10 Healthy Lunch Ideas That You Can Easily Make at Home

And the last one lets the slow cooker do all the work.

Photo: Alison Miksch

We're willing to bet you've been a victim of a #saddesklunch. We've all been there—at the office or when working from home. We know how unfortunate it can be to sit at your desk faced with a bowl of cereal for lunch (string cheese on the side, amirite?), or worse: a soggy spinach salad you should have tossed last Wednesday.

Let's live a little and kick your noontime nosh up a notch. How? By getting these 10 better-for-you recipes into the rotation any time you need a little healthy lunch pick-me-up (read: immediately).

01 of 10

Caesar Salad With Yogurt-Parmesan Dressing

Caesar Salad With Yogurt-Parmesan Dressing
Alison Miksch

This Caesar salad's dressing is made with yogurt, which packs probiotics for a healthy gut. It's cheesy, delicious, and doubles as a dip for cut up veggies or chips.

Get the recipe: Caesar Salad With Yogurt-Parmesan Dressing

02 of 10

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Chickpea salad sandwich on a plate
Alison Miksch

Here, chickpeas roll in for a vegetarian version of a chicken salad sandwich (read: not your grandmother's). If you want to lighten it up, swap yogurt for the mayo. Once you try it you'll be brown-bagging one daily—and it's so quick, you'll have no excuse not to make it.

Get the recipe: Chickpea Salad Sandwich

03 of 10

Sweet Potato-and-Kale Tortilla Soup

Sweet Potato-and-Kale Tortilla Soup
Alison Miksch

This comforting bowl of tortilla soup is made righteous (and anti-inflammatory) with heart-healthy sweet potatoes and kale. Have it with or without the shredded rotisserie chicken. The softened corn tortillas plump up in the broth and go deliciously with the crispy ones on top. Avocado, radishes, and cilantro freshen it up, but are totally optional.

Get the recipe: Sweet Potato-and-Kale Tortilla Soup

04 of 10

Celery and Apple Salad With Toasted Buckwheat

Celery and Apple Salad With Toasted Buckwheat
Alison Miksch

Celery, apple, and toasted buckwheat pack a variety of tasty textures that make this healthy lunch idea extremely satisfying. Toasted buckwheat is a fun and nutritious add-on that fits into a gluten-free diet. Bonus: this healthy pick doesn't wilt like other salads by the time the clock hits lunchtime.

Get the recipe: Celery and Apple Salad With Toasted Buckwheat

05 of 10

Cauliflower Tartine With Romesco Sauce

Roasted and Pickled Cauliflower Sandwiches With Romesco
Caitlin Bensel

This delicious open-faced sandwich may look fancy, but we promise it's super easy to make. You'll start with the delicious combination of Romesco and cauliflower, then add golden raisins and fresh parsley to the mix for a bright—and subtly sweet—kick. Don't love one (or both)? No problem: you can use cilantro and chopped dates instead.

Get the recipe: Roasted and Pickled Cauliflower Sandwiches With Romesco

06 of 10

Classic Chicken and Dumplings

Manny Rodriguez/Getty Images

We can all agree that there are few lunches more comforting than classic chicken and dumplings. The magic in this recipe starts with chicken thighs that get browned then simmered to make a homemade chicken stock that serves as the base of the soup. Just a few ingredients go into the dumplings, which get dropped right into the soup and cooked. Garnish with parsley and serve with fresh sourdough or challah bread.

Get the recipe: Classic Chicken and Dumplings

07 of 10

Green Chilaquiles

Green Turkey Chilaquiles
Brie Passano

Complete with homemade oven-baked tortilla chips and a green enchilada sauce, this recipe for chilaquiles is about to become your new go-to for lunch leftovers. The sauce adds moisture back to the turkey meat, and thinly sliced radishes bring all the fresh crunch. Add a fried egg on top to give it an extra kick.

Get the recipe: Green Chilaquiles

08 of 10

Slow-Roasted Citrus Salmon

Slow-Roasted Citrus Salmon Recipe
Caitlin Bensel

A gorgeous side of salmon deserves a worthy preparation, like this recipe, in which you'll slow-roast a side of salmon sandwiched between layers of lemon and orange slices, topped with sprigs of dill and oil.

Get the recipe: Slow-Roasted Citrus Salmon

09 of 10

Eggplant-Mushroom Meatball Sub

Eggplant-Mushroom Meatball Sub
Caitlin Bensel

These Eggplant Mushroom Meatball Subs are so satisfying, we guarantee you'll wonder why you ever bothered with meatball sandwiches that actually contain meat. The eggplant and mushrooms each pack plenty of delicious savory flavor and serve as a solid source of protein, too.

Get the recipe: Eggplant-Mushroom Meatball Sub

10 of 10

Slow-Cooker Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

Our Slow-Cooker Bean and Spinach Enchiladas boast a hearty, vegetarian filling, and while they might look labor intensive, they actually couldn’t be easier.
Marcus Nilsson

We found a method of making this delicious dish without the extra work of cooking the filling, then rolling, then baking: the slow cooker. If you're feeling a bit tired of eating leftover tacos for lunch, these easy enchiladas are the perfect swap.

Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

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