When you think of healthy lunch ideas for weight loss, do you picture a bland sandwich or a dull salad at your work desk? Or do you imagine something simple like a banana and a granola bar or maybe forgoing lunch altogether?

If you're trying to lose weight, coming up with delicious lunches that fit with your goals or calorie budget can be a pain, especially since the middle of the day tends to be the busiest time for most people. It's super tempting to skip a meal or eat something small that's not very filling just to get through the day. If this sounds like you, the good news is that there are plenty of easy recipes you can prepare for this mid-day meal.

Here are 75 tasty and healthy ideas, along with some helpful tips, to take some of that stress off your plate. Whether you're looking for vegetarian, vegan, or keto options, there is a dish that is full of flavor and loaded with nutrients here for you. The list even includes some popular cultural foods (yes, you can eat a nutritious meal without abandoning your favorite family recipes). In fact, there are plenty of substitutions and alternatives to make the food you love healthier. Because let's face it, not all of us are salad lovers (there's nothing wrong with being one, though!).

What are some ideas for a simple, healthy lunch?

Taking time out of your morning to pack your lunch can be difficult. TBH, it's a lot easier to grab something quick. Just know that you could be depriving yourself of the nutrients you need when you do that, which will probably leave you feeling extra hungry in the afternoon and evening, says Traci Fields, RD, a NYC-based registered dietitian. Waiting until later in the day to eat a full meal can backfire on your weight loss goals, since you're more likely to grab foods that are unhealthy due to cravings, she explains. It's also best to consume the majority of your calories earlier in the day, so your body can spend the rest of the afternoon taking on a smaller dinner and burning those calories off.

A simple way to stay on track with your goals is by simply meal prepping the night before. Fields says having fresh cut vegetables to grab on the go or a portioned bag of nuts, hard boiled eggs, and seasonal fresh foods that can be consumed when you're in a rush is ideal. “Being prepared will enable you to stick to your goals and not blow any progress by consuming unhealthy quick snacks that would derail your healthy eating plan,” she says. Fields also recommends trying intermittent fasting and always having a water bottle on hand since people often mistake thirst with hunger.

Some easy-to-make lunch ideas include:

  • A tuna salad on a lettuce wrap
  • Fresh cut vegetables
  • A salad with fresh berries
  • Hard boiled eggs with cheese, greens, and some baby carrots
  • Plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • A green smoothie

All of these lunches have no processed carbs that will spike your blood sugar. They're also high in protein, contain healthy fats, and provide all the nutrients you need to stay full. They can be paired with whatever beverage you prefer, although Fields suggest water, coffee, or teas as long as there are added calories from sweeteners, sugars, and milk.

BTW, in case you were wondering, there's no such thing as belly fat-burning foods. “You cannot spot-burn fat,” says Fields. “Burning fat occurs with exercise and the type of diet consumed.” She also emphasizes that eating adequate protein, non-starchy vegetables, and healthy fats can help with the process.

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1. Greek Quinoa Salad

greek quinoa salad

Calories (per serving): 341

This Greek salad features chickpeas, cucumber, olives, and fresh herbs for a super flavorful and fiber-filled lunch.

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It's got protein courtesy of chickpeas, and the quinoa can be whipped up in an Instant Pot. It's also vegan.

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2. Instant Pot Pakistani Chana Dal

instant pot pakistani chana dal

Calories: 238

This gluten-free Pakistani Chana Dal (split chickpea) is vegetarian and only takes 15 minutes to make, and it's a flavor explosion thanks to spices like cumin, ginger, and turmeric. Throw the ingredients in an Instant Pot and enjoy.

Get the recipe

3. Kale And Brussels Sprout Salad

kale and brussels sprout salad
Eating Bird Food

Calories: 201

This kale and Brussels sprout salad is anything but boring. It's filled with shredded kale and sprouts, cranberries, marinated onions, almonds, and pecorino cheese. It takes just 20 minutes to make, and it can keep in the fridge for two to three days after making.

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4. Creamy Carrot-Tomato Soup

creamy carrot tomato soup
Cotter Crunch

Calories: 219

This vegan tomato and carrot soup is dairy-free and paleo. It has a base of creamy coconut milk and almond butter, plus tons of fresh herbs, lime, and red pepper flakes.

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5. Egg Roll In A Bowl

egg roll in a bowl
Well Plated

Calories: 281

This recipe takes all the good fillings of a classic egg roll and puts them in a fresh and healthy bowl, featuring juicy meat or tofu, fresh ginger and garlic, soy sauce, and tons of thin strips of fresh veggies. And it tastes phenomenal reheated too.

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6. Chicken Tortilla Soup

chicken tortilla soup
Muy Delish

Calories: 142

This authentic chicken tortilla soup is seasoned with tomato and pasilla pepper, plus loads of sautéed veggies that can be topped with baked tortilla strips, avocado, panela cheese, chopped cilantro, and a dash of fresh lime juice.

Get the recipe

7. Vegan Spinach And Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

vegan spinach and sun dried tomato pasta
Make It Dairy Free

Calories: 471

This creamy vegan pasta is budget- and time-friendly—it takes just 20 minutes to make. It features garlic, spinach, and basil, with the flavor punch of sun-dried tomatoes. You can store it up to five days in the fridge, so it's a great option for a full week of lunches.

Get the recipe

8. Whole30 Chicken Salad

whole30 chicken salad
Food Faith Fitness

Calories: 252

This protein-packed chicken salad is Whole30- and keto-friendly. It's made with mayo, Dijon mustard, celery, and grapes for great crunch and flavor. It keeps for three to five days, and you can whip it up in just 10 minutes.

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9. Slow Cooker Yellow Chicken Curry

slow cooker yellow chicken curry
Ambitious Kitchen

Calories: 357

This hearty chicken curry is made with a base of coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. It has a kick thanks to cayenne pepper and is also full of veggies. You can freeze this for up to two months, so this big batch is perfect for storage.

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10. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

lettuce wraps

Calories: 180

These lettuce wraps spare you the calories but pack the crunch. They're made with veggies like chopped carrots, celery, and water chestnuts. The protein in these is chicken, but you can sub in pork, shrimp, or a combo.

Get the recipe

11. Venezuelan Arepas

venezuelan arepas
Healthier Steps

Calories (no filling): 110

Arepas are drool-worthy cornmeal pockets that you can fill with favorite vegan dishes, writes Michelle, the creator of this recipe and who is behind the Healthier Steps recipe site.

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12. Garlic Chili Chickpea Patties

chickpea patty
Plant Based RD

If a chickpea patty sounds meh to you, you haven't tried this one. It's made with a bunch of flavor enhancers, like garlic chili sauce, peanut butter, and cumin. Make several of these and freeze them for a quick and easy weekday lunch.

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13. Low-Carb Vegan Tuna Salad

tuna salad
The Gestational Diabetic Chef

Calories: 347

Is there anything chickpeas can't do? In this recipe, you'll be mashing them up until their consistency looks similar to that of tuna's. Once you dress the vegan tuna up, you'll lay it on some lettuce to keep this recipe low-carb.

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14. Chinese Garlic Tofu Stir Fry

stir fry
Shuangy's Kitchen Sink

Calories: 315

You're going to drool over the sticky soy garlic sauce coating the tofu in this dish, except it doesn't really contain soy—it's made with coconut aminos. Pair the tofu with veggies or rice to complete your meal.

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15. Garlic Shrimp And Asparagus With Zucchini Noodles

Eating Bird Food

Calories: 321

Lunch will be ready in 20 if you just grab a spiralizer to prep your nutrient-packing zoodles. This recipe calls for less than 10 ingredients, and most of them are spices and garnishes like sea salt and chopped parsley.

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16. Kimchi Tempeh Tacos

Live Eat Learn

Calories: 336

Kimchi's tasty on its own, but in a taco, it's next-level. The tacos also use tempeh as their "meat," but to make them completely vegan, swap the sour cream and mayo for some dairy-free alternatives.

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17. Peanut Crunch Salad

peanut crunch salad
Plant Based RD

Nope, there aren't actual peanuts in this salad. Instead, it gets its crunch from veggies like chickpeas, cucumbers, and shredded carrots. There is a yummy peanut dressing you'll prep using peanut butter though.

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18. Vegan Gyros With Tempeh

Veggies Don't Bite

Calories: 262

You're going to want to dive into these vegan gyros ASAP. They sub the lamb meat with flavorful tempeh you'll cook and dress with a Greek-inspired marinade made with ingredients like thyme, tamari, and garlic.

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19. Noodleless Chicken Pad Thai

chicken pad thai
The Real Food RDs

Calories: 345

This chicken pad thai swaps the noodles for loads of veggies, including broccoli slaw, cabbage, and carrot, so you can bet it's packed with nutrients. The dish is also gluten-free and Whole30-approved.

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20. Keto Egg Drop Soup

egg drop soup

Calories: 332

Made with IHeartUMami's grandma's secret seasonings, you can bet this egg drop soup gets as close to the OG version as possible. The star ingredient is clearly egg, but the recipe also calls for chicken thighs.

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21. Street Corn Pasta Salad with Cilantro Pesto + Goat Cheese

street corn pasta salad
Ambitious Kitchen

Calories: 343

Street corn + cilantro pesto = sooo much flavor—it's hard to find something this dish doesn't have. But you can add grilled chicken, shrimp, or black beans if you're looking for a boost of protein.

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22. Paleo Turkey Pot Pie

turkey pot pie
The Real Food RDs

Calories: 477

This turkey pot pie is the comfort food you've been missing. It's basically turkey and vegetables dressed in a light thyme-sage gravy, and it's the perfect healthy lunch idea for a day you're feeling cozy.

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23. Tahini Pesto Tofu Salad

Plant Based RD

The pesto in this salad is made with tahini instead of olive oil to add more fiber and minerals, like calcium, to the dish. Yum!

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24. Crispy Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos

cauliflower tacos
Veggies Don't Bite

Calories: 164

The crispy buffalo cauliflower in this recipe is a tasty substitute for chicken. Add what you want for toppings—roasted veggies, avocado, cabbage. There's room for customization.

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25. Low Carb Spaghetti Carbonara

The Gestational Diabetic

Calories: 421

The spaghetti in this recipe is actually made from butternut squash noodles, which some might say are a little tastier than zoodles, but you can opt for any veggie based-noodle really. Butternut squash noodles pack a little bit more carb content than zoodles, but this recipe provides a good balance of fat, carbs, and protein.

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26. Tuscan Beans With Artichoke And Spinach

tuscan beans
Easy Cheesy Vegetarian

Calories: 406

This Tuscan bean salad is topped with a flavored oil and can be customized with your choice of fill-ins (black olives, capers, toasted pine nuts), though this recipe is made with artichokes and spinach.

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27. Instant Pot Cashew Chicken

cashew chicken
Shuangy's Kitchen Sink

Calories: 289

You can make Chinese takeout right in your kitchen with this cashew chicken recipe. The recipe replaces a few things you would add while making the classic in order to make the dish paleo, gluten-free, keto, and Whole30-approved.

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28. Chili Lime Bean Salad

Plant Based RD

This chili lime bean salad is packed with nutrients including vitamin C from the lime and healthy fats from the avocado.

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29. Cabbage Lentil Soup

Eating Bird Food

Calories: 215

Soup is the ultimate healthy comfort food, and this one's loaded with veggies, like tomatoes and cabbage. It's also made with miso paste to give it an extra kick of flavor.

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30. Pesto Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Boats

zucchini boats
Ambitious Kitchen

Calories: 405

Here's a healthy lunch idea you can share with your peeps—that is if you aren't tempted to eat all of them on your own. These chicken-stuffed zucchini boats are dressed in homemade pesto and topped with cheesy parmesan goodness, though you can skip the cheese if you prefer.

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31. Cauliflower Walnut Lettuce Tacos

Meg Unprocessed

Calories: 231

These plant-based tacos nix the tortilla, cutting down on its carb content, and they're totally meat-free. Oddly enough, a mixture of walnuts and cauliflower (which is packed with fiber, BTW) achieve a meaty consistency.

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32. Tortellini Primavera

Girl Gone Gourmet

Calories: 379

One-pot cooking makes any dish 100 times better and easier. Bless the no-hassle meal. This tortellini is just that, plus it's packed with veggies and dressed in a light sauce made from butter and olive oil.

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33. Caribbean Shrimp Tacos With Mango Salsa

shrimp tacos
Healthful Blondie

Calories: 300

I don't know what's better in this recipe: the tangy lime shrimp marinade or the sweet mango salsa. Either way, both pair up to make every bite of these shrimp tacos a tasty mouthful.

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34. Cabbage Stir Fry

cabbage stir fry
Well Plated By Erin

Calories: 235

This tasty cabbage Chinese-inspired stir-fry is budget-friendly, veggie-filled, and low-carb, plus it'll satisfy all your cravings for takeout.

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35. Vegan Green Bean Casserole

green bean casserole
Veggies Don't Bite

Calories: 207

If green bean casserole has always been that dish you've met with a side-eye, you definitely haven't tried this recipe. This twist on the green bean casserole is crisp, creamy, and prepped with a bunch of vegan whole foods.

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36. Paleo Chicken And Broccoli Stir-Fry


Calories: 209

Throw this quick and easy-to-make chicken and broccoli stir-fry over a bed of cauliflower rice and check having a tasty lunch off of your to-do list today.

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37. Orange Chili Salmon

The Gestational Diabetic Chef

Calories: 333

If you're looking to add more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, this salmon dish is a good place to start. The orange zest used in this recipe gives it a blast of flavor you can't beat.

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38. Lemon Chicken

lemon chicken
Chef Saavy

Calories: 310

This lemony/citrusy chicken can be prepped using only a few ingredients, and most of them are already in your fridge and pantry. To dress this chicken, you'll need ingredients like lemon zest, olive oil, and garlic.

Get the recipe

39. Masala Crockpot Pulled Chicken

pulled chicken
Shuangy's Kitchen Sink

Calories: 170

Pulled chicken on sweet potato bun sliders—need I say more? Just make sure to add your 'buns' to the calorie count, as the count here doesn't account for them.

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40. Spinach Bacon Pumpkin Mac And Cheese

mac and cheese
Ambitious Kitchen

Calories: 489

Anything pumpkin is always a win, but when it's used to make a creamy cheese sauce for some mac and cheese comfort food, even better. The dish also packs veggies like spinach, as well as bacon.

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41. Burger Bowl With Special Sauce

burger bowl
The Real Food RDs

Calories: 400

Burger bowls are seriously underrated. This dish won't make you miss the buns, and it includes fries (oven-baked sweet potato wedges to be exact), so you really aren't missing out. Think of this as fast food that's not a calorie bomb.

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42. Ropa Vieja

ropa vieja
The Gestational Diabetic Chef

Calories: 444

This take on the classic Cuban dish swaps rice for low-carb shredded beef, carrots, and potatoes.

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43. Tom Yum Zoodles Soup

tom yum soup

Calories: 234

This tom yum soup swaps noodles for zoodles, upping its veggie content. Its flavor profile is a mix of spicy and sour, so make sure you're ready for some heat.

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44. Sweet Ginger Pork Stirfry

pork stir fry

Calories: 389

This stir-fry is both paleo and keto, plus it's easy to make. It swaps soy sauce for coconut aminos, which is naturally less salty, but sweeter.

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45. Fig And Halloumi Salad

fig and halloumi salad
Easy Cheesy Vegetarian

Calories: 389

This salad only has a few ingredients, but it's full of crunchy flavor. The halloumi adds a little bit of saltiness, while the figs make it sweet. To throw in the final touch, you'll top with it crunchy pistachios that'll make every bite even more flavorful.

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46. Indian Shrimp Curry

Dish, Food, Cuisine, Shrimp, Ingredient, Caridean shrimp, Produce, Dendrobranchiata, Moqueca, Recipe,

Calories: 224

This yummy Indian recipe from SkinnyTaste swaps heavy cream for coconut cream to lighten things up, and lean protein will keep you full without weighing you down.


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup lite canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • cilantro and chili peppers for garnish


  1. Add 2 teaspoons of the canola oil on high heat in a large skillet.
  2. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute on each side then remove the shrimp from the pan.
  3. Add the remaining teaspoon of the canola oil to the skillet with the onions.
  4. Cook the onions for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add in the ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, curry powder, chili powder, salt and garlic.
  6. Stir well, letting cook for 30 seconds then add in the tomato sauce and combine.
  7. Add in the coconut milk and shrimp to the pan and stir well.
  8. Garnish with cilantro and chili peppers if desired.

47. Roast Beef And Horseradish Wrap

Levi Brown

Calories: 300

Greek yogurt is a great mayo substitute—even light mayonnaise can't compare when it comes to saving calories and fat.


  • 2 Tbsp 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp horseradish sauce
  • 2 leaves Bibb lettuce
  • 4 slices lean deli-style roast beef
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries


  1. Combine yogurt and horseradish, and spread on lettuce.
  2. Top with roast beef and tomato, and roll into a wrap.
  3. Serve with raspberries.

    48. Tuna-Avocado Sandwich

    Tuna and Avocado sandwich
    Getty Images

    Calories: 350

    An avocado a day may help to keep the doctor away, research shows.


    • 1/3 avocado, mashed
    • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
    • 4 oz white albacore tuna, drained
    • 1 thick slice tomato
    • 1 piece butter lettuce
    • 1 slice red onion
    • 1 slice whole-grain bread


    1. Combine avocado with lemon juice, and fold in tuna.
    2. Stack tomato, lettuce, onion, and avocado and tuna mixture on bread for an open-face sandwich.

      49. Tofu Salad

      Tofu salad
      Getty Images

      Calories: 330

      Almonds are great for a healthy and slim gut: A Penn State study of 52 adults found that people who ate 1.5 ounces of almonds a day for six weeks reduced their belly fat and waist circumference more than those that ate a high-carbohydrate, calorie-matched snack.


      • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
      • 1 Tbsp almond butter
      • 1/8 tsp minced garlic
      • 4 oz tofu, extra firm, thinly sliced
      • 1 cup snow peas, slivered
      • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
      • 2 Scandinavian crispbread crackers


      1. Whisk soy sauce, almond butter, and garlic.
      2. Toss with tofu and snow peas.
      3. Top with sesame seeds, and serve with crackers.

        50. Salmon Avocado 'Sushi'

        Sushi rolls
        Getty Images

        Calories: 470

        The omega-3 fats in salmon increase the production of a compound that repairs damaged cells and helps control inflammation.


        • 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
        • 2 oz smoked salmon, thinly sliced
        • 1/4 cup cooked rice noodles
        • 1/4 papaya, thinly sliced
        • 1 Tbsp chopped scallions
        • 2 sheets nori seaweed
        • 1 lime wedge


        1. Lay fillings on nori sheets, and roll up sushi-style.
        2. Cut, season with lime juice, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

        51. Burger And Fries

        Getty Images

        Calories: 490

        Who says you have to forgo your favorite burger-and-fries combo when you're on a diet? These replacements keep your favorites low-calorie.


        • 1 Organic Sunshine Garden Herb burger
        • 1/2 Food for Life sprouted whole-grain bun
        • 2 leaves romaine lettuce
        • 1 thick slice red tomato
        • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
        • 1 small sweet potato
        • 1 tsp olive oil
        • Cinnamon
        • Cumin
        • Paprika


        1. Cut sweet potato into wedges, coat with oil and seasonings to taste, and bake.
        2. Cook burger, and serve open-faced on half a bun. Top with lettuce, tomato, and mustard.

        52. Fiesta Salad

        Corn salad with avocado and beans
        Getty Images

        Calories: 410

        Keep your taco salad healthy by swapping out beef for lean turkey.


        • 4 oz ground turkey (93% lean)
        • 1 1/2 tsp Simply Organic Southwest Taco seasoning
        • 3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
        • 1/4 cup black beans
        • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
        • 1/4 cup yellow corn
        • 1 Tbsp cotija cheese
        • 5 blue-corn tortilla chips, crumbled


        1. Brown turkey in a pan on the stove top, and stir in taco seasoning.
        2. Toss turkey with remaining ingredients.

        53. Winter Sausage And Lentil Salad

        Sausage and lentils

        Calories: 390

        Chances are you're not utilizing fennel in your cooking, but you should be—it's loaded with phytonutrients, vitamin C, fiber, folate, and potassium.


        • 1 link pre-cooked chicken sausage (3 oz)
        • 1 tsp garlic salt
        • 1/2 cup cooked lentils
        • 1/2 bulb fennel, finely diced
        • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, finely diced
        • 1/2 stalk celery, finely diced
        • 2 cups arugula
        • 1 tsp olive oil
        • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
        • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard


        1. Warm chicken sausage, and season with garlic salt in a pan, then stir in lentils for two minutes.
        2. Remove from heat, stir in fennel, apple, and celery, and serve over arugula.
        3. Whisk oil, vinegar, and mustard, and drizzle over top.

        54. Winter Grains

        Winter grains salad orange and chickpea

        Calories: 420

        Replace that plain old salad with a grain bowl filled with farro and chickpeas to stay full.


        • 1/4 cup dry farro
        • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
        • 1 Tbsp filtered apple cider vinegar
        • 1 tsp agave nectar
        • 1 tsp orange zest
        • 1/2 cup sliced kale
        • 1/2 cup chickpeas
        • 1/2 blood orange, sectioned


        1. Cook farro (found in the grains aisle or on Amazon) according to package instructions.
        2. Whisk olive oil, vinegar, agave nectar, and zest for dressing.
        3. Toss farro with kale, chickpeas, blood orange, and dressing.

        55. Spicy Chicken Salad

        Spicy chicken salad on baby spinach

        Calories: 266

        The capsaicin in spicy peppers like jalapenos may have fat-torching powers.


        • 1 cup roasted skinless chicken breast, cubed
        • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
        • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
        • 1/2 jalapeno, diced
        • 1/2 medium celery stalk, chopped
        • Dash of black pepper
        • 1 cup baby spinach


        Combine the first six ingredients, and serve on a bed of spinach.

          56. Open-Faced Lox Sandwich

          Dish, Cuisine, Smoked salmon, Lox, Food, Salmon, Salmon, Fish, Ingredient, Garnish,
          Getty Images

          Calories: 250

          Say (yes to) cheese! The calcium in dairy foods could help stoke your body's fat-burning power, research shows.


          • 1 slice pumpernickel bread
          • 2 Tbsp part-skim ricotta
          • 4 oz smoked salmon
          • 2 Tbsp capers
          • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced onions


          Layer in the order listed above.

            57. Egg Salad Sandwich

            Egg salad sandwich
            Levi Brown

            Calories: 303

            Unlike some of its sugary condiment cousins, Dijon mustard tallies just five calories per teaspoon.


            • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
            • 2 slices multigrain bread
            • 1 hard-boiled egg, sliced
            • 2 Tbsp shredded cheddar cheese
            • 1/4 cup chopped scallion
            • 1/4 cup raw spinach
            • Juice of 1/4 lemon


            1. Spread mustard onto bread slices, then layer egg, cheese, scallion, and spinach on top.
            2. Drizzle with lemon juice.

            58. Salmon Cucumber Boats

            Tuna cucumber boat
            Levi Brown

            Calories: 431

            Capers add a salty zing with just two (two!) calories per tablespoon. Pile 'em on.

            Salmon boat ingredients:

            • 3 oz canned pink salmon, drained
            • 1 Tbsp capers
            • 1 tsp yellow mustard
            • 2 Tbsp plain low-fat yogurt
            • Dash salt
            • Dash pepper
            • 1 cucumber


            1. Combine the first six ingredients.
            2. Halve cucumber lengthwise, hollow out each half, and stuff with salmon mixture. Serve with side salad (below).

            Side salad ingredients:

            • 3/4 cup romaine lettuce
            • 2 Tbsp chopped macadamia nuts
            • 1 clementine
            • 2 tsp olive oil
            • 1/2 Tbsp cider vinegar
            • Dash salt
            • Dash pepper


            1. Combine first three ingredients.
            2. Toss with the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.

            59. Autumn Pumpkin Mix

            Autumn mix squash and goat cheese
            Levi Brown

            Calories: 387

            Roasting squash brings out its natural sweetness. It's no brownie, but it will help satisfy your sweet tooth.


            • 3/4 cup Brussels sprouts
            • 1 cup cubed pumpkin
            • 2 tsp olive oil
            • 1 oz crumbled goat cheese
            • 2 Tbsp pistachios
            • 1/2 medium pear, sliced
            • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
            • 2 tsp yellow mustard


            1. Toss Brussels sprouts and pumpkin with oil, and roast for 30 minutes at 350°F, turning halfway through.
            2. Remove from oven, and toss with remaining ingredients.

            60. Open-Faced Turkey And Feta Sandwich

            Turkey sandwich
            Getty Images

            Calories: 367

            An assortment of colors and textures may make a meal more satiating, finds research at the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation.

            Sandwich ingredients:

            • 1 slice whole-grain bread
            • 3 oz sliced turkey breast
            • 1/4 cup baby spinach
            • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
            • 1 Tbsp feta

            Side salad ingredients:

            • 12 yellow or red cherry tomatoes, halved
            • 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
            • 4 large black olives, chopped
            • 1 Tbsp chopped scallion
            • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
            • 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
            • 1 tsp fresh mint

            Top bread with turkey, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta. Broil six to eight minutes, or until golden. Serve with salad.

            61. Tabbouleh And Tuna On Greens

            Tabbouleh and tuna on salad greens
            Levi Brown

            Calories: 374

            This grain's resistant starch could make you resistant to mindless afternoon grazing.

            Tabbouleh ingredients:

            • 1/2 cup cooked bulgur
            • 3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
            • 1/2 medium tomato, chopped
            • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
            • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
            • 2 Tbsp chopped scallions
            • 1/2 clove garlic, minced

            Salad ingredients:

            • 3 oz canned water-packed light tuna, drained
            • 1 1/2 cups red leaf lettuce
            • 1 cup romaine lettuce
            • 1 medium carrot, shredded
            • 1 4-inch whole-wheat pita


            Combine all tabbouleh ingredients, then use to top lettuce with tuna and carrot.

              62. Chicken Panini

              chicken panini sandwich
              Getty Images

              Calories: 292

              Marinara sauce is a fraction of the calories of cream-based dipping sauces, so enjoy!


              • 1 1/2 oz sliced low-fat Swiss
              • 1 oz sliced reduced-sodium Black Forest deli ham
              • 1 oz sliced reduced-sodium deli chicken breast
              • 1 whole-wheat roll (12 oz total), sliced and gutted
              • 1/4 cup marinara sauce, heated


              1. Heat lightly oiled grill or panini press to medium heat (or use a grill pan).
              2. Place cheese, ham, and chicken on the roll, starting and ending with cheese. Close sandwich, and grill, flipping and pressing with spatula if necessary, until golden brown on both sides and cheese is melted, about five minutes total.
              3. Halve sandwich, and serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

              63. Mozzarella And Tomato Salad

              Mozzarella salad
              Levi Brown

              Calories: 243

              Not all cheeses are created equal, and mozzarella is lower in sodium than other popular varieties, making it a great option for stocking up on calcium, phosphorus, and protein.


              • 1 medium tomato, cubed
              • 1 oz fresh part-skim mozzarella cheese, cubed
              • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
              • 1 clove garlic, pressed
              • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
              • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
              • 2 tsp sunflower seeds
              • 1/4 tsp black pepper


              Combine and toss all ingredients.

                64. Grilled Chicken And Pineapple Sandwich

                Chicken and pineapple grilled sandwich
                Getty Images

                Calories: 387

                Suffering from chicken breast fatigue? This sweet-and-spicy Hawaiian spin will knock you right out of it.


                • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
                • 1 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
                • 1 slice Swiss cheese
                • 1 slice pineapple (1/2" thick)
                • 1 whole-wheat kaiser roll
                • Red onion, thinly sliced (to taste)
                • Pickled jalapeno slices (to taste)


                1. Marinate chicken in teriyaki sauce in re-sealable bag in fridge.
                2. Grill chicken for four to five minutes, flip, and immediately add the cheese to breast. Continue cooking until the cheese is melted and the chicken is lightly charred and feels firm to the touch. Remove and set aside.
                3. While the chicken is resting, place the pineapple slices and rolls on the grill. Toast the rolls lightly, and cook the pineapple until it's soft and caramelized, about two minutes on each side.
                4. Top each roll with chicken, pineapple, onion, and jalapeno.

                65. Chicken Goat-Cheese Quesadillas

                Chicken quesadilla
                Getty Images

                Calories: 331

                This isn't your ordinary quesadilla: Goat cheese's full, creamy taste means you can use less queso without sacrificing flavor.


                • 3/4 oz goat cheese, softened to room temperature
                • 1 Tbsp shredded Monterey jack cheese
                • 1/4 tsp virgin olive oil
                • 2 Tbsp chopped Vidalia onion
                • 1/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
                • Pinch ground black pepper
                • 1/4 cup diced cooked skinless white-meat chicken
                • 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
                • 2 six-inch corn tortillas


                1. Combine cheeses in a small bowl. Set aside.
                2. Heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add onion, and sauté for two minutes. Add corn and pepper; sauté for one minute.
                3. Add chicken, and sauté for one minute. Remove from heat, then stir in cilantro.
                4. Divide cheese mixture, and spread over two tortillas.
                5. Layer each tortilla with half the chicken mixture, and top with remaining tortillas. Spray a large frying pan or griddle with cooking spray.
                6. Warm quesadillas over medium heat for five to six minutes, flipping halfway through.

                66. Tofu And Cabbage Salad

                Tofu cabbage salad
                Levi Brown

                Calories: 412

                Research suggests that the isoflavones in soy foods may help decrease fat accumulation in the body.


                • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
                • 1 cup chopped raw spinach
                • 3 oz firm tofu
                • 1/2 cup canned mandarin oranges, packed in juice, drained
                • 1 Tbsp pine nuts
                • 1 oz soft goat cheese
                • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
                • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar


                Combine all ingredients into a salad.

                  67. Grilled Chicken Salad

                  Grilled chicken salad
                  Levi Brown

                  Calories: 417

                  There's evidence that consuming vinegar (like in this salad) can aid weight loss. Its acetic acid helps suppress body fat accumulation.


                  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
                  • 1/2 cup chopped beets
                  • 1 Tbsp dried cranberries
                  • 1/2 oz walnuts
                  • 3 oz grilled chicken breast
                  • 1 oz semisoft goat cheese
                  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar


                  Combine all ingredients into a salad.

                    68. Chili-Spiced Salmon Salad

                    Salmon salad
                    Levi Brown / Rodale

                    Calories: 283

                    The omega-3 fatty acids in the canned salmon are known to help reduce inflammation—which could help you lose weight too.

                    Salad ingredients:

                    • 4 oz. canned salmon
                    • 3 c. Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
                    • 1/4 avocado, diced
                    • 1 pink grapefruit, sectioned
                    • 2 slices red onion
                    • 1/2 c. canned beets, drained and diced
                    • 10 pistachio nuts, shelled and chopped

                    Dressing ingredients:

                    • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
                    • 2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
                    • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
                    • 1/2 tsp. orange zest
                    • 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
                    • 1 large pinch kosher salt
                    • 1 large pinch chili powder


                    1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor, or whisk together until smooth.
                    2. In a large bowl, combine salmon, lettuce, avocado, grapefruit, onion, and beets. Toss well with dressing.
                    3. Sprinkle with pistachios.

                    69. Berry Goat-Cheese Salad

                    Berry goat cheese salad
                    Levi Brown

                    Calories: 222

                    Make the most of summer produce with berries and tomatoes, while the lean protein from the chicken breast will keep you full and satisfied.

                    Salad ingredients:

                    • 1 tbsp. pecans
                    • 3 c. baby spinach
                    • 1/2 c. halved strawberries
                    • 1/2 c. blueberries
                    • 1 yellow tomato, cut into eighths
                    • 2 purple radishes, thinly sliced
                    • 1 skinless chicken breast (6 oz), grilled
                    • 1 tbsp goat cheese crumbles

                    Dressing ingredients:

                    • 1/4 c. sliced strawberries
                    • 1 tbsp. fresh orange juice
                    • 1 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
                    • 1/2 tsp. orange zest
                    • 1/2 tsp. sugar
                    • 2 tbsp. nonfat greek yogurt
                    • 1 large pinch kosher salt


                    1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor, or whisk them together until smooth.
                    2. Toast pecans in a 400°F oven for two minutes. Remove from oven. Set aside.
                    3. In a large bowl, combine spinach, berries, tomato, and radishes. Drizzle with dressing. Toss gently.
                    4. Divide salad between two plates. Place half the chicken on top of each salad. Sprinkle with nuts and goat cheese.

                    70. Turkey And Cucumber Sandwiches

                    turkey sandwich
                    Getty Images

                    Calories: 275 per sandwich

                    The horseradish gives this sandwich tons of flavor without piling on unhealthy spreads that can rack up the calorie count.


                    • 1/2 c. nonfat mayonnaise
                    • 1 tbsp. prepared horseradish
                    • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
                    • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
                    • 2 c. finely chopped cooked turkey breast
                    • 1/4 c. finely chopped scallions
                    • 8 slices rye bread
                    • 1 seedless cucumber, very thinly sliced


                    1. In a medium bowl, toss together the mayonnaise, horseradish, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix in the turkey and scallions.
                    2. Divide the mixture among four slices of the bread, spreading it to the edges. Overlap the cucumber slices in an even layer over the turkey. Top with the remaining four slices of bread.

                    71. Venezuelan Keto Chicken Salad

                    venezuelan keto chicken salad
                    Diet Doctor

                    Calories: 451

                    If you're looking for something simple, this keto Venezuelan chicken salad is perfect and won't leave you with that heavy post-meal feeling. The chicken and avocado combo goes great with a squeeze of lime for extra flavor.

                    Get The Recipe

                    72. Keto Garlic And Sesame Prawns

                    garlic and sesame prawns
                    Diet Doctor

                    Calories: 278

                    This keto garlic and sesame prawns recipe has 34 grams of protein. Adding a side of red bell peppers or your other favorite veggies is guaranteed to keep you feeling full until dinner time.
                    Get The Recipe

                    73. Keto Caprese Chicken

                    keto caprese chicken
                    Diet Doctor

                    Calories: 460

                    With only five ingredients needed, this Caprese chicken will be ready in no time. The protein in this meal will require very little insulin release, which is preferred for weight loss or to maintain a healthy weight.

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                    74. Low-Carb Vegan Buddha Bowl

                    low carb vegan buddha bowl
                    Diet Doctor

                    Calories: 465

                    This vegan Buddha bowl is both colorful and full of texture. If the way your meals look visually play a role in how excited you are to eat them, this won't disappoint. Plus, the healthy fats in this dish slows down digestion and absorption, which makes you feel fuller longer. (Put your meal prep skills to the test and marinate the tofu over night for even more flavor.)

                    Get The Recipe

                    75. Keto Chicken And Mushroom Casserole

                    keto chicken and mushroom casserole
                    Diet Doctor

                    Calories: 403

                    A chicken and mushroom casserole is a creamy and healthy alternative for comfort food. The protein in the chicken plus the mushrooms and cauliflower rice provide a low-calorie and well-balanced meal.

                    Get The Recipe