Filling Salad Ideas for Lunch at Work

Jul 23, 2021

Who says that salads have to be just chopped vegetables or iceberg lettuce with some vinaigrette? They are a great way to combine a variety of ingredients and feel satisfied and seriously full after enjoying it. Filling salads will power you through your workday, so they are the perfect lunch idea to pack for work.

Ditch that takeout or fast food and make something from our list of filling take-to-work salad recipes.

5 Filling Salads to Pack for Work

Say goodbye to those pesky hunger pangs with these irresistible salad recipes that will keep you full till dinner. You can pack most of them the night before, so you can just grab your bento box and go in the morning.

Bento boxes are a great choice for salads with dressing, like most of these recipes, as it allows you to put the dressing in a separate compartment.

1. Salmon Salad with Garlic Dressing

Use kale, spinach, or chard for the base of this delicious salad, add chopped vegetables, and finish with protein-rich salmon and a drizzle of garlic-yogurt dressing. To make this easy-to-make salad, you won’t need more than 30 minutes.

Ingredients – 4 servings

  1. Low-fat plain yogurt – ½ cup
  2. Salmon fillet – 1 pound
  3. Lemon juice – 2 tbsp.
  4. Mayonnaise – ¼ cup
  5. Curly kale, chopped – 8 cups
  6. Carrots, diced – 2 cups
  7. Broccoli, chopped – 2 cups
  8. Red cabbage, chopped – 2 cups
  9. Fresh chives, snipped – 1 tbsp.
  10. Fresh parsley, chopped – 1 tbsp.
  11. Parmesan cheese, grated – 2 tbsp.
  12. Sunflower seeds, toasted – ½ cup
  13. Ground pepper – ¼ tsp.
  14. Garlic, minced – 1 medium clove
  15. Soy sauce or reduced-sodium tamari sauce – 2 tsp.


Preheat broiler to high.

Place salmon fillet on a baking sheet previously lined with foil, skin-side down. Put it in the broiler and broil for 8-12 minutes, rotating the pan once. Cut the salmon into small pieces.

In the meantime, prepare the dressing by whisking mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, soy sauce or tamari, chives, parsley, Parmesan, pepper, and garlic.

In a large bowl, mix carrots, cabbage, kale, sunflower seeds, and broccoli.

Since these ingredients are for four servings, you should divide the mixture of chopped vegetables, salmon, and dressing among four bento boxes and pack everyone in your family a filling salad for work or school.

Just remember to place the dressing in a separate container. Later, when it’s time for your lunch break, just mix everything together and enjoy.

2. Chicken Salad with Tomatoes

salads for work hour

To make this satisfying salad, you’ll need about 15 minutes, provided that you have cooked chicken.


  1. Cucumber slices – 1 cup
  2. Romaine lettuce, chopped – 3 cups
  3. Cherry tomatoes, halved – 6
  4. Cooked skinless and boneless chicken breast – 3 ounces
  5. Low-fat Swiss cheese, diced – ½ cup or 2 ounces
  6. Ingredients for the Dressing
  7. Buttermilk – 1 ½ cup
  8. Avocado, pitted and peeled – 1
  9. Rice vinegar – 2 tbsp.
  10. Fresh herbs, chopped – ¼ cup (for example sorrel, parsley, tarragon, cilantro and/or parsley)
  11. Salt – ½ tsp.


Make the dressing by pureeing all the dressing ingredients in a blender.

Cut the cooked chicken breast into small pieces.

Mix the vegetables together with the cheese and chicken pieces and place the mixture in your bento box. Put the dressing in a separate compartment and mix everything before eating.

You can store any extra dressing in the refrigerator for up to three days.

3. Chicken and Arugula Pasta Salad

pasta salad

The combination of whole-grain noodles, fresh vegetables, chicken, and a light and luscious sauce will make your mouth water.

Ingredients – 4 servings

  1. Shallot, thinly sliced – 1 medium
  2. Rind removed Brie cheese, chopped – 3 ounces
  3. Garlic, thinly sliced – 1 clove
  4. Whole-wheat fusilli pasta – 6 ounces
  5. Cider vinegar – 2 tsp.
  6. Rotisserie chicken breast, skinless, boneless, and shredded – 8 ounces or 2 cups
  7. Kosher salt – 3 tsp.
  8. Ground black pepper, 3 tsp.
  9. Heirloom tomato, chopped – 1
  10. Baby arugula – 5 ounces
  11. Extra virgin olive oil – 2 tsp.


Cook and drain pasta, keeping ¼ cup liquid.

Steep garlic and shallot in the pasta cooking liquid for 5 minutes.

Mix pasta and cheese, and stir in the shallot mixture, chicken, salt, and pepper. Add arugula and tomato, and mix well.

Pack the salad in your bento box, and add oil and vinegar before eating.

4. Grek Farro and Chickpea Salad

The ingredients in this salad are simple and vibrant, making the perfect summer salad that will keep you full all day long.


  1. Feta cheese, crumbled – 2 tbsp.
  2. Red bell pepper, diced – ¼ cup
  3. Canned unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained – 1/3 cup
  4. Cucumber, diced – ¼ cup
  5. Arugula – 1 cup
  6. Cooked farro – ½ cup
  7. Garlic, grated – ½ clove
  8. Red wine vinegar – 2 tsp.
  9. Dried oregano – 1/8 tsp.
  10. Extra virgin olive oil – 2 tsp.


Mix vinegar, oil, oregano, and garlic in a small bowl.

Mix the remaining ingredients, and pack the salad in your bento box. Place the oregano dressing in a separate compartment of your bento box.

Add the dressing to the salad right before eating.

5. California Steak Salad

Steak Salad

Last but not least, this seriously filling salad is so delicious that you will probably start making it as a lunch for your entire family.


  1. Toasted almonds, sliced – ¼ cup
  2. Avocado, peeled and sliced - 1
  3. Basil, thinly sliced – ½ cup
  4. Cooked flank steak, seasoned with salt and pepper – 8 ounces
  5. Baby arugula – 1 container or 5 oz.
  6. Heirloom tomatoes, sliced – 3
  7. Kosher salt – ½ tsp.
  8. Ground black pepper – ¼ tsp.
  9. Extra virgin olive oil – 2 tbsp.
  10. Balsamic vinegar – 1 tbsp.
  11. Red onion, cut into half-inch-thick slices – 1


Grill onion slices on a heated grill pan until tender, or about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the grilled onion stand in a bowl covered with plastic wrap for 10 minutes.

Whisk vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper, and add the onion slices with any onion juices accumulated. Add tomatoes and mix gently. After 15 minutes, add arugula.

Divide the salad mixture among four bento boxes or plates, one for each family member, and top with avocado and steak. Sprinkle the salad with almonds and basil.


With these filling salad ideas, you’ll enjoy a satisfying lunch every day at work.

Article Posted In: Salads

Tags: office lunch, healthy lunch in office

Milena Popova

Milena is an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in writing articles on her favorite topics - food and health. In her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, reading, listening to music, and walking in nature.