It's time to redeem the midday meal: No more bland sandwiches, soggy salads, or boring soups here. These lunches are exciting, satisfying, and portable. Our definitive guide to a healthy lunch on the go—complete with nutrition-boosting tips, make-ahead strategies, and tasty pack-and-go recipes, will have you rethinking your lunch break. Hearty greens and colorful, textured toppers make salads fun and filling. Packable and near-instant sandwiches and toasts go beyond the usual PB&J. Layered soups and fresh combinations are the no-fuss comfort foods you need at noon.
Tabbouleh with Chicken and Red Pepper
Nutty, nutritious bulgur, perhaps best known as the star of Lebanese tabbouleh, can be used like brown rice in salads and pilafs, or simply cooked or steamed and drizzled with oil and sprinkled with chopped herbs. Mediterranean and Middle Eastern markets carry bulgur, or look for it in the grains section of large grocery stores. Pack with hummus and pita chips for the complete effect.
Use rotisserie or leftover chicken for this dish, if you like. If you're making the mixture a few hours or more in advance, store the cucumber and tomato separately and add them close to serving time to keep the salad at its best.
Smart Packing Tip: Salt draws moisture out of watery ingredients like cucumber and tomatoes, so pack these separately and add to the grain salad at the last minute for best results.