Healthy Budget Lunch Recipes

Find healthy, delicious, budget lunch recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

Rating: 4.52 stars
85
Make a double batch of this quick vegetarian chili, full of black beans and sweet potatoes, and eat it for lunch the next day or freeze the extras for another night. We love the smoky heat from the ground chipotle, but omit it if you prefer a mild chili. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread and coleslaw.

Carrot Soup

Rating: 4.72 stars
29
This easy carrot soup recipe is a great way to use up a bag of carrots that were forgotten in your produce drawer. The carrots cook together with aromatics like onions, garlic and fresh herbs before being puréed into a silky smooth soup that's delicious for dinner or packed up for lunch.

Slow-Cooker Vegetable Soup

Rating: 4 stars
15
Make a big batch of low-calorie veggie-packed soup with ease in this load-and-go crock pot recipe. After simmering away in the slow cooker, portion it into individual serving containers and store in the fridge or freezer for fast, healthy lunches or an easy, satisfying snack. This weight-loss vegetable soup fills you up without a lot of calories, plus it's an easy way to eat more vegetables.

Middle Eastern Chicken & Chickpea Stew

Rating: 4.08 stars
26
This quick, protein-rich chicken stew recipe gets great flavor from cumin, lemon juice and garlic. Make a double batch and freeze it for a quick healthy dinner. Serve the stew with couscous and steamed broccoli.

Four-Bean & Pumpkin Chili

Rating: 5 stars
7
This healthy vegetarian chili has a fragrant touch of cinnamon for added flavor. Let diners top it with whatever suits their taste.

Vegetable Weight-Loss Soup

Rating: 4.46 stars
28
A big bowl of this veggie-packed minestrone will leave you satisfied for hours without consuming a lot of calories--plus it's an easy way to boost your vegetable servings for the day. Top with a dollop of pesto before devouring this delicious skinny vegetable soup.

Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing

Rating: 4.43 stars
17
Hearty yet simple to prepare, this stuffed sweet potato with black beans, kale and hummus dressing is a fantastic 5-ingredient lunch for one!

Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

Rating: 4.9 stars
33
This chipotle-flavored burrito bowl recipe is even better than takeout and just as fast. Loading it with vegetables and using quinoa in place of rice adds nutrition for a healthy dinner.

Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

Rating: 4.64 stars
11
Quinoa and chickpeas pack this vegetarian grain bowl with plenty of plant-based protein. Whip up a batch of these Mediterranean meals and pack in containers with lids to stash in the fridge for easy, healthy grab & go lunches all week long.

Southwestern Vegetable & Chicken Soup

Rating: 4.5 stars
14
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.

Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo Salad

Rating: 4.29 stars
7
Baked chicken breasts cook in the oven while you mix together a Mediterranean salad--packed with veggies, whole-wheat orzo and an easy homemade Greek vinaigrette--for a weekend-worthy dinner on the table in under an hour. The leftovers from this healthy 400-calorie meal make a delicious packable lunch for the next day.

Green Goddess Salad with Chickpeas

Rating: 5 stars
2
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.
Advertisement

Inspiration and Ideas

59 Cheap Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work
A healthy lunch doesn't have to be expensive. Stick to your budget by making your lunch at home and packing it for work.
Kielbasa & Cabbage Soup
Rating: Unrated
9
This Eastern European soup (called kapusniak in Polish) is traditionally made with sauerkraut. To keep the sodium in check in this healthy recipe, we use fresh cabbage and save the sauerkraut for a deliciously salty-sour garnish.

Pea Soup

Rating: 4.82 stars
13

A simple pea soup makes an elegant start to a spring meal. It's also a great way to use frozen vegetables when the produce section is looking bleak.