33 Whole30 Lunch Ideas You Can Bring to Work

Photo by Keri Bouika / Design by Morgan Johnson

Whether or not you’re actively on the lookout for whole30 lunch ideas, you’ve probably heard of the Whole30 diet. For those who are still a little confused by it, Whole30 is a 30-day elimination diet that entirely cuts out grains, legumes (beans, lentils, peanuts, etc.), soy, dairy, added sugars, and processed foods. Oh, and no booze, either. Anyone on the Whole30 will spend 30 days eating tons of fresh veggies, meat, seafood, fruit, eggs, nuts, seeds, and certain oils. You can find the official program rules here.

Know that this is definitely a restrictive diet, and that it certainly isn’t for everybody. Eliminating entire food groups is hard, and SELF has reported at length that going on an elimination diet without first consulting a doctor is a bad idea. (Anyone with a history of disordered eating should likely steer clear of the Whole30 or any other plan that involves restrictive rules, but again, your best bet is to consult a doctor.) If you do decide to take on a Whole30, a doctor or a registered dietitian can give you expert advice on how to make sure you’re getting the energy and nutrients you need throughout the 30-day program.

Anyone giving Whole30 a try is likely going to need some new recipe inspiration in order to get through the 30 days. Since it forbids all grains, legumes, soy, and dairy (among other things), lunch can be particularly tricky—sandwiches and grain bowls are, literally, off the table.

Whole30 lunches are essential, because they’ll save you from a slip-up when nothing else can. It’s easy to keep the cravings at bay and stay on track when you’re at home for breakfast or dinner and can make something to satisfy your hunger in a pinch. But when you’re out and about, or at your desk far from the security of a kitchen you can cook in, you need recipes that will keep you from falling prey to the vending machine’s siren call.

These 33 recipes are all completely Whole30-approved, as well as delicious, simple, and easy-to-transport—in a word, perfect for lunchtime. Options like chicken baked with saffron and plums and turkey meatballs in an orange glaze will keep you full, happy, and far from bored.

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