In the hustle and bustle of life, finding time for a wholesome midday meal can often be a challenge. However, with a little bit of planning and creativity, you can have delicious and nourishing lunches ready in just a few minutes. Make-ahead lunches are the heroes of time management and a blessing to your overall well-being. Here, we'll explore 15 delicious make-ahead lunch options, all achievable in under 20 minutes. These recipes are designed to simplify your life, ensuring you never have to compromise on flavour, nutrition, or your precious time during a busy workday.
Crisp & Colourful Salads
For those who appreciate the crispness of fresh greens and a mixture of vibrant vegetables, these salad recipes are perfect for you. These salads embrace the simplicity and beauty of fresh ingredients, offering you a quick and wholesome lunchtime experience. We’ve got everything from the viral Jennifer Anniston salad to our Rainbow Orzo Salad which elevates simplicity to brilliance, transforming it into an exciting workday lunch that's worth getting excited for.
When we heard that Jennifer Aniston ate a version of the same salad every day for 10 years on the set of Friends we knew it had to be good. While we can’t verify exactly what Jen put in hers we feel that this homage is pretty delicious — the perfect workday lunch.
This fresh, vibrant Greek-inspired salad comes together in just 15 minutes, making it the perfect midweek meal. The tofu adds a hit of protein, while the mix of veg adds brilliant flavour, with a lovely saltiness from the olives. Orzo keeps well too, so the leftovers serve as a great on-the-go lunch the next day. View Recipe
This is such a simple salad to make for lunch during a busy week. The balsamic and olive oil bring the flavours together and taste delicious with the fresh tomatoes and parsley. We love to enjoy this with a side of fresh rocket drizzled in balsamic vinegar and our butter bean and artichoke dip. View Recipe
Tucking into this fresh crunchy rainbow salad will no doubt fill work colleagues with envy. The addition of mint, pomegranate and pistachios takes a simple salad up a notch, making it a brilliant workday lunch that’s worth getting excited for. View Recipe
After a busy day, when we’re looking for a dinner that’s simple yet satisfying, this salad is one of our favourite go-tos — it takes 5 minutes to make and tastes utterly delicious. View Recipe
This is such a simple salad to make ahead and enjoy throughout the week for lunch or dinners. We love to mix through homemade pine nut pesto, but if you don't have time you can make it even quicker by mixing through a few tablespoons of any pesto you have at home.View Recipe
Wholesome Bowls & Sandwiches
Step into the world of wholesome bowls and sandwiches, where convenience meets nutrition. These recipes are designed to satisfy your midday cravings with protein-packed bowls and creative, flavorful sandwiches. Discover a world of wholesome ingredients and vibrant flavours in every bite. From our simple chickpea & edamame bowl, a fantastic 20-minute, high-protein lunch, to our Mushroom BLT, a sandwich that'll have you coming back for more, we've got everything you need to elevate your midday meals.
This is a great 20-minute, high-protein lunch. The onion, garlic, cumin and turmeric add flavour to the chickpeas, edamame and wilted spinach; while the coconut yoghurt, tahini and lemon juice make a lovely, creamy dressing. Serve with brown rice or quinoa to complete the dish, or a side of roasted broccoli for extra greens. View Recipe
Looking for a simple way to pack more protein into your diet? This nutritious bowl is the answer. It’s brimming with plant-based protein sources including black beans, quinoa, edamame beans and tahini — and will be on the table in just 10 minutes. View Recipe
This is a simple speedy recipe that's perfect for lunch or dinner. It's packed full of flavour and deliciously filling as a main or side dish. You can enjoy it hot or cold and it goes perfectly with a side of fresh salad or dip.View Recipe
Super easy to make and packed with protein, this is the ultimate plant-based sandwich filling. The crushed chickpeas give a ‘tuna’ texture and the combination of nori, nutritional yeast and lemon add to the wonderful savoury flavour. View Recipe
Here’s a sandwich you will want to make again and again. We love the intense, umami, meaty taste of these mushrooms that stand in for bacon in this classic lettuce and tomato sandwich. The punchy miso white bean dip is used for a hit of protein in place of the classic schmear of mayonnaise normally seen in a traditional BLT. View Recipe
This is my go-to when I’m working at home. It’s easy to do but it tastes amazing and keeps me going all afternoon! View Recipe
Innovative Pasta & Noodle Creations
hese recipes showcase the versatility of pasta and noodles, combining them with creative sauces and ingredients for a quick and delicious lunch. These three recipes exemplify the convenience of make-ahead meals in today's busy life, allowing you to create delicious and nutritious meals all from the comfort of your own kitchen. From the vibrant Sunshine Pasta, a creamy delight to the convenience of make-ahead Miso Noodles in a Jar, and finally, the savoury satisfaction of Miso Aubergine Rice Noodle Salad, these recipes unite innovation, flavour, and practicality. Whether it's a quick weekday lunch, a time-efficient dinner, or a satisfying, leftover-inspired meal, these recipes bring an abundance of delicious taste and textures.
This vibrant pasta salad looks and tastes like sunshine on a plate. The creamy tofu-based sauce is made with turmeric, lemon and mustard; then tossed with pasta, yellow peppers and sweetcorn — full of flavour and ready in 20 minutes. Bellissimo!View Recipe
These noodles are the perfect dinner to make ahead of time and enjoy on evenings where you're pushed for time. Simply prepare everything the night before, leave them in the fridge and add the paste and hot water when you're ready to enjoy. They're packed full of flavour with the combination of miso paste and fresh lime juice cutting through the vegetables.View Recipe
This perfectly balanced bowl of leftover noodles makes an amazing lunch. The sweet and juicy mango, crunchy toasted peanuts, rich and meaty aubergine, fresh herbs and spicy chilli all combine to make this bowl extremely satisfying. View Recipe
Make-ahead lunches are a testament to the power of planning and the joy of savouring delicious, nutritious meals even in the midst of a hectic day. By taking the time to prepare these quick and flavourful recipes, you not only nourish your body but also free up time for other important tasks. Make-ahead meals are a valuable tool for better health and time management, allowing you to approach your day with energy and efficiency, all while savouring the convenience of a well-prepared lunch.