It’s time to refresh your lunch routine with some new delicious and healthy hot lunch ideas!
From quick and easy soups and healthy pasta to one-pan meals, we’ve got the most comforting warming lunches right here! They are perfect for a thermos or to heat up in the microwave. And, of course, you can also enjoy them at home.
We know that as much as hot lunches are a satisfying way to fuel your day, it can be challenging to come up with meal ideas that could be easily incorporated into a busy lifestyle. That’s why we created this collection!
Whether you are packing a healthy lunch for school or for work, our hot lunch recipes will undoubtedly meet and exceed your expectations. So let’s get started!
Our quick and tasty spicy feta pasta recipe is a great warm healthy lunch option for busy weekdays. It’s creamy, full of flavor and allows you to use up some leftover veggies. The main ingredients you need for this mouthwatering lunch are macaroni, feta cheese and tomatoes.
Got any other vegetables in your fridge? Feel free to customize the pasta to your taste and use whatever you have! Some great options you can try include roasted red peppers, eggplant, pickled jalapeños and even chicken for extra protein!
Even the pickiest eaters in your family will be delighted by this easy and healthy chili con carne recipe. Made with a combination of lean ground beef, beans and corn this lunch idea takes just half an hour to prepare and stores well in the fridge for up to 4 days.
It is packed with flavor, it’s nutritious and easy to customize too! Serve this satisfying meal with avocado or jalapenos, it’s a must-try for any household.
You’ll love how deliciously flavorful this cabbage, rice and sausage skillet is! Ready in only 30 minutes, it is a slightly spicy dish that comes in handy for using any leftover rice and cabbage.
It’s a gluten- and dairy-free recipe that you can make the night before, pack for school or work and reheat for lunch in the microwave.
The recipe uses inexpensive ingredients like cabbage, rice, sausage, peppers and garlic. Plus, you can change it to suit your preferences or ingredients on hand. This hot lunch idea would be just as great if you replace sausage for ground turkey, chicken or beef, for example.
Indulge in the comfort of this simple coconut curry shrimp soup and you won’t be able to have enough of it. With the added benefits of being low-carb, gluten-free and paleo, this hot soup is perfect for lunch and a great fit for you if you’re looking to maintain a healthier diet.
The key ingredients include red curry paste, coconut milk, peeled and deveined shrimp, cilantro and zucchini. Don’t forget to add some lime leaves or lemongrass, as they’ll add a unique fresh flavor and taste to the soup.
It’ll take you no more than 15 minutes to cook this spicy shrimp and vegetable stir-fry recipe. To enjoy a great stir-fry, be sure to work quickly and not overcook the ingredients. You should have all the ingredients (including shrimp, broccoli, green beans and garlic) prepped and ready to go before starting.
Gluten and dairy-free, this stir-fry is a healthy and low-carb dish that you can pack in a thermos for an easy hot lunch on the go!
If you are a fan of meatballs and noodles, then this is the soup for you!
Incredibly easy to prepare, this simple soup will warm you up on a cold day. The main ingredients you’ll need to make it are ground beef, potatoes, noodles, carrots and onions. Serve with some fresh coriander or parsley sprinkled on top and enjoy!
Loaded with anti-inflammatory ingredients, this homemade recipe for cauliflower chicken soup is a very healthy and flavorful hot lunch option that is ridiculously easy to make! Just throw some chicken breast, cauliflower, carrots, ginger, onion and garlic into a pot and you will have sorted your lunch.
Incorporating various fresh and dried spices, these lovely Korean ground beef bowls are super flavorful.
You can make them in 15 minutes and they’re packed with protein and iron. Plus, you can easily adjust the recipe to suit the ingredients you already have in your kitchen. Pack into an airtight microwavable container and heat up for an appetizing hot lunch!
Got only 20 minutes to cook? You can still satisfy those soup cravings by making this simple, healthy white bean soup! Made with a few cans of beans, a carrot, tomato and onion, the recipe is vegan and gluten-free. All you need to do is put everything into a cooking pot and remain patient until the soup starts boiling! So, if you are busy or a parent searching for easy healthy lunch alternatives, you definitely need to try this soup!
This quinoa fried rice with chicken is really fast and simple to cook. It’s basically a healthier version of chicken fried rice. You can make it in about 15 minutes using ingredients like leftover quinoa, chicken and vegetables.
When lunchtime comes around, put it in the microwave, heat up and enjoy!
11. Easy Lentil Soup
Lentil soup is another perfect and obvious choice when it comes to quick and healthy hot lunches. This comforting recipe is vegan, gluten- and soy-free which makes it a suitable option for a wide range of dietary restrictions. Made with lentils and a few other veggies like tomatoes and peppers, the soup is ideal to make when you don’t have much at home!
Spicy turkey cauliflower rice is another tempting and delicious meal from our list of hot lunch ideas that you simply must try!
You can make this meal from scratch using cauliflower, ground turkey, spices, and you guessed it: a lot of garlic. I know I said the magic word. It’s SO good.
Give a chance to our easy beef burritos and prepare for the approval of your family as you present them with a swift and flavorful hot lunch. Made with lean ground beef and an array of veggies, these burritos are also loaded with spices and a tangy yogurt garlic sauce.
Meal prepping is really simple – you can make the filling ahead and used when it’s time to eat! You can also assemble the burritos and store them in the fridge until they are ready for toasting.
You also might want to customize by adding extras like rice, beans, corn and fresh herbs.
Commonly offered as a remedy when people are feeling ill, chicken soup is both tasty and healthy. You don’t have to be ill, though, to enjoy our comforting recipe for homemade chicken barley soup.
You just need to be ready for lunch!
Barley adds a nutritious and filling element to the soup and the dried mint, parsley and black paper bring an amazingly delightful flavor. The dish is perfect for fall or winter!
We are finalizing our list of healthy hot lunch ideas with this super quick and easy 15-minute spicy shrimp and quinoa skillet. Though it’s last on the list, it’s certainly not less healthy or delicious than the rest. With only simple ingredients and one pan, you’ll make a solid satisfying meal that’s full of protein, fiber and vitamins!
There’s Always An Easy Option For Lunch
Well, I sure hope you loved the recipes on our list of healthy hot lunch ideas! Let’s also hope you try some during the next week or so. Don’t make excuses – there’s always a way to eat better, even when it’s cold and you’re not in the mood for salad or a sandwich.
- 8oz / 220g ground beef
- 1 tbsp oregano, dried
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 lemon, squeeze
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 1 1/2 bell peppers, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup cauliflower, thinly chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
YOGURT SAUCE (optional):
- 1 cup yogurt
- 2 tbsp dill, thinly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- pinch of salt
- 4 tortillas
- 2/3 cup mozzarella or another type as needed
- Start by making the filling. Cook your beef with olive oil and cumin, chili flakes, black pepper and oregano. In 4-5 minutes add in the bell pepper, garlic, scallions, zucchini and thinly chopped cauliflower. Reduce the heat and cover with a lid to allow the ingredients to cook through for a few minutes. Stir in the spinach, add some tomato paste and a squeeze of lemon. Turn the heat off.
- Make the yogurt garlic sauce by mixing a cup of yogurt with garlic, salt and thinly chopped dill.
- Assemble the burritos. Place 1/3 of the ground beef filling in the middle of a tortilla, then some cheese, yogurt garlic sauce (or another sauce of choice) and guacamole on top and fold the tortilla on each side like an envelope.
- Toast the burrito in a nonstick pan with some olive oil until golden brown. This will make it crispier and help seal the tortilla, so that the filling stays inside.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 498Total Fat 24gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 67mgSodium 494mgCarbohydrates 43gFiber 5gSugar 8gProtein 29g