12 Cold Meal Prep Lunches

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Make cold lunch “cool” again! Skip the lunch lines and save time and money while you’re at it thanks to these no-reheat 12 Cold Meal Prep Lunches that make eating a healthy lunch at your desk a cinch.

In a perfect world, we would all get an hour minimum to prep, eat and enjoy our daily lunches. But let’s be honest… Whether you’re in the office, running errands or on a family trip, fast food has its appeal because its just that – FAST food. And when you’re hungry and pressed for time, the only thing you care about is food…in your belly…NOW! Sure you can pack up options, but if you love leftovers like we do, you don’t always have a microwave or stovetop/oven to reheat things OR the time to do it (have you ever been the 4th person back in the microwave line watching the minutes tick by on your lunch break because someone has a frozen meal that takes 1o minutes to cook?). Either way, it’s a pain and may lead to hanger aimed directly at your co-workers.

No reheat-and-eat meals to the rescue!

When did cold lunches stop being a thing? We get it, PB & J and cold-cut sandwiches don’t always cut it, but you’re in luck, because today we’re making cold lunches cool again (ha, get it? Sorry, that was a bad one). We’ve rounded up 12 Cold Meal Prep Lunch recipes that are easy to prep at home (weeknight or weekend) and enjoy wherever you need to eat – no reheating required.

From more traditional veggie-packed salads to chicken salads we’ve thrown in a couple other unique salads to keep your cold lunch game strong while saving you both time and money. While the majority of the recipes contain protein, if you choose one without, know that you can easily add your favorite protein over the top and enjoy cold as well.

Got a few moments to spare? Several of the recipes are delicious served warm or cold, so do what works best for you!

Spicy Asian Zucchini Salad

Serve it up with a side of your favorite protein such as chicken, salmon, tuna, steak….you choose! For another cold zucchini salad, try our Caprese Zucchini Salad.

Zucchini noodles with cabbage, carrots, onion in glass bowl surrounded by cilantro, ginger and lime.

Thai Kale Salad with Cashews

Serve it up with your favorite protein. We love it served with leftover chicken.

colorful kale salad with peppers, peas and cashews in a glass bowl

Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad

Perfect as is or if you’re looking for a boost of protein, add some cubed chicken.

Colorful quinoa salad with avocado, peppers, tomatoes, onions, limes and black beans in bowl surround by lime wedges

Balsamic Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

Tasty warm or cold! Serve it up with a protein of your choice if you wish.

Plate filled with bed of spinach and topped with mushrooms, carrots, almonds and goat cheese

Harvest Chicken Salad

Hearty, wholesome and so delicious!

Mixed greens salad topped with apples, walnuts, sweet potato and chicken breast on wooden surface

Waldorf Chicken Salad

A classic chicken salad that can be served over a bed of greens, in a lettuce leaf, between two slices of bread or in a tortilla.

Nested bowls with chicken salad containing walnuts, grapes, celery with lettuce garnish and lemon in the background

Strawberry Chicken Poppy Seed Salad

This is the perfect chicken salad for summer!

Four lettuce cups with chicken salad, poppy seeds, almonds and strawberries on a pan with onions, strawberries and lemons in the background

Blueberry Chicken Salad with Rosemary

Blueberries, chicken and rosemary…sounds interesting, huh? You gotta try it!

Two lettuce cups filled with chicken salad containing blueberries with blueberries on the side and lemon garnish

Asian Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

A mayo-free Chicken Salad that’s full of so much flavor! This is one of our faves!

Three lettuce cups on a plate filled with chicken salad containing peppers, broccoli slaw and avocado slices in the middle and lime garnishes

Curry Chicken Salad

You know we love our curry! You too? If so, you may also want to give our Curry Egg Salad recipe a try.

Two lettuce wraps with curry chicken salad on plate topped with apples and cabbage surrounded by apple and lime slices and a bowl of curry chicken salad in the background

BLT Egg Salad

Summer is on our minds with this BLT Egg Salad! So good.

Three lettuce cups filled with egg salad containing tomatoes and bacon on stainless steel tray

Cashew Tuna Salad Cucumber Bites

We can’t forget about a good ‘ol tuna salad! This one is made with a delicious twist that we know you’ll love. Feel free to substitute salmon.

Plate of cucumber slices topped with tuna salad containing onions, cashews, broccoli slaw and peppers

That’s a wrap! We hope you find a least a couple satisfying cold-lunch recipes that you love!


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