While breakfast has healthy mainstays like eggs, yogurt, and fruit-filled smoothies, and dinner has lean, protein-rich optionslike perfectly cooked steak and roast chicken, lunch is a little free for all. Of course, you have your standard salads, sandwiches and soups, but often these dishes are unpleasant and can be made with less than ideal ingredients.
That’s why we’ve put together this roundup of low-carb meal ideas that are healthy, delicious, and won’t leave you feeling tired and sluggish at 3 o’clock. Nutritious lunch options include Zesty Chicken Salad, Chicken Satay Salad, and more, and each has less than 30 grams of carbs per serving. Read on for two dozen ways to up your boring lunch game!
Speedy Steak and Blackberry Salad
This salad looks great (thanks to the steak) but comes together in just 30 minutes. Aside from the meat, this lunch dish is packed with healthy ingredients including fresh blackberries, arugula, roasted pistachios and a sprinkling of crumbled goat cheese.
Grilled pumpkin salad
Sweet, honeynut squash is the star of this fall salad, and with good reason. Inside, you’ll also find nutritious ingredients like Napa cabbage, radicchio, pepitas, and mint, and don’t even get me started on the punchy miso-and-picy brown mustard dressing. In addition to tossing the salad, the dressing also tosses the squash and cabbage before hitting the grill, infusing even more flavor.
Red Lentil Soup with Lemon
Soup can be a great low-carb lunch option, and this one does not disappoint. Inside each bowl you have nutrient-dense lentils, carrots, butternut squash, a cornucopia of spices and harissa paste. Also, you’ll find warm ginger and a sprinkling of chopped almonds. While you can toast some bread to loosen it up, you don’t need to.
Spicy Chicken Salad
There’s not a carb in sight here, but you will find a lot of protein. Here, the chicken is diced and combined with just enough mayonnaise to bind, dill slivers for a salty punch, scallion pieces for a kick, lemon juice for a fresh zing, and — an excellent wild card — tarragon. cool Serve with a side salad and enjoy.
Swiss chard and herb frittata with cherry tomatoes
Who said that eggs can only be enjoyed at breakfast? This meal is proof that eggs for lunch is an excellent idea, especially when they are accompanied with fresh beets, cherry tomatoes, and lots of herbs and spices. The healthy mix means that there are few carbohydrates and a lot of protein.
Crispy salad with chicken and ginger
If a salad made with hammered lettuce isn’t your jam, try this one instead. This healthy recipe includes strips of marinated and seared chicken, shredded cabbage, carrots and red peppers, as well as a topping of slivered almonds and fresh mint leaves. A sauce made with orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, olive oil, fresh mint and grated ginger ties it all together.
Tofu Wraps and Mushroom Lettuce
One trick to keep your meals low in carbs is to replace the corn wraps with fresh lettuce instead. In this recipe, the lettuce is filled with some white rice, as well as grated tofu with shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce and sweet hoisin sauce.
Hot chicken shawarma salad
In this 30-minute salad, chicken is flavored with a shawarma-inspired spice blend made with coriander, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, turmeric, and pepper. The lean and flavorful meat is then paired with peppery arugula, a shower of herbs, a creamy yogurt dressing, and a warm pita. Skip the pita if you want even less carbs, but even with that this dish is still filling and healthy.
Steak salad with herb sauce
In this easy weeknight salad, half of a chimichurri-inspired dressing is used to marinate the steak while the grill preheats. Meanwhile, the other half dresses up a salad of creamy avocado, juicy tomatoes, crunchy radishes and crisp greens. With only 18 grams of carbohydrates per serving, this meal deserves a place in your weekly meal.
Salmorejo with prosciutto and hard-boiled eggs
Similar to gazpacho, this no-cook cold soup is made with tomatoes and bread, but it also has only 22 grams of carbs per serving. Pair with prosciutto and a hard-boiled egg for lots of filling protein.
Slow Cooker Black Bean and Zucchini Chili
Since chili is basically ground meat, beans and spices, it’s no surprise that it contains few carbohydrates, but a lot of protein. Feel free to add healthy and tasty toppings like sliced avocado, hot sauce and cilantro.
Cantaloupe and Cucumber Salad
This sweet and savory salad is as fresh as it gets. Here, thick slices of feta, chunks of sweet cantaloupe, slices of crunchy pepperless mini cucumbers and sliced buttery Castelvetrano olives are bathed in a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and the pepper Enjoy this alone for lunch, or pair it with grilled meats or fish for dinner.
Green Salad With Gherkin Vinaigrette
Simple but delicious, this salad takes on an extra dimension thanks to the salty pickles. In addition to the chopped gherkins that mix with the greens, there’s also some of the marinating liquid whisked into the shallot dressing, which gives it a tasty punch. Throw a piece of grilled chicken on top (or even leftover rotisserie chicken) to add more protein if you want.
This dish reinvents melon and prosciutto, a classic Italian combo, as a salad. In addition to that sweet and salty duo, you’ll find Little Gem crisp lettuce, Castelvetrano burrata olives, creamy burrata and crunchy pistachios. Since this salad is so rich in flavor, the only dressing you need is a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Coconut marinated shrimp with cucumber and jicama
The star of this dish is the cooked shrimp, which are marinated in a flavorful blend of coconut milk, Fresno chili, and lime. The delicious shrimp are then mixed with crunchy sliced cucumbers, fresh cilantro and jicama matchsticks, making for a light dish that only requires 20 minutes of hands-on work.
Parmesan scrambled eggs
Scrambled eggs are typically enjoyed for breakfast, but if you have 15 minutes to spare around lunchtime, go ahead and enjoy these Parmesan eggs in the middle of the day. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, while cheese adds a lot of flavor and keeps the carb count low.
Sliced tomato salad and dill pickle vinaigrette
If you have a summer tomato, go ahead and put it to good use with this bright and savory salad. Here, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers are sliced and dressed with a homemade dill vinaigrette vinaigrette. To make this salad, add some burrata, shredded mozzarella, or parmesan cheese and enjoy!
Chicken satay lettuce wraps
This low-carb meal, which is also a stellar dinner option, is loaded with flavor and is ready in just 25 minutes. Here, a delicious coconut-peanut sauce is the star that brings together the other ingredients, including chicken, rice vermicelli noodles, cucumber slices and lettuce to wrap everything up.
Smashed Cucumber Salad with Spicy Feta and Olives
If cucumbers are one of your favorite salad ingredients, this dish is for you. Here, moist and crunchy cukes mix with feta and olives for a 25-minute meal packed with flavor. The key here is to smash, salt, and drain the cucumbers, which makes them crispier and crunchier for the most satisfying bite.
Japanese Style Shrimp Salad
Ready in just 15 minutes, this salad is going to become a new favorite for lunch or dinner. In this dish, crunchy romaine and cucumbers, juicy shrimp and chunks of avocado are coated in an irresistible creamy soy-mayo dressing that you’ll want to slather on everything. To save time, keep some precooked shrimp in the refrigerator.
While gazpacho often has bread mixed into it, this version is made almost entirely from fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and an onion, other ingredients such as lime juice, sour cream, cilantro and pepitas add flavor. and texture while still. keep the carb count low.
Tuna salad is often loaded with mayonnaise, but not this version. This lighter take is vinegar-based, and uses marinated chickpeas to add flavor and texture to the oil-packed tuna. And that’s not all! Radicchio, red onion, kalamata olives and capers bring the flavor. Serve on a bed of lettuce for the perfect low-carb meal.
Summer squash with shallots, chili and parsley
If you’ve never had a raw summer squash salad, you’re in for a treat. This is a double whammy: it tastes delicious and there is no need to cook. Tossing the summer squash and zucchini with salt helps them soften and absorb every bit of flavor. Top with a chopped almond sauce for a light and flavorful finish to this healthy, low-carb dish.
Steak and beet salad with cheddar and pistachios
If you are a fan of the classic beetroot and goat cheese salad, I suggest you give this similar dish a try. In this protein-rich recipe, golden beets, crumbled aged white cheddar, and sliced flank steak come together to create a delicious dinner salad or filling lunch option.
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