We’ve created super quick and easy lunch box ideas, along with healthy lunch boxes for work. Everything from protein-rich boxes to vegetarian lunch box ideas.
Smoky mackerel and beans lunch box
- 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 lunch box
- 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.
Protein-rich lunch box
- 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 lunchboxes and top with the eggs and a few slices of cooked chicken breast.
Hummus falafel lunch box
- 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, then add the carrots and cabbage.
- Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and pack small pittas separately for scooping.
Healthy lunch box ideas
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 lunch box 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. 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 lunch box 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 lunch box 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