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Cheesy (and Easy!) Lunches for Work

Ricotta and veggies on toast

We’ve all been there: you wake up late, hastily brush your teeth, and run out the door, huffing and puffing all the way to work. Once at your desk, it hits you: you didn’t bring anything for lunch. We can’t make sure you wake up on time (sorry!), but we can help you get that pesky lunch problem under control. With a little work at the beginning of the week or the night before, you can have a fresh, filling lunch every day—no sweat.

If your office has a refrigerator…

Bring in a few key supplies at the beginning of the week, and you’ll have a handy meal without lugging a lunch bag to and from work everyday. Keep fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil in the fridge for an easy Caprese salad. When noon rolls around, simply slice and eat! Or try a twist on the same idea: Kumato, mozzarella, and fresh mint towers. You could also keep green salad supplies and marinated balls of goat cheese (either homemade or store bought) in the fridge. Toss the greens together, top with the goat cheese, and drizzle some of the marinade on top for an easy dressing.  

If your office has a refrigerator and a toaster oven…

If your office has a toaster oven, consider yourself lucky: you can have hot lunches, without the soggy mess that comes out of a microwave. First, we’ll tackle the obvious: toast. Store your bread of choice at your desk and stock the fridge with your favorite soft cheese and fresh veggies. Toast the bread on both sides, slather with the soft cheese, and top with sliced veggies, salt, and pepper (check out these herbed ricotta toasts, topped with cucumber, tomatoes, and strawberries). For something a little heartier, try toasting sliced bread with an über melty cheese, à la Food52’s toaster oven cheese toast. We recommend making two pieces and squishing them together for a pretty darn good grilled cheese sandwich. Get creative with toppings: sliced ham, tomatoes, pickles, or dijon would all make excellent additions. Sick of sandwiches? Try this olive pizza, made with provolone, garlic, and lots of olives (duh). Blogger Cathy makes it pretty hard to resist, saying “The cheese was so ooey and gooey it stretched and pulled and ended up all over my face. Turns out I was right all along. Between the melted cheese and the salty olives and the crusty bread….it was easily the best lunch I’ve had in a while.”

If your office has no kitchen…

If you are traveling, work outdoors, or your office simply doesn’t have a kitchen, room-temperature lunches are the name of your game. You can prepare all of these dishes the night before or the morning of. Any meat and cheese sandwich will do well, but we like this feta and veggie version for a few reasons: the feta will stand up to warm day, the ciabatta bread is sturdy enough to not get soggy, and the colorful veggies make it just as pretty as it is delicious. For those with a sweet tooth, combining any jam or jelly with cream cheese on your choice of bread is surprisingly delicious! We thought this raspberry chia jam sammie was particularly pretty, but use whatever flavors strike your fancy. Really in a rush? Throw together whatever’s lurking in your fridge for a makeshift cheese plate (and check out our tips for a great summer cheese plate).

Photo by The Muffin Myth


Alicia Hahn

Alicia Hahn is an online editorial intern for culture who excels at eating and enjoys writing, crosswords, and cooking (preferably with cheese). Originally from San Francisco, she moved to Boston for school and fell in love with the city (despite an annual campaign against winter). Her favorite place to be is the farmers’ market, where she finds weird and exciting ingredients to make or break her next meal.