Quick Light Lunches
Tuscan-Style Tuna Salad
This streamlined version of a northern Italian idea is perfect for a summer evening: no-fuss, no-cook and big taste. You can even make it ahead and store it, covered, in the refrigerator for several days. If you do, use it as a wrap filling for the next day's lunch.
Here's a salad version of America's favorite sandwich. We use shredded tomato as a base for the creamy tomato-and-chive dressing--adding great tang and flavor along with extra vitamin C.
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.
Chicken & White Bean Salad
Zucchini and celery give this chicken-and-bean salad a nice crunch. We like serving it over a bed of slightly bitter escarole and radicchio, but any type of salad greens will work. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Pizza Roll-Up Bento Lunch
This easy pizza-inspired roll-up is a kid-pleaser. Make crunchy vegetables more appealing by selecting colorful varieties like orange and purple cauliflower--and don't forget the dip! Keep 'em smiling with watermelon cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters.
Shrimp Cobb Salad
Cooked peeled shrimp is perfect for quick and healthy meals--here we use it in place of chicken in our simplified Cobb Salad.
BBQ Chicken Sandwich
Toss leftover cooked chicken with barbecue sauce and crunchy carrots for a quick and healthy lunch.
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.
Smoked Trout Salad
The fast of Yom Kippur is often broken with smoked fish as in this trout salad. This easy dinner, which can be made ahead, is great for any night, holiday or not. Serve it on a bed of greens to dress it up and add a whole-grain bagel to make it a substantial meal.
Italian Vegetable Hoagies
This delightfully easy, and somewhat messy, sandwich packs a punch with sweet balsamic vinegar, artichoke hearts, red onion, provolone cheese and zesty pepperoncini. We love it for dinner as well as lunch. If you're packing the hoagies to take along, keep the ingredients separate and assemble right before eating to avoid soggy bread. Serve with tomato and cucumber salad.
Loaded Spinach Salad
Like many spinach salads, this one features lots of chopped-up hard-boiled egg. But since most of the calories in an egg are in the yolk, this recipe uses just two whole eggs, plus the whites from six additional eggs, for a satisfying spinach salad that keeps the calories in check.
Indian-Spiced Chicken Pitas
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. Serve with: Grilled vegetables and a pilsner.
Chinese Chicken & Noodle Salad
This delicious Chinese-inspired salad is crisp, crunchy and cool with shredded cabbage, carrots and chicken breast tossed with toasted ramen noodles and slivered almonds. The dressing is an addictive orange, sesame, ginger and soy combination--you may want to double the dressing and save some for a salad the next day.
A Mexican-style torta is just like a burrito, except the “wrapper” is a hollowed-out roll instead of a tortilla. Here it's filled with mashed spiced black beans and a quick guacamole. Take this vegetarian version to another level (and add calcium) by melting Monterey Jack cheese onto the bean side of the sandwich. Serve with: Grilled corn on the cob or Spanish rice.
Chicken & Fruit Salad
Chicken, melon, walnuts and feta top mixed salad greens for a refreshing summer salad. Use your favorite summer fruit in place of the melon if you wish.
Get out of your tuna salad rut and try salmon salad for a change. This version is spiked with olives, lemon, onion and capers.
Broccoli, Cannellini Bean & Cheddar Soup
White beans pureed into this broccoli soup make it extra creamy so you don't need heaps of cheese to do the job. Serve with a crunchy whole-grain roll and a glass of winter ale.
Elise's Sesame Noodles
Whole-wheat pasta bolsters fiber and nutrients in this popular Asian noodle salad. The recipe is from Annelise Stuart of Germantown, New York.
A super-quick blend of reduced-fat sour cream and salsa serves double duty as salad dressing and seasoning for the meat in our updated version of Tex-Mex taco salad. Depending on the type of salsa you use, the salad will vary in heat. We keep this version light with lean turkey, but lean ground beef (about 95%-lean) would also keep the nutrition marks reasonable. Just hold the deep-fried tortilla bowl and instead serve this salad with baked tortilla chips and wedges of fresh lime.
Curried Tofu Salad
This vegetarian nod to the classic curried chicken salad is perfect for spreading on toasted whole-wheat bread or scooping onto a pile of crispy salad greens for lunch.
No-Bake Macaroni & Cheese
Not only is this ultra-creamy version of mac-and-cheese nearly as fast as the boxed variety, but your family will be able to pronounce every ingredient. If they aren't broccoli fans, substitute a frozen vegetable of your choice.
Chopped Greek Salad with Chicken
Chicken turns this Greek-inspired salad into a substantial main course. Feel free to substitute other chopped fresh vegetables, such as broccoli or bell peppers, for the tomatoes or cucumber. Use leftover chicken, store-roasted chicken or quickly poach a couple boneless, skinless chicken breasts while you prepare the rest of the salad. Serve with pita bread and hummus.
Smoked Salmon Salad Nicoise
This twist on a classic salade Niçoise uses smoked salmon in place of tuna and adds extra vegetables in place of hard-boiled eggs and olives. Lovely served as an untraditional brunch, special weekend lunch or light supper.
Southwestern Corn & Black Bean Salad
Here's a great make-ahead dinner--and leftovers are welcome for lunch the next day. If you make it ahead, don't add the salt and pepper until just before serving. That way, the salt won't render the vegetables soggy and the pepper won't lose its bite. Make It a Meal: Scoop up this salad with warm corn tortillas.
Curried Squash & Chicken Soup
Red Thai curry paste adds heat and depth of flavor to this simple soup. If you like, omit the chicken and spinach to make an even simpler first-course soup.
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.
Couscous & Fruit Salad
Try this fruit-and-nut-studded couscous salad alongside grilled salmon or chicken for supper or on its own for a fresh lunchbox treat.
Try this easy egg salad on your favorite multigrain bread or on top of lightly dressed salad greens.
Southwestern Salad with Black Beans
Here we top salad greens with black beans, sweet corn and grape tomatoes and bring it all together with a tangy avocado-lime dressing for a Mexican-inspired salad. Try this salad for a take-along lunch. To keep the salad greens from getting soggy, pack the greens, salad toppings and dressing in separate containers and toss them together just before eating.
BLATs (Bacon-Lettuce-Avocado-Tomato Sandwiches)
In this healthy BLT recipe, we use a creamy avocado spread flavored with garlic and basil, and add sprouts. Look for sprouted-wheat bread in the frozen section or with other specialty breads at your grocery store.
Nicoise Egg Salad
Green beans, tuna and olives make this Niçoise-style egg salad recipe substantial. Serve it over salad greens.
Open-Face Turkey Reubens
In this healthier take on the Reuben--a Jewish deli staple--we save 400 mg of sodium by swapping in low-sodium turkey for beef and using low-sodium cheese. A quick slaw made with a lighter, homemade Russian dressing adds plenty of tang and crunch.
Creamy Pesto Chicken Salad with Greens
For a healthy variation on creamy chicken salad, we've replaced half the mayonnaise with basil pesto. Serve over greens or make it into a sandwich for a healthy lunch.
Mozzarella, Basil & Zucchini Frittata
This vegetable-studded frittata recipe is one of the quickest meals you can make. Make it for breakfast, or serve for lunch or dinner with a tossed salad and a slice of olive oil-drizzled crusty baguette.
Tuna Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes with Arugula
The tuna in this great-looking stuffed tomato recipe isn't your typical mayo-based affair. The sherry vinaigrette does double duty: it adds fresh flavor to the tuna filling and also dresses the baby arugula and white bean salad.
Chopped Ham & Apple Salad with Creamy Parmesan Dressing
This healthy main-course chopped salad recipe pairs bitter escarole and radicchio with sweet apple, smoky ham and crunchy pecans. But the pairing possibilities are limitless--you can also use cooked chicken and tangerines instead of ham and apples or bell pepper in place of the radishes. Serve with pumpernickel bread toasted with extra-sharp Cheddar cheese.
Green Goddess Salad with Chicken
In this cucumber, tomato, Swiss and chicken salad recipe, a healthy green goddess dressing is made from avocado, buttermilk and herbs. Any extra dressing is delicious served over grilled chicken or flaky white fish, such as cod or flounder.
Avocado, Tomato & Chicken Sandwich
In this healthy chicken sandwich recipe, the avocado is mashed to create a healthy creamy spread.
Broccoli & Feta Pasta Salad
This vegetarian pasta salad recipe is perfect for your next potluck or as an easy side dish. The broccoli keeps it nice and crunchy and the chickpeas add protein. For the best flavor, combine the pasta salad with the dressing about 1 hour before serving.
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.
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.
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.
White Bean Spread with Veggie Slaw
Turn canned beans into a quick and healthy lunch with this easy gluten-free recipe. Use your favorite salad dressing, such as an Italian or French vinaigrette, as a convenient way to add flavor to the mashed beans. Top the gluten-free crackers and bean spread with any combination of shredded raw vegetables you have on hand.