Healthy Lunch Ideas That Aren’t Salad ➤ Top 5 Recipes

Frau isst Suppe

You’re finally ready to start eating better? The first thing that probably comes to mind is salad. This is good for your next lunch, but it might get pretty boring after three days in a row.

Try these 5 easy recipes that will keep you full longer and provide essential nutrients:

woman cooking

Quick Avocado Chicken Wrap

University, work, meeting friends… stressful days don’t leave much time for cooking. Prepare the Avocado Chicken Wrap the night before and take it with you to work so you can skip a fast food lunch.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients for a wrap:

  • 100 g chicken breast (cubed)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove of garlic (pressed)
  • 1 tortilla wrap
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 roasted red pepper from a jar
  • Coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Mix the lime juice, red pepper flakes, and garlic.
  2. Place the chicken cubes in the marinade for a few minutes. Then sauté the meat in some coconut oil.
  3. Heat the wrap in a pan or microwave and squash the flesh of the avocado onto the wrap using a fork.
  4. Add the roasted red pepper to the chicken in the pan and sauté it quickly on both sides.
  5. Put the pepper and the meat in a line down the middle of the wrap, roll it up tight and take a big juicy bite of your snack.

One wrap contains about 650 cal, 48 g of carbohydrates, 32 g of protein, and 35 g of fat.

Good to know

Avocados are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, which keep your heart and blood vessels healthy. The fruit also contains many antioxidants, protein, and potassium – a real superfood!

Ratatouille with Creamy Polenta

Onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and eggplant are the main ingredients for this vegetarian dish. Add the comfort of creamy polenta to round out this ratatouille.  

Prep time: 30 minutes

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 200 g diced tomatoes (canned)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1250 ml vegetable stock  
  • 250 g polenta
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp chopped thyme leaves
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Wash the eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper and cut into small chunks.
  2. Dice the onion.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pot and sauté the onion until translucent. Press the garlic into the pot.
  4. Sauté the eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper for a few minutes in the pot. Stir several times.
  5. In the meantime, bring 1 liter of vegetable stock to a boil. Sprinkle in the polenta and cook it according to the package instructions until creamy and smooth.
  6. Stir in the butter, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and cover the polenta with a lid. Whisk in some extra vegetable stock, if needed.
  7. Add 1 tablespoon of thyme, the tomatoes, and the rest of the vegetable stock (250 ml) to the vegetables, season with salt and pepper and let the ratatouille simmer.
  8. Arrange the polenta and the vegetables in a bowl and sprinkle with the rest of the thyme leaves.

One serving has about 403 cal, 55 g carbohydrate, 10 g protein, and 14 g fat.

Good to know:

The dish “ratatouille” originated in Nice. The French recipe was printed and distributed for the first time around 1930, after which it started gaining popularity beyond the region of southern France.

Low-calorie Zoodles with Chicken and Tomatoes

You don’t need any carbs to enjoy your favorite Italian dish! Just replace pasta with zoodles (zucchini noodles) and you’ve got a delicious low-calorie version. Are you vegetarian? Skip the chicken and add tofu or cashews instead.  

Prep time: 40 minutes

Ingredients for 3 servings:

  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 150 g cherry tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp Parmesan
  • 1 handful of arugula
  • 250 g chicken
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Wash and quarter the tomatoes.
  2. Wash the zucchini and cut them into noodles using a spiralizer.
  3. Cut the chicken into small pieces. Heat the oil in a pan and cook the chicken until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Press the garlic into the pan and add the tomatoes.
  5. Then stir the zucchini noodles into the chicken-vegetable mixture and let everything cook for a few minutes. The zoodles (zucchini noodles) should be al dente.
  6. Finally, stir in some arugula and grated Parmesan.

One serving of zoodles has about 260 cal, 6 g carbohydrate, 26 g protein, and 13 g fat.

Did you know…

…that zucchini has valuable vitamins like vitamin A, B, and C?

Shrimp & Broccoli Stir-Fry

No more Chinese takeout necessary! This is the perfect quick and easy meal. It only takes 10 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 350 g shrimp
  • 350 g broccoli
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 green onion (chopped)

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp ginger
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp cane sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Grate the ginger and press the garlic clove.
  2. Mix both of these in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients to form the sauce.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the shrimp and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  4. Next, add the broccoli.
  5. When the broccoli is tender (takes about 5 minutes), pour the sauce over it. Mix everything together well.
  6. Sprinkle the shrimp & broccoli stir-fry with sesame seeds and the green onions.
  7. Serve with rice.

One serving (without rice) has about 330 cal, 11 g carbohydrate, 38 g protein, and 11 g fat.

Ginger…

…adds zip to any dish and also has an anti inflammatory effect on your body.

Vegan Red Lentil Curry

Lentils are a powerhouse for protein. This low-cal curry is full of flavor and nutrients and really warms you up on cold, rainy days.

Prep time: 40 minutes

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 200 g red lentils
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp ginger (grated)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp ground caraway seeds
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 400 g tomatoes (diced)
  • 400 ml vegetable stock
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Dice the onion and garlic.
  2. Heat the canola oil in a pot. Sauté the onion and garlic until translucent.
  3. Add the grated ginger and spices.
  4. Add the red lentils and the diced tomatoes in the pot. Pour in the vegetable stock and coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Let the red lentil curry simmer for 25-30 minutes until the lentils are tender.
  6. Drizzle some lime juice on top.
  7. Serve the curry with rice.

One serving (without rice) has around 390 cal, 33 g carbohydrate, 17 g protein, and 21 g fat.

Macronutrient: Protein

Lentils are very high in protein. 100 g of lentils have 27 g of this important macronutrient. Lentils are also loaded with essential minerals and fiber.

Meal-prepping done right:

Do you want to start cooking ahead, but you don’t know how to start? Find helpful tips on the Runtastic blog.

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Tina Sturm-Ornezeder Tina loves the written word, avocados & yoga and is very curious. She likes to discover new trends and report on them. View all posts by Tina Sturm-Ornezeder »