When it comes to staying warm in an always-chilly office in the midst of winter, the struggle is real. There’s only so much layering of clothing you can put on before colleagues start giving you curious side glances. To combat a serious case of the shivers, prep an office-friendly hot lunch that will warm your insides in no time. From soothing soups and hearty casseroles to Tex-Mex ideas and quick takeout-inspired dishes, these delicious recipes will be the envy of your colleagues.
Mexican Bean, Rice and Corn Bake
Chances are you’ll have most of these basic ingredients in your pantry already, making this dish a must if you find yourself in a pinch. The office-friendly hot lunch takes its cue from one of our favourite Mexican brunch dishes: chilaquiles (fried tortilla chips tossed with a red or green sauce).
Eat-Your-Veggies Mediterranean Meatballs
Packed with enough spinach to make Popeye proud, these oven-baked turkey meatballs are stuffed into pita pockets topped with lettuce, tomato and a creamy yogurt sauce. Take it to the office and heat it up in the microwave for a flavourful dish that will warm your insides.
Immune-Boosting Bone Broth, Chicken and Vegetable Soup
We love a freezer-friendly meal that provides us with hot lunch options for the busy weeks (or sick days) that lie ahead. Warm your insides with this immune-boosting soup that’s brimming with shiitake mushrooms, turmeric and shredded chicken.
French Onion Soup Casserole
French onion soup is the perfect dish for warming up on a cold day – and we love this office-friendly variation that transforms into a cozy casserole that’s even heartier, more delicious and easier to transport than the traditional meal.
The Pioneer Woman's Lighter Taco Skillet
Any day can be Taco Tuesday with this easy and healthy lunch. Simply add ground turkey, black beans, chipotle peppers and Mexican seasonings to a large skillet, and don’t forget to pack corn tortillas and an assortment of fixings (like avocado!).
Valerie Bertinelli's Make-Ahead Chicken Tetrazzini
Tetrazzini is a fantastic cheesy casserole to make over the weekend and freeze for office lunches. This hearty version of the dish is packed with ziti pasta, chicken breast, veggies and green chiles for an additional warming effect. For more poultry ideas, consider one of Valerie’s best chicken recipes.
The Pioneer Woman's Tex-Mex Fried Rice
If you can’t figure out what to do with leftover rice, consider this Tex-Mex-inspired dish that’s ready in 20 minutes. It makes for an easy, flavour-packed lunch that will curb your hunger pangs and warm your belly.
Valerie Bertinelli's Quick Rotisserie Chicken Gumbo
A traditional gumbo can often take hours to prepare, but this soothing, office-friendly hot lunch option has a simple hack: shredded rotisserie chicken! Pack a piping hot bowl on its own, or bring along some leftover rice for an even heartier dish that will warm you up in seconds flat.
The Pioneer Woman's Penne Pecorino
Pasta dishes always make for reliable, low-maintenance lunches – and this recipe is even easier than most! All you need are yellow onions and Pecorino Romano cheese to pair with your pasta noodles and voila! You’ve got yourself an effortless three-ingredient dish you’ll return to when you find yourself in a time crunch.