29 Healthy Quick Lunch Ideas: Ready, Steady, Eat!
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Don’t know about you, but I am ALWAYS in the market for healthy & quick lunch ideas. I love my lunch and trying out new and interesting meals that are healthy and quick to make is totally my jam.
What makes a meal healthy is often confusing. Ask 5 people what their idea of a healthy meal is and you will hear 5 different things, as healthy food means different things to different people.
Added to the fact that there are so many diets floating around and new research popping up every other week, it is easy to feel overwhelmed about it all.
Now, how do we define healthy at HurryTheFoodUp? A healthy dish is ideally made from simple ingredients, contains fruit or veg, whole grains, healthy fats, be high in fiber and/or protein.
Since we have our nutritionist James with us, we can approach things in a bit more detail. Here are the criteria for any healthy lunch idea in this round-up:
- be vegetarian (cos over here, we are all proponents of the meat-free lifestyle)
- contain plenty of fresh vegetables, whole grains, and protein from good sources
- have a good amount of protein per serving – 15 g minimum, but ideally more than 20 g
- have max 25 g of fat per serving, with no more than 10 g of saturated fat
- calorie count of 400 – 600 kcal. A bit more than 600 kcal is okay, but not under 400 kcal, not for lunch!
- contain a minimum 5g of fiber per serving.
As a result, these meals will nourish you, keep you fuller for longer, and your blood sugar levels on an even keel.
With this in mind, check out this collection of quick healthy lunch recipes, which should not take you more than 20 minutes to put together. And not to mention, easy lunch ideas suitable for even the most non-cheffy person you know.
This way to quick, healthy lunches that make your life enjoyable!
From a bunch of ingredients to a full-fledged dish in 20 minutes! Now there’s a result! And healthy to boot! What could be better?
Healthy quick lunches
Lentil TabboulehCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: our take on the traditional Mediterranean mezze, with a whopping 21g of fiber!
Looking for an easy tabbouleh recipe? Get a load of our lentil tabbouleh – a protein-packed take on the classic dish! What a great way to get much-needed fiber in your diet!
Vietnamese Green Noodle SaladCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: not only delicious but healthy, fun, and ready to be eaten anywhere
Ready to blow your taste buds away with a Vietnamese green noodle salad? Grab your noodles and tofu and chop-chop! This quick meal will make an awesome midday meal.
Easy Homemade Ramen in a JarCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: your packed lunch just got fancy!
You can now have DIY instant noodles in 20 minutes, that are far healthier and more delicious than their pre-packed counterparts! Just add boiling water and pop it in the microwave, and voila! Steaming hot, fresh noodle soup awaits you! One of our best healthy lunch ideas yet!
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Mediterranean Rice BowlCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: simple but mighty Mediterranean rice bowl!
This Mediterranean rice bowl is perfect for meal prep. Full of whole grains & veggies, it’s simple, healthy, and delicious any day of the week.
Vegan Lentil and Potato SaladCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: a hearty and warm lentil salad for a yummy lunch
This protein-packed vegan lentil and potato salad is the perfect recipe for lunch. It’s filling, healthy and nutritious, while still tasting amazing! It is a great option for a packed lunch.
Colourful Bulgur Kidney Bean SaladCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: because lunch can be substantial and healthy!
Looking for a salad that brings more to the table than leaves? This high-protein bulgur kidney bean salad has you covered! One of my favorite healthy lunch ideas, this!
Refreshing Pasta in Peanut SauceCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: never thought you’d see pasta recipes in a healthy lunch list huh?
An unusual pasta, in a peanut butter sauce that is so tasty, nutty and creamy. Have a taste of this and you will be shocked to hear it is so healthful!
Fabulous Flatbread PizzasCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: improve your lunch life easily
This mega quick lunch recipe from ace chef Jansen Schouten is bound to please you all. It’s tasty, nutritious, and most importantly – a break from the norm! One of HTFU’s most delicious lunch ideas, if I do say so myself 🙂
Spicy Black Bean Soup (20 Min)Check out the recipe here
Bonus: if a warming, hot meal is what float’s your boat, you are in the right place!
This tasty soup is comforting you want to sit in it. Only vegan ingredients, great taste, and ready in 20 minutes. High in protein and fiber. You won’t be disappointed!
Thai Quinoa SaladCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, vegan
A refreshingly light, tasty Asian super-dish with lots of protein, fiber, and tropical flavor. Get your summer feeling here.
Chickpea Salad with QuinoaCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: egg-free, gluten-free, fuss-free lunch
Chickpeas and quinoa come together in this filling salad that is such a delight to eat. So delicious you will be eager to eat your lunch as soon as you make it!
Arugula Lentil Salad From HeavenCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: quick, healthy and tastes great
High protein, iron, and fiber in exotic Arugula and Lentil Salad that’s healthy and vegan. The crunch of the fresh veggies is so good you will not be able to resist!
Vegetarian Fried RiceCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: the perfect leftovers dish that comes together in 15 mins
Everybody should know how to make veggie fried rice. Hands down one of the most delicious and easiest ways to use up leftovers. Ready in max. 15 minutes!
Avocado Chickpea Salad (5 Min, Vegetarian)Check out the recipe here
Bonus: egg-free, gluten-free salad that’s full of protein and fiber
If a cold lunch is what you are after, then this Avocado Chickpea Salad is the perfect fit. Supercharge your lunch with this high protein, high fiber salad that’s full of creamy avocado and yummy chickpeas. Easy, tasty, and comes together in minutes.
Healthy Egg SaladCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: great EGG-xpectations for this healthy egg salad!!
Looking to up your salad game? Try this healthy egg salad recipe with quinoa and beets – the perfect weight loss lunch! Try it right away!
- ½ cup quinoa
- 4 eggs
- ⅓ cup beets (thinly sliced into semi circles, about ½ a beetroot, pre-cooked works too)
- 3 tbsp white vinegar
- 3 cups salad greens
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tbsp honey
- 1 tsp apple vinegar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 oz low fat feta cheese or low fat goats cheese (crumbled)
- 1 handful parsley, fresh
- Black pepper to taste
- Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions. We use 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa. Bring to boil, simmer, and when water has evaporated then take off heat and cover with a tea towel for about 5 minutes.½ cup quinoa
- In a small pot with boiling water add the eggs. Cook for 6 minutes and 30 seconds for a jammy egg with slightly liquid yolk in the centre or 7 minutes for a firmer yet still jammy egg. Then take eggs out into ice water to cool. Once cold, peel them.4 eggs
- Meanwhile, add the thinly sliced beets to a small pot and cover them with water. The water should top the beets by ½ an inch. Add two big pinches of salt and the white vinegar. Once the liquid boils, let it simmer for 3 minutes. Immediately take beets off the hot liquid. If using pre-boiled beets then slice and leave to sit in the same amount of hot water and vinegar.⅓ cup beets, 3 tbsp white vinegar
- Mix olive oil, honey, apple vinegar and ¼ tsp salt.1 tbsp olive oil, ½ tbsp honey, 1 tsp apple vinegar, ¼ tsp salt
- Plate the salad with the salad greens, beets, crumbled cheese, parsley leaves and eggs cut in half or fourths. Give the ingredients a good sprinkle of salt and black pepper. Finish the dish with the dressing.3 cups salad greens, 2 oz low fat feta cheese or low fat goats cheese, 1 handful parsley, fresh, Black pepper to taste
Healthy and quick lunches in 30
If you have a wee bit more time at hand to whip up some lunch, I have a few recipes for you!
Vegetarian Spring Salad with Peas & LentilsCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: this big bowl of fresh salad with lentils for lunch will keep you going all afternoon
Looking for a salad that is filling, healthy, and high in protein? Try this spring salad with lentils & veggies now! Takes 20 mins to pull together – so if you can do your meal prep ahead of time, you have yourself a quick lunch recipe!
Spring Vegetable Fried RiceCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: what’s better than one fried rice recipe? TWO fried rice recipes!
Need to use some leftover rice and veggies? Rustle up some egg-fried rice with this healthy vegetable fried rice recipe! The sunny side up on top is a nice touch – rather like traditional Nasi Goreng, no?
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Feta & PestoCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: 30 g of protein and 22 g of fiber? Getouttahere!
Looking for a tasty, healthy new way to use up some sweet potatoes? Try this Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with red pesto!
Leek and Potato SoupCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: combine the comfort of hearty potatoes and leeks with an added portion of protein-boosting white beans
Tired of soups that leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied? Try our fiber and protein-packed leek and potato soup with white beans now! You will def feel full with the 16g of protein keeping your belly nice and warm!
High-protein Burrito BowlCheck out the recipe here
Bonus: with a whopping 28g of protein and 18 g of fiber, this is an all-singing, all-dancing meal!
I love my burrito bowls – with a few additions/deletions, it is so easy to completely change the makeup of your meal! Take this one – nutty brown rice, black beans, sweet corn, all tossed together with a spicy fajita mix – what more does a lunch need, I ask!
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There you have it! My favorite lunch recipes that, as advertised, definitely tick the “healthy lunches” box big time.
School lunches or work lunches, need to be healthy dishes, to nourish our bodies and our minds. The cold salads can cut down on meal prep if you batch-fix them the previous night, leaving you free to roll out the next day without worrying about what to fix for lunch.
I hope this quick list has given you some stellar homemade lunch ideas that are just right for busy days (if you want more inspo, try these vegan lunch ideas too!). And the good news? Each and every one of them is good for you. Promise!
Healthy Quick Questions
What is the healthiest lunch to eat?
Basically, a meal that contains healthy veggies, whole grains, adequate protein, fiber, and fats is what I would call a healthy lunch. The healthiest lunch would be one you would want to go back for more because it makes you happy!
Lunch like the colorful bulghur kidney bean salad or Thai quinoa salad – or even spicy black beans soup, if you are after a hot lunch.
What are some healthy lunch ideas for school?
Vegetarian fried rice – especially when it is made from leftover rice from the previous night – is amazing for school lunch. (I would happily go back to school, just to eat that! Maybe.) Or the pita-pizza remix, cos it is yummy and something totally new!
How about the easy homemade ramen in a jar? Taking lunch in a mason jar to school is such a flex!
What is a balanced lunch?
A balanced lunch should contain at least 20 grams of protein (definitely no less than 15g), no more than 25 grams of fat (10 g or less of saturated fat), and a minimum of 5 grams of fiber. Healthy, fresh veggies and whole grains are a must.
Finally, the calories – aim for the 400 – 600 kcal zone. Lower than 400 and you will tip into the licking the wallpaper zone.
So, there you have it. 29 quick healthy lunch ideas just for you. Give them a go, play with them, fine-tune them to suit your lifestyle, and come back and tell us how you went. You know I love to hear from you 🙂