Eating low carb at work can seem challenging, but it doesn’t have to be! With a little planning and preparation, you can put together simple and delicious low carb lunches to take to the office.
Whether your goal is weight loss, better blood sugar control, or just eating healthier, having go-to low carb lunch options will help you stay on track. Avoid the temptation of grabbing fast food or vending machine snacks by packing lunches that are satisfying and carb-conscious.
This article will provide 10 easy ideas for low carb lunches you can take to work. We’ll also cover some tips for making prep and packing easy, low carb swaps to make popular lunch foods carb-friendly, and frequently asked questions about low carb meal prepping.
10 Simple Low Carb Lunch Ideas To Go
Here are 10 hand-picked low carb lunch ideas that are simple to prepare and perfect for taking to work:
1. Low Carb Lettuce Wraps
Lettuce makes the perfect low carb substitute for sandwich bread or tortillas. Simply fill leaves of romaine, butter lettuce, or iceberg with your favorite sandwich fillings. Some tasty options include:
- Chicken or tuna salad with mayo
- Leftover grilled meat and cheese
- Egg salad
- Cold cuts rolled up with mustard
You can also use lettuce cups for quick tacos, fajitas, or Asian chicken wraps. The crunch of fresh lettuce and the versatility of fillings makes this a go-to low carb lunch.
2. Veggie and Hummus Bowls
Hummus makes a deliciously creamy, protein-packed dip for raw veggies. To assemble this balanced meal in a bowl:
- Add store-bought or homemade hummus
- Arrange raw veggies like cucumber, bell pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, etc
- Add extras like olives, nuts, seeds, or avocado
The fiber-rich veggies and plant-based protein provide steady energy for the afternoon. Hummus comes in so many flavor varieties too!
3. Low Carb Mason Jar Salads
A salad in a jar is the perfect grab-and-go lunch. Assemble your favorite chopped veggies, protein, and dressing in a mason jar for a portable meal. Some fun add-ins include:
- Greens like spinach, kale, arugula
- Zucchini noodles or broccoli slaw for the base
- Chicken, tuna, ham, egg, and cheese for protein
- Nuts, seeds, avocado, and bacon as mix-ins
- Olive oil and vinegar or creamy dressing on the side
Just shake up the jar at lunch for a fresh, crunchy salad every time!
4. Tuna and Cracker Snack Lunch
Tuna salad is a low carb lunch classic! Pair it with your favorite high-fiber, low-carb crackers for a balanced snack-style lunch:
- Mix tuna with mayo, mustard, celery, onion and spices
- Use veggie crackers, seed crackers, or Cloud Bread
- Stuff in lettuce wraps or cucumber slices for crunch
- Add cheese slices, pickle spears, and raw veggies
Curb sandwich cravings and get a serving of healthy fats with this quick no-cook lunch.
5. Leftover Dinner for Lunch
One of the easiest ways to prep low carb lunches is to repurpose leftovers from healthy dinners:
- Shredded taco meat, cauliflower rice, and cheese
- Bacon ranch chicken salad
- Italian sausage with zucchini noodles
- Chili in an avocado bowl
- Ham and vegetable omelet muffins
- Stir fry with cauliflower fried rice
Get creative reheating individual portions of leftover dinners! Having ready-to-go leftovers makes mornings less stressful.
6. Low Carb Egg Salad
Protein-packed egg salad is light, filling, and versatile for low carb lunches. With just a few ingredients, it comes together quickly:
- Hard boiled eggs
- Mayonnaise or avocado
- Mustard, salt, pepper and spices
- Onion, celery or other veggies
Serve egg salad stuffed with tomatoes or peppers, on top of lettuce, or in lettuce wraps. Pair it with low carb crackers, veggies, and cheese for a balanced lunch.
7. Chef Salad
A rainbow-colored chef salad really satisfies! Build it right in the container you’ll take for lunch:
- Start with a base of greens
- Top with sliced hardboiled eggs, meat, and cheese
- Don’t forget crunchy, low carb veggies
- Pack dressing on the side
Feel free to get creative with ingredients – anything goes in a chef salad! It makes an appetizing, balanced meal in a bowl.
8. Chicken Zoodle Soup
Warm and comforting soups make fantastic portable lunches for chilly weather. Try this quick chicken zoodle soup:
- Sauté onions, garlic, carrots and celery
- Add chicken broth, chicken breast, and seasonings
- Stir in spiralized zucchini noodles
- Simmer until chicken is cooked through
The veggie noodles bulk up the soup without adding carbs. Ladle into a wide-mouth thermos and pack crackers on the side.
9. Avocado Tuna Boats
Stuffed avocados make a pretty and protein-packed low carb lunch. Simply:
- Slice an avocado in half and remove the pit
- Mash tuna with mayo, mustard, and seasoning
- Mound the tuna salad into avocado halves
- Optional: top with hot sauce and bacon bits
For extra nutrition, add hard boiled eggs or cheese into the tuna mix. This no-cook option works even for busy mornings!
10. Sheet Pan Meat and Veg Meal Prep
One of the best meal prep strategies for low carb lunches is sheet pan meals. Just roast your favorite meat and vegetables together:
- Try chicken legs or thighs with broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc
- Pork tenderloin, cabbage wedges, radish, turnips
- Steak, mushrooms, peppers, onions, garlic
- Salmon, green beans, cherry tomatoes
Portion out into lunch containers straight from the oven! Sheet pan meals minimize prep and dishes while maximizing flavor.
As you can see, there are endless options for simple, tasty low carb lunches to prep ahead. The key is finding the right balance of proteins, healthy fats, and vegetable carbs to keep you energized all afternoon.
Tips for Easy Low Carb Lunch Prep and Packing
Here are some bonus tips for effortless low carb lunch prep and on-the-go eating:
- Prep in batches: Set aside time each week to prep multiple lunches at once. This saves you time every morning!
- Use meal prep containers: Invest in divided meal containers or glass storage sets for grab-and-go portability.
- Make an assembly line: Set up an efficient lunch assembly station with all your ingredients and tools.
- Store lunches in the fridge: Prep lunches 2-3 days in advance and store stacked in the refrigerator.
- Use ice packs: Use small ice packs or frozen water bottles to keep food safely chilled.
- Think snacks too: Have low-carb snacks on hand to fill in gaps, like nuts, cheese, keto bars, or shakes.
- Bring extras: Pack small dressing containers, salt, and pepper, or hot sauce to enhance flavors.
With the right tools and techniques, packing daily low carb lunches becomes quick, easy, and sustainable.
Low Carb Substitutions for Popular Lunch Foods
Sticking to low carb lunches doesn’t mean missing out on classic lunchtime flavors and comfort foods. With a few simple ingredient swaps, you can enjoy carb-conscious versions of popular sandwiches, wraps, salads, and other lunch staples.
Here are some smart substitutions to try:
- Bread: Lettuce, portobello mushroom caps, cheese wraps
- Tortillas: Lettuce, coconut wraps, egg crepes
- Pasta: Zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, cauliflower
- Rice: Cauliflower rice, broccoli rice
- Potatoes: Cauliflower mash, rutabaga, radishes
- Breading: Pork rinds, Parmesan cheese, flax meal
- Sugary dressings: Oil and vinegar, tahini, Greek yogurt
- Soda and juice: Sparkling water, iced tea, zevia
- Chips: Cucumber slices, cheese crisps, celery sticks
- Crackers: Flax crackers, nut crackers, seed crackers
With all the low carb swaps available today, you don’t have to give up your favorite lunchtime comforts. Get creative mixing and matching substitutes to build tasty low carb meals.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some good low carb foods to pack for lunch?
Some of the best low carb lunch foods include:
- Protein options like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and cheese
- Non-starchy veggies such as leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, and cucumbers
- Healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and coconut
- Low sugar condiments like mustard, mayo, and hot sauce
- Small amounts of berries and avocado
- Low carb crackers, bread, and wraps
How can I stay satisfied until dinner with a low carb lunch?
Here are some tips for staying full all afternoon with a low carb meal:
- Include protein like meat, eggs, or tuna in each lunch
- Eat plenty of high-fiber veggies such as salad greens or broccoli
- Add healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, or cheese
- Stay hydrated by sipping water or unsweetened iced tea
- Enjoy snacks like celery with nut butter or chia pudding
- Avoid sugary drinks which can lead to carb cravings
What are some make-ahead low carb lunch ideas?
Some of the best make-ahead low carb lunches include:
- Cooked meats like grilled chicken, pot roast or sausage
- Hard boiled eggs
- Tuna, chicken or egg salad
- Cold veggie salads like broccoli slaw
- Mason jar salads with greens, protein and dressing
- Lettuce-wrapped sandwiches or burgers
- Zucchini noodles with meat sauce or pesto
- Cauliflower fried rice with meat and veggies
- Soup, chili or stew in a thermos
What are some on-the-go low carb snacks?
Handy low carb snacks for work include:
- Nuts like almonds, walnuts or pecans
- Seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower
- Cheese sticks or cheese crisps
- Celery sticks with nut butter
- Cut veggies with guacamole or hummus
- Hard boiled eggs
- Chia pudding
- Nut bars, jerky or keto shakes
What are the best meal prep containers for low carb lunches?
Good meal prep containers for low carb lunches include:
- Divided containers to separate ingredients
- Leak-proof lids with tight sealing
- Clear glass or plastic to see contents
- Wide bottoms for salads and bowls
- Slim containers for lettuce wrap sandwiches
- Insulated thermoses for hot foods like soup
- Small containers for dressings and toppings
Look for BPA-free containers in portable, stackable styles. Investing in some great meal prep containers helps streamline taking low carb lunches to work!
Enjoy Delicious Low Carb Lunches on the Go
Eating low carb doesn’t mean boring lunches or sad desk salads every day. With a little creativity and smart planning, you can enjoy fresh, flavorful meals that keep you energized and healthy.
Try out some of the simple low carb lunch ideas in this article, like lettuce wraps, mason jar salads, rotisserie chicken, and zoodle bowls. Take advantage of shortcuts like doing meal prep and making big-batch leftovers. Look for low carb swaps to recreate popular lunch favorites.
Your coworkers will be jealous of the delicious lunches you’re taking to work! Sticking to your low-carb diet and health goals is so much easier when you have go-to lunch ideas ready to grab each morning.