How to Put Together the Perfect Packed Lunch
When you’re trying really hard to stay on track, taking your own packed lunch out and about with you can make all the difference. Packing up food you’ve made at home and taking it on-the-go won’t just save you calories, it’ll help prevent food waste and save you money in the long run too.
When you get creative with your prepping, your homemade, slimming-friendly option will always be the most appealing. If you’re feeling a little uninspired, we’re here to prove that the perfect packed lunch can look different every day.
This post contains affiliate links. Find out what this means.
Pick the perfect tupperware
With the right tupperware, nothing is off the menu. When you’re not worrying about leaking soups or dripping sauces, you can look forward to whatever tasty lunch you’ve stashed in your bag.
We love a container that does it all: something that can go from the freezer, to the microwave, to the dishwasher. This set of 4 airtight containers will do just that, and there’s a decent variety of sizes included to help you with portion control.
Spoon in a serving of this BLT Pasta Salad and pop it in the fridge when you get to work. With juicy tomatoes and salty bacon, it’s the perfect excuse to have pasta for lunch. It keeps really well in the fridge, so you can make a big batch and treat yourself to a few helpings throughout the week.
If you’ve got a busy day and no time to stop off and heat your food up, a soup flask could be your new best friend. Look for something leak-proof and insulated, that will keep your food nice and toasty until it’s time to tuck in. This flask from Amazon is just the ticket, and it even comes with a handy little fold-away spoon, so you’ll never be caught out.
We’d fill it up with this Smoky Ham and Pasta Soup, to warm you up and keep you going until dinnertime. Not your usual soup, you can add in any old pasta shapes that you find in the cupboard, to give this broth a bit of a bite. It makes it super filling, but still slimming friendly at 213 calories per serving.
No microwave, no problem
Maybe you’re out running errands or maybe your office doesn’t have a kitchen – there are lots of reasons you might need a packed lunch that’s ready to eat straight from the tupperware. Not all lunches need to be heated up to be at their most delicious, and we’ve got you covered if you need something that’s good to go, on the go.
A sandwich is a packed lunch staple, but we know it’s not the most creative option. We promise only one sarnie has sneaked its way onto this list, and it’s deserving of a mention because it’s honestly such a classic. Our BLT Sandwich is a slimming-friendly version that never gets boring.
The double-decker stacked sandwich has the ultimate filling: bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo, with the added deliciousness of two fried eggs. Parcel it all up, pop it in your tupperware and don’t blame us when you’re counting down the minutes until it’s time to tuck in!
We love to bulk out a salad with pasta. Not only does it help to fill you up, it keeps things interesting and it’s a great excuse to get more pasta into your weekly menu (and we’ll take any excuse).
This Tuna Niçoise Pasta Salad takes the classic, French-inspired recipe up a notch, adding in some pasta twists and coating it all in our slimming-friendly creamy dressing. So easy to prepare the night before, this is a dream to take out and about in a good, airtight container. Pop off the lid, grab a fork and get stuck in wherever you are!
You can’t go wrong with a chicken salad packed lunch, and we think we’ve created one of the tastiest ones going. With our Chicken Pesto Salad, you get the perfect crunchiness of crisp lettuce, a bite of herby, pesto-coated chicken and a tang of saltiness from the crumbly feta cheese.
Not just another salad, it brings light, zingy, summery flavours to your tupperware, that’ll cheer you up any time of the year.
Speaking of summer-inspired lunch ideas, this next recipe is so refreshing, it has it in the name: Summer Pineapple, Lime, Feta and Quinoa Salad. A grain that’s just as delicious hot or cold, quinoa is perfect for packed lunches. High in protein, it’s a great addition to salads and vegetarian dishes.
Brimming with sunshine-y flavours, this recipe is ready in just 10 minutes, and can be packed up on its own as a main meal, or served as a smaller portion on the side of some grilled meat if you prefer.
Leftovers for lunch
The ultimate lunchtime win, leftovers for lunch is both convenient and budget-friendly. Being able to cook once and have a few meals sorted is one of the best things about batch-cooking, and it means enjoying more of the meals you love.
If you follow our recipe quantities for this Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup you’ll find yourself with enough for 6 hearty servings. Whether you have some for dinner, or portion it all up for lunches, there’s plenty to go around.
The freezer-friendly soup is warming and flavourful, with filling pearl barley that thickens the broth. Pour some into your soup flask and you’re all set for a midday treat.
While Ploughman’s Quiche with some Homemade Oven Chips is undeniably a satisfying dinner, packing up a leftover slice for lunch may be even more rewarding. Hot or cold, this quiche has got it all going on – we’re talking salty ham, creamy cheese and tangy Branston pickle.
Even without a pastry crust, it’s filling enough to be eaten on its own, or you could add a crisp side salad for some extra crunch.
We’d recommend making more of this Tuscan Chicken Macaroni than you need, because you’ll definitely want the leftovers for lunch the next day. Seriously creamy and cheesy, it’s one of those dishes where you can eat it time and time again.
Dotted with sweet roasted tomatoes, chunks of tender chicken and a pop of green spinach, it looks so inviting sitting there in your tupperware – will you be able to resist until lunchtime?
You might not think you can enjoy bolognese on the go, and yet that’s exactly what you get with these unmissable Bolognese Quesadillas. There’s no better way to parcel up leftovers from your Spaghetti Bolognese dinner than tucking it away inside a crispy, cheesy low-calorie wrap shell.
You’ll be the envy of all your friends when you crack out your tupperware to reveal this tasty lunch!
We like to think we’re pros when it comes to thinking up fresh ways to use leftovers. For more leftovers for lunch inspo, take a look through the ideas in this article.
Don’t forget to pack a snack
If your packed lunch needs to see you through the midday hunger pangs, past the mid-afternoon slump and all the way to hometime, you might need a little bit of something extra to keep you going.
At 82 calories each, it’d be rude not to treat yourself to one of these Chocolate Swirls to go with your 3pm cuppa. A batch of 16 will see you through the week, with plenty spare to share with any lucky friends and family that pop in for a catch-up.
If you’re more of a fruity person, these Strawberry Oat Muffins are a lunchbox staple in our house. Perfect for a mid-morning nibble, they can double up as breakfast on days when you’re too busy to eat at home.
The oats bring that slow release energy that’ll power you through until lunchtime.
Pack your tupperware with these Chicken Satay Skewers if you ever need a protein boost to energise you in the afternoon. So easy to prepare in advance, they’ll keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days, and can be reheated in the microwave.
Don’t forget to pick up a set of small leak-proof containers for dips and dressings. These ones from Amazon are ideal for packing up the satay sauce so you can dunk your skewers no matter where you are!
A little pot of this homemade Hummus Style Dip can help to banish the afternoon peckishness, and it’s far more slimming friendly than a supermarket version. Bundle it up in your bag, along with some chopped veggies (carrots, cucumber, celery, peppers – anything with a crunch!) and you’re onto a winner.
If you need any more ideas for portable snacks to see you through the day, make sure you bookmark our roundup of Office Snack Essentials.
What’s in your perfect packed lunch?
We’d love to take a sneak peek at what you’ve been making for lunch recently. Drop us a comment or photo over in our Facebook group! With almost 1 million members, there’s always plenty of ideas and inspiration to help you along on your slimming journey.
Did you know that you can share your hints, tips, quotes and photos in our PON Gallery too? It’s a good place to hang out if you want to see what everyone else has been making lately.
If you liked this article, you’ll love exploring the rest of our blog. Browse any time you need a little bit of inspiration for recipe ideas, kitchen equipment, money-saving tips and LOADS more!