26 Lunches Under 400 Calories That Are Perfect for Meal Prep
These healthy, filling lunch recipes are perfect for meal prep. From veggie-packed grain bowls to creamy pasta salads, these low-calorie, meal-prep ideas will save you time and energy at lunchtime. Recipes like Tuna & White Bean Salad and Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Taco Bowls are colorful, tasty and clock in at 400 calories or less per serving.
Chopped Cobb Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing
In place of bacon, this satisfying salad uses store-bought crispy chickpeas for lower saturated fat and less prep time. Using fresh herbs, bright citrus and a creamy base of yogurt and mayonnaise for the dressing gives it a flavorful finish.
Chicken Fajita Bowls
These satisfying bowls are chock full of protein and fiber, thanks to chicken breast, black beans, sweet potatoes and bulgur--a versatile grain that has about 15 g fewer carbs (and more than twice the fiber) per cup than brown rice.
Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Dressing
This hearty vegan salad is loaded with plant-based power ingredients: chickpeas, quinoa and hummus. We love the crunch of the sunflower seeds and the unexpected flavor of roasted peppers.
Hollowed-out baguettes hold a satisfying combo of tart apples, creamy Brie and protein-rich, shredded turkey.
Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Taco Bowls
A bold, smoky marinade elevates roasted cauliflower in this meal-prep version of our popular Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Tacos (see Associated Recipes). To cut down on prep time, look for precut cauliflower in the produce department. You can also save time by using microwaveable quinoa pouches (you'll need one 8-ounce pouch for this recipe) instead of cooking quinoa.
Greek Kale Salad with Quinoa & Chicken
Toss the cooked chicken into this healthy 5-ingredient salad recipe while it's still warm to lightly wilt the kale, making it softer and easier to eat. Using store-bought salad dressing saves time, but you could also make your own Mediterranean vinaigrette.
Rainbow Grain Bowl with Cashew Tahini Sauce
This vibrant bowl is packed with nutrients to keep you full for hours. Look for precooked lentils in the refrigerated section of the produce department.
Tuna & White Bean Salad
The time-honored Italian pairing of canned tuna and cannellini beans makes a super-simple, satisfying lunch. Serve over salad greens, on grilled whole-wheat country bread or tucked in a whole-wheat pita pocket.
Greek Tortellini Salad
Fresh cheese tortellini and classic Greek salad ingredients like tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion come together for a fast side dish that's perfect for potlucks, picnics and other casual gatherings.
This beautiful strawberry and beet summer salad is perfect for a picnic or lunch on-the-go--just pack the dressing on the side!
Vegan Bistro Lunch Box
Perfect to pack for lunch to take to work or for a picnic in the park, this vegan bistro box is filled with Mediterranean diet-inspired crunchy vegetables, pita bread, creamy hummus and olives.
Shrimp, Avocado & Feta Wrap
This easy wrap makes a great healthy lunch to pack for work. Buy cooked shrimp in the seafood department at most supermarkets and grocery stores, or check the freezer section for tailed and deveined shrimp that are easy to thaw and steam. Salty feta and chopped fresh vegetables keep this easy lunchtime wrap flavorful and satisfying.
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.
Spinach & Feta Turkey Meatballs with Herbed Quinoa
With a variety of flavors and textures (and a whopping 30 grams of protein!), these meal-prep bowls will keep you fueled all afternoon. The spinach and feta turkey meatballs are adapted from Turkey Burgers with Spinach, Feta & Tzatziki by Hilary Meyer. Look for premade tzatziki near the specialty cheeses and dips at your grocery store or make your own.
Avocado Ranch Chicken Salad
Avocado makes an exceptionally creamy and healthful dressing for this chicken salad. A bit of ranch dressing with pickled jalapeño adds a tangy spin to the lunchtime classic. Serve it on a slice of whole-wheat toast for an open-face sandwich or in a lettuce cup for a low-carb lunch.
Pesto Pasta Salad
A creamy pesto sauce turns this simple pasta salad into a delightful dinner. Adding broccoli to the pasta cooking water just before the pasta is done is a convenient way to briefly cook it so that it turns a vivid shade of green and softens slightly.
This open-faced version of a grilled cheese sandwich is broiled and topped with spinach, cucumber, and red onion.
Clean-Eating Bento Box Lunch
Who says bento boxes are just for kids? This healthy bento-style lunch--loaded with clean, satisfying foods--is perfect to pack for work.
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.
Vegan Superfood Grain Bowls
This nutrient-packed grain bowl recipe comes together in 15 minutes with the help of a few convenience-food shortcuts like prewashed baby kale, microwavable quinoa and precooked beets. Pack these ahead to keep on hand for easy meal-prep lunches or dinners on busy nights.
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
This scrumptious and healthy salad combines elements of Caesar salad, pasta salad and chicken salad for an easy weeknight dinner that comes together in less than 30 minutes (and most of the prep can be done ahead). Use your blender to whip together the tangy buttermilk-based dressing, which would also be great on a salmon or chickpea salad.
Spinach & Strawberry Meal-Prep Salad
One of our most popular salad recipes, Spinach-Strawberry Salad with Feta & Walnuts (see Associated Recipes), gets a makeover in these simple yet totally satisfying meal-prep spinach salad bowls. They require minimal prep and can be customized to your taste. Swap in roasted salmon for the chicken thighs, and almonds or pecans for the walnuts, and use any fresh berry that looks good at your market.
Crispy Chickpea Grain Bowl with Lemon Vinaigrette
Our favorite part of these vegetarian grain bowls is the tangy lemon vinaigrette, which ties together a satisfying combo of quinoa, toasted pumpkin seeds, and roasted chickpeas and kale. Whip them up for easy meal-prep lunches or a healthy and satisfying dinner.
Meal-Prep Turkey Cobb Salad
Cubed deli turkey takes the place of chicken, while Cheddar replaces blue cheese in this easy Cobb-inspired salad. The protein-rich turkey and cheese, plus eggs and bacon, gives the salad staying power, so you won't get hungry an hour after you eat. Feel free to swap out the turkey for cooked chicken or chickpeas to mix things up. Serve the salad right away or pack it up in individual containers and you'll be set for lunch for days.
Make-Ahead Spinach & Black Bean Burritos
These egg, bean and cheese burritos are designed to be made ahead and frozen. They are perfect for busy days and make a satisfying breakfast or lunch.
Spinach & Dill Pasta Salad
Edamame gives this veggie-packed vegan pasta salad a bit of feel-full protein. Serve topped with extra freshly ground pepper, if desired.