Packing lunch is your best bet when trying to stick to a healthful and budget-friendly meal plan. Come lunchtime, having something delicious waiting for you feels like a treat, but bringing something you're not excited about is the worst. Forgo leftover trauma, and enjoy one of these healthy recipes that's even tastier the next day.
Mayo-laden chicken salad can clock in at more than 500 calories per serving. Sub in nonfat Greek yogurt to keep the same texture and tang you love, but cut the calories and fat of the traditional in half. Serve your salad over a bed of lettuce, tucked in a pita pocket, or on top of a toasted English muffin for a light yet satisfying lunch.
Keep reading for this fresh and light recipe.
Bringing your lunch to work (or school) doesn't have to be a difficult or time-intensive task. It's a wonderful way to save money and fuel up on major flavor. These inviting dishes may inspire you to start packing a brown bag, even a few days out of the week. Take a look!
— Additional reporting by Susannah Chen and Lisette Mejia
Sometimes everyone's lunch routine needs a makeover, including us food editors! We challenged our readers to share their lunch photos with us via Instagram to inspire us and others to eat delicious things. Beyond salads and sandwiches, check out what these POPSUGAR Food readers are eating during their midday meal.
Show us your edible creations by uploading photos to Instagram and including the hashtag #SavorySight in the caption. Who knows? You might be featured next go-round! And make sure to follow POPSUGAR Food on Instagram for delicious inspiration. If you don't use Instagram, then upload your food photos to our Savory Sights social page.
Want a balanced lunch that offers fiber and protein? A sandwich has your back, but choose the wrong add-ons and condiments, and it's a whole day's worth of calories in a few bites. Here are ways to cut calories from this favorite lunchable — they may not be huge amounts, but keep in mind that little bits definitely add up.
- Whole wheat pita (170) instead of two slices of whole-wheat bread (200): saves 30 calories
- Spinach wrap (180) instead of a sun-dried tomato and basil wrap (210): saves 30 calories
- Make this lighten-up chicken salad on a multigrain English muffin (289) instead of a mayo-laden chicken salad sandwich (501): saves 212 calories
- Two pieces of Romaine lettuce (10) instead of a whole-wheat wrap (130): saves 120 calories
- Go open-faced: Eat one side of a whole wheat roll (190) instead of the whole roll (380): saves 190 calories
- Two ounces of sliced roasted turkey (50) instead of two ounces of sliced ham (70): saves 20 calories
- Go for two ounces of sliced roasted chicken (60) or two ounces of sliced roast beef (60) instead of two ounces of sliced pastrami (82): saves 22 calories
- On your BLT, choose three Lightlife smoky tempeh strips (100) instead of three slices of bacon (138): saves 38 calories
- For cheese, choose one slice of provolone (98) instead of one slice of cheddar cheese (113): saves 15 calories
- One tomato slice (5) instead of one tablespoon of ketchup (20): saves 15 calories
- One tablespoon Greek yogurt cucumber dill dip (30) instead of one tablespoon mayo (90): saves 60 calories
- To munch along with your sandwich, choose 15 blue corn chips (140) instead of 15 potato chips (160): saves 20 calories
Need some nutritious sandwich ideas? Check out these hearty and healthy vegetarian sammies.
Even if you can't make it to the New York City Wine & Food Festival, you can still cook like a celebrity chef! Shape shared these healthy recipes that will be featured at this year's event.
Create gourmet meals from some of the top names in cooking at home!
Southwestern Grilled Salmon With Tomato-Red Chile ChutneyTry this healthy dinner recipe by celebrity chef Bobby Flay!
Nutrition per serving: 292 calories, 14g fat (2g saturated), 15g carbs, 26g protein, 2g fiber, 119mg calcium, 3mg iron, 127mg sodium
Barilla® Gluten-Free Spaghetti With Tomatoes and BasilSatisfy your craving for Italian food with this gluten-free pasta dish provided by Lorenzo Boni!
Nutrition per serving: 384 calories, 29.5g fat, 8g saturated, 19g carbs, 14g protein, 2g fiber, 328mg calcium, 1mg iron, 678mg sodium
Broccoli and Turkey Sausage Frittata With Roasted Tomato and ArugulaThis fast and filling frittata recipe from Michael Ferraro is so versatile, you can enjoy it at any time of day!
Nutrition per serving: 239 calories, 11g fat, 3g saturated, 5.5g carbs, 31.5g protein, 1.5g fiber, 46mg calcium, 2mg iron, 607mg sodium
Grilled Shrimp With Black Quinoa, Avocado, and Orange SaladThis grilled shrimp with quinoa and avocado salad recipe from Franklin Becker is packed with protein and flavored with fresh herbs and citrus.
Nutrition per serving: 279 calories, 19g fat (2g saturated), 21g carbs, 12.5g protein, 6g fiber, 62mg calcium, 3mg iron, 279mg sodium
If you're headed back to school or are using the start of Fall as a way to get back on the healthy train after a Summer of burgers and ice cream, you'll need a way to pack all those perfectly-portioned lunches and snacks from home. If you're nervous about BPA, which has been linked to all sorts of health issues, you can feel good picking up these reusable BPA-free containers.
Think a sandwich just isn't a sandwich without some sort of meat? Then you haven't tried these sandwiches stuffed with baked tofu, roasted veggies, and mock chicken. All vegetarian but hearty and full of bold flavors, enjoy one of these delicious options for lunch or dinner.
While a stroll to your favorite lunch spot can be a nice break from the workday, frequent takeout gets expensive fast. Moreover, long checkout lines aren't exactly busy-day friendly. Instead, think ahead and turn the night prior's leftovers into an enticing brown-bag lunch that is low-fuss to assemble, travels well, and will keep you full and satisfied for the remainder of the day. Keep reading for five ways to transform tonight's dinner into tomorrow's lunch.
Whether or not you're on a tight budget, bringing your lunch to work is a great option. Instead of having to throw something together in a frenzy in the morning, these lunches can be made in advance and will stand up to the fridge overnight. These options are delicious dinners that are twice as good the next day. Brown-bag it up with these 11 recipes for make-ahead bliss.
— Additional reporting by Lisette Mejia