Eating a healthy lunch doesn’t have to be complicated or boring! In fact, there are tons of ways to make a delicious lunch even with that busy schedule of yours. I know how hard cooking can be with school, work, and a social life but here are some easy and healthy lunch recipes to make it easier!
1. Chicken Tacos With Avocado Salad
Tacos are a great lunch meal because they are quick and easy to make, and also can be made ahead of time for meal prep! Make these tacos ahead of time so you only have to heat them up and off you go.
Toss the chicken with 1/2 cup salsa, the juice of 1 lime and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large bowl; let marinate 10 minutes. Mix the remaining 1/2 cup salsa, sour cream and 2 tablespoons cilantro in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate. Gently toss the hearts of palm, avocado, radishes, the remaining cilantro, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and the juice of the remaining lime in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken along with the marinade and cook until slightly charred and cooked through, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and chop; season with salt.
Warm the tortillas as the label directs. Using 2 stacked tortillas per taco, fill with the chicken, salsa-sour cream mixture and lettuce and/or red onion. Serve with the avocado salad and lime wedges.
2. Grilled Veggie and Hummus Wrap
Wraps are a great lunch menu item that can be taken on the go at any moment. This grilled vegetable and hummus wrap is vegetarian, but you can also add some grilled steak or chicken in it for added protein. It’s perfect for lunch when you don’t have much time for anything else.
2 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 cup store-bought hummus
4 pieces whole-wheat wrap bread (about 9 inches in diameter)
Preheat the grill or grill pan over medium heat. Brush both sides of the zucchini slices with the oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Grill until tender and slightly browned, about 4 minutes per side.
Spread 1/4 cup of the hummus over each piece of bread. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of pine nuts on top. Top with 3 slices of zucchini, 2 pieces of red pepper, 1/2 cup of spinach, a few sliced onions, and 1 tablespoon of the mint. Roll each of them up and cut in half on a diagonal.
3. Garden Egg Salad
You can really create this lunch recipe with anything you want- chicken, egg, tuna- and it will all be delicious. Serve it over some greens for a little salad or wrap in lettuce for an amazing lettuce wrap. Either way, you have a great lunch idea on your hands to make ahead of time.
Put the eggs in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, cover, and remove from the heat. Set aside for 12 minutes. Drain the eggs and roll them between your palm and the counter to crack the shell, then peel under cool running water.
Dice the eggs. Combine the eggs with mayonnaise, mustard and season with the salt and pepper. Stir in the scallions, celery, and radish.
Distribute egg salad over lettuce or serve as desired.
4. Antipasti Penne
If you’re in the mood for carbs, but don’t want to eat the size of a dinner portion, consider making an antipasti dish for lunch instead. This leads to smaller serving sizes and a heartier lunch that you can always make ahead of time!
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to package instructions; drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the soppressata and cook, stirring, until blistered and the oil turns reddish, about 3 minutes. Add the artichoke hearts and olives and stir to coat. Add the tomatoes, the reserved pasta water, basil leaves and 2 tablespoons of olive brine. Bring to a simmer and cook until most of the water evaporates and the sauce thickens slightly, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the sauce and mozzarella to the pasta in the pot and stir to combine.
These lunch options are all great to make when you’re in a time crunch or just don’t know what else to make. Let me know your go-to healthy lunch in the comments below!