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24 Beautiful Desk Lunches That Are Our Entire Mood Right Now

Pesto is the besto

beautiful sandwich

By now, we all know about the “sad desk lunch,” the squashed PB&J or the over-microwaved lasagna leftovers you brought into the office to eat at your desk, just like 62 percent of the American workforce.

When it comes to the workday, we believe meals should be one of the highlights—even if you stay glued to your swivel chair. With a little inspiration, meal-prepping can be fun and, dare we say, pretty. Here are 24 beautiful Instagram-worthy meals to try. Sad desk lunches no more!

24 beautiful desk lunches

1. Who needs Chipotle when you can make a bomb burrito bowl in the comfort of your own home?  You can use pretty much everything in your pantry to make these, and they’re always delicious. Plus, no extra charge for avo. A total win. 

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2. This recipe uses riced cauliflower to make an all-veggie stir fry! Nestled next to a stuffed sweet potato? Yes, please!

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3. Spinach is super high in vitamins and minerals, making it a great base for salads. This one is so pretty, and the pecans just top it off (pun intended).

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4. Avo toast is all the rage for good reason. It takes mere minutes to make and can be customized according to your taste (goat cheese, chili flakes, and everything bagel seasoning is my personal favorite combination). 

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5. A salad in a jar is the ultimate on-the-go meal. Keep dressing at the bottom and shake when you’re ready to eat!

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6. Color-coordinating your veggies; we love an aesthetically pleasing plate.

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7. Spice up your day with some chickpea, spinach, and tomato curry. It’s a creative way to get in all your veggies. 

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8. Wrappiness is the new happiness. Sorry. 

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9. A grown-up twist on the tried and true sandwich-apple-chips combo. Because we’re just sophisticated like that.

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10. Trader Joes’ cauliflower gnocchi is truly a game-changer. It’s got all the yumminess with far fewer calories. Spruce it up with some veggies and pesto, and you’ve got a quick and tasty desk lunch!

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11. If you’re trying to make some improvements in your diet, subbing iceberg lettuce for bread is a great way to go. You can stuff the lettuce with pretty much anything. Oh… and don’t forget the Sriracha.

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12. A pasta salad still counts as a salad, right?

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13. Going for a fancy look at your desk? Want to make your coworkers jealous? This simple garlic and herb-crusted salmon is definitely a power move. 

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14. Homemade quesadillas are seriously the best. If you have a panini press or a waffle maker, you can make these in there too!

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15. Especially on a colder day, soup is a great option for lunch. Using black beans as a base gives it a great hearty richness, and you can sub Greek yogurt for sour cream if you want a lighter option. 

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16. Last night’s leftovers make the best lunches. 

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17. A protein, veggie, and starch combo is essential to beating the 2 p.m. slump. 

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18. It’s all about plating. 

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19. Poke bowls are one of my favorite things right now. Deconstructed sushi is really simple to make at home and personalize with things like edamame, scallions, and fried tofu. 

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20. This fresh, juicy salad is bound to add some color to your workday.

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21. Grilled shrimp and avocado are a match made in heaven. This bowl is totally drool-worthy. 

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22. Cooking your eggs with veggies or bacon in the hole of an avocado is a really filling, healthy-fat filled meal.

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23. Who says lunch can’t be sweet? These gluten-free pancakes look great and will satisfy all your mid-afternoon cravings. 

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24. Trying out veganism for a bit? Check out this yummy plant-based bowl.

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By Meghan Prabhu

Contributor

Meghan Prabhu is a sophomore at UNC-Chapel Hill who is interested in the intersection of history and gender studies and loves to write in her free time

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