5 Easy Work Lunch Recipes on a Budget

5 Easy Work Lunch Recipes on a Budget

5 Easy Work Lunch Recipes on a Budget

Did you know that the average person spends over £2,000 per year on buying lunch at work? That's a staggering amount of money that could otherwise be saved or invested. If you're looking for a way to cut down on your expenses without sacrificing the quality of your meals, we've got you covered.

In this article, we will explore five simple and budget-friendly packed lunch recipes that are perfect for bringing to work. These recipes are not only easy to make but also delicious and nutritious, ensuring you have a satisfying meal during your busy workday.

From mouth-watering sandwiches to hearty salads, we've curated a selection of recipes that are sure to impress your taste buds and your wallet. So, let's dive in and discover how you can enjoy affordable packed lunch ideas without compromising on taste or convenience.

Quick Meal Prep for Work

In this section, we will share some time-saving meal prep tips and recipes that you can prepare in advance for your work lunches. These quick and convenient options will ensure you have a delicious and healthy meal without spending too much time in the kitchen.

Meal Prep Tips:

  • Plan your meals in advance, taking into consideration your preferences and dietary needs.
  • Choose recipes that are easy to cook in bulk and can be stored for several days.
  • Invest in good-quality food containers to keep your meals fresh and well-organized.
  • Set aside a specific time each week for meal prep, such as Sunday afternoon or Monday evening.
  • Pre-cut and wash your vegetables to save time during cooking.
  • Make use of your slow cooker or instant pot to prepare meals while you attend to other tasks.
  • Label your containers with the date and contents to make it easier to grab and go.
  • Experiment with different flavors and ingredients to keep your meals exciting and enjoyable.

Make Ahead Lunch Recipes:

Here are three delicious make ahead lunch recipes that you can prep in advance:

Recipe Prep Time Servings Ingredients
Egg Salad Wrap 15 minutes 4 Eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce, whole grain wraps
Quinoa Salad 20 minutes 6 Quinoa, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, black olives
Chicken Stir-fry 25 minutes 4 Chicken breast, mixed vegetables, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, rice

These recipes are not only quick to make, but they also provide a balanced combination of protein, vegetables, and whole grains to keep you energized throughout the day. Prep them in advance, store them in your lunchbox, and you'll have a delicious meal ready to go each day.

Healthy Lunch Ideas on a Budget

When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle while working, finding affordable lunch options can be a challenge. However, there is no need to worry as we have got you covered with our selection of healthy lunch ideas that won't break the bank. These budget-friendly recipes are not only nutritious but also delicious, ensuring you have a satisfying meal at work.

1. Veggie Quinoa Salad

A refreshing and filling option, this veggie quinoa salad is packed with nutrients and flavor. Made with a combination of cooked quinoa, mixed vegetables, and a tangy dressing, it's a perfect choice for a healthy work lunch. Plus, quinoa is a great source of protein and fiber, keeping you energized throughout the day.

2. Chickpea Wraps

If you're looking for a protein-packed lunch option, these chickpea wraps are a fantastic choice. Simply mash cooked chickpeas with spices, herbs, and a dash of lemon juice, then spread the mixture onto a whole wheat wrap, and add your favorite veggies. This easy-to-make recipe is not only budget-friendly but also incredibly tasty.

3. Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Transport your taste buds to the Mediterranean with this flavorful pasta salad. Made with whole wheat pasta, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, and a zesty dressing, it's the perfect combination of freshness and satisfaction. This recipe can be made in advance and stored in the fridge, making it a convenient option for work lunches.

4. Turkey and Avocado Wrap

For a filling and nutritious lunch, try this turkey and avocado wrap. Spread mashed avocado onto a whole wheat tortilla, add sliced turkey breast, lettuce, and any additional toppings of your choice. This protein-rich wrap will keep you full until the end of the day, all without breaking the bank.

5. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Bowl

Looking for a plant-based option? This sweet potato and black bean bowl is packed with flavor and nutrients. Roast sweet potatoes, black beans, and a medley of colorful vegetables, then top with a drizzle of lime dressing. This vibrant and satisfying bowl is a budget-friendly lunch option that will keep you feeling nourished and satisfied.

Recipe Cost per Serving Preparation Time
Veggie Quinoa Salad £1.50 20 minutes
Chickpea Wraps £1.20 15 minutes
Mediterranean Pasta Salad £1.80 25 minutes
Turkey and Avocado Wrap £1.40 10 minutes
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Bowl £1.60 30 minutes

Delicious Packed Lunch Options

When it comes to packed lunches, taste is just as important as convenience. In this section, we have curated a selection of mouthwatering packed lunch options that are sure to satisfy your cravings. From sandwiches and wraps to salads and grain bowls, these delicious ideas will inspire your work lunches and leave you feeling energized throughout the day.

Sandwiches and Wraps

Don't underestimate the power of a well-made sandwich or wrap. Packed with flavor and easy to transport, these handheld options are perfect for a satisfying lunch on the go. Whether you opt for classic combinations like turkey and cranberry or experiment with unique flavors like roasted vegetable and feta, you can't go wrong with a delicious sandwich or wrap.


If you prefer a lighter option, salads are a fantastic choice. With endless variations, you can customize your salad to suit your preferences. From crispy greens topped with grilled chicken, avocado, and a tangy dressing to hearty grain salads packed with roasted vegetables and feta cheese, there are plenty of delectable salad options to explore.

Grain Bowls

For a more substantial and nutrient-packed lunch, grain bowls are a great option. Packed with wholesome grains like quinoa or brown rice, these bowls are filled with an array of colorful veggies, lean proteins, and flavorful dressings. From Mediterranean-inspired bowls with falafel and tzatziki to Asian-inspired bowls with teriyaki chicken and pickled veggies, there's a grain bowl to suit every palate.

With these delicious packed lunch options, you can wave goodbye to dull and uninspiring lunches. Prepare these recipes in advance and look forward to enjoying a tasty and satisfying meal during your busy workday.

Simple Work Lunch Recipes

When it comes to busy workdays, simplicity is key. That's why we've curated a collection of simple and satisfying lunch recipes that require minimal ingredients and preparation. These recipes are perfect for those who want a hassle-free lunch option without compromising on taste or nutrition.

Recipe 1: Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Start your week off on a fresh note with this Mediterranean-inspired chickpea salad. Packed with protein, fiber, and vibrant flavors, this salad is sure to keep you energized throughout the day.


  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, cherry tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss until well combined.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld together.
  5. Enjoy this refreshing and nutritious salad at work!

Recipe 2: Caprese Sandwich

For a quick and delicious lunch option, try this classic Caprese sandwich. With its combination of fresh tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and fragrant basil, it's a simple yet satisfying choice.


  • 2 slices of whole grain bread
  • 2 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 ripe tomato, sliced
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Brush one side of each bread slice with olive oil.
  2. Layer the mozzarella, tomato slices, and basil leaves on one slice of bread.
  3. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Top with the other bread slice, oiled side facing up.
  5. Grill the sandwich on a panini press or a heated skillet until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.
  6. Cut the sandwich in half and enjoy this tasty lunch option!
Recipe Preparation Time Cooking Time Total Time
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad 15 minutes N/A 1 hour 15 minutes (including chilling time)
Caprese Sandwich 10 minutes 5 minutes 15 minutes

These simple work lunch recipes are perfect for those who want to enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal without spending too much time in the kitchen. Whether you choose the refreshing Mediterranean Chickpea Salad or the classic Caprese Sandwich, you'll be able to fuel yourself for the rest of the day with minimal effort.

Fast Lunch Meal Ideas

When you're short on time but still want a delicious and nourishing meal, these fast lunch meal ideas are perfect for you. Whip up these quick recipes and have a satisfying lunch in no time.

1. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

2. Turkey, Avocado, and Hummus Wrap


  • 1 large whole wheat tortilla
  • 4 slices of turkey breast
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons hummus
  • Handful of spinach leaves


  1. Spread hummus evenly on the whole wheat tortilla.
  2. Layer turkey slices, avocado slices, and spinach leaves on top of the hummus.
  3. Roll the tortilla tightly and cut into halves.
  4. Wrap each half in foil or plastic wrap for easy transportation.

3. Asian Chicken Stir-Fry


  • 200g chicken breast, sliced
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (such as bell peppers, broccoli, and carrots)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • Sesame seeds for garnish


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, and ginger.
  2. Heat a pan over medium heat and add the chicken slices. Cook until browned and cooked through.
  3. Add the mixed vegetables to the pan and stir-fry for a few minutes until tender-crisp.
  4. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables, tossing to coat everything evenly.
  5. Remove from heat and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

These fast lunch meal ideas are sure to save you time without sacrificing taste. Enjoy a quick and delicious meal during your busy workday!

Convenient Packed Lunch Ideas

When it comes to convenient packed lunch ideas, we've got you covered. Whether you're looking for meals you can bring to work or easy options for meal prep, these recipes are practical, delicious, and perfect for busy professionals.

Bring to Work Meals

  • Veggie-packed wraps with hummus and avocado
  • Quinoa salad with roasted vegetables and feta cheese
  • Chicken and vegetable stir-fry with soy sauce
  • Tuna salad with whole grain crackers and sliced cucumbers

Packed Lunch Meal Prep

If you prefer to prepare your meals in advance, these packed lunch ideas are perfect for meal prep:

Meal Ingredients Preparation Time
Asian-inspired noodle bowl Udon noodles, tofu, carrots, sugar snap peas, soy sauce, sesame oil 30 minutes
Mediterranean quinoa salad Quinoa, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, olives, lemon dressing 20 minutes
Caprese sandwich Whole grain bread, mozzarella cheese, tomato, basil, balsamic glaze 10 minutes

These recipes are not only convenient but also packed with flavor and nutrients. They can be easily stored in meal prep containers and enjoyed throughout the week. Whether you have access to a microwave or prefer to eat your meals cold, these packed lunch ideas are versatile and will keep you satisfied throughout your workday.

So, say goodbye to boring sandwiches or expensive takeout and start enjoying these convenient packed lunch ideas that are both delicious and practical.

Budget-Friendly Packed Lunches

When it comes to bringing your lunch to work, saving money doesn't mean compromising on taste or quality. In this section, we have curated a selection of budget-friendly packed lunch options that are both affordable and delicious. These recipes are perfect for anyone looking to cut costs without sacrificing flavor.

Our collection of affordable packed lunch recipes will inspire you to get creative in the kitchen and make the most of your ingredients. From sandwiches and wraps to salads and hearty soups, there is something for everyone's taste preferences and dietary needs.

Here are some budget-friendly packed lunch ideas to help you save money while still enjoying a satisfying meal:

  • 1. Mediterranean Pasta Salad: This refreshing salad is packed with Mediterranean flavors such as olives, feta cheese, and cherry tomatoes. It's a light and filling option that can be prepared in advance and enjoyed throughout the week.
  • 2. Chickpea and Vegetable Wrap: A protein-packed wrap filled with seasoned chickpeas, crunchy vegetables, and a tangy yogurt sauce. It's a quick and easy option that can be customized to your liking.
  • 3. Quinoa and Black Bean Burrito Bowl: A wholesome and satisfying bowl packed with nutrient-rich ingredients like quinoa, black beans, avocado, and corn. It's a versatile recipe that can be adapted with your favorite toppings.
  • 4. Butternut Squash Soup: A comforting and creamy soup made with roasted butternut squash, onions, and warming spices. It's a budget-friendly option that can be prepared in bulk and enjoyed throughout the week.
  • 5. Greek Yogurt with Fresh Berries: A simple and nutritious dessert option that combines creamy Greek yogurt with a medley of fresh berries. It's a budget-friendly way to satisfy your sweet tooth.

These affordable packed lunch recipes are not only budget-friendly but also easy to prepare and transport. By opting for homemade meals, you can save money on expensive takeaways and have full control over the ingredients you use.

With these budget-friendly packed lunch ideas, you can enjoy delicious and satisfying meals at work without breaking the bank. Say goodbye to expensive lunches and hello to wallet-friendly recipes that will keep both your taste buds and your bank account happy.

Homemade Lunch Options

If you're tired of the same old store-bought lunches, it's time to switch things up and try some homemade options. Not only are homemade packed lunches a great way to save money, but they also give you complete control over the ingredients and flavors of your meals. Say goodbye to bland and unhealthy meals and hello to delicious and nutritious homemade lunch options.

By preparing your own lunches, you can choose fresh and wholesome ingredients that suit your tastes and dietary preferences. From sandwiches and salads to wraps and grain bowls, the possibilities are endless. Whether you're looking for vegetarian, vegan, or protein-packed options, homemade lunches can cater to your specific needs and cravings.

Not only are homemade packed lunches more affordable compared to eating out every day, but they also allow you to make the most of your time and resources. By planning and prepping your lunches, you can save valuable time in the mornings and ensure you have a satisfying meal ready to go. It's a win-win situation for your wallet and your taste buds!

Ready to start making your own inexpensive lunch recipes? Let's dive into some delicious homemade lunch ideas that will transform your midday meals into delightful experiences.

Healthy and Easy Work Lunches

In this section, we will focus on recipes that are both healthy and easy to prepare for your work lunches. We understand that finding the time and energy to make nutritious meals can be challenging, especially when balancing a busy work schedule. That's why we have curated a selection of simple yet satisfying recipes that will nourish your body and keep you energized throughout the day.

When it comes to healthy work lunches, it's important to choose ingredients that are nutrient-dense and provide a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Our recipes incorporate a variety of fresh vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and plant-based ingredients to ensure you get all the essential nutrients your body needs.

Simple Packed Lunch Meals

One of the keys to maintaining a healthy work lunch routine is simplicity. Nobody wants to spend hours in the kitchen preparing complicated meals after a long day at work. That's why our simple packed lunch meals are designed to be quick and easy to make, without sacrificing taste or nutritional value.

Some of our favourite simple packed lunch ideas include:

  • Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables
  • Chicken Wrap with Avocado and Salad Greens
  • Whole Grain Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Grilled Chicken
  • Vegetable Stir-Fry with Tofu
  • Salmon and Brown Rice Bowl with Steamed Broccoli

These recipes require minimal preparation and can be made in advance, allowing you to save time during your busy workweek. You can also customize them to suit your preferences by adding your favourite herbs, spices, or dressings.

By choosing simple packed lunch meals, you'll not only save time but also ensure that you have a healthy and delicious meal to enjoy at work.

Healthy Work Lunch Recipes

In addition to simplicity, our healthy work lunch recipes prioritize nutrition without compromising on flavour. We believe that a nutritious meal should also be enjoyable, and our recipes are designed to tick both boxes.

Here are some examples of our healthy work lunch recipes:

  1. Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Skewers with Quinoa
  2. Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  3. Brown Rice Salad with Chickpeas and Roasted Vegetables
  4. Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl with Hummus and Fresh Vegetables
  5. Spicy Black Bean and Corn Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

These recipes are packed with nutrients, providing you with the energy you need to stay focused and productive throughout the day. They are also easy to pack and transport to work, ensuring that you always have a healthy meal on hand.

With our healthy work lunch recipes, you can nourish your body, enhance your well-being, and enjoy delicious meals without the hassle of complicated cooking.


In conclusion, these 5 easy and affordable packed lunch recipes are a great way to enjoy delicious meals at work without breaking the bank. With a little planning and preparation, you can have a variety of tasty and nutritious options to keep you fuelled throughout your busy workday.

Make the most of your lunch break by trying out these budget-friendly recipes and enjoy a satisfying meal every day. Whether you prefer quick meal prep, healthy options, delicious packed lunches, or simple and fast recipes, there's something for everyone in this collection. Say goodbye to expensive store-bought lunches and take control of your midday meals with these homemade and cost-effective alternatives.

Remember, eating well shouldn't be complicated or expensive. By incorporating these affordable packed lunch ideas into your routine, you can save money, eat healthily, and satisfy your taste buds all at the same time. Enjoy the convenience and satisfaction of bringing your own delicious lunches to work, and watch as your productivity and overall well-being improve.

You can purchase Deer & Oak kitchenware though our website at deerandoak.co.uk or through Amazon UK at amazon.co.uk

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