Here is your one-stop resource to explore a wide range of lunch recipes and meal-planning tips to help you prepare delicious and healthy lunches for work or at home.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cook, you’ll find plenty of inspiration and lunch ideas to get started.
You can also browse lunch recipes from our recipe index and utilize filters to save recipes aligned to your diet.
You can also read our meal prep guide which is ideal for staying organized for the week ahead.
Importance of Lunch
Eating lunch provides your body with the necessary fuel to power through the rest of the workday. Skipping lunch or eating an unhealthy meal can cause sluggishness, poor concentration, and decreased productivity.
Promotes overall health
Eating a healthy lunch can provide essential vitamins and minerals that support overall health and well-being.
Eating a balanced meal that includes lean protein, whole grains, and vegetables can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Helps maintain a healthy weight
Skipping lunch or eating unhealthy fast food can lead to overeating later in the day and contribute to weight gain.
Eating a healthy lunch can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid unhealthy snacking.
Supports brain function
Your brain requires energy and nutrients to function properly, and a healthy lunch can provide the necessary fuel for optimal cognitive performance.
Research has shown that eating a healthy lunch can improve memory, problem-solving skills, and overall brain function.
Taking a lunch break provides an opportunity to socialize with coworkers, build relationships, and reduce stress. This can lead to a more positive work environment and improved job satisfaction.
Tips for Planning a Healthy Lunch
Set aside time to plan and prepare your lunches for the week. This can help you avoid the temptation of grabbing unhealthy fast food or skipping lunch altogether.
Pack light and healthy lunches
Opt for light and healthy meals that won’t make you feel sluggish after eating. Avoid large, heavy meals that can cause drowsiness and hinder productivity.
Focus on ingredients with protein and fiber
Choose meals that are high in protein and fiber to keep you full and energized throughout the day.
Good protein sources include lean meats, fish, tofu, beans, and nuts. High-fiber foods include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Don’t fall into the trap of eating the same thing every day and hating your meal preps. Instead, incorporate a variety of healthy foods and flavors to keep things interesting and satisfying.
Keep it simple
Unless you really love cooking, you don’t need to spend hours preparing complex lunch recipes.
Simple meals like salads, sandwiches, and soups can be quick and easy to prepare while still being healthy and delicious.
Keep healthy snacks like fruit, nuts, and cut-up vegetables on hand to avoid the temptation of unhealthy vending machine options.
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and energized. You can also avoid drinking calories by focusing on fresh water.
Chicken, Avocado, and Bacon Salad
This salad combines lean protein from the chicken, healthy fats from the avocado, and savory flavor from the bacon. It’s a satisfying and nutritious lunch option that can keep you full and energized for hours.
Classic Chicken Caesar Salad
Classic favorite, this salad features tender chicken, crisp romaine lettuce, and a creamy Caesar dressing. It’s a delicious way to incorporate protein and vegetables into your lunch.
Greek Chicken Salad Bowl
This salad bowl is packed with Mediterranean flavors, featuring juicy chicken, feta cheese, olives, and a tangy Greek dressing. It’s a filling and flavorful lunch option that can provide sustained energy.
Tuna and Egg Salad Bowl
This protein-packed salad bowl features a combination of tuna, hard-boiled eggs, and fresh vegetables. It’s a light and refreshing lunch option that can help you stay full and focused throughout the day.
Prawn Cocktail Salad
This salad features succulent prawns, crisp lettuce, and a zesty cocktail sauce. It’s a flavorful and low-calorie lunch option that can satisfy your seafood cravings.
Mediterranean Bean Salad
This hearty salad features a mix of beans, vegetables, and herbs tossed in a tangy dressing. It’s a vegetarian-friendly option that’s high in protein and fiber, making it a great choice for a filling and nutritious lunch.
This pasta salad features orzo pasta, fresh vegetables, and a zesty vinaigrette. It’s a versatile and easy-to-make lunch option that can be customized with your favorite vegetables and herbs.
Tomato and Feta Salad
This simple salad features juicy tomatoes, tangy feta cheese, and a zesty vinaigrette. It’s a light and refreshing lunch option that can provide a burst of flavor and nutrition.
This Persian salad features diced cucumber, tomato, and onion, tossed in a tangy dressing. It’s a refreshing and low-calorie lunch option that can help you stay hydrated and energized.
Mediterranean Tuna Salad
This tuna salad features a blend of Mediterranean flavors, including olives, capers, and fresh herbs. It’s a protein-packed lunch option that can provide sustained energy and flavor.
Quinoa and Edamame Salad
This salad features fluffy quinoa, protein-rich edamame, and a tangy vinaigrette. It’s a filling and nutritious lunch option that’s packed with plant-based protein.
Moroccan Chickpea Salad
This salad features tender chickpeas, roasted vegetables, and fragrant Moroccan spices. It’s a flavorful and satisfying lunch option that’s loaded with protein and fiber.
Kale and Lentil Salad
This salad features hearty lentils, leafy kale, and a zesty lemon vinaigrette. It’s a nutritious and satisfying lunch option that’s high in protein and antioxidants.
Sandwiches and Wraps Recipes
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Chicken lettuce wraps are a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional wraps or sandwiches.
The filling is made with lean chicken and flavorful seasonings, and the lettuce leaves serve as a low-carb and nutrient-dense alternative to bread or tortillas.
These wraps are great for lunch because they are light yet satisfying, and the protein in the chicken will keep you full and energized throughout the afternoon.
Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
Shrimp lettuce wraps are similar to chicken lettuce wraps but use shrimp as the main protein source.
Shrimp is low in calories and high in protein, making it a great option for a light yet satisfying lunch. The lettuce leaves provide a refreshing crunch and are a great source of fiber and nutrients.
Chicken shawarma is a flavorful and filling Middle Eastern dish that is great for lunch. The marinated chicken is typically cooked on a spit and served with a variety of toppings, such as hummus, vegetables, and tzatziki sauce.
This dish is a great source of protein and healthy fats, and the spices used in the marinade provide a delicious and unique flavor.
Chicken Salad Sandwich
Classic chicken salad sandwich is a great option for a quick and easy lunch. The chicken is typically mixed with mayonnaise, celery, and other seasonings to create a creamy and flavorful filling.
This sandwich is a good source of protein and can be made healthier by using Greek yogurt or avocado instead of mayonnaise.
New York Pastrami Sandwich
New York pastrami sandwich is a classic deli-style sandwich that is perfect for lunch. Pastrami is a cured meat that is typically served with mustard, pickles, and rye bread.
This sandwich is a good source of protein and can be made healthier by choosing lean pastrami and whole-grain bread. It’s a filling and satisfying lunch option that will keep you fueled for the rest of the day.
Seitan is a high-protein vegan meat substitute made from wheat gluten. When sliced thinly and seasoned with Greek-inspired flavors like lemon juice, oregano, and garlic, it makes a great alternative to traditional gyro meat.
Serve it in a pita with veggies and dairy-free tzatziki for a delicious and satisfying lunch.
Tempeh is another vegan meat substitute made from soybeans that is high in protein and has a nutty flavor.
Tempeh Reuben sandwich swaps out the traditional corned beef with thinly sliced and marinated tempeh.
Pair it with sauerkraut, vegan thousand island dressing, and rye bread for a satisfying, protein-packed lunch.
“Chickpea Tuna” Salad
This vegan take on tuna salad is made with mashed chickpeas instead of canned tuna. Mix in some vegan mayo, dijon mustard, and chopped veggies like celery and onion for a protein-packed and flavorful salad that can be served on bread, crackers, or lettuce cups.
Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s pie typically features ground beef, but this vegan version swaps in lentils for a protein-rich and hearty meal.
The lentils are cooked with veggies like carrots and onions, then topped with mashed potatoes and baked until golden brown.
This dish can be made ahead of time and reheated for a quick and satisfying lunch.
Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl
This colorful bowl features crispy tofu cubes that are coated in a peanut sauce made from peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, and ginger.
Serve it over a bed of quinoa or brown rice with roasted veggies like sweet potatoes, broccoli, and bell peppers for a protein-packed and nutrient-dense lunch.
Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Bowl
Quinoa and roasted vegetable bowl is a nutritious and flavorful lunch option that is both vegetarian and gluten-free.
The base of the bowl is quinoa, a protein-rich grain that is packed with fiber and essential amino acids.
Roasted vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower, add a variety of flavors and textures to the bowl, while a simple vinaigrette dressing ties everything together.
Tuna Poke Bowl
Tuna poke bowl is a popular Hawaiian dish that has become more mainstream in recent years. It typically consists of cubed raw tuna, avocado, seaweed, and a variety of other toppings served over a bed of rice or greens.
Tuna is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, while the other ingredients provide a variety of vitamins and minerals. This dish is filling, nutritious, and perfect for a light yet satisfying lunch.
Soups and Stews Recipes
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken Tortilla Soup is a flavorful Mexican-inspired soup that is typically made with chicken, vegetables, and tortilla strips.
It is a great option for lunch because it is filling, packed with protein, and can be made with a variety of healthy ingredients like tomatoes, beans, and avocado.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Noodle Soup is a classic soup made with chicken, vegetables, and egg noodles. It is a great option for lunch because it is comforting, easy to digest, and provides a balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables.
Sausage Tortellini Soup
Sausage Tortellini Soup is a hearty soup that combines sausage, tortellini pasta, and vegetables.
It is a great option for lunch because it is filling, satisfying, and provides a good source of protein, fiber, and carbohydrates.
Minestrone Soup is a vegetable-based soup that typically includes beans, pasta, and a variety of vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, and spinach.
It is a great option for lunch because it is low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with vitamins and minerals.
Creamy Tomato Soup
Creamy Tomato Soup is a classic soup made with tomatoes, cream, and spices. It is a great option for lunch because it is comforting, easy to digest, and provides a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants.
Easy Lentil Soup
Lentil Soup is a vegetarian soup made with lentils, vegetables, and spices. It is a great option for lunch because it is low in fat, high in protein and fiber, and provides a good source of iron and other essential nutrients.
Spicy Pumpkin Soup
Spicy Pumpkin Soup is a flavorful soup made with pumpkin puree, spices, and sometimes coconut milk or cream.
It is a great option for lunch because it is low in calories, high in fiber and vitamins A and C, and provides a unique and satisfying flavor.
Ethiopian Beef Stew (Key Wat)
This spicy stew features tender chunks of beef slow-cooked in a flavorful blend of spices, onions, and tomatoes.
It is typically served with injera, a sourdough flatbread that is perfect for sopping up the rich sauce.
This hearty stew is made with chunks of beef, onions, paprika, and other spices. It is typically served with potatoes or noodles and is perfect for a filling and satisfying lunch.
Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew
This vegetarian stew is packed with protein and fiber thanks to the combination of chickpeas and sweet potatoes.
It is flavored with cumin, coriander, and other spices, and can be served over rice or with crusty bread for dipping.
Irish Lamb Stew
This classic Irish dish features tender chunks of lamb slow-cooked with potatoes, carrots, onions, and other vegetables.
It is typically flavored with thyme, bay leaves, and other herbs and is perfect for a warming and hearty lunch.
Korean Army Stew (Budae Jjigae)
This spicy and flavorful stew features a combination of ingredients including spam, hot dogs, noodles, and vegetables, all cooked in a savory broth made with gochujang (Korean chili paste). It is a unique and satisfying option for lunch.
Moroccan Chickpea Stew (Chickpea Tagine)
This vegetarian stew is packed with flavor thanks to a blend of spices like cinnamon, cumin, and coriander.
It features chickpeas, tomatoes, and a variety of vegetables like carrots and zucchini, and is typically served with couscous or crusty bread.
Pasta and Rice Recipes
Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce and Meatballs
This classic Italian dish consists of spaghetti noodles topped with tomato sauce and meatballs.
It’s a filling and satisfying lunch option that provides a good balance of carbohydrates and protein.
Quinoa and Black Bean Bowl
This vegetarian bowl combines protein-rich quinoa and black beans with a variety of colorful vegetables, such as bell peppers and cherry tomatoes.
It’s a nutritious and flavorful lunch option that is high in fiber and packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
Chicken and Spinach Creamy Pasta
This pasta dish features tender chicken, creamy sauce, and nutrient-rich spinach. It’s a comforting and filling lunch option that provides a good source of protein and vitamins.
Sun Dried Tomato Pasta
This pasta dish features sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil, creating a flavorful and satisfying lunch option. It’s a quick and easy meal to prepare, making it perfect for busy workdays.
Pesto Pasta Salad
This pasta salad features pesto sauce, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese, creating a delicious and refreshing lunch option.
It’s a great way to incorporate vegetables and protein into your lunch, while also being light and satisfying.
Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry
This classic stir-fry features tender pieces of chicken, crisp broccoli, and fluffy rice. It’s a healthy and filling lunch option that’s quick and easy to prepare.
Vegetable Fried Rice
This vegetarian recipe features rice, stir-fried with colorful vegetables like carrots, peas, and peppers.
It’s a flavorful and nutritious lunch option that’s perfect for meal prepping and enjoying throughout the week.
Teriyaki Salmon Bowl
This rice bowl features grilled salmon, teriyaki sauce, and a variety of vegetables like avocado, edamame, and pickled ginger. It’s a nutritious and flavorful lunch option that’s packed with protein and healthy fats.
Chicken Curry with Rice
This hearty and flavorful dish features tender chicken cooked in a spicy curry sauce, served over a bed of fluffy rice.
It’s a comforting and filling lunch option that provides a good balance of protein and carbohydrates.
Pineapple Fried Rice
This recipe features rice, stir-fried with pineapple, cashews, and a variety of vegetables like bell peppers and onions.
It’s a unique and flavorful lunch option that’s perfect for anyone looking to add a tropical twist to their meal.
Low Carb Lunch Recipes
Grilled Chicken Salad
This salad features grilled chicken breast, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and a balsamic vinaigrette. It’s a filling and nutritious lunch option that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein.
Broccoli and Cheese Soup
This creamy soup features broccoli, cheese, and heavy cream. It’s a comforting and low-carb lunch option that provides a good source of fiber and vitamins.
Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps
These wraps feature tuna salad (made with mayonnaise, celery, and onion) wrapped in lettuce leaves. It’s a light and low-carb lunch option that is also high in protein.
Zucchini Noodles with Pesto
This dish features zucchini noodles (zoodles) topped with homemade pesto sauce and grated Parmesan cheese. It’s a flavorful and low-carb lunch option that is also vegetarian-friendly.
Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups
These roll-ups feature turkey breast slices rolled up with cheese, spinach, and a dollop of mustard. It’s a simple and low-carb lunch option that provides a good source of protein and vitamins.
Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
This chicken salad features Greek yogurt, diced chicken breast, celery, and grapes. It’s a creamy and low-carb lunch option that is high in protein and flavor.
Cauliflower Fried Rice
This dish features grated cauliflower sautéed with vegetables and scrambled eggs. It’s a low-carb and healthy alternative to traditional fried rice.
Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Wraps
These wraps feature smoked salmon, cream cheese, and sliced cucumber wrapped in lettuce leaves. It’s a low-carb and nutritious lunch option that is also high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Egg Salad Lettuce Wraps
These wraps feature egg salad (made with hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, and herbs) wrapped in lettuce leaves. It’s a low-carb and protein-packed lunch option that is also easy to prepare.
Turkey and Vegetable Stir-Fry
This stir-fry features sliced turkey breast, mixed vegetables (such as bell peppers and broccoli), and a soy sauce-based sauce. It’s a low-carb and nutritious lunch option that is also quick and easy to prepare.
Lunch Snacks and Sides Recipes
Apple Slices with Peanut Butter
This classic snack is easy to prepare and provides a good source of fiber and protein. Simply slice an apple and pack it with a small container of peanut butter for a healthy and satisfying snack.
Homemade Trail Mix
Mix together your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruits for a nutritious and customizable snack that is easy to prepare and pack for work.
Greek Yogurt Parfait
Layer Greek yogurt, fresh berries, and granola in a portable container for a tasty and protein-packed snack or side dish.
Roast chickpeas in the oven with your favorite spices for a crunchy and high-protein snack. They’re easy to prepare in advance and store in an airtight container for on-the-go snacking.
Spread hummus or avocado on a whole wheat tortilla and fill it with your favorite veggies, such as cucumbers, bell peppers, and carrots. Roll it up and pack it for a healthy and satisfying lunch side or snack.
Thinly slice cucumbers and onions, and toss them with a simple dressing of vinegar, oil, and a pinch of sugar. This refreshing and crunchy salad is easy to make and pairs well with sandwiches or wraps.
Thread marinated artichokes, olives, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella balls on skewers for a flavorful and portable snack or side dish.
Watermelon and Feta Salad
This sweet and savory salad combines juicy watermelon with crumbled feta cheese and fresh mint leaves. It’s a refreshing and hydrating snack or side that is perfect for warm weather.
Mix together oats, nut butter, honey, and your favorite mix-ins, such as chocolate chips or dried fruit. Roll the mixture into balls and store in the fridge for a quick and satisfying snack.
Combine a variety of fresh fruits, such as berries, melon, and grapes, in a large bowl and toss with a squeeze of lemon juice.
This colorful and refreshing side dish is a great way to incorporate more fruit into your lunch.
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