Lunch can be that awkward meal of the day where you're either unsure of what to eat or are afraid you'll eat too much. The easiest thing to do is to prep ahead of time so you know exactly how many calories you're eating along with the other important macronutrients like protein, carbs and fat. If you're still unsure what a low-calorie lunch should look like, check out these 11 easy lunches that are each under 300 calories. You'll definitely see that eating within calorie restrictions actually isn't all that restrictive. You still get a lot of delicious food that works with your body instead of against it.
1. Skinny Taco Stuffed Peppers: You lessen the calories and carbs just by eliminating the shell for this delicious lunch. The pepper is your bowl stuffed with lean ground turkey, taco seasoning and salsa. You can even add some of your favorite taco toppers and still not worry about the calorie count. Click here to get the recipe!
2. Chicken Fried Rice: This Asian-inspired recipe features protein-rich foods along with the classic flavors of the Orient. Your chicken and brown rice will come to life when thrown together with soy sauce, garlic and sesame oil. What’s nice is that you can make this dish with plenty of leftovers to enjoy for a few more lunches. Click here for our skinny recipe!
11. Mini Caprese Pizzas: Mini pizzas make the perfect lunch because they're the perfect size and low in calories. This recipe uses fresh ingredients including spinach, mozzarella and basil all on top of a multigrain English muffin with tomatoes. You will have nothing to feel guilty about when you eat this pizza. See how they're made here.
These easy lunch recipes are proof that your midday meal can still be delicious, healthy and low in calories. And because these lunches are packed with protein, complex carbs and healthy fats, you'll be full enough that mindless snacking won’t be an issue later in the day. How’s that for happy lunching?!
3. Philly Cheese Turkey Sloppy Joe: The problem with most sloppy Joes is that they are high in fat and even higher in calories. But not here. A multigrain bun, ground turkey and reduced-fat cheese make this favorite both healthy and delicious. You just found your new favorite lunch recipe. See the recipe here.
4. Skinny Chick-Fil-A Sandwich: Fast food is often the go-to for lunch when you're short on time. Instead of eating out, here is a healthy makeover for a popular purchase. Aside from the chicken, egg, skim milk and your choice of flour (coconut, almond or oat are great options), the many spices and seasonings give this sandwich so much flavor it’s hard to believe it’s so low in calories. See the full nutrition info here.
>> Check out these 19 meals all under 350 calories!
5. Turkey Wrap with Apples and Brie: This easy to make lunch is short on ingredients, but big on taste. Take a whole wheat or whole grain wrap, add your favorite turkey, a few apple slices, some brie and mix it with a homemade honey mustard dressing. You will almost certainly feel like you just ate a fancy store-bought sandwich—but without all the calories! Click here to see the instructions.
6. Shrimp Caesar Salad: You can enjoy yummy Caesar dressing without all the extra calories - just make yours homemade! This lunch is so good it will change your mind about store bought dressings for good. The flavors are fresh and satisfying. Click here to make it!
7. Skinny Quiche: One serving of this delicious quiche is so low in calories, you can easily have a second helping without a problem. The reason? It’s crustless. Egg whites and low-fat cottage cheese ensure you're getting enough protein while the broccoli gives you a portion of greens. You may even decide to eat this for your next breakfast—if you can wait that long! Click here to get the recipe.
8. Light Egg Salad: Egg salad is perfect for lunch because you can eat it on its own or turn it into a sandwich stuffer. Greek yogurt replaces the more common (high calorie) mayo which is why this recipe is so “egg”cellent. See the full ingredient list here.
9. Tandoori Chicken and Spinach Salad: Unlike many salads that still leave you hungry, this one is sure to fill you up without filling you out. It’s got all the Tandoori seasonings like cumin, ginger and paprika as well as one of the best greens around—spinach. The chicken is the protein, and goes perfectly alongside cucumber, artichoke hearts and peppers. A little couscous thrown into the mix and this is one tremendous salad. Click here to be taken to the recipe.
10. Grilled Chicken and Fruit Salad: This salad has just about everything—the sweet, the savory and the meat. From strawberries and oranges to lettuce and carrots (and don’t forget the chicken), there is nothing that comes close to this lunch salad that has everything you could possibly want including great taste. Click here for more details.