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8 Recipes for Way Better Work Lunches

8 Recipes for Way Better Work Lunches

Whether we’re elbows deep in a two-week project or simply slumped on a Monday morning, lunch is a welcome reprieve from our work. It’s a special hour every day where we get to politely excuse ourselves from our hectic and all-consuming work. All too often we waste this blissful opportunity on things like stale sandwiches or shady convenience store hot dogs. Either that, or we spend a ton of money trying to make the day a little more enjoyable. But what if we told you there are are plenty of easy, delicious and even—gasp—somewhat healthy lunches you can make for yourself that won’t break your bank or your back to prepare? Here are 8 lunch ideas you can whip up for the office:

BBQ Chicken Salad

This isn’t the kind of stuff where you take a bunch of chicken and mix it with mayonnaise and onion and call it chicken salad (we have one of them in here, too, so we won’t talk too much smack on it). It is an actual salad bowl, chockfull of delicious boneless breast chicken, a little chopped romaine lettuce, some tomato, corn, black beans, red onion, shredded cheese, a little ranch dressing and bbq sauce, and some tortilla chips for texture and crunch. It takes only a few minutes to prepare, is relatively nutritious, and tastes damn good—especially on these warm spring days. Recipe

Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken

Let’s say you want to cut out all the BS from your lunch—the bread, the corn kernels, the sour cream, the tortillas—and just want to eat “clean” for a couple days. This recipe is for some no-nonsense, incredibly flavorful spicy garlic lime chicken that, when done right, will only cost you a couple hundred calories and provides all the protein and nutrients you need to make it through the day. Best of all, it’s stupidly easy to throw together. A little cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, thyme, a little lime juice to bring it all together, and voila! Literally five minutes of prep time for what will probably be the best chicken breast you’ve ever tasted. Recipe

Spicy Tuna Guac Bowl

We admit the hype surrounding avocados over the last few years has been a little outrageous, but it’s true that they are very good for you. They’re an excellent source of over 20 vitamins and minerals, they’re the only fruit (yes, they are a fruit) that provides a solid amount of good monosaturated fatty acids, and they’re especially good for your heart. This Spicy Tuna Guacamole Bowl has everything you could want in a lunch and more. It’s insanely inexpensive (less than two bucks a serving), takes minimal prep time, and features healthy stuff like carrots, edamame, guacamole, cucumber, and brown rice. Healthy, cheap, and tasty? Yeah, count us in. Recipe

Lemony Egg Salad With Basil and Capers

Egg salad is a lunchtime staple that people love because it’s easy. Unfortunately, it’s also a little on the gross side of the spectrum. This recipe ups the ante on bland old egg salad by adding a little lemon juice, some fresh basil leaves, a couple teaspoons of capers, mayo (duh), and a little fine-chopped celery. The result is something we could literally eat out of a bowl with nothing more than a spoon. Recipe

Mini Calzones

Never in our entire lives have we ever turned down an opportunity to eat a calzone, and we sure as hell don’t intend on starting now. You might think there’s a bit of prep time involved with this, but you’re wrong. Fifteen minutes of prep, another 15 to cook, and if you’re anything like us, it’ll probably take you 30 seconds to eat the whole plate. Outside of a box of Pillsbury piecrusts, some pepperoni (or filling of your choice), mozzarella, and marinara sauce, there isn’t really much to cooking up these delicious hand-held piles of glory. Recipe

Easy Mini Quiche

If we were going to single out one perfect lunch food (okay, this might be more like brunch—sue us), it’d probably be the mini quiche. Ham/bacon, a little tomato, some pepper, scallions, a little parmesan, all get mixed together in tiny little cupcake-sized crusts, ready to be served or frozen and re-heated at your will. Perfectly portioned, easy to make (and customize), and ready for those days when you really want to eat something tasty but probably don’t have the time to make it happen, the mini quiche is the lunch you didn’t know you’ve been missing. Recipe

Chicken Caesar Pita Pockets

One of our primary issues with lunches is that they tend to be messy and cumbersome. We hate boring old sandwiches, but the idea of scarfing down a messy meatball parm sandwich or a fatty personal pizza is unappealing. These Chicken Pita Pockets are great because they’re easy to make, require little to no clean up, and will give you everything you want from a lunch without the risk of ruining your appetite for dinner, messing up your clothes, etc. Chicken breast, lettuce, a little Caesar, some shredded Parmesan, and two pitas, cut in halves. It sounds easy because it is, and sounds tasty because, well, it is. Recipe

Apple Pecan Rosemary Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

We know what you’re thinking: Mixing apples and cranberries and chicken with mayonnaise? Sounds gross. But gents, this is just going to have to be one of those seldom moments when you’re going to have to blindly trust us. This chicken salad is the best quick-and-easy lunch we could come up with. So good, in fact, that we don’t even recommend it with crackers or on a sandwich. This is fork-right-out-of-the-bowl good, and the complexity of flavors provided by the mix of chicken, apple, onion powder, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, etc., gives it something a little crisp, a little savory, a little tart, a little sweet, and a lotta delicious. Enjoy! Recipe

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