9 lunch meal prep ideas

9 Simple Lunch Meal Prep Ideas – CookBlogShare Week #11

Thank you for sharing!

These simple lunch meal prep ideas will help you get organized for the week if you are headed back to work or to help you save time if you’re at home. By taking advantage of free time on the weekends and one evening or morning mid-week, you can help yourself eat more homemade meals.

Then, you will save a lot of money on eating out or take-out. And, you can make the ingredients as healthy as you want!

I like using glass containers that can be used in the freezer, refrigerator, microwave, or even the oven (check the maximum temperature for the brand you use). The only drawback is they are heavier than plastic containers: and breakable too.

Try these lunch meal prep ideas for fantastic packed lunches!

What is #CookBlogShare?

CookBlogShare is a community for food bloggers to share recipes and foodie posts and generally support the food blogging community. The community is centered around the #CookBlogShare linky.

It is a wonderful way for a wide range of food writers, recipe creators, and bloggers to come together and share each other’s recipes.

The linky is now hosted regularly by Sisley from Sew White & Chloe from Feast Glorious Feast.  New members are always welcome to join so make sure you invite your other food blogger friends!

The last linky was hosted by Veronica at the Foodle Club who put together a collection of Easy Baking Recipes.

Each week the host chooses a selection of recipes that have been submitted during the previous week to showcase.

Vegetarian Lunch Meal Prep Ideas

Try Choclette’s Ukrainian Dumpling Soup for a light version of a comforting soup, using high protein tempeh instead of meat (the dumpling dough contains eggs)! Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and/or grains and is a high-protein option.

Ukrainian Dumpling Soup: A Veggie Version
A tasty, hearty and simple vegetarian soup that’s easy-to-make and healthy too. This recipe for Ukrainian dumpling soup is a vegetarian version of a chicken dumpling soup classic. Tempeh and miso replace the chicken meat and broth and the rest is just as it should be.
Ukrainian Dumpling Soup
Ukrainian Dumpling Soup: A Veggie Version

Nancy’s Air fryer salt and pepper tofu packs a flavor punch (note that salt and pepper tofu is high in sodium: the salt can be decreased). Vegan recipe.

Air Fryer Salt and Pepper Tofu
Crispy Air Fryer Salt and Pepper Tofu is a high protein, low-calorie vegan snack. Classic Chinese-Cantonese appetizer easy gluten-free
Air Fryer Salt and Pepper Tofu
Air Fryer Salt and Pepper Tofu

A burger is easy to pack for lunch. I pack the bun and topping separately and then just microwave the veggie burger. Kate’s gluten-free veggie burger is sure to be a favorite (contains cheese and eggs).

Best Veggie Burger Recipe: Gluten-free, no soy
Best Veggie Burger Recipe – Gluten Free. Soy Free.
Best Veggie Burger Recipe
Best Veggie Burger Recipe: Gluten-free, no soy

A one-pot meal will be easy to make on a weekend for lunch meal prep. Here is a lemon ricotta pasta from Jo (contains cheese):

One-Pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta
This delicious One-Pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta is a fast and easy mid-week dinner. The creamy ricotta cheese sauce made with lemon and garlic is ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta so it can be on the table in under 20 minutes!
One-Pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta
One-Pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Here are some of my favorite recipes for health lunch meal prep:

These recipes are all vegan:

This chili can be made in an Instant Pot or slow cooker. pair with rice, whole grain spaghetti, quinoa, or a baked potato.

Easy Spicy Lentil Chili – Instant Pot Recipe
This lentil chili Instant Pot recipe is easy to make and packed with flavor. It's hearty and filling with fiber from lentils, pinto beans, and veggies. Make it for a quick family lunch or dinner.
Easy Spicy Lentil Chili
Instant Pot next to spicy lentil chili in glass mug with spoon

Arroz Colorido – Colorful Mexican Rice, is a recipe I created to be flexible with adding in different proteins for meal prep.

vegan stuffed shells with kale and sun-dried tomatoes

Vegan Stuffed Shells with Kale and Sun-dried Tomatoes are a delicious Italian-style meal. Silken tofu and vegan mozzarella cheese are used in place of dairy cheeses. A batch of these freezes well, too.

This nutritious soup goes well with a salad, fresh bread, and fruit:

15-Bean Vegetable Soup
Flavorful and filling – try this spicy soup to warm up on a cold day! Enjoy the textures of barley, veggies, and beans in this comforting bowl. Lots of fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates from beans and vegetables, with little fat.
15-Bean Vegetable Soup
white bowl of 15 bean vegetable soup with spoon and thyme sprig

Lentil pasta is very easy to make: pair it with sauteed tempeh, spinach, or other vegetables for a filling Italian meal:

Lentil Pasta with Tempeh and Spinach
Easy and healthy pasta meal with tasty tempeh and garlic. Quick for a weeknight and high in protein and fiber. Vegan and gluten-free.
Lentil Pasta with Tempeh and Spinach
lentil pasta with tempeh and spinach in bowl with bread.

Here are more Vegetarian Packed Meal Ideas.

And here are tips for keeping your bag lunch safe. For example, include an ice pack in an insulated lunch bag on the way to work, then keep your lunch in the refrigerator there.

FAQs

Q: What foods keep well for lunch meal prep?

A: Try chili, vegetable stew, and soups: these can even taste better the second day. Prepared salads may last for just about 2 days: I think they hold up well in a salad spinner. Be sure to pack the salad dressing separately.
A grain bowl with a base of quinoa, rice, farro plus legumes, nuts, vegetables, and a sauce also packs well.

Q: Is meal prep good for 5 days?

A: No, Cooked prepared food should be used within 3-days ideally (see this chart for refrigerated food storage from the USDA). Even chopping up fruits and vegetables can lead to loss of nutrients through exposure to air and light. So, what can you prep safety?
Use the freezer: place premade meals there and include a label with the date. Check these tips for safe freezer storage and thawing advice.

Q: What could you prep for breakfast?

Try making burritos with cooked beans, vegetables, salsa, and avocados. Or make vegan pancakes, waffles, or French toast and save extra for the next day or two. Muffins or bread with fruit are a nice light bite. Wash and chop fruit to get it ready for a fresh smoothie in the morning too!

How to Take Part in This Week’s #COOKBLOGSHARE

Bloggers

Scroll down to the linky widget and add your links. Make sure to read the rules so we can all share the love!

I’ll be commenting and sharing as many of the links as possible. They’ll also be pinned to the #CookBlogShare group Pinterest board.

Use the same hashtag #CookBlogShare on Instagram and social media and you can post your recipes in the CookBlogShare Facebook Group.

Readers

Scroll down to see what recipes have been linked up so far this week. Have a read and let us know what you think. Feel free to help share the love by sharing the recipes far and wide! You can also follow the #CookBlogShare hashtags on Twitter and Instagram to discover new and wonderful recipes.

The Rules!

You can link up any recipe or foodie posts you have. Both old and new posts are welcome as long as they have not been linked to #CookBlogShare before. There is no set theme but it is always sensible to think about upcoming seasons and holidays.

It is usually beneficial to link up towards the beginning of the week for maximum benefit to you.

You can link up to a maximum of 4 posts per linky.

Required – Add a link from your post(s) back to the host’s post. E.g. “I have linked this recipe to #CookBlogShare run by Sisley & Chloe which was hosted by Melissa at www.melissatraub.com: 9 Simple Lunch Meal Prep Ideas.

Required – For each recipe that you link up, choose at least 2 of the other recipes which have been linked that week, go to the blog post and leave a 5* rating & lovely positive comment. You might want to come back later in the week when more posts have been linked up – but don’t forget!

Required – Please also comment on at least one post from that week’s host. Their linked posts will be marked “HOST” in the title. Not this post, please.

Bonus – There is no set requirement but there are several other ways that you can help share the love with the other members linking up. These can include:

  • Pinning the recipe
  • Sharing or scheduling a share to your Facebook page
  • Sharing or scheduling a share to your Twitter Feed
  • Saving the post to other sites like Yummly
  • Hitting the heart icon in the bottom left corner if the blogger is using Grow.Me or Slicksteam.

Please note that by joining in, you are giving the #CookBlogShare hosts permission to use your pictures in a roundup and on social media if your recipe is selected as one of our favorites!

The next linky will be hosted by Michelle at Lost in Food. You can find this info on the rota!

Hosting

All CookBlogShare participants are asked to host the linky at least once a year. More details about hosting can be found in our Facebook Group.

OTHER WAYS TO HELP THE COMMUNITY

  • Follow #CookBlogShare on Instagram and like/comment on linked up posts.
  • Follow #CookBlogShare on Twitter and like/retweet linked up tweets.
  • Keep up with the Facebook Group for roundup recipe requests and other shouts for help.
  • And do all these things yourself too!
  • Get involved with the Facebook Group. Ask questions, answer questions, share successes and generally be part of the awesome community!

This Week’s #COOKBLOGSHARE Linky – Week 11

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


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