Meal prep can seem daunting: All those neatly lined rows of matching containers you see on Instagram, while beautiful, must be time-consuming to create, right? Not with these recipes. We found healthy lunches that are simple and quick to make and will have you looking forward to your lunch break all week. Try making two so you can alternate days of the week, or make small adjustments like switching out a protein to keep your taste buds guessing.
If there’s anything that can get us pumped for lunch before we’re even out of bed, it’s a rainbow salad in a mason jar. The salad-in-a-jar move may be trendy, but it’s also super practical—forget the lunchbox and pop one in your purse in the morning. This Mexican-inspired salad starts off with quinoa in a cumin-lime dressing (we’re drooling already) and is layered with corn, black beans, crunchy bell peppers, green onion, and juicy tomatoes.
Aside from visually brightening up your day (look at those colors!), this recipe rocks because it’s so easy to make. Pop three trays in the oven—one with the diced sweet potatoes, another with the broccolini, and a third with the seasoned salmon—and move along with your day. Place a lemon wedge in each storage container to keep each meal fresh all week.
Feel way better about satisfying Chinese food cravings with this healthier, homemade version of the classic sesame chicken. Cook up rice (try brown rice or quinoa for a better-for-you starch) while you panfry chicken, broccoli, and snap peas. Shake together the sauce ingredients and pour it over the chicken while it’s still in the pan, then top with sesame seeds. Say good-bye to your delivery man; you’ve got this on your own.
Speaking of break-ups, you may not be heading back to Chipotle any time soon after trying out this recipe. The cilantro-lime brown rice, pork, and street corn combo is delicious and definitely reminiscent of your favorite burrito bowl. Layer the meat and corn with romaine lettuce, black beans, and a dollop of crumbly cotija cheese for a meal that will make your coworkers jealous.
Did we mention we love one-pan meals? Line the pan with tin foil for virtually no cleanup, and you’ve got one of the easiest meal-prep recipes ever. The green beans, red potatoes, bell peppers, and broccoli make for a colorful meal, and the turkey sausage adds enough protein to keep you full till dinner. Top with fresh parsley and shaved Parmesan for even more flavor.
Spices can make or break a meal, and the ones in this recipe give you grilled chicken that’s anything but boring. Use a Cajun seasoning mix or make your own by combining salt, pepper, garlic, onion, paprika, and oregano. Another bake-everything-at-once meal, this recipe pairs well with the lemon-roasted salmon. Cook up the two proteins and combine with sweet potatoes, broccolini, or another veggie, like asparagus or brussels sprouts, for lunch all week.
This mason jar Thai chicken salad is a trifecta of tastes and textures: sweet, spicy, and crunchy. Chop up your fruits and veggies (lettuce, tomatoes, red peppers, mango, and cabbage), and layer them in jars with grilled chicken and sautéed broccoli. Keep the chili vinaigrette in its own jar and pour the day of to avoid soggy salads. For those without a gluten or soy allergy, feel free to swap out the coconut aminos for a teaspoon of soy sauce.