You’ve likely heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but what about lunch? This midday meal is often overlooked or rushed, but eating a fulfilling, protein- and fiber-packed lunch will set you up for success, especially if you’re looking to lose weight. Not only will it prevent an afternoon crash and keep your energy levels up, but it also sustains you until snack or dinner time.
“When you skip lunch, this could cause blood sugar levels to drop and hunger levels to rise,” says Amber Pankonin, RD, a registered dietitian, chef, and owner of the food blog Stirlist. “This can lead to overeating later in the day, which doesn’t help when you’re trying to decrease overall calories for weight loss,” she explains.
Luckily, whether you’re looking for vegetarian, vegan, or keto options, or a specific meal to satisfy your cravings, there’s a dish that’s full of flavor and loaded with nutrients here for you. Keep scrolling for 80 tasty and healthy lunch ideas, along with helpful tips to take some of that stress off your plate (literally!).
One note: How many calories you should eat per day for healthy weight loss is highly individual. (So, too, is how you balance your macros.) So, some of these recipes may need to be combined with other ingredients to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients. If you’re unsure how many cals or macros you should aim for in a day, or per meal, talk to a doctor or registered dietitian.
1. Greek Quinoa Salad
Calories (per serving): 341
This Greek salad features chickpeas, cucumber, olives, and fresh herbs for a super flavorful and fiber-filled lunch. It’s got plant-based protein, courtesy of chickpeas, and the quinoa can be whipped up in an Instant Pot. It’s also vegan.
2. Instant Pot Pakistani Chana Dal
This gluten-free Pakistani Chana Dal (split chickpea) is vegetarian and only takes 15 minutes to make, and it’s a flavor explosion thanks to spices like cumin, ginger, and turmeric. Throw the ingredients in an Instant Pot and enjoy.
3. Kale And Brussels Sprout Salad
This kale and Brussels sprout salad is anything but boring. It’s filled with shredded kale and sprouts, cranberries, marinated onions, almonds, and pecorino cheese. You can prep it in about 20 minutes, and keep it in the fridge for two to three days after making.
4. Creamy Carrot-Tomato Soup
This vegan tomato and carrot soup is dairy-free and paleo. It has a base of creamy coconut milk and almond butter, plus tons of fresh herbs, lime, and red pepper flakes.
5. Egg Roll In A Bowl
This recipe takes all the good fillings of a classic egg roll and puts them in a fresh and healthy bowl, featuring juicy meat or tofu, fresh ginger and garlic, soy sauce, and tons of thin strips of fresh veggies. It tastes phenomenal reheated too, trust.
6. Chicken Tortilla Soup
This authentic chicken tortilla soup is seasoned with tomato and pasilla pepper, plus loads of sautéed veggies that can be topped with baked tortilla strips, avocado, panela cheese, chopped cilantro, and a dash of fresh lime juice.
7. Vegan Spinach And Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
This creamy vegan pasta is budget- and time-friendly—it takes just 20 minutes to make. It features garlic, spinach, and basil, with the flavor punch of sun-dried tomatoes. You can store it up to five days in the fridge, so it’s a great option for a full week of lunches.
8. Whole30 Chicken Salad
This protein-packed chicken salad is Whole30- and keto-friendly. It’s made with mayo, Dijon mustard, celery, and grapes for great crunch and flavor. It keeps for three to five days, and you can whip it up in just 10 minutes. It’s also great for muscle gain.
9. Slow Cooker Yellow Chicken Curry
This hearty chicken curry is made with a base of coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. It has a kick thanks to cayenne pepper and is also full of veggies. You can freeze this for up to two months, so this big batch is perfect for storage.
10. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
These lettuce wraps spare you the calories but pack the crunch. They’re made with veggies like chopped carrots, celery, and water chestnuts. The protein in these is chicken, but you can sub in pork, shrimp, or a combo.
11. Venezuelan Arepas
Calories (no filling): 110
Arepas are drool-worthy cornmeal pockets that you can fill with favorite vegan dishes, writes Michelle, the creator of this recipe and who is behind the Healthier Steps recipe site.
12. Garlic Chili Chickpea Patties
If a chickpea patty sounds meh to you, you haven’t tried this one. It’s made with a bunch of flavor enhancers, like garlic chili sauce, peanut butter, and cumin. Make several of these and freeze them for a quick and easy weekday lunch.
13. Low-Carb Vegan Tuna Salad
Is there anything chickpeas can’t do? In this recipe, you’ll be mashing them up until their consistency looks similar to that of tuna’s. Once you dress the vegan tuna up, you’ll lay it on some lettuce to keep this recipe low-carb.
14. Chinese Garlic Tofu Stir Fry
You’re going to drool over the sticky soy garlic sauce coating the tofu in this dish, except it doesn’t really contain soy—it’s made with coconut aminos. Pair the tofu with veggies or rice to complete your meal.
15. Garlic Shrimp And Asparagus With Zucchini Noodles
Lunch will be ready in 20 if you just grab a spiralizer to prep your nutrient-packing zoodles. This recipe calls for less than 10 ingredients, and most of them are spices and garnishes like sea salt and chopped parsley.
16. Kimchi Tempeh Tacos
Kimchi’s tasty on its own, but in a taco, it’s next-level. The tacos also use tempeh as their “meat,” but to make them completely vegan, swap the sour cream and mayo for some dairy-free alternatives.
17. Peanut Crunch Salad
Nope, there aren’t actual peanuts in this salad. Instead, it gets its crunch from veggies like chickpeas, cucumbers, and shredded carrots. There is a yummy peanut dressing you’ll prep using peanut butter though.
18. Vegan Gyros With Tempeh
You’re going to want to dive into these vegan gyros ASAP. They sub the lamb meat with flavorful tempeh you’ll cook and dress with a Greek-inspired marinade made with ingredients like thyme, tamari, and garlic.
19. Noodleless Chicken Pad Thai
This chicken pad thai swaps the noodles for loads of veggies, including broccoli slaw, cabbage, and carrot, so you can bet it’s packed with nutrients. The dish is also gluten-free and Whole30-approved.
20. Keto Egg Drop Soup
Made with IHeartUMami’s grandma’s secret seasonings, you can bet this egg drop soup gets as close to the OG version as possible. The star ingredient is clearly egg, but the recipe also calls for chicken thighs.
21. Street Corn Pasta Salad with Cilantro Pesto + Goat Cheese
Street corn + cilantro pesto = sooo much flavor—it’s hard to find something this dish doesn’t have. But you can add grilled chicken, shrimp, or black beans if you’re looking for a boost of protein.
22. Paleo Turkey Pot Pie
This turkey pot pie is the comfort food you’ve been missing. It’s basically turkey and vegetables dressed in a light thyme-sage gravy, and it’s the perfect healthy lunch idea for a day you’re feeling cozy.
23. Tahini Pesto Tofu Salad
The pesto in this salad is made with tahini instead of olive oil to add more fiber and minerals, like calcium, to the dish. Yum!
24. Crispy Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos
The crispy buffalo cauliflower in this recipe is a tasty substitute for chicken. Add what you want for toppings—roasted veggies, avocado, cabbage. There’s room for customization.
25. Low Carb Spaghetti Carbonara
The spaghetti in this recipe is actually made from butternut squash noodles, which some might say are a little tastier than zoodles, but you can opt for any veggie-based noodle really. Butternut squash noodles pack a little bit more carb content than zoodles, but this recipe provides a good balance of fat, carbs, and protein.
26. Tuscan Beans With Artichoke And Spinach
This Tuscan bean salad is topped with a flavored oil and can be customized with your choice of fill-ins (black olives, capers, toasted pine nuts), though this recipe is made with artichokes and spinach.
27. Instant Pot Cashew Chicken
You can make Chinese takeout right in your kitchen with this cashew chicken recipe. The recipe replaces a few things you would add while making the classic in order to make the dish paleo, gluten-free, keto, and Whole30-approved.
28. Chili Lime Bean Salad
This chili lime bean salad is packed with nutrients including vitamin C from the lime and healthy fats from the avocado.
29. Cabbage Lentil Soup
Soup is the ultimate healthy comfort food, and this one’s loaded with veggies, like tomatoes and cabbage. It’s also made with miso paste to give it an extra kick of flavor.
30. Pesto Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Here’s a healthy lunch idea you can share with your peeps—that is if you aren’t tempted to eat all of them on your own. These chicken-stuffed zucchini boats are dressed in homemade pesto and topped with cheesy parmesan goodness, though you can skip the cheese if you prefer.
31. Cauliflower Walnut Lettuce Tacos
These plant-based tacos nix the tortilla, cutting down on the carb content, and they’re totally meat-free. Oddly enough, a mixture of walnuts and cauliflower (which is packed with fiber, BTW) achieve a meaty consistency.
32. Tortellini Primavera
One-pot cooking makes any dish 100 times better and easier. Bless the no-hassle meal. This tortellini is just that, plus it’s packed with veggies and dressed in a light sauce made from butter and olive oil.
33. Caribbean Shrimp Tacos With Mango Salsa
I don’t know what’s better in this recipe: the tangy lime shrimp marinade or the sweet mango salsa. Either way, both pair up to make every bite of these shrimp tacos a tasty mouthful.
34. Cabbage Stir Fry
This tasty cabbage Chinese-inspired stir-fry is budget-friendly, veggie-filled, and low-carb, plus it’ll satisfy all your cravings for takeout.
35. Vegan Green Bean Casserole
If green bean casserole has always been that dish you’ve met with a side-eye, you definitely haven’t tried this recipe. This twist on the green bean casserole is crisp, creamy, and prepped with a bunch of vegan whole foods.
36. Paleo Chicken And Broccoli Stir-Fry
Throw this quick and easy-to-make chicken and broccoli stir-fry over a bed of cauliflower rice and check having a tasty lunch off your to-do list today.
37. Orange Chili Salmon
If you’re looking to add more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, this salmon dish is a good place to start. The orange zest used in this recipe gives it a blast of flavor you can’t beat.
38. Lemon-Thyme Chicken With Shaved Brussels Sprouts
This fresh meal comes together in just 25 minutes. In addition to the Brussels, it includes apple, dried cranberry, Romano cheese, and hazelnuts. Make it for dinner, then eat leftovers for lunch the next day (or two)—the recipe makes up to four servings.
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39. Masala Crockpot Pulled Chicken
Pulled chicken on sweet potato bun sliders—need I say more? Just make sure to add your ‘buns’ to the calorie count, as the count here doesn’t account for them.
40. Spinach Bacon Pumpkin Mac And Cheese
Anything pumpkin is always a win, but when it’s used to make a creamy cheese sauce for some mac and cheese comfort food, even better. The dish also packs veggies like spinach, as well as bacon.
41. Burger Bowl With Special Sauce
Burger bowls are seriously underrated. This dish won’t make you miss the buns, and it includes fries (oven-baked sweet potato wedges to be exact), so you really aren’t missing out. Think of this as fast food that’s not a calorie bomb.
42. Ropa Vieja
This take on the classic Cuban dish swaps rice for low-carb shredded beef, carrots, and potatoes.
43. Tom Yum Zoodles Soup
This tom yum soup swaps noodles for zoodles, upping its veggie content. Its flavor profile is a mix of spicy and sour, so make sure you’re ready for some heat.
44. Sweet Ginger Pork Stir-fry
This stir-fry is both paleo and keto, plus it’s easy to make. It swaps soy sauce for coconut aminos, which is naturally less salty, but sweeter.
45. Fig And Halloumi Salad
This salad only has a few ingredients, but it’s full of crunchy flavor. The halloumi adds a little bit of saltiness, while the figs make it sweet. To throw in the final touch, you’ll top with it crunchy pistachios that’ll make every bite even more flavorful.
46. Indian Shrimp Curry
This yummy Indian recipe from SkinnyTaste swaps heavy cream for coconut cream to lighten things up, and lean protein will keep you full without weighing you down.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup lite canned coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- cilantro and chili peppers for garnish
- Add 2 teaspoons of the canola oil on high heat in a large skillet.
- Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute on each side then remove the shrimp from the pan.
- Add the remaining teaspoon of the canola oil to the skillet with the onions.
- Cook the onions for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, curry powder, chili powder, salt and garlic.
- Stir well, letting cook for 30 seconds then add in the tomato sauce and combine.
- Add in the coconut milk and shrimp to the pan and stir well.
- Garnish with cilantro and chili peppers if desired.
47. Roast Beef And Horseradish Wrap
Greek yogurt is a great mayo substitute—even light mayonnaise can’t compare when it comes to saving calories and fat.
- 2 Tbsp 2% plain Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp horseradish sauce
- 2 leaves Bibb lettuce
- 4 slices lean deli-style roast beef
- 4 slices tomato
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- Combine yogurt and horseradish, and spread on lettuce.
- Top with roast beef and tomato, and roll into a wrap.
- Serve with raspberries.
48. Tuna-Avocado Sandwich
Some avocado a day may help to keep the doctor away, research shows.
- 1/3 avocado, mashed
- 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 4 oz white albacore tuna, drained
- 1 thick slice tomato
- 1 piece butter lettuce
- 1 slice red onion
- 1 slice whole-grain bread
- Combine avocado with lemon juice, and fold in tuna.
- Stack tomato, lettuce, onion, and avocado and tuna mixture on bread for an open-face sandwich.
49. Tofu Salad
FYI: You’ll find bone-building calcium and antioxidants in almonds. Here, almond butter serves as a key ingredient for a tofu dressing.
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp almond butter
- 1/8 tsp minced garlic
- 4 oz tofu, extra firm, thinly sliced
- 1 cup snow peas, slivered
- 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
- 2 Scandinavian crispbread crackers
- Whisk soy sauce, almond butter, and garlic.
- Toss with tofu and snow peas.
- Top with sesame seeds, and serve with crackers.
50. Salmon Avocado ‘Sushi’
The omega-3 fats in salmon increase the production of a compound that repairs damaged cells and helps control inflammation.
- 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
- 2 oz smoked salmon, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup cooked rice noodles
- 1/4 papaya, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp chopped scallions
- 2 sheets nori seaweed
- 1 lime wedge
- Lay fillings on nori sheets, and roll up sushi-style.
- Cut, season with lime juice, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
51. Burger And Fries
Who says you have to forgo your favorite burger-and-fries combo when you’re on a diet? These replacements keep your favorites low-calorie.
- 1 Organic Sunshine Garden Herb burger
- 1/2 Food for Life sprouted whole-grain bun
- 2 leaves romaine lettuce
- 1 thick slice red tomato
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 small sweet potato
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Cut sweet potato into wedges, coat with oil and seasonings to taste, and bake.
- Cook burger, and serve open-faced on half a bun. Top with lettuce, tomato, and mustard.
52. Fiesta Salad
Keep your taco salad healthy by swapping out beef for lean turkey.
- 4 oz ground turkey (93% lean)
- 1 1/2 tsp Simply Organic Southwest Taco seasoning
- 3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
- 1/4 cup black beans
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup yellow corn
- 1 Tbsp cotija cheese
- 5 blue-corn tortilla chips, crumbled
- Brown turkey in a pan on the stove top, and stir in taco seasoning.
- Toss turkey with remaining ingredients.
53. Winter Sausage And Lentil Salad
Chances are you’re not utilizing fennel in your cooking, but you should be—it’s loaded with phytonutrients, vitamin C, fiber, folate, and potassium.
- 1 link pre-cooked chicken sausage (3 oz)
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 cup cooked lentils
- 1/2 bulb fennel, finely diced
- 1/2 Granny Smith apple, finely diced
- 1/2 stalk celery, finely diced
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- Warm chicken sausage, and season with garlic salt in a pan, then stir in lentils for two minutes.
- Remove from heat, stir in fennel, apple, and celery, and serve over arugula.
- Whisk oil, vinegar, and mustard, and drizzle over top.
54. Winter Grains
Replace that plain old salad with a grain bowl filled with farro and chickpeas to stay full.
- 1/4 cup dry farro
- 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp filtered apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1/2 cup sliced kale
- 1/2 cup chickpeas
- 1/2 blood orange, sectioned
- Cook farro (found in the grains aisle or on Amazon) according to package instructions.
- Whisk olive oil, vinegar, agave nectar, and zest for dressing.
- Toss farro with kale, chickpeas, blood orange, and dressing.
55. Spicy Chicken Salad
The capsaicin in spicy peppers like jalapenos may have fat-torching powers.
- 1 cup roasted skinless chicken breast, cubed
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 jalapeno, diced
- 1/2 medium celery stalk, chopped
- Dash of black pepper
- 1 cup baby spinach
Combine the first six ingredients, and serve on a bed of spinach.
56. Open-Faced Lox Sandwich
Say (yes to) cheese! The calcium in dairy foods could help stoke your body’s fat-burning power, research shows.
- 1 slice pumpernickel bread
- 2 Tbsp part-skim ricotta
- 4 oz smoked salmon
- 2 Tbsp capers
- 1 1/2 Tbsp minced onions
Layer in the order listed above.
57. Egg Salad Sandwich
Unlike some of its sugary condiment cousins, Dijon mustard tallies just five calories per teaspoon. Plus, thanks to the protein in the egg, it’s great for muscle gain.
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 slices multigrain bread
- 1 hard-boiled egg, sliced
- 2 Tbsp shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped scallion
- 1/4 cup raw spinach
- Juice of 1/4 lemon
- Spread mustard onto bread slices, then layer egg, cheese, scallion, and spinach on top.
- Drizzle with lemon juice.
58. Salmon Cucumber Boats
Capers add a salty zing with just two (two!) calories per tablespoon. Pile ’em on.
Salmon boat ingredients:
- 3 oz canned pink salmon, drained
- 1 Tbsp capers
- 1 tsp yellow mustard
- 2 Tbsp plain low-fat yogurt
- Dash salt
- Dash pepper
- 1 cucumber
- Combine the first six ingredients.
- Halve cucumber lengthwise, hollow out each half, and stuff with salmon mixture. Serve with side salad (below).
Side salad ingredients:
- 3/4 cup romaine lettuce
- 2 Tbsp chopped macadamia nuts
- 1 clementine
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 Tbsp cider vinegar
- Dash salt
- Dash pepper
- Combine first three ingredients.
- Toss with the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
59. Autumn Pumpkin Mix
Roasting squash brings out its natural sweetness. It’s no brownie, but it will help satisfy your sweet tooth.
- 3/4 cup Brussels sprouts
- 1 cup cubed pumpkin
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 oz crumbled goat cheese
- 2 Tbsp pistachios
- 1/2 medium pear, sliced
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp yellow mustard
- Toss Brussels sprouts and pumpkin with oil, and roast for 30 minutes at 350°F, turning halfway through.
- Remove from oven, and toss with remaining ingredients.
60. Open-Faced Turkey And Feta Sandwich
This sammy tastes just as good as it looks! Plus, it’s also a great pick for muscle gain goals.
- 1 slice whole-grain bread
- 3 oz sliced turkey breast
- 1/4 cup baby spinach
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp feta
Side salad ingredients:
- 12 yellow or red cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
- 4 large black olives, chopped
- 1 Tbsp chopped scallion
- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp fresh mint
Top bread with turkey, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta. Broil six to eight minutes, or until golden. Serve with salad.
61. Tabbouleh And Tuna On Greens
This grain’s resistant starch could make you resistant to mindless afternoon grazing.
- 1/2 cup cooked bulgur
- 3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 medium tomato, chopped
- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp chopped scallions
- 1/2 clove garlic, minced
- 3 oz canned water-packed light tuna, drained
- 1 1/2 cups red leaf lettuce
- 1 cup romaine lettuce
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- 1 4-inch whole-wheat pita
Combine all tabbouleh ingredients, then use to top lettuce with tuna and carrot.
62. Chicken Panini
Marinara sauce is a fraction of the calories of cream-based dipping sauces, so enjoy!
- 1 1/2 oz sliced low-fat Swiss
- 1 oz sliced reduced-sodium Black Forest deli ham
- 1 oz sliced reduced-sodium deli chicken breast
- 1 whole-wheat roll (12 oz total), sliced and gutted
- 1/4 cup marinara sauce, heated
- Heat lightly oiled grill or panini press to medium heat (or use a grill pan).
- Place cheese, ham, and chicken on the roll, starting and ending with cheese. Close sandwich, and grill, flipping and pressing with spatula if necessary, until golden brown on both sides and cheese is melted, about five minutes total.
- Halve sandwich, and serve with marinara sauce for dipping.
63. Mozzarella And Tomato Salad
Not all cheeses are created equal, and mozzarella is lower in sodium than other popular varieties, making it a great option for stocking up on calcium, phosphorus, and protein.
- 1 medium tomato, cubed
- 1 oz fresh part-skim mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp sunflower seeds
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Combine and toss all ingredients.
64. Grilled Chicken And Pineapple Sandwich
Suffering from chicken breast fatigue? This sweet-and-spicy Hawaiian spin will knock you right out of it.
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
- 1 slice Swiss cheese
- 1 slice pineapple (1/2″ thick)
- 1 whole-wheat kaiser roll
- Red onion, thinly sliced (to taste)
- Pickled jalapeno slices (to taste)
- Marinate chicken in teriyaki sauce in re-sealable bag in fridge.
- Grill chicken for four to five minutes, flip, and immediately add the cheese to breast. Continue cooking until the cheese is melted and the chicken is lightly charred and feels firm to the touch. Remove and set aside.
- While the chicken is resting, place the pineapple slices and rolls on the grill. Toast the rolls lightly, and cook the pineapple until it’s soft and caramelized, about two minutes on each side.
- Top each roll with chicken, pineapple, onion, and jalapeno.
65. Chicken Goat-Cheese Quesadillas
This isn’t your ordinary quesadilla: Goat cheese’s full, creamy taste means you can use less queso without sacrificing flavor.
- 3/4 oz goat cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 Tbsp shredded Monterey jack cheese
- 1/4 tsp virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp chopped Vidalia onion
- 1/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- Pinch ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup diced cooked skinless white-meat chicken
- 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 six-inch corn tortillas
- Combine cheeses in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add onion, and sauté for two minutes. Add corn and pepper; sauté for one minute.
- Add chicken, and sauté for one minute. Remove from heat, then stir in cilantro.
- Divide cheese mixture, and spread over two tortillas.
- Layer each tortilla with half the chicken mixture, and top with remaining tortillas. Spray a large frying pan or griddle with cooking spray.
- Warm quesadillas over medium heat for five to six minutes, flipping halfway through.
66. Tofu And Cabbage Salad
This plant-based protein power house has a mild flavor so it soaks up the flavors of your other ingredients. In this case, those include mandarin oranges and goat cheese.
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 1 cup chopped raw spinach
- 3 oz firm tofu
- 1/2 cup canned mandarin oranges, packed in juice, drained
- 1 Tbsp pine nuts
- 1 oz soft goat cheese
- 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Combine all ingredients into a salad.
67. Grilled Chicken Salad
Looking to keep things simple, but delicious? Good thing you can never go wrong with a grilled chicken salad!
- 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cup chopped beets
- 1 Tbsp dried cranberries
- 1/2 oz walnuts
- 3 oz grilled chicken breast
- 1 oz semisoft goat cheese
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Combine all ingredients into a salad.
68. Chili-Spiced Salmon Salad
The omega-3 fatty acids in the canned salmon are known to help reduce inflammation—which could help you lose weight too.
- 4 oz. canned salmon
- 3 c. Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
- 1/4 avocado, diced
- 1 pink grapefruit, sectioned
- 2 slices red onion
- 1/2 c. canned beets, drained and diced
- 10 pistachio nuts, shelled and chopped
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
- 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. orange zest
- 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1 large pinch kosher salt
- 1 large pinch chili powder
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor, or whisk together until smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine salmon, lettuce, avocado, grapefruit, onion, and beets. Toss well with dressing.
- Sprinkle with pistachios.
69. Berry Goat-Cheese Salad
Make the most of summer produce with berries and tomatoes, while the lean protein from the chicken breast will keep you full and satisfied.
- 1 tbsp. pecans
- 3 c. baby spinach
- 1/2 c. halved strawberries
- 1/2 c. blueberries
- 1 yellow tomato, cut into eighths
- 2 purple radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 skinless chicken breast (6 oz), grilled
- 1 tbsp goat cheese crumbles
- 1/4 c. sliced strawberries
- 1 tbsp. fresh orange juice
- 1 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. orange zest
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. nonfat greek yogurt
- 1 large pinch kosher salt
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor, or whisk them together until smooth.
- Toast pecans in a 400°F oven for two minutes. Remove from oven. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine spinach, berries, tomato, and radishes. Drizzle with dressing. Toss gently.
- Divide salad between two plates. Place half the chicken on top of each salad. Sprinkle with nuts and goat cheese.
70. Turkey And Cucumber Sandwiches
Calories: 275 per sandwich
The horseradish gives this sandwich tons of flavor without piling on unhealthy spreads that can rack up the calorie count.
- 1/2 c. nonfat mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp. prepared horseradish
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 c. finely chopped cooked turkey breast
- 1/4 c. finely chopped scallions
- 8 slices rye bread
- 1 seedless cucumber, very thinly sliced
- In a medium bowl, toss together the mayonnaise, horseradish, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix in the turkey and scallions.
- Divide the mixture among four slices of the bread, spreading it to the edges. Overlap the cucumber slices in an even layer over the turkey. Top with the remaining four slices of bread.
71. Venezuelan Keto Chicken Salad
If you’re looking for something simple, this keto Venezuelan chicken salad is perfect and won’t leave you with that heavy post-meal feeling. The chicken and avocado combo goes great with a squeeze of lime for extra flavor.
72. Keto Garlic And Sesame Prawns
This keto garlic and sesame prawns recipe has 34 grams of protein. Adding a side of red bell peppers or your other favorite veggies is guaranteed to keep you feeling full until dinner time.
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73. Keto Caprese Chicken
With only five ingredients needed, this Caprese chicken will be ready in no time. It’s also a great option for muscle gain.
74. Low-Carb Vegan Buddha Bowl
This vegan Buddha bowl is both colorful and full of texture. If the way your meals look visually play a role in how excited you are to eat them, this won’t disappoint. Plus, the healthy fats in this dish slows down digestion and absorption, which makes you feel fuller longer. (Put your meal prep skills to the test and marinate the tofu over night for even more flavor.)
75. Keto Chicken And Mushroom Casserole
A chicken and mushroom casserole is a creamy and healthy alternative for comfort food. The protein in the chicken plus the mushrooms and cauliflower rice provide a low-calorie and well-balanced meal.
76. Avocado Chopped Salad
“I like this salad because it’s a blend of non-starchy vegetables mixed with healthy fats and lots of flavor!” says Pankonin. “The recipe makes enough for at least three servings to split as a meal or lunch, or you can serve it as a side dish with a lean protein. It only contains 250 calories per serving, 10 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein.”
77. Pizza Bowls
Pizza bowls are filling and can be prepared with or without croutons to help lower the amount of calories from carbohydrates. You can also personalize it with your choice of vegetables. It’s also a great one for meal prepping as you can prepare on the weekend and enjoy later in the week. Coming in at less than 500 calories, this recipe provides 31 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. If you remove the croutons, this recipe then provides about 330 calories per servings.
78. Whipped Feta Dip with Vegetables
“This high-protein dip uses Greek yogurt blended with feta cheese and can be enjoyed as a meal when served with fresh vegetables like cucumbers, carrots or bell peppers,” says Pankonin. “It’s less than 300 calories per serving, six grams of carbohydrate and contains 14 grams of protein.”
79. Spicy Peanut Ramen
“This recipe is really filling as it uses both peanuts and vegetables to provide a great source of plant-based protein. You can also substitute the ramen for veggie noodles or zoodles to help lower the calories coming from carbohydrate if desired,” says Pankonin. “And peanuts may help with weight loss due to their fiber content and healthy fats. The original recipe contains around 400 calories per serving and 16 grams of protein.”
80. Grilled Chicken Street Tacos
“The cabbage slaw is super filling and the protein from the chicken and peanut sauce provide good, quality protein that is filling and nutritious,” says Pankonin. “You can substitute the tortillas for lettuce wraps to help reduce overall calories from carbohydrate[s] while still packing flavor and enough protein. Coming in at under 400 calories per serving, this recipe provides at least four grams of fiber and 38 grams of protein due to the chicken and peanuts.”
Andi Breitowich is a Chicago-based writer and graduate student at Northwestern Medill. She’s a mass consumer of social media and cares about women’s rights, holistic wellness, and non-stigmatizing reproductive care. As a former collegiate pole vaulter, she has a love for all things fitness and is currently obsessed with Peloton Tread workouts and hot yoga.