Packing Lunch Made Easy: 20 No-Cook Lunches Under 400 Calories


lunch lead
Pb & J on whole wheat every day was cool in third grade, but I need a little more variety in my lunch these days. I could go out to HipCityVeg and Honeygrow every day, but that would put a strain on my wallet. And honestly, I don’t have the time or resolve to cook my own lunch every single day. But as I recently discovered, you don’t need an oven and a ton of elbow grease to prepare healthy, tasty, not boring lunches. That’s where these recipes come in.

These 20 recipes should take you through the next month of work lunches, and not a single one of them involves cooking. And because most meats need to be cooked, most of these recipes are vegetarian-friendly. Better yet? They’re all under 400 calories, nutritious, and satisfying, so you and your waistline can relax until dinnertime.

Note: If you want to bulk anything up, you can always throw in some leftover tofu or grilled chicken!

No-Cook Sandwiches Under 400 Calories

Smashed White Bean Avocado Club Sandwich
via Real Simple

Canned beans are a tried-and-true low-cost source of pre-cooked plant-based protein, and we really just can’t rave enough about avocado, the better-than-butter vegetable that grows on trees. This sandwich balances the soft beans and avocado with crunchy cucumber, onions, and sprouts.

Smoked Salmon Pita Sandwiches
via Apple of My Eye

For me, lox is probably the most decadent tasting food that is also low-calorie and high in protein. So tossing it in a whole wheat pita with the classic combo of cream cheese, tomato, and onions is a no-brainer for a no-cook lunch. This recipe also includes arugula for added nutrition, texture, and peppery bite.

Sandwich on a Stick
via The Skinny Fork

Who says grown-ups can’t have fun with their food? If arranging your meat, cheese, veggies, and bread in traditional sandwich form just doesn’t do it for you, this sandwich kebab makes an amusing and healthy lunch for all ages. And you can pretty much substitute anything that can make it’s way onto a stick.

Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich
via Minimalist Baker

Sort of a lighter, vegetarian replacement for a tuna salad sandwich, this meal has flavor, crunch, and lots of different options for add-ons depending on your preference.

No-Cook Wraps Under 400 Calories

Thai Beef Rolls
via My Recipes

This recipe marries the flavors and raw-veggie crunch of your favorite spring rolls with savory deli roast beef for a portable, tasty no-cook lunch. Use whole-grain tortillas for a more nutritious profile.

Almond Butter Salad Wrap
via Prevention

If you can dip your celery sticks in peanut butter, why not wrap up raw veggies with almond butter in a tortilla? It’s fast, easy, nutritious, and satisfyingly full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

Tangy Veggie Wrap
via Hurry The Food Up

Essentially a more portable way to eat a salad, this veggie-stuffed wrap is super easy to make vegan — just swap the cottage cheese and yogurt spread for hummus or vegan mayo.

Banana-Nut Elvis Wrap
via Health

I just couldn’t leave peanut butter off the list — I still eat the classic PB-and-banana combo all the time. This stick-to-your-ribs (and the roof of your mouth) wrap will take you right back to your school cafeteria days.

Raw Gorilla Wraps
via POPSUGAR Fitness

Using collard green leaves instead of a wrap or tortilla, these totally raw wraps have a satisfying, spicy ground walnut filling that makes for a calorie-conscious, low-carb lunch.

Pesto Olive Pizza Roll Ups
via Cook in a Canuck

This is the no-cook version of pizza rolled up in a tortilla. All the great flavors of your favorite Italian slice with a fraction of the effort (and the calories).

No-Cook Salads Under 400 Calories

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
via myfitnesspal

Inspired by the tangy and sweet classic Waldorf salad, this satisfying mix uses shaved raw brussels sprouts as the base instead of conventional lettuce greens. Skip toasting the walnuts and you have a tasty no-cook lunch to pack in that tupperware.

Antipasto Salad
via My Recipes

Restaurant antipasto plates tend to be heavy in sodium and fat-laden meats and cheese. This one is heavier on the veggies, and still full of those classic Italian flavors while remained lower in calories. It could not be easier to put together and also makes a great no-cook party dish.

Skinny Broccoli Salad
via Simple Nourished Living

Broccoli is incredibly nutritious and delicious on its own but, for some reason, broccoli salads tend to get drowned in fattening mayonnaise-y dressings. This is a much lighter alternative that is sweet, crunchy, tangy, and colorful all at once.

Other Delicious Lunch Recipes Under 400 Calories

Tuna Salad Stuffed Tomatoes
via Eating Well

Like chickpeas, canned tuna is another fantastic low-cost, low-cal source of protein that is so easy to toss into salads, sandwiches or, in this case, stuff into a tomato. Skipping the traditional mayo dressing, this recipe lightens it up with olive oil and vinegar and lots of crunchy veggies.

Chopped Salad Taco
via Better Homes and Gardens

Why did I never think of packing tacos for lunch? If you fill them with canned beans and raw veggies, it’s healthy and no cook. This one comes to 440 calories, but you can leave off the guac to slim it down. 

Avocado and Crab Salad
via Skinny Taste

Another raw vegetable stuffed with pre-cooked crab, the flavors and texture of this crab salad-stuffed avocado are different and awesome, not to mention super healthy. For easy transportation, I would pack the crab salad and avocado separately, and do the filling come lunchtime.

Overnight Oats with Blueberries and Chia Seeds
via BuzzFeed

I know, I know, oatmeal is supposed to be a breakfast food. But it’s yummy and good for you any time of day, so why not pack it for lunch? Plus, you prepare this version the night before and leave it in the fridge so you can grab it and go in the morning without a second thought.

Detox Raw Tacos
via The Pancake Princess

These low-carb tacos use cabbage leaves to wrap up the spicy walnut filling. Top with the tangy peach salsa, and you’ve got a totally raw, nutritious, low-cal lunch ready to go.

Rad Rainbow Pad Thai
via Oh She Glows

Talk about tasting the rainbow. This beautiful “pad thai” replaces high calorie, greasy noodles with spiraled raw veggies for more texture and fewer calories, while the nutty dressing doesn’t sacrifice any flavor.

Raw Chili
via Happy Herbivore

I never would have thought chili could be no-cook, but this raw, vegan recipe defies all expectations. Less than 100 calories per serving on its own, I’d slather some of this on a whole wheat bun and eat it like a Sloppy Joe.

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