Easy lunch ideas for a healthy afternoon!
Looking for ways to eat clean all day long? We’ve compiled 21 clean eating lunch ideas that can be made in under 10 minutes and are great options for packing lunch for school or work. The best way to save time during the week is to prepare some versatile ingredients, like quinoa and chicken on the weekend to throw into recipes throughout the week.
Thanks to these easy lunches, now you have some free time to work out on your lunch break! Try incorporating any of these routines:
- Daily Ab Routine for a Toned and Cut Midsection
- 10 Yoga Poses for Faster Weight Loss
- 30-Day Walk off The Pounds Challenge
21 Clean Lunches in Under 10 Minutes
Our clean eating lunch ideas will not only save you from making unhealthy choices during your busy day, it also lets you hold on to your hard-earned money by helping you to avoid expensive convenience meals.
1. Quinoa Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette
This salad is bursting with mangoes, blueberries, strawberries, and mandarins. Adding quinoa gives it some protein and makes it filling, but the tasty dressing is what really puts this salad over the top.
Get the recipe: Quinoa Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette
2. Spring Greens with Strawberries and Candied Pecans
Crunchy, sweet pecans and juicy berries make this salad special.
Get the recipe: Spring Greens with Strawberries and Candied Pecans
3. Skinny Taco Salad in a Jar
Cut back on carbs, calories, and dishes by making your taco salads in jars!
Get the recipe: Skinny Taco Salad in a Jar
4. Mediterranean Tuna Salad
This mayo-less salad does not sacrifice on flavor and is filled with yummy ingredients like olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
Get the recipe: Mediterranean Tuna Salad
5. Slow Cooker Minestrone
Simply prepare the ingredients for this minestrone and let the slow cooker do the work for you. Prepare a big batch once a week, and you can have it for lunch for a few days! It also freezes well.
Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup Recipe
6. Skinny Burrito in a Jar
Make a bean burrito in a jar with layers of salsa, beans, cheese and sour cream. Shred any leftover chicken or lean beef into it for extra protein if you would like!
Get the recipe: Skinny Burrito in a Jar
7. Chickpea and Tomato Salad with Grilled Chicken
Protein-rich chickpeas and chicken will keep you full longer than a lettuce-filled salad ever could! The vinaigrette and the juicy tomatoes in this salad are pretty tasty too.
Get the recipe: Chickpea and Tomato Salad with Grilled Chicken
8. Pasta Salad with Pesto, Mozzarella, and Tomatoes
We love the rich, Italian flavors in this delicious pasta salad. Make the whole recipe and have it for lunch all week.
Get the recipe: Pasta Salad with Pesto, Mozzarella and Tomatoes
9. Spinach and Black Bean Burrito Wrap
With canned beans, leftover rice, and a simple spinach sauté, this burrito can come together pretty easily. Top it with a delicious salsa and look forward to lunch all morning.
Get the recipe: Spinach and Black Bean Burrito Wrap
10. Grilled Chicken and Blueberry Salad
Savory Chicken and sweet blueberries make this antioxidant-rich, protein-filled salad a healthy treat.
Get the recipe: Grilled Chicken and Blueberry Salad
11. Clean Eating Chicken Salad
Greek yogurt keeps this clean eating version of classic chicken salad creamy, and red grapes add a bit of sweet juiciness.
Get the recipe: Clean Eating Chicken Salad
12. Spicy Chili with Fire Roasted Tomatoes
Cook this in the slow cooker while you are busy with other things and take it to lunch all week. Chili freezes well too.
Get the recipe: Spicy Chili with Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
13. Clean-Eating Cobb Salad
There’s nothing like this classic salad with hard-boiled eggs, chicken, vegetables, and a creamy dressing to keep you feeling energized and focused all afternoon long.
Get the recipe: Clean-Eating Cobb Salad
14. Overstuffed Veggie Sandwich
This sandwich is filled to the max, and one bite will let you know that all that vegetable chopping and layering was well worth the effort.
Get the recipe: Overstuffed Veggie Sandwich
15. Spring Salad in an Avocado
We love the idea of using half an avocado shell with the fruit inside and the pit taken out as a salad bowl. The shell works both as portion control and holds all of the good-for-you nutrients from the yummy avocados.
Get the recipe: Spring Salad in an Avocado
16. Vegetarian Panini with Roasted Peppers and Goat Cheese
A crisp panini with warm, creamy goat cheese and smoky sweet peppers is sometimes all you need to bite into to feel indulgent and is an amazingly comforting clean eating lunch idea.
Get the recipe: Vegetarian Panini
17. Asian Chicken Sandwich
Asian flavors keep this chicken sandwich from being anything but the same old boring sandwich! Using real chicken is especially great because then you avoid putting any processed deli meat slices on it.
Get the recipe: Asian Chicken Sandwich
18. Soba Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing
You’ll be surprised at how quickly and easily this salad comes together and at how flavorful it is. The nice thing about soba noodles, aka buckwheat noodles, is they are actually gluten-free and whole grain (they are not wheat).
Get the recipe: Soba Salad with Honey-Ginger Dressing
19. Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
Sometimes a lil’ comfort food in the middle of the day is nice. And this one is a healthy version! Put all of the ingredients in the slow cooker, and then have this mac n’cheese with a simple side salad for a delicious lunch. Our Classic Cucumber and Tomato Salad would go nicely with a small portion of this clean eating mac n’cheese.
Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
20. Superfoods Smoothie
Lighten up lunch with a smoothie. This clean eating lunch idea contains plenty of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is a great option for eating lunch on the go.
Get the recipe: Superfoods Smoothie
21. Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups
Have you been looking for a light, healthy, and tasty Thai dish that is quick and easy to make? Here is a yummy recipe that you can make in a flash!
Get the recipe: Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups
Interested in easy breakfast ideas, too? We’ve got some great options:
- Breakfast Yogurt Parfait in a Jar | Perfect for Busy Mornings On-the-Go!
- Zucchini and Egg Breakfast Burritos
- High Protein Overnight Oats
Editor’s Note: Originally published April 27th, 2016