There’s a bunch of low carb diets out there — you’ve got keto, paleo, atkins, mediterranean, and all sorts of other ways people get carbs and sugar out of their system. But, you know what I like most about these kinds of diets? It’s that I get to fill the caloric void with more fat and/or protein.
To me, that means a lot of tasty and incredibly hearty meals, especially on lunches where I typically eat a good bulk of my calories. Just thinking about all the steak, chicken, and bacon I get to eat has me drooling!
Besides all the palatable food, I also find that limiting carb consumption might be the easiest way to lose water weight, especially since a lot of us are eating more carbs than we actually need to. All that is going to show in both the mirror and the weighing scale, so, although it isn’t actually fat you’re losing, I still think the nearly instant visual results you get from just cutting carbs makes for a great start to your fitness journey.
Having said all that, here are a few low carb lunch ideas that you can use. You can cook and eat them at home, take them to work, or store in the fridge. Whether you’re trying to gain lean muscle, trying to lose weight, or just trying to stay healthy overall, this list should help. Let’s get to it!
Healthy low carb lunch ideas
1. Easy chicken salad sandwich
Let’s kick this off with something light and easy — a sandwich.
Kristine’s Kitchen has an amazing chicken salad recipe with red onions, grapes, pecans, celery, yogurt, and of course, chicken. It might seem kind of weird not having mayo at first but, trust me, it’s delicious! Serve as lettuce wraps or, if your diet allows it, whatever bread you prefer.
Macros: 195 calories | 4g carbs | 22g protein | 10g fat
2. Italian sub keto roll ups
With less than 2g of net carbs, this recipe from KetoDiet definitely has one of the least amount of carbohydrates on this list.
Also, it’s really meaty from all the pepperoni and ham. I tried slapping salami in there just to try it out and, man, it’s even better! To balance out all the saltiness from these deli meats, this recipe also uses lettuce, hot cherry peppers, and white onion, as well as a tasty, low-carb sauce.
Macros: 201 calories | 1.6g net carbs | 13.8g protein | 15.3g fat
3. Easy avocado and goat cheese prosciutto roll ups
Here’s another low carb roll up from KetoDiet. I’m telling you, this woman is a genius!
Anyhow, it’s a little higher in calories and fat compared to the previous recipe but its protein and carbs stay about the same.
Also, the blog says its meant to be a snack or an appetizer but I’ve personally had a couple of servings for lunch and
Macros: 307 calories | 1.8g carbs | 14.2g protein | 26g fat
4. Za’atar chicken bowls with tomato and cucumber raita
To be honest, I haven’t had a lot of experience with za’atar seasoning. The first time I tried it was when one of our friends invited me and my wife for dinner at her place. What I noticed first was that it smells amazing! But, when I finally had it in my mouth (she had it on steak), man, if only you could see my face. It was that good.
Having said that, I believe a good way to try za’atar while you’re on a low carb diet is with Cotter Crunch’s chicken recipe. Trust me. It’ll be an experience you won’t forget.
Macros: 266 calories | 5.5g carbs | 31.2g protein | 13.3g fat
5. Low carb Mexican meal prep bowls
This recipe from Jar of Lemons will have you make 3 things: the chicken, the salad, and the Mexican cauliflower rice.
About the chicken and cauliflower rice, you can simply use the store-bought versions if you want to save time. But, if you want to make your own, you can do that, too. Either way, I think the end results taste great.
Macros: 353 calories | 18g carbs | 27g protein | 15g fat
6. Cobb salad
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had “breakfast” for lunch more times than I count. It all started with my mom cooking eggs and bacon for lunch when I was little and I guess I just never grew out of it. I’m telling you this because cobb salad sort of gives me the same nostalgic vibes.
Enter: Tasteaholics’ cobb salad recipe — and it’s as straightforward as it gets. Just cook your chicken with whatever seasoning you want, cook your bacon, chop these up along with the rest of your ingredients into bite-sized pieces, and toss with olive oil and vinegar.
Macros: 600 calories | 3g net carbs | 43g protein | 48g fat
7. Low carb breakfast balls
Here’s another “breakfast for lunch” recipe. I got this from Mercy of Food (dot) com.
She calls it breakfast balls but, really, it’s meatballs made from pork sausage, ground beef, eggs, and a few more ingredients. It’s super easy to make and freezes real well, too, making it one of my top low carb lunch ideas on the go.
Macros: 403 calories | 1.1g carbs | 32.8g protein |28.8g fat
8. No rice jambalaya
How to make jambalaya low carb? Simple. Take out the rice.
That’s exactly what Morgan Mallory did with her recipe. To fill out the void, she loaded up her dish with vegetables. It’s just as savory as the original but now you don’t have to worry about your carbohydrates.
Macros: 260 calories | 14.5g carbs | 31.8g protein | 8.5g fat
9. Low carb, high protein avocado egg salad with cottage cheese
Kalyn’s Kitchen is one of my favorite places to go to if I need low carb meals, or just to get ideas if I plan on making my own. So, if you’ve been following my articles, you shouldn’t be surprised to find one of her recipes here.
Specifically, I’m talking about her egg salad. It has low carbs, moderate amounts of protein, and near ridiculous amounts of fat. For all you keto practitioners here, this is as perfect as any lunch can get.
Macros: 476 calories | 7.4g carbs | 14g protein | 40g fat
10. Bruschetta Chicken
Purewow describes this as a “speedy summer dinner” and, to be honest, I don’t know what it is about it but, yes, it is.
Maybe it’s about the tomatoes that grow best in warm weather; maybe it’s the searing on both sides that make it feel like it was cooked on a grill; maybe it’s the basil, parmesan, and Italian seasoning; I don’t know.
What I do know, however, is that it’s simple, delectable, and absolutely low carb.
Macros: 302 calories | 6g carbs |42g protein | 12g fat
11. Philly cheesesteak keto roll
Ketoconnect says this recipe was supposed to be a Thai spring roll but for whatever reason, turned out to be cheesesteak without the buns — and I’m all for it!
Purists and local Philadelphians are probably not going to like how the recipe uses roast beef instead of ribeye and provolone instead of Cheez Whiz but, regardless, it still makes for a fantastic low carb lunch.
Also, the entire thing is deep fried with breading made of coconut flour, eggs, parmesan, and pork rinds. You’re going to have to crush the pork rinds, though. You can do it by hand but a food processor should get it done in no time.
Macros: 609 calories | 6g net carbs | 34g protein | 49g fat
12. Low carb satay beef meal prep bowls
Just can’t wrap your head around the last recipe? Here’s another beef-based lunch for ‘ya.
Sweet Peas and Saffron’s low carb version of beef satay has a sauce made of coconut milk, peanut butter, curry paste, lime juice, monk fruit sweetener, and ginger. Now, I don’t actually know how traditional satay sauce is made but I do know this one tastes great. Pack with green beans and cauliflower rice, and you’ve got yourself an easy keto lunch you can take to work.
Macros: 333 calories | 12g carbs | 26g protein |19g fat
13. Low carb indian chicken skillet
Here’s another masterpiece from Sweet Peas and Saffron. This time, it’s an Indian-inspired chicken recipe.
It uses popular Indian spices such as cumin, curry powder, and garam masala, so expect strong flavors. If you’re not into heavy flavors, don’t worry. I let my wife try this recipe out (she loves Indian food), and she thinks it’s not as intense as the ones we get from an authentic Indian restaurant.
Macros: 207 calories | 8g carbs | 24g protein | 8g fat
14. Flatbread and spiced beef with tzatziki sauce
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe tzatziki sauce is a traditionally Greek sauce made with yogurt. Hey Keto Mama’s version, on the other hand, uses sour cream. Now, I’ve never actually made my own tzatziki sauce but my friend brought this exact same recipe over last month and let me tell you, the taste isn’t easy to forget. I can’t describe it but I do know it tastes good.
Anyhow, you’re going to be making flatbread, spiced beef, and the sauce, so you might want to start preparing lunch a little earlier than usual.
Macros: 600 calories | 8g net carbs | 46g protein | 46g fat
15. Low carb greek chicken bowls
Speaking of Greek-inspired recipes, here’s one from KetoDiet.
It also uses tzatziki sauce but this time, the recipe calls for Greek yogurt. So, it’s closer to the original than the previous one. Also, this meal comes with chicken seasoned with lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and a handful of other spices, as well as an easy to make Greek salsa. If you don’t think that’s hearty enough, slap on a couple cups of cauliflower rice in there and your tummy should be more than filled.
Macros: 590 calories | 9g net carbs | 49.2g protein | 37.9g fat
To end this, I guess all that’s left to say is that low carb dieting doesn’t have to feel restrictive, food doesn’t have to be bland, and your lunches don’t have to stay the same for weeks on end. As you can see, there are at least 15 amazing recipes just floating around online. So, whether you’re on keto, paleo, or whatever low carb trend is out there, I hope you take something away from this list.
If we helped you out in any way, help us reach out to more people and share us with your friends around the web! Happy eating, guys and gals!