5 Crazy Easy Lunch Recipes To Inspire Office Envy

You’re sick of your usual lunchtime haunts (and they’re making you "office fat", let’s be honest), but you’re definitely not organised enough to make lunch the night before, and frozen meals are not an option (gross – who can even pronounce half of those ingredients?)

All you want is an easy (and sorta healthy) midweek lunch – an office-friendly option that’s quicker, healthier, and cheaper than what you’d get from the food court downstairs. Is that too much to ask for?

We hear you!

Busy schedules can mean that all too often, lunches are an afterthought or a sad tuna-and-rice affair. And we wanted to fix this.

Armed with just a microwave, a trusty old sandwich press, and a whole lotta ingenuity, we’ve created 5 super easy lunch ideas in the Career FAQs kitchen that’ll get your stomach from Monday to Friday!

We went for minimal prep time and maximum food envy – knocking together a week’s worth of office-possible lunches that use 5 ingredients and take 5(ish) minutes. And yes, these are 5 real minutes, not 5 ‘Jamie Oliver’ minutes.

To make life even easier for you, we’ve put together a shopping list of ingredients, so you can do a quick one-stop shop, and be ready to win at #droolworthy midweek lunches.

The total bill came to approximately $35, and will give you about 13 lunches, meaning that each meal will cost you no more than $2.69 a pop. Crazy, right?

So if you’re short on time but big on value and nutrition, get ready to have your mind blown.

1. ‘Yes I made this in the microwave’ quiche

Time: 4 minutes

This mugtastic quiche is the epitome of an easy office lunch. My editor actually made it the very next day after she saw me making it – and she’s not a fan of cooking.

Quiches are ridiculously versatile, and can be as simple or posh as you make ‘em. Ham and pea, smoked salmon and asparagus, mushroom and sundried tomatoes – seriously, the options are endless! I love that a quiche can also double as breakfast for hectic mornings.

Ingredients:

  • 2x eggs
  • Grated cheese
  • Milk
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Pancetta (optional)
  • Cherry tomatoes (optional)

Method:

  1. Beat eggs into a giant mug (see below for why size does in fact matter)
  2. Stir in milk, salt and pepper
  3. Add remaining ingredients
  4. Microwave for approx. 3-4 minutes on High. Make sure that you keep an eye on it as it cooks -- the quiche does rise during the cooking process, and could overflow in the microwave. So the taller/deeper the mug, the better!

TIP: Use a fork to check that the quiche is cooked through before you dig in.


2. Nachos a la microwave

Time: 3 mins

These microwavable nachos take literally 3 minutes to knock together

This recipe isn’t the healthiest one on the list. But if you’re feeling a bit naughty, this nachos recipe is kickass and literally took 3 minutes to knock together.

If you’ve had tacos, pulled pork, or even spag bol the night before, you can add the leftovers to this recipe for an extra protein hit.

The whole office gave this one a thumbs up!

Ingredients:

  • Bag of corn chips
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Handful of grated cheese
  • Half avocado
  • Small can of beans (optional)
  • Lime (optional)

Method:

  1. Throw the corn chips and cheese into a bowl, and microwave for 2 minutes on High.
  2. Add in the beans, chopped avocado and cherry tomatoes.
  3. Dig in!

3. Zingy ‘Mexican’ summer salad

Time: 4 mins

This Mexican-inspired salad is super quick and makes for a great midweek lunch

If you’re feeling guilty after your nachos feast the day before, and have a couple of sad corn chips left over, this zingy salad will fix you right up.

I know, I know...‘You don’t make friends with salad’, but seriously, this dressing is AH-MAZING.

Grab an empty jam jar, and it’s as easy as:

Smashed avo + squeezed orange juice + extra virgin olive oil = Summer in a jar!

Ingredients:

  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Half avocado
  • Orange
  • Leftover corn chips (from the nachos recipe)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Small can of beans (optional)
  • Lime (optional)

Method:

  1. Throw together the spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes, avocado and beans.
  2. Chop up orange. Reserve 2 slices for dressing and throw the rest into the salad.
  3. Dressing: Squeeze orange wedges, smashed avo and extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar and shake it like crazy.
  4. Drizzle over the dressing and crush up a few corn chips for crunch factor.

TOP TIP: If you can’t be bothered with chopping up an orange, mandarin segments would work too!


4. The ‘Pimp my toastie’ sandwich

Time: 3 minutes

This toastie is kickass and at $2.69 a pop is a great choice for an easy work lunch

Toasties have made a serious comeback. Celebrity chefs are fancying up this late-night staple, and there’s no reason why you can’t do the same for a quick midweek lunch.

Like the quiche, your possible flavour combinations are ENDLESS. So don’t feel limited by this particular recipe – get creative! I’m keen to try a ‘French toast’ version with honey, berries and yoghurt as a breakfast option, as well as a dessert number filled with bananas, Nutella and hazelnuts!

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread
  • Cheese
  • Handful of baby spinach leaves
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • A few slices of pancetta
  • Pesto dip (optional)
  • Butter (optional)

Method:

  1. Butter bread on the outside, and spread pesto dip on one piece
  2. Layer pancetta, tomatoes, spinach and cheese
  3. Grill on the sandwich press until the cheese oozes out
  4. Enjoy!

5. The Haloumi Stack

Time: 5-6 minutes

This Haloumi Stack is insanely easy, and makes good use of an office's sandwhich press

In an ideal world, you’ll want a decent sandwich press for this one. The Career FAQs one is a tad past its prime so it took a bit longer, but oh man, was it worth it.

It’s a dish that had heads turning, and was a crowd pleaser for the meat eaters, vegetarians, celiacs, and paleo dieters alike!

A veggie peeler is your best friend for recipes like this. It means minimal chopping time, and has earned itself permanent residency in my office ‘pantry’.

Ingredients:

  • 1 portobello mushroom
  • 1 zucchini
  • Haloumi
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pesto (optional)
  • Handful of spinach leaves (optional)
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes (optional)

Method:

  1. Use a veggie peeler to peel strips of zucchini.
  2. Slice haloumi and pat it dry (to avoid the juices running out).
  3. Throw everything onto the sandwich press.
  4. Grill for 5-ish minutes.
  5. Plate up, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and pesto sauce.

TOP TIP: Make sure you really pat the haloumi dry to avoid a huge mess of haloumi brine pooling below your sandwich press. Trust me.


So there you have it!

Five killer office lunches that were made by real people in a real office. No, we’re not chefs, and no we didn’t hire any food photographers. We took these photos on a smartphone, and didn’t doctor them in any way – and we’re now the most popular gals in the office.

Grocery shopping list:

  • Eggs
  • Bread
  • Corn chips
  • Grated cheese
  • Pancetta
  • Cherry tomatoes (1 punnet)
  • Baby spinach leaves (1 pre-washed bag)
  • Avocado (1x)
  • Orange (1x)
  • Haloumi
  • Zucchini (1x)
  • Portobello mushroom
  • Small can of beans (2x)

Want more recipes? Whether it’s simple breakfast ideas or 3-minute office snacks, leave a comment to let us know!




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