15 healthy lunch recipes for when you need an energy boost

For a midday pick-me-up, skip the extra cup of coffee and try one of these energizing lunch recipes instead. Featuring energy-boosting foods like eggs, pears, chickpeas, and beans, these meals can help keep you energized and motivated to tackle the rest of the day. Recipes like our Chickpea Tuna Salad and our Best Sandwich Egg Salad Recipe are great picks for lunch any day of the week.

The best egg salad recipe for sandwiches

Photographer: Fred Hardy, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Shell Royster

This delicious egg salad recipe is the perfect choice for sandwiches, wraps, and more. The filling spread can be made ahead of time, which makes this recipe great for meal prep. Creamy, crunchy and satisfying, this easy egg salad recipe has it all. Celery hearts, which are the inner ribs of celery, are more tender than the stalks and add a slightly salty, salty flavor. Find out how to make hard-boiled eggs at home or buy ready-made ones at the supermarket. Serve this egg salad on top of a bed of greens, sandwich it between slices of whole-grain bread, or pair it with carrot and celery sticks.

Tuna and chickpea salad

Photography / Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling / Ruth Blackburn

This Chickpea Tuna Salad with Capers, Feta, and Cucumber is the perfect lunch to take to work or school. You can prepare the salad the night before (just be sure to keep the spinach separate and to dress the salad right before serving).

Feta, kale and pear salad

The crunchy seed garnish is the perfect textural juxtaposition for a creamy dressing, soft pears, and tender, massaged coleslaw. Mixing it all with mint, feta and red onion gives it a Middle Eastern twist.

Sandwich with chickpea salad

Photography / Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling / Ruth Blackburn

This vegan chickpea salad sandwich is lemony, bright, and surprisingly delicious. It has all the flavors of a classic tuna salad sandwich with dill, lemon and a little garlic, but with chickpeas instead for an added vegan source of protein and a healthy boost of fiber. Celery brings a nice crunch.

No-Cook Black Bean Salad

The dressing for this vegan black bean salad gets its creaminess from pureed avocado. Any salad greens mix will work well, but try arugula if you want to give this hearty salad a peppery kick.

Egg salad sandwiches and watercress tea

Jacob Fox

Peppery watercress adds zest to classic egg salad in these easy tea sandwiches. To be enjoyed as a quick appetizer or as an option for brunch.

Tuna and White Bean Salad

The age-old Italian pairing of canned tuna and cannellini beans makes for a super simple and satisfying lunch. Serve over a salad, on grilled whole grain country bread, or tucked into a pocket of whole grain pita bread.

Pumpkin Quinoa Salad and Roasted Pear

This roasted fruit and vegetable salad is infused with the flavor of quinoa cooked with fresh ginger, garlic, and a touch of turmeric. Serve it alongside a roast chicken, then mix the leftovers together for lunch. Your future self will thank you.

Sweet potato, cabbage and chicken salad with peanut dressing

These hearty coleslaw hold up well for 4 days, making them perfect for meal prep lunches. To keep the ingredients from getting soggy, dress this salad and top it with peanuts just before serving. For a delicious vegan option, swap roasted tofu for chicken breast (see Related Recipes).

Sandwich with white beans and avocado

White beans mash perfectly into a creamy, protein-packed spread for a healthy, satisfying sandwich that makes for an easy lunch or dinner. Mix it up by trying it with canned chickpeas or black beans. This veggie sandwich recipe is also a fiber superstar: avocado, beans, greens, and whole-wheat bread combine to give it 15 grams of fiber, more than half of what most women should aim for in a day.

Chickpea Salad With Cranberries And Walnuts

Photographer: Rachel Marek, Food stylist: Lauren McAnelly

We swap chickpeas for chicken to create a satisfying veggie dish that’s perfect for lunch. Cranberries add a sweet-tart flavor, while roasted walnuts and celery provide crunch. Serve over leafy greens or use as a sandwich filling.

Pear, gorgonzola and walnut salad

This pear and gorgonzola salad celebrates autumn with its beautiful colors. The light, refreshing vinaigrette offsets the tangy funk of the Gorgonzola and the sweetness of the raisins and pears.

Egg salad. English muffin sandwich

Brie Passano

When you boil your eggs ahead of time, it’s easy to create a delicious lunchtime egg salad. And using the tasty leafy carrot tops is like getting free herbs.

Bagel with warm egg salad

This open-faced egg salad bagel is ready in under 30 minutes!

Peanut Chicken Cabbage Rolls

Kale makes a tasty, low-calorie substitute for flatbread or bread in this healthy chicken lettuce wrap recipe. Don’t limit yourself to kale for this Thai-inspired recipe—any fresh green sturdy enough to wrap around 1/2 cup of stuffing works.

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