9 Work Lunches Under 500 Calories That Take Less Than 15 Minutes To Make

There's not a soggy salad in sight!

work lunches
Image: pinchofyum.com

If there’s one part of the work day we always look forward to (apart from going home and snuggling up on the couch, of course) it’s lunch time. You get to stretch your legs, rest your eyes, get some fresh air and most importantly, eat! But unless you were organised enough to do Sunday food prep that week, lunch time is right around the time decision fatigue kicks in. You realise you have NFI what you actually feel like eating, so you panic and order a less-than-appetising salad…or a burger bigger than your head that immediately puts you into a carb coma!

As it turns out, there is a middle ground with work lunches that taste great but don’t contain your entire daily calorie allowance. And you won’t even have to do any meal prep — well not really, anyway. As they’re ready in less than 15 minutes, you can quickly make them at night before you go to work or in the morning. They’re also super cheap, so they’ll increase the size of your wallet, not your waistband.

Scroll through the gallery for our favourite lunch recipes under 500 calories per serve, that take less than 15 minutes to make.

1. Southwestern Veggie Hummus Wraps

Image: chelseasmessyapron.com

This veggie-packed wrap is the perfect grab-and-go option, taking only 10 minutes to make!

See the recipe here.

2. Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Image: twopeasandtheirpod.com

The slow-cooker does all the heavy lifting in this low-cal comfort food from Two Peas and Their Pod.

Check out the recipe here.

3. Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Wrap

Image: tastesbetterfromscratch.com

This delicious tropical-inspired wrap is the perfect way to use your leftover chicken from last night’s dinner.

See the recipe.

4. Chickpea Spinach Salad

Image: hurrythefoodup.com

This vegetarian-friendly salad is as quick and easy as they come, taking just 7 minutes to make!

Check out the recipe.

5. Black Bean Corn Quesadillas

Image: dashingdish.com

Cheesy and easy is the name of the game with this quick Mexican dish.

Learn to make it here.

6. Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken

Image: ambitiouskitchen.com

Make your workmates jealous with this gourmet-looking (but actually super quick and easy) lunch.

See the recipe.

7. 15 Minute Lo Mein

Image: pinchofyum.com

This stir-fry recipe from Pinch of Yum puts a healthier spin on a Chinese takeaway classic.

Check out the recipe.

8. Spaghetti Carbonara

Image: damndelicious.net

This quick, yummy and relatively low-calorie (approx 375 per serving) pasta dish couldn’t be further from your sad desk salad.

Learn to make it here.

9. Vegan Red Lentil Dal

Image: simplyquinoa.com

Low calorie, cheap and speedy — this dal recipe ticks all the right boxes, whether you’re vegan or not!

Check out the recipe.

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Emma Norris
A true believer in balance, Emma is just as passionate about pizza as she is about pull-ups. When she’s not writing, she loves strength training, visiting new cafes and trying out new fitness classes. Having lived in Ireland and Canada, Emma was bitten by the travel bug at a young age. She loves nothing more than visiting new destinations and experiencing different cultures. Emma grew up (and currently lives) near the beautiful Coogee Beach and is happiest when she’s near a body of water. She started her career in magazines and has recently made the exciting transition to the digital world.