Either your workplace may not have a kitchen-like setup, or you are out of time to heat your lunch, we have curated a list of cold lunch ideas for everyone – from work to vegans and kids to construction workers – we have covered all!
Hot lunches surely have their place, but hot days call for cold lunches.
Cold Lunch Ideas for Work
- Cucumber Subs by Wholesome Yum: Both healthy and delicious, cucumber subs are super easy to make and taste so good.
- Cold Peanut Sauce Noodles by The Cozy Cook: Yet another simple and delicious dish, cold noodles can be served as a side dish or as a meatless lunch.
- Greek Pasta Salad by Hungry Healthy Happy: One of the greatest salads, Greek pasta salad is basically summer in a bowl.
- Chicken Caesar Wrap by Taste and Tell: This Chicken Caesar wrap will be a delight for your taste buds and is an easy lunch idea.
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad by Spend With Pennies: This is a colorful and easy to cook salad. Combine it with fresh crunchy vegetables and garnish it with extra cheese and parsley.
- Tuna Salad Nori Wrap by Avocado Pesto: A simple, gluten and dairy-free version of Japanese tuna roll, except it can be prepared quickly.
- Sweet Potato Noodles by Love and Lemons: Using sweet potatoes instead of actual pasta, you can easily make this vibrant dish.
- Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup by Peas and Crayons: Making this vegetarian lentil tortilla soup as dinner in an instant pot and slow cooker and taking the leftovers as lunch the next is a brilliant idea.
- Hummus and Avocado Toast by Healthy Nibbles and Bits: You can make this delicious dish in just a few minutes, and it is perfect for taking as lunch.
- Lettuce Wrap by Delish: Lettuce can be easily made at home and is a healthy option.
- Quinoa-Stuffed Bell Peppers by Damn Delicious: Quinoa stuffed bell peppers can easily be made using leftovers. You will be craving for them again in no time.
- Quiche Valerie by Food Network: Quiche Valerie is a delicious treat for vegetarians. This mouth-watering dish is made of six eggs, creams, mushrooms, herbs, and three different kinds of cheese.
- Green Goddess Chickpea Salad by Eating Well: This healthy salad is a great lunch idea and can be prepared in just 10 minutes.
- Creamy Black Bean Taquitos by Budget Bytes: These cute and crispy taquitos are really fun to eat. These can make your pocket happy as they are super budget-friendly.
- Banana Bread Muffins by Clean and Delicious: These easy banana bread muffins make a perfect on the go lunch with the added sweetness.
- Pepperoni Rolls by Dancing Through The Rain: Add a little twist to the classic and make these delicious pepperoni rolls.
- Turkey Club Wraps with Bacon by Kylee Cooks: Turkey club wraps are delicious and perfect take-along.
- Asian Cabbage Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing by Happy-Mothering: Asian cabbage salad is a Thai inspired dish, a perfect idea for lunch!
- Roast Beef Horseradish Roll-ups by A Hint of Rosemary: Make these roll-ups on the weekend, toss them in the fridge sealed, and be done for the next week!
- Tuna Salad by Cooking Classy: Tuna salad is a basic, staple recipe made in minutes using basic ingredients.
- Chicken Greek Salad Wrap Sandwich by Snappy Gourmet: These sandwiches are healthy and absolutely perfect for a quick bite.
- Curd Toast by The Life Hype: it is wholesome and effortless to prepare as you will need yogurt and veggies to make a fulfilling toast sandwich.
- Lemony Broccoli Salad with Chickpeas & Feta by She Likes Food: This salad is a delight for veggie lovers and a great refreshing dish.
- Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta by A Spicy Perspective: Pesto pasta is a beautiful and delicious dish. Add in homemade basil and pesto sauce for an even better taste.
- Meal Prep Buddha Bowls by Kay Nutrition: These bowl recipes are perfect for those never-ending workdays when you crave something healthy and delish.
- Chicken Meatloaf Muffins by Spruce Eats: meatloaf is absolute comfort food, and this muffin is a great option when you don’t want to miss out on meatloaf because you are in a rush.
- Mexican Shrimp Salad by Little Spice Jar: Mexican shrimp salad is absolutely perfect for those hot summer days.
- Rainbow Poke Bowl with Canned Tuna by The View from Great Island: Too beautiful to eat, this colorful dish is healthy and full of Hawaiian flavors.
- Copycat Chick-Fil-A Chicken Salad by The Chunky Chef: You can make your favorite dishes at home in your style. This chicken salad is creamy with a bit of sweetness.
- Rainbow Couscous and Tzatziki Chicken by Zested Lemon: just make a batch of this colorful dish and enjoy it for the rest of the week.
- Chicken Cobb Mason Jar Salad by A Sweet Pea Chef: Make your lunch a whole lot interesting with this scrumptious, fulfilling option.
- Roasted Parmesan Green Beans by Skinny Taste: You will fall in love with this easy recipe with an intense cheesy touch.
- Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad Wrap by Spend With Pennies: This light lunch with fewer calories makes a tasty meal.
Cold Lunch Ideas for Vegans
- Sabich Sandwich by My Goodness Kitchen: Instead of using eggs, you can use a white bean mixture to make this delicious sandwich.
- Creamy Vegan Tortilla Pinwheel by Carve Your Craving: This super delicious dish is healthy and makes for a perfect lunch.
- Quinoa Detox Veggie Salad by Chelsea’s Messy Apron: This salad is perfect for serving quinoa with other healthy ingredients that taste really good.
- Vegan Lentil Frittata by Vganish: This super yummy dish is light, easy to prepare, and tastes heavenly!
- Vegan Sushi Recipe by Vegan Heaven: Crave sushi but follow a plant-based diet? This is an easy peasy cold lunch recipe anyone can prepare!
- Vegan Mexican Chopped Salad by The Harvest Kitchen: This Mexican salad serves as a great side or main dish for vegans since it is filled with veggies.
- Baked Potato Fritters by Veggie Inspired: The recipe for vegetable potato fritters is 100% vegan. Made with zucchini and carrots, this dish is a win-win.
- Vegan Tempeh Reubens by Vegetarian Times: this vegan dish will fill your hearts with its sliced tempeh.
- Salad Spring Rolls by Pass Me Some Tasty: Feel free to get wild these amazing salad spring rolls. Enjoy these tasty spring rolls with peanut sauce.
- Marinated Mushroom Bowl by Go Dairy Free: this satisfying, healthy bowl is stocked with all the veggies and plant-based proteins from lentils and wild rice.
- TTLA Sandwich by Sweet Simple Vegan: It will be your new favorite dish once you try it. It is loaded with tempeh bacon, avocado, tomatoes, and many more tasty ingredients.
- Spicy Avocado Cauliflower Toast by Toaster Oven Love: this spicy avocado cauliflower toast will turn up the heat.
- Turmeric & Chickpea Salad Sandwich by Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen: boost up your body with curcumin with this delicious and creamy chickpea sandwich.
- Chickpea & Vegetable Picnic Pie by Tinned Tomatoes: these hand pies are a must-have for lunch.
- Hummus & Avocado Wrap Sandwich by The Spruce Eats: hummus and avocado go hand in hand when we talk about wholesome cold lunches.
- Vegan Burrito by Loving It Vegan: a vegan’s all-time favorite, this burrito is loaded with black beans, rice, and vegan sour cream.
- Grilled Corn Salad by Vegan Huggs: You won’t want to miss out on this dish with cilantro-lime dressing.
Lunch Ideas for Construction Workers
- Grilled Mac and Cheese Sandwich by Kirbie’s Cravings: these amazing sandwiches are filled with creamy macaroni and cheese for double deliciousness.
- Smoked Sausage Hash by Love to be in the Kitchen: This delicious dish is filled with flavor and perfect for a busy, hard day.
- Baked Potatoes with Garlic Herb Sour Cream by Baked Bree: Garlic herb sour cream will be a great topping for your potatoes.
- Tuna Salad Sandwich by Lauren’s Latest: the combination of tuna, cottage cheese, mayo, and many such ingredients will make the best ever tuna salad sandwich.
- Chickpea Shawarma Wrap by Minimalist Baker: this easy recipe gets prepared in no time and is a great cold lunch option for construction workers.
- Turkey Club Wrap by Tastes Better From Scratch: turkey club wrap is filled with turkey and bacon and can be quickly prepared.
- Easy Vegetarian Quiche by Feasting Not Fasting: heavy vegetable loaded quiche with cheese is a great idea for construction workers to take as lunch.
- Grilled Mediterranean Hummus Panini Sandwiches by Connoisseurs Veg: In this sandwich, whole grain bread is stuffed with veggies and creamy black olive hummus.
Cold Lunch Ideas for Kids, Toddlers, and Picky Eaters
- Zucchini Noodles with Pesto by Two Peas and Their Pod: turn your zucchini into noodles and add fresh pesto to it. It will be a healthy and tasty option for your kid’s lunch.
- Fruit & Veggie Muffins by Super Healthy Kids: your kids will love these delicious and moist muffins!
- Ham & Cheese Pinwheel by Ruffles and Rainboots: ham and cheese pinwheel is a kid-friendly lunch recipe and perfect for picky eaters.
- Turkey Cheddar Roll-ups by Kathryn’s Kitchen: Turkey cheddar roll-ups make for the best and enjoyable lunch for your kids.
- Cheese Quesadilla by Isabel Eats: packed with nutritional values, cheese quesadilla can please your kid’s taste buds.
- Fun Granola Bars by Tarla Dalal: Granola bars are a treat for kids loaded with fibers and proteins.
- Easy Pasta Salad by My Fussy Eater: This pasta salad is a healthy, colorful, and delicious dish perfect for kids.
- Egg Salad Sandwich by Eggs: egg salad sandwiches are nutrition-filled and will be your kid’s favorite meal.
- Ham, Egg, and Bagel Sandwich by Spicy Southern Kitchen: convert your child’s favorite ham and cheese into a sandwich and give their taste buds a treat.
- Quick & Easy Calzones by Six Sister’s Stuff: pizza pockets are an absolute favorite of kids and picky eaters, so you can’t go wrong with this.
- Vegan Mac and Cheese: Kids’ ultimate favorite, Mac n Cheese, especially for those who want to introduce their child to a vegan lifestyle, is effortless to make with nourishing ingredients.
- Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Sweet Potato by Yummy Toddler Food: chicken nuggets are an everyday staple in many kid’s diets and can be made using different techniques and ingredients.
- Pizza Pasta Salad by Inside Bru Crew Life: Pizza pasta salad can be prepared in less than 15 minutes and is perfect for the lunchbox.
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins by I Heart Naptime: there’s no combination better than peanut butter and jelly. Everyone loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches but level up its game by making fun variations.
- Toddler & Mom-Approved Zucchini Bread by Baby Foode: Toddlers and mothers approve of this nutritious bread.
- Fruit Salsa by The Girl Who Ate Everything: Diced fruits can help you make a sweet, fulfilling salad you can take anywhere!
- Cold & Spicy Peanut Sesame Noodles by Table For Two: these get ready really fast, and you can toss some more seeds to level up the nutrition.
- Kid Salad by Betty Crocker: this salad will provide your kid with all the nutrients and is super healthy for them.
- Baked Zucchini Chips by Lana’s Cooking: an upgraded version of classic potato chips with fewer carbs makes a perfect cold lunch for fussy eaters.
Tips for Packing a Cold Lunch
- Make sure to choose a lunch box that is leakage free and made of solid material. If you are using plastic wrap, make sure it is BPA and phthalate-free.
- Take some time out and pack lunches you really want to eat and not because you ran out of time.
- If you are too busy, take a day out and plan and prep your meals so you have meals available all week long. Prepping your meals ahead of time will also save you the hassle.
- Ensure proper space between hot and cold food to reduce spoilage.
- If you carry your lunch inside a bag, keep it in the first or bottom so there no chance of squishing.
- Use ice packs that are again BPA and phthalate-free so that no chemical reaches your child. Use large ice blocks as smaller ones don’t do the job well.
You can toss any ingredients or veggies of your own choice in these cold lunch ideas, or you can remove any optional ingredients according to your own preferences. Try out these amazing and delicious recipes and add your own touch to them.