5 Cheap & Healthy Lunches That Require ZERO Cooking

Photographed by Eric Helgas.
I have a confession: I really love to cook. I find the idea of Sunday meal prep, midweek dinner making, and leftover layering to be soothing — okay fine I'll say it, I find it damn near cathartic. But I get that not everyone feels the same way. Because finding time to execute fresh meals at home is no easy feat, and sometimes we just don't want to deal. So what're the cooking-haters out there to do, aside from Seamless and office snack smorgasbords? To answer this question, I decided to take a trip back in time to my elementary school days — to the era of the no-cook lunch.
A no-cook lunch is exactly what it sounds like: A packed brown bag situation that consists of strictly things that don't require any actual cooking. You can whip it up in five minutes flat, no prep work required. Think a peanut butter and jelly sandwich paired with a side of crackers and an apple (my 2nd grade go-to). But since PB&Js don't exactly sound enticing to me these days, I had to up my recipe game.
I started with a shopping list consisting of some basic essentials: vegetables, fruits, proteins, and grains (find my full list, ahead). From there, I planned five separate lunches with ample ingredient overlap to ensure I only had to make one trip to the grocery store and to cut down on costs. Click through for five ideas that are completely customizable, fast, easy, healthy, and delicious enough to make me rethink my whole love affair with cooking (or at least give me a enough reason to take a break from Sunday meal prep once in a while).

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