Low-Calorie Budget Lunch Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

Rating: 4.52 stars
96
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.

Vegetable Weight-Loss Soup

Rating: 4.46 stars
24
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.

Carrot Soup

Rating: 4.72 stars
36
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.

Southwestern Vegetable & Chicken Soup

Rating: 4.5 stars
18
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.

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!

Middle Eastern Chicken & Chickpea Stew

Rating: 4.08 stars
24
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.

Greek Potato Salad

In this healthy potato salad recipe, a white-wine vinaigrette dresses the potatoes, tomatoes, feta and olives. Waxy potatoes, such as red and yellow, make the best potato salad because they hold their shape when cooked. Keep the potato skins on for more fiber and potassium.

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.

Pasta Salad with Black Beans & Avocado Dressing

Rating: 4.44 stars
9
Everyone will love this pasta salad recipe that's packed with tomatoes, corn and black beans. We lighten up the creamy dressing with avocado for a healthier version of a picnic favorite.

Four-Bean & Pumpkin Chili

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

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.

Slow-Cooker Vegetable Soup

Rating: 4 stars
14
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.
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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.

Kielbasa & Cabbage Soup

Rating: 4.67 stars
12

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.