One question I’m often asked is “what are good low-carb lunch options?”. My friend, if that sounds like you, I’ve got the answer in this ultimate guide to low-carb lunch ideas.
There are so many reasons low-carb recipes are a hit. Often, the meals are low in calories, dense in nutrition, and high in protein as well as fresh in ingredients, all of which help keep us satiated and feeling our best.
And making low-carb lunches for the office doesn’t have to be complicated,
Below are all the recipe ideas to get you started with making low-carb lunches and tips to keep you consistent and looking forward to lunch.
Lunch Foods that Are Filling and Low Carb
For anyone going low-carb, staying prepared and stocked up with the right foods can help you stay on track and keep mealtime interesting. Often, it’s the burnout from eating the same low-carb foods over and over, as well as lack of preparation that can set you back.
Here are a few versatile ingredients that can be used in numerous ways to keep you from getting bored or packing a salad to work every. Single. Day.
- Deli meat: turkey, ham, roast beef, chicken
- Cauliflower rice: swap for rice stir fry and burrito bowls
- Cloud bread: great for sandwiches
- Lettuce wrap: instead of the usual wrap or bread, wrap all your “sandwich” ingredients with lettuce
- Hummus: bulks up lunches as a dip or spread
Also, keep in mind that dinner leftovers can also be an easy low-carb option, whether it’s my All Meat & Veggie Paleo Chili or Egg Rolls in a Bowl. This way you get two meals from one recipe and a hot thermos lunch is always a nice change from the usual lunch ingredients.
Watch the video below for a visual menu sharing some of the low-carb lunches in this post.
In the video, I show you a little bit about my latest book, Intermittent Fasting for Women. These low-carb lunches are a great way to break your fast. If you’re wanting to learn more about how to start fasting, or need ideas on how to do it safely you can learn more and get a 1-week low-carb meal plan to use while intermittent fasting here.
Low Carb Meal Prep Bowls
Meal prep will save you time and give you a chance to be creative and try new recipes that you can look forward to later in the week. Power bowls are a go-to meal prep due to their easy assembly and delicious results. There are so many variations and I have ideas for everything from homemade burrito bowls to a loaded BLT Salad.
My formula is simple: chopped lettuce or cauliflower rice + protein + veggies + drizzle. It’s an easy method that builds a balanced, delicious meal like the ideas below:
Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Bowls
Packed with flavor and made with slow cooker Buffalo chicken, avocado, tomato, bleu cheese, and homemade Ranch, these Buffalo Chicken Bowls have it all!
Recipe: Low Carb Burrito Bowls
Made with simple and fresh ingredients, these Low Carb Burrito Bowls are everything you love about your favorite restaurant’s version in a healthy meal prep recipe.
Recipe: Healthy Low Carb Jambalaya
Comfort food you can feel good about eating, this Healthy Low Carb Jambalaya has all the classic flavors you’re looking for in this veggie-filled, nutrient-dense recipe.
Recipe: Cauli Shrimp Fried Rice
Super easy to make, this grain-free Cauliflower Shrimp Fried Rice is even better than the one you’ll find in a takeout menu.
Recipe: Mediterranean Chicken Bowls
Swap the farro for cauliflower rice, and this bowl is now a low-carb option brimming with a fresh flavor and full of protein.
Low Carb Lunch Salads
When I think of salad, I imagine a little lettuce with A LOT of toppings, anyone else? And with easy homemade dressings and yummy toppings, these salad ideas below are anything but boring,
Scroll to the bottom of this post to grab this recipe for deconstructed salad
Recipe: BLT Salad
Just like your favorite sandwich, but better, this BLT Salad recipe comes together with only a few simple ingredients for a healthy meal the whole family will love!
Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Salad
The best make-ahead recipe ever, this Buffalo Chicken Salad is full of flavor for the perfect packed lunch or easy dinner.
Recipe: Chicken Salad
A fun twist on the original, this Chicken Salad has a creamy texture, kick of flavor, and added crunch that will leave guests begging you for the recipe!
Recipe: Chicken Caprese Salad
Full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats, this cost-efficient Chicken Caprese Salad is the ultimate meal prep recipe for epic lunches at work.
Recipe: Salmon Nicoise Salads
Made with baked salmon, roasted potatoes, and dijon vinaigrette, this Salmon Nicoise Salad is a healthy and filling twist on the traditional recipe.
Recipe: Egg Salad Stuffed Avocado
Take egg salad to the next level in minutes with these Egg Salad Stuffed Avocadoes!
Low Carb Adult Bento Boxes
Bento boxes aren’t just for kids. They are a clever way to pack a few of your favorite healthy snack foods into a well-balanced lunch that’s easy to eat at your desk.
A simple guideline to keep in mind and keep you satiated: 1-2 veggies + 1 fruit + 1 protein +1 fat.
Try one of the bento box ideas below and see what you think.
- Mediterranean Bento: grape tomatoes, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, sliced cucumber, hummus, and hard-boiled eggs.
- Tex Mex Bento: Guacamole, black olives, pepper jack cheese cubes, grape tomatoes, bell pepper strips, tortilla chips (optional).
- Pizza Bistro Box: Hummus, sliced pepperoni, Mozzarella cheese cubes, black olives, roasted bell pepper strips, pita strips (optional).
- Chicken and Hummus Bistro Box: hummus, sliced grilled chicken, cucumbers, pita wedges (optional), and feta cheese.
- Ham & Cheese Roll-ups: Cheddar cheese and ham rolled up, fruit, and veggies.
- Cali Bistro Box: deli turkey, hummus, cucumber, bacon bits, pita chips (optional), and grape tomatoes.
More Low Carb Lunch Ideas
Outside of salads, bowls, and bento boxes, there are more ways to pack incredibly delicious and low-carb lunches without running up your grocery bill or spending hours in the kitchen.
Contrary to what you might think you can even make low-carb sandwiches. Yes, REALLY.
The recipes below can be made ahead of time and stored in meal prep containers so you can grab and go as needed:
Tasty Asian-inspired Chicken salad served in a crunch lettuce wrap. The perfect low-carb lunch.
Recipe: Zucchini Pizza Bites
Cheesy and bite-sized, these Zucchini Pizza Bites are everything you love about pizza with none of the guilt!
Recipe: Egg Roll in Bowl
This Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe comes together in minutes for the perfect meal to get your kids eating more veggies and asking for seconds!
Recipe: Bacon Mini Quiches
The perfect way to sneak greens into your kids’ diet, these grain-free mini quiches made with spinach and bacon are perfect for dinner or packed inside a lunchbox or thermos the next day!
Recipe: Bell Pepper Pizzas
These Bell Pepper Pizzas are a low-carb, keto option the whole family will have fun making!
Recipe: Grain-Free Falafels
These Grain-Free Falafels are an allergy-friendly, grain-free version of the traditional Mediterranean recipe.
Low Carb Lunch Meal Prep Tips
Now that you have meal prep ideas here are more tips to take along and make the process even easier:
Choose your Recipes Wisely
Try making recipes that will last longer than a day in the fridge, so you’ll have one less thing to make in the mornings. I also recommend splitting your meal prep into 2 sessions, one at the beginning of the week and the second in the middle of the week. This reduces food wastes and ensures you’ll have a healthy lunch each day. Pack these low-carb lunches in these adult lunchboxes.
Prep in Bulk
Recipes that can be cooked/assembled in bulk are all great options and will last several days in the fridge. Salads can be made ahead, minus the dressing, soups taste better the 2nd or 3rd day and stir fry can be cooked and stowed away for up to 4 days.
Need more meal prep inspiration?
Meal Prep’d eBook
In this book, I share 70+ recipes that can be cooked ahead, stored in single-serve portions or frozen, and save you time and effort in the kitchen.
Cook once and have ready-to-eat meals for an entire week. These nutritious and filling recipes can be enjoyed as dinner or packed for lunch.
Sheet Pan Meals
This one goes with prepping in bulk because there’s no easier way to make a bunch of baked chicken or protein and veggies at once than a sheet pan meal. I’ll often choose one of these recipes for the week and divide the ingredients into meal prep containers or use for dinner one night and reserve the leftovers as toppings for salads and bowls.
Stock the Pantry
What you keep in your fridge and pantry will ultimately be what you eat, so make sure both are stocked with ingredients that are both low-carb compliant and made into healthy meals. Don’t know where to start? I have a clean eating food list that goes hand in hand with any low-carb diet, just skip over the flour and baking section.
20 Tasty Low Carb Lunch Ideas
This deconstructed salad is one of 30+ epic low carb lunches that are perfect for at home, the office or school.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 lunch 1x
- Category: Lunch
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
- ½ avocado, cubed
- 4 slices deli turkey, rolled and sliced
- ½ cup grape tomatoes halved
- 1 slice Provolone or Mozzarella cheese, cubed
- ¼ cup pitted black olives
- 1 tablespoon basil pesto
- To a glass lunch container, add the avocado, deli turkey, tomatoes, Provolone cheese, and olives, making alternate rows of each.
- Pack the pesto into a mini sauce container. Prior to serving, drizzle the pesto over the salad.
- Serving Size: 1 salad
- Calories: 382
- Sugar: 6.7g
- Sodium: 1340.7mg
- Fat: 20.8g
- Saturated Fat: 3.1g
- Carbohydrates: 15.5g
- Fiber: 7.3g
- Protein: 36.5g
- Cholesterol: 54.4mg