21 400-Calorie Lunches You Can Eat at Your Desk
Need a lowkey lunch for your busy work days? These sandwiches, salads, bowls and wraps will do the trick. These delish dishes are perfect for packing up, so you can have a satisfying lunch at your desk and still meet your daily nutritional goals. Recipes like our Veggie & Hummus Sandwich and Meal-Prep Turkey Cobb Salad will give you a tasty, low-calorie midday boost without the mess.
Spinach & Mushroom Quiche
This healthy vegetarian quiche recipe is as simple as it gets. It's a quiche without the fussy crust! It's filled with sweet wild mushrooms and savory Gruyère cheese. Enjoy it for breakfast or brunch, or serve it with a light salad for lunch.
Veggie & Hummus Sandwich
This mile-high vegetable and hummus sandwich makes the perfect heart-healthy vegetarian lunch to go. Mix it up with different flavors of hummus and different types of vegetables depending on your mood.
White Bean & Veggie Salad
This meatless main-dish salad combines creamy, satisfying white beans and avocado. Try mixing it up with different seasonal vegetables.
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.
Green Goddess Salad with Chickpeas
In this cucumber, tomato, Swiss cheese and chickpea salad recipe, a healthy green goddess dressing is made from avocado, buttermilk and herbs. The extra dressing is delicious served with grilled vegetables.
Chickpea, Artichoke & Avocado Salad with Apple-Cider Dressing
This delicious 400-calorie salad is a helpful tool for weight loss because it provides a good balance of fiber, protein and healthy fats from loads of veggies and beans, all tossed in a tangy apple-cider vinaigrette. To meal-prep these for lunch throughout the week, pack the dressing and the salad separately and make sure your veggies are thoroughly dried before packing them together.
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.
Lemon-Roasted Vegetable Hummus Bowls
Brimming with colorful roasted vegetables, these plant-based meal-prep lunch bowls are high in fiber to keep you full through the afternoon. The easy roasted veggies are based on a popular recipe from our sister magazine (see Associated Recipes). Feel free to use your favorite store-bought hummus to cut down on prep time, or make a batch of your own (see Tip). You can also sub in an 8-ounce microwaveable quinoa pouch to minimize cooking.
Avocado, Tomato & Chicken Sandwich
In this healthy chicken sandwich recipe, the avocado is mashed to create a healthy creamy spread.
Whole-Wheat Veggie Wrap
Use whichever veggies you have on hand to fill up this veggie wrap. The avocado and hummus help hold the wrap together--and provide heart-healthy fat and fiber.
Mediterranean Broccoli Pasta Salad
We've loaded this healthy pasta salad with vegetables and flavors of the Mediterranean. Sun-dried tomatoes and a touch of lemon zest jazz up the dressing, while tender-crisp broccoli florets cook alongside the pasta, making assembly (and cleanup!) a breeze.
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.
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.
Chicken Satay Bowls with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Chicken satay moves from classic Thai restaurant appetizer to delicious homemade dinner with this easy meal-prep recipe. A crunchy Asian-inspired slaw serves as the satisfying low-carb base, and the bold, creamy peanut sauce brings a hint of heat to every bite.
Cream Cheese & Veggie Roll-Up
With sliced vegetables, a whole-wheat tortilla and baby spinach, these roll-ups make the perfect healthy lunch for your kids to take to school.
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.
Thai-Style Chopped Salad with Sriracha Tofu
Prep four days' worth of high-protein vegan lunches using just four easy ingredients from your local specialty grocery store, including a veggie-heavy salad mix as a base. Because this salad mix is hearty, you can dress these bowls up to 24 hours before serving to allow the flavors in this healthy chopped salad to marry. If you can't find a hearty mix, go with broccoli slaw or shredded Brussels sprouts.
Spicy Slaw Bowls with Shrimp & Edamame
The quick 10-minute Spicy Cabbage Slaw serves as the low-carb base in this veggie-packed lunch recipe. Topped with high-protein edamame and shrimp, this satisfying lunch will help you power through the afternoon.
Hollowed-out baguettes hold a satisfying combo of tart apples, creamy Brie and protein-rich, shredded turkey.
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.
Open-Face Egg Salad Sandwich
This egg salad recipe is spiked with dill and lemon zest. Crisp pancetta adds texture and flavor. If you don't want to go with the pancetta, try a few capers sprinkled on top instead.