Make-Ahead

10 Budget-Friendly Work Desk Recipes

Ditch that sad desk lunch for good! These easy and energizing eats can be made ahead, easily packed up for work and, best of all, each recipe is less than $5 per serving.

Grilled Chicken & Peach Quinoa Salad

Grilled Chicken & Peach Quinoa Salad Recipe
Photo by Darren Kemper

Bitter arugula’s got bite, but late-summer peaches and a citrusy maple dressing hit the sweet notes to give this seasonal salad the perfect balance of flavors. If taking this salad to go, store the dressing in a separate container and toss with the salad when you’re ready to eat.

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Matcha Smoothies

Matcha Smoothies Recipe
Photo by Darren Kemper

Smoothies are the ultimate take-togo breakfast, but it’s easy to fall into a smoothie rut. Our secret? Switch up the flavor by adding matcha, a finely ground green tea that adds sweet, earthy flavor and a power punch of antioxidants.

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Grain-Free Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cookies

Grain-Free Cranberry Orange Breakfast Cookies Recipe
Photo by Darren Kemper

The term “breakfast cookie” might sound like a devilishly delicious oxymoron, but we’re not kidding around with these good-for-you jumbo cookies. They’re made with protein-rich almond flour and pecans and naturally sweetened with maple syrup for an easy, grab-and-go breakfast.

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Thai Shrimp & Vegetable Noodle Jar

Thai Shrimp & Vegetable Noodle Jar Recipe
Photo by Darren Kemper

This genius jar of healthy, quick-cooking ingredients is the answer to your desk-lunch woes. If you’re using precooked shrimp, add it to the jars while still frozen – it’ll thaw in the fridge overnight and be ready to eat by lunchtime. If you’re using fresh shrimp, simply cook and add to the jars as directed.

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Creamy Kale Dip with Za’atar Pita Chips

Creamy Kale Dip with Za'atar Pita Chips Recipe
Photo by Darren Kemper

A sprinkling of Za’atar, an aromatic Middle Eastern blend of herbs and spices, gives these baked pita chips addictive flavor without the need for a ton of oil or salt. Be sure to let the dip sit in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving – this softens the kale and mellows out its bitterness. You can also serve with vegetables for dipping.

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Mushroom, Walnut & Chipotle Chile Taco Dip

Mushroom, Walnut & Chipotle Chile Taco Dip
Photo by Darren Kemper

Meaty mushrooms, walnuts and a handful of spices transform into a savory meatless swap for taco meat – the texture is uncannily similar!

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Southwestern-Style Black Bean Burritos

Southwestern-Style Black Bean Burritos Recipe
Photo by Darren Kemper

Make a batch of these protein-packed burritos on Sunday and store them in your fridge or freezer for heat-and-eat breakfasts or lunches throughout the week. To make sure your burrito is heated through, insert a paring knife into the center and hold it there for 10 seconds. If the blade is hot when it comes out, the burrito is ready. Serve with your favorite hot sauce.

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Lemon Ginger Tapioca Pudding

Lemon Ginger Tapioca Pudding Recipe
Photo by Darren Kemper

Full-fat coconut milk is key to achieving the luscious creamy texture that’s often lacking in dairy-free puddings. For a pop of color, sprinkle with curls of lemon zest, mint or berries just before serving.

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Triple Fruit & Oat Blended Parfait

Triple Fruit & Oat Blended Parfait Recipe
Photo by Darren Kemper

These portable parfaits have two fruity layers: a cherry and a banana layer, all topped with chopped plums and crunchy almonds for a filling breakfast. Get creative with chopped fruit and nuts of your choice for sprinkling between layers and on top.

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Pesto Chicken Potato Salad

Pesto Chicken Potato Salad
Photo by Darren Kemper

In our twist on a traditional potato salad, a fresh and fragrant pesto brings the chicken, potatoes and green beans together. We’ve suggested poached chicken here, but you can use any leftover chicken you have on hand.

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