Low-Calorie Budget Lunch Recipes

Find healthy, delicious low-calorie 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Vegetable Weight-Loss Soup

Rating: 4.46 stars
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.

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.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

Rating: 4.52 stars
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.

White Bean & Avocado Toast

Rating: 4.5 stars
2
Mashed avocado and white beans make for a fiber-rich and creamy topping, the perfect partner for a crispy slice of toast. Try it for a quick breakfast or snack.
Advertisement

Inspiration and Ideas

Cheap Healthy Lunch Ideas

A healthy lunch doesn’t have to be expensive. These healthy lunch ideas clock in at $3 or less per serving and include lots of low-calorie recipes.

3 Healthy Low-Cal Lunch Ideas

We show you 3 low-cost lunch ideas that will cut the calories from your favorite foods and help you enjoy healthier sandwiches, soups and salads.

Soy-Lime Roasted Tofu

Rating: 4.75 stars
5

Here we marinate tofu cubes in soy sauce and lime juice with a touch of toasted sesame oil, then roast them--perfect tofu every time.