Healthy Budget Lunch Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

Rating: 4.64 stars
10
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.

Broccoli Salad with Bacon

Rating: 5 stars
2
Classic broccoli salad, the perfect dish for a potluck, is updated with cauliflower, bacon and a sprinkle of crunchy sunflower seeds in this so-easy recipe that's sure to be a new picnic favorite.

Carrot Soup

Rating: 4.72 stars
24
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.

Middle Eastern Chicken & Chickpea Stew

Rating: 4.08 stars
21
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.

Avocado Hummus

Rating: 5 stars
5
This vibrant green hummus recipe couldn't be easier--just toss a few ingredients in the food processor and whir away! Aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) and avocado make this healthy dip extra smooth and creamy. Serve with veggie chips, pita chips or crudités.

Slow-Cooker Vegetable Soup

Rating: 4 stars
13
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.

Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

Rating: 4.9 stars
25
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.

Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing

Rating: 4.43 stars
14
Hearty yet simple to prepare, this stuffed sweet potato with black beans, kale and hummus dressing is a fantastic 5-ingredient lunch for one!

General Tso's Chicken

Rating: 3.67 stars
6
In this healthy version of a General Tso's Chicken recipe, we cut the fat and sodium in half from the original version by not frying the chicken and by using half as much soy sauce in this Chinese-takeout favorite. Serve with steamed baby bok choy or sautéed spinach and steamed brown rice.

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.

Mozzarella, Basil & Zucchini Frittata

Rating: 4.75 stars
10
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.

Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes

Rating: 4.8 stars
5
Two of our favorite comfort-food sandwiches join forces in these family-friendly dinner sandwiches. We found that softer buns make this easier to eat, and it's all the better when wrapped takeout-style in a sheet of foil.
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Inspiration and Ideas

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. These easy healthy lunch ideas clock in at $3 or less per serving. With over 50 homemade lunches to inspire you including cold sandwiches, salads and grain bowls and warm soups and burritos, there is something for everyone.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

Rating: Unrated
64
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.

Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo Salad

Rating: 4.29 stars
6

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.