41 Healthy Lunch Ideas

If you're looking for new healthy lunch ideas, you're in the right place. These easy 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, relax, and 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 delicious, too! They add something fun and flavorful to the middle of the work day, making my midday break extra-refreshing and worth looking forward to.

Below, you’ll find my top healthy lunch ideas, tricks, and tips, plus a slew of tasty healthy lunch recipes. Whether it’s your first time packing lunch or you’re a seasoned pro looking for new easy lunch ideas, I hope you find something you love!

Sandwich and Wrap Healthy Lunch Ideas

When it comes to quick and easy lunch ideas, you can never go wrong with a good sandwich! The recipes below include fun twists on classics like egg salad and PB&J as well as out-of-the-box sandwiches you may not have tried before. Tip: no one likes a soggy sandwich, so it’s best to assemble these lunch recipes on the day you plan to eat them.

Healthy lunch wraps

Healthy Lunch Wraps
I could eat these lunch wraps every day of the week! A Dijon mustard vinaigrette adds bold, tangy flavor to the chickpea, kale, and avocado filling.

Egg Salad Sandwich

Egg Salad Sandwich
I’m not kidding when I say that this is THE BEST egg salad recipe! It’s briny and bright, packed with fresh herbs, capers, and lemon juice. For an equally tasty vegan version, sub crumbled tofu for the hard boiled eggs.

Healthy lunch ideas - PB&J with hazelnut butter and strawberry chia jam

PB&J with Hazelnut Butter and Strawberry Chia Jam, page 45 of The Love & Lemons Cookbook
Tired of the same old PB&J? Try this elevated spin! It features homemade hazelnut-pecan butter and tart strawberry chia jam. To enjoy this recipe year-round, make the jam with frozen berries instead of fresh.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Chickpea Salad Sandwich
This vegan spin on a French pan bagnat is one of my favorite healthy lunch ideas. A creamy, briny chickpea salad steps in for the traditional tuna, while fresh veggies like cucumbers, radishes, and green beans add delicious crunch.

Caprese sandwiches on focaccia bread

Caprese Sandwich
Roasted tomatoes and pickled red onions really amp up the flavor in this lunchtime classic.

Healthy lunch ideas - Chickpea Shawarma Wraps

Chickpea Shawarma Wraps
I love to prep the components of these wraps on the weekend so that I can easily assemble them throughout the week. They’re such a flavorful, satisfying healthy lunch. Creamy hummus, shawarma-spiced chickpeas, spicy zhoug, and fresh veggies fill soft pita bread.

Healthy Lunch Ideas for Noodle Lovers

Not in the mood for a lunchtime salad or sandwich? These lunch ideas with noodles might just hit the spot.

Sesame soba noodles with radishes, snap peas, and avocado

Sesame Soba Noodles
If our readers had to choose their favorite lunch recipes on Love & Lemons, these noodles would be #1. A tangy, nutty sesame dressing coats soba noodles, edamame, and lots of crunchy veggies. Feel free to vary the veggies with the season – julienned carrots, cucumbers, steamed broccoli, asparagus, kale, and more are fantastic here too.

Easy lunch ideas - peanut noodle spring rolls

Fresh Spring Rolls
Gooey peanut noodles, sautéed mushrooms, avocado, and red bell pepper create an irresistible filling for these savory, nutty spring rolls. To take them over the top, serve them with extra peanut sauce for dipping.

Healthy lunch ideas - Mason jar salad with soba noodles and kale

Soba Noodle Picnic Salad with Tahini Miso, page 117 of Love & Lemons Every Day
These colorful salads don’t just look adorable layered up in Mason jars – they keep well that way, too! Prep a bunch on the weekend, and they’ll last all week in the fridge.

Grain Bowl Lunch Ideas

Equal parts filling, flavorful, and fresh, grain bowls are my go-to healthy lunch ideas. Feel free to use these recipes as a guide. Make them your own by swapping in a different grain, alternative veg, or your favorite sauce.

Brown rice and sweet potato grain bowl

Best Buddha Bowl
A sunny turmeric tahini sauce jazzes up this simple combination of chickpeas, roasted sweet potatoes, kale, and brown rice.

Easy lunch ideas - Brown rice bowl with broccoli and tofu

Tofu Broccoli Bowls with Carrot Ginger Dressing
There’s a lot to love about these vegan rice bowls – the crispy sriracha tofu, the savory air fryer broccoli… But the best thing about them is hands down the dressing. It’s a zingy, refreshing carrot ginger number that we just can’t get enough of!

Vegan Burrito Bowl

Vegan Burrito Bowl
So much better than Chipotle! To make these bowls quick and easy to prep, use store-bought pineapple salsa instead of making your own.

Veggie power lunch bowl with avocado and a soft-boiled egg

Veggie Power Bowl
Have you tried forbidden rice? If not, make this power lunch bowl ASAP! Irresistibly chewy and nutty, the rice shines against fresh veggies, sesame ginger dressing, and a rich, jammy soft-boiled egg.

Easy lunch ideas - grain bowl with turmeric tahini sauce

Macro Veggie Bowl
This healthy bowl features steamed veggies instead of raw or roasted ones. They fill it with clean, fresh flavors, and they make it super easy to prep!

Mango ginger rice bowl

Mango Ginger Rice Bowl
I love a good sweet and savory flavor combo. Filled with diced mango, pickled ginger, fresh veggies, and a tangy tamari sauce, this refreshing rice bowl delivers just that.

Roasted veggie quinoa bowl

Roasted Veggie Grain Bowl
Quinoa and chickpeas pack this hearty grain bowl with plant-based protein.

Healthy lunch ideas - brown rice bowl with adzuki beans and sesame slaw

Adzuki Bean Bowls
Adzuki beans add complexity to this vibrant grain bowl, but if you can’t find them, that’s ok! Swap in black beans instead.

Grilled tempeh kimchi grain bowls

Kimchi Brown Rice Bliss Bowl
Smoky grilled tempeh gives this bowl plenty of staying power. Top it with kimchi for a yummy funky pop!

Big, Bountiful Green Salads to Pack for Lunch

If you love lunch recipes that are bursting with fresh veggies, this section is for you! You’ll find gorgeous green salads that are big and bountiful enough to keep you full all afternoon.

Kale salad with carrot ginger dressing

Kale Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing
Roasted chickpeas, toasted seeds, and avocado make this recipe one substantial salad. Because kale is such a hardy green, you can make this salad up to 4 days in advance. It won’t wilt under the bright carrot ginger dressing. Just hold the avocado until the last minute – you don’t want it to brown before you’re ready to eat!

Sweet potato salad

Sweet Potato Salad
I love anything with sweet potato or avocado, so naturally, I adore this sweet potato salad, which is a delicious combination of both. I round it out with crisp arugula, tangy feta cheese, toasted pepitas, and a nutty tahini dressing.

Easy lunch ideas - Italian chopped salad

Italian Chopped Salad
The best thing about a chopped salad is that you can get a little of everything in each bite. Here, that means you’ll get a forkful of crisp greens, chickpeas, TWO cheeses, pepperoncini, juicy tomato, and sharp red onion. A zingy vinaigrette ties it all together.

Easy lunch recipes - Homemade Caesar salad

Homemade Caesar Salad
The classic, but with a twist. I toss in roasted chickpeas for extra protein and crunch, and instead of using a traditional Caesar dressing, I make an easy homemade version with capers and Greek yogurt.

Healthy taco salad

Healthy Taco Salad
Who doesn’t love a taco salad for lunch?? This one is loaded up with shiitake walnut taco “meat,” black beans, crunchy tortilla strips, and ALL the veggies. My cilantro lime dressing adds amazing zesty flavor.

Pasta and Grain Salad Lunch Ideas

Green salads aren’t the only ones that are yummy healthy lunch ideas – pasta and grain salads pack up perfectly too! Just save a few of the herbs to add at the last minute. That way, they won’t wilt before you eat.

Easy pasta salad

Easy Pasta Salad
Tip: cook the pasta until it’s just past al dente so that it stays tender once it cools.

Mediterranean quinoa salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Quinoa salads are some of my favorite healthy lunch ideas because they’re packed with fiber and plant-based protein. I especially love this one, as roasted cherry tomatoes, olives, feta, and my homemade Italian dressing fill it with big, bold flavors.

Healthy lunch ideas - pomegranate rice salad

Pomegranate Rice Salad
This pretty herb and rice salad is at home at lunch or dinner. I often serve it as a side dish one night and then save the leftovers for lunch the next day!

Greek orzo salad

Orzo Salad
If you love Greek salad, then this recipe will become one of your go-to easy lunch ideas. Orzo pasta mingles with cubes of tangy feta cheese, briny olives, and fresh veggies. Mint, basil, and a zingy Greek dressing take it over the top.

Easy lunch ideas - Pesto Pasta Salad

Pesto Pasta Salad
I make this recipe as written in the summer, with basil pesto and thinly shaved zucchini. For an equally good winter option, swap in kale pesto and roasted butternut squash!

Healthy lunch ideas - tortellini salad

Tortellini Salad
I took this salad to almost every gathering we went to last summer, and I always felt lucky when we had some leftover. I knew I’d have a delicious, easy lunch the next day!

Cherry tomato couscous salad

Cherry Tomato Couscous Salad
Calling all tomato lovers! This lunch idea is for you. It’s an herbed couscous salad made with tomatoes two ways, roasted and raw. The raw ones stay sweet and juicy, while the roasted ones add chewy texture and rich, savory flavor.

Hearty Bean and Lentil Salads

You’ve probably seen these protein-packed salads at picnics and cookouts, but did you know that they’re great healthy lunch ideas too? The flavors only improve as they sit in the fridge, so they’re perfect for meal prep.

Black bean and corn salad

Black Bean and Corn Salad
Scoop up this zesty salad with tortilla chips, or spoon it into lettuce wraps to sneak some extra veggies into your midday meal.

Easy lunch ideas - three bean salad

Three Bean Salad
Fresh green beans, crunchy celery, and herbs bring new life to this classic salad. Just 10 ingredients!

Mediterranean chickpea salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Another reader favorite! Roasted red peppers and Medjool dates add unexpected sweetness to this cumin-scented salad.

Moroccan lentil salad with carrots, pickled onions, and mint

Moroccan-Spiced Carrot Salad with Lentils, page 121 of Love & Lemons Every Day
This recipe is a personal favorite from my second cookbook. The raw and roasted carrots contrast beautifully with earthy French green lentils. Take it to the next level by topping it with pickled onions and a shower of fresh mint.

Reheat-able Soups and Stews

If you’re not someone who likes to meal prep lunch recipes on the weekend, don’t worry – there are other ways you can get ahead on lunch! For example, whenever I cook a soup or stew, I make extra and stash it in the fridge or freezer for a meal down the road. These recipes reheat perfectly for a quick and easy lunch.

Easy lunch ideas - Instant Pot lentil soup

Instant Pot Lentil Soup
Thanks to the Instant Pot, this nourishing soup practically cooks itself!

Butternut squash soup

Butternut Squash Soup
Ginger, sage, and rosemary fill this comforting soup with cozy autumn flavor. With over 700 5-star reviews, this recipe is a HUGE reader favorite. Try it to see why!

Healthy lunch ideas - White Bean Soup

White Bean Soup
My veggie riff on white chili. Serve it with tortilla chips for a fun and healthy lunch.

Cabbage Soup

Cabbage Soup
The easiest way to use an entire head of cabbage in one go! Fire-roasted tomatoes, garlic, and thyme give this wholesome soup delicious depth of flavor.

Vegan Broccoli Soup

Vegan Broccoli Soup
Even Jack, the biggest cheese lover I know, goes back for seconds of this creamy vegan soup. Enjoy a bowl on a cool day for a cozy healthy lunch.

Healthy lunch ideas - Best Lentil Soup

Best Lentil Soup
If you need a reason to try this recipe, just ask my mom. It’s one of her all-time favorites because it’s super flavorful, it reheats perfectly, and it’s SO darn simple. You likely have all the ingredients in your pantry already!

Many-Veggie Vegetable Soup

Many-Veggie Vegetable Soup
A bowl of this soup + good crusty bread = my ideal fall or winter lunch. Feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand. This flexible recipe works with almost anything!

More Favorite Healthy Recipes

If you love these healthy lunch ideas, check out some of these 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 14 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.

 

22 comments

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  1. zidane
    09.08.2022

    very clear and good article easy to understand. Thank you

  2. Maxine
    09.07.2022

    Every single recipe looks completely amazing! Needed some serious inspo for lunches that are veg centric. Thank you!

  3. Ann
    02.06.2022

    Thank you for this recipe! I’m trying to eat healthier lunches, so giving this a try for my lunches this week. Would you recommend keeping the ingredients separate and assembling each lunch bowl the night before, or can I just make a week’s worth of lunches and have them ready to grab out of the fridge each morning?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.08.2022

      Hi Ann, no, you can assemble them and just grab them out if the fridge. I hope you enjoy!

  4. Mathias Becan
    10.09.2020

    Thank you so much for all your healthy delicious recipes which looks so good nd delicious!!

  5. I love Croatia
    05.09.2020

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

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

    the healthy lunch is great

  9. Haley
    01.03.2019

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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!!

  13. 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 🙂

  14. 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!

  15. 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

  16. Adriana
    01.17.2018

    How do I pick just ONE for lunch!

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.