I think we can all agree that lunch is usually the hardest meal to plan when you’re on some sort of diet. It really doesn’t even have to be keto.
For breakfast and dinner, you’re mostly at home so you have both the time and resources to prepare whatever food fits your routine. But, for lunch? You’re likely in the middle of work (or school), so the most convenient choice is either the vending machine, the cafeteria, or whatever restaurant is nearby.
However, since you’re not cooking, you won’t have 100% control over what (and how much of it) goes into your food. One wrong bite and you’re out of ketosis. Just. Like. That. *snaps fingers*
The solution? Easy to make packed lunches.
When you make and pack your lunches ahead of time, you’re less likely to eat elsewhere which, in turn, also helps you stay keto. I’ve listed a few of my favorite easy keto lunch ideas for work below but before we get to those, let me answer a few questions you might have in mind.
What counts as an “easy” recipe?
Well, it’s more subjective than anything. But, for the sake of this article, I say “easy” is a mix of both ingredients and steps.
If there aren’t a lot of ingredients required, that’s an easy recipe; if there aren’t a lot of steps, that’s easy, too. However, sometimes a recipe with a lot of ingredients or a lot of steps can be easy, too.
For example, if it has a lot of ingredients but literally all it takes is mixing them all up, I think nearly everyone would consider that easy. Also, if a recipe has a lot of steps but each step is fairly basic, I’d say that’s an easy recipe as well.
What do I need to pack an easy lunch?
First of all, you’re going to need containers. With packed lunches, I go by the same 3 rules I use when meal prepping:
- It has to be microwavable
- It should, as much as possible, have no effect on taste or texture, and
- It shouldn’t release any chemicals when reheating
Glass containers generally tick all these boxes, so it’s what I personally use. Specifically, I’m using a combination of M MCIRCO glass meal prep containers and mason jars, depending on the type of food I’m packing.
If you insist on using plastic, I urge you to find ones that follow those same 3 rules, and make sure it’s BPA free like Enther’s meal prep containers.
And now let’s move on to the main event — easy keto lunch ideas for work. Let’s start with the ones that need the least ingredients.
Easy 4 ingredient (or less) keto lunch ideas for work
1. Low carb pork medallions
This recipe only needs 3 ingredients to make — pork tenderloin, shallots, and oil. There are more complicated recipes for pork medallion online for sure but, in my opinion, tenderloins don’t really need a lot of fancy seasonings to taste good. As it is, I think this recipe is super tasty and super easy, making it a great take-to-work lunch.
Also, the recipe didn’t mention this but if you want even more flavor from your meal, you can choose to replace oil with butter, or use a combination of both. I tried it and it’s amazing!
That’s Low Carb has the full recipe.
Macros: 519 calories | 7g carbs | 46g protein | 36g fat
2. Bunless low carb burger
Not counting salt and pepper, Low Carb Maven’s recipe for bunless burgers only needs 3 things — ground beef, worcestershire sauce, and Montreal steak seasoning.
She goes on to say that she mainly uses Kobe beef or grass-fed beef which I’m sure makes for one heck of a juicy burger but, honestly, I’ve only ever made this meal with whatever ground beef I can afford. Tastes great either way.
Macros: 479 calories | 2g carbs | 26g protein | 40g fat
3. Spinach-mozzarella stuffed burgers
If you can’t tell by now, I love burgers. And, if I’m running short on ingredients in my pantry (and money to buy more from the groceries), this is one of the recipes I turn to.
Disregarding the salt and pepper, all you’ll need are ground chuck, spinach, mozzarella, and parmesan.
Also, The Iron You says to use a grill or grill pan to cook his recipe. Using those certainly gives the burgers a charred look to it (which also helps with flavor, I think) but if you don’t have those, I believe butter and a non-stick pan does a great job, too.
Macros: 414 calories | 1g carbs | 36g protein | 29g fat
4. Asparagus stuffed chicken with bacon
Again, not counting salt and pepper, this recipe from Joy Filled Eats only needs 3 ingredients: chicken tenders, asparagus, and bacon.
The ingredients make the meal seem basic (and it is) but, to me, the bacon makes all the difference. I may be biased though since nearly everything with bacon tastes good to me.
Nevertheless, it’s an easy keto meal that you can finish cooking in about 45 minutes in the oven. Pack with a side avocados, berries, and/or leafy vegetables and your lunch is set.
Macros: 377 calories | 3g carbs | 32g protein | 25g fat
MORE simple keto lunch ideas you can take to work
5. Keto fried (baked) chicken
Because who doesn’t love fried chicken for lunch, right?
Well, it’s not actually “fried” per se because it’s actually baked but, trust me, it tastes just like it. Also, instead of the usual carb-loaded flour and bread crumbs that coat fried chicken, this recipe uses crushed pork rinds and a bunch of herbs and spices.
Visit Ketogasm for the full recipe.
Macros: 308.25 calores | 0.47g net carbs | 40.4g protein | 14.79g fat
6. No cook chicken, cucumber, avocado salad
Lunch can’t get any easier if you don’t have to cook it.
Now, you’re probably wondering, “what about the chicken?”
The secret is store bought rotisserie chicken. You take the bones off, pull the meat apart, and mix all the ingredients together. To finish, splash a bit of lemon juice and olive oil in there, sprinkle salt and pepper, and your lunch is good to go.
Check out Cafe Delites for more details.
Macros: 545 calories | 10g carbs | 40g protein | 38g fat
7. Keto chicken and veggie lunch meal prep
This recipe from Flavcity will have you make the salad, the dressing, and the chicken. So, there’s going to be a lot of ingredients and a few lengthy instructions. Sounds complicated at first, I get it, but it’s really not.
My advice is NOT to multitask if you’re a beginner cook. Instead, tackle each part one by one. Doing it this way takes more time but trust me, just follow the instructions and it’s smooth sailing.
Macros: 633 calories | 7.4g carbs | 18.4g protein | 49g protein
8. Santa Fe low carb chicken meal prep
A friend of mine actually introduced me to this recipe from Sweet Peas and Saffron. I wasn’t on the keto diet then but I was trying to limit my carb intake while still getting as much protein as I could.
Fast forward to today and I’m still on this recipe from time to time. It’s an easy way to prep meals, delicious, and little did I know, astonishingly keto friendly.
Macros: 303 calories | 8g net carbs | 28g protein | 16g fat
9. Keto chicken enchilada bowl
Besides how easy this keto lunch is, what I like about it is its macros — it’s loaded with protein, fat, and calories! Because of this, it’s usually high up on my list of options whenever I’m expecting a busy day at work. All those macronutrients fuel me without kicking me out of ketosis.
Hey Keto Mama has my thanks, so be sure to check out her recipe.
Macros: 568 calories | 6g net carbs | 38g protein | 40g fat
10. Egg roll in a bowl (2 delicious recipes!)
Also known as crack slaw, there are a bunch of ways to prepare this meal. Seriously. If you Google “crack slaw recipes” or “egg roll in a bowl recipes”, you might be overwhelmed with the sheer number of recipes just floating around the web.
To help narrow things down, I think I might have found the 2 best ones for keto. They’re both easy and have similar macros, too. Check them out:
- Macros: 298 calories | 7g net carbs | 24g protein | 19g fat
- Macros: 297 calories | 5.5g net carbs | 20g protein | 20g fat
11. Low carb tortilla española (Spanish omelette)
To be honest, what first attracted me to Spanish omelettes is that it’s shaped like a pizza. Pretty dumb now that I think about it but I’m glad I found Gnom-gnom’s recipe because of it.
Anyhow, the dish is traditionally made with eggs and potatoes. However, potatoes aren’t all that keto so this recipe uses radishes instead. Somehow, it actually tastes like the real thing. Really. You should try it out.
Macros: 159 calories | 4g carbs | 6g protein | 13g fat
12. “Just like the real thing” lasagna
Speaking of tasting like the real thing, Peace, Love, and Low Carb has what she calls “just like the real thing” lasagna — and yes, it does taste (and look) just like it.
However, it can be a bit of work considering how you’ll be making the filling and the noodles yourself. With that said, try to attack each part of the recipe separately. It’ll take longer, okay, but it’ll also be way less complicated.
Macros: 486 calories | 9.5g net carbs | 57g protein | 34g fat
13. Cauliflower mac and cheese
And since we just talked about lasagna, let’s talk about another American classic — mac and cheese.
It’s not actually macaroni, though. It’s chopped up cauliflower smothered in a lot of cheese, a bit of mustard, and a good amount of seasoning. It probably won’t taste like the mac and cheese you were used to as a kid but, in my opinion, it definitely riles up the nostalgia.
Check out Don’t Sweat The Recipe for the full instructions.
Macros: 536 calories | 14g carbs | 20g protein | 46g fat
14. Keto slow cooker mexican shredded beef
What I love about keto slow cooker recipes is that they’re almost always guaranteed to be easy and tasty. Just throw everything in the crock pot, walk away, and come back to an amazing meal.
This specific recipe from Bulletproof take about 6-7 hour to cook. So, what I do is get it started exactly before I go to bed. When I wake up, I have both a hearty breakfast and several meals that I can easily pack for the same day’s lunch and for future meals.
Macros: 656 calories | 1g net carbs | 50.2g protein | 48.5g fat
15. Loaded cauliflower casserole
Another one of my top, easy keto lunch ideas for work are casseroles. Like a lot of slow cooker recipes, casseroles usually (if not always?) end up with more than a couple of servings. So, literally all the grunt work is done in advance and you’re left with several reheatable meals.
One of those is this — Dear Crissy’s loaded cauliflower casserole.
To me, it’s sort of like cauliflower mac and cheese because of all the cream and cheese but it also has bacon, chives, and ranch seasoning for extra elements of flavor.
Macros: 297 calories | 3g carbs | 11g protein | 27g fat
16. Easy taco salad (2 amazing recipes!)
Correct me if I’m wrong but taco salads seem to be a thing in keto. I say this because a lot of food bloggers I come across have their own version.
Oh, and just so we’re clear, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. Taco salads are, after all, both easy and packed with flavor. Having said that, the 2 recipes I’m recommending both have similar macros — around 300 calories, 5g carbs, 20+g protein, and 20+g fat — but both also have their own unique sets of flavors. Here’s where you can find them:
- Macros: 317 calories | 3 net carbs | 24g protein | 22.9g fat
- Macros: 332 | 5g net carbs | 20g protein | 25g fat
17. Antipasto salad
First of all, the macronutrient ratio in this recipe is insane! Seriously! It’s low carb, moderate levels of protein, and packed full of fat. And, the best part? It’s less than 500 calories, making it a great keto meal for weight loss regardless if you’re having it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Having said that, check out the full recipe at Cook Eat Paleo.
Macros: 462 calories | 7g carbs | 14g protein | 41g fat
18. Avocado tuna salad recipe
Salads are perhaps one of the easiest lunch ideas anyone can have for, well… any diet. So, it makes sense to have a couple of them here.
This, specifically, is one that requires very minimal effort partly because you’ll be using tanned tuna. Just open the can, drain the excess liquids, pour the tuna in a bowl, and mix with cucumber, avocado, onion, and cilantro. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkle with however much salt and pepper you want and you’re done.
Head over to Natasha’s Kitchen for the full recipe.
Macros: 304 calories | 7g net carbs | 22g protein | 20g fat
19. Shrimp zucchini noodles
This recipe from Damn Delicious needs more than a handful of ingredients, but don’t be discouraged. It’s actually quite the easy recipe.
All those ingredients also make each bite from this an explosion of flavor. Also, your lunch box is going to look real appetizing, so you better be ready for coworkers to try and grab a bite!
Macros: 235 calories | 7g net carbs | 17g protein | 15.5g fat
20. Keto and Paleo quiche recipe
Like the previous recipe, this one comes with quite a bit of ingredients. But, again, don’t be afraid to give it a try because if you simply follow the instructions, it’s quite the easy meal to make.
Also, just a tip: Put the ingredients in separate containers before you even start cooking. For example, put the diced bell peppers in a small bowl, the onions in another, the spinach in another, and so on and so forth. This way, you just dump the contents of each bowl into the pan whenever you need to which, in turn, makes cooking go a lot smoother.
Check out Cook Eat Paleo for the complete details.
Macros: 409 calories | 6g carbs | 16g protein | 34g fat
With this, I hope I helped you gain more control over what you eat. Skip the fastfood and the vending machine, and cook any of these 20 easy keto lunch ideas for work instead.
If this helped you out in any way, please help us reach out to more people by telling your friends about us. Thanks!