Easy to Make Ahead Work Lunch Ideas!

Need some inspiration for healthy work lunch ideas that are easy to prep so you can avoid buying lunch in packaging? You’re not alone.  Many of us are trying to eat more plant-based meals and save money on work lunches.  In Australia right now, the cold weather has us seeking out hot lunch ideas too!

We've rounded up some great vegan lunch recipes from around the web, with seasonal ingredients and simple cooking methods to make your lunch prep easier. Whether you’re craving a hearty soup, a crunchy salad, hot noodles, or delicious pastry, we’ve got you covered.

These ideas to take your lunch to work are perfect for prepping several meals ahead of time, packing in your reusable containers, and enjoying on the go.

Our favourite vegan work lunch ideas for Australia starts with the idea that's popular for lunch in the Biome office right now. 

Healthy Instant Noodle Bowl


For this easy lunch for work, grab a glass lunch container, or a large stainless steel insulated food jar that can withstand boiling water.


Chop up vegetables very fine, such as zucchini, mushrooms, cabbage, kale, and spring onions. 


Place into the glass container the chopped up vegetables, a stock powder or concentrate such as The Broth Sisters Asian Veggie Stock Concentrate, and instant noodles (buy plain instant noodles in bulk to save packaging waste).

At work

At lunch time, boil the kettle, pour water to cover the noodles, and let it sit with the lid on.  You can speed it up in the microwave if you're using a microwave safe container. 



Chickpea 'Tuna' Salad Sandwich

This vegan chickpea salad sandwich has all the flavours of a classic tuna salad sandwich with dill and lemon, but with chickpeas instead to add a vegan source of protein and a healthy boost of fibre.

Vegan Tuna Chickpea Sandwich Work Lunch Ideas


You can make the chickpea salad ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to three days. 

To make the chickpea filling: combine one can of chickpeas, a few tablespoons each of olive oil and lemon juice, and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Using a fork or potato masher, crush the chickpeas until most are mashed but some are still whole. Stir in finely chopped celery for crunch, lots of chopped fresh dill, salt and pepper.

Photo and recipe inspo from Eating Well.


Each day, assemble the sandwich with your favourite bread, mayonnaise, greens, tomato and onion (if desired, but perhaps not for work!).   Wrap in a beeswax wrap.

At work 

Unwrap your work lunch sandwich and enjoy! 


Use-It-Up Veggie Soup

Hot Soup Lunch for Work or Hiking

This hot soup is my go-to for hiking in winter, as well as for easy work lunches.  After a hike in the Scenic Rim, Queensland in June, hot soup in my Thermos jar was everything!

Rather than let wilting or excess produce go to waste, it's easy to make a warming vegetable soup that uses up whatever veggies you have on hand.  Making soup is actually the most simple of dishes and does not need to be complicated.  Just follow these basic steps and vary to your liking and ingredient availability. 


Fry onions and finely chopped root vegetables like carrots and potato for five minutes.

For sweetness and tang, add a quarter cup of dry white wine and boil for 30 seconds to reduce to about half (optional step).  Then add a can of chopped tomatoes, crushed garlic, dried herbs you have in the pantry such as oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes.  Pour in one litre of vegetable stock (make up from a concentrate, packaged or homemade).  Simmer covered for about 20 minutes.

Add in the softer vegetables such as zucchini, chopped tomatoes, green beans, and any canned beans such as kidney beans or chickpeas.  Simmer covered for another 20 minutes.

Lastly, stir in greens such as spinach and kale, and two tablespoons of white wine vinegar (if you did not use white wine at the start, add in an extra tablespoon), and salt and pepper to taste.


If you can heat up at work, portion ahead of time into microwave safe containers.


Heat the soup at home, and fill your insulated food container.  Remember to first heat or prime the insulated jar with some boiling water (let it sit for a few minutes and then tip the water out before filling), which will help your soup stay toasty warm until lunch time.

For tradie lunch ideas this is my pick, especially as you can put it in a big Thermos.

Roasted Veggie Mason Jar Salad

Make Ahead Roasted Veggie Mason Jar Salad


In these cold months, roasted veggies are our go to for an easy dinner that warms the kitchen too.  Why not make every use of the electricity and save extra emissions by roasting double quantities to give you plenty for lunch prep as well.


Layering in a glass mason jar turns the leftovers in a luxe experience, but you could of course use any lunch box.

In the bottom of the jar, place your favourite dressing such as a creamy cashew sauce.  Placing in the bottom ensures your greens won't become wilted.

Next put in your roasted veggies, then some grains, seeds or nuts (whatever you have on hand), fried tofu, and lastly salad greens. Be sure to leave some space at the top for the next step.

At work

When you're ready to eat lunch at work, shake it up and enjoy.    Don't forget a fork or spork that is long enough to get into the bottom of your jar.

For quick and easy lunches, this would be my pick as you can pop any mix you find in your fridge in the jar.

Photo and recipe from: Eating Well


Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowls

How to Make Cauliflower Rice and Rice Burrito Bowl Recipe

Autumn is cauliflower season in Australia.  I love it roasted, but have you discovered how easy it is to make cauliflower rice?  You can grate a whole head of cauliflower in one go and freeze to use as you need.  Simply grate, sauté in olive oil for a few minutes, place lid on pan and steam for about five minutes.  Keep a close eye as you want the cauliflower to still have some crunch.  Squeeze out excess moisture and place portions into Stasher bags to freeze for up to one month. 

Photo and cauliflower rice tutorial from The Minimalist Baker


I recommend making enough to prep three or more work lunches at once, as one can of beans makes approx. three lunches. 

Cauliflower Rice - toss with salt and pepper, lime juice, red or green salsa, and fresh coriander if you have.

Canned black beans - rinse and toss through some ground cumin and chilli powder.  For the quick version just use the beans cold, for a more robust flavour simmer in a saucepan with a little water and the spices to taste.

Sauté a mix of capsicum strips (red, yellow or green is fine) and onion.


This recipe can be eaten cold, but if you want to heat at work, choose a microwaveable stainless steel container, or a glass container.  

If you plan on heating up, place some fresh avocado and greens into a separate container.  If you're eating cold, put everything in together!

Make several bowls ahead of time and store them in separate containers ready to take to work.


Vegan Tomato Tarte Tatin

Homemade Tomato Tarte Tartin

This vegan tomato tarte tatin is a stunning and simple lunch idea that looks like it came from a fancy bakery but is actually super easy to make.


As you know, we try to reduce packaged food use at Biome, but puff pastry is one where it seems worthwhile because it is so complex to make.  Take out a sheet of puff pastry and allow to defrost while you prep the tomatoes.

Mix cherry tomatoes cut in half with balsamic vinegar, a little sugar and fresh or dried thyme.  Fry slowly in an oven safe skillet or fry pan* until caramelised.

Lay the sheet of puff pastry over the top of the tomatoes, cut around to shape, cut a couple of slits in the pastry, then bake in a pre-heated until golden and flaky.

If you do not have an oven-proof skillet, you can transfer the tomato mix to an oven-proof dish.

Photo and recipe inspo from The Greedy Vegan

*I can't help give a shout out to the Australian-made, solid iron Solidteknics non stick pans that will last for generations!


Cut a slice each day and place into a leakproof container with a green salad, and a small container with dressing on the side.

The staff pick at Biome for a leakproof container with a durable lid is the U Konserve stainless steel containers.

Leak proof stainless steel lunch container


Biome is based in Brisbane, Australia, where I work at our warehouse and head office most days.  When I do not get organised to take lunch on the go, I lose focus and motivation as I often end up eating too late, or grabbing a sugary snack!

I hope these simple work lunch ideas will inspire you to make more of your own lunches for a nourishing boost during the day, while saving some money and waste.

- Tracey, Biome founder


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