20 Healthy, Totable Meals to Eat at Your Desk

Forgo fast food and sad cafeteria options. Do your diet a solid and pack a wholesome weekday meal for breakfast, lunch or snack time. 

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Kale Buttermilk Caesar Salad with Chicken

This hearty salad is satisfying, thanks to a garlicky dressing and crisp whole-wheat croutons. Even when dressed, kale is a nutrient powerhouse that won't wilt, which makes this a good pick for a pack-ahead lunch.

Get the Recipe: Kale Buttermilk Caesar Salad with Chicken

Lighter and Leaner Pimento Cheese Sandwich

Low-fat mozzarella, Greek yogurt and whole-wheat bread help Bobby Deen trim down pimento cheese sandwiches without sacrificing any of the flavor. Wrap in foil to help the bread stay warm and crisp.

Get the Recipe: Lighter and Leaner Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup made with breast-only chicken meat and low-sodium beans gains extra flavor from baked corn tortilla strips –– who needs greasy fried chips? And, while it's best warm, it's pretty irresistible at room temperature, too.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Grilled Vegetable Panini with Herbed Feta Spread

Kelsey’s panini is piled high with grilled veggies and cream cheese — a rich, fiber- and vitamin-packed lunch. Pack each component separately to keep bread from getting soggy.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Vegetable Panini with Herbed Feta Spread

Crunchy Fennel and Green Apple Salad

Bored with your romaine-only salads? Start with a watercress-and-fennel base for their peppery and anise flavors, mix in sweet-and-sour Granny Smith apple slices and top with a spicy citrus dressing.

Get the Recipe: Crunchy Fennel and Green Apple Salad

Pine Nut Marinara Quinoa Bowl

Jason Wrobel skips the pasta and, instead, serves gluten-free quinoa with homemade marinara sauce. The components in this dish can be made a day in advance.

Get the Recipe: Pine Nut Marinara Quinoa Bowl

Deconstructed Wonton Soup

Both edamame and cabbage pack a lot of nutrients into this Asian chicken soup. Putting all the flavors of a wonton directly in the soup instead of wrapping dumplings helps you get this dish on the table in a flash.

Get the Recipe: Deconstructed Wonton Soup

Soba Noodle-Vegetable Salad

Basil, mint and cilantro give this Asian-inspired dish plenty of herby flavor, so you can go light on the lime-and-chile dressing.

Get the Recipe: Soba Noodle-Vegetable Salad

Maple Berry Yogurt Parfait

Syrup-drenched berries taste delicious when layered with zesty, spiced ricotta in this parfait (it works well as a sweet breakfast or light lunch). Layer all ingredients in a glass jar for a gorgeous meal.

Get the Recipe: Maple Berry Parfait

Spicy Thai Sweet Potato Ginger Soup

This rich, thick soup seems like an indulgent treat, but thanks to calorie-free aromatics, nutrient-rich sweet potatoes and a tablespoon of red Thai curry paste, it’s only 220 calories and has only 121 mg of sodium. It's far lighter than traditional cream-based bowls of soup.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Thai Sweet Potato-Ginger Soup

Greek Salad with Oregano-Marinated Chicken

Chicken possesses Grecian flair when marinated in a citrus-spiked oregano rub, grilled and then nestled atop romaine, Kalamata olives and feta. The salad dressing echoes the marinade with extra oregano and lemon juice.

Get the Recipe: Greek Salad with Oregano Marinated Chicken

Penne with Spinach Sauce

This light and fresh pasta dish is full of nutrients, thanks to a sauce made out of our favorite super veggie, spinach. Naturally low-fat goat cheese lends a creamy texture and pleasantly tangy flavor.

Get the Recipe: Penne with Spinach Sauce

Kale and Bacon Frittata

Throughout Italy, frittatas are a lunchbox staple and often served at room temperature. Swapping in egg whites for half of the eggs lightens up the recipe a bit, while shredded Jarlsberg cheese adds bold flavor.

Get the Recipe: Kale and Bacon Frittata

Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf

Juicy pomegranate seeds, slivered almonds and scallions liven up Kelsey’s simple quinoa recipe, making it perfect for a satisfying lunch. 

Get the Recipe: Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf

Caribbean Wrap

This spicy-sweet tropical sandwich is packed with lean, tasty and nutritious fillings like black beans, chicken breast, mango and macadamia nuts.

Get the Recipe: Caribbean Wrap

Lettuce Cups with Tofu and Beef

Though lettuce wraps may seem like a healthy menu option, the fillings are often made with high-calorie, high-sodium sauces. Ellie uses a moderate amount of sweet hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, low-sodium soy sauce and powerful chile-garlic paste to flavor her lettuce cups. She also saves calories by mixing lean ground beef with tofu. These wraps are the perfect carb-free lunch or snack.

Get the Recipe: Lettuce Cups with Tofu and Beef

Mushroom Spinach Thai Salad

The mushroom caps in this hearty salad are marinated in a hot and sweet Thai dressing and layered over a bed of baby spinach. Pickled red onions and sesame seeds add further flavor and texture. Pack components separately so the leaves don't get soggy.

Get the Recipe: Mushroom Spinach Thai Salad

Cabbage Salad

Mark Bittman's cabbage salad recipe –– a riff on mayo-free slaw –– is all about the proper preparation. He salts the chopped cabbage and carrots so that they release most of their moisture and then pats them dry, ensuring ultra-crisp texture.

Get the Recipe: Cabbage Salad

Pasta Salad with Tuna

David Rocco's mayo-free twist on tuna salad layers seared sushi-grade tuna, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes atop pasta.

Get the Recipe: Insalata di Pasta con Tonno: Pasta Salad with Tuna

Massaged Kale Salad

Massaging raw kale with oil and lemon juice for two to three minutes softens the leaves and cuts their bitterness, making the superfood much easier to eat and digest.

Get the Recipe: Massaged Kale Salad