Healthy MyPlate-Inspired Lunch Recipes
This wrap is stuffed with chicken tenders and couscous with a hit of lemon and a healthy dose of fresh herbs. Save any leftovers to wrap up for an easy lunch. Serve with: Mixed green salad and a glass of crisp white wine.
Grilled Thai Chicken Sandwich
Juicy grilled chicken, onions and peppers combine with a Thai-inspired sauce in this chicken sandwich recipe. We love how the flatbreads made from whole-wheat dough sop up the extra sauce. If you have one large (12-ounce) chicken breast instead of two smaller (6-ounce) ones, cut it in half horizontally before grilling so the chicken cooks in the time specified in this recipe.
Grilled Eggplant & Portobello Sandwich
Looking for a vegetarian option for your next cookout? This grilled eggplant and portobello sandwich is our answer. For extra flavor, we top it with slices of garden-fresh tomato and spicy arugula. Serve with a mixed green salad.
Sweet Southern Egg Salad
Crunchy celery, gherkin pickles and sweet onion flavor this Southern-style egg salad recipe. Serve on pumpernickel toast or a bed of lettuce.
Creamy Avocado & White Bean Wrap
White beans mashed with ripe avocado and blended with sharp Cheddar and onion makes an incredibly rich, flavorful filling for this wrap. The tangy, spicy slaw adds crunch. A pinch (or more) of ground chipotle pepper and an extra dash of cider vinegar can be used in place of the canned chipotles in adobo sauce. Wrap these up to take as a healthy and portable lunch for work.
Apple & Fennel Salad with Blue Cheese
Apples and blue cheese are a heavenly match in this fennel and apple salad recipe dressed with a tangy cider-vinegar dressing.
Grilled Tuna Sandwich with Lemon-Chili Mayo
Sturdy “country-style” bread works best for this healthy tuna sandwich recipe with watercress and chili-mayo. Eat the tuna sandwich warm, straight off the grill, or wrap it up and pack it in a cooler for a picnic dinner. Serve with grilled bell peppers drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
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.
Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich
Most of the good stuff in a Philly cheese steak, from thin-sliced steak to onions, peppers and mushrooms, is still here but we opt for slightly-less-gooey but more flavorful provolone cheese in place of Cheese Whiz. We adore spicy banana peppers as a topping, but omit them if you can do without the heat.
Smoked Turkey & Farro Salad
This whole-grain farro salad recipe is studded with lean turkey, plenty of crunchy bell pepper, celery, smoked cheese and avocado--a perfect summer salad recipe to serve on a hot summer night. Look for farro--a quick-cooking high-fiber whole grain--in the bulk section or near other grains in natural-foods stores. Or skip Step 1 and add cooked barley as a substitute for the farro in Step 2. Serve with baby spinach salad with toasted almonds and creamy garlic dressing.
Veggie Egg Salad
Crunchy carrot, cucumber and scallions are a colorful addition to this vegetarian egg salad recipe. Pack it with some crunchy crackers and tomatoes for a healthy, light lunch.
Southwestern Vegetable & Chicken Soup
Who wouldn't want to eat their vegetables when they're tucked into a fragrant broth with bits of tasty chicken and spiked with a shot of fresh lime and cilantro? This healthy chicken vegetable soup seems even richer with the smoky flavor from roasted poblano peppers and garlic. Serve this healthy chicken soup recipe with tortilla chips.
Zesty Shrimp & Black Bean Salad
Loaded with fresh tomatoes, peppers and cilantro and seasoned with cumin and chile, this shrimp and black bean salad recipe has all the flavors of a great fresh salsa and is a quick and easy no-cook recipe. Serve with tortilla chips or fresh corn tortillas.
Turkey Pastrami Sandwich
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.
Greek Pasta Salad
This quick, healthy Greek pasta salad recipe is tossed with all the elements of a Greek salad--plus chickpeas for added protein. This pasta salad holds well in the refrigerator or a cooler and tastes even better as the pasta absorbs the tomato-infused vinaigrette. Serve with pita chips.
Peanut Tofu Wrap
Baked tofu tossed with storebought Thai peanut sauce makes a quick and healthy sandwich filling. Finish the sandwich with your favorite crunchy vegetables for added nutrients and fiber.
Broccoli & Tortellini Salad with Arugula Pesto
A quick homemade arugula pesto dresses this simple broccoli and tortellini salad recipe. Serve with fresh sliced tomatoes drizzled with olive oil.
Turkey, Corn & Sun-Dried Tomato Wraps
Fresh corn kernels, tomatoes and lettuce fill these hearty turkey wraps. This wrap is great for picnics or when you need to have dinner on the run. Add some crumbled feta or shredded Cheddar for another layer of flavor. Serve with carrot sticks, sliced bell pepper or other crunchy vegetables plus your favorite creamy dressing.
Bistro Flank Steak Sandwich
Make this bistro-style sandwich, sauce and all, completely on the grill. If you're in a hurry, just grill the steak and garlic and substitute jarred roasted red peppers for the grilled bell peppers. Make it a meal: Serve with oven fries and a glass of lemonade.
This healthier take on a lobster roll uses crab because it's usually easier (and less expensive) to buy. But by all means use lobster if you prefer. Serve with coleslaw and an ice-cold beer.
Buffalo Chicken Wrap
Moms and Dads like wraps because they're neat and compact--so beware: ours is messy and spicy. This fiery combination of buffalo chicken in a modern wrap is guaranteed to drip. Get out the big napkins and have a ball!
Sesame Chicken Cucumber Noodle Salad
This sesame chicken and noodle salad couldn't be simpler to make. And the secret to this saucy sesame chicken and noodle salad is in its beautiful raw veggies--it's got great crunch. It's a simple, healthy, affordable dish to serve on a hot summer's night or to bring to a potluck: just toss the salad with the dressing when you're ready to serve. (Recipe adapted from Simply Ming One-Pot Meals by Ming Tsai and Arthur Boehm; Kyle Books, 2010.)
Feta, Corn & Chicken Salad with Smoky Tomato Dressing
This hearty chicken salad recipe is full of grilled sweet corn, scallions, salty feta, escarole, pine nuts and spicy chicken. Smoked paprika gives the tomato dressing a bacon-like flavor.
Grilled Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich
Our healthier eggplant Parmesan sandwich uses tender, smoky grilled eggplant instead of fried, so it has a fraction of the fat and calories. To make these sandwiches a cinch to prepare, make sure to have all your ingredients ready before you head out to the grill.
Nicoise Egg Salad
Green beans, tuna and olives make this Niçoise-style egg salad recipe substantial. Serve it over salad greens.
Tomato & Provolone Sandwiches
There's something magical about a simple bread-and-tomato sandwich, but this one is even better topped with melted provolone cheese and tarragon-garlic mayo.
Nectarine & Prosciutto Salad
Sweet ripe nectarines pair with peppery arugula and a hit of salty Parmesan and prosciutto in this outstanding side salad.
Composed Salad with Pickled Beets & Smoked Tofu
This composed salad is an artful arrangement of greens, hard-boiled egg, smoked tofu, beets and snap peas drizzled with a cool, creamy dill dressing. It's as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate. We like smoked tofu, but any flavored baked tofu would work well in this recipe. Serve with iced tea.
Crispy Fish Sandwich with Pineapple Slaw
A fish sandwich doesn't have to be deep-fried to be delicious. Try our healthy crispy fish sandwich recipe with a tangy, zesty pineapple slaw. It's worth taking the extra minute to chop pineapple slices instead of using crushed pineapple, which is too small and disappears into the slaw. Store-bought shredded cabbage-carrot mix saves time. Look for it in the produce section.
Chicken Waldorf Salad
Leftover cooked chicken makes this chicken Waldorf salad, loaded with apples, grapes, celery and walnuts, a snap to assemble. If you use rotisserie chicken, keep in mind that it's salty and omit the salt in the dressing. Serve over watercress, with a chunk of whole-grain baguette.
Salmon Salad Sandwich
Salmon salad served on tangy pumpernickel bread makes for an easy dinner--a double batch will give you lunch the next day.