Work lunches

A portable Vietnamese chicken salad.
A portable Vietnamese chicken salad.

Ditch the standard ham and cheese sandwich and boring tuna salad in favour of these lunchbox ideas.

There are flavour-packed salads that either travel well or can be dressed just before they're eaten.

Plus sandwich filling ideas from some of Australia's top chefs and a frittata that can be made the night before and eaten cold for lunch with salad.

In a piece from the archives, Jill Dupleix takes inspiration from Asia with ideas ranging from a Japanese cold noodle salad with seaweed to hard-boiled eggs with smoked eel and baby potatoes.

 

Recipes

Roast red onion and spelt salad.

Roast onion and spelt salad

  • 30 mins - 1 hr
  • Medium

Frank Camorra

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Reader rating (1)
Pumpkin and goat's cheese risotto.

Pumpkin and goat's cheese risotto

  • 30 mins - 1 hr
  • Medium

Luke Mangan

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (4)
Broccoli stem noodles.

Broccoli stem noodles with snow peas and Japanese dressing

  • < 30 mins
  • Easy

Jill Dupleix

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (7)
Neil Perry's minestrone with beans and chickpeas.

Minestrone soup with legumes and bacon

  • 1-2 hrs
  • Easy

Neil Perry

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (13)
Apricot and molasses muesli slice.

Apricot and molasses muesli slice

  • < 30 mins
  • Easy

Frank Camorra

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (4)
Macaroni, bolognese and cheese.

Macaroni, bolognese and cheese

  • 30 mins - 1 hr
  • Medium

Adam Liaw

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (8)
Cold Soba noodles with beansprouts, soy and ginger. Styling by Caroline Velik.

Cold soba noodles with beansprouts, soy and ginger

  • < 30 mins
  • Easy

Karen Martini

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (8)
Zucchini flower, wild rice, lentil and yoghurt salad.

Zucchini flower, wild rice, lentil and yoghurt salad

  • 30 mins - 1 hr
  • Medium

Karen Martini

Neil Perry's pea and mint risotto.

Pea, mint and ricotta risotto

  • 30 mins - 1 hr
  • Easy

Neil Perry

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (4)
French lentil and onion soup. Caroline Velik ONION recipes for Epicure and Good Living. Photographed by Marina Oliphant. Food preparation and styling by Caroline Velik. Photographed July 30, 2012. The Age Newspaper and The Sydney Morning Herald.

French lentil and onion soup

  • 30 mins - 1 hr
  • Easy

Caroline Velik

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (7)
Vietnamese chicken salad

Vietnamese chicken salad

  • < 30 mins
  • Medium

Jill Dupleix

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (19)
Cypriot grain salad.

Hellenic Republic’s Cypriot grain salad

  • < 30 mins
  • Easy

Travis McAuley

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (244)
Murdoch Recipe Thumbnail

Vegetable and bean salad

  • < 30 mins
  • Easy

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reader rating (1)
Tony Tan's Persian pilaff rice.

Addas polow (Persian rice pilaf and lentils)

  • < 30 mins
  • Medium

Tony Tan

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (7)
Cold spicy Sichuan sesame noodles.

Cold spicy Sichuan sesame noodles

  • 30 mins - 1 hr
  • Medium

Diana Lampe

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (7)
Raw vegetable salad

Raw vegetable salad

  • < 30 mins
  • Medium

jane and Jeremy Strode

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (3)
Greek salad.

Greek salad

  • < 30 mins
  • Medium

Caroline Velik

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (22)
Smoked trout and avocado salad

Smoked trout and avocado salad

  • < 30 mins
  • Easy

jane and Jeremy Strode

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Reader rating (1)
Green Grocer Wrap

Green Grocer Wrap

  • < 30 mins
  • Easy

Tony Chiodo

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (2)
Murdoch Recipe Thumbnail

Bbq duck and hoisin wrap

  • < 30 mins
  • Easy

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (2)
Junior sushi roll

Junior sushi rolls

  • < 30 mins
  • Medium

Jeremy & Jane Strode

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (5)
Murdoch Recipe Thumbnail

Leek, zucchini and cheese frittata

  • 30 mins - 1 hr
  • Easy

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reader ratings (10)

5 comments so far

  • fantastic ideas but who has the time?

    Commenter
    jaci
    Location
    Date and time
    January 07, 2014, 6:21PM
  • Seriously? You imagine an office worker or tradie to make these "fab" lunch box variations. The standards you talk about (ham/cheese sanga; tuna salad) are standards because they are cheap and easy. Has Jill, bless her, ever worked a 9 to 5 job? I ruled out the possibility of her being a tradie but happy to be corrected.

    When do the writer expect people to whip up these lunches? The night before or the morning of? if I take anything slightly "gourmet" to the office, then it is leftovers. Nothing specifically whipped up for lunch.

    Commenter
    Growler
    Location
    The Couch
    Date and time
    January 08, 2014, 4:36AM
    • Oh thats right @Growler, if you don't/can't do it, then nobody can. Makes sense mate, not.

      Commenter
      Sean
      Location
      Date and time
      January 08, 2014, 12:57PM
  • It's great to see some non meat and dairy options being promoted.

    Commenter
    Sean
    Location
    Date and time
    January 08, 2014, 6:08AM
  • Great healthy ideas and by large, cost friendly. There is ALWAYS time to prepare food and nothing wrong with eating the same thing for a few days. Prepare and batch on the Sunday evening and stop moaning @Growler.

    Commenter
    lvcno1
    Location
    Date and time
    January 09, 2014, 10:09AM

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