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 13
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

Veggie & Hummus Sandwich

Rating: 5 stars 16
This mile-high vegetable and hummus sandwich makes the perfect heart-healthy vegetarian lunch to go. Mix it up with different flavors of hummus and different types of vegetables depending on your mood.
Katie Webster
By Katie Webster

Carrot Soup

Rating: 5 stars 32
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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Hearty Chickpea & Spinach Stew

Rating: 4.5 stars 20
This satisfying stew comes together in a snap. Mashed chickpeas add body to the broth, and tomato paste adds a savory note without piling on the sodium. To simplify the prep, look for chopped fresh onion and shredded carrot or a soup starter mix in the produce section.
Patsy Jamieson
By Patsy Jamieson

Roasted Cauliflower & Potato Curry Soup

Rating: 5 stars 60
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

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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Vegan Superfood Grain Bowls

Rating: 4.5 stars 6
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.

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

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

Rating: 4.5 stars 89
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.
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.
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

Tomato Soup

Rating: 5 stars 4
This simple tomato soup is perfect paired with your favorite grilled cheese sandwich. Make a double batch and freeze the extra for rainy-day emergencies.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen
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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.
Instant Pot Potato Soup

Russet potatoes turn tender and soft in minutes in a pressure cooker, so you can make this comforting soup quickly on busy weeknights. Garnish with the classic potato soup fixings--bacon, scallions and melted Cheddar cheese.