3 Ways to Make Easy Lunch Meal Prep

Stay energized midday by always having access to a delicious and healthy lunch.

Lunch. It’s a meal that has so much potential to be great but frequently fails to deliver. 


Amongst the busyness of everyday life, it’s easy to leave your lunch planning until the very last minute. Time and time again, we’re forced to think on our feet and resort to whatever options happen to be available – usually fast food joints, Uber Eats or the less- than- stellar workplace cafeteria… 

That all ends today. 

No more succumbing to the perils of Father time and settling for second-rate lunch meals in the name of convenience. 

Today, we’re going to take you through our ultimate guide to easy, healthy lunchtime meal prep. 

So you’ll always have easy-access to awesome tasting food and save a whole load of time and money too. And if that wasn’t enough, you can also expect to enjoy elevated energy levels and productivity. Wins all around. 

Table of Contents
3 Ways to Easy Lunch Meal Prep
Warm Plates + Bowls
Cold Salads
Wraps + Burritos
Lunch Meal Prep Food Safety
The Best Lunch Containers & Lunchbox Ideas
Top Tupperware Picks
Easy Meal Prep Lunch Recipes
Time to Get Prepping!

3 Ways to Easy Lunch Meal Prep

When you’re starting from scratch, choosing from the endless possibilities of ingredient combos and meal prep lunch ideas can be a little overwhelming, to say the least. So to keep things simple, we’ve narrowed down three easy (but delicious) ways to prepare balanced lunches:

  • Warm Plates + Bowls
  • Cold Salads
  • Hearty Wraps + Burritos

For each method, we’ve included tips on how to keep every meal balanced and nutritious, and we’ve also included a bunch of tasty recipes for you to check out too. 

Feel free to stick with one strategy at a time, or get creative and experiment with all of them! If you’re feeling extra innovative, you can also use our guidelines to create your own recipes from scratch. 

1. Warm Plates + Bowls

reheating easy meal prep

Three things we love about warm plates and bowls:

  • They’re super easy to customize with a wide variety of amazing ingredients.
  • They’re easy to eat with a fork. Minimal cleanup is required, which is always a good thing.
  • They’re perfect if you want a nutritious meal to warm your heart after a long morning.
  • They taste amazing! Okay four things, but who’s counting? 

And fear not:

These recipes don’t necessarily require a plate or a bowl specifically to work (they’re not always the most travel-friendly food vessels). Containers of all shapes and sizes are welcome here (see our favorites near the end of the guide).

Four Steps to The Ultimate Balanced Bowl:

  1. Whole Grains/Starchy Vegetables – Start off with about one cup of cooked brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, corn, beans or a creative combo of your choosing. 
  2. Non-Starchy Vegetables – Pile on as many non-starchy vegetables as you’d like, but make sure to leave a little room for protein. Great options are broccoli, leafy greens, or bell peppers. 
  3. Protein – Add around 3-4 ounces of cooked chicken, beef, fish, tofu, tempeh or eggs to the mix.
  4. Condiments – Sauce, spice, and toppings will add some character to the meal, and can also be a source of healthy fats/additional protein. Great options are olive oil, sesame seeds, crushed nuts, or crumbled cheese.

2. Cold Salads

Salad in a jar

Salads often get a bad rep, but when done right, they’re one of the best ways to pack a whole load of flavor (and nutrition) into your midday meal.  

A salad works great as a side to up the nutritional value of your lunch, but can also make for an amazing main meal too – provided you make sure it contains a variety of nutrients. That means more than a pile of leaves or boiled veggies… 

Incorporating protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs is a surefire way to transform a dingy salad into a complete meal. 

5 Steps to a Balanced Salad

  1. Greens: Start off with a bowl of dark, leafy greens (which tend to contain more nutrients than lighter greens) and add other non-starchy vegetables to your liking – carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers are all great.
  2. Whole Grains/Starchy Vegetables – These complex carbs will add more energy to your bowl. Beans or quinoa are good options since they also provide some protein. Brown rice pasta also makes for an incredible pasta salad. 
  3. Protein – Something that can be enjoyed cold is the best option – chicken breast strips, salmon, tofu, low-fat cheese, and eggs all fit the bill. You can also choose to pack the protein on the side and heat it separately from the salad. 
  4. Dressing – Oil-based dressings, such asre olive oil and vinegar are great options because they are packed with healthy fats. Store them in a small sauce container if taking it to go so your salad stays as crisp as possible. 
  5. Toppings – Nuts, dried fruit, avocado, and crumbled cheese add extra crunch or texture, and are delicious additions. 

Pro Tip: Squeeze a dash of lemon or lime juice over your avocado when you’re prepping your salad to keep it fresh. Citric acid is a strong antioxidant that’ll stop your avo from browning so quickly. You’re welcome!   

3. Wraps + Burritos

Easy meal prep with burritos and wraps

Wraps essentially act as more compact, convenient versions of the humble sandwich (but they’re equally delicious). 

No more having to fuss with slicing bread or making sure it doesn’t go soggy – you can simply fill your tortilla with whatever you like, and grab and go with no hassle. Easy peasy!

4 Steps to a Perfectly Balanced Wrap

  1. Tortilla – Whole wheat flour tortillas are great because they provide more fiber and nutrients compared to white flour. Corn tortillas contain whole grains but be warned – they may break easier when rolling up. Large lettuce leaves can also work for a lower calorie option.
  2. Protein – Cut your meat or tofu into small pieces or strips for an easier roll up. Ground meats also work well for burritos – try mixing them with beans for added fiber and nutrients. 
  3. Veggies – Add a variety of cooked veggies to your liking. Peppers, aubergines, and courgettes are great. If you plan to heat your wrap, it’s probably best to avoid lettuce or have it on the side. 
  4. Condiments – Add sauces or toppings to your likings, such as pesto, hummus, mustard, and cheese. 

Lunch Meal Prep Food Safety

There’s no better (or worse) way to ruin your lunch meal prep than an unhealthy dose of food poisoning… 

Prepping more than one meal at a time changes the dynamic in your kitchen. But it’s important not to forget your old and trusty friends – the refrigerator and freezer.

How Long Can You Keep Food Unrefrigerated?

Getting everything out on your work counter prior to prep time can seem like a sensible decision. However, it’s important to keep in mind the significance of the refrigerator. 

As food warms to room temperature, bacteria quickly starts growing. The same is true for cooked food that needs to be stored. It’s easy to forget above the meal prep we left cooling on the countertop, but refrigeration is key to prevent it from spoiling. 

To avoid illness and food waste ensure that you never leave food unrefrigerated for over 2 hours (or 1 hour if the room temperature is 90oF or above).

How Long Can You Store Food in the Refrigerator and Freezer?

Chilling food slows the growth of bacteria, but it’s still important to keep tabs on how long your food has been stored by sticking a note with the date on your meal preps. 

Refer to this table for recommended storage time to make sure what you’re eating is safe for consumption.

easy meal prep recipes

The Best Lunch Containers & Lunchbox Ideas 

With so many on the market, it can be hard to pinpoint which lunch containers to purchase for easy lunch meal prepping. Successfully navigate the Tupperware minefield by shopping with these specifications in mind: 

  • BPA-Free

BPA, also known as bisphenol A, is a chemical used to make some plastics, including containers, which has been found to leach out into food and beverages – negatively affecting our endocrine system by mimicking hormones.

Prevent your food from being contaminated with nasty chemicals by opting for a BPA-free lunchbox. 

  • Easy to Transport

Meal prep means taking your lunch with you on the go. The last thing you need is a hefty lunch box weighing you down…

Opt for a metal or plastic lunch box to minimize the weight of your bag on your commutes. 

  • Microwave Proof

Prefer a warm lunch? Then a glass lunchbox is the best option for you. This 100% natural material poses no risk of leaching into your food at high temperatures.

Top Tupperware Picks

Here are some of the best options on the market for all your lunch meal prep needs:



Sauce Pots:

Easy Lunch Meal Prep Recipes 

Bowl Recipes

Chicken Burrito Bowl 
Korean Chicken Buddha Bowl
Spicy Chicken Teriyaki Bowl 
Warm Meatball Buddha Bowl
Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl
Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl
Thai Tempeh Buddha Bowl
7 Awesome Meal Prep Bowls 
30 of the Best Buddha Bowl Recipes
25 Super Healthy Bowl Recipes

Salad Recipes 

Vegan Black Bean Salad with Avocado + Corn 
Best Quinoa Salad Recipe
Easy Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad 
Summer Brown Rice Pasta Salad
Lentil and Tomato Salad
Mixed Legume Protein Salad
22 Delicious + Filling Salad Recipes
30 Healthy, Easy Salad Recipes
30 More Healthy Salads
10 Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes
8 More Salad Dressings
Another 7 Quick Salad Dressings

Wrap Recipes

Easy Turkey Wrap 
Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps 
Spicy Chipotle Turkey Burritos
Zesty Italian Lunch Wrap
Mediterranean Shrimp Wraps 
Simple Superfood Burrito 
Easy Frozen Burritos
Indian Burrito Recipe
Quick + Easy Greek Salad Wrap
Marinated Tempeh Wraps

Time to start easy lunch meal prep

Time to Get Prepping!

Armed with our top tips and a plethora of amazing meal prep lunch ideas up your sleeve, it’s now time for you to get out there and start prepping!

As with any new change in life, things can seem a little overwhelming to start. Just remember to take it slow, and feel free to come back to the guide at any point if you’re feeling stuck. 

Before you know it, you’ll be prepping healthy, gourmet-style lunches on the regular – much to the envy of your co-workers or classmates…

Articles by