Lunches for 400 Calories or Less

Watch: 3 Healthier Lunchbox Ingredients

What does a 400-calorie lunch look like?

Most people will lose weight on a daily diet of 1,500 calories, which is the total calorie count for all the food pictured here. And keeping your lunch to 400 calories, or less, will help you keep your diet on track. These light lunch menus deliver some protein and fiber to keep you feeling satisfied, yet leave room for a healthy mid-afternoon snack. Download a Free Low-Calorie Lunch Cookbook!


3 Healthier Lunchbox Ingredients

Pictured Recipe: Garden Pasta Salad

Garden Pasta Salad

205 calories
This lightly dressed pasta salad gets lots of flavor from kalamata olives and basil. A colorful mix of diced bell pepper, shredded carrot and tomatoes adds vitamins and minerals.

Serve with:
• Chicken breast, 3 oz.
140 calories

TOTAL: 345 calories


Thai-Style Melon & Beef Salad

150 calories
We give this Thai-style beef salad a sweet twist by adding thin matchsticks of melon to the mix.

Serve with:
• Whole-grain baguette, 2 inches
131 calories
• Apple, medium
95 calories

TOTAL: 376 calories


3 Healthier Lunchbox Ingredients

Pictured Recipe: Indian-Spiced Chicken Pitas

Indian-Spiced Chicken Pitas

333 calories
Make a perfect summer supper: grill spice-rubbed chicken breasts and tuck them into whole-wheat pitas along with fresh vegetables and a tangy yogurt sauce.

TOTAL: 333 calories


3 Healthier Lunchbox Ingredients

Pictured Recipe: Italian Vegetable Hoagies

Italian Vegetable Hoagies

264 calories
This delightfully easy, and somewhat messy, sandwich packs a punch with sweet balsamic vinegar, artichoke hearts, red onion, provolone cheese and zesty pepperoncini.

Serve with:
• Orange, medium
62 calories

TOTAL: 326 calories


3 Healthier Lunchbox Ingredients

Pictured Recipe: Turkey & Squash Soup

Turkey & Squash Soup

238 calories
This Southwestern-inspired turkey-and-squash soup gets a little kick from crushed red pepper and some zing from fresh lime juice.

Serve with:
• Whole-grain baguette
131 calories

TOTAL: 369 calories


3 Healthier Lunchbox Ingredients

Pictured Recipe: Dolmas Wrap

Dolmas Wrap

384 calories
This satisfying Middle Eastern wrap is full of dolmas and fresh vegetables. It makes a great take-along lunch if you pack the components separately.

TOTAL: 384 calories


3 Healthier Lunchbox Ingredients

Pictured Recipe: Curried Chicken Pitas

Curried Chicken Pitas

323 calories
Cranberries and pear are sweet counterpoints in this tangy curried chicken salad. Toasted sliced almonds add a nutty crunch.

Serve with:
• Kiwi, medium
46 calories

TOTAL: 369 calories


3 Healthier Lunchbox Ingredients

Pictured Recipe: Broccoli-Cheese Pie

Broccoli-Cheese Pie

209 calories
If you want to give this a fancy name, call it a crustless quiche. For a vegetarian version, simply omit the Canadian bacon.

Serve with:
• Cantaloupe, cubed, 1 cup
54 calories
• 2 cups lettuce
16 calories
• 2 Tbsp. honey-mustard dressing
102 calories

TOTAL: 365 calories


3 Healthier Lunchbox Ingredients

Pictured Recipe: Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque

Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque

291 calories
This satisfying vegetarian, sweet potato soup is inspired by the flavors of West African peanut soup. We like the added zip of hot green chiles, but they can sometimes be very spicy. It’s best to take a small bite first and add them to taste.

Serve with:
• Apple, medium
95 calories

TOTAL: 386 calories


3 Healthier Lunchbox Ingredients

Pictured Recipe: Turkey Pastrami Sandwich

Turkey Pastrami Sandwich

184 calories
If you’re taking this sandwich to go, line one piece of bread with the pastrami and the other with Swiss cheese and tuck the sauerkraut and apple in the middle to keep the bread from becoming soggy.

Serve with:
• Plums, 2 medium
60 calories
• Baked potato chips, 1 oz.
120 calories
• Pickle
5 calories

TOTAL: 369 calories


Vegetarian Reubens with Russian Dressing

380 calories
This exceptional sandwich originated at Penny Cluse Cafe in Burlington, Vermont. The spinach, mushroom and onion filling is so satisfying, you won't even miss the corned beef.

TOTAL: 380 calories


Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad

326 calories
Packed with protein and fiber, this tuna and bean salad is ready in a flash. For an extra kick, add a pinch of crushed red pepper or cayenne.

TOTAL: 326 calories


More 400-Calorie Lunch Ideas

More 400-Calorie Lunch Ideas

• One slice whole-wheat bread, toasted with 1/2 oz. Cheddar and 2 slices tomatoes + 1 1/2 cups black bean soup = 362 calories

• Tuna Sandwich (2 slices mutigrain bread, 1/2 cup tuna salad made with 2 tsp. low-fat mayonnaise; lettuce, tomato) + 1 peach = 327 calories

• Grilled Chicken Sandwich (whole-wheat roll + 3 oz. grilled chicken breast + 1oz. reduced-fat Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, 2 tsp. low-fat mayonnaise) + 1/2 cup diced watermelon = 373 calories

• Bean Burrito (8-inch whole-wheat tortilla, 1/4 cup nonfat refried beans, 1/4 cup salsa, 2 oz. low-fat Cheddar cheese) + small salad (1 cup lettuce, 1/2 cup veggies, 2 Tbsp. reduced-fat Ranch dressing) = 393 calories

• Grilled Salmon Caesar Wrap (8-inch whole-wheat tortilla + 3 oz. grilled salmon, 3/4 cup shredded romaine, 2 tsp. low-calorie Caesar dressing) + 1/2 cup grapes = 393 calories

• Greek Salad with chicken (2 cups greens + 1/3 cup each diced bell peppers, tomatoes and onions + 1/4 cup feta + 3 oz. cooked chicken breast, 4 kalamata olives + 2 Tbsp. low-calorie vinagrette) = 400 calories

Related Links: