by Gael Myers, Accredited Practising Dietitian

Packing your own lunch for work is a great way to save money and help you avoid the temptation of ordering in greasy takeaway when you're under the pump.

It doesn’t get easier than a sandwich, a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts if you’re looking for a healthy, no-nonsense work lunch. To build the perfect sandwich, aim to include:

  • Grainy or wholemeal bread, roll or wrap
  • Plenty of salad or cooked vegies
  • A protein-rich food like cheese, shredded chicken, tuna, hummus, roast beef or egg.

For healthy sandwich inspo, check out these recipes.

There’s nothing wrong with a sanga, but if you’d prefer something different there are plenty of other quick and easy options.

Quick tuna couscous

  • Tin of flavoured tuna
  • Frozen peas and corn
  • Cooked couscous, rice or pasta (see tip)

Tip: When you have plain rice or pasta leftover after dinner, freeze into single serve portions (use small containers or zip-lock bags). 

Stuffed spud

Prick potatoes (regular or sweet potato) with a fork and cook in the microwave for around 10 min before adding your favourite toppings:

  • Leftover chicken, tomato, baby spinach, grated cheese
  • Baked beans
  • Salsa/pesto, black beans, grated cheese, natural yoghurt

Instant quesadilla

Whack your ingredients together and toast in a sandwich press

  • Tortilla or wrap
  • Four-bean mix
  • Chilli sauce
  • Grated cheese
  • Chopped tomato, capsicum or avocado


Make extra at dinner time to take for lunch the next day. Bonus points if there's enough to stash a few serves in the freezer!

Beans on toast

  • Grainy bread
  • Reduced-salt baked beans
  • Optional - grated cheese


Whiz up a healthy smoothie with some fruit, milk, plain yoghurt and optional extras like a spoonful of oats, nuts or seeds.

The desk drawer pantry

There are loads of shelf-stable foods that mean you can always have a balanced meal ready to go in your desk drawer. Here are a few of our favourites:

  • Oats, muesli or weetbix
  • Tinned/bottled fruit in juice
  • Nut butters
  • Grainy crackers
  • Long-life milk
  • Tinned tuna or salmon
  • Microwave rice or pasta
  • Tinned vegies and beans
  • Nuts and seeds e.g. cashews, peanuts, flaked almonds, sunflower seeds
  • Chilli sauce, reduced-salt soy sauce, balsamic or apple cider vinegar

Use these as an emergency back-up or as a base to add a few fresh things from home.

What are your go-to options for quick and easy work lunches?

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