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Pack a Gorgeous Lunch That’ll Make Your Coworkers Jealous

Someone opening a plastic container filled with fruits and veggies, and sitting next to a smartphone and computer keyboard.
Prostock-studio/Shutterstock

It’s official: You’re a grown-up. So, that means it’s time to do grown-up things, like packing a healthy lunch. Forget those soggy sandwiches and spoil yourself with a delicious meal your coworkers will envy.

Whether you spruce up some leftovers or create a new meal altogether, your lunch is something you should look forward to eating.

Skip Boring and Mix It Up

Why prepare and pack something for lunch you know you don’t like? Put an end to boring sandwiches and bland freezer meals. Instead, pack a rice bowl, or go all out with a burrito bowl. Quesadillas and wraps pack well and are easy to transport, too.

You can also make a small batch of cold quinoa (or pasta) salad and eat it once or twice during the week. If you loved Lunchables as a kid, make yourself an adult version for work. The food memories it will bring back will give you a much-needed break from your workday.

Packing a tasty lunch is a sure way to eat healthier, truly enjoy your lunch break, and skip the takeout and fast-food.

Buy Some Quality Food Containers

Reliable food containers that work well in the microwave and seal without leaking are a must. We recommend this glass set because they’ll last for years. The containers themselves (not the lids) are oven-, microwave-, and freezer-safe.

The lids snap on and are airtight, so your food will stay fresh. Plus, they’re aesthetically pleasing. Whether you pack pasta, soup, or fresh salad, these containers will get the job done.

Always Pack the Night Before

Don’t give yourself the unnecessary burden of packing your lunch in the morning. The absolute best time is right after dinner when all the food is still out. Then, if you want to take leftovers, they’re right there and ready to pack.

If you wake up late or often feel rushed in the morning, packing a wholesome, filling lunch is most likely not going to happen.

However, if you go to bed knowing you’ve got a delicious lunch waiting for you the following day, it will give you peace of mind.

Pack Colorful Ingredients

Someone stacking food storage containers filled with fruits and veggies.
Lithiumphoto/Shutterstock

If you’re packing colorful ingredients, that means you’ve likely chosen fruits and veggies, which is always an excellent option.

One way to ensure you’re packing healthy snacks is to make them on Sunday, and then pack them throughout the week.

Otherwise, just do your best to purchase convenient, healthy snacks you can easily pack up each evening. Look for small baggies of carrots and other precut veggies, to-go hummus cups, yogurt, and cheese snacks.

Spruce Up Leftovers

Leftovers make the best lunches, as long as you pack them within a few hours after dinner. You can also make some easy changes to leftovers and create a new meal without any extra cooking.

Add new ingredients that go with your leftovers. Because it’s so versatile, maybe some avocado would work. Adding some cheese and/or your favorite condiments can also complement a meal and change up the flavor just enough. You can even add new textures with nuts, seeds, or veggies.

Some other options for leftovers include turning them into a sandwich or wrap, or adding some pasta or rice.

Separate and Build

Sandwiches are easy to make and convenient to take to work and eat when you’re busy. But if you’re going to pack a sandwich, try to keep all the fixings separated so you can avoid a soggy lunch. Then, build your sandwich when you’re ready for lunch.

Jell-O shot cups (and lids) make the best containers for ketchup, hot sauce, cheese, and any other condiment or small portion of food you want to pack. If you want to save on plastic, you can purchase some mini reusable containers.

If you’re packing a salad, keep the tomatoes and any other wet ingredients separate to avoid wilted greens. You might also want to pack any meats separately if you want to warm them up before mixing them in with the rest of your ingredients.


As you can see, there are so many fantastic ways you can repurpose leftovers to create a lunch you can’t wait to eat. Make sure you pick up a shiny new lunch box to go with your gorgeous food!

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »

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