Low-Calorie Make Ahead Lunch Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Weight-Loss Cabbage Soup

Rating: 4.5 stars 17
Loaded with cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, tomato and plenty of seasoning, this healthy cabbage soup recipe packs in lots of flavor and is ultra-satisfying. This easy recipe makes a big batch for lunches or veggie-packed snacks all week. If you want to bump up the satisfaction factor even more, top with a little cheese or avocado.
By Carolyn Casner

Carrot Soup

Rating: 5 stars 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.
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By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Chickpea & Quinoa Bowl with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Rating: 4.5 stars 16
Quinoa and chickpeas pack this vegetarian grain bowl with plenty of plant-based protein. Whip up a batch of these flavorful grain bowls and pack them in lidded containers to stash in the fridge for easy, healthy grab-and-go lunches all week long.
By Carolyn Casner

Vegan Superfood Grain Bowls

Rating: 4.5 stars 7
This nutrient-packed grain bowl recipe comes together in 15 minutes with the help of a few convenience-food shortcuts like prewashed baby kale, microwavable quinoa and precooked beets. Pack these ahead to keep on hand for easy meal-prep lunches or dinners on busy nights.
By Carolyn A Hodges, RD

Black Bean-Quinoa Bowl

Rating: 4 stars 13
This black bean and quinoa bowl has many of the usual hallmarks of a taco salad, minus the fried bowl. We've loaded it up with pico de gallo, fresh cilantro and avocado plus an easy hummus dressing to drizzle on top.
Katie Webster
By Katie Webster

Pea Soup

Rating: 5 stars 14
This simple pea soup recipe 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.
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By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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.
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By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Spinach & Feta Turkey Meatballs with Herbed Quinoa

Rating: 4.5 stars 8
With a variety of flavors and textures (and a whopping 30 grams of protein!), these meal-prep bowls will keep you fueled all afternoon. The spinach and feta turkey meatballs are adapted from Turkey Burgers with Spinach, Feta & Tzatziki by Hilary Meyer. Look for premade tzatziki near the specialty cheeses and dips at your grocery store or make your own.
By Carolyn A Hodges, RD

Spinach & Strawberry Meal-Prep Salad

Rating: 5 stars 4
One of our most popular salad recipes, Spinach-Strawberry Salad with Feta & Walnuts, gets a makeover in these simple yet totally satisfying meal-prep spinach salad bowls. They require minimal prep and can be customized to your taste. Swap in roasted salmon for the chicken thighs, and almonds or pecans for the walnuts, and use any fresh berry that looks good at your market.
By Carolyn A Hodges, RD

Roasted Cauliflower & Potato Curry Soup

Rating: 5 stars 61
In this healthy cauliflower soup recipe, roasting the cauliflower first adds depth and prevents the florets from turning to mush. A little tomato sauce and coconut milk give the broth a rich, silky texture. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, if desired.
By Danielle Centoni

Slow-Cooker Vegetable Soup

Rating: 4 stars 16
Make this low-calorie vegetable soup recipe 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.
Eating Well Bio Page
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Veggistrone

Rating: 4.5 stars 28
This vegetable-packed minestrone soup recipe is inspired by a popular Weight Watchers vegetable soup recipe. It makes a big pot of soup, so keep some in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and freeze the rest in single-serve portions. That way you always have an easy, delicious vegetable soup to start your meal or to eat for lunch. Think of this vegetable minestrone recipe as a starting point for other healthy soup variations, too: toss in leftover chopped cooked chicken or whole-wheat pasta or brown rice to make it more satisfying.
Joyce Hendley, M.S.
By Joyce Hendley, M.S.
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Inspiration and Ideas

28 Make-Ahead Lunches That Can Help You Lose Weight
Recipes like our Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl and Meal-Prep Chili-Lime Chicken Bowls are healthy ways to prep-ahead and meet your nutritional goals.
26 Lunches Under 400 Calories That Are Perfect for Meal Prep
From veggie-packed grain bowls to creamy pasta salads, these low-calorie, meal-prep ideas will save you time and energy at lunchtime.
Slow-Cooker Braised Beef with Carrots & Turnips
Rating: 4.5 stars 11

The spice blend in this healthy beef stew recipe—cinnamon, allspice and cloves—may conjure images of apple pie, but the combo is a great fit in savory applications too. Serve over creamy polenta or buttered whole-wheat egg noodles.