75 Healthy Lunch Recipes To Supercharge Your Midday

Could lunch actually be the most important meal of the day? It's always coming in second to breakfast and ignored by many who prefer to plow through their day until dinner. Well+Good explains why the midday meal is so beneficial and how eating a healthy lunch can supercharge your day, helping you avoid that 3 p.m. slump. It's hard to focus when you're hangry, and making time for a lunch break can restore blood sugar levels and make it easier to tackle the task at hand effectively.

Diners looking to cut calories often opt out of lunch to reach their weight goals, but Dr. Kurt Hong explains to Livestrong.com that depriving the body of nutrients for even a few hours can have the opposite effect. Eating regular meals and snacks throughout the day keeps your metabolism active and can help you avoid overeating or accepting anything within reach when your appetite spikes later. There's nothing worse than knowing you have the food you're craving at home but being forced to settle for a disappointing snack to tide you over. (We're looking at you, stale crackers left in the office cupboard.)

So go ahead and enjoy three meals a day with these healthy Tasting Table recipes that will make lunch anything but square.

1. Easy Spinach Frittata

The incredible egg just became even more edible with the addition of nutrient-packed spinach and tangy goat cheese. Frittatas are a classic Italian dish made of whipped eggs combined with various ingredients like meats, cheeses, and veggies.

Resembling a crustless quiche, this egg dish can be enjoyed hot or cold for a great make-ahead, grab-and-go lunch option. Our version features protein-packed eggs, healthy greens, and a flavorful combo of Parmesan and goat cheeses. Diners watching their fat intake can make a lighter version by substituting half-and-half or milk where the recipe calls for heavy cream.

Recipe: Easy Spinach Frittata

2. Cauliflower Rice Risotto

Do you crave the creaminess of risotto but don't have time for a carb-induced post-lunch nap? This revamped risotto recipe is veggie-focused, featuring riced cauliflower, fresh asparagus, and savory mushrooms.

As a starchy substitute, coconut milk provides the rich flavor and texture that risotto is known for, and nutritional yeast lends the nutty cheese flavor of Parmesan with a nutrient-packed punch. Make this risotto fully plant-based by switching out the butter with a vegan substitute. Flavors develop as they mingle, making for delicious lunch leftovers.

Recipe: Cauliflower Rice Risotto

3. BBQ Meatballs

Hold the spaghetti because these tangy, protein-packed BBQ meatballs stand alone. The low-carb dish is full of flavor from Worcestershire sauce, sautéed garlic and onions, apple cider vinegar, and BBQ sauce. Choose your favorite BBQ sauce brand to make these meatballs sticky sweet or extra spicy.

A keto diet delight, BBQ meatballs are an easy and satisfying item to keep in the fridge for midday munchies. Don't forget to garnish with Parmesan and chopped chives for an extra pop of flavor.

Recipe: BBQ Meatballs

4. Grilled Watermelon Salad

Instead of enduring a boring bowl of greens for lunch, take your taste buds on a midday adventure with this uniquely refreshing watermelon salad.

One bite of sweet watermelon combined with spinach, crisp red onion, mint, mild cotija cheese, and tangy balsamic vinegar tells you that this isn't your mother's fruit salad. The herbal notes of the mint and subtle creaminess of the cotija nicely complement summer's favorite fruit. The grill marks on the watermelon cubes will make you feel like you're at a backyard picnic, and your palate will thank you for the refreshing lunch.

Recipe: Grilled Watermelon Salad

5. Simple Palak Paneer

This popular Indian dish is centered around cubed cheese and a hefty helping of spinach seasoned perfectly with all the intense flavor and aroma that classic Indian spices offer. Paneer, a traditional Indian cheese with a mild milk flavor, sits atop a bed of simple white rice, and both serve as the perfect vehicle for the savory cooked spinach purée that is generously poured over the top. A dollop of tangy Greek yogurt garnishes the dish with a warmed naan on the side.

Palak paneer is an ideal lunch dish for diners looking to up their green intake with a flavor-packed fare.

Recipe: Simple Palak Paneer

6. Smoked Pork Tacos

With so many varieties and flavor combination possibilities, why wait for Tuesday to enjoy a taco?

From the complex smoky notes to the sweet pop of pineapple, these pork tacos offer a little bit of everything delicious. Ingredient prep is key to making these tacos an easy lunch, and once you've smoked the pork loin, mashed the avocados, and sliced some essential veggies, it's taco time. The creamy guacamole and rich smoked pork are balanced deliciously by the sweet tang of pineapple and a bite of red onion, making for a delicious lunch.

Recipe: Smoked Pork Tacos

7. Easy Watercress Soup

Watercress soup is as healthy and delicious as it is visually striking. Usually served as a first course, this refreshing dish makes for a light, yet nutrient-packed lunch.

Our version of the vibrant soup packs a punch with peppery notes of watercress enhanced by the unmistakable flavor of truffle oil. Thickened with potato, it won't weigh you down after a big bowl. Fresh microgreens, radishes, and beet chips are the ideal garnish for this tantalizing soup. A drizzle of heavy cream gives the dish a bold look and velvety texture, but feel free to skip this if you'd prefer to keep the soup on the lighter side.

Recipe: Easy Watercress Soup

8. Homemade Cured Salmon

Tired of eating the same boring lunch every day? This recipe for homemade salmon is the cure and can turn your midday meal into fancy fare.

Sashimi-grade salmon is cured in salt, sugar, and pepper for 24 hours, allowing time to develop that classic cured salmon flavor. This deliciously healthy salmon can be enjoyed in so many ways: It's tasty atop a crostini served with salad, or you can make a more substantial meal out of it by piling it on a bagel or baguette. Whether you are dining solo or entertaining guests, this homemade cured salmon is sure to impress.

Recipe: Homemade Cured Salmon

9. Grilled Summer Shrimp Salad

You can get your summer on any time with this fresh and light salad.

The flavor of the shrimp is heightened by marinating them in lemon juice, garlic powder, and parsley before they hit the grill. After the kiss of fire imparts its smoky goodness to the crustaceans, they are placed on a bed of crunchy lettuce accompanied by sweet corn and cherry tomatoes. Toss with a light lemon vinaigrette and garnish with minced parsley before enjoying this refreshingly healthy lunch salad.

Recipe: Grilled Summer Shrimp Salad

10. Zucchini Crab Cakes

If you're looking for a healthy, vegan lunch that feels truly decadent, try out these low-calorie zucchini crab cakes. Full of protein and an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and fiber from beans and various veggies, grated zucchini, hearts of palm, garbanzo beans, celery, and onion come together with the help of panko breadcrumbs and Vegenaise (vegan mayo) to create a perfect patty that is pan-fried in avocado oil and finished in the oven.

These veggie-packed cakes taste great served hot or cold and pack out well for a school or work lunch; simply serve with a side of tartar sauce and be transported to your favorite seaside destination.

Recipe: Zucchini Crab Cakes

11. Shitake Mushroom Soup

Substituting high-fat cream-based soups for a healthful alternative is easy when there's a fungus among us. Shitake mushrooms boast all the hearty umami flavor you can shake a spoon at, and as a bonus, they contain essential copper and immune-boosting vitamins and minerals as well (via WebMD).

The tasty fungi are of course the soup's star, but they are almost outshined by the cruciferous, calcium-rich bok choy. Tofu brings in the plant-based protein to round off this savory soup that serves up a bowl of healthy flavors.

Recipe: Shitake Mushroom Soup

12. Vegetable Korma

Curl up with this veggie-packed korma if you're in the mood for a rich and creamy dish that's full of flavor.

This Indian stew is surprisingly mild compared to what you might expect from the Asian cuisine, but diners can season it with extra ingredients like jalapeño if they prefer their meals to pack more of a punch. Potatoes, cauliflower, and carrots act as the vehicle for palate-warming spices like ginger, garam masala, curry powder, and turmeric. The rich sauce covering the veggies keeps the dish fully plant-based by ditching the heavy cream or cheese for coconut milk thickened with a cashew purée. Enjoy with a side of naan or flatbread.

Recipe: Vegetable Korma

13. Easy Avocado Chicken Salad

Avocados aren't just for guacamole, and this chicken salad highlights all the versatility, rich flavors, and health benefits that the great green fruit has to offer. Chopped avocado — and all the healthy fats and fiber that comes with it — is mixed with lean chicken breast, fresh Honeycrisp apples, tart dried cranberries, and crunchy chopped walnuts to create a powerhouse of a salad. Tangy Greek yogurt and lemon juice combine with the avocado to make a creamy sauce when mixed together. 

This nutrient-rich salad can be enjoyed alone, on a bed of lettuce, or as a sandwich. Remember to cover leftovers with plastic wrap placed right on top of the salad to prevent the avocado from browning.

Recipe: Easy Avocado Chicken Salad

14. Stuffed Acorn Squash

From squash to stuffing, this cozy dish provides all the nutrients you need to keep going strong throughout the day. The acorn squash alone provides half your daily fiber along with vitamin C and potassium, says recipe developer and nutritionist Kristen Carli. The nutritional content only increases as it's stuffed with kale, wild rice, and mild Italian sausage. Savory flavors are sweetened by dried cherries and raisins instead of added sugar.

Recipe: Stuffed Acorn Squash

15. Creamy Chicken Spinach Soup

This wonder of a soup will have you cleaning your bowl ... and not much else, thanks to it being a one-pot dish! Earthy white mushrooms, nutrient-dense spinach, and delicately shredded chicken breast combine with chicken broth and heavy cream to create a hearty and filling soup that will warm up a lunch routine that has been left out in the cold.

If two cups of spinach aren't enough to satiate your veggie craving, feel free to add celery, parsnips, carrots, or cauliflower to this decadent lunch.

Recipe: Creamy Chicken Spinach Soup

16. Spicy Egg Curry

Looking to step outside of the lunchbox? This egg curry is loaded with flavors that will make your standard midday sandwich and chips look embarrassingly basic. The flavor and texture of hard-boiled eggs are enhanced by a simmered tomato curry sauce brimming with spices like chile powder, turmeric, cumin, garam masala, and coriander. A hefty helping of spinach is wilted into the sauce, which can be substituted by peas if desired.

This spicy egg curry is a great meatless Monday option, but its vegetarian goodness can be enjoyed any day of the week.

Recipe: Spicy Egg Curry

17. Napa Cabbage Salad

Go on a flavor and texture adventure by switching your regular lettuce out for cabbage in this lunch salad dish. Chinese cabbage provides a healthy dose of iron along with its delicious crunch that will keep you going back for more. There's no reason not to clean your plate when it's full of colorful and tasty veggies like red bell peppers, spring onions, and carrot ribbons. A sesame soy dressing sweetened with a hint of honey complements the napa cabbage and enhances the flavors of the vegetables.

Recipe: Napa Cabbage Salad

18. Crustless Spinach Quiche

Quiche is a longtime lunch favorite for good reason: It's packed with protein and flavor to carry you through your day. This quiche cuts the carbs and fat content by going crustless and subbing half-and-half for heavy cream. A big bunch of spinach brings in an earthy green flavor, complemented by grass-fed cheddar cheese;  substitute with Gruyére if you like cheese with a bite. It keeps for three to four days in the fridge and tastes great served hot or cold.

Recipe: Crustless Spinach Quiche

19. Easy Cream of Asparagus Soup

This asparagus soup is inspired by all the colors and flavors of spring. The fresh taste of asparagus is highlighted with a lemon twist and enhanced by the herbal goodness of a handful of parsley. Background notes of sautéed onion and garlic combine with savory chicken stock to create a flavorful foundation for this delicate soup. It's thickened with puréed potato and a quick pour of half-and-half instead of heavy cream. This vernal vegetable soup is a refreshing lunch dish that can be enjoyed in any season.

Recipe: Easy Cream of Asparagus Soup

20. Crispy Buttered Turmeric Rice

If your healthy lunch routine needs to be spiced up, there's no better go-to flavor than turmeric. This traditional Indian spice is known for its appealing color and boldly pungent, earthy taste, but it also offers nutritional benefits. Turmeric, a member of the ginger family, is said to have anti-inflammatory properties that may help alleviate joint pain and arthritis (via Healthline). Basmati rice is sautéed with chopped onions until crispy, creating the textural element of this dish. Garnish with slivered almonds and add veggies, meat, or lentils to make a more substantial meal.

Recipe: Crispy Buttered Turmeric Rice

21. Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

The key to enjoying the controversial Brussels sprout is to not overcook them into a mushy green mess, or in the case of this mind-changing salad, not to cook them at all. Raw sprouts thinly sliced into strips provide texture for days with none of the bitterness that comes out during the cooking process. This crunchy salad is then combined with other flavor BFFs like nutty Spanish Manchego cheese and sweet dates. A simple vinaigrette made with whole-grain mustard, red wine vinegar, and agave nectar is poured over the top and garnished with sunflower seeds.

Recipe: Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

22. Thai Red Curry Chicken

A lunchtime curry craving is easily squelched by this healthy and flavorful chicken dish. Lean chicken breast strips are baked to perfection before being deliciously smothered in a coconut milk sauce featuring the spicy essence of red curry, coriander, and ginger. A bunch of baby spinach is thrown into the mix at the last minute, adding a dose of greens and a healthy serving of iron, vitamin A, and vitamin K. Serve with rice or a warm piece of naan for a satisfyingly spicy lunch treat.

Recipe: Thai Red Curry Chicken

23. Easy Carrot Soufflé

No need to pass on dessert at lunchtime when this carrot soufflé is on your menu. Satiate your sweet tooth with this silky dish that is sweetened by cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla. Nobody has to know that in addition to their natural sweetness, carrots are also bringing beta carotene and fiber to the dessert table. The end result is a delectably golden brown, cake-like soufflé that is best served warm with a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top.

Recipe: Easy Carrot Soufflé

24. Easy Wonton Soup

Ready in just 30 minutes, this easy lunch recipe has all the flavor of a slow-simmered soup with far less prep. Ginger, garlic, and scallions are sautéed to aromatic perfection in flavorful sesame oil before adding nutrient-rich baby bok choy and the protein-filled wonton of your choice. The Chinese chicken dumplings and veggies are simmered with chicken stock, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar for 15 minutes; just long enough to develop a full-bodied flavor that will warm you up without weighing you down.

Recipe: Easy Wonton Soup

25. Chicken Mango Salad

This ideal healthy lunch recipe is a visual and textural delight. A hearty meal, this Chicken Mango Salad is packed with protein from grilled chicken breast and roasted peanuts. Crunchy veggies like red bell peppers, cucumbers, red onion, and romaine lettuce lend essential texture and flavor in addition to being packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The sweet tropical flavor of mango is great for the palate, and Everyday Health says the tasty fruit may also improve digestion, help you sleep better, and ward off chronic diseases. Toss together under a cilantro-lime honey dressing and enjoy.

Recipe: Chicken Mango Salad

26. Spicy Garlic Eggplant

If you're looking for a veggie-centric lunch dish that is both healthy and satisfying, give this spicy garlic eggplant a go. A mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar, chile paste, and cornstarch make a slurry that thickens into a flavorful sauce when cooked with the tasty nightshade. The meaty texture of eggplant will leave you satiated without feeling overly full. You control the spiciness by using less Thai chile or adding red pepper flakes to taste. If desired, serve over rice and garnish with a squeeze of lime and fresh chopped scallions.

Recipe: Spicy Garlic Eggplant

27. Quinoa Fried Rice

Fried rice fans who wish the popular dish packed more of a nutritional punch have found the ideal substitute in quinoa. Rice is a great grain, but quinoa is a superfood loaded with protein and fiber that makes a nourishing meal to carry you through your afternoon. Let the cooked quinoa "dry out" in the fridge for a day to create a fluffier, rice-like consistency. When combined with scrambled eggs, sautéed veggies, and a soy sauce dressing, this quinoa fried rice makes for a healthy and satisfying lunch.

Recipe: Quinoa Fried Rice

28. Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

This 5-minute salad tastes as fresh as it looks but will leave you feeling fully satisfied after a quick lunch break. Fresh mozzarella not only provides hunger-stabilizing protein but also acts as the mild-flavored foundation for sweet vine-ripened tomatoes and intensely aromatic basil leaves. Using a store-bought balsamic glaze cuts down on your prep time and adds the unique tangy-sweet flavor that only vinegar can lend. Add some healthy fats with an optional drizzle of high-quality olive oil.

Recipe: Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

29. Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potatoes

These baked sweet potatoes are an ideal meal for vegetarians or anyone looking to lunch on the lighter side. Thanks to the air fryer, they bake up quickly with crispy avocado-oiled skin and soft sweet potato inside. A healthy food lover's delight, sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may improve immunity and boost gut health (via MindBodyGreen). This simple four-ingredient recipe is an easy and filling lunch that can be loaded with the healthful toppings of your choice.

Recipe: Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potatoes

30. Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken soup is good for the soul, but sometimes those classic flavors become boring for the taste buds. Brimming with the traditional flavors of Thai cuisine, this soup features zesty notes of lemongrass and kaffir lime complemented by rich coconut milk. Red curry paste and chile peppers provide all the spice, and mushrooms and fish sauce have the umami covered. Bits of tender shredded chicken breast supply the protein that mingles with delicate, gluten-free rice noodles to meet all your slurping needs in this Thai take on a classic soup.

Recipe: Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

31. Steamed Beef Dumplings

These delectable dumplings feature a filling that doesn't have to be pre-cooked, shortening the time it takes to get them from the skillet to into our mouths. After being filled with protein, peas, carrots, and ginger, the beef dumplings are pan-fried to develop a crispy outer layer before being steamed to perfection in the same pan. The sesame soy dipping sauce calls for black vinegar, which can be omitted if it's hard to find. They can be frozen after assembling and easily prepared for a full-flavored lunch that will rival any takeout offerings.

Recipe: Steamed Beef Dumplings

32. Moroccan Chickpea Salad

Take a quick trip to Morocco on your lunch break with this flavorful and exotic chickpea salad. The plant-powered protein salad is filled with nourishing spinach, garbanzo beans, pistachios, and Kalamata olives. All that protein and fiber help you feel fuller longer, keeping you strong and steady throughout the day. The bold, savory flavors are nicely balanced with sweet diced apricot. A red wine Dijon vinaigrette seasoned with oregano and marjoram finishes off the chickpea salad with another hit of fresh, zesty flavors.

Recipe: Moroccan Chickpea Salad

33. Moroccan Couscous

This cooked salad melds many of the signature flavors of Morocco in one easy and delicious dish. Couscous is an ancient grain that's beloved for its mild flavor and delicate texture but also for its high selenium content and thyroid-protecting characteristics (per Healthline). The couscous is cooked in flavorful chicken stock and then loaded with sautéed onion, red bell pepper, and chickpeas. It's finished with chopped mint and sweet apricots, and despite the protein and fiber that are already present in the dish, additional protein and vegetables can be added to make a more substantial meal.

Recipe: Moroccan Couscous

34. Spicy Crab Salad Sushi

When you're craving crab for lunch but not willing to risk your life on supermarket sushi, this dish will hit the spot. These sushi rolls start with quality short-grain rice cooked to sticky perfection and seasoned with rice vinegar that lends sweet flavor notes without adding sugar. Surimi (imitation crabmeat) provides a filling but light protein with mild flavors that get kicked up a notch with a toss in spicy Sriracha mayo and chopped scallions. Roll that up with long-cut cucumber, and feel free to add more veggies of your choosing. Even if your sushi looks like it was rolled by an amateur, it will taste like you ordered it from a restaurant.

Recipe: Spicy Crab Salad Sushi

35. Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

This light lunch salad is an homage to the vegetal fruity flavor of tomatoes. Panzanella is an ideal way to use that artisan bread you left out for too long, and lunchers can go healthier by grabbing their favorite whole grain loaf to soak up all the juicy goodness that heirlooms have to offer. The standout flavors of heirloom tomatoes are enhanced when combined with fresh cucumbers, shallot, dill, and basil and drizzled with a light red wine vinaigrette. Enjoy as-is or round out the meal with the protein of your choice.

Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

36. Jackfruit BBQ Sandwich

This jackfruit sandwich is bringing vegans back to BBQ, but you don't have to follow a meat-free diet to enjoy this healthy and flavorful alternative. Healthline says jackfruit is loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein, making it a much healthier option than most meats. In addition to its health benefits, jackfruit shreds up with a texture that is so similar to pulled pork and brings a sweet element to this sandwich that perfectly complements tangy BBQ sauce. Mound some tri-colored coleslaw right on top to add some crunch to this lunch-ready sandwich.

Recipe: Jackfruit BBQ Sandwich

37. Cabbage Au Gratin

If you crave the creaminess of potatoes au gratin but don't want to induce a midday nap by carb-loading, try subbing the traditional starch with savory roasted cabbage instead. Calories Info notes cabbage has far fewer carbohydrates and calories than a potato but 19% more dietary fiber, making for a nutritious swap. Going green with the main ingredient allows you to keep the cream and cheese that are the signature element of any au gratin.

Recipe: Cabbage Au Gratin

38. Apple Harvest Salad

Keep the doctor away with this nourishing and satisfying salad that overflows with complementary flavors and textures that will make it a regular on your lunch menu. Delicate mixed greens and chopped parsley serve as the base for crunchy pecans and the apple variety of your choosing. Bold blue cheese provides a pungent creaminess that is cut perfectly with a light honey balsamic vinaigrette. Feel free to add protein or enjoy this light lunch as is.

Recipe: Apple Harvest Salad

39. Ground Pork Lettuce Wraps

The crunchy textures and rich, fresh flavors of this low-carb lunch will leave you wondering why anything but lettuce has ever been used as a wrap. The protein from ground pork sautéed in sesame oil is doubled with the addition of roasted cashews. Spoon that flavorful mixture into a crunchy fresh romaine leaf and add carrots, bell pepper, and green onions to compound this dish's taste, texture, and nutritional value. A light soy-hoisin sauce and red chile flakes add an extra element to this flavorful lunch wrap dish.

Recipe: Ground Pork Lettuce Wraps

40. Classic Bruschetta

Sometimes all you want for lunch is a simple dish that packs in a bunch of fresh flavors. This recipe features foundational bruschetta ingredients — a chewy toasted baguette topped with sweet cherry tomatoes tossed in extra virgin olive oil and tangy balsamic vinegar. Thinly sliced ribbons of fresh basil bring an herbal pop to the mix. An Italian classic, the humble bruschetta is a simple dish that can be built to your preference with additional vegetables and toppings of your choice.

Recipe: Classic Bruschetta

41. Hearty Red Pepper Soup

This quick and easy lunch soup is packed with flavor and nutrition. It's full of healthful ingredients like tomatoes, zucchini, and veggie stock, but the star of this soup is the red peppers that bring vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. Heavy cream subbed with coconut milk adds richness without the cholesterol and calories of cream (per Souper Sage). This red pepper soup can be paired with a hunk of crusty bread or a green salad, but it's so filling and flavorful that it can easily stand alone.

Recipe: Hearty Red Pepper Soup

42. Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

From complimentary flavor combinations to intense texture, this classic lunch salad has it all. Lean chicken breasts and buttery pecans bring protein to a mixture of crunchy celery and tart green apples. The sharp flavors of red onion and chives are balanced nicely with a creamy mayonnaise dressing that can be substituted by a vegan mayo if you're watching your cholesterol intake. The abundant flavors and textures in this salad are great in a whole grain sandwich or on a bed of greens.

Recipe: Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

43. Tofu Pesto Pasta

The bold, fresh flavors of basil are featured in this healthier rendition of creamy pesto pasta that makes for a protein-packed midday meal. Blending extra firm tofu with basil leaves yields a rich sauce with all the creaminess of ricotta but none of the fat. Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor along with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (via Healthline). Garnish this healthy pasta dish with fresh tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and basil for a flavorful, nourishing lunch.

Recipe: Tofu Pesto Pasta

44. California Roll Bowl

This deconstructed sushi dish makes it easy to get the perfect bite of flavorful ingredients into your mouth faster. Cooked sushi rice can be topped with your favorite healthful foods, or you can stick with classic toppings of surimi, cucumber, and avocado. Pickled ginger and a Sriracha-mayo drizzle add a refreshing and spicy pop to this tasty dish. Don't forget to put the seaweed on the side of this lunch bowl that's ideal when you don't have time to roll.

Recipe: California Roll Bowl

45. Southwest Pasta Salad

This spicy take on classic pasta salad might become your new lunch favorite if you're not afraid of flavor. Tri-color rotini pasta is elevated by mounds of veggies like bell peppers, onions, avocado, tomato, and fire-roasted corn that combine with black beans to provide loads of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Chipotles in adobo sauce bring a smoky heat to the creamy sour cream-mayo dressing that completes this Southwestern-style salad.

Recipe: Southwest Pasta Salad

46. Mexican Kale Salad

The curly kale in this nourishing salad provides a hardy textured green full of nooks and crannies that capture all the flavors of the delicious and healthy toppings that set this dish apart. Kale is a superfood packed with vitamin C, and the addition of black beans, corn, tomatoes, and avocado brings in even more vitamins and minerals along with healthy fats and fiber for days. Diced jalapeño and cilantro provide classic Mexican flare complemented by a honey-lime vinaigrette.

Recipe: Mexican Kale Salad

47. Italian Sub Sandwich

A morning that served up Monday energy can be stopped in its tracks by sinking your teeth into a sub sandwich come lunchtime. A toasted hoagie roll with tangy pickled cherry pepper spread is the vehicle for protein-rich layers of Genoa salami, mortadella sausage, prosciutto di Parma, and provolone cheese. Cured meats' bold flavors are balanced perfectly with tangy pickled pepperoncini, thick-sliced beefsteak tomatoes, and crisp shredded iceberg lettuce drizzled with red wine vinaigrette in this Italian classic.

Recipe: Italian Sub Sandwich

48. Smoked Chicken Tacos

If you love tacos but want to opt for a lighter protein, this smoked chicken option packs in all the flavor with less fat than most traditional fillings. The fire-kissed flavor of smoked bell pepper and chicken is doused with cool avocado crema and cut with red onion, cilantro, and lime. Feel free to add in tomatoes, diced jalapeño, or more veggies to taste, and don't feel bad when you go back for more.

Recipe: Smoked Chicken Tacos

49. Avocado Egg Salad

You'll know that green eggs aren't just for kids' stories anymore once you taste this powerhouse of a salad. Protein-packed eggs combine with the bountiful health benefits and healthy richness of avocados, per WebMD, to make a lunch meal that will hold your appetite at bay without skimping on flavor. A pop of red onion and scallions combined with a complementary sprig of dill finishes off this salad that can be made into a sandwich, wrap, or enjoyed on a bed of greens.

Recipe: Avocado Egg Salad

50. Healthy Green Rice

White rice doesn't have a whole lot going for it nutritionally until you combine it with a bright green herb-veggie purée. Toasted basmati rice gets an upgrade from cilantro and parsley blended with vegetable stock. The greens bring an intense herbal flavor and are also known to be rich sources of vitamin A, as well as C and K, folate, and iron (via Livestrong.com). Poblano and jalapeño peppers are bringing the heat along with a dose of capsaicin that helps out your gut and might increase life longevity. This rice dish makes an excellent base for a vegan burrito and can be combined with beans, veggies, or meat to create a more substantial lunch.

Recipe: Healthy Green Rice

51. Sushi Crab Salad

This easy crab salad recipe is ideal when you're craving sushi for lunch but have no time to roll. Colorful and healthful veggies like cucumber, avocado, and scallions combine with delicate crab meat to provide all the nourishing vitamins, minerals, good fats, and protein you can fit on a bed of sweet and sticky sushi rice. An umami-filled dressing brings in the flavors of ginger, soy, and Dijon mustard cut with tangy apple cider vinegar. Garnish with roasted seaweed and enjoy this easy deconstructed sushi salad.

Recipe: Sushi Crab Salad

52. Portobello Fajitas

Portobello mushrooms are the go-to meat substitute for folks who are going plant-based or just want to include more healthy vegetables in their diet. Aside from their earthy flavor and hardy texture, mushrooms contain loads of essential vitamins and minerals that significantly improve immunity and well-being. When these nutritional powerhouse fungi are combined with classic fajita flavors like sautéed onions, peppers, jalapeños, and smoked paprika, it creates a nourishing dish that also tastes delicious. A lunchtime win.

Recipe: Portobello Fajitas

53. Sweet Coconut Rice

Boost your heart health and the flavor of bland basmati rice with full-fat coconut milk to create a lunch dish that is both bold and nutritious. Coconut milk provides more than just rich and creamy tropical flavor; WebMD says coconut is also an excellent source of heart-healthy manganese and copper. Try pairing this coconut rice with curry, kabobs, or beans if you love the combo of sweet and savory. You can mix in fruit like mangoes and plantains, or add protein by topping with a fried egg for a light lunch treat.

Recipe: Sweet Coconut Rice

54. Carrot Ginger Soup

This next-level lunch soup is full of flavor and vibrant colors that Food Revolution Network says often denote a food with higher vitamin and mineral content. Roasting the carrots and onions that are the base of the soup develops a sweet and more complex flavor profile that pairs well with unmistakably spicy fresh ginger notes. It's puréed to creamy perfection while maintaining enough texture to make for a satisfying and nourishing meal.

Recipe: Carrot Ginger Soup

55. Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Enjoy the rich flavors of autumn anytime with this butternut squash salad that packs flavor, texture, and nutrition into one dish. Aside from being an antioxidant and fiber super-combo, the mildly sweet flavor of butternut squash pairs deliciously with the nutty taste of roasted pumpkin seeds and green notes of fresh spinach. Those earthy flavors are accentuated by a fruity pop of pomegranate, tangy goat cheese, and a sherry-Dijon vinaigrette that rounds out the complementary flavors of this balanced salad.

Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

56. Healthy Moong Dal

This low-calorie Indian dish boasts all the bold flavors of traditional Indian spices with the added health benefits and delicious taste of moong dal, the Indian word for mung beans. Well+Good says the small beans are packed with B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, folate, and fiber that make for a great post-workout meal or stress-reducing lunch. Spices like turmeric and cumin seeds, which are said to have physical and mental health benefits (per Spice Tutor), bring their earthy, warm flavors to this nutrient-filled soup.

Recipe: Healthy Moong Dal

57. Stuffed Pepper Skillet

Your belly will be the only thing to get full with this easy version of popular rice and beef-stuffed peppers. This one-skillet wonder cooks aromatic jasmine rice with signature stuffed pepper ingredients, soaking up all the flavor in half the prep time. While it cuts down on dishes, this easy skillet ups your protein and fiber intake with savory beef, pinto beans, diced peppers, and tomatoes. A sprinkle of shredded Mexican cheese on top cuts the acidity of the vegetables with the perfect hint of creaminess in this easy lunch dish that leaves you satisfied with time to spare.

Recipe: Stuffed Pepper Skillet

58. Salmon Burgers

If you're looking for a healthy alternative to a traditional hamburger, this seafood sandwich delivers all the flavor with less fat and calories than beef (per Food Struct). The rich, fatty mouthfeel of salmon combined with its increased vitamin, mineral, and omega-3 fatty acid content will leave you wondering why you ever bothered with red meat in the first place. The salmon patties that feature a pop of basil and green onion can be made ahead of time and then pan-fried or grilled before enjoying them on a light brioche bun.

Recipe: Salmon Burgers

59. Tuna Lettuce Wraps

These high-protein, low-carb lettuce wraps will leave you light on your feet after lunch. The tuna salad has all the classic crunch and creamy flavor you expect from fresh celery, red onion, and rich mayonnaise balanced with a pop of salty capers, tangy relish, and whole grain mustard. In addition to being a flavorful light protein, tuna also provides a healthy serving of vitamin D to boost immunity and bone health. Wrap it up in a delicate leaf of butter lettuce and enjoy this carb-light tuna salad.

Recipe: Tuna Lettuce Wraps

60. Healthy Green Bean Casserole

When you're craving classic green bean casserole but don't need any more condensed soup in your life, opt for a few healthful substitutions. This dish calls for a vegetable broth sauce instead of cream-based soup that gets poured over green beans and baby bella mushrooms. A light sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and onions that get baked instead of fried will serve you all the flavors of your favorite casserole for fewer calories.

Recipe: Healthy Green Bean Casserole

61. Thai Chicken Curry

Enjoy a light lunch featuring bold Thai flavors with this easy chicken curry. Chicken thighs, which are flavorful, juicy, and almost impossible to overcook, are poached in green curry coconut sauce to create a savory and spicy base. The featured vegetables in this dish are eggplant and chopped snow peas that make for a unique flavor and texture combination, and according to Healthier Steps, provide a powerful dose of antioxidants and aid in digestion. This Thai Chicken Curry is a bowl full of spicy flavors, protein, and vegetables that really nourish the body.

Recipe: Thai Chicken Curry

62. Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Push the white rice to the side and stuff your peppers with a superfood filling; quinoa is considered a complete protein full of essential vitamins, and minerals, and is also gluten-free. These stuffed peppers are loaded with traditional Mexican spices like paprika and cumin that kick up the mild flavor of quinoa. Black beans and bell peppers add tons of fiber and taste delicious with a dollop of guacamole served on top. Garnish with a lime squeeze, cilantro, and sour cream, or sub in Greek yogurt for a lighter condiment choice.

Recipe: Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

63. Instant Pot Celery Soup

Celery has become surprisingly popular amongst healthy eaters, and for good reason. This hydrating vegetable is not only high in essential vitamins and minerals (via WebMD) but has become the star of various trendy drinks meant to detoxify the body (though more research is needed on this front, according to the Cleveland Clinic). This celery soup is thickened with buttery Yukon gold potatoes instead of heavy cream, serving up a rich and smooth texture with less fat and calories. Repurpose your celery stalks and give your body a flavorful cleanse with this savory lunch soup.

Recipe: Instant Pot Celery Soup

64. Mortadella Focaccia Sandwich

Some people might think it's bologna, but diets like Keto and Atkins have individualized eating plans for many people who have seen benefits like weight loss and lower blood sugar from eating foods high in fat and protein (via Everyday Health). Rich, smooth-textured mortadella is a gourmet lunch meat that Arte Cibo touts as an ideal post-exercise food that's rich in B vitamins, zinc, and iron with the same amount of cholesterol you'd find in white meat. Cut its fatty flavor with a zesty pickled pepper-jalapeño mayo spread on toasted savory focaccia and enjoy a high-protein, vitamin-packed lunch.

Recipe: Mortadella Focaccia Sandwich

65. Chicken Pot Pie Pasta

When you need to carb-load before a big exercise excursion, do it with all the comforts and flavors of a chicken pot pie. This dish combines the trifecta of classic pot pie veggies with a hefty helping of shredded chicken, adding protein, vitamins, and minerals to the egg noodles that replace a flour-filled crust. Chicken pot pie must include a creamy, rich sauce, and this dish doesn't disappoint with a flavorful sauce made from nourishing bone broth and heavy cream that can easily be subbed with whole milk for a lighter twist.

Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie Pasta

66. Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto

Mushrooms have some astounding health benefits, and when you couple all that healthy goodness and mix it into creamy risotto, you have a win-win for lunch. According to Good Housekeeping, mushrooms contain powerful antioxidants and other compounds that benefit your body by improving memory, mood, and heart health while also protecting you from chronic diseases. Their umami-rich flavor is an added plus and takes center stage in this savory risotto dish made easy in the Instant Pot. Feel free to sub in any additional vegetables or enjoy this delicious and healthful dish as is.

Recipe: Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto

67. Creamy Dill Potato Salad

In a low-carb world, potatoes get a bad wrap for their starch content, but it turns out that spuds have some great health benefits. WebMD notes potatoes are a good source of fiber, which can keep you feeling full, maintain the body's cholesterol levels, and provide essential vitamins. All the creamy goodness of mayonnaise combines with a kick of mustard and bold, herbal dill notes to make the dressing that brings this flavorful lunch salad together. Enjoy it as a side to your favorite protein or serve over mixed greens with a fried egg.

Recipe: Creamy Dill Potato Salad

68. Tri-Tip Steak Tacos

If you're looking for a leaner cut of beef that's still full of flavor, go for these tri-tip tacos. SFGATE explains that lean cuts of meat have less fat and cholesterol than others, but the tri-tip has just enough marbling to lend that rich, buttery taste that makes us crave beef. These protein-packed lunch tacos strike a perfect balance by combining savory roasted tri-tip cut with sweet and tangy pineapple-lime guacamole. Sub corn tortillas for flour if you want to reduce carbs and garnish with pungent cilantro leaves.

Recipe: Tri-Tip Steak Tacos

69. Kabocha Squash Curry

Food Roots describes kabocha squash as a heart-healthy gourd that can give your immune system a boost, battle inflammation, and fight off chronic diseases. Combining the vitamin- and fiber-filled squash with the bold flavors of coconut milk curry and a bounty of antioxidant-rich vegetables and greens creates a lunch dish as nourishing as it is flavorful. This bowl full of veggie goodness can satiate a hardy appetite without weighing you down for the rest of your day.

Recipe: Kabocha Squash Curry

70. Vegan Roasted Tomato Soup

When you're craving the comfort of tomato soup at lunchtime but prefer a healthier dish that doubles as a vegan delight, this roasted tomato soup provides all the plant-based flavors you want with less fat. Your body and taste buds won't miss the heavy cream when you dive into this classic soup made creamy and rich with coconut milk. The unique addition of brown rice brings texture and substance to this soup, turning it into an even more satisfying meal. The flavors build as they mingle, so feel free to make ahead and enjoy for days.

Recipe: Vegan Roasted Tomato Soup

71. Simple Shepherd's Pie

Quiet a grumbling lunchtime tummy in a hurry with a serving of this satisfying shepherd's pie. One easy dish rounds up protein-rich ground beef, a hefty amount of flavorful veggies, and creamy mashed potatoes to provide a nutrient-rich meal that pleases even the pickiest eaters. The fresh flavors of carrots, peas, and corn are consummate crowd-pleasers that complement savory beef seasoned with rosemary and thyme. This humble pie helps you get your carb fix with potatoes made lighter by mashing with milk instead of heavy cream. Serve with a side salad for a nourishing and filling meal.

Recipe: Simple Shepherd's Pie

72. Best Lamb Burger

Coriander and mint come together to season minced lamb in this elevated take on the basic burger. Not only does lamb make for a protein-rich patty with a unique flavor profile, it also provides vitamins, minerals, and all nine essential amino acids that go a long way for muscle repair and maintenance (per Healthline). This burger full of benefits also boasts complementary flavors from a zesty lemon-mayo spread done up with the bold flavors of dill and garlic. Serve with a side salad or sweet potato fries and leave beef burgers behind with this new lunch favorite.

Recipe: Best Lamb Burger

73. Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap

All the taste and texture of a classic BLT are improved upon by adding tender shredded chicken complemented by the signature spice blend of ranch dressing, all rolled in a tortilla that has fewer carbs than bread but more room to stuff in all the sandwich goodies you want. This recipe doesn't call for tomatoes, but they can certainly be added in along with jalapeños or hot sauce to suit your taste. Complete this dish with a side serving of fresh fruit, and enjoy all the crunchy, creamy, salty, fresh flavors you crave in a quick and easy lunch roll-up.

Recipe: Chicken Bacon Lunch Wrap

74. Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad

This flavor-packed dish centered around fresh mozzarella cheese is a highly customizable lunch meal that's ready in about 10 minutes. If cheese salad sounds like an oxymoron, you'll be happy to know that Healthline calls mozzarella a healthier cheese that is high in calcium and protein but lower in sodium than some of its creamy counterparts. It's also a great source of probiotics, improving gut health while also satisfying hunger throughout the day. Mozzarella's mild flavor soaks up the fresh flavors of sweet cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and tangy balsamic vinegar, but you don't have to stop there and can add in more greens or other favorite ingredients to taste.

Recipe: Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad

75. Kanda Poha

This traditional Indian breakfast dish can really be served anytime and makes for a quick and easy lunch meal that boasts bold seasonings and benefits. Tarla Dalal describes poha as parboiled flattened rice that easily takes on the flavors of accompanying ingredients. Parboiling the rice partially ferments the grain, making it a good source of probiotics that's also gluten-free and high in iron. The high carbohydrate count of poha is nicely balanced by the addition of toasted peanuts that are packed with flavor and protein. Spices like cumin seeds, turmeric, mustard, and coriander lend their warm, intense flavor profiles to this fluffy rice dish finished with a refreshing squeeze of lemon that might become your new lunch staple.

Recipe: Kanda Poha