12 Fast, Easy and Healthy Lunch Recipes to Jumpstart Your Year

The truth? Lunch can be, well, basic. Welcome to noon, starring the basic salad or the basic soup. Yawn. Want a spark of “lunch”-spo? Here, we’ve presented a collection of recipes for when you’re craving a bite that’s a cinch to create. Like, around 30 minutes—max. Do we have to mention that these meals are good and good for you, too?

These recipes were gathered from our fave Instagrammers, health pros who are as talented with their cameras as they are in creative in their kitchens. These recipes are exciting and brimming with goodness, featuring a rainbow of greens and a variety of proteins. Want a solution for the mundanity of midday? Read on for a feast that is sure to satisfy your eyes and your stomach…

Avocado and Tomato Toast with Balsamic Drizzle

 

(Blissful Basil takeover, 3/5) For lunch, I typically stick with foods that are fresh, energizing, and easy to digest, because I’m prone to post-lunch sleepiness if I eat anything too heavy. I almost always have leftovers from dinner or recipe testing, but today was a special exception! I took time to prepare one of my favorites: avocado toast. This particular variation is toasted sunflower bread topped with sliced avocado, burst garlic-herb tomatoes, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. The recipe is featured in the “Brunch” section of my cookbook, but it also makes a wonderful light lunch. For years, I had a habit of chipping away at work while eating lunch, but lately I’ve been prioritizing “balance” over “busy” and that means taking an actual break from work to enjoy lunch. Usually, I’ll take a break to watch inspiring YouTube videos or read an article on a topic I’m curious about (e.g., the cosmos and the brain benefits of meditation are two recent topics of interest)! — @blissfulbasil #osgtakeover

A photo posted by Angela Liddon (@ohsheglows) on

Oh She Glows’ Angela Liddon shares a meal that is as bold (in color) as it is breezy. Because what’s easier than dressing a piece of toast with avocado and a couple of tomatoes?

Butternut Squash Fritters


A treat that’s gluten-free and, well, great. And, once you’ve mastered the “butternut squash” version, The Iron You’s Mike has recipes for cauliflower fritters and zucchini fritters.

Cauliflower Rice Bowl with Zucchini Ribbons and Soft-Boiled Eggs


A bowl that’s half breakfast and half lunch for a non-weekend “brunch.” Kale Me Maybe’s Carina Wolff introduces a salad of greens (and reds and whites) to a pair of protein-packed eggs.

Egg Foo Young-ish


A grabbable bite from paleo pro, Nom Nom Paleo’s Michelle Tam. These “spinach, egg, ham, and coconut pancakes” are filled with flavor.

Farro and Kale Salad


A plate of sweet-meets-savory, featuring coconut and dried cranberries as well as Parmesan cheese and pistachios. Amy Tischler has invented a healthy meal that includes a taste of dessert.

‘Four Corners’ Lentil Soup


This nutrition-rich classic is a favorite of My New Roots’ Sarah Britton, who claims, “It remains the most frequently cooked dish in my kitchen. It is so fast and simple to make, really inexpensive, and uses ingredients that are found in the pantry.”

Herbed Quinoa and Chickpea Salad


This bowl is bountiful, thanks to the talents of Cookie and Kate’s Kate Taylor. The flavors receive an extra kick from the dressing, which is flavored with lemon and tahini.

Lemony-Garlic White Bean Salad with Hemp-Seed Pesto


A “power” dish boasting 17 grams of protein that can be prepared in 15 minutes—as created by Blissful Basil’s Ashley Melillo. (Remember to moderate the amount of garlic when you have a mid-afternoon meeting with your boss.)

Rainbow Vegetable Sandwich


This veggie-packed sandwich from Two Peas & Their Pod’s Maria Lichty is perfect for Instagram (and, also, lunch), featuring a rainbow of colors and nutrients. Chop, chop!

Salad with Black Beans and Kale


Organic and Happy’s Natasha Kadimi presents a bed of greens (spinach with avocado) that’s dressed with a garlic-flavored mixture of black beans and kale. Is that what it means to go green?

‘Summer Goods’ Salad

An ode to the Mediterranean that harkens the best of summer: a breath of fresh (and salty) air that’s more than welcome in the coldest months. Here, The Sprouted Kitchen’s Sara Forte forgets the lettuce to focus on the taste and texture of the “toppings.”

Taco Salad

This salad is customizable. The “taco meat” can be beef, chicken, turkey, etc. Lexi’s Clean Kitchen’s Lexi Davidson’s secret to the healthiness of this recipe? The salsa doubles as dressing.

Elizabeth Quinn Brown is a writer based in the East Village who accessorizes her (pilates) spandex with wedges. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.