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26 Healthy Lunch Ideas That’ll Help Keep You On Track

Skip the vending machine lunch break. These lunch ideas are easy, healthy and—most importantly—delicious!

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Sesame Chicken Slaw Salad

I tasted many types of Asian chicken salad in California. When I moved back to Georgia, I wanted more. Here’s a gingery-sweet recipe using wonton strips. —Michelle Mulrain, Evans, Georgia
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Turkey Salad on Wheat Bread

When one of my favorite lunch spots closed, this recipe let me hold on to more than just good memories. The peas, bacon and cheese are such a fun and springy combo. I make big batches of the salad for parties—turns out I'm not the only fan! —Merrijane Rice, Kaysville, Utah
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Lemon Cranberry Quinoa Salad

As the family cook, I appreciate how easy this is to throw together on a busy weeknight. Plus, this salad never gets boring. One of my favorite variations is to substitute diced fresh mango for the cranberries, cilantro for the parsley, and lime for the lemon juice and zest. —Mary Shenk, DeKalb, Illinois
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Waldorf Turkey Pitas

Living in New York City means not having a lot of time to prepare meals. This recipe is quick, easy and healthy, making it perfect for my lifestyle. —Kevin Sobotka, Staten Island, New York
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Almond Chicken Salad

My mother used to prepare this chicken salad with grapes and almonds for an evening meal during the hot summer months. It's my favorite of my mother's chicken salad recipes. You can also serve it as a delicious but quick luncheon or potluck dish. —Kathy Kittell, Lenexa, Kansas
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BLT with Peppered Balsamic Mayo

Here’s my twist on the classic BLT. Creamy avocado, balsamic mayo and crisp salad greens make this version legendary in my book. For a lighter take, I often use turkey bacon. —Ami Boyer, San Francisco, California
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Turkey Dumpling Stew

My mom made this stew when I was young, and it was always a hit. Since it's not time-consuming to make I can fix it on a weekend for our children, who love the tender dumplings. —Becky Mohr, Appleton, Wisconsin
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Baked Chicken Chalupas

I wanted an easy alternative to deep-fried chalupas, so I bake them with filling on top. —Magdalena Flores, Abilene, Texas
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Cuban Panini

Out of all the panini recipes I make, this is my favorite. The Cuban sandwich is a twist on the old ham and cheese, usually with ham, Swiss, pickles, condiments and sometimes, as in this hearty version, smoked turkey. —Janet Sanders, Pine Mountain, Georgia
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Focaccia Sandwiches

Slices of this pretty sandwich make any casual get-together more speical. Add or change ingredients to your taste. —Peggy Woodward, Shullsburg, Wisconsin
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Sweet Potato Lentil Stew

I fell in love with the spicy aromas in this slow-cooked lentil stew. Add whatever ingredients you have on hand, like zucchini, spinach, kale and corn. —Heather Gray, Little Rock, Arkansas
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Turkey Lunch-Box Wraps

These wraps taste wonderful cold or warmed in the microwave. They make a great brown-bag treat. —Denise Marshall, Jacksonville, Florida
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Pesto-Dijon Egg Salad Sandwiches

Turn your old-standby egg salad into your new lunch favorite. Honey Dijon mustard and pesto add a sensational, savory spin, and the celery and onion lend nice crunch. —Carrie Kenny, Batavia, Ohio
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Beefy Cabbage Bean Stew

While we were on one of our small-group quilting retreats, one of my friends made this wonderful recipe for dinner. We all loved it and have since passed it around for others to enjoy—now I'm passing it on to you. —Melissa Glancy, La Grange, Kentucky
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Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup

This is my favorite tortellini soup recipe. It's one of those
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Asian Barbecue Chicken Slaw

When it’s springtime in the South, cabbage is plentiful and we use it. One of our favorite recipes is this combo of Asian slaw and barbecued chicken. Plus, it's easy to halve or double the servings as needed. —Paula Todora, Maple Valley, Washington
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Neighborhood Bean Soup

Even though I'm single, I make multiple servings of everything. Actually, this tendency has helped me to get to know my neighbors. A few of them always volunteer to be my guinea pigs whenever I try out a new recipe or two. —Cheryl Trowbridge, Windsor, Ontario
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Sausage & Cannellini Bean Soup

Here's my reproduction of a dish from a famous Chicago eatery. We think it rivals the original. I usually cook this at least once a week. It's a tasty way to keep my lunchbox full of healthy options. —Marilyn McGinnis, Peoria, Arizona
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Loaded Grilled Chicken Sandwich

You have to try this sandwich—it's one of the best grilled chicken recipes! I threw these ingredients together on a whim and the sandwich turned out so well, I surprised myself. If you're in a rush, microwave the bacon. Just cover it with paper towel to keep it from splattering too much. —Dana York, Kennewick, Washington
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Salmon & Spinach Salad with Avocado

We eat a power salad packed with salmon and spinach at least once a week. It’s a cinch to make, even after a hard day’s work. —Jenny Dawson, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
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Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup

A good friend made us this rich, comforting, creamy chicken noodle soup after the birth of our son. It was such a help to have dinner taken care of until I was back on my feet. This yummy dish is so simple to fix that now I give a pot of it (along with the recipe) to other new mothers. —Joanna Sargent, Sandy, Utah
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Peanutty Asian Lettuce Wraps

This recipe packs so much flavor into a beautiful, healthy presentation. I love to serve it as an hors d'oeuvre or as the main dish when I have folks over. It's always a hit! I usually serve it with a little extra hoisin on the side. —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina
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Pasta Salad in a Jar

If you're planning a picnic, make this pasta a day ahead. For my husband's lunch at work, I sometimes tie a plastic fork on the jar. —Pat Neiheisel, Leetonia, Ohio
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Loaded Deli Sub Sandwich

When I can't decide between a turkey or roast beef sandwich, I go for both, then pile on fresh, crunchy veggies and two kinds of cheese. Those those that like a little bit of everything, this sub more than satisfies. —Jamie Fanning, Creighton, Nebraska
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Hearty Turkey & Feta Sandwich

I’ve served this highly requested sandwich at get-togethers since my college days. What makes it so good is the hummus and the pickle - everyone notices if the pickle is missing. — Jackie Termont, Richmond, Virginia
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Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

Wow! Meat lovers won’t even miss the meat, instead they will rave about the simply fabulous flavor of this hearty grilled veggie sandwich! It’s wonderful with ciabatta bread’s crispy crust and light, airy texture. This recipe’s a keeper! —Diana Tseperkas, Hamden, Connecticut

Jacqueline Weiss
Jacqueline is a blogger and writer, passionate about sharing the latest in helpful tips and trends in food and cooking. In her spare time, you’ll find her trying new restaurants and experimenting in the kitchen.

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