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What to Eat for Lunch? Top 20+ Easy Ideas and Recipes in 2024


Astrid Tran 22 December, 2023 13 min read

What to eat for lunch? Even if you are so busy, don’t forget to enjoy a delicious and healthy lunch or a hearty dinner to keep you full and focused for the rest of the day. Skipping lunch or opting for unhealthy fast food can leave you feeling sluggish and unproductive. But what to eat for lunch?

We’ve compiled a list of 20 diverse, easy and healthy ideas to satisfy your forever question – what can I eat for lunch? Let’s check it and find out what is your favourite taste!

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What to cook for lunch? | Source: Shutterstock

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The Importance of Having Lunch

A healthy lunch is essential for maintaining a balanced diet and providing your body with the necessary nutrients to stay energized and focused. Eating a balanced lunch will not only improve your physical health but also your mental health. Plus, have you noticed those intense cravings that hit around 3 pm? That’s no coincidence. When you go too long without fuel, your body sends panic signals that make you want to eat everything in sight. And we’re not talking veggies here – I’m talking deep-fried, sugar-coated binges to end the afternoon crash.

Lunches are also a chance for your body to move, your mind to rest and your social skills to improve. You might not be a lunch person, but trust us when we say having lunch will be much more rewarding in the long run.

What to Eat for Lunch? – Easy Lunch Ideas

A simple and quick lunch can be a supper saviour when you are rustling up in midweek. With easy-to-prepare ingredients, you can please yourself and the family without time-consuming, but still healthy.

Recipe 1: Fruit, Cheese and Whole Grain Crackers

Why? It’s superrr low-prep, non-greasy and smelly (if you work in a closed space), and you can eat at your desk. You can put everything in a 3-compartment lunchbox like this:

What to eat for lunch? Lunch box idea

Recipe 2: Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad

Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute for mayonnaise in tuna salad, making it a healthier option. Mix canned tuna, Greek yogurt, diced celery, and red onion in a bowl—season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Serve on top of a bed of lettuce or with whole-grain crackers.

What to eat for lunch?
What to eat for lunch? – Veggie-Packed Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad | Source: Project meal plan

Recipe 3: Tuna Salad Sandwich

This classic sandwich is a great lunch option for those who love seafood. It’s made with canned tuna, mixed greens, tomato, and a low-fat mayonnaise dressing. It’s a filling and healthy lunch option that’s low in calories and protein.

Recipe 4: Apple, fennel and clementine salad with mackerel

You can add a bit of vibrance and colour to those chilly evenings with the mouth-watering recipe. By combining a large salad, pomegranate-glazed mackerel with fresh clementines, along with some crunchy apple and fennel, you have made a refreshing change to your daily tastes.

What to Eat for Lunch? – Healthy Lunch Ideas

Do you know that you can prepare a healthy lunch with low-cost ingredients and low-waste cooking methods at home? Here are thorough guidelines for you to refer to:

Recipe 5: Grilled Chicken Salad with Avocado Dressing

This salad is not only healthy but also incredibly delicious. Start by grilling a chicken breast and set it aside. In a bowl, mix together chopped lettuce, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, and sliced avocados. Mix mashed avocado with Greek yogurt, lime juice, and honey for the dressing. Top the salad with the grilled chicken and drizzle the dressing over it.

Recipe 6: Quinoa and Black Bean Bowl

Quinoa is a great source of protein and fibre, making it an excellent choice for a healthy lunch. Cook quinoa according to package instructions and set it aside. In a pan, sauté black beans, corn, and diced tomatoes. Add cooked quinoa to the pan and mix everything together. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and sliced avocado on top.

Recipe 7: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

Sweet potatoes are a great source of fibre and vitamin A, making them a healthy addition to any meal. Start by baking sweet potato cubes in the oven until they are tender. In a pan, sauté black beans, diced tomatoes, and diced onions. Warm up whole-grain tortillas in the oven and assemble the tacos with the sweet potato cubes and black bean mixture. Top with shredded cheese and salsa.

what can i have for lunch- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos
What to eat for lunch? – Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos | Source: Eating Well

What to Eat for Lunch? – Diet Lunch Ideas

For people who are on a diet, eating the same thing every day is a common story. However, there is a time when you will have a bit of a loss of appetite or food-carving. Updating your healthy diet plan with these budget-friendly and energy-efficient recipes.

Recipe 8: Veggie and Hummus Sandwich

This sandwich is not only healthy but also vegetarian-friendly. Start by spreading hummus on whole-grain bread. Add sliced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, shredded carrots, and lettuce. Sprinkle with feta cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Recipe 9: Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Bowl

Roasting vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and makes them a delicious addition to any meal. Start by roasting vegetables such as sweet potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower in the oven. In a pan, sauté chickpeas, diced tomatoes, and diced onions. Serve the roasted vegetables and chickpea mixture over a bed of brown rice.

What to eat for lunch? – Roasted Veggie Chickpea Salad | Source: Pinterest

Recipe 10: Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze

What to eat for lunch? How about this salad? It is not only healthy but also incredibly easy to prepare. Start by slicing fresh mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. Arrange them on a plate and sprinkle them with chopped basil. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and season with salt and pepper.

What to eat for lunch? – Must-try Brunch ideas

During weekends or day-offs, What to eat for lunch if you might get up late and want to have an abundant portmanteau of breakfast and lunch, in other words, brunch? You want to go to the brunch restaurant to enjoy the nice atmosphere and delicious flavours with dedicated servers. It is time to try something new and fresh, and here are examples:

Mexican Brunch

What sounds good for lunch? Go to a Mexican brunch and look for an authentic menu. You can consider trying the following dishes, and you won’t be surprised by how tasty they are. Mexican meals are inspired by its most well-known recipes with crispy tacos, slightly nutty avocados, eggs, and other fresh vegetables.

  • Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas
  • Cuban-Style Huevos Rancheros
  • Chorizo Breakfast Bowls
  • Mexican Hash
  • Mexican bean soup with crunchy tortillas
What to eat for lunch?
What to eat for lunch? – Best Huevos Rancheros ever | Source: a spicy perspective

European Brunch

What to eat for lunch if you are sick of the classic American style with bagel, sausage, and fried eggs? How about trying a European-style special meal? You will be totally attracted by fresh rosemary and gorgeously crispy pancetta croutons.

  • Chorizo and pea hash
  • Italian white bean soup with polenta croutons
  • Cauliflower cheese soup with crispy pancetta croutons
  • Moroccan chicken and lentil soup
  • Pork and swede stir fry
  • Sprout and prosciutto spaghetti with pistachios
What to eat for lunch? – Cauliflower cheese soup | Source: Tesco real food

Choose your Lunch with AhaSlides Spinner Wheel

Need some inspiration for your everyday lunch? Why not make your lunch game easier with a simple game of a ‘What to eat for lunch’ idea with AhaSlides Spinner Wheel? Prepare a list of your lunch ideas, spin the wheel and you won’t be annoyed anymore by constantly thinking of what to eat today or tomorrow.

Tips for Preparing What to Eat for Lunch

As an avid 9-5 worker, I’ve experienced not hundreds but thousands of lunch meals. Here are my master tips for preparing a healthy quick lunch meal:

Prepare a lunch box to go

Lunch boxes help you divide and proportion the food easily. Invest in a good quality one that’s leak-proof and has separate compartments. I prefer glass lunch boxes since they are easier to clean than plastic ones, and are dishwasher-friendly.

Pick your ingredients

Ingredients that could stay fresh over a long period are my top choice. Things like apples, boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, celery, carrots, peanuts, crackers, cheeses, and baked potatoes are low-cost while providing enough nutrients for the day.

Choose the right lunch

You need fuel that’s actually good for you. I’m talking protein, vitamins and energy to power you through the afternoon in a calm, collected way. Try to eat light until 80% full and avoid greasy fast food. Carbs excite us but will make us feel super tired later, so it’s always a good idea to practice mindfulness when it comes to eating.

The Bottom Line

Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, meat-eater, or gluten-free eaters, enjoying your lunchtime with a good meal is the best gift for your health. You won’t need to worry about you might spend huge money or investing too much time in preparing your lunch to satisfy your appetite or keeping your mind strong and productive all day as there are thousands of budgeted-friendly recipes from famous experts around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the three benefits of a good lunch?

1. Sustained energy levels. Eating lunch provides your body with important nutrients and fuel to maintain your energy through the afternoon. Skipping lunch can lead to an energy crash.
2. Improved focus and productivity. When your blood sugar isn’t spiking and crashing from skipping meals, you’ll have better concentration and focus to get work done efficiently.
3. Better nutrition. Lunch allows you to get important vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and proteins into your diet that you may not get at other meals. Having a balanced lunch helps meet your daily dietary needs.

Why should we have lunch on time?

Eating at consistent lunch times helps regulate your blood sugar levels and insulin response. Skipping meals can cause spikes and crashes that impact mood, focus and hunger.

Which is important lunch or dinner?

Eating a large meal close to bedtime isn’t ideal, as your body has little time to properly digest and utilise the nutrients before sleeping. However, consuming a more substantial lunch can help sustain your energy levels throughout the afternoon and evening.