks!)

Healthy Lunch Ideas | 5 Make-Ahead Lunch Box Recipes

When it comes to healthy lunch ideas, I try to create simple recipes that can be made days in advance and even frozen (if necessary) without sacrificing on flavor. All of the healthy lunch ideas below make multiple servings, so feel free to prep them on Sunday or Monday to serve throughout the week for an easy on-the-go healthy lunch.

Paleo Weight Loss Meal Plans

Lunch Recipe #1 – Loaded Burger Bowl Salad-In-A-Jar with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

LUNCH PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Ideas (plus snacks!)

This may be the best healthy salad you’ve ever tried! And, when prepared salad-in-a-jar style, you can prep it up to 3-4 days in advance without worrying about the lettuce getting soggy! You can use a regular mason jar for this or use the MB Jar from Monbento (as pictured above).

Additionally, you can easily make this salad recipe low carb and keto friendly by substituting the thousand island dressing with my homemade dairy free ranch dressing.

Print the Loaded Burger Bowl Salad Recipe Here >>> RECIPE

Lunch Recipe #2 – Autumn Harvest Nourishing Buddha Bowl

LUNCH PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Ideas (plus snacks!)

If you’re not familiar with Buddha Bowls, they’re a one-bowl meal that’s typically plant-based. In most cases, each ingredient is cooked instead of raw like a salad, which is why Buddha Bowls are so delicious served in the cooler months.

If you don’t like eating salads during the Fall and Winter months, you’ll definitely want to try a Buddha Bowl. And, feel free to add an animal-based protein, such as chicken, beef, fish, etc.

For today’s Buddha Bowl, I’m keeping it 100% vegan with a homemade Tahini Dressing, Quinoa, Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Beets, Chickpeas, and some sauteed kale and broccoli for my greens. Each layer is individually seasoned so it’s packed with flavor!

And, I’ve found the best way to prep Buddha Bowls days in advance is salad-in-a-jar style where we layer the ingredients. This way, it’ll keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Print the Autumn Harvest Nourishing Buddha Recipe Here >>> RECIPE

Lunch Recipe #3 – Pecan Butternut Squash Chicken & Wild Rice

LUNCH PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Ideas (plus snacks!)

The next healthy lunch recipe is my Pecan Butternut Squash Chicken & Wild Rice dish and it’s perfect for Fall! It’s chock full of flavor, I love the sweet and savory combination with the added crunch from the chopped pecans.

If you love the traditional chicken and rice dish, you’ll definitely want to give this one a try. I packed it using the MB Original Bento Box. In the top tray, I added the chicken and rice dish. In the bottom tray, I packed some snacks to-go, including my Greek Yogurt Fruit Salad (keep scrolling for recipe).

Print the Pecan Butternut Squash Chicken & Wild Rice Recipe Here >>> RECIPE

Lunch Recipe #4 – Creamy Salmon Salad + Greek Yogurt Fruit Salad

LUNCH PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Ideas (plus snacks!)

You can’t share healthy lunch ideas without including some sort of healthy creamy salad recipe, right? Lol! I’ve already shared my avocado egg salad and traditional egg salad recipes. So, it’s time to share my creamy salmon salad recipe!

For this recipe, I like using fresh wild-caught salmon instead of canned salmon because, in my opinion, it tastes so much better! And, to keep it clean & paleo-friendly, I’ll be using the Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayonnaise.

And, to pack this lunch box, I’m using the larger MB Square Bento Box, which fits things like sandwiches and wraps really well plus lots of extra space for snacks.

In the second tray, I’m also packing some healthy snacks, including celery sticks, almond butter, and my Greek Yogurt Fruit Salad, which is so tasty and kid-friendly!

Print the Creamy Salmon Salad Recipe Here >>> RECIPE

Print the Greek Yogurt Fruit Salad Recipe Here >>> RECIPE CARD BELOW

Lunch Recipe #5 – Meal Replacement Superfood Smoothie

If you’re trying to boost your weight loss efforts naturally, try replacing your lunch with this superfood smoothie a few times per week. Not only will it provide beneficial nutrients and natural fibers, but it’ll keep you energized all afternoon!

For packing smoothies on-the-go, I love the MB Positive M bottle. It has a beautiful sleek design and it’s BPA Free!

Print the Meal Replacement Superfood Smoothie Recipe Here >>> RECIPE

Greek Yogurt Fruit Salad | gluten free and grain free

0.0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Kayla Chandler Course: Uncategorized


Prep time


Cooking time



This delicious Greek Yogurt Fruit Salad is a healthy snack that you can prep at the beginning of the week!


  • For the Salad:
  • 1 C. Strawberries, cut into halves or fourths

  • 1 C. Blueberries

  • 1 C. Grapes, whole or cut into halves

  • 1 Apple, de-seeded and chopped (any variety)

  • 1 C. Peaches, de-seeded and chopped (can also use apricots or pears)

  • 1/2 C. Pecans, chopped

  • Fresh Mint Leaves, to garnish (optional)

  • For the Greek Yogurt Dressing:
  • 1/2 C. Plain Greek Yogurt (can also use a dairy free yogurt)

  • 2 Tbsp Raw Honey

  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

  • Zest from 1 Lemon

  • Juice from 1 Lemon (can add more for more tanginess)

  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon


  • Add all greek yogurt dressing ingredients to a small bowl and mix until fully combined.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all of the salad ingredients. Then, pour the dressing over top. Mix until all of the fruit is coated with the dressing.
  • Cover and serve right away or let marinate in the fridge. ENJOY!

Notes & Nutrition

  • This fruit salad will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

Did you make this recipe?

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Nutritional Info (Macros) for Fruit Salad

Below, I’ve calculated the macros for one serving of the Greek Yogurt Fruit Salad. 1 Serving is about 1 Cups worth.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1
Servings Per Container 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 167 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat g 0%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol mg 0%
Sodium mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3.5g 14%
Sugars 19g
Protein 4g 8%

*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.

LUNCH PREP | 5 Make-Ahead Healthy Lunch Ideas (plus snacks!)

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Monbento, and I did receive compensation for this post. All of the opinions are my own. Thank you for your support! It is because of you that I’m able to maintain this blog and continue posting new recipes and content for y’all.


One Comment

  1. Hello, do you have a recipe book?


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