8 healthy lunchbox ideas
Perk up your lunchbox with one of these healthy ideas, from protein-rich hot smoked salmon with avocado and egg, to light and crunchy carrot and edamame bean salad
We’ve created super quick and easy lunchbox ideas, along with healthy lunches for work. Everything from protein-rich boxes to vegetarian lunchbox ideas.
Make your lunches healthier by prepping a lunchbox to take with you that is packed full of protein, fibre and vegetables. This not only packs a lot of nutritional value but will also keep your blood sugar levels balanced by providing sustained energy that won't have you yawning in your afternoon meetings. Protein is also important for concentration and moods, as it provides amino acids that are needed to make our all important neurotransmitters (brain chemicals).
Get more healthy lunch inspiration with our collections of healthy soup recipes, healthy lunch recipes, low-calorie lunch recipes and healthy sandwiches. There's also our collection of best healthy veg recipes for you to try.
If you're looking to make your favourite meals healthier, take a look at our 15 healthy swaps.
Smoky mackerel and beans lunchbox
- Tip a tin of cannellini beans into a sieve.
- Rinse with cold water then leave to drain.
- Whisk 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar and ½ tsp horseradish cream in a bowl and season.
- Tip in the beans with 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley and ¼ finely chopped red onion and toss.
- Divide between 2 lunchboxes then top each with a smoked mackerel fillet and a wedge of lemon.
Asian avo, prawns and greens lunchbox
- Blanch 100g frozen peas, 100g frozen edamame beans and 100g chopped long-stemmed broccoli for 2 minutes, then rinse under cold water and drain.
- Whisk 1 tbsp groundnut oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tsp sesame oil in a bowl.
- Add the greens with a small pack of cooked king prawns, 1 tbsp chopped pickled ginger, 1 finely chopped red chilli and ½ diced avocado.
- Divide between 2 lunchboxes and sprinkle with black sesame seeds.
- Boil 2 eggs for 7 minutes, adding 100g green beans for the final 2 minutes, then drain and rinse everything until cool.
- Peel the eggs. Whisk 2 tbsp olive oil with 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and 1 tsp dijon mustard.
- Add the beans, 1 pack of cooked puy lentils and 3 chopped spring onions and toss.
- Divide between 2 lunch boxes and top with the eggs and a few slices of cooked chicken breast.
Hummus falafel lunchbox
- Shred ¼ small red cabbage and toss with 1 tbsp lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
- Grate 2 carrots.
- Divide 4 tbsp hummus between two lunchboxes.
- Add a few leaves of Little Gem and 3 falafels to each (try making your own falafel with our easy recipe) then add the carrots and cabbage.
- Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and pack small pittas separately for scooping.
Superfood salad lunchbox
- Blanch 100g long stem broccoli and 50g peas in boiling salted water then rinse under cold water and drain.
- Dice ¼ of a cucumber.
- Tip 75g of pre-cooked quinoa into a bowl and add the veg. Whisk 1 tbsp olive oil with 2 tbsp lemon juice and season. Add to the bowl and toss everything together.
- Add a handful each of mint and parsley and 50g crumbled feta. Tip into a lunchbox then sprinkle with 2 tsp toasted pumpkin seeds.
Per lunchbox: 433 kcals, fat 26.7g, saturates 9.3g, carbs 23.2g, fibre 10.1g, protein 19.8g, salt 2.8g
High-protein lunchbox with hot smoked salmon, avocado and egg
- Drop a large egg into boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes then run under cold water until cooled.
- Slice half a small avocado and break 75g hot smoked salmon fillet into pieces, discarding any skin.
- Put a handful of watercress in your lunchbox then top with the egg, salmon and avocado.
- Mix 2 tbsp natural yoghurt with 1 tbsp lemon juice and some chopped dill and keep in a mini jar or tub until you are ready to drizzle over and eat.
Per lunchbox: 441 kcals, fat 30.2g, saturates 8.4g, carbs 8.1g, fibre 3.7g, protein 32.4g, salt 1.6g
Low-calorie Asian lunchbox carrot and edamame
- Peel 150g carrots then shred in a food processor or coarsely grate on a box grater.
- Put in a bowl and add 75g blanched edamame beans and a finely chopped red chilli.
- Whisk 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar with ½ tsp sesame oil. Add to the veg and toss together with a good pinch of salt.
- Pack into a lunchbox and sprinkle with a pinch of black sesame seeds.
Per lunchbox: 250 kcals, fat 11.3g, saturates 1.7g, carbs 21.3g, fibre 11.2g, protein 10.2g, salt 0.8g
Low-calorie vegetarian lunchbox with smoky black bean and squash
- Peel and chunk 150g butternut squash. Toss with 1 tsp olive oil, ½ tsp smoked paprika and ½ tsp cumin seeds. Roast at 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 for 15-20 minutes until tender. Cool.
- Put 150g rinsed and drained black beans in a bowl. Add ¼ of a diced red pepper. Tip in the squash, a handful of chopped coriander and the juice of a lime. Toss everything together and pack into lunchbox.
Per lunchbox: 233 kcals, fat 4.3g, saturates 0.5g, carbs 30.1g, fibre 14.1g, protein 11.5g, salt 0.8g