10 Healthy Lunch Recipes
While it’s fun to go out to lunch with co-workers (or by yourself for a nice break), heading out for lunch all the time is expensive. It’s also a prime way to pack on the pounds. If you plan ahead and pack your lunch in advance you’ll save money and calories. Most of these recipes should be made the night before and then packaged for quick run out the door. Packing your own meals allows you to control portions, choose fresh ingredients, keep costs down, and eat what you love.
1. Black and Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Squash
via Bon Appetit
This salad is a great lunch because it can be eaten chilled, warm, or at room temperature. Try adding shredded chicken or putting a scoop over dark greens for a hearty salad. The honey in the dressing can be subbed out for agave.
2. Tempeh Salad Sandwich
via Margaret’s Dish
Tempeh is made by fermenting soy beans and it’s packed with protein. It’s mainly used as a meat substitute if you’re looking to move away from eating animals. Serve on your favorite whole wheat bread, crackers, or in a veggie wrap for a quick lunch that you can pack the night before.
3. Chicken Caesar Lettuce Wraps
via Good Life Eats
Try marinating the chicken in lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and thyme instead of the pre-made dressing. Bottled dressing tends to have a lot of sodium and sugar, and it’s just as easy to make your own marinade.
4. French Lentil Soup
via Foolproof Living
What’s easier to pack for lunch than a container of hearty soup? This soup takes about an hour to make so plan to make it ahead of time. It can also be frozen for up to two months.
5. Easy Vegan Burrito Bowl
via Linda Wagner
This recipe is all the good things about a burrito, but with half the calories. Lose the tortilla shell and fill in with veggies and brown rice for a substantial lunch. If you want to add protein, try shredded chicken, thinly sliced lean steak, or even pork.
6. Edamame, Snap Pea and Soba Noodle Salad
Soba noodles are made from buckwheat and are healthier than regular semolina pasta. The recipe says to use one packet of honey, start with a tablespoon, and add more to taste. When buying edamame, make sure to pick up a variety that is low sodium.
7. Curried Chickpea Salad
via The Simple Veganista
This is a good recipe to have in the recipe folder because of the versatility. The salad can be used to stuff a pita, as a dip for whole grain crackers, or eaten plain with a side salad. If you have a work out scheduled after work, this would be a good mid afternoon snack, too.
8. Turkey, Corn and Black Bean Chili
via Life as a Strawberry
Lunch is best with foods that get better the longer it sits. Chili is one of those foods, and this recipe makes smart swaps for a healthier version. If you’re looking to add more flavor to the chili, try roasting butternut squash until tender and then sprinkle cinnamon on top while it’s still hot. Spoon a little over the warm chili for another layer of warmth.
9. Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Quinoa Stuffed Portobello
via Food Doodles
You can make roasted red peppers by charring a bell pepper on all sides on the stovetop, covering it in a bowl for several minutes, and then peeling. If you choose to buy a jar, make sure to buy a variety that is not jarred in oil.
10. Fresh Vietnamese Noodles Bowl
If you crave noodles, try rice noodles. You can eat it warm or cold and it goes with everything. This salad is cold, but if you add a little chicken or veggie broth and heat it up, you’ll have an equally delicious soup.