10 Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas You’ll Want to Steal

10 Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas

Lunch is the most challenging meal prep for most people. We can easily prepare overnight oats or bake muffins for breakfast the next day. Cook once, eat twice recipes help cut time in the kitchen on busy weeknights when all you have time for is reheating dinner. But lunch? What’s that? Meetings and deadlines are often hurdles to a midday sit-down meal, so we grab lunch to-go instead. The key to brown bagging it is using simple ingredients with little lift to make the habit stick. These tasty soups, sandwiches and salads are crazy-easy to make, and they’re full of flavor so you’ll look forward to enjoying them. From pesto noodles to buffalo tempeh wraps, these desk side eats are creative, delicious and pretty darn quick to make.

RELATED: 8 Quick and Easy Egg Sandwich Recipes

10 Healthy Lunches That Make Meal Prep a Breeze

Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas: Kale Walnut Pesto Pasta with Blistered Tomatoes Recipe

1. Kale Walnut Pesto Pasta with Blistered Tomatoes

Pasta is possible for lunch when you’ve got 20 minutes at home! To prepare the mouthwatering kale walnut pesto, simply combine some kale leaves, fresh basil, walnuts, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic and olive oil in a food processor. Roasted grape tomatoes lend a sweet, smoky flavor to the savory pasta. Photo and recipe: Natalie Gruendl / Tastes Lovely

Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas: Asian Noodle Bowl with Ginger Peanut Dressing Recipe

2. Asian Noodle Bowl with Ginger Peanut Dressing

This recipe is so quick you don’t even have to cook the sauce. The peanut dressing has an umami of flavors ranging from salty soy sauce to sweet peanut butter and tangy ginger. Rice noodles bring boldness to the green onions, carrots and tofu. Photo and recipe: Dana Shultz / Minimalist Baker

Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas: Cucumber Avocado Sandwiches Recipe

3. Cucumber Avocado Sandwich

Swap your cucumber and cream cheese sammy for these avocado and goat cheese stacks. Garlic powder, smoked paprika, basil and oregano heighten the smooth buttery flavor of goat cheese. Plus, a log of chèvre is half the fat of a tub of whole milk cream cheese. Photo and recipe: Krista Rollins / Joyful Healthy Eats

RELATED: 15 Healthy Lettuce Wraps for Low-Carb Lunches

Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas: Vegetarian Spring Rolls Recipe

4. Vegetarian Spring Rolls

Delivery has nothing on these colorful, veggie-packed spring rolls. These vegetarian spring rolls are a savior if you’re running from one meeting to the next. Crunchy carrots, cucumber, sprouts and lettuce cozy up nicely in the uber-thin rice paper. Sprinkling crushed nori sheets and sesame seeds add more fiber and flavor. Need something to perk you up from the afternoon lull? The wasabi-garlic soy sauce does the trick. Photo and recipe: Kristen Shoemaker / This Vegan Girl

Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas: One Pot Tomato Lentil Pasta Recipe

5. One Pot Tomato Lentil Pasta

You’ll love the lentil noodles for their fiber and protein minus the bloat you get from regular carb-heavy pasta. This recipe not only saves you time cooking but dishwashing, too. Just add all the ingredients — lentil pasta, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, onion, garlic and fresh basil — in one pot, add a dash of oregano, salt and pepper, and stir. Photo and recipe: Tedi Sarah / Tedi Sarah

Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas: Vegan Buffalo Tempeh Wraps

6. Vegan Buffalo Tempeh Wrap

A cashew-based ranch and buffaloed tempeh keep the recipe vegan. Adding some nutritional yeast to the ranch sauce boosts the health benefits of this dish. Store the ingredients separately and assemble the wrap before eating to keep everything as fresh as possible. Photo and recipe: Andrew Olson / One Ingredient Chef

RELATED: 10 Quinoa Bowl Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas: Chicken Quinoa Bowl Recipe

7. Chicken Quinoa Bowl

Add this to the list of delicious ways to serve up a grain bowl. Quinoa, mandarin oranges and spinach aren’t an obvious combo, but the honey-lime vinaigrette ties them together beautifully. Opt for store-bought rotisserie chicken to save even more time. Photo and recipe: Kathryn / Family Food on the Table

Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas: Zoodle Pad Thai Recipe

8. Pad Thai Zoodle Salad

We have a thing for vegetable noodles (dubbed ‘zoodles’), and this pad thai bowl shows you can make any dish with the help of a spiralizer. Not only will you be clocking in a significantly lower carb count, but you’ll get a power punch of protein to help you through your day from the peanuts, tofu and eggs. Photo and recipe: Olena Osipov / iFood Real

RELATED: 9 Next-Level Lunch Boxes That Make Meal Prep Easy

Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas: Chocolate Cayenne Chili Recipe

9. Cayenne Chocolate Chili

Chocolate lovers will appreciate the robust Southwestern flair of this chili dish. You’ll feel like you’re having a bowl of Mexican hot cocoa for lunch. This recipe calls for using a bit of dark chocolate bark with cayenne pepper to prepare the spicy broth. Its earthy and subtle sweetness enhances the chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika. Photo and recipe: Vicky Cohen and Ruth Fox / May I Have That Recipe

Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas: Chickpea Caesar Collar Wraps Recipe

10. Chickpea Caesar Collard Wrap

Vegetarian Caesar dressing is a major game changer. This version subs in capers for anchovies to provide the same salty flavor. Greek yogurt ups the protein content and cuts the fat, but freshly grated Parmesan is still in the mix to bring that deliciously cheesy goodness. Collard greens offer a healthy alternative to a typical tortilla wrap and are an excellent source of vitamin K, which is great for bone health. Photo and recipe: Sarah Rae Vargas / Girl Adulting