Healthy Make-Ahead Lunch Meal Plan for the Work Week
A little meal prep can go a long way to guarantee you have a healthy week of meals at the ready. With this make-ahead lunch meal plan, some light prep at the beginning of the week sets you up for 5 days of delicious lunches, perfect for the busy work weeks. The recipes in the plan are simple to make, easily portable and use similar ingredients, which helps to keep the shopping list short and the grocery bill reasonable. Set aside an hour on Sunday to bust out the prep steps and enjoy this week of healthy lunches.
Sunday Meal Prep = 1 hour (hands on)
- 1.Make theShredded Master Chicken Recipein the slow-cooker. Set your slow-cooker to high and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, or cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
- 2.Hard boil eggs for theChipotle Ranch Egg Salad Wrapsand refrigerate until you're ready use on the evening of Day 4.
- 3.Chop the veggies for theGreek-Style Chicken Saladrecipe and refrigerate for lunch on Day 1.
- 4.Chop the celery and grapes for theCurry Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps. Refrigerate until the evening of Day 2, when you'll finish putting the recipe together.
- 5.Make the quick-pickled onions for theRoast Beef, Arugula and Pickled Onion Wrap.
- 6.Make theMediterranean Edamame Tossrecipe for lunch on Day 4. Leave out the fresh arugula and the tomatoes until you're ready to eat it.
Look for the "Evening Meal Prep" notes on Days 1, 2, 3 & 4-these are the last minute-things you need to do to get your lunch ready for the following day.
Day 1: Greek-Style Chicken Salad
This fresh Mediterranean-style salad combines lean chicken, Greek vinaigrette, feta cheese, olives and plenty of veggies to create a filling salad with zesty flavor. Having pre-chopped your salad ingredients as part of your Sunday meal-prep, this lunch takes only a few minutes to put together. Serve the salad with a piece of hearty whole-grain bread or fresh fruit for extra staying power.
Meal-Prep Tip: Shred cooked chicken while it's still slightly warm, as it gets harder to pull apart after it's refrigerated. Wait to dress your salad until you're ready to eat, otherwise your veggies will get soggy. Or try packing the salad in a mason jar- start by adding the dressing on the bottom, and then layering with the chicken and the veggies.
Evening Meal Prep: Make the Roast Beef, Arugula and Pickled Onion Wrap for tomorrow's lunch.
The quick-pickled onions and addition of mango chutney to this wrap make it much more exciting than the standard meat-and-cheese lunch sandwich. Having made the pickles in advance, using a pre-made mango chutney, and pre-sliced deli meat, makes the assembly super quick. Roll-up the wrap either the evening before or in the morning before work in a quick 5 minutes, and you're ready to go. Pair it with a side of fruit to complete the meal.
Evening Meal Prep:Finish the last few steps to make the Curry Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps. With the celery, grapes, and chicken already pre-prepped from Sunday, all that's left to do is mix in the Greek yogurt, salt, pepper, curry powder, and almonds. Pack the lettuce leaves and chicken salad separately and build the wraps once you are ready to eat.
Combine the pre-cooked chicken you made on Sunday with chopped celery, red grapes, Greek yogurt, sliced almonds and-to switch things up from a traditional chicken-salad recipe-curry powder. Pack the lettuce leaves and chicken salad separately and build the wraps once you are ready to eat. This high-protein lunch will keep you feeling full and satisfied all afternoon, preventing that afternoon slump.
Day 4: Mediterranean Edamame Toss
This superfood lunch is packed with protein from the quinoa and edamame and has plenty of veggies, too. Making this the night before, allows the flavors to meld together, so it's even tastier when you have it for lunch. Pair this lunch with a piece of fruit.
Evening Meal Prep: Prepare the egg-and-avocado salad mixture. Wait to assemble the wrap until tomorrow morning or right before eating, so that the wrap doesn't get too soggy.
This recipe puts a Southwestern spin on the traditional egg-salad, with the help of chipotle peppers and zesty ranch dressing. Making the hard-boiled eggs at the beginning of the week, and preparing the rest of the recipe the night before means this lunch comes together quickly the day of.
Meal-Prep Tip: Hard-boiled eggs can last in the fridge up to one week, so you can boil a bunch on a Sunday to have for a the week.