Home Recipe Roundup 30 Cold Lunch Ideas (+ Easy Recipes)

30 Cold Lunch Ideas (+ Easy Recipes)

by insanelygood

Looking for some good cold lunch ideas to pack for work?

From salads to wraps to sandwiches, these easy recipes will make your lunch break even better!

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Broccoli Salad with Grapes, Onion and Bacon

Going out on your lunch break may be fun, but doing it on a daily basis isn’t easy on the wallet.

Plus, heating up food in the microwave can make lunch soggy or overcooked. That’s what makes cold lunches the perfect solution!

These 30 dishes are clear evidence that just because the food is cold doesn’t mean it can’t be tasty.

Full of flavor, texture, and color, these are some of the best meals you’ll ever have!

Ready to bring excitement to your packed lunch? Let’s get going!

1. Chick-fil-A Chicken Salad Sandwich

If you’re a fan of the classic Chick-fil-A sandwich, you’ll love the first recipe on this list.

This copycat sandwich yields crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside chicken in between two soft buns.

Straightforward as it may be, this sandwich is absolutely spectacular.

Plus, it’s such a mess-free, no utensil-required, grab-and-go meal. You’re free to eat it whenever your heart desires.

2. Egg Salad

If you think you have already found the best egg salad recipe, think again. This one makes the creamiest, richest sandwich filling you can never ask for.

With just a simple mix of hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and salt, you will have the best tasting, most nostalgic mixture ever.

One bite will bring back all those wonderful childhood memories!

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3. Greek Pasta Salad

Greek pasta salad is proof that not all salads are bland and boring.

With a combination of leafy greens, chewy pasta, garden tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber, olives, and feta cheese in a Greek dressing, this salad is undeniably refreshing and delicious.

Even self-proclaimed salad haters won’t say no to this stunning work of art. It’s the best summer side dish and is perfect for your next potluck!

4. Turkey Wraps

Roast turkey mixed with veggies and cheese and rolled up in a tender tortilla: that’s what’s up! 

Turkey sometimes has a reputation for being too dry and flavorless, but in this dish, the humble meat transforms into a scrumptious dish. 

Just picture it: savory turkey, salty cheese, crisp veggies, and sweet and tangy mustard sauce served like a burrito. I mean, how can you say no to that?

Rotisserie Chicken Salad

5. Rotisserie Chicken Salad

Let’s be honest, no one likes having the meal they had for dinner the next day. But no one wants to waste food either!

That’s why this chicken salad makes perfect sense.

Give your leftover rotisserie chicken a new purpose by turning it into a delectable salad!

By mixing rotisserie chicken with grapes, almonds, celery, and a creamy dressing, you’ll get a completely new dish that’s sure to delight the palate.

6. Cheese Buns 

If you’ve never tried making bread your entire life, this next item will make you want to.

These cheese buns are incredibly soft, fluffy, and as you may have guessed, cheesy.

They’re a must-try for all cheese lovers out there.

The recipe may seem intimidating at first, but there really is nothing to worry about!

Sure, it will take more time and effort than buying bread at your local bakery.

But if you’re up for the challenge, this cheese bread is definitely worth it. 

7. Waldorf Salad

Waldorf salad is a wonderful medley of colorful fruits tossed in a creamy and tangy dressing. It’s the kind of salad even the kids will love.

The combination of apples, grapes, celery, parsley, and walnuts is already an explosion of flavors.

Add in the dressing made of mayonnaise, yogurt, and lemon juice, and you’ll have a ridiculously refreshing summer side.

8. Tomato Gazpacho

Speaking of refreshing, this simple tomato gazpacho is another fantastic way to beat the summer heat. It also gets bonus points for being insanely easy to make.

Spanish chilled tomatoes and vegetable soup are all you need!

This soup comes together in under 15 minutes. You can make a huge batch, refrigerate, and enjoy when a craving strikes!

9. Greek Mason Jar Salad

Greek mason jar salad is essentially Greek salad placed in a mason jar.

It may seem like a gimmick to make this salad look cool, but one look at it, and you’ll know it definitely works!

Apart from the look, what makes mason jar salads super fantastic is that you can carry them around wherever you go!

As long as you have a secure lid, your salad will be easy to transport.

Best of all, there’s no one formula for making this salad. Choose your favorite salad ingredients and dressing, place them in a jar, cover the lid, and voila!

Broccoli Salad

10. Broccoli Salad

Broccoli salad is another flavor and nutrient-packed cold dish.

Just by looking at all those lovely colors, you can already tell it’s amazing.

Plus, the combo of broccoli, tomatoes, cheese, raisins, and bacon creates a beautiful harmony of flavors and textures. 

Then you have the tangy mayo dressing, tying all of them up in one neat bow. That’s what I call happiness in a bowl.

11. BLT Pasta Salad

In this next recipe, you’ll turn your favorite BLT sandwich turned into a pasta salad.

You really can’t go wrong with bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Throw some rotini into the mix, and it’s even more amazing. 

Of course, salad isn’t complete without the dressing. It’s a simple combination of mayonnaise and ranch, and it’s incredibly delightful.

12. Caesar Salad

Caesar salad is a well-loved classic, and for good reason.

Lettuce, bacon, croutons, Caesar dressing, and parmesan cheese might not be the healthiest combo, but it’s absolutely delicious.

You can serve this salad as a side dish, or transform it into a main meal by topping it with a sunny-side-up egg and a piece of chicken. Yum!

13. Spicy Buffalo Chickpea Wraps

Spicy buffalo-flavored chickpeas mixed with vegetables and bleu cheese dressing are wrapped in lettuce to make these heavenly wraps!

This chickpea dish is ridiculously tasty, and I promise you won’t miss the chicken.

The combination of flavors and textures is absolutely to die for. And it’s healthy, to boot!

14. Buffalo Chicken Wraps

This next dish makes the most scrumptious chicken wraps!

It’s buffalo-flavored rotisserie chicken wrapped in a soft tortilla and garnished with lettuce and a blue cheese dressing. It doesn’t get much better than that!

15. Collard Wraps with Quinoa & Veggies

If you’re trying to cut back on carbs without sacrificing flavor, these collard wraps are the way to go.

They’re made with cucumber, tomato, carrots, sprouts, hummus, quinoa, and avocado.

All of that is wrapped in crisp collard leaves to make the perfect healthy and tasty bite.

16. Spinach & Cheese Savoury Lunchbox Muffins

In the mood for savory muffins? These mouthwatering spinach and cheese muffins are guaranteed to scratch that itch.

These hearty muffins are loaded with spinach, red peppers, and, of course, cheese! It’s comfort food at its best.

The secret to its flavor? A stock cube! Don’t underestimate the power of this humble ingredient.

17. Caprese Style Hasselback Roma Tomatoes

Move over, Hasselback potatoes. These Hasselback tomatoes are the sweeter, lighter, and healthier option.

Here’s a breakdown of what goes into this dish: Roma tomatoes sliced with slits, each stuffed with mozzarella and basil. 

It doesn’t end there. The tomatoes are then sprinkled with red chili flakes, salt, and pepper for flavor.

Finished with a drizzling of olive oil and pesto, these tomatoes are a masterpiece.

18. Country Ham Sandwich

Nothing beats the classics. Case in point: the ham sandwich. 

There really is something amazing about ham and mayonnaise together. I’m perfectly happy with just these two ingredients in a sandwich.

This recipe, however, takes the classic to a whole new level by simply adding a few more ingredients.

With just some white bread, ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a tangy mayo garlic dressing, you’ll get to enjoy the most satisfying sandwich ever.

19. Chickpea Salad

This chickpea salad consists of crisp and colorful vegetables and creamy garbanzo beans.

Tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, chickpeas, and a lemon dressing make the most lip-smacking salad!

It’s the perfect salad for those trying to cut down on meat.

The chickpeas are not just loaded with flavor, but with protein as well, so you’ll still get your dietary needs just the same.

20. Burrito Bowl

Quinoa, beans, veggies, and a spice-flavored chicken is what you’ll get in this tastebud-tingling bowl.

The different colors, flavors, and textures make this bowl insanely addictive.

The chili lime sauce is the perfect dressing to tie all the flavors together. It’s proof that healthy bowls can taste amazing, too! 

21. Chicken Pesto Sandwich 

Chicken coated in pesto and Greek yogurt is what makes up this unbelievably tasty sandwich!

It’s creamy, refreshing, and so satisfying. It’s hearty and healthy, too.

It’s unusual to get such a wonderful combination in a dish, so this one’s definitely a keeper.

You can enjoy it as is, or take it up a notch by adding arugula, mozzarella, and tomatoes.

22. Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

These bright and refreshing rolls are the most affordable way to take a trip to Vietnam! 

These paper rolls are perhaps the most popular dish in Vietnam, and for an excellent reason.

The rice paper rolls have such a wonderful gelatinous consistency, which matches perfectly with the filling.

And the filling is made of sweet prawns, crisp vermicelli noodles, lettuce, bean sprouts, and mint.

You’ll want these unique Asian flavors to be part of your life forever.

As if that wasn’t amazing enough, these rolls also have a perfectly sweet peanut dipping sauce. All together, this dish is a wonder to behold. 

23. Farmers Market Veggie Sandwich

Who says you need meats and cheeses to make a delicious sandwich? This all-veggie treat has every wonderful flavor and texture you can ask for.

It’s cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, cabbage, and pesto sauce all in one amazing sandwich! How can you say no to such a refreshing combination?

24. Thai Green Papaya Salad

You need not book a flight to take a gastronomic trip to Thailand. This green papaya salad is all you need.

Green papaya salad is made from shredded unripe papaya, cucumber, tomato, mango, peanuts, dried shrimp, and garlic in a sweet, sour, and spicy dressing.

It’s the perfect palate cleanser after a rich bite.

25. Turkey Salad Croissants

Stuff your turkey in a croissant, and you’ll get a hearty and appetizing dish that you can eat anywhere, anytime.

This salad has the most flavorful combination of cubed turkey, cashews, radishes, green onions, celery, and pimientos in a mayo-lemon juice dressing.

Doesn’t that sound amazing?

The recipe calls for croissants, but you can use whatever bread you have on hand to make these delectable sandwiches.

26. Smashed White Bean, Basil, & Avocado Sandwich

It’s time to focus the attention on white beans, another rich and creamy ingredient that will make any dish even more tempting.

This sandwich is stuffed with white beans mashed with avocados, basil, mustard, and lemon. Not only is it extra yummy, but it’s also super hearty and healthy!

27. Mexican Pinwheels

These adorable Mexican pinwheels are a sure hit with kids and adults alike.

How can anyone not fall in love and drool on these pinwheels?

First of all, look how cute they are! 

Second, imagine all these ingredients combined to make one incredible dish: chicken, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, salsa, and lots of tortilla. Mmm!

28. Bagels and Lox

Open-faced bagels are smothered with cream cheese, sliced onions, capers, and lox. This combination is rich, creamy, and downright delicious.

Ever wondered why salmon is called “lox?” The word originated from the Yiddish word “laks,” which means salmon.

29. Cold Thai Noodle Salad

Thai noodle salad consists of fresh veggies and rice noodles. It’s a wonderfully refreshing salad that’s perfect for the summer.

Bell peppers, carrots, onions, cucumber, and rice noodles all in one bowl? Just wait until you add the sauce!

Made with ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, sesame oil, lime, and soy sauce, this dressing is the ultimate combo of Asian flavors.

30. Peanut Butter Wraps

Peanut butter, chopped apples, and granola are all wrapped in a tender tortilla. These wraps are every peanut butter lover’s dream!

Sweet, salty, crisp, and tender, these wraps create the most beautiful medley of flavors and textures.

30 Cold Lunch Ideas (+ Easy Recipes)

Directions

  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a delicious lunch in 30 minutes or less!
Cold Lunch Ideas

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