10 Low-Calorie Lunches That'll Fill You Up *Just* the Right Amount
Spicy Bean and Guacamole Burritos
Guac on with this vegetarian low-calorie lunch. While you're at it, go ahead and make your avocado spread a bit ~extra~ with these tips from Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski.
- 1/2 cup canned low-fat refried beans
- 1/4 cup salsa
- 3 tablespoons guacamole
- 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
- 2 small (6-inch) whole-grain tortillas
- 1 cup red grapes
- Stir together beans and salsa. Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Place warm bean mixture, guacamole, and lettuce on tortillas and roll up.
- Serve with grapes on the side
Barbecue Baja Burger
Take your meatless burger (we’ve ranked all of your options here!) on a trip south of the border with this better-than-fast-food 400-calorie lunch.
- 1 vegetarian burger
- 1 whole-wheat bun
- 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
- 1/4 avocado, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup pineapple cubes
- Cook burger in microwave according to package directions.
- Place on bun with barbecue sauce; top with avocado and sprouts.
- Serve with pineapple on the side.
This saucy sub tastes far more indulgent than its low-calorie lunch tally might suggest. A little cheese goes a long way to help this healthy sandwich seem like something you’d find at a checkered-tablecloth Italian restaurant.
- 4 meatballs
- 1 whole-grain hot-dog bun
- 2 tablespoons marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup sliced green pepper
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 medium orange
- Heat meatballs in microwave until warm.
- Place warm meatballs on bun with sauce and peppers, and sprinkle with cheese.
- Warm sandwich in microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Serve orange slices on the side.
Greek Chopped Pita Salad
The Mediterranean Diet has been proven to be among the healthiest eating plans on earth. Get a taste via this 400-calorie lunch salad that comes together in mere minutes. (Related: Healthy Greek Recipes That Will Transport You to the Mediterranean)
- 2 cups romaine lettuce
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup cucumber, sliced
- 1 whole-wheat pita, chopped into strips
- 2 tablespoons vinaigrette
- Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl and toss thoroughly.
Chili and Chips
Comfort food alert! This is the perfect 400-calorie lunch to warm up a chilly day.
- 1 cup canned turkey or vegetarian chili
- 1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli
- 3 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup crushed corn chips
- Mix together chili and broccoli and microwave for about 5 minutes, until broccoli is tender.
- Top chili mixture with shredded cheese and crushed chips.
Vegetarian Mediterranean Wrap
For a meatless low-calorie lunch that satisfies, include fiber-filled veggies and a source of protein, such as hummus or tofu. (Related: How to Meal Prep Easy, Mediterranean Diet Lunches in 3 Easy Steps)
- 1 whole-wheat tortilla
- 1/4 cup hummus
- 1 sliced tomato
- 1 tablespoon feta cheese
- 4 chopped black olives
- Spread tortilla evenly with hummus.
- Top with tomato slices, feta, and black olives.
- Roll or fold into a burrito shape.
Feeling French? Consider this twist on a classic nicoise salad. (BTW, did you know tuna's a good post-workout snack?)
- 4 ounces canned albacore tuna, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon capers
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped scallions
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 cup Boston lettuce
- 1 hard-boiled egg, quartered
- 1/2 cup cooked fingerling potatoes
- 1/2 cup green beans
- 2 tablespoons Kalamata olives, quartered
- In a small bowl, mix tuna with capers, olive oil, parsley, scallions, and lemon juice.
- Top lettuce with tuna, hard-boiled egg, fingerling potatoes, green beans, and olives.
Goat Cheese Lentil and Couscous Salad
Meal prep a big batch of lentils and couscous or quinoa to make it a breeze to toss together this low-calorie lunch—and other well-balanced meals throughout the week. (Related: Summer Salad Recipes That Don't Involve Lettuce)
- 1/4 cup cooked lentils
- 1/2 cup cooked whole-wheat couscous
- 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
- Optional: 1/2 lemon juice
- In a to-go bowl, mix lentils with couscous, tomatoes, and goat cheese.
- Pack with lemon to squeeze juice on top, if desired.
Marinated Kale and Chicken Salad
Skip the pricey, calorie-laden restaurant salad and try this way-easy sweet and savory kale salad instead.
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups shredded kale
- 1/2 cup diced leftover or grilled chicken
- 1 tablespoon dried currants
- In a medium bowl, toss fresh lemon juice and olive oil with kale and allow to marinate overnight.
- Just before eating your 400-calorie lunch, top with chicken and dried currants.
Two-Bean Grilled Chicken Salad
If you prefer more of a "dressing" for your Mexican-inspired recipe, add a 1/4 cup of salsa to this 400-calorie lunch.
- 2 cups chopped romaine leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped leftover or grilled chicken
- 1/4 cup white beans
- 1/4 cup black beans
- 1/8 sliced red onion
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- Juice from 1 lime
- Toss lettuce with chicken, beans, onion, and cilantro.
- Dress with a squeeze of lime.