These gluten free lunch ideas are fresh, exciting ideas beyond the sandwich! Mix up your routine with these healthy recipes.
Lunch time is hard, and it’s easy to revert to the same old ideas. Need to mix up your routine? Try these tasty Gluten Free Lunch Ideas! These ideas think outside the sandwich to creative salads, egg muffins, high-protein bowls, and a few healthy treats to round it out. Each one is listed with prep time and make ahead instructions. Scroll below the list to see how to accessorize these ideas to make them into fresh and healthy gluten-free meals!
Here’s a healthy gluten-free lunch to spice up your routine: Mediterranean tuna salad! This spin adds crispy Mediterranean-style veggies and swaps out the classic mayonnaise for olive oil and vinegar. The flavor is so fresh and delicious, you may give up the mayo version altogether. Eat with gluten-free crackers or make it into lettuce wraps.
Here’s a healthy gluten free lunch idea that’s a bit unexpected, but surprisingly satisfying…Cottage Cheese Bowls! Sure, cottage cheese and pineapple or melon seems a little retro. So let’s dust off the concept and make a modern way to lunch. Top this high protein cheese with fresh berries or apple, cinnamon and drizzle of honey. Or, top with savory toppings like smoked salmon or chickpeas and tomatoes.
One of our favorite make-ahead healthy free lunch ideas: kale quinoa salad! It's so easy to make and stays good in the refrigerator for days. It's full of nutrient-dense ingredients like Tuscan kale, chickpeas, bell peppers, carrots, and quinoa, and covered in a tangy dressing.
Prep time: 30 minutes (make ahead)
Make ahead: Make in advance; store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Hello and welcome to the best quick gluten-free lunch idea: the Hummus Bowl! At it’s base, this simple concept requires no cooking at all: layer a dollop of hummus with crunchy veggies and greens. For a gluten free lunch we like to add cooked rice (leftover or from a pre-cooked rice packet). It takes just 5 minutes to make this Mediterranean-style meal that’s bursting with creamy, tangy, crunchy, fresh, and savory flavors.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Make ahead: Make rice (or use a pre-cooked rice packet)
Another make-ahead gluten free lunch idea: egg muffins! They’re easy to meal prep and grab as you’re headed out the door or drop into lunch boxes. Refrigerate or freeze ’em, and you can eat off them all week. You don't even need to reheat them before serving!
Prep time: 40 minutes (make ahead)
Make ahead: Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Here's an easy gluten free lunch idea that you can make in 5 minutes! It's plant based and starts with a can of chickpeas. Throw these chickpeas together with cucumber and red pepper, stir with olive oil and red wine vinegar, and you've got an incredible Mediterranean-style salad that tastes like it took all day. Serve with pita triangles or crackers.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Make ahead: Make in advance and refrigerate until serving (keeps 2 to 3 days).
Here tender, seasoned fish is offset with rice, crisp tender broccoli, and covered in an easy, creamy flavor popping sauce. Use smoked salmon, canned salmon or leftover cooked salmon for super simple prep! Try the Tahini Dressing or Miso Dressing, and prepare to be amazed.
Prep time: 15 to 20minutes (with smoked or canned salmon)
Make ahead: Store components refrigerated until eating.
Here's a kickin’ fresh black bean and corn salad…in just 5 minutes, no chopping required. It's bright and zesty, mixing purchased pico de gallo with canned beans and corn. Use tortilla chips to dip, and it's a fun lunch idea -- accessorized with fresh fruit. Or, add canned tuna for additional protein.
Another make-ahead lunch idea: try a crustless quiche! It’s deliciously savory and hearty, with lots of protein to keep bellies full all morning. Even better: it’s so easy to whip up! No need to bother with a quiche crust: just whisk together the filling and pop it in the oven. It saves well and you can eat it cold, room temp or re-warm it in the microwave.
Prep time: 45 minutes (make ahead)
Make ahead: Bake, slice into pieces and refrigerate: stores up to 5 days
Try this quick and easy White Bean Salad! It’s bursting with Mediterranean flavor from simple ingredients: bell pepper brings a crunch, parsley an herbaceous bite, and red wine vinegar brings a zing of acidity. Top with a sprinkle of feta, and it’s irresistibly tasty with minimal effort. We often lean on bean recipes for healthy lunches, and this simple mix hits it out of the park for us.
This chickpea bowl is one of our fan favorite recipes Why? This fresh bowl of delicious vegetables and easy chickpeas is smothered in a tangy lemon tahini sauce that's darn delicious. It's easy to make ahead and totally customizable to whatever veggies you have on hand! Serve with quinoa or gluten-free crackers.
This fresh and healthy lentil salad is Mediterranean-style, mixed with fresh veggies, feta cheese and pistachios. It’s a deliciously protein-packed and it just gets better in the fridge. Make a big batch to eat off of for healthy and easy lunch recipes all week.
This classic egg salad is a healthy spin on the standard salad using Greek yogurt, less mayo than the standard, Dijon mustard, and fresh dill. Eat it with crackers or pita, or throw it on a sandwich or toast. If you've made the hard boiled eggs in advance, it takes no time to whip up!
Prep time: 5 to 10 minutes (with eggs made in advance)
Make ahead: Make the boiled eggs in advance: they take 30 minutes and work as a lunch component all week. Use our Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs, Steamed Hard Boiled Eggs or Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs.
Here’s a fun way to mix up lunch with a spin on a deli-style favorite: Salmon Salad! It’s a creamy, crunchy mix of tangy flavors: just like Tuna Salad but using canned salmon. Or, use it as a smart way to revitalize leftover salmon! The flavor is savory and satisfying, and this recipe has a healthy spin with less mayo. It takes just 5 minutes, and works with gluten free crackers, in lettuce wraps, and more.
Here’s a fresh spin on that classic Bean Salad! This one stars a load of beans for healthy, plant-based protein, with a little less sugar and more freshness than the standard salad. Make it up and let it marinade all week.
Split pea soup is not only hearty and delicious, but it’s also incredibly easy to make. Here we’ve used a trick to substitute for the traditional ham hock, leaving a smoky nuance to this healthy vegetarian soup.
Here's an easy gluten free lunch component: stuffed dates! These beauties are incredibly easy to make, and the flavor of this simple pairing is outrageous. There’s the sweet caramel chewiness of Medjool dates. Pair that with tangy, fluffy goat cheese, and the sweet-savory combo is out of this world. Prefer them dairy free? Stuff them with nut butter like peanut butter or almond butter.
This spin on the traditional Mediterranean chickpea dip might sound fun, but here’s the thing. It tastes even better than it sounds! Yep, we polished this one off extremely quickly because it’s just that good. Black beans, lime, tahini and a bit of smoked paprika make creamy dip magic. Add fresh veggies and gluten-free crackers for dipping.
Here’s a fun homemade spread for snacks or dipping: Veggie Cream Cheese! Make this spread with fresh vegetables and it tastes even more incredible than the store-bought variety. Use it as a dip for vegetable sticks or gluten free crackers! It’s a great idea for kids, and you can even freeze it for use in lunch boxes.
Here’s a fan favorite gluten free recipe we can’t get enough of: these Healthy Banana Muffins! This healthy recipe uses rolled oats (no flour!) and is easy to whip up in a blender. Throw them in the oven, and they come out fluffy and delicious! Slather with peanut butter or nut butter for a lunch component.
A quick and easy lunch idea? Add a dollop of hummus, fresh Mediterranean veggies, and a handful of olives. Dip with gluten-free crackers or flatbread and enjoy! This is more of a concept than a recipe (the linked recipe adds rice, which is also tasty!).
Here's a gluten-free lunch idea you might not have considered: a tofu scramble! This tofu scramble has the same texture as scrambled eggs, but it’s 100% plant based. It actually saves very well as leftovers, and even tastes good cold. It's amazing how savory it tastes: and it's full of plant based protein. If you'd like, add the veggie saute: or just serve with sliced raw bell peppers!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Make ahead: Make the scramble in advance and refrigerate until serving. Serve with the veggie saute as well, or go with raw pepper strips and carrots sticks.
These seasoned lentils come out perfectly spiced and very moist, cooked with veggie broth, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, and oregano. They're so tasty, and filling with all the plant based protein! Make a big pot and eat off of them all week! Serve them with sliced tomatoes and a dollop of Greek yogurt, and they're divine. If you'd like, serve with gluten-free pita or flatbread.
Prep time: 25 minutes (make ahead)
Make ahead: Make ahead and refrigerate until serving.
Need another gluten free lunch component? Try crispy chickpeas! They’re crunchy, perfectly spiced, and they stay crunchy in the pantry for days. And they’re a naturally plant based and gluten free. Make them at home or find them store-bought.
Looking for an easy healthy gluten free soup? Try this Vegetarian Tortilla Soup! It’s ready in just over 30 minutes and bursting with flavor: corn, black beans and tomatoes float in a zingy broth flavored with smoky adobo sauce. Top it off with crushed tortilla chips to make for easy prep.
Let's move on to some gluten free sweets! These energy bites taste like dessert, but they’re a simple combination of peanut butter, oats and honey. Compare them to store-bought energy bites, and there’s no comparison. The homemade version is extraordinarily delicious!
These no bake oatmeal bars are like our famous bliss bite cookies, but easier and healthier (if that’s possible). And we can’t get enough of them! This sweet treat optimizes whole grain oats while hitting it big in the sweet, salty and satisfying department.
Want a protein-packed energy smoothie that’s full of fruity, creamy flavor? Try this strawberry Greek yogurt smoothie! This tasty drink has just the right sweet flavor and creamy texture. Greek yogurt is the key, packing this smoothie with a whopping 20% of your daily protein needs. You can substitute in any type of frozen fruit!
Prep time: 5 minutes
Make ahead: Make ahead and refrigerate until serving
Last up in our gluten free lunch ideas: this Vanilla Protein Smoothie! It’s full of creamy, lightly fruity flavor and 25% of your daily protein! Even better: there’s no protein powder: just all natural, delicious ingredients! It tastes more like a vanilla milkshake than a protein drink.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Make ahead: Make ahead and refrigerate until serving
What to serve alongside
We offered a few “side” recipes for lunch, but here are a few more items that make these gluten free lunch ideas into a meal:
Prep the red pepper, shallot and English cucumber as noted above.
Drain the tuna and place it in a medium bowl: mash it lightly with a fork. Add the chopped vegetables, capers, white wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, feta (if using) and kosher salt and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt if desired. Stores up to 3 days refrigerated.