Get a healthy start on your week with these 31 healthy lunch ideas that will keep you on track and won’t derail your best eating intentions.
Lunch is too often the “chopped liver” of our three daily meals, with too many trips through the drive thru, or grabbing a protein bar, or skipping it altogether. Breakfast may get credited as the most important meal of the day, but lunch is a close runner-up and is the fuel needed to power through the day so we don’t succumb to the dreaded afternoon slump.
So in the spirit of eating healthily and putting more thought into lunch planning, here are 31 virtuous (but still totally yummy) lunch ideas to help you stay on track all week long.
1. Thai Chicken and Cucumber Salad
Bold Thai flavors like coconut, ginger, and lemongrass lend mega flavor to this light and crunchy salad, and fresh mint, cilantro, and lime make it pop.
2. Sweet Potato Taco Bowls
from Chelsea’s Messy Apron
You won’t miss the carnitas in these filling taco bowls made with roasted sweet potato, and don’t even get us started on that hot sauce and lime crema that gets drizzled on top!
3. Easy BBQ Chicken Salad
from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
This easy, chopped BBQ chicken salad is loaded with healthy veggies and lean protein, and dressed up with a lighter cilantro ranch dressing.
4. Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
from Pinch of Yum
These heavenly, healthy bowls are like the ultimate Greek salad (on steroids). Start with a bed of kale or spinach and top it with quinoa, cucumbers, red onion, olives, pepperoncini, feta, avocado, and hummus, drizzle with lemon juice, and top with the most addictive roasted red pepper sauce.
5. Citrus Shrimp Salad with Avocado
This simple but totally flavorful shrimp salad makes the perfect meal-prep meal for lunch thanks to pan-seared citrus-flavored shrimp, creamy avocado, and the crunch of sliced almonds.
6. Chickpea Salad Sandwich
from Spoon Fork Bacon
Healthy and filling, this protein-packed chickpea salad is a delicious, vegetarian spin on a tuna salad sandwich but it’s wonderfully versatile. Enjoy as a sandwich, lettuce wraps, or in a salad.
7. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
This healthy Mediterranean quinoa salad with feta makes for a simple lunch, thanks to pantry staples like chickpeas, roasted red bell peppers, Kalamata olives. It’s vegetarian but full of lots of healthy protein from the chickpeas and quinoa.
8. BLT Rice Bowl with Avocado Lime Dressing
from My Kitchen Love
BLTs are the anthem of summer, as far as sandwiches are concerned, but who says you can’t enjoy them all year-round, or as a salad? This one is made extra hearty thanks to brown rice, and it gets topped with the creamiest avocado lime dressing.
9. Lemon Roasted Salmon with Sweet Potatoes and Broccolini
from Little Spice Jar
These lemon roasted salmon bowls with broccolini and sweet potatoes are worthy of a meal at one of your favorite restaurants, and all you need is 15 minutes of prep!
10. Italian Chopped Salad with Marinated Chickpeas
Inspired by the famous salad at La Scala, in Beverly Hills, this Italian chopped salad, loaded with salami, roasted red peppers, chickpeas, and Parm is the stuff power lunch dreams are made of.
11. Greek Healthy Meal Prep
from 40 Aprons
This riff on a Greek sampler has all of the staples: baked chicken, tabbouleh made with cauliflower rice (genius), hummus, kalamata olives, and a creamy, refreshing tzatziki sauce. We could totally eat this one every day.
12. Mediterranean White Bean and Tuna Salad Toasts
This simple Mediterranean style tuna salad can be meal prepped ahead and then eaten at will through the week. Try it on lettuce greens, with crackers, or like shown here, on toasty pieces of sourdough.
13. Crunchy Roasted Chickpea Pitas
from How Sweet Eats
Two words: Roasted chickpeas. Those alone are reason enough to make these easy pitas. Make your own whole wheat pita ahead of time if you want, but you can totally use store-bought. Just swoosh your favorite hummus on one, sprinkle with garlicky, paprika-roasted chickpeas, and top with tomatoes, feta, a pinch of fresh herbs, and you’ve got yourself one stellar, healthy vegetarian lunch.
14. Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry Meal Prep Lunch Boxes
from My Food Story
Satisfy your takeout cravings and have lunch taken care of all week with these nutritious and easy meal prep boxes (which only require 10 minutes of prep)!
15. Green Goddess Cream Cheese Sandwich
Garlic and herb-loaded cream cheese + all the green veggies makes this sandwich a winner. PB&J what?
16. Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowls
from Gimme Some Oven
Skip the lines at Chipotle, save your dough, and make these healthier, yummier burrito bowls instead (and use as much guac as your heart desires)!
17. Curried Chickpea Bowls with Garlicky Spinach
from Eating Bird Food
These vegan bowls are super delicious and satisfying, whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or carnivore!
18. Mini Mediterranean Tuna Pita Wraps
from Shared Appetite
Take a vacay from your standard old tuna routine and channel the Mediterranean with these light wraps, featuring a zesty Israeli salad and refreshing tzatziki.
19. Light & Easy Chicken Salad
from Joyful Healthy Eats
You can still have all of the creamy goodness and flavor you love about chicken salad, without the calorie-laden mayo. This version is lightened up with a lemony, mustardy Greek yogurt, and is studded with grapes, pecans, and green onions, without the usual side of guilt.
20. Lentil Bowls with Avocado, Eggs and Cholula
This protein-packed bowls feature lentils, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, avocado, a squeeze of lime juice, cilantro and a few dashes of hot sauce for the easiest lunch that’s full of flavor.
21. Korean Beef Meal Prep Bowls
from Destination Delish
Lunch meal prep couldn’t be easier when all you need is 20 minutes and some good tupperware! These tasty bowls feature ground beef cooked in a sweet sesame soy sauce, with brown rice and crisp cucumbers.
22. Roasted Chicken, Butternut Squash and Guacamole Rice Bowls
Sheet pan roasted chicken breasts, butternut squash and red onion is served with black beans, brown rice and guacamole, making this a healthy and easy lunch you can throw together pretty quickly.
23. Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad
This easy, all-in-one-meal, tuna salad is made with simple ingredients and pantry staples to create a lunch that’s totally fresh and filling.
24. Chicken Satay Meal Prep Bowls
from Food Faith Fitness
These easy make-ahead bowls with cauliflower rice and a healthier take on peanut sauce are full of protein and not full of carbs, so you can start the new year off on the right foot!
25. 30-Minute Greek Chicken Lettuce Cups with Avocado Tzatziki
from How Sweet Eats
These super healthy Greek-flavored lettuce cups come together in just 30 minutes, which means you’ll probably wanna make them on a weekly basis. Also, the avocado tzatziki is a total game changer.
26. Mediterranean Shrimp Salad with Cannelini Beans
This easy Mediterranean shrimp salad is less about the lettuce (peppery arugula in this case) and more about the tender poached shrimp, supple white beans, and bursting bites of tomato in a tangy champagne vinegar laced dressing.
27. Soy Honey Noodle Salad with Chicken and Broccoli
from Simply Delicious
This chicken and broccoli noodle salad is bursting with flavor from honey, soy, and sesame, and is totally delicious eaten hot or cold.
28. Kale Salad with Quinoa and Shrimp
Slay your work week with this protein-packed salad kale and quinoa salad with baked garlic shrimp. Hearty and nutritious, with pops of antioxidant sweetness, it puts all things super into the epitome of a super, superfood salad.
29. Nicoise Salad
This classic Nicoise salad is light, fresh, and colorful, and the perfect dish to make easy spring or summer lunches or brunch.
30. No Cook Greek Pita Bento Box
from Sweet Peas and Saffron
You can’t beat a no-cook lunch you can throw together in 20 minutes! This healthy bento box features chicken, Greek salad, tzatziki, and pita bread and is perfect for weekly meal prep.
31. Ahi Tuna Poke with Avocado and Mango Salad
You don’t have to be a knife-ninja or sushi expert to make a killer poke bowl, and this recipe is proof. Fresh Ahi tuna, mango, and avocado lie on a bed of spring greens that are tossed with the easiest 3-ingredient dressing, making for a colorful and flavorful salad you won’t be able to get enough of.
More Healthy Recipe Ideas
- 50 Favorite Mediterranean Diet Recipes
- 60 Healthy Breakfast Ideas When There’s No Time to Eat
- 40 Shrimp Recipes
- 32 Salads That Make a Meal
- 50 BEST Salmon Recipes
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