Try these easy and healthy lunch ideas: the best non-boring foods for midday! You’ll look forward to these lunch recipes all morning.
Need midday inspiration? Us too. Even as cookbook authors and recipe writers, sometimes lunchtime gets the better of us. But guess what? There are lots of ways to make lunch-time exciting! We’ve combed through our archives in search of all the best lunch ideas…and re-discovered a few great recipes of our own to put into the rotation.
That said, here are all the best healthy and easy lunch recipes for midday inspiration! These recipes are one of two things: either easy to put together on the spot, or easy to meal prep and do well in the fridge over a few days. Here are the categories of recipes you’ll see below:
Sandwiches and toasts
Roll ups and wraps
Make ahead salads
Make ahead soups
And now…easy healthy lunch ideas that are non boring!
Hello and welcome to the best quick healthy 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. To make it more filling, 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.
Here's an easy, healthy 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.
Here’s a healthy lunch to spice up your routine: avocado tuna salad! This spin swaps out the classic mayonnaise for nutrient-rich avocado. The flavor is so fresh and delicious, you may give up the mayo version altogether.
More serving suggestions: Eat with crackers or make into lettuce wraps
Here’s a genius healthy lunch idea that tastes far greater than the sum of its parts: Ricotta Toast! Spread ricotta cheese on toast, then load it up with sweet or savory toppings. Go basic with juicy ripe tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil, or hearty with tender smoked salmon, capers and fresh dill. Or go sweet with fruit, a drizzle of honey and cinnamon. Anything goes here!
Here's how to make the perfect Egg Salad Sandwich! It’s the best kind of basic. This is a sandwich you can sink your teeth into, that tastes like an elevated version of what you’re used to. It’s fresh and healthy, not the mayo-laden kind you can find at the store. Another secret? It’s stuffed with fresh herbs, to give you a beautiful pop of flavor.
Here's a healthy lunch idea you can use as a "side" to any of our salads or sandwiches! This peanut butter dip is just 4 ingredients and somehow tastes like frosting. Greek yogurt, peanut butter, maple syrup and vanilla combine into the best dip for sliced green apples. Or dip any fruit you like--or pretzels, if you like the sweet and salty thing. Don't want peanut butter? Try our Cinnamon Fruit Dip instead.
Here’s an easy healthy 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 customizable make-ahead recipe that works for healthy lunch idea: Egg Muffins! Bake up scrambled eggs in muffin tin cups with healthy veggies, then refrigerate them for meals all week! This works as a grab-and-go breakfast, and it's perfect for kid lunch boxes. The filling is packed with good stuff: loads of spinach, cottage cheese for healthy protein, and jarred red pepper.
Here's one of our favorite easy lunch ideas...ever: the chickpea salad sandwich! It’s basically a vegetarian chicken salad sandwich, but uses chickpeas instead of chicken. It’s so tasty, it’s become one of our most popular recipes with readers. You can also serve it with crackers or as a lettuce wrap: or stuff it inside an avocado.
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. The flavor is savory and satisfying, and this recipe has a healthy spin with less mayo. You can also class it up with fresh herbs and serve on a croissant. It takes just 5 minutes, and works with crackers, in lettuce wraps, in a sandwich, and more. Lunch just got tastier!
Avocado toast is standard healthy lunch fare, but for good reason: it's a genius way to eat an easy, filing meal! The only prep time involved is making toast and smashing on an avocado. Top with sea salt and then whatever fancy fixin's your heart desires. Here we showed it with a turmeric poached egg, but that's a little messy for the office. Try a hard boiled egg instead if you're eating a desk lunch! For a fun element, top with sliced green onions and Everything Bagel Seasoning.
Another favorite idea to accessorize with a healthy lunch? This healthy Greek yogurt ranch dip tastes just like the dip you can make with a packet of artificial seasonings, but it's made with all whole food ingredients. That's right: just plain Greek yogurt, shallot, garlic powder and dill. It comes together into the perfect dip for carrots and bell pepper strips!
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.
We’re all about simple around here, especially recipes that are low effort and high impact. Salmon toast is just that: a simple toast of artisan bread loaded with fluffy whipped ricotta, smoked salmon, capers and fresh dill. The electric pink salmon is stunning against the delicate green dill fronds. Each bite is a burst of smoky, creamy, rich, briny, salty and fresh!
Another great lunch recipe? The Avocado Club! It's full of umami flavor and so satisfying that it will surprise you. The combination of smoky, rich, hearty, crunchy and savory is so irresistible…you’ll want to eat it all over again once it’s gone.
Let's move on to Pinwheels and Roll ups, a great way to make lunch more interesting! These Mexican-style pinwheels are stuffed with black beans and crunchy veggies, and seasoned with cumin and chili powder. They take no time to put together!
Here's the best tuna salad sandwich on the internet! It’s perfectly creamy, bright and tangy, with just the right crunch from the vegetables. Make your sandwich dreams come true with this recipe! You can also serve it as a lettuce wrap or with crackers.
Here’s a trick for infusing veggies into our day to day: this Chopped Vegetable Salad! It’s a mix of sturdy veggies makes the best colorful mix, tossed with a red wine vinegar dressing and a sprinkle of feta cheese. This burst of flavor tastes great right away: and even better after a few days of marinating. It's perfect for lunches!
That’s right: hummus on a sandwich. You don’t have to reserve hummus just for carrots and pita triangles! It works as a sandwich spread that’s full of plant-based protein to keep you full for hours. Throw it on bread with all your favorite crunchy veggies and it’s a lunch idea that couldn’t be easier to whip up.
Burritos are perfect for lunch! You can easily prep the ingredients in advance and then roll them up for lunch. Make your burrito the night before and refrigerate until serving. This one is filled with Spanish rice and seasoned black beans and veggies. As a time saver, try Instant Pot Spanish Rice or just whip up a pot of white rice and mix it with salsa.
Stuffed dates are the perfect "side" for a healthy lunch, and they need no cooking at all! They're incredibly easy to make, and the flavor of this simple pairing is outrageous. Pair the sweet caramel chewiness of Medjool dates with tangy, fluffy goat cheese, and the sweet-savory combo is out of this world. For plant based, use any nut butter (like our homemade nut butter!).
Here's a 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!
Some of the best lunch recipes are Make-Ahead Salads, our next category! Don't forget about straight up egg or tuna salad! It's a great way to make a simple lunch without having to think much. Refrigerate for 3 to 5 days, refreshing the flavors as needed. Serve with pita bread, carrots and bell peppers for a simple no-think lunch idea!
Taco salad works to make ahead for lunches! Make up a batch of Vegan Walnut Taco Meat (or standard ground beef) and reheat it prior to serving. The Taco Salad Dressing takes just 2 minutes to stir together, and refrigerate it until serving. Add lettuce, a few crunchy veggies, and crushed tortilla chips, and you're set!
This kale quinoa salad is designed as a lunch idea that saves well! It's full of healthy ingredients: quinoa, kale, peppers, carrots: and then covered in a delicious, ultra tangy dressing! It’s so flavorful and keeps that flavor 3 to 4 days in the fridge. Our lunches just got way more exciting!
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 antipasto salad works great as a make ahead salad for lunch! This combo between a pasta salad and Italian antipasti is loaded with zingy flavor: briny olives, tangy artichokes, and roasted peppers, contrasted with crunchy veggies and chewy pasta. Load it with fresh basil and there’s so much going on, you might not be able to stop eating it!
Bean salads are great for lunch: especially ones that improve over time! This one has a zingy dressing that covers all the beans in tangy goodness. Add fresh parsley and a little red onion, and it's an unexpectedly delicious lunch recipe that lasts for days in the fridge.
Here's another great make ahead lunch salad recipe: black bean salad! It’s tangy and delicious, perfectly seasoned with cumin, garlic, and apple cider vinegar, and mixed with colored bell peppers, green onions and rice.
It looks a little like rice, but orzo is actually a small pasta! It’s often used in Mediterranean diet recipes like Italian and Greek cuisine. All the flavors of Greece are in this orzo salad: salty feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and of course, powerhouse herbs like mint and dill! Leftovers save well and it's perfect for lunch ideas.
Let's move on to Make Ahead Soups as lunch recipes! Here are a few of our favorite soups that last well in the fridge for lunchtime all week long. 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.
If there’s one food that always satisfies, it’s a great lentil soup. Lentils are one of nature’s wonders: they’re full of protein, shelf stable for years, inexpensive, and make for some of the most satisfying filling meals. Got a bag of split red lentils? Here’s exactly what to make: this simple Red Lentil Soup! It’s deliciously hearty, featuring aromatic vegetables, lemon and a hint of smoked paprika.
Need a healthy soup recipe that pleases everyone? Try this Kale Soup with White Beans! Hearty Tuscan kale, white beans and kale float in a tangy broth flavored with oregano and fennel. It’s like a combination of all our favorite soup recipes in one bowl: comforting and full of bold Mediterranean-style flavors. It comes together in just 30 minutes and makes a huge pot that’s great for lunches.
What's cozier for lunchtime than a great tomato soup? The puree of tomatoes and tangy artichokes is based on a soup from one of our favorite local restaurants, and it's become a reader favorite. Garnish with homemade croutons and Parmesan cheese.
What makes this the best lentil soup? Let’s just say that everyone we’ve served it to immediately asks for the recipe…and seconds. This one is so full of hearty flavor, you’ll feel like you’re wrapped in a cozy hug. It saves well for lunch recipes and tastes even better reheated on day 2 or 3.
Last up in our best lunch ideas: Make Ahead Lunch Bowls! This tasty bowl features easy black beans, a trick to make a bland can of beans taste amazing in 5 minutes. Pair it with rice (or any whole grain) and colorful veggies. The kicker? A zingy cilantro lime ranch that you’ll want to bathe in.
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 pita wedges, sliced tomatoes, and a dollop of Greek yogurt, and they're divine.
This quinoa 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!
Last up in our lunch recipes: the Salmon Bowl! Here tender, seasoned fish is offset with rice, crisp tender broccoli, and covered in an easy, creamy flavor popping sauce. Use smoked salmon for super simple prep! Try the Tahini Dressing or Miso Dressing, and prepare to be amazed.
Let's end with a few healthy sweet treats for lunches! Try this peanut butter Energy Balls recipe! Any nut butter works here. Just mix a handful of simple ingredients together and bam! You’ve got an instant homemade snack that’s infinitely more delicious than store-bought granola bars or energy bites. Even better, they’ve got a good amount of protein and fiber for a tiny ball.
These healthy banana muffins are perfect for a healthy lunch component! Made with just oats and bananas in a blender, they've surprisingly got no flour and no refined sugar. These have been a fan-favorite for years and are perfect for adding to lunch boxes (kids love them, too!).
Here’s our favorite trick for healthy treats: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars! These are everything you want in a treat: irresistible sweet peanut-y flavor, chewy texture, and a little drizzle of chocolate on top! This lunch box treat optimizes whole grain oats while hitting it big in the sweet, salty and satisfying department.
Healthy lunch side ideas
We offered a few “side” recipes for lunch, but here are a few more items that make these recipes into a meal:
Roasted salted nuts: almonds, cashews, etc
Dried fruit: apricots, tart cherries, raisins
Fresh fruit: Apple slices, peaches, plums, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries
Veggie sticks: Bell pepper strips, carrots, celery, kohlrabi
We’ve got lots more lunch recipes where those come from! Here are a few more recipe collections to browse: