During the years I taught elementary school and also worked on this blog, I was grateful for leftovers that I could take to school and warm up for lunch. But without a place to heat food at the workplace, healthy lunches are a lot 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 a collection of 90 No-Heat Lunches for Taking to Work 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 changed a lot since this was first posted. So I’m updating this collection of healthy lunches with a lot more low-carb options, although there are still plenty of ideas for readers who follow other diets as well. And now 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, just click the link to go to that post and you can see what diets I feel it’s suitable for!
I focused on no-heat lunches for taking to work that I think will keep in the fridge for at least a day or two, but check individual recipes for more information about that. Some of these 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, and 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’ enjoy!
(90 Healthy No-Heat Lunches for Taking to Work was first posted in 2012. Updated in 2020 with new photos and lots more low-carb lunch ideas.)
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