Get inspired by these deliciously filling, healthy lunch ideas! From the best throw-together salads, to nourishing soups, and satiating meals, these recipes will have you looking forward to your mid-day break with a little extra excitement!
Plan Your Healthy Lunches Ahead of Time
Planning your meals ahead of time is always the best approach. Yet I find that people often plan their dinner recipes several days in advance (yay), and then somehow forget to plan a healthy lunch (oops). So here’s a few tips:
- Plan ahead on the weekend. Sundays are famous as meal prep days, but while you’re jotting down a grocery list make sure to include some ingredients for lunch ideas. Healthy ingredients in the fridge and pantry set you up for success!
- Think quick and easy meals. If you’re tossing something together the day of, keep the meal sweet and simple. This means easy, minimal ingredients and short cooking times (or no cooking time if possible).
- Meal Prep. When push comes to shove, meal prep is our best friend. You can batch cook something just for lunch, or turn dinner leftovers into a creative lunch with a few creative twists.
Super Easy & Healthy Lunch Ideas
Let’s kick this list off with everyone’s favorite quick and easy lunch ideas. I kid you not when I say these recipes are super easy. Bonus – you can make them on the spot or meal prep them ahead of time!
- Tuna Salad: Yep, this classic salad comes together in just 15 minutes! You can eat it straight from the bowl, top it onto toast, wrap it with butter leaf lettuce, or make tuna stuffed avocados (my favorite!).
- Zucchini Noodle Caprese: Satisfy your Italian cravings with this 20-minute zucchini noodle pasta filled with fresh caprese ingredients.
- Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl: Nothing beats a fresh poke bowl for lunch. And this easy, homemade version will hit all the right spots.
- Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps: It takes about 30 minutes to cook up the delicious savory chicken filling. But if you make it ahead of time, these wraps come together in an instant!
- Zucchini Pasta With Lemon Garlic Shrimp: Because I love zoodles for quick and easy meals, here’s another one that’s tossed with lemon garlic shrimp and fresh lemon juice.
Salads Hearty Enough (and Satisfying Enough) for Lunch
It’s official, I love a good hearty salad for lunch. It ticks all the boxes for an easy, healthy, and filling meal that’ll power you through the second half of the day. I’ve got a whole list of healthy salad recipes, but these ones are fan favorites that I guarantee you’ll love too.
- Salmon Avocado Salad: Pan seared salmon makes for a magical combo with baby spinach, tomatoes, red onions, cucumber slices, and a lemon vinaigrette.
- Mandarin Chicken Salad: The beauty of this salad is that it’s really just a toss together of simple ingredients. But together they form the perfect balance of sweet, savory, and crisp.
- Broccoli Salad: This classic salad is always a favorite, and for good reason. It’s creamy, crunchy, sweet, savory, and ridiculously easy to toss together.
- Shrimp, Asparagus, Avocado Salad: Come springtime, put those asparagus bundles to work in this super fresh shrimp salad!
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad: This vibrant salad is filled with the best Mediterranean flavors. Oh, and it’s 100% vegetarian!
- Ultimate Chicken Salad: Let’s be honest, chicken salad always sounds good for lunch. You can eat it straight out of the bowl or turn it into a sandwich, as pictured above!
Make Ahead Soups That Reheat Beautifully For Lunch
On days where the weather is chilly or you’re simply craving a comforting meal – a big bowl of soup always hits the spot. Plus, it does double duty for dinners throughout the week. Just make a big pot of any of these recipes, then quickly reheat the day of for a speedy, healthy lunch idea.
- Very Best Lentil Soup: This lentil soup is packed with rich flavors, is quite filling, and easy to whip up with a few pantry staples and fresh vegetables.
- White Chicken Chili: This is one healthy, satiating meal packed with veggies and protein. So if you’re a chili lover, this needs to be at the top of your list.
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup: If you’re in the mood for a creamier soup, nothing beats this roasted butternut squash soup. Trust me, it’s a lot more flavorful than you think!
- Cabbage Soup: Cabbage soup is about as comforting and healthy as they come! Plus, it’s extremely adaptable. You can add ground meat and more veggies, to make it an even heartier meal.
- Roasted Cauliflower Soup: Another blended favorite is this roasted cauliflower soup. It’s creamy, garlicky, nutty, and perfect for a low-carb option.
Oh Yes, Breakfast is Served up For Healthy Lunch Ideas!
Call it brunch, or breakfast for lunch. Either way, it’s delicious and aligns with my philosophy that you can eat any food any time of the day. So feel free to serve up a hearty warm meal with eggs at that noon-time hour.
- Shakshuka: This is hands down the best one pan meal simmered with tomatoes, spices, herbs, and poached eggs.
- Green Shakshuka: If you can’t eat nightshades, this version is the perfect alternative. It’s packed with shaved Brussels sprouts, spinach, zucchini, and poached eggg – the ultimate green combo!
- Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash: Hashes are great for making ahead of time, and this one is a savory combination of sweet potato, kale, bacon, onion bell peppers, and eggs.
- Spiralized Sweet Potato Egg Nests: It’s time to whip out the spiralizer again for these delicious sweet potato egg nests! Just give your noodles a quick saute, let them cook for a bit with the eggs on top, and voila!
The Best Meal Prep Lunch Ideas
Meal prep is always the answer to saving time and energy in the kitchen. But the best part about these recipes is that they can be eaten as-is, or turned into a variety of healthy and creative lunch ideas throughout the week!
- Zucchini Fritters: These low-carb, crisp golden patties will have you swooning over this summer vegetable. They’re great on their own, but can also be paired with a simple side salad to round out a larger meal.
- Baked Chicken Breast: Chicken is always a meal prep savior, but this method guarantees perfectly juicy and moist results every time. Bonus – you can shred this into salads, a wrap, or a grain bowl!
- One Pan Chicken and Rice: The beauty of this one pan dish is that it serves up four full meals (aka almost a week’s worth!). Plus, it shines bright with delicious Mediterranean flavors.
Bento Box Meal Prep… For Lunch On-The-Go!
Last but not least, you can create delicious bento box lunches. They’re great for lunch on-the-go, and they’re designed to not need reheating! You can read more on how to create your own bento box meals, but here’s a quick overview of the combinations I’ve made in the picture above.
If you make any of these healthy lunch ideas, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.
30+ Healthy Lunch Ideas
When it comes to healthy lunch ideas, these tuna stuffed avocados are the best! The healthy protein and fat will keep you full, plus they’re light and fresh.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the tuna, mayonnaise, diced celery, diced red onion, herbs, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl.
Slice the avocados in half and remove the seed.
Dollop a few spoonfuls of tuna salad onto each avocado half.
Calories: 494kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 41g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g, Monounsaturated Fat: 22g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 336mg, Potassium: 1148mg, Fiber: 14g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 441IU, Vitamin C: 22mg, Calcium: 44mg, Iron: 3mg
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.