Low-Calorie Budget Lunch Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Vegetable Weight-Loss Soup

Rating: 4.46 stars 30
A big bowl of this veggie-packed minestrone will leave you satisfied for hours without consuming a lot of calories, which is helpful when trying to lose weight. Plus, it's an easy way to boost your vegetable servings for the day—something all of us could benefit from. Top with a dollop of pesto before devouring this delicious vegetable soup and consider serving with a hunk of toasted whole-wheat bread to help round out the meal.

Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

Rating: 4.64 stars 14
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.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

Rating: 4.52 stars 87
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: 4 stars 16
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: 4.72 stars 30
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 27
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.

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.

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!

Slow-Cooker Pasta e Fagioli Soup Freezer Pack

Rating: 2.67 stars 2
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.

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.

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.

Mason Jar Power Salad with Chickpeas & Tuna

Rating: 5 stars 4
This power salad will keep you fueled for hours, thanks to 26 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. Tossing the dressing and kale, and then letting it stand in the jar, softens it enough so you don't need to massage or cook it to make it tender.
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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
10

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.