What’s for lunch? That’s a good question, and if you’re following the Whole 30 program, sometimes lunch can be your trickiest meal. You don’t necessarily want to eat out, so your best bet is to plan ahead to have something quick and easy to pack and take with you. We’re here to share some great Whole 30 lunch recipes with you, plus we’ll share some tips for eating out and easy options.
You don’t have to avoid eating out. There are many options available on almost every menu that you can eat. Grilled chicken or fish, steak, baked potatoes, and fresh vegetables are all perfectly edible. Just be sure to ask the server to request your items be prepared without butter or other non-compliant ingredients. Salads are of course always an option, just be sure to modify your order to remove any cheese, croutons, or tortilla strips and other non-compliant toppings. If you like something with a crunch, get a salad with sunflower seeds or walnuts.
Whole 30 Friendly Fast Food
What to order: Plain hamburger, no bun, lettuce wrapped with extra lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles. Add mustard if you’d like.
What to order: Grilled chicken salads, grilled chicken nuggets, grilled fish fillets, customized with your choice of toppings. Or, a cobb salad with just lettuce, tomato, and egg.
What to order: A salad with lettuce, steak or chicken, guac, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, pico, and red or green salsa. You can also get a Lifestyle Bowl, customized with your choice of ingredients.
What to order: Hamburger or sandwich without the bun, customized with your toppings of choice, including fresh or grilled veggies, lettuce wrapped. They have a secret menu burger bowl that you can request here, that is easier to eat and you can get it with a plain burger patty, lettuce, tomato, grilled mushrooms, onions, peppers, and jalapenos, plus mustard if you wish.
What to order: Any hamburger, protein style (no bun, wrapped in lettuce), no sauce. Ask for extra pickles and tomatoes if you’d like.
What to order: Plain baked potato and apple slices.
Grab & Go Lunch Tips
Here are some easy items that you can keep on hand at home to pack a quick grab and go lunch. You can even pack a bowl of lettuce and throw some of these on top for an easy lunch salad. Need dressing? Choose an oil and vinegar or purchase a Whole 30 compliant bottle to keep in the fridge at work.
Plain mashed potatoes
Pre-cooked bacon slices
Avocado or homemade guac
Black, green, or kalamata olives
Baby carrots and broccoli or cauliflower florets, bell peppers
Fruit: Mandarin oranges, apple slices, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, melon, etc.
Compliant beef jerky or meat sticks
Whole 30 approved bars (like Lara Bars)
Dried or dehydrated fruit (be sure the ingredients are compliant, no sugar added, etc.)
Compliant deli sliced meat (no sugar or sweeteners added, etc.)
Tuna or salmon pouches
Compliant hot dogs or sausage
This requires a bit of prep work, but one of my favorite things to do for grab and go lunches is to slice a few of the Aidell’s Chicken and Apple Sausages and sauté them in a pan until they are browned. Pack them into a few containers so you can grab them when you need them. I also hard boil about 6 eggs to keep on hand and peel them when they cool, and place them into a tupperware container.
When I need to pack a quick lunch, I grab an egg, a container of sausage, a meat stick, a bag of olives and pickles, some cashews or pecans, and carrots or tomatoes. I can eat these together, or snack on them as I go through the day and it keeps me satiated and energized.
Ok, ready for some great Whole 30 lunch recipes to make ahead of time that you can pack up and take to work (or play)? Let’s get to it.
Whole 30 Lunch Recipes
Try these Whole 30 Lunch Recipes -- you'll need to prep ahead of time, but they are easy and delicious and will heat up well or taste great at room temp so you won't go hungry during the day. Some of them are great on their own to add to your grab and go line up for things to pack for lunch, top your salads, etc.
This is the most popular recipe on this site and it couldn't be easier! Be sure to watch the video at the top of the post for visual directions if you have questions. To make these W30 compliant, make them with ghee instead of butter.
Vegetable Tian is a gorgeous vegetarian side dish. Make it with summer vegetables or try one with winter root vegetables. Eliminate the parmesan cheese and you'll have a batch of fresh roasted vegetables to pack for lunch all week.
Cauliflower steaks are a simple and delicious way to enjoy cauliflower! The chimichurri is even better if made the night before. Break it all up and pack it up for individual lunches that can be easily reheated at work.
Egg roll in a bowl is so easy to make and I love heating it up for lunch. I use a combo of coleslaw mix and broccoli slaw mix, but you can customize it to your liking and add or eliminate ingredients to change it up.
This is one of my favorite lunch salads because it really fills me up. And I don't love doing a lot of prep stuff, so instead of making the dressing, I just keep a Whole 30 compliant dressing on hand that I can use when I need it.
This one is easy to make in your slow cooker or instant pot and requires very little prep. When it's ready, you can keep it on hand for lunches to go with potatoes, salad, or lettuce wraps. You can even make sweet potato slider "Buns" and make it into a sandwich.
You won't go hungry if you make this whole chicken in your crockpot. When it's ready, just slice ot or shred it and you can pull out what you need when you prep your lunches. Add it to your other leftovers, take it with a salad, turn it into lettuce wraps, or pair it with your other grab and go sides.
Heidi Deal is an editor, mother of two, and seasoned home cook who enjoys experimenting with new recipes and teaching her kids how to prepare family meals. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, volunteering, and spending time with family and friends.