11 Make-Ahead Lunches So You Have Something to Look Forward to at Work

Look, we get it. It’s been a long day, you’ve already schlepped to work and back, and who the hell makes gourmet, three-course meals on a weeknight, anyway? Let’s face it: your workday lunches have become a sad rotation of wilted salads and mystery boxes from the deli next door. You can do better than that.

With a handful of fresh ingredients, these delectable lunches are ready to go the night before, making the day after just a little bit tastier. Move over tuna salad — this is how weekday lunch is done.

Image: How Sweet It Is

Honey-Chipotle Chicken Bowls

How can you say no to this bright bowl of goodness? How Sweet It Is pairs zesty quinoa with chipotle-marinated chicken for a colorful, mid-day pick-me-up.

Image: How Sweet It Is

Avocado & Pomegranate Crostini

When it comes to weekday lunch, avocado is your best friend. With a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of honey, these crostini from Love and Lemons are sure to put a spring in your step.

Image: Love and Lemons

Tzatziki Dip

Think you don’t time for a homemade meal? Think again. bake.love.give has an easy tzatziki recipe for even the busiest bees. Toss some zucchini and carrot sticks in a bag, grab a jar of dip, and you’re good to go.

Image: bake.love.give

Broccoli & Parmesan Couscous

Part couscous and part mac and cheese, this creamy dish is all about the parm. Plus, the broccoli makes it totally healthy…right? Thanks, Big Girls Small Kitchen!

Image: Big Girls Small Kitchen

Kale & Sesame Salad

If you’re like us, you’ve had kale in more dishes than you thought possible. But don’t worry — this isn’t your run-of-the-mill leafy salad. My Name Is Yeh gives kale a surprising twist with crave-worthy scallion pancake croutons and a zippy sesame dressing.

Image: My Name Is Yeh

Orzo Stir-Fry with Chicken

Step away from the phone book. You won’t be ordering take-out any time soon. Climbing Grier Mountain’s garlic and soy-marinated chicken gives your favorite restaurant stir-fry a run for its money.

Image: Climbing Grier Mountain

Miso Pasta Salad

Miso isn’t just for soup anymore. Think of it as your lunchtime Swiss Army Knife — put it in butter, on toast, or in this tasty pasta salad from I Am A Food Blog.

Image: I Am A Food Blog

Mushroom Fried Rice

In a pinch, fried rice will always come to your rescue. How Sweet It Is tosses brown rice with eggs, mushrooms, and a little seasame oil for the perfect, one-pan dish.

Image: How Sweet It Is

Avocado, Grapefruit, & Edamame Salad

Lighten up with this beautiful, yet simple salad. Joy the Baker drizzles hers with a vibrant honey-dijon dressing, but it’s the fresh fruit that takes center stage.

Image: Joy the Baker

No-Rice Risotto with Chard

This is the lunch you make when your coworker is giving you some serious foodie competition. Risotto is our go-to showstopper, and Green Kitchen Stories cuts the cook time in half by trading arborio rice for cannellini beans.

Image: Green Kitchen Stories

Peanut Butter Cups

Don’t forget about dessert! Treat yourself with a homemade peanut butter cup from Brown Eyed Baker.

Image: Brown Eyed Baker