Your goto fridge essentials for healthy lunch ideas

Standing in front of the fridge getting colder and colder and even more clueless about what to have for lunch? 

Well, this doesn’t have to be your life! To get out of the funk you need to stock your fridge for success; fill it with nutritious hero items that you can mix and match and make into a stellar lunch, without missing your daily trips to Pret.

 “What are these items?” I hear you cry! Well, these are mine. 7 fridge essentials things to make sure you never have to resort to drab old sandwiches:

Roast chicken:

Our #1 fridge essential for healthy lunch ideas is the simple but multi-purpose roast chicken.  Whether you get this straight from the rotisserie or deli counter at your local supermarket, or you cook it yourself using one of our yummy marinade recipes, this lean protein can be the base for salads, soups, or noodle dishes. The protein will keep you fuller for longer and help stave off the 4pm munchies.

Boiled Eggs:

Another great protein source, you can boil 5 eggs on Sunday and add them to a salad with some tuna, make your quick and easy vegetarian chow mein, or just grab one as a snack.

Short grain brown rice:

I love this grain. You’re eating the whole of the grain, which can help stave off diabetes and heart disease, and the short bit of the name means that it will go sticky when you cook it, making it perfect to mix with some miso paste or olive oil. Add your chicken and some roasted vegetables and you’re good to go!


Here’s another fridge essential that you can prep in the morning before you even start work. Add some extra water to the kettle while you make your breakfast cup of tea and pour this over the couscous. Place a plate over the top and then, after you’ve finished your breakfast, fluff it up, add some olive oil, salt and pepper and it’s ready to go in the fridge for lunch.

You can have this with fish, salad, chicken, add feta, chopped tomatoes and cucumber, even pistachios and sultanas.

Roasted vegetables:

Probably our favourite and the most versatile on our list of fridge essentials are roasted vegetables. I love making a tray full of roasted courgette, peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots and onions with some crushed garlic cloves and olive oil at the beginning of the week, so it’s all there ready to heat up. Add a dollop of pesto or hummus and maybe some of your fresh spinach, and your protein of choice – easy!


Cherry tomatoes:

There was a time when my son seemed to eat nothing but cherry tomatoes, and then he stopped – leaving me with a fridge full of the little suckers. But they are the perfect way to add an extra vegetable (ok, technically fruit) to your salad, burrito bowl or noodles. You can even throw them into your frittata. Extra dose of vitamins sorted!


Sure, you can make this from scratch. You need a pretty good food processor though, and the shop-bought stuff is great. Extra protein and a great way to make your vegetables a little more interesting.

Fresh spinach:

This is the mother of all versatile foods… Raw in salads, wilted into curries and stir-fries. Just chucking a handful into anything adds  Vitamin A, B6, E and K, iron, calcium and folate without affecting the taste of your meal that much.


Feta/goats cheese (anything crumbly):

This is a great easy protein to add to anything – crumble it over a salad, mix it with some pasta, put it in your scrambled egg or frittata, whichever way you like. It adds a strong burst of flavour and can give you the salty taste you’re craving.

And an extra one for next door to the fridge!

Frozen peas:

Easily dismissed, the humble pea is a nutritional powerhouse. Half a cup gives you 4 grams of protein, 4 grams of fibre, 34% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin A, as well as vitamins K, C and even iron. You can add them to anything (probably not cornflakes), and you can cook them in the microwave in 4 minutes!

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