6 Calorie-Conscious, Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas
Making time for lunch is important – it provides you with the mid-day energy and nutrition you need and helps keep hunger at bay. The key to making mealtime achievable is keeping it easy, and prepared frozen meals are a terrific base to building a mindful lunch in minutes. With a few simple adds and creative tweaks, you can turn your frozen meal into a lunchtime masterpiece.
Check out these six quick and easy lunch ideas below. Ready in under 15 minutes, they’re simple to prep, easy to take to work or have at home, and provide you with the fuel you need to tackle your day – all for 400 calories or less!
Vermont Mac & Cheese Bites
- 1 box LEAN CUISINE® Vermont White Cheddar Mac & Cheese
- ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs, lightly pulsed in food processor
- 1 Tbsp grated parmesan
- Pinch of black pepper
- Preheat Air Fryer of Convection Oven to 375. Prepare sheet pan with foil or parchment, or Air Fryer with quick spray of cooking oil.
- Microwave LEAN CUISINE Vermont White Cheddar Mac & Cheese, unvented, for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Stir and allow to rest for 2 minutes.
- While Mac is cooling slightly, prepare breadcrumbs. In a small bowl, combine panko, grated parmesan and black pepper. Stir to combine thoroughly.
- Drop Mac & Cheese, one at a time, by the heaping Tablespoon-full into the panko blend. Utilize hands to roll Mac & Cheese in the panko, forming a coated ball. Place evenly apart on sheet pan or Air Fry tray. Spray with thin layer of cooking oil.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the exterior is golden and crisp.
Nutrition information per serving: 400 calories, 8.5g fat, 59g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 20g protein, 876mg sodium
Crispy Orange Chicken Spring Rolls
Approximately 15 mins, 2 servings (5 spring rolls per serving)
- 1 bowl LEAN CUISINE® Orange Chicken
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 10 small wonton wrappers (often found in the produce section of your supermarket)
- Reduced sodium soy sauce (optional)
- Preheat Air Fryer or Convention Oven to 360. Prepare sheet pan lined with foil or parchment paper, or tray of Air Fryer with thin layer cooking oil spray.
- Make fill. Microwave LEAN CUISINE Orange Chicken Bowl for 3 minutes, unvented. Remove chicken from bowl and chop into small pieces. Return to bowl with ½ scallions. Stir to combine thoroughly.
- Fill rolls. Place Tablespoon full in center of wonton wrapper to the top right. Fold in sides, then bottom corner. Utilize light brush of water along top corner of wonton wrapper to help seal roll. Tuck in filling and roll.
- Place seam side down on sheet pan or Air Fryer tray. Spray with thin layer of cooking oil spray. Air Fry or bake until lightly golden and crispy, approximately 6-8 minutes. Garnish with remaining scallions and reduced sodium soy sauce for dipping.
Nutrition information per serving: 290 calories, 3g fat, 52.5g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 12.5g protein, 830mg sodium
Herb Roasted Chicken Flatbread
Approximately 15 mins, 1 serving
- 1 box LEAN CUISINE® Herb Roasted Chicken Breast
- 1 naan/flatbread
- 2 Tbsp parmesan or Italian hard cheese blend (parmesan/asiago/romano)
- 1 fresh basil leaf, torn (optional)
- Freshly ground cracked black pepper (optional)
- Preheat oven to bake at 400.
- Prepare LEAN CUISINE Herb Roasted Chicken entree in microwave up to stir step (4 minutes).
- Prepare sheet pan by lining with foil or parchment, Place flatbread in center of sheet pan.
- Once entree has reached stir step, cut chicken breast into bite size pieces, approximately ½ in cubes. Arrange the contents of the entree on the flatbread, distributing evenly.
- Top with cheese.
- Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes until cheese and edges of flatbread begin to turn golden brown.
- Remove from oven and top with fresh basil and black pepper if desired. Cut into 6 slices and enjoy!
Nutrition information per serving: 370 calories, 6g fat, 48g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 24.5g protein, 756mg sodium
Steak Portabella Salad
Approximately 7 minutes, 1 serving
- 1 box LEAN CUISINE® Steak Portabella
- 3 cups mixed greens - such as romaine, baby spinach and arugula
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 small cucumber
- Shaved red onion, to taste
- ¼ cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
- 2 ½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 pinch dry basil and dry oregano
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper, plus more for garnish
- 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese or hard Italian cheese blend
- Prepare LEAN CUISINE Steak Portabella in the microwave according to box instructions.
- While entree is cooking, prepare salad and dressing. In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt with balsamic, dry herbs, salt and pepper. Whisk with a fork until smooth. In salad bowl, add lettuce, tomato, cucumber and red onion.
- Top salad with steak and broccoli from entree. Whisk remaining gravy into dressing. (This gives the dressing amazing steak and portabella flavor throughout the salad!) Thin dressing with 1-2 teaspoons of water if too thick. (This will depend on the brand of yogurt you utilize.)
- Drizzle dressing over salad. Top with cheese and toss to combine.
Nutrition information per serving: 240 calories, 7.5g fat, 14g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 27g protein, 940mg sodium
Veggie Fettuccine Alfredo
Approximately 10 minutes, 1 serving
- 1 box LEAN CUISINE® Fettuccini Alfredo
- 1 cup broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 4 baby peppers, roasted, grilled or air-fried
- 2 Tbsp parmesan or dry Italian cheese blend
- Zest of one lemon
- Black pepper to personal taste preference
- Heat LEAN CUISINE entree in the microwave up to the stir step, 3 minutes.
- While entree is heating, prepare your vegetables. Cut broccoli and peppers into bite size pieces, measure out one cup of baby spinach.
- Transfer Fettuccini Alfredo to entree size pasta bowl. Stir in broccoli. Cover and return to microwave for two minutes.
- Remove from microwave, add spinach and peppers, stir to combine and wilt spinach.
- Top with cheese, lemon zest, and black pepper.
Nutrition information per serving: 383 calories, 6.5g fat, 62.8g carbohydrates, 7.3g fiber, 18.1g protein, 772.9mg sodium
Tortilla Crusted Fish Taco Salad
Approximately 10 minutes, 1 serving
- 1 box LEAN CUISINE® Tortilla Crusted Fish
- 2 cups romaine, chopped
- 10 grape tomatoes, halved
- ¼ yellow bell pepper, sliced
- ¼ red bell pepper, sliced
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves
- 5 black olives, halved
- 2 tsp cojita cheese
- Shaved red onion, to taste preference
- 1 lime, juice and zest
- Prepare LEAN CUISINE Tortilla Crusted Fish according to box instructions.
- While entree is heating in microwave, prepare salad. In large salad bowl, combine romaine, tomatoes, bell peppers, cilantro, olives, cojita cheese, shaved red onion, lime juice and zest. Toss to combine.
- Allow the entree to rest for 1 minute from microwave.
- Top the prepared salad with rice and tortilla crusted fish and enjoy!
Nutrition information per serving: 380 calories, 10g fat, 50g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 18g protein, 670mg sodium
For more quick and easy lunch ideas, additional lunchtime inspiration and convenient lunch and dinner possibilities, visit LEANCUISINE.COM.