9 Protein-Packed Lunch Ideas

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Lunches can get SO boring! Who’s with me? The same old salad and grilled chicken (or let’s be honest, rice cakes + almond butter or anything you can grab on the go) sometimes just doesn’t cut it. I get weekly requests from many of my readers and clients for delicious and nutritious lunch ideas. I thought it would be fun to share 9 of my favorite protein-packed meals that are perfect for spicing up lunch!

Many of these recipes can be made ahead of time – easy to bring to work or eat at home. And, they are all perfect for summertime – light, refreshing, and so very filling! Which one are you going to try first?

Row 1 (left to right):

  1. Vegalicious Chopped Avocado Tuna Salad
  2. Curried Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Salad
  3. Summer Glow Buddha Bowl

Row 2 (left to right):

  1. Everyday Sweet Potato and Kale Hash
  2. Cilantro Lime Chicken with Cauliflower Rice
  3. Quinoa Taco Bowls

Row 3 (left to right):

  1. Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Tuna and Peas
  2. Chicken Pesto Spaghetti Squash
  3. Blood Orange, Avocado, Quinoa, and Kale Salad

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17 Comments

  1. These are great ideas! Lunch is so weird you want it to be so good, but so easy you nailed it! I’ve been thinking about something similar so I made four different tuna recipes I’m going to share soon. They were good, but i think I may have have over done it on the tuna, I like how much variety there is!

  2. I’ve been needing to change up my lunch game, love this post! I usually go for salads or a sandwich with veggie soup. Time to think outside of the box!

  3. These all look so tasty!
    I definitely needed some lunch inspiration mine has been getting way too boring recently.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Thank you, Tina! They all look sooo delicious. That stovetop mac and cheese w/peas and tuna sounds like my idea of comfort food. The nutrition label is kind of high in saturated fat but I’m sure you could reduce that with a slightly lower fat milk (or almond/cashew) instead of whole milk and maybe a lighter cheese? I love the 50% cheddar by Cabot–comes in bars (?) and also bags of pre-shredded. It’s so good!

  5. These look good and I love that there’s several vegan recipes! I’m a big fan of quinoa and lentils for a protein packed lunch that keeps me full all afternoon

  6. Thank you so much for including my Pesto Chicken Spaghetti Squash recipe!! So many other great lunch ideas here – I’m so ready for all the fresh fruits and veggies that’ll be available at the farmers markets this summer. Such a great time of year for food and drink hehe

  7. Yum!! I’m always looking for better lunch options, especially those with more protein (I don’t seem to eat enough protein throughout the day). Thanks for these delicious choices!

  8. The nutrition label is kind of high in saturated fat but I’m sure you could reduce that with a slightly lower fat milk (or almond/cashew) instead of whole milk and maybe a lighter cheese?

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