50 Packable Lunch Ideas

Hi Friends!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting back into the swing of things and remembering what it’s like to work 8-5. I’ve also dialed in my lunch-packing skills once again! I never really have a set plan when packing my lunches, but I do always try to include:

-Fresh fruit
-A whole grain
-A protein source
-Lots of vegetables

I think a lot of people feel like they have to make their packed lunch with one big dish and some sides. I rarely do this. I generally pack 3-4 smaller things so I can enjoy a little bit of a lot of things. More fun to eat that way!

Another thing I’ve noticed about packing my lunch is that I’m eating a lot more vegetables during the day than I was when I was eating at home. When I had the whole fridge and pantry to choose from, I typically avoided veggies and chose other things. Now that I have to eat whatever I bring with me, I just make sure to pack veggies in my lunch every day and then I eat them! Simple as that!

I get a lot of comments on how creative and varied my lunches are and even more questions about what to pack for lunch…

Ask and you shall receive! Here are 50 packable lunch ideas to inspire you to pack some fun new lunches!

 Tired of eating the same things for lunch every day? Here are 50 Healthy Packable Lunch Ideas to make lunchtime more exciting!

Hummus & Veggies
Tuna/Chicken/Chickpea Salad and Crackers
Cobb Salad
Fruit & Greek Yogurt
Oatmeal + toppings
Hard boiled eggs
Raw veggie sticks
Homemade trail mix
Apples or celery & peanut butter
Peanut butter crackers
Spring rolls
Oatmeal Pancakes
Pasta salad
Homemade pretzel bites
Pizza rollups
Nut butter and jelly sandwich
Loaded sweet potato
Frozen smoothie
Tuna pseudo-sushi
Healthy Breakfast Bars
Chips & homemade guac, dip or salsa
Apple rings
Homemade granola bars
Cheese and crackers
Stuffed peppers
Quinoa bowls
Rice and beans
Fruit chips
Roasted chickpeas
Burger- meat or veggie
Burrito salad
Egg sandwich
Frozen burrito
Falafel in a pita
Cottage cheese & sliced tomato
Baked samosas
Sweet & Spicy Baked tofu
Salad in a jar
lentil veggie mac and cheese
Veggie slaw

Here are some of the lunches I’ve packed lately:

Do you pack your lunch?
What’s your favorite thing to bring?

Happy Packing!


About Lindsay

Lindsay Livingston is a Registered Dietitian and new mom from Columbus, Ohio. On her blog, she shares simple, healthy recipes, nutrition tips, workouts and snapshots of her life. Follow her on Twitter @LeanGrnBeanBlog and Instagram @TheLeanGreenBean and be sure to subscribe via RSS or email so you never miss a post!


  1. Pinning this!

  2. This is awesome. Are you reading my mind? I was literally just thinking when I start working again what a task it will be to come up with lunches!
    Christy recently posted..#MotivationalMondays- The Cop Out Post

  3. I always pack my lunch! Part because my body requires “real” foods or I feel sick almost immediately; part because it’s healthier overall; and part because it’s a lot nicer on my wallet. :)
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..Music Monday // I Will Wait

  4. Totally pinning this too! I love seeing your pictures of your lunch. They are always so varied and interesting. And love the idea behind the Saucony app. The rising rates of childhood obesity are scary. I think that the stat that got to me the most was hearing that this generation may be the first with a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Scenes from my vacation – Montauk

  5. Your lunch pictures are all so colourful!! Love it!
    I always pack my lunch — I enjoy the food much better and I’m way too frugal to use the cafeteria ($1 to make my lunch vs. $6 minimum for lunch there — I’ll choose homemade every time!!).
    My favourite lunch to pack is either tuna or tillapia with a mix of steamed red cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and a bit of sweet potato. With a tonne of snacks, of course — homemade trail mix is my current favourite.

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    Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale recently posted..Super Seven and the Smarties

  6. Your lunch pictures are all so colourful! Love them and the ideas to boot (going to have to try apple rings ASAP!). I always bring my lunch — I enjoy the food so much more and I’m frugal (so $1 for home lunch vs. $6+ in the cafeteria … no contest there!)
    My current favourite lunch is tuna/tillapia with a mix of steamed red cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and sweet potato. And obviously tonnes of snacks — homemade trail mix is my current favourite! :)

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    Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale recently posted..Super Seven and the Smarties

  7. Childhood obesity is something I’ve become more and more aware of. I love this app – such an easy way to help the cause to fight the epidemic!

    These are some awesome ideas. I do a lot of these already, and prepping balanced meals in advance has become a must on my 7 meal a day plan! The Salmon Cakes I posted today have become a lunch staple for me (in addition to many of the ideas you listed!)
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted..Lemon-Thyme Salmon Cakes

  8. I only ever bring lunch! Right now I make an egg white or tuna wrap on Flatout with veggies. Or I use nori wrappers to make “sushi” without the rice or with quinoa instead.
    JulieGoesHealthy recently posted..A picture. Normal.

  9. These are such great ideas, thank you! I wish I could say I pack my lunch. I do, actually, but I almost ALWAYS decide that I don’t want what I packed and end up buying something. How do you avoid that?

  10. Great ideas!! Pinned away!!
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Try it Out Tuesday…Zipfizz Review

  11. oh GIRL I NEEEEEED this right now.

    thank you.
    Miz recently posted..Physical vision boards VS Pinterest.

  12. Pinning away! Always looking for packable lunch ideas.
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Virtual Run and Photo A Day Challenge

  13. What a list! That is awesome! Protein and Peppers are my must-haves :)
    Kierston recently posted..Baked Oatmeal Protein Muffin Tops!

  14. I pack two lunches each day, mine and Nick’s. These are some WONDERFUL ideas! Nick always gets a PB&J and some type of granola bar, a fruit, and a vegetable. My lunch contains yogurt, my homemade granola, and a few other random things like lentil chips. I’ve also been enjoying your Greek yogurt bars for lunches on my days off. SO DELICIOUS!
    Gina (The Candid RD) recently posted..Clean Eating’s Panko and Sage-Crusted Pork Cutlets

  15. YES! Packing your lunch doesn’t have to be boring!! My go-to lately has been a HUGE rainbow salad (tons of veggies!) with some type of protein source (this week itz tuna and pinto beans). Today I’m also packing cucumber slices with a laughing cow wedge. I’m the same way as you – I eat way more veggies when I bring my lunch!
    Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted..Random 10K Race Success

  16. Love this list! Such a great resource! Pinning now!
    Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness recently posted..I Finally Did it….Gluten Free Funfetti

  17. Heavyontheveggie says:

    Umm Saucony this is awesome!
    Just got new Saucony running shoes as well – never had them for running before and I love them!

  18. I always pack my lunch, saves on money, saves on calories and helps me control what I eat. There’s no better way to know what your eating than to prep it yourself!
    Katie @wishandwhimsy recently posted..Simple Sweet | Frozen Vanilla Grape Clusters

  19. I love this post… seriously I was just wondering wat to pack in my kids lunches and poof! there you were. :)
    Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted..Wordless Wednesday and the Winner of my Nature Box Giveaway

  20. I love these ideas – thanks for posting them!! Packing my lunch always makes me feel 10X better than when I end up eating out, and having a variety of ideas to go to helps break up the monotony.
    Tosha @ Twenty-Five Plus recently posted..Foodie Penpal Reveal – August 2012

  21. Ooo, love this! Friend and I were JUST discussing coming up with lunch ideas, going to go share this :)
    Allie recently posted..Accomplished…Again?

  22. Cool app! I pack my lunch most days, mostly because it’s healthier and I hate spending money on lunch when I know I have ingredients at home. I’ve learned that in NYC, this is definitely against the grain and not normal (many people think I’m crazy for bringing my own). Most times, my lunch is just leftovers from the night before.
    Lora @ Crazy Running Girl recently posted..GOODBYE SUMMER

  23. You always have a knack with knowing EXACTLY what I need all the time. Definitely pinning this one.

  24. kids are snackers, so even a lunch of just fresh snacks is better than the “packaged” food. I love the apple rings and pb idea. and the salad in a jar is fun! easy clean up too.
    lindsay recently posted..Fruits of Our Labor (and Recipe)

  25. Love these ideas for lunch! I always struggle with packed lunch so I end up eating the same thing almost everyday! I need to spice things up a bit!
    Amanda @ Romancing the Unusual recently posted..New look, new goals!

  26. Love this list! Vishnu and I bring lunches from home during the week and sometimes it’s easy to get in to a rut. This list definitely sparked some new ideas! Thanks!

  27. Oh my gosh, this is FANTASTIC. I pack my lunch every day, and lately I’ve found myself in a bit of a rut. I think I’m going to try to work my way through this list to keep things interesting over the next 10 weeks. Thank you!!
    Bethany @ Accidental Intentions recently posted..End in Sight

  28. Eating out Monday to Friday can definitely be expensive and hard on the waistline. I aim to bring a lunch 4 days a week and leave one day for lunching with friends or grabbing a slice of pizza/a bowl of froyo.

    I definitely love it when I have extra leftovers so I can pack something easy for lunch. My other go-to items are salads, homemade veggie burgers that I make in bulk and freeze or chickpea salad sandwiches.
    Andrea @ Vegvacious recently posted..See the Beauty in Your Own Backyard

  29. Love that Saucony is doing this! Definitely going to download the app and see how I can get involved :) Thanks for sharing your on the go recipes! I usually pack a healthy lunch and snack for work so that I can save money and not be tempted to eat unhealthy foods :)
    Natalie @ FreshLifeFindings recently posted..Fall is in the Air + Grilled Peaches & BBQ Turkey Burgers

  30. I usually come home for lunch, but I am about to have to start packing it! Thanks for making it easy on me! 😉
    Brittany @ Delights and Delectables recently posted..Because I’m Crazy

  31. Lindsay these are fantastic ideas!!!! Oh my gosh. So many things I could take with me to work! I love it!
    Liz @ IHeartVegetables recently posted..Summer Favorites

  32. Is this an iphone only app?
    Katie Cummings recently posted..Labor Day (and my work changes)

  33. Love this!! I swear I am the only one who packs my lunch at the entire hospital! I don’t think I could handle multiple days in a row of eating out! Packed lunches all the way!
    Andrea recently posted..What I Learned From My Psychiatry Rotation

  34. Thank you thank you thank you! I just started a new semester of college, so I am out and about most of the day! I am so thrilled to have ideas for my packed lunches!
    Kaylie recently posted..My Happiness Mantra

  35. lots of great ideas here! i tend to pack snacky lunches (cheese & crackers, tuna & crackers etc.) or big grain-based salads….always a veggie, fruit, & yogurt for sides too!
    Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef recently posted..Iced Tea with Ginger-Mint Simple Syrup

  36. What great ideas! I’ll definitely be putting these to use, thanks!

  37. Great post, Lindsay! The statistics for childhood obesity are truly frightening. I’ll definitely be downloading the Saucony app. Love these healthy, packable lunches. Ever notice that healthy food tends to be so photogenic with all its natural color?!

  38. love the salads in a jar! I was definitely living on those when I was working like 7 days a week back in june/july. My hospital friends asked me to do a post like this for some healthy/ unrefrigerated lunch ideas.
    Ashley @ Freckles & Spice recently posted..My boyfriend’s back + One of My Favorite Dishes

  39. Great post! I typically pack like that although I eat all my snacks abut 2 hours a part. I like to have my bigger lunch at home when I can enjoy it.
    Carissa recently posted..How to Eat Healthy at a Football Party

  40. I am loving the salad in a jar idea! :) So easy to store… I am not sure why people buy those “lunch boxes”… They always leak – JARS were MADE TO NOT LEAK! Perfection! LOL
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted..So Hungry You Could Eat A…

  41. It’s really an adorable article. I am loving all of your above ideas and I truly like above most of the foods as my lunch item.It’s really more healthy then other foods. I will try to having all the above food as my daily lunch item.

  42. Awesome tips! I’ll always try to remember that FAAL acronym for fresh foods, a whole grain, a protein source and lots of vegetables.
    Julieane Hernandez recently posted..What Foods You Should We Eat When We Have The Flu?


  1. […] more inspiration, check out Lindsay’s 50 Packable lunch ideas, Michelle’s School Lunch series and Lisa’s Smart Lunch box […]

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  4. […] more inspiration, check out Lindsay’s 50 Packable lunch ideas, Michelle’s School Lunch series and Lisa’s Smart Lunch box […]

  5. […] more inspiration, check out Lindsay’s 50 Packable lunch ideas, Michelle’s School Lunch series and Lisa’s Smart Lunch box […]

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  7. […] more healthy lunch ideas, read the 50 Lunch Ideas for Work or speak with a dietician who can address your specific nutritional […]

  8. […] 50 Packable Lunch Ideas from Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean: I love all these easy-to-prepare lunch components. […]

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  9. […] a dietitian who writes The Lean Green Bean blog has a great post about packing healthy lunches. Streamline her idea by preparing a whole weeks worth of lunches before it starts. Spare an hour of […]

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  10. […] 50 Packable Lunch Ideas – The Lean Green Bean.  I love getting food ideas from RD blogger friends, I always feel good about my choices when they come from a list like this!   Lindsay is especially good at rounding up recipes and listing creative ideas for making easy, healthy choices a part of your every day life.  This post is no exception. […]

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