Whole30 is a popular 30-day program that cuts out added sugar, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, grains, most legumes, dairy, and food additives, like carrageenan.
It’s meant to act as a “set” for your body by eliminating foods that may negatively affect health. It can also help people identify foods that may be causing digestive issues, such as bloating and diarrhea (
Following this program can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be quite challenging to keep coming up with Whole30-approved meals.
Lunchtime may be particularly difficult for those following Whole30, especially during days when you’re short on time and need something quick and easy to prepare.
Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious Whole30-approved recipes, plus premade and on-the-go options, that make a perfect choice for lunch.
This article lists 13 scrumptious Whole30 lunch ideas.
Meal prepping is when you prepare several meals ahead of time. Doing it can save you time and money and it’s a great way to stock up on healthy lunches for the week ahead.
Prepping Whole30-approved lunches also helps take the stress out of meal time and can make it easier for you to stay on track while following Whole30.
Here are a few meal-prep-friendly, Whole30-approved lunch ideas.
1. Simple salads
Salads are a perfect choice for meal prep. You can easily adapt them to meet Whole30 requirements.
Plus, even though ingredients like most legumes, dairy, and grains are off-limits on Whole30, you can still make tasty and satisfying salads using nutritious ingredients.
Here are a few Whole30-approved salad ideas for meal prep.
- Whole30 harvest chicken salad: This Whole30-friendly salad combines mixed greens, sweet potatoes, chicken thighs, raspberries, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, avocado, and a balsamic and olive oil dressing.
- Super easy Whole30 chicken salad: Chicken salad is a filling, meal-prep-friendly lunch idea. You can make this recipe in batches and served on top of greens and fresh veggies for a balanced lunch.
- Citrus ginger salmon salad: This recipe is from the Whole30 website, so you know it’s Whole30 compliant! It’s made with salmon and a variety of nutritious vegetables, like cabbage and snap peas.
2. Tray bakes
Some meal prep recipes require multiple pans and different baking times, which can turn meal prep into an hours-long process.
These Whole30-compliant tray bakes use just one pan and are simple to prepare, saving you time in the kitchen.
- Whole30 harvest sheet pan dinner: This sheet pan dinner recipe works great for lunch too. It’s high in protein, healthy fats, and fiber thanks to ingredients like chicken sausage, apples, butternut squash, and Brussels sprouts.
- Whole30 sheet pan shrimp fajitas: In the mood for fajitas but not sure if your local restaurant’s version is Whole30 compliant? Try this meal-prep-friendly sheet pan fajita recipe. You can serve it with cauliflower rice to keep it Whole-30 compliant.
- Sheet pan balsamic chicken and vegetables: This recipe couldn’t be simpler. It’s a great choice for meal prep newbies. You can use whatever vegetables you like, including carrots, zucchini, asparagus, potatoes, and cauliflower.
3. Soups and chili
Soups and chilis are a staple lunch for many people. They are simple to make and can be prepared in large batches and stored in the freezer for a quick lunch option when you’re short on time.
Here are a few ideas for Whole30-approved, meal prep-friendly soups and chilis.
- Slow cooker white chicken chili: Unlike most chilis, this recipe is beanless, making it Whole30 compliant. If the rest of your household isn’t following Whole30 or if you’re following Whole30’s plant-based program, you can add beans in easily.
- Whole30 butternut squash and apple soup: This satisfying soup gets its creaminess from coconut milk, not dairy. Serve it with a piece of protein, like baked chicken, for a Whole30-friendly lunch.
- Whole30 creamy taco soup: Make this Whole30-compliant soup ahead of time and store it in your fridge or freezer. Top it with sliced avocado and fresh cilantro for a filling lunch.
Frittatas are egg-based dishes that are easy to prepare. You can make them ahead of time and store them in the fridge for a quick, on-the-go breakfast or lunch option.
Serve a piece of frittata with fresh fruit on the side for a balanced and Whole30-friendly lunch.
To make a basic frittata, mix 8 eggs with 1/4 cup (59 mL) of Whole30-approved plant-based milk, salt, and pepper.
Mix in about 2 cups (about 475 mL) of any cooked veggies you like, such as sautéed sweet potato, spinach, or broccoli. You can add protein sources too, like ground chicken or sausage.
Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish and bake at 400℉ (204℃) for about 20–25 minutes or until baked and puffy.
If you’re not a fan of cooking, there are plenty of premade, Whole30-approved options for lunch, including meals you can purchase ready to heat and eat.
Here are some ideas for premade lunch ideas that fit into the Whole30 diet.
5. Primal Kitchen frozen meals
Primal Kitchen is a company that makes paleo products that are free of grains, legumes, and dairy.
Primal Kitchen frozen bowls and skillets are Whole30-approved and make an excellent choice for an easy and filling lunch that you can keep in your freezer at work or at home.
They come in a variety of flavors, including chicken pesto, chicken panang curry, beef and mushroom, and steak fajitas.
6. Daily Harvest meals
Whole30 launched a plant-based program in 2022. Unlike previous versions of Whole30, this allows legumes, making it easier for those who follow plant-based diets to follow Whole30.
Whole30 partnered with Daily Harvest to create a Whole30-compatible menu for those following the plan.
People following the Plant-Based Whole30 program can choose from a variety of their bakes, soups, smoothies, and harvest bowls. Try pairing a smoothie with one of the other menu options for a satisfying, plant-based lunch.
7. Whole30-approved meal delivery services
Some meal delivery services are Whole30-approved and deliver fully prepared, Whole30-friendly lunches right to your door.
Here are a few Whole30-approved meal delivery companies.
- Trifecta: Trifecta’s Whole30-approved menu is made with high-quality ingredients, like sustainably caught seafood, grass-fed beef, and organic vegetables. They can be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days or can be frozen for long term storage.
- Territory: Territory is another Whole30-approved company that delivers fully prepared frozen meals right to your door. Choose from meals like Mongolian-style beef and broccoli with cauliflower rice, and lemon garlic chicken and vegetables.
- The Good Kitchen: The Good Kitchen partnered with Whole30 to offer their customers Whole30-approved meals ready to heat and eat. The Good Kitchen’s Whole30 menu is filled with mouth-watering options, like ranch chicken with buffalo cauliflower.
Whole30 now offers a plant-based program that cuts out animal products like meat and dairy. When you’re following the plant-based Whole30 program, legumes are allowed but grains are still off-limits.
Here are a few quick and easy lunch ideas for those following the plant-based Whole30 program.
8. Plant-based extra veggie fried rice
Just because rice is off limits during Whole30 doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the flavor of a fried rice dish.
This Whole30-friendly, plant-based extra veggie fried rice recipe is made with tofu for a hearty dose of plant-based protein and is chock full of veggies like cauliflower, carrots, and kale.
The best part is that it’s family-friendly and takes just 25 minutes to prepare.
9. Slow cooker vegan chili with lentils
If you’re in the mood for a hearty, warming lunch when you’re following the Plant-Based Whole30 program, try out this slow cooker vegan chili with lentils.
This recipe is made in a slow cooker and takes very little prep work, so it saves you time in the kitchen. Plus, it’s great for making in large batches to keep in your fridge or freezer for multiple meals.
Lentils are particularly filling, thanks to their high protein and fiber content. So, unlike some plant-based meals, this lunch-friendly option is sure to keep you fueled until dinner time.
10. Crunchy smashed chickpea salad
If you’re craving a simple, lighter lunch, this crunchy smashed chickpea salad is sure to hit the spot.
It’s made with Whole30-approved mayo and includes apples, pecans, and celery for a satisfying crunch factor.
Enjoy it on top of greens with some avocado for a quick Whole30-approved, plant-based lunch.
When you’re on the road and have nothing prepared for lunch, you may have a hard time finding options that work with the Whole30 diet.
However, you may be able to find options at Chipotle and Five Guys. Whole30 has approved some menu items at these popular lunch spots.
Or you can make your own Whole30-approved lunch at grocery stores that offer salad bars and hot food options, like Whole Foods.
Chipotle offers a Whole30-approved salad bowl that’s made with simple, nutritious ingredients.
The bowl is made with greens, fajita-style veggies, chicken or pork, fresh tomato salsa, and guacamole.
You can make your bowl plant-based Whole30-friendly by topping your bowl with black beans or plant-based chorizo.
12. Hot bars
If you live near a Whole Foods or another store that offers a salad bar or hot bar, it’s possible to create Whole30-approved lunches on the go.
For example, you can make a salad with greens, veggies, seeds, and a protein source like roasted chicken. If you’re plant-based, you can add beans or tofu to your salad for protein.
Some hot bar options like roast chicken, roasted potatoes, and grilled vegetables can be Whole30-friendly as well. However, keep in mind that some establishments use canola oil to cook their foods, which is not Whole30 approved.
13. Five Guys
Five Guys is a fast food restaurant that offers Whole30-approved menu options.
While you can’t have a regular cheeseburger when following Whole30, you can order a bunless burger wrapped in lettuce and pile on extra Whole30-approved ingredients, like fresh green peppers, onions, and tomatoes.
The restaurant’s hot sauce is also approved, so you can use it to add flavor to your bunless burger.
It’s a good idea to prepare at least some of your lunches at home, even though it’s possible to find Whole30-compliant options on the go and stock up on premade Whole30-approved meals.
By cooking at home, you know exactly what you’re eating and can make a variety of meals based on your preferences.
You’ll also save money by cooking your meals from scratch as opposed to choosing premade options.
For example, a frittata containing sweet potato, spinach, and cauliflower could cost about $13 for the ingredients, according to our estimates using grocery prices found online. This recipe makes at least four servings, so each serving would cost about $3.25 or less.
Meal prepping can make it much easier to stick to Whole30 because you’ll have your lunches for the week ahead ready to go, which is particularly helpful if you have a busy schedule.
To meal prep successfully, you’ll need to stock your kitchen with Whole30-approved ingredients. Start by printing out this Whole30-compliant grocery list. Take it to the store to stay organized while you’re shopping.
After you’re stocked up on groceries, plan a menu and set aside some cooking time once or twice a week, depending on how many meals you want to prepare.
If you’re new to meal prepping, start with making just a few meals per week to make your life a little easier when following Whole30.
Whole30 is a 30-day program meant to improve some aspects of health by eliminating certain foods, beverages, and ingredients, including dairy products, alcohol, grains, and added sugar.
Whether you’re following the traditional Whole30 plan or the new plant-based Whole30 program, there are plenty of delicious lunch options to choose from.
While it’s possible to find Whole30-approved premade meals and Whole30-friendly options at restaurants, meal prepping is a great way to stock your fridge with a variety of healthy Whole30-friendly meals that suit your tastes.