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15 Simple Cold Lunches for Husbands (Sandwich-Free Ideas)

Simple cold lunches for husbands to devour, with no sandwiches in sight! Great lunch ideas I've packed for my own husband, for when there's no microwave or fridge.

I’ve been packing cold lunches for my husband for over 10 years now.

woman reaching into fridge for cold packed lunch, text overlay "15 cold lunches I've packed for my husband"

Not every morning, mind you (and don’t worry – my husband returns the favor by cooking yummy meals from scratch on the weekends).

But many weekday mornings, you can find me piecing together a yummy lunch that he’ll get to eat at around 11:00 a.m.

And today? I’m rounding up my favorite ideas and curated recipes that I’ve used to help you not only pack an awesome cold lunch for your husband, but to do it as conveniently as possible.

Not to mention, in a cost-effective way.

Trust me – every time I pack my husband’s lunch, I’m saving my family about $10-$15 plus giving him more time at work (since he doesn’t have to go find food).

Did I mention these are wayyyy less calories than if he had eaten out at a restaurant?

Let’s dive in.

Cold Lunches for Husbands

These cold lunch ideas are perfect if your husband works at a place or location with no microwave or fridge* (*you’ll want to add an ice pack, of course, to an insulated lunch bag to keep things cold until lunchtime).

Or, if your husband simply doesn’t want to heat up their lunches.

Note: I’m mainly providing ideas for the main dish. With each of these, I also include things like blueberries, a yogurt, grapes, granola bar, peanut butter & honey crackers, etc.

1. Sausage + Cheese Lunch

I got inspired by an awesome sausage and cheese platter we had at a bar one time, and decided to recreate it in for my husband’s lunch – cold.

You just buy pre-cooked sausage (I use beef sausage for this), and cube some of his favorite cheeses. Include a little container of mustard if he’s into that.

Apples go so well with this, so I slice half an apple up, and include it.

It’s a husband-approved, manly lunchable!

Psst: This is one of my favorite cold lunch ideas for adults; I eat it for my own lunch some days, too!

2. BLT Salad Lunch

We have bacon once a week on Sunday mornings (along with waffles!). You can imagine how happy my husband gets when I save a few slices of bacon, and use them to create this cold BLT salad lunch.

Hint: no time to make the dressing from scratch? I hear ya – just include a small container of Ranch dressing. He’ll still love it.

3. Devilled Eggs + Mozzarella Balls

I’m going to pretend for a moment that my husband loves devilled eggs (he really dislikes them, no matter how much I Iove them!).

In this dreamy lunch, I would include several devilled eggs leftover from a cookout or dinner, plus one of my favorite things to treat him with: seasoned mozzarella balls.

I buy them in bulk from Costco, put them in a little container, and add a small amount of olive oil and salt. YUMMY.  

4. Cold BBQ Chicken Bowl

I stumbled upon two awesome recipes, that I put into one, and made into a BBQ chicken bowl that both my husband and I love to eat for cold lunches throughout the week (again, you can eat this for dinner, too!).

The bowl is assembled by putting shredded barbecue chicken in 1/3 of it, then coleslaw in 1/3, and roasted sweet potatoes in the last third. Absolute perfection.

Here are the recipes (cook everything once, eat for cold lunches several times):

5. Ham Pickle Wraps

Does your husband like pickles? Mine does. Occasionally, I’ll wrap up some pickle spears with ham (slather cream cheese on the ham). Voila!

6. Sweet Potato and Chorizo Hash

Here’s a recipe for sweet potato hash that you can make for dinner, or the night before, then pack for your husband to eat cold.

Psst: here's how to reuse leftover food.

7. 15-Minute Tex-Mex Chicken Wraps

two chicken tex mex wraps with corn, beans, onions, chicken, and lettuce for working man

These chicken wraps are sooooo addictive. So much so, that I cook them one night for dinner, and just make two more for my husband’s cold lunch in the morning.

You better believe I also make enough that I can have one for lunch, myself!

Hint: I use whatever chicken we have – chicken tenders, grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, etc.

8. Stuffed Pigs in Blanket with Flavored Mustards

three pigs in a blanket on slate plate with mustard and ketchup

Years ago, I found this recipe in a Rachel Ray magazine. We tried it for dinner, and I also found that it made a really yummy, cold lunch for my husband!

Our favorite dipping sauce? The cherry mustard one.

9. Panzanella and Sweet Sausage Salad

A panzanella salad with sweet sausage is the perfect thing to eat cold. Especially when you don’t want to pack another sandwich! 

Personally, I use the Pioneer Woman’s recipe, and then add in sweet Italian sausage.

10. Thai Salad with Sesame Peanut Sauce (and Sriracha)

three bento boxes of cold thai noodle salad with containers of peanut sauce

We prefer Thai noodle salads to be cold, which makes them a great recipe to make on the weekend and pack for your hubby’s lunch! 

11. Spicy Tuna Roll Bowl

I’ll be the first to admit that my husband is not a big tuna fan. At least not the canned variety (he does love tuna sashimi).

But a spicy tuna roll bowl? Well, it won him over. Plus, it tastes delicious cold.

12. Meat-Wrapped Cheese Sticks

Take several cheese sticks, and wrap each in a piece of deli meat.

13. Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins

man in flannel shirt holding three banana protein chocolate chip muffins

Sometimes I make a batch of these banana chocolate chip protein muffins – they are absolutely delicious. And I pack 2-3 of them in my husband’s lunch to be eaten cold.

14. Sausage Cheese Muffins

Speaking of yummy, cold muffins to eat in a lunch? You definitely want to send your husband to work with some sausage cheese muffins.

They’re savory, they taste delicious cold, and they’re great for one-handed lunches (in case they need to eat and work at the same time).

15. Cold Pizza Pasta Salad

Your husband might just become the envy of his workers when he whips out this pizza pasta salad. It tastes great cold (we do leave off the olives, though!).

I hope I've shown you that cold lunches for husbands can be delicious, convenient, and (dare I say) fun to pack. I'll keep adding to this list as I try out new ideas and recipes – so be sure to check back (and please add your own in the comments below).

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Amanda L. Grossman is a Certified Financial Education Instructor, Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Frugal Confessions. Over the last 10 years, her money work helping people with how to save money and how to manage money has been featured in Kiplinger, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, LifeHacker, Woman's World, Woman's Day, ABC 13 Houston, Keybank, and more. Read more here.