Cooking at work for dummies

When I tell people that we cook lunch together everyday, I often get the following reaction: “Cooking together sounds really fun, and it is so healthy! But doesn’t it take a lot of time?” Well it is definitively more time consuming than eating a sandwich at your desk. But if you are willing to invest a little quality time with your colleagues while building a healthy habit, you can create and enjoy quick, tasty and budget-friendly meals within an hour of lunch break. Here are two quick recipes that we enjoy at Faktor Zehn.

1. Burger

Our favorite lunch idea is definitively burger. It is super fast, it is scalable and it is cheaper than you think.

15 minutes

1 – 15

 2.50 – 3.00

Shopping list:

Burger bun
Minced beef – 150g per person (ask your butcher to form burgers for you)
Bacon, cheese, tomato, salad, onion, ketchap, bbq sauce, jalapenos, anything you and your colleagues love for burgers


Grill it. Decorate it. Eat it.

Bonus tip:

The most important advice is probably to grill your buns. Just spread butter on your buns and grill it for several minutes. You won’t regret it.


2. Penne tomato casserole

This is our new found love. Casserole sounds difficult and time consuming to make, but the most difficult part is actually to cook the pasta. It does not scale as well as burger, so perfect for a small team.

30 minutes (or less if your stove is quicker than ours)

4 – 6


Shopping list (for 4):

Penne – 500g
Tomato paste – 1 tube (~200g)
Wipping cream – 400ml
Shredded cheese – 250g
Tomato – 4
Parley, chives, any herb you can get prechopped
— things you may already have —
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Garlic – as much as you can bear for work

  1. Cook all the penne
  2. Cut the tomatos in quarters
  3. Mix everything except tomato and pasta together. Put penne, the mixed sauce, tomato and 1/3 of the cheese into a ovenproof dish and mix well
  4. Spread the rest of the cheese on the top
  5. Bake under 180 °C for 30 minutes
Bonus tip:
  • Start cooking an hour early as you can go back to work as soon as the whole thing is in the oven.
  • Split the work. One person goes shopping, another cooks the pasta and prepare the rest while waiting for the water to boil. Don’t forget to preheat the oven.
  • Buy more penne for the next time. If you only need to buy the rest, you can start cooking the pasta while another one is shopping the incredients.


In general, we try to split the work evenly among the eaters: one person for shopping (~15 minutes), mostly two for cooking (20 – 30 minutes) and one for cleaning the table afterward (5 – 10 minutes). The cooking part does take the longest, but you can treat this as additional team building time. Also, it is sometimes very enjoyable to teach unskilled young colleagues the importance of cooking and a healthy life.

Bon appétit!


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