Healthy Lunch Ideas

If you're looking for new healthy lunch ideas, you're in the right place. These 50+ lunch recipes are fun, filling, and good for you, too!

Healthy Lunch Ideas

Good healthy lunch ideas are like gold. In the middle of a busy work day, lunch is the longest break I take. It’s a time to reset, to relax, and to re-energize to tackle the tasks that lie ahead. Great healthy lunch recipes are ones that I can make ahead of time and that will keep me full and focused throughout the afternoon. But the best healthy lunch ideas taste great, too! They add something fun and flavorful to the middle of the work day, making my mid-day break extra-refreshing and worth looking forward to.

Below, you’ll find my top healthy lunch ideas, tricks, and tips, plus a slew of delicious healthy lunch recipes. Whether you’re new to packing lunch or are a seasoned pro looking for new easy lunch ideas, I hope you find something you love!

Sandwich, Wrap & Roll Healthy Lunch Ideas

If you want to go beyond your usual PB&J or chicken salad sandwich, try one of the sandwiches or wraps below! To make these healthy lunch recipes ahead of time, meal prep the filling over the weekend. Then, assemble and pack your sandwich each morning before you head out the door.

Healthy Lunch Ideas

Homemade Falafel

Say hello to the ULTIMATE desk lunch! This crispy baked falafel keeps well for up to 4 days in the fridge, so it’s perfect for prepping ahead of time. Stuff it into pita with pickled onions, hummus, fresh veggies, and herbs, and it’ll be the envy of the office at lunchtime.

Healthy Egg Salad Sandwich

Best Egg Salad Sandwiches (with vegan version!)

This extra-fresh egg salad is briny, bright, and loaded with herbs. For a delicious vegan variation, use diced tofu in place of the egg!

Healthy Lunch Recipes

Fresh Spring Rolls

I love to make these spring rolls when I’m craving something fresh and light, but totally fun! I stuff them with gooey peanut noodles, avocado, and sautéed mushrooms. Pack extra peanut sauce on the side for dipping!

Sandwich Lunch Ideas

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

These chickpea salad sandwiches are my vegan riff on a pan bagnat! A briny chickpea salad steps in for the tuna. Then, I finish them off with green beans, radishes, cucumbers, olives, and fresh basil.

Salad & Bowl Healthy Lunch Recipes

If there’s one category of healthy lunch ideas that I turn to most often, it’s salads and bowls. These flexible recipes are easy ways to pack in a serving of veggies in the middle of the day, and mix-ins like dried fruit, herbs, nuts, and cheese make them flavorful and fun to eat!

Even if you’re someone who’s concerned about getting enough protein at lunchtime, salads can be great healthy lunch ideas for you. Bulk up any salad with black beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, or tempeh!

Chickpea salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

There’s more to this chickpea salad than meets the eye! Medjool dates and a cumin-spiced dressing give it a surprising sweet, aromatic flavor.

Healthy Lunch Ideas

Sesame Soba Noodles

One of my go-to healthy lunch ideas! This recipe calls for radishes and steamed snap peas, but the tangy sesame-ginger dressing will make any seasonal veggies pop.

Easy lunch ideas

Best Broccoli Salad

Smoky roasted nuts take the place of bacon in this lighter version of classic broccoli salad. The flavors improve as it sits, so it’s a great recipe for making ahead and taking on the go.

Pasta salad

Easy Pasta Salad

Studded with feta cheese, chickpeas, herbs, and veggies, this easy pasta salad is fresh and fun to eat! Its zippy lemon dressing is tangy and delicious – I love it on green salads and roasted veggies, too!

Healthy Lunch Ideas

Best Buddha Bowl

Nothing beats a buddha bowl when it comes to combining flavor, nutrition, and simplicity. This one is a punchy combination of steamed veggies, brown rice, beans, sauerkraut, and a vibrant turmeric tahini dressing.

Re-heatable Soup Lunch Recipes

When it’s cold outside, I want to eat soup all the time, and lunch is no exception. Make a big batch of soup for dinner, and save the leftovers for easy lunch ideas down the road. Most soups keep in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to a month.

To make lighter soups into a heartier meal, pair them with good crusty bread or avocado toast. To pack avocado and take it on the go, store it in a ziplock bag with a wedge of lemon and an onion slice to keep it from browning.

Easy lunch recipes

Many-Veggie Vegetable Soup

Make this versatile vegetable soup with whatever veggies you have in the fridge. Try using butternut squash instead of sweet potato or adding spinach, bell peppers, or broccoli. No matter what, it’ll come out great.

Healthy lunch recipes

Creamy Potato Soup

You’d never guess that this rich potato soup is totally dairy-free. In fact, it’s a creamy, nourishing blend of white beans and potatoes that’s hearty enough to be a meal on its own!

Best Lentil Soup

Best Lentil Soup

If you’re looking for healthy lunch ideas that will improve throughout the week, this lentil soup is for you. To make leftovers extra delicious, brighten them up with a big squeeze of lime juice.

Lunch recipes

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

One of my favorite recipes from our first cookbook, this creamy vegan soup is a blend of roasted red peppers, carrots, fennel, onion, and white beans. It gets a punch of tangy flavor from balsamic vinegar, and it tastes even better on the second or third day!

Build Your Own Bowl Healthy Lunch Ideas

All the lunch recipes above are delicious, but some of my favorite work lunches have come from mixing and matching components I’ve had on hand in the fridge. Try skipping a recipe altogether, and meal prep one (or more) item from each of the categories below. Then, combine them to make delicious DIY grain bowls throughout the week!

Grains

Cook a big batch of grains on the weekend, and add them to salads and bowls all week long! If I’m craving a lighter lunch, I’ll meal prep a veggie “grain,” like zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice, instead.

Healthy lunch ideas

A Vegetable!

Choose one roasted, raw, or steamed veggie, or use a mix! Here are a few of my favorites:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Proteins

This category is key for making hearty lunches that will keep you full till dinnertime. Meal prep one of the proteins below, or pack hard-boiled eggs or your favorite type of beans.

Healthy Lunch Recipes

Sauces

A good sauce can transform a humble mix of veggies and grains into an A+ desk lunch! I like to store sauce in a separate container and drizzle it over the other components when it’s time to eat.

Cilantro lime dressing

For more healthy lunch ideas, check out this meal prep guide!

Looking for more healthy recipes?

Check out our healthy breakfast ideas, brunch recipes, easy dinner ideas, salad recipes, or soup recipes next!

Pictured at the top of this post: rectangle glass storage containers, and square ones from this set.

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Box Lunch Buddha Bowls

rate this recipe:
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Serves 4 to 6
Customize a delicious, packable veggie box lunch by following this formula: a grain, a legume, kale, a roasted vegetable, a raw vegetable, and a pickled vegetable. Top with creamy tahini sauce.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Assemble bowls with a grain, the massaged kale, a legume, roasted vegetable, raw vegetable, and a fermented or pickled vegetable.
  • Drizzle generously with tahini sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with more tahini sauce on the side.

Notes

*To roast the vegetables, preheat the oven to 425°F. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast the carrots for 15 to 20 minutes, and the sweet potatoes for 20 to 28 minutes.

 

17 comments

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  1. Adriana
    01.17.2018

    How do I pick just ONE for lunch!

  2. Renee A Cowan
    01.17.2018

    I found this post incredibly useful and forwarded to a lot of my friends…I would love a post on great make-ahead/meal prep recipes

  3. sabrina from newkitchenlife.com
    01.18.2018

    wow, very inspired set of recipes, even if for dinner instead of just taking them to lunch, and of course love the healthy ingredients, thank you for all of them!

  4. Kelly
    01.21.2018

    A cold pasta salad that’s actually somewhat healthy? Something I can use to trick myself into actually eating broccoli? Now THAT’S something I can get behind!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.22.2018

      Ha, I hope you enjoy the salad 🙂

  5. Manja
    01.22.2018

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for this! My husband and I are planning on going completely plant-based very soon. For at least a month to try it out (to see what it does for our health). But we might even make it a permanent thing. My husband usually takes the standar me bread with cheese and lunchmeat to work and I was looking for alternatives that I can prepare a day beforehand and that he can just take to work in the morning. This really helps a lot!!

  6. Tany from paleseptember.com
    02.04.2018

    I’m always the type of person who just reads and never comments but this post I need to say THANK YOU. I love cooking but on the week days is something I just hate. I cook all my food monday night so I can eat during the weak. I try eating healthier as I can but it’s always interesting to change the menu with good but easy ingredientes. With these recipes I have new flavors for WEEKS. So yes, thank you and I hope you continue with more posts like this.

    xx

  7. Taylor from wikitpro.com
    07.04.2018

    I am always trying to find new healthy recipes to add to my meal plan. These will surely fit in nice with my lifestyle.

  8. Haley
    01.03.2019

    I need to try those spinach hummus wraps. They look so delicious.

  9. MARK from TDE%20PC%20GAMES
    10.08.2019

    the healthy lunch is great

  10. Alene
    01.19.2020

    What a divine bunch of recipes and ideas! I have to be gluten free and I adore beans, vegetables and quinoa! Many of these things are often in my refrigerator. All I needed was the creativity to put them together! Many many thanks. I’m soaking chickpeas as I write this. 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.26.2020

      Thanks Alene, I hope you enjoy some delicious lunches!

      • Alene
        01.26.2020

        5 stars
        I made your baked falafel and froze half. I’m in love, lol! Thank you, thank you!

  11. Jenna Travels
    02.17.2020

    5 stars
    These are great. I never have ideas at all when it comes to lunch. These will help net time I don’t know where to start.

  12. I love Croatia
    05.09.2020

    5 stars
    The food looks delicious! Very inspired set of recipes!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.