Life by Daily Burn

14 High Protein, Low Carb Recipes to Make Lunch Better

Avoid long lines, high prices and calorie-dense meals with healthy lunch ideas you can easily make ahead of time. These high protein low carb recipes sneak in lots of flavor and nutrients. Plus, with toppings like grilled chicken, beans, eggs and nuts, you get foods that’ll keep you full and energized through the afternoon. Lunch just might become your favorite meal. Dig in!

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14 High Protein Low Carb Recipes You’ll Love to Eat for Lunch

1. BBQ Chicken Salad

You might not be able to hit the grill at lunchtime, but this salad slides in at a close second to fill those barbeque cravings. It takes just 15 minutes to assemble the chicken, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, corn, BBQ sauce and ranch dressing. Each bowl packs 30 grams of protein, 22 grams of carbs and just 241 calories. Photo and recipe: Gina Homolka / Skinny Taste

2. Tuna White Bean Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

This might be the quickest salad you’ll ever make — it requires just five minutes! Stash the two star ingredients (Albacore tuna and white beans) in your pantry for a last-minute lunch on the cheap. Mix with onions, a few spices and vinegar, then toss on a bed of greens. You’ll get 27 grams of protein when you’re finished. Photo and recipe: Noshtastic

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3. Tomato Avocado Burgers

Who needs a regular ol’ bun when you have one as colorful as a tomato? This low-carb and gluten-free meal is loaded with vitamin C, healthy fats and 26 grams of protein. Place a bite-sized grass-fed hamburger patty between a halved tomato, add alfalfa and an avocado spread and you have an extra juicy, extra delicious burger you’ll feel even better about. Photo and recipe: Mike / The Iron You

4. Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Buffalo chicken lovers, enjoy your favorite flavors guilt-free. This is a low-carb, yet hearty dish you can make for dinner and take leftovers to work for days. Spaghetti squash mimics the texture of regular spaghetti without the high carb count. Mix the cooked and shredded squash, chicken, celery, onion, peppers and buffalo sauce. Then place the mix back in the squash shells for a final baking. Each serving packs 36 grams of protein and just 13 grams of carbs. Perk: Use the squash as a bowl for minimal clean-up. Photo and recipe: Jessica & Stacie / The Real Food Dietitians

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5. Pesto & Turkey Cucumber Roll-Ups

This classic lunch option packs a flavorful crunch. Take thinly sliced zucchini and top with pesto, turkey and veggies, then roll it on up. (The pesto should help make everything stick.) Feel free to munch on a few of these wraps to really fill your protein quota, without too many calories or carbs. Photo and recipe: Monique / Ambitious Kitchen

6. Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

Make a big batch of these easy stuffed peppers for packable lunches all week. Together, quinoa and black beans help punch up protein to 22 grams per serving. Lower the carbohydrates significantly by removing the refried beans and swapping diced tomatoes. It’ll give you a boost in antioxidants, too. Photo and recipe: Lindsay / Pinch of Yum 

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7. Chicken Burrito Bowls

You have Chipotle to thank for the inspiration of this lunch recipe. Not all salad bowls are low in carbs and fat, but this one calls for fresh lettuce, homemade salsa and cilantro rice (swap for brown rice to up the filling fiber). To provide more protein (32 grams per serving to be exact), you’ll use black beans and grilled chicken. Top with any healthy extras like cilantro, jalapeno and avocado — or whatever pleases your palate. Photo and recipe: Kelley / Chef Savvy

8. Healthy Turkey Burgers

Whip up these turkey burgers for an extra lean burger option. You’ll mix ground turkey with parsley, rosemary and garlic, then grill and sandwich between a low-carb English muffin (a lighter choice compared to your typical potato bun). Add lettuce, tomato and avocado for healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn  

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9. Citrus Grilled Shrimp and Zucchini Noodles

Citrus, your new best friend for afternoon meal. Fresh orange and lime add a tangy flavor to grilled shrimp, which pairs wells with zucchini noodles (use a spiral veggie slicer to make ‘em). Plus the veggie offers lots of vitamin K. The kicker: Each bowl has 25 grams of protein and just eight grams of carbs. Photo and recipe: Michele / Paleo Running Momma

10. Tuna Nicoise Salad

This nutrient-packed salad looks light, but it’s heavy on flavor and the post-meal full factor. Tuna provides a great lean protein option, and searing it adds a slight grilled flavor you’ll savor. Top greens with the tuna, radishes, basil, tomatoes, green beans, onion and hard-boiled eggs, which bumps the protein to 38 grams per serving. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

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11. Greek Cucumber Noodle Bowl with Meatballs

You’ll be sad, but full when this midday bowl is empty! Mediterranean flavors from cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, onion and feta cheese come together with a mix of creamy Tzatziki dip. Blend in protein-packed turkey meatballs and chickpeas to finish off this dish. Photo and recipe: Rachel / Rachel Cooks

12. Black Bean Burgers

Turn your burgers vegetarian with this yummy black bean and rolled oats recipe. Mix these two ingredients with an egg, lime zest, breadcrumbs, garlic, onion and seasonings for about 29 grams of protein per serving. Turn the better-for-you burgers to low-carb by using a lettuce wrap, eating them naked or placing on top of a salad. If you want to cut carbs and bump protein even further, swap oatmeal for almond flour or ground nuts. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

RELATED: Pulses: The Superfood with Nearly Twice the Protein as Quinoa

13. Steak Quinoa Salad

Don’t let the salad name fool you. This crunchy meal packs 40 grams of protein from both steak and quinoa, plus about every vitamin and mineral under the sun thanks to the mix of bell peppers, spinach and squash. Toss with a refreshing dressing of lemon juice, salt and olive oil, and get from prep to table in just 30 minutes. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

14. Hummus & Chicken Wrap

One of the easiest lunches to throw together: wraps! Hummus and chicken make the perfect protein duo, adding up to 32 grams per serving. Spread hummus on pita bread and layer on grilled chicken and fresh veggies, like lettuce, tomatoes, red onion and feta cheese, too. Make it even more low-carb by swapping the pita for a lettuce wrap. Photo and recipe: Layla Atik / Gimme Delicious

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