Share on Pinterest

When it comes to eating healthy, some of us count carbs, others count fat, and a lot of us (still) count calories. The key to success is making sure those calories are full of nutrients.

After all, by the time noon rolls around, it’s way tooeasy to head to the nearest pizza joint. But hold up: We have 35 healthy lunches that are 400 calories or less and can be made in no time!

And for folks who need a little more fuel to keep on going, each meal also includes an optional side snack, which still keeps the grand total under 500.

So say sayonara to takeout or spending hours in the kitchen — with these options, nobody will go hungry (or unhealthy) again.

1. Caesar salmon wrap: 307 calories

Why it rules: Low-cal dressing and heart-healthy salmon make this a winning wrap.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 small whole-wheat pita: 80 calories
  • 3 ounces canned salmon: 110 calories
  • 2 tablespoons low-calorie Caesar dressing: 32 calories
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese: 22 calories
  • 1 cup raw spinach: 7 calories

Side snack: ¼ cucumber sliced with 2 tablespoons hummus (56 calories)

2. Crunchy tuna wrap: 384 calories

Why it rules: Greek yogurt makes this tuna salad just as creamy as the classic mayo would, but with a nice dose of extra protein and some probiotics to boot.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 whole-wheat wrap: 130 calories
  • 3 ounces canned tuna: 90 calories
  • ¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt: 30 calories
  • ½ celery stalk, chopped: 5 calories
  • 3 slices roasted red peppers: 30 calories
  • 1 cup raw spinach: 7 calories
  • 1 squeeze of lemon juice: <1 calorie

Side snack: 1 cup cherries (90 calories)

3. Turkey wrap: 365 calories

Why it rules: Turkey is a tasty andlean source of protein. Bonus points for choosing the low-sodium kind.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 whole-wheat wrap: 130 calories
  • 3 slices deli turkey: 90 calories
  • 2 tablespoons hummus: 60 calories
  • 1 tablespoon goat cheese: 60 calories
  • 1 handful baby spinach: 5 calories

Side snack: 9 multigrain pita chips (130 calories)

4. Tangy shrimp and avocado wrap: 377 calories

Why it rules: Shrimp is a filling, low-calorie lunch option that pairs well with our beloved avocado.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 whole-wheat wrap: 130 calories
  • 6 precooked shrimp, chopped: 42 calories
  • ¼ avocado, sliced: 60 calories
  • ¼ cucumber, sliced: 15 calories
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt: 30 calories
  • 1 squeeze lemon juice: <1 calorie
  • Garlic, salt, and pepper to taste <1 calorie

Side snack: 8 mixed olives (100 calories)

5. Spicy black bean burrito: 365 calories

Why it rules: Black beans are an awesome source of fiber.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 whole-wheat wrap: 130 calories
  • ¼ cup black beans: 60 calories
  • ¼ avocado, sliced: 60 calories
  • ¼ small red onion, sliced: 10 calories
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce: 5 calories

Side snack: 10 baked tortilla chips with ¼ cup salsa (100 calories)

Share on Pinterest

6. Herbed cheese and tomato sandwich: 398 calories

Why it rules: Cottage cheese is an awesome source of calcium and protein!

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 English muffin: 120 calories
  • ¼ cup low-fat cottage cheese: 40 calories
  • 2 slices tomato: 10 calories
  • ¼ avocado, sliced: 68 calories
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard: 5 calories
  • 1 leaf butter lettuce: 5 calories
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped: <1 calorie
  • Garlic powder to taste: <1 calorie

Side snack: 1 small banana and 1 square of dark chocolate (130 calories)

7. Spiced chickpea pita: 350 calories

Why it rules: It’s a spin on a traditional falafel sandwich without fried chickpeas.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 whole-wheat pita: 80 calories
  • ½ chicken breast: 100 calories
  • ¼ cup chickpeas: 70 calories
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt: 30 calories
  • 1 sprinkle parsley: <1 calorie
  • 1 sprinkle oregano: <1 calorie

Side snack: 1 large peach (70 calories)

8. Grilled cheese with tomato and turkey: 345 calories

Why it rules: This healthier version of a grilled cheese has no butter and adds turkey for extra protein.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread: 180 calories
  • 3 slices deli turkey: 90 calories
  • 1 slice provolone: 70 calories
  • 1 small spritz olive oil spray (to grease pan or panini press!): 5 calories

Side snack: 1 small apple (60 calories)

9. Grilled chicken and cheese sandwich: 395 calories

Why it rules: Low-calorie mayo has about 60 fewer calories per tablespoon than the regular stuff.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread: 180 calories
  • ½ chicken breast, sliced: 100 calories
  • 1 slice Swiss cheese: 70 calories
  • 1 tablespoon low-calorie mayo: 32 calories
  • 2 slices tomato: 10 calories
  • 1 leaf butter lettuce: 5 calories

Side snack: ¼ cucumber, sliced, with 2 tablespoons hummus (75 calories)

10. Veggie sub: 380 calories

Why it rules: Get your daily serving of fresh veggies and then some with this flavorful sandwich.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 (6-inch) whole-wheat sub roll: 220 calories
  • 2 tablespoons hummus: 60 calories
  • ¼ cucumber, sliced: 15 calories
  • 1 small tomato, sliced: 10 calories
  • 5 black olives, halved: 40 calories
  • ½ carrot, shredded: 30 calories
  • 1 handful alfalfa sprouts: 5 calories

Side snack: 1 large handful sweet potato chips (80 calories)

11. Curried chicken pita with cranberries and pear: 375 calories

Why it rules: No mayo is needed for this tasty chicken salad. Greek yogurt to the rescue.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 whole-wheat pita: 80 calories
  • ½ chicken breast, diced: 100 calories
  • ¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt: 30 calories
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries: 45 calories
  • ½ pear, diced: 45 calories
  • 1 teaspoon honey mustard: 5 calories
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder: <1 calorie
  • 1 squeeze lemon juice: <1 calorie

Side snack: The other half of the pear used in the salad! (45 calories)

12. Egg, tomato, and avocado sandwich: 385 calories

Why it rules: This sandwich is leaner and greener than a traditional bacon, egg, and cheese. And delicious any time of day.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 English muffin: 120 calories
  • 1 large egg, fried: 75 calories
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil: 40 calories
  • ¼ avocado, sliced: 60 calories
  • 2 slices tomato: 10 calories

Side snack: 1 medium apple (80 calories)

Share on Pinterest

13. Ham, pear, and Swiss sandwich: 395 calories

Why it rules: Deli ham is leaner than Christmas dinner baked ham but still packed with protein. Choose a low-sodium version.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread: 180 calories
  • 3 slices deli ham: 100 calories
  • 1 slice Swiss cheese: 70 calories
  • ½ pear, sliced: 45 calories
  • 1 teaspoon honey mustard: 5 calories

Side snack: ¾ cup apple chips (80 calories)

14. TBLT: 375 calories

Why it rules: Turkey bacon is leaner than traditional pork bacon, but it’s still full of crispy deliciousness.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread: 180 calories
  • 3 slices turkey bacon: 130 calories
  • 2 slices tomato: 10 calories
  • 1 leaf romaine lettuce: 5 calories
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat mayo: 50 calories

Side snack: 2 pretzel rods with 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (100 calories)

15. Roast beef and horseradish sandwich: 385 calories

Why it rules: Your co-workers will envy this tasty and hearty lunch that has a boost of calcium. (Thanks, mozzarella!)

Calorie breakdown:

  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread: 180 calories
  • 2 slices deli roast beef: 100 calories
  • 1 thick slice fresh mozzarella cheese: 70 calories
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish sauce: 30 calories
  • 1 leaf romaine lettuce: 5 calories

Side snack: 1 large peach (70 calories)

16. Better PB&J: 390 calories

Why it rules: Make it an AB&J! Almond butter is a great swap for peanut butter if you’re allergic or not a fan — or just for a change of pace.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread: 180 calorie
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter: 190 calories
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sugar jelly: 20 calories

Side snack: ½ cup plain Greek yogurt with ¼ cup fresh blueberries (91 calories)

17. Pizza burger: 360 calories

Why it rules: Say “so long” to cravings for greasy pizza, thanks to this protein-filled veggie burger.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 whole-wheat bun: 90 calories
  • 1 veggie burger patty: 100 calories (Note: Amounts vary according to brand)
  • 2 slices fresh mozzarella cheese: 140 calories
  • 2 tablespoons marinara sauce: 40 calories

Side snack: 1 orange (85 calories)

18. Hawaiian veggie burger: 475 calories

Why it rules: Avocado is a great swap for mayonnaise because it’s full of fiber and monounsaturated fats.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 whole-wheat bun: 90 calories
  • 1 veggie burger patty: 100 calories (Note: Amounts vary according to brand)
  • ¼ avocado, mashed: 57 calories
  • 1 slice pineapple: 28 calories
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce: 53 calories
  • 1 cup alfalfa sprouts: 8 calories

Side snack: 1 ounce sweet potato chips (139 calories)

19. Mediterranean burger: 400 calories

Why it rules: Subbing turkey for the traditional beef cuts calories without sacrificing flavor.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 whole-wheat bun: 90 calories,
  • 1 turkey burger patty: 140 calories
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese: 50 calories
  • 2 slices tomato: 10 calories
  • 1 round slice red onion: 5 calories
  • 1 handful spinach: 5 calories

Side snack: 5 Kashi 7-grain crackers with 1 stick reduced-fat string cheese (100 calories)

20. Veggie patty with over-easy egg: 390 calories

Why it rules: Filled with protein and healthy fats, this veggie and cheese combo will satisfy even the heartiest of appetites.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 veggie burger patty: 100 calories (Note: Amounts vary according to brand)
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese: 70 calories
  • 1 large egg, over-easy, cooked with olive-oil spray: 80 calories
  • ¼ avocado, sliced: 60 calories

Side snack: 1 medium apple (80 calories)

21. Greek pita salad: 368 calories

Why it rules: Protein-packed chickpeas and naturally lower-fat feta cheese spice up this salad.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 cup romaine lettuce: 8 calories
  • ½ whole-wheat pita, sliced: 40 calories
  • ¼ cup feta cheese: 100 calories
  • ¼ cup chickpeas: 70 calories
  • ½ cucumber, sliced: 30 calories
  • ¼ small red onion, chopped: 10 calories
  • 2 tablespoons Greek dressing: 110 calories

Side snack: 10 baby carrots with 2 tablespoons hummus (100 calories)

22. Strawberry spinach salad: 382 calories

Why it rules: Strawberries are filled with antioxidants and can sweeten up a tangy salad.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 cup spinach: 7 calories
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced: 50 calories
  • 1 thick slice fresh mozzarella cheese: 70 calories
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts: 110 calories
  • 1 cup blanched broccoli: 30 calories
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil: 110 calories
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar: 5 calories
  • 1 squeeze lemon juice: <1 calorie

Side snack: 2-inch slice of whole-grain baguette (140 calories)

Share on Pinterest

23. Garden pasta salad: 395 calories

Why it rules: Whole-wheat pasta is a higher-fiber substitute for regular pasta.

Calorie breakdown:

  • ½ cup whole-wheat pasta: 110 calories
  • ½ chicken breast, sliced: 100 calories
  • 1 thick slice fresh mozzarella cheese: 70 calories
  • 4 Kalamata olives, sliced: 60 calories
  • ½ green pepper, sliced: 10 calories
  • ½ carrot, shredded: 30 calories
  • 2 tablespoons low-calorie Italian dressing: 15 calories

Side snack: 1 whole-wheat pita, toasted and rubbed with a garlic clove (80 calories)

24. Lentil salad with poached eggs: 390 calories

Why it rules: Lentils are a superfood thanks to their hefty dose of protein and antioxidants!

Calorie breakdown:

  • ½ cup canned lentils: 120 calories
  • ½ cup spinach, sautéed with 1 teaspoon olive oil: 50 calories
  • 2 large eggs, poached: 150 calories
  • ¼ avocado, sliced: 60 calories
  • 2 slices tomato: 10 calories

Side snack: 15 mini pretzel sticks with 2 tablespoons fat-free cream cheese (100 calories)

25. Sprout ’n’ spinach salad: 381 calories

Why it rules: This salad is packed with two of our favorite superfoods — spinach and avocado.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 2 cups baby spinach: 14 calories
  • ½ avocado, diced: 120 calories
  • 1 handful alfalfa sprouts: 5 calories
  • ½ orange bell pepper, diced: 12 calories
  • ½ carrot, grated: 30 calories
  • 2 tablespoons hummus mixed with 1 tablespoon olive oil: 170 calories

Side snack: ½ apple and 1 low-fat cheese stick (110 calories)

26. Tarragon chicken salad: 400 calories

Why it rules: Walnuts are filled with good fats that can help boost brainpower.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 cup spinach: 7 calories
  • ½ chicken breast, sliced: 100 calories
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt: 30 calories
  • ¼ cup walnuts: 160 calories
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries: 90 calories
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped: 5 calories
  • 2 slices tomato: 10 calories
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped: <1 calorie
  • 1 squeeze lemon juice: <1 calorie

Side snack: 1 whole-wheat pita (80 calories)

27. Sweet potato and shiitake mushroom salad: 485 calories

Why it rules: Sweet potatoes are filled with fiber and vitamins.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 cup raw spinach: 7 calories
  • 1 medium cooked sweet potato, sliced: 100 calories
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced and sautéed: 40 calories
  • ¼ cup feta cheese: 100 calories
  • 2 slices medium tomato: 8 calories
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil: 119 calories
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard: 10 calories
  • 1 squeeze lemon juice: <1 calorie

Side snack: 1 cup halved strawberries and ½ medium banana, sliced (101 calories)

28. Chicken and rice stir-fry bowl: 380 calories

Why it rules: Brown rice is richer in fiber and protein than white rice, which has had its bran and germ removed.

Calorie breakdown:

  • ½ cup ready-made brown rice: 100 calories
  • ½ chicken breast, sliced: 100 calories
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced: 40 calories
  • ½ red pepper, sliced: 10 calories
  • ½ green pepper, sliced: 10 calories
  • ¼ small red onion, sliced: 10 calories
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil: 110 calories

Side snack: ¼ cup boiled edamame with 1 teaspoon soy sauce (100 calories)

29. Rice ’n’ refried beans bowl: 400 calories

Why it rules: Pinto beans are a great source of fiber and iron.

Calorie breakdown:

  • ½ cup ready-made brown rice: 100 calories
  • ½ cup canned pinto beans, mashed: 130 calories
  • ¼ avocado, sliced: 60 calories
  • ¼ small red onion, sliced: 10 calories
  • 1 plum tomato, diced: 10 calories

Side snack: 10 baked tortilla chips (90 calories)

30. Stuffed sweet potato: 365 calories

Why it rules: Greek yogurt is a healthier swap for sour cream to top this stuffed sweet potato.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 cooked sweet potato, sliced: 100 calories
  • 3 slices cooked turkey bacon, crumbled: 130 calories
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt: 30 calories
  • ½ scallion, chopped: 5 calories

Side snack: 5 multigrain crackers with 1 stick reduced-fat string cheese (100 calories)

Share on Pinterest

31. Mediterranean platter: 370 calories

Why it rules: Baba ghanoush (roasted eggplant) is a tasty alternative to fatty dips.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 whole-wheat pita, sliced: 80 calories
  • ¼ cup hummus: 150 calories
  • ¼ cup baba ghanoush: 100 calories
  • 5 black olives: 40 calories

Side snack: ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt with a dash of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon honey (120 calories)

32. Healthy stir-fried rice: 365 calories

Why it rules: DIY fried rice with olive oil is way healthier than any Chinese takeout, especially if you use brown rice.

Calorie breakdown:

  • ½ cup ready-made brown rice: 100 calories
  • 1 egg, scrambled with 1 teaspoon olive oil: 115 calories
  • 4 baby bella mushrooms, sliced: 40 calories
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped: 30 calories
  • ½ carrot, chopped: 30 calories
  • ¼ small red onion, sliced: 10 calories
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil: 40 calories

Side snack: Tropical fruit salad with 1 kiwi and ½ large orange (90 calories)

33. 3-bean salad with kale: 350 calories

Why it rules: Fiber-filled beans and vitamin-rich kale make this a winning meal.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 cup kale, massaged: 30 calories
  • 1 squeeze lime juice: <1 calorie
  • 1 squeeze lemon juice: <1 calorie
  • ¼ avocado, chopped: 60 calories
  • ¼ cup black beans: 55 calories
  • ¼ cup white beans: 50 calories
  • ¼ cup kidney beans: 50 calories

Side snack: 5 multigrain crackers with 1 stick reduced-fat string cheese (100 calories)

34. Fresh mozzarella and tomato salad: 345 calories

Why it rules: The health benefits of tomatoes include helping to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 3 thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese: 210 calories
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced: 20 calories
  • 3 basil leaves: <1 calorie
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil: 110 calories
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar: 5 calories

Side snack: 2-inch slice whole-grain baguette, toasted (140 calories)

35. Healthier cobb salad: 382 calories

Why it rules: Skipping the commercial bottled dressing and opting for turkey bacon leans up this filling salad.

Calorie breakdown:

  • 1 cup romaine lettuce: 8 calories
  • ½ chicken breast, sliced: 100 calories
  • 2 slices cooked turkey bacon, crumbled: 87 calories
  • ¼ avocado, sliced: 60 calories
  • 1 hard-boiled large egg, sliced: 75 calories
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese: 37 calories
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar: 15 calories

Side snack: KIND bar of your choice: 180 calories

Need to up those calories even more? Add a handful of nuts, a slice of cheese, or a hard-boiled egg to the plate. Nutrition facts in this article come from USDA Food Data Central.