Healthy Lunch Ideas to Keep You Full All Day

By on March 15, 2013

By Meredith Kimelblatt –

There’s a common misconception that eating healthy meals is the same thing as eating meals with no substance. But eating a plate full of mostly veggies or fruit at lunch probably won’t satisfy you until dinnertime. In fact, not eating enough at lunch can make you more likely to overeat on snacks between the two meals, which can completely negate the whole point of a healthy lunch!

Luckily, there are lunch options out there that can fill you up and keep you satisfied throughout your day without adding unnecessary calories or fat to a healthy diet. Keep your lunches balanced, include a variety of food types and pack in the protein to keep your stomach satisfied but still slim. If you’re stuck for inspiration, try out the following easy lunch ideas that go beyond a boring PB&J:

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  • Pasta with lots of veggies

Just because it’s lunchtime doesn’t mean you’re limited to just a sandwich! Pasta gets a bad reputation but it can actually make a healthy lunch option if you eat it right. Steer clear of heavy butter or cream sauces and make yourself whole grain pasta with olive oil and lots of veggies for a filling, good-for-you lunch.

  • Protein-packed salads

Salads make great light lunches, but unless you give them a little substance they probably won’t keep you full for too long. Add nuts, chickpeas, diced chicken or black beans to a salad for protein that will make you feel more like you’re eating a meal than a side. If you’re on a vegetarian or vegan diet, try adding tofu, diced veggie burgers or tempeh to a lettuce base for an equally filling option.

  • Lunch-sized pizzas

If you have whole grain pita bread, English muffins or even corn tortillas then there’s no reason you can’t have a healthy pizza for lunch! Top your base with low-sodium marinara sauce, low-fat mozzarella cheese and lots of vegetable toppings and you’ve got a delicious, unexpected and very filling lunch that will feel much unhealthier than it actually is.

  • Healthier quesadillas

Along the same lines, you can use corn tortillas, reduced fat cheese and vegetables to make yourself a quick and easy quesadilla lunch. For extra protein, use shredded rotisserie chicken or black beans and top your quesadilla with salsa instead of sour cream to keep it on the lighter side.

  • Chunky soups

Soups are excellent healthy lunch options; they’re usually low in calories and fat but can contain all kinds of good nutrition. If you choose a canned soup, make sure you’re picking low sodium options with lots of veggies and whole grain noodles. Tomato, chicken broth or vegetable broth bases also tend to be much healthier than creamy chowders or bisques.

Try this easy recipe for a wild rice and chick’n salad that’s great for making the night before work; it’s one of those yummy vegetarian recipes that you won’t even realize is vegetarian! With hearty rice and chicken substitute, it’ll keep you full all day.


  • 1 6 oz pkg Smart Strips® Chick’n
  • 3 cup cooked wild rice
  • 1 8 oz can sliced water chestnuts
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 2/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup fat free milk
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp dried tarragon leaves
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes
  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashews

In a large bowl, combine the Smart Strips® Chick’n, rice, water chestnuts and green onions. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, milk, lemon juice, tarragon and pepper. Pour over chick’n mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Just before serving, fold in grapes and sprinkle with cashews.


This is a guest post by Meredith K. on behalf of Lightlife®. For more easy vegetarian recipes and filling lunch ideas, visit

About Meredith Kimelblatt

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  1. Pingback: Healthy Lunches Keep You Full | kscfood

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Healthy Lunch Ideas to Keep You Full All Day