Here are 90 Healthy No-Heat Lunches for taking to work or just for grabbing a super quick lunch when you work at home! And most of these healthy no heat lunch ideas are low-carb and gluten-free. 

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When I taught elementary school and also worked on this blog, I was grateful for leftovers to take to school and warm up for lunch. But without a place to heat food at the workplace, healthy lunches are more challenging. Years ago I had a request on the Kalyn’s Kitchen Facebook page to share ideas for healthy brown bag lunches that don’t need to be heated, and I worked hard on this collection of 90 No-Heat Lunches that ended up being a big hit on the blog.

Now fast forward quite a few years and I’m focused more on low-carb eating, and my blog has also changed since this was first posted. So I’m updating this collection of healthy lunches with more low-carb options, although there are still plenty of ideas for readers who follow other diets as well.

How can you tell if the no-heat lunch ideas fit your way of eating?

I am tagging this post with low-carb, Keto, gluten-free, dairy-free, South Beach Diet, and vegetarian because there are ideas here that fit all those diets! My site has diet-type tags above the recipe title on every post, so if a recipe in this round-up sounds good to you but you’re not sure it will fit your diet, just click the link to go to that post and you can see what diets I feel it’s suitable for! 

What kinds of no-heat lunches will you find here:

I focused on no-heat lunches I think will keep in the fridge for at least a day or two, but check individual recipes for more information. Some dishes contain ingredients (like fresh tomatoes or avocados) that I’d cut up in the morning and add when I eat the lunch. And some salads might be best if you refrigerate the dressing and salad separately and combine at lunchtime.

There are a few dishes (like the tostadas) would definitely need to be packed separately and then assembled when you eat them. But all these are tasty ideas that I hope can make your brown-bag lunches a lot more interesting! 

Historical Information for this post:

90 Healthy No-Heat Lunches for Taking to Work was first posted in 2012. The post was updated in 2020 with new photos and lots more low-carb lunch ideas, and it was updated again with more information in 2022.

Spicy Tomato-Cucumber Salad with Peperoncini

Salads with Tomatoes for a No-Heat Lunch:

Tomato-Cucumber Salad with Peperoncini (shown above)

Tomatoes Cucumber Avocado Salad

Heart of Palm Salad with Tomato, and Avocado

Effie’s Cottage Cheese Salad with Za’atar

Tomato, Cucumber, and Radish Salad

Tuna Tomato Salad

Chopped Greek Salad with Peppers

Tomato Salad with Hearts of Palm, Olives, and Feta

Cucumber, Tomato, and Garbanzo Salad with Feta

Chickpea and Tomato Salad 

Tuna Avocado Tomato Salad

Tomato, Olive, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad

Low-Carb Italian Pasta Salad

Easy Guacamole Tostadas

Pitas, Tostadas, and Wraps for a No-Heat Lunch:

Easy Guacamole Tostadas (shown above)

Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps

Spicy Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos (the spicy chicken is good hot or cold)

Egg Salad in Pita with Green Olives, Green Onions and Dijon 

Turkey Pita Sandwiches with Cranberry Salsa 

Deviled Ham Spread (in pita)

Middle Eastern Tostadas with Hummus and Feta

Seven Layer Dip Tostadas (a little more complicated to pack, but delicious)

Low-Carb Loaded Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad

Salads with Eggs and Cheese for a No-Heat Lunch:

Loaded Cauliflower Mock Potato Salad (shown above)

Avocado Egg Salad 

Marinated Cauliflower Antipasto Salad

Lettuce-Free Keto Cobb Salad

Antipasto Chopped Salad

Tuna Stuffed Avocado

Snack Foods and Appetizers, for a No-Heat Lunch:

Tuna-Stuffed Avocado (shown above)

Shrimp with Low Sugar Cocktail Sauce 

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

Asparagus Wrapped in Ham 

Air Fryer Shrimp (this is delicious cold)

Cucumber Hummus Bites

Ham and Pickle Roll Ups 

Low-Carb Chicken Pesto Salad with Olives and Peas

Salads with Chicken or Fish for a No-Heat Lunch:

Chicken Pesto Salad (shown above)

Chicken and Avocado Salad with Lime and Cilantro

Curried Chicken Salad

Greek Peperoncini Chicken Salad

Chicken and Black Bean Salad 

Chicken Salad with Basil

Chicken Salad with Green Olives

Chopped Salad with Chicken, Peppers, Olives, and Feta  

Tarragon Chicken Salad

Salmon Salad with Dill

Chicken Salad with Hearts of Palm

Shrimp and Black Bean Salad

Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Peppers, Cilantro, and Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

Salads with Beans or Lentils for a No-Heat Lunch:

Black-Eyed Pea Salad (shown above)

Pinto Bean Salad with Tuna, Tomatoes, and Peperoncini

Tuna and White Bean Salad

Butter Bean Salad

Marinated Bell Pepper Salad 

Curried Chickpea Salad 

Black Bean Salad with Black-Eyed Peas

Chickpea and Tomato Salad

Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad

Lebanese Lentil Salad

Baby Arugula Chopped Salad with Chicken, Fresh Mozzarella, and Tomatoes

Salads with Greens for a No-Heat Lunch:

Baby Arugula Salad with Chicken, Mozzarella, and Tomatoes (shown above)

Kale Apple Salad

Caesar Salad with Kale, Romaine, and Shaved Parmesan 

Spinach Salad with Chicken

Mediterranean Salad with Spinach 

Lemon Parmesan Kale Salad

Perfect Low-Carb Taco Salad

Salads with Lettuce or Cabbage for a No-Heat Lunch

Perfect Low-Carb Taco Salad (shown above)

Peperoncini Chopped Salad with Romaine, Peppers, and Feta 

Fattoush -Lebanese Salad

Southwest Chicken Salad 

Thai Cabbage Slaw 

Napa Cabbage Asian Slaw

Red Cabbage and Chicken Asian Salad 

Chicken Cabbage Salad with Mustard

Brown Rice Salad with Olives, Bell Peppers, Peas, and Basil Vinaigrette

Salads with Grain or Quinoa for a No-Heat Lunch:

Brown Rice Salad with Basil Vinaigrette (shown above)

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Lentil and Barley Greek-Style Salad

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad 

Black Bean, Rice, and Cilantro Salad

Marinated Zucchini Salad with Olives, Artichokes, and Red Pepper 

Salads with Vegetables or Fruit for a No-Heat Lunch:

Marinated Zucchini Salad  (shown above)

Jicama Slaw 

Green Bean Tomato Feta Salad

Grilled Zucchini Greek Salad 

Cucumber Avocado Salad 

Broccoli Salad with Feta and Almonds

Thai Broccoli Salad

Spicy Carrot Salad

Green Apple Salad 

Persimmon Salad 

Grilled Sweet Potato Salad

Laurel’s Jicama Salad

Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad

Artichoke Antipasto Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Marinated Cauliflower Antipasto Salad

Sheila's Low-Carb Shrimp Dip

Dips for a No-Heat Lunch:

Sheila’s Low-Carb Shrimp Dip (shown above)

Grandma Denny’s Homemade Ranch Dip 

Black-Eyed Pea Hummus

Roasted Tomato Hummus 

Parsley Hummus 
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