Working from home comes with its own set of benefits (namely: pajama pants during conference calls) and drawbacks. For instance, without the usual rhythms of office life to structure your day, it’s easy to forget to take a lunch break, or to let a spoonful of nut butter suffice as your working lunch. And while premade meals from the grocery store or restaurant takeout are convenient, they’re usually expensive and wrapped in single-use packaging that will inevitably end up in our oceans and landfills.
So we’ve collected our favorite delicious lunch ideas that are varied and easy to make – all while helping you minimize the amount of single-use plastics that pass through your hands and maximize your endlessly reusable Stasher bags and bowls.
And we get it: few people have time to whip up an elaborate, nutritious lunch on a random Tuesday afternoon between meetings. These quick lunch ideas keep your schedule top of mind, allowing you to enjoy your afternoon break to the fullest, refuel for the rest of the day ahead, and be back to your WFH desk (or couch) on time.
So if you’re looking to make your working week a whole lot more delicious and get creative with work from home lunch ideas, read on, and then try your hand at these lunch recipes!
Pesto Pasta Salad
Not just for summer picnics and potlucks, pasta salad is pretty much our ideal WFH lunch, brimming with fresh ingredients and a whole lot of flavor. Our go-to is a make-ahead pesto pasta that can be prepared the night or morning before, refrigerated, and then eaten out of a single Stasher bowl.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Favorite pasta or pasta substitute, like courgette spaghetti made with a vegetable spiralizer
- Jar pesto or homemade pesto (we love this classic pesto recipe and this kale pesto recipe!)
- Rainbow vegetables for nutrition and color
- Grated parmesan or chunks of fresh mozzarella
- Toasted pine nuts, pepitas, or other nuts of choice
- Lemon juice or salad dressing
Tuna Poke Bowl
Ready to get your sushi fix? Poke bowls are a great light lunch and a delicious way to creatively use up those random ingredients you’ve got lying around (white and black sesame seeds, anyone?) without having to commit to extravagant sushi lunch recipes in the middle of a work day. Our favorite is a simple tuna poke bowl – just throw together the ingredients below in a Stasher bowl, and you’ve got lunch!
- Sushi-grade tuna, cubed
- Rice (cooked in a Stasher bag or bowl)
- Soy sauce or tamari
- Spices and flavors of choice, like red pepper flakes, grated or dried ginger, and green onions
- Sesame seeds
- Sriracha or spicy mayo
Fruit Smoothie Bowls
Whether it’s a hot day, or you’re just craving a sweet lunch option, fruit smoothie bowls make for a tasty, filling lunch. Better yet, smoothie bowls can be made hours or even days ahead of time and stored in single servings in Stasher 2-Cup Bowls. (Making a smoothie for breakfast? Make extra to freeze, and you’ll have breakfast for lunch at your fingertips later in the week!) To thaw from frozen, place the frozen smoothie bowl in the refrigerator overnight, pop the frozen smoothie back into the blender, or defrost it in the microwave on low for about a minute.
You can customize this fruit-packed lunch recipe to your own liking, but here are some of our favorite ingredients to get you started.
For the smoothie base:
- Peanut butter or nut butter
- Greek yogurt
- Chia seeds
- Fresh or frozen fruit
- Milk substitute or juice
For the smoothie bowl toppings:
- Sunflower seeds
- Hemp hearts
- Fruit compote
- Pecans or favorite nuts
- Nut butter
- Fresh fruit
French Dip Baguette
If you’re looking to treat yourself with something extra savory, try a simple french dip baguette – they’re too messy to eat in the office anyways!
This indulgent lunch recipe isn’t quite as nutritious as the other WFH recipes on our list. But what some call a cheat day meal, we consider part of a balanced lifestyle, melted cheese and all.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- French baguette or other crusty bread
- Provolone cheese (or whatever you have on hand)
- Deli roast beef (or other meats of choice)
- Dipping gravy or beef jus
To make this French dip sandwich, start by heating your dipping gravy, broth, or beef jus in a small saucepan. Add in your roast beef, and allow it to soak up the flavors for a few minutes. Next, slice your baguette or crusty bread lengthwise, and top it with your roast beef and provolone cheese. Place your open-faced sandwich on a baking sheet, and toast it in the oven or toaster oven at around 350 degrees F for five minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Serve with the extra broth for dipping, and dig in.
Shredded Rainbow Salad
One of our favorite lunch salad recipes is the vibrant (and Instagram-worthy) shredded rainbow salad, which is a rainbow plate of nourishing and colorful food. To make this quick lunch recipe, simply shred any vegetable you have on hand for a jazzy salad with a fun texture. Short on time? To whip up this healthy lunch quickly, give each ingredient a few pulses in a food processor, and then mix all the ingredients together with a simple salad dressing of olive oil and balsamic glaze.
For this salad, you can use just about any veggie you have in the fridge, but here are some of our favorite nutritious ingredients:
- Baby arugula or kale
- Yellow bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Purple cabbage
- Carrots (especially rainbow carrots!)
- Red, pink, or purple radishes
Veggie Burrito Bowls
This wouldn’t be a proper guide to home lunch ideas without the mention of a burrito! Whether you’re a vegetarian or looking to add more veggies into your diet, the humble veggie burrito bowl is a delicious, filling WFH lunch. It’s practical, too, because it’s the kind of meal where anything goes, allowing you to throw in whatever vegetables you have in the fridge and cupboard ingredients you want to use up. Just add your ingredients to a Stasher 4-Cup Bowl, give it a shake, and lunch is served.
Here are some of our go-to ingredients:
- Tortilla or tortilla chips (you can make it tortilla-free, too, for a low carb lunch)
- Black beans or pinto beans
- Guac or avocado slices
- Corn (from frozen)
- For the veggie option, try a plant-based protein like chickpeas or tofu
- For a meat option, add shredded meat like chicken, beef, or pork (leftovers are great for this)
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Cilantro (unless it takes like soap to you)
- Cherry tomatoes
Having a good work from home lunch time line up of tasty, healthy meals to look forward to all week is a great way to shake up your routine. And by prioritizing nourishing foods that energize and replenish the body, you’re setting yourself up for success for the rest of your work day, too.