Healthy Budget Lunch Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Vegetable Weight-Loss Soup

Rating: Unrated
21
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.

Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

Rating: Unrated
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.

Middle Eastern Chicken & Chickpea Stew

Rating: Unrated
22
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.

Baked Vegetable Soup

Rating: Unrated
13
Originally prepared in the wood-burning hearths of Italian homes, this peasant-style healthy vegetable soup recipe is simple to make in a modern oven. Brimming with artichokes, mushrooms, zucchini and leeks, this easy soup heats up the house as it becomes the perfect warming meal.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

Rating: Unrated
92
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.

Slow-Cooker Vegetable Soup

Rating: Unrated
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.

Carrot Soup

Rating: Unrated
34
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.

Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

Rating: Unrated
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: Unrated
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!

Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo Salad

Rating: Unrated
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.

Kielbasa & Cabbage Soup

Rating: Unrated
11
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.

Tuna, White Bean & Dill Salad

Rating: Unrated
1
Take canned tuna to new heights by adding cannellini beans, red onion and dill, tossing it in a lemon-pepper-Dijon dressing and serving it over a spinach salad with canned beets.

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.

Pea Soup

Rating: Unrated
11
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.

Slow-Cooker Pasta e Fagioli Soup Freezer Pack

Rating: Unrated
3

Your favorite restaurant soup just got easier and healthier with this freezer-to-crock-pot recipe. If you keep a special bottle of olive oil on hand for stand-out dishes, this is the recipe to pull it out for. The headiness of the fruity olive oil truly elevates the flavors in this Italian meal-prep slow-cooker soup.