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4 Low Carb Lunch Ideas To Make At Home

Most of us are familiar with the afternoon slump. As the day goes on, our energy levels can dip, leaving us feeling lethargic and in need of a pick-me-up.  What you eat for lunch may be the culprit behind this unwelcome lethargy.

Eating meals that aren’t balanced and are heavy on carbohydrates can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels, which inevitably crash, leaving you feeling even more tired than before.

Even worse, it can become a cycle that’s hard to break out of, particularly when quick, carb-laden options are the most accessible.

A low-carb lunch may be the solution to this daily dilemma. It ensures that your energy levels remain stable throughout the day, without the peaks and troughs that come from more carb-heavy options.

Not only does it help in maintaining focus and productivity, but it can also contribute to better overall weight management.

Here are some filling, easy-to-make, low carb lunch ideas that can help keep that dreaded afternoon slump at bay.

What Is An Example of a Low Carb Lunch?

A salad is the most common example of a low carb lunch. It’s easy to make, versatile and can be packed with nutrient-dense ingredients. A salad packed with leafy greens, lean protein such as chicken or tofu, healthy fats like avocado or nuts, and non-starchy vegetables like peppers and cucumber, can make for a satisfying and low carb lunch option.

In a previous blog titled Power Salads, we explored how to make a variety of hearty salads that provide ample nutrition and energy.

For those seeking low-carb lunch fast food options that are homemade,  keto wraps are a brilliant idea. The wraps can be made with cauliflower as the base, or any low carb flour. You can use pretty much any sliced deli meat or cheese of your choice, alongside low-carb veggies like lettuce and tomatoes, to create an easy low-carb lunches for work.

Here are other low carb lunch ideas to mix up your midday meal:

Zucchini Noodles with Grilled Chicken (7)

Zucchini noodles are a fantastic foundation for low carb lunches that aren’t salads. When paired with grilled chicken, they present a high protein, low carb meal ideal for supporting weight loss and muscle repair (2). The addition of a pesto or tomato-based sauce can elevate the flavors, creating a satisfying lunch that keeps energy levels stable.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup fresh basil finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade pesto
  • 2 large zucchini spiralized with water squeezed out – about 4 cups


  1. Preheat Skillet: Start by heating the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Ensure the skillet is hot enough before adding the chicken to achieve a nice sear.
  2. Cook Chicken: Add the cubed chicken breasts to the skillet. Stir occasionally, making sure the chicken cooks evenly. Cook until the chicken is golden on all sides and no longer pink in the middle, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and set aside.
  3. Sauté Garlic and Tomatoes: In the same skillet, add the minced garlic. Sauté for about 1 minute or until it becomes fragrant but not browned. Add the halved cherry tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and cook until the tomatoes start to soften, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Combine Chicken and Veggies: Return the cooked chicken to the skillet with the garlic and tomatoes. Stir in the fresh basil, parsley, and pesto until everything is well combined. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  5. Prepare Zucchini Noodles: While the chicken and tomato mixture simmers, prepare your zucchini noodles by spiralizing the zucchinis. Make sure to squeeze out any excess water from the noodles to avoid a watery sauce.
  6. Combine and Serve: Add the spiralized zucchini noodles to the skillet, gently tossing them with the chicken and tomato mixture for 2-3 minutes, just until the noodles are tender. Be careful not to overcook the noodles to prevent them from becoming mushy.
  7. Garnish and Enjoy: Serve immediately, garnishing with additional fresh basil or parsley.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 323 | Calories from Fat 171 | Fat 19g | Saturated Fat 3g | Trans Fat 1g | Cholesterol 73 mg | Sodium 419 mg | Potassium 948 mg | Carbohydrates 11g | Fiber 2g | Sugar 5g | Protein 28g | Vitamin A 1658 IU | Vitamin C 48 mg | Calcium 93mg | Iron 2mg

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Egg Muffins with Spinach and Feta (4)

Egg muffins are low-carb lunch box marvels, perfectly portable and customizable. Their high protein content makes them an excellent high protein low carb lunch idea for weight loss (2). Mixing in spinach adds a nutritional punch, while feta cheese brings a tangy taste, making these egg muffins a delicious and easy option.


  • 12 eggs
  • 2 cup spinach, roughly chopped
  • 100 grams feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Butter or olive oil, for greasing


  1. Preheat Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). This ensures the oven is at the right temperature for baking the egg muffins evenly.
  2. Grease Muffin Tin: Use butter or olive oil to lightly grease the muffin tin. This prevents the egg muffins from sticking to the pan, making them easier to remove after baking.
  3. Whisk Eggs: In a large mixing bowl, crack all 12 eggs. Add the sea salt and black pepper. Whisk the mixture until the eggs are fully beaten and the seasonings are well incorporated.
  4. Add Spinach and Feta: Gently fold in the roughly chopped spinach and crumbled feta cheese to the egg mixture. Ensure the spinach and feta are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  5. Fill Muffin Cups: With a ladle or large spoon, carefully pour the egg mixture into the greased muffin cups. Fill each cup about ¾ of the way full, leaving room for the egg to expand as it cooks.
  6. Bake: Place the muffin tin in the preheated oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the egg muffins are set in the middle and lightly golden on top.
  7. Cool and Serve: Allow the egg muffins to cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing them. Use a butter knife to gently loosen the sides if they’re sticking to the pan. Serve warm or cool completely and store for a grab-and-go low carb lunch option.


Serving Size: 1 muffinCalories: 100 | caloriesSugar: 0 grams| Fat: 7 grams| Carbohydrates: 1 gram | Fiber: 1 gram | Protein: 8 grams


Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry (1)

Cauliflower rice serves as a superb base for low-carb lunch box ideas, especially when stir-fried with a mix of vegetables and your choice of protein like shrimp or tofu. This dish is not only quick to prepare but also packs a nutritional punch, fitting the easy low-carb lunches for work criteria perfectly.


  • 1 head cauliflower (large green stems removed // grated or shredded into “rice”)
  • 3 Tbsp water

For The Sauce:

  • 1 tsp sesame oil or coconut oil (or sub water if avoiding oil)
  • 2 Tbsp almond or peanut butter
  • 4 Tbsp coconut aminos (or sub low sodium gluten-free tamari, but it will be saltier)
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2-4 tsp chili garlic sauce (reduce or increase according to spice preference)
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup (or sub coconut sugar or stevia to taste)
  • 1-2 Tbsp water

To Stir Fry:

  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil or coconut oil (or sub water if avoiding oil)
  • 1 1/2 cups green beans (trimmed and halved)
  • 3 Tbsp coconut aminos (divided)
  • 1 medium bell pepper (thinly sliced lengthwise // red, orange, or yellow are best)
  • 1 cup diced green onions (reserve some green tops for serving)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red (or green) cabbage
  • 1/2-3/4 cup roasted cashews or slivered toasted almonds (or 1 batch Almond Butter Tofu (you could also substitute 1/3 cup hemp seeds sprinkled over the top for serving for extra protein)

For Serving: (optional)

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Sriracha or chili garlic sauce


  1. Prepare Cauliflower Rice: Place the grated or shredded cauliflower in a large skillet with 3 tablespoons of water. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower is slightly softened, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside in a separate dish.
  2. Mix the Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the sesame oil (or coconut oil), almond or peanut butter, coconut aminos, lime juice, chili garlic sauce, minced fresh ginger, maple syrup, and water to create the stir-fry sauce. Adjust the amount of water to achieve the desired consistency. Set aside.
  3. Cook the Vegetables: Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil (or coconut oil) in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the green beans and sauté for about 3 minutes. Then add 1 tablespoon of coconut aminos and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Add the sliced bell pepper, diced green onions, and sliced red cabbage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.
  4. Combine Cauliflower Rice and Vegetables: Return the cauliflower rice to the skillet with the cooked vegetables. Pour the previously prepared sauce over the mixture, stirring to coat all the ingredients evenly. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  5. Add Protein and Final Touches: If adding a protein like roasted cashews, slivered toasted almonds, or Almond Butter Tofu, stir into the skillet now. Cook for an additional 2 minutes to warm through.
  6. Serve: Dish the cauliflower rice stir-fry into bowls. Garnish with fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and a drizzle of Sriracha or chili garlic sauce if desired.

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 598 | Carbohydrates: 63.1 g | Protein: 17.4 g | Fat: 35.1 g | Saturated Fat: 5.6 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8.97 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18.18 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 1147 mg | Potassium: 1905 mg | Fiber: 13.6 g | Sugar: 32.9 g | Vitamin A: 4304 IU | Vitamin C: 263.79 mg | Calcium: 219.49 mg | Iron: 5.49 mg

Read more: 6 Low Carb Thanksgiving Sides That Even Carb-Lovers Will Enjoy

Chia Seed Pudding with Berries (5)

Chia seed pudding is a sweet yet low carb lunch meal prep idea that’s incredibly easy to make. Its high fiber content aids in digestion, while the addition of berries provides antioxidants and a touch of natural sweetness. This option is especially appealing for those looking for something different from the typical savory lunch but still aiming to manage their carbohydrate intake.


  • 1 cup unsweetened almond/coconut milk beverage, used Almond Breeze
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries, blackberries and raspberries
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 5-6 drops liquid stevia, or sugar/honey to taste


  1. Mix Ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine the unsweetened almond or coconut milk with the chia seeds. Stir well to ensure the chia seeds are evenly distributed throughout the milk.
  2. Sweeten to Taste: Add liquid stevia, sugar, or honey to the mixture, depending on your preference for sweetness. Stir again to mix well.
  3. Add Berries: Gently fold the fresh blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries into the chia seed mixture. Be careful not to crush the berries.
  4. Refrigerate: Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 4 hours, or for best results, leave it overnight. This allows the chia seeds to soak up the liquid and become gel-like.
  5. Serve: Once the pudding has set and reached a thick consistency, stir it once more and then serve.


Serving: 1 cup | Calories: 110 kcal | Carbohydrates: 12 g | Protein: 4 g | Fat: 5 g | Saturated Fat: 0.5 g | Sodium: 64 mg | Fiber: 7.5 g | Sugar: 3 g

What Can I Eat for Lunch Instead of Bread?

For lunch, instead of reaching for a sandwich or wrap, try opting for low-carb alternatives like lettuce wraps or collard green wraps. These can easily be filled with protein and vegetables, providing the same satisfying crunch as bread without the added carbohydrates.

Another option is to make use of cauliflower in various forms such as cauliflower rice or cauliflower crusts for pizza. These substitutes offer lower carbohydrate and calorie content compared to traditional bread-based options while still providing taste and texture.

Finally, getting creative with salads can also be a filling and nutritious option for lunch. Combining various vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats like avocado or nuts can make for cheap low-carb lunches that don’t rely on bread as a main component. 

Check out our collection of Keto Gluten-Free Recipes for more lunch ideas that are both low-carb and gluten-free.

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What Foods Are Filling But Low In Carbs?

Leafy greens are an excellent source of low-carb, filling foods. Spinach, kale, and arugula are all great options to incorporate into meals as they are high in fiber and nutrients, while being low in carbohydrates.

Protein sources such as chicken breast, fish, and tofu can also be highly satisfying, while being low in carbs. Not to mention, protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass (3).

Healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, and nuts can also help with satiety and provide important nutrients while being low in carbohydrates (6). These foods are also key components of a keto or low-carb diet as they help the body stay in ketosis.

In our Paleo Lunch Ideas blog post, we show you how to combine these three categories of foods to create satisfying, low-carb lunch options.


What Foods To Eat on a Low Carb Diet List?

Here’s a comprehensive list of foods that are suitable for a low-carb diet:


  • Chicken breast
  • Turkey breast
  • Lean cuts of beef and pork
  • Fish (salmon, tuna, cod, etc.)
  • Seafood (shrimp, crab, lobster)
  • Tofu
  • Eggs

Leafy Greens:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • Lettuce (romaine, butter, etc.)
  • Swiss Chard

Non-Starchy Vegetables:

  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Bell peppers
  • Brussels sprouts

Healthy Fats:

  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, etc.)
  • Nut butters (almond butter, peanut butter)


  • Berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
  • Strawberries
  • Citrus Fruits (oranges, grapefruit)


  • Water
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Black coffee

Spices and Seasonings:

  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Chili flakes
  • Cumin
  • Basil

This list is not exhaustive, and there are plenty of other low-carb options available.

Read more: Your Guide to High Fat Keto Foods: The Best Choices for a Low Carb Diet



  • What Lunch Meat Is Low Carb?

Deli turkey, deli ham, roast beef, and chicken breast are all low-carb options for lunch meat. Be sure to check the labels, as some deli meats can contain added sugars or other high-carb ingredients. Steer clear of flavored or processed meats, as they often contain hidden carbs.

  • Is Rice a Low Carb Food?

No, rice is not considered a low-carb food. A cup of cooked white rice contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates, while the same amount of brown rice has around 40 grams. For those following a low-carb diet, alternative options like cauliflower rice or shirataki noodles may be better substitutes for traditional rice.

  • How Many Carbs Is a Low Carb Lunch?

A low-carb lunch typically contains less than 30 grams of carbohydrates. Keep in mind that this number can vary depending on an individual’s daily carbohydrate intake goals and any specific dietary restrictions they may have.

  • Is Greek Yogurt Low Carb?

Greek yogurt is considered a relatively low-carb option, with 6 grams of carbohydrates in a 6-ounce serving. That said, it’s important to check the label for any added sugars or flavorings that may increase the carbohydrate content. Opting for plain Greek yogurt rather than flavored and adding your own low-carb toppings like fresh berries or nuts can help keep the carb count down.

The Bottom Line

There are many creative and delicious ways to enjoy a low-carb lunch without relying on bread. By incorporating leafy greens, protein sources, and healthy fats into meals, you can feel full and satisfied while still sticking to your dietary goals.

Try these recipes and tips out for a filling, low-carb lunch that will keep you energized and satisfied throughout the day.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. 30-Minute Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry (2017,minimalistbaker.com)
  2. Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms of High-Protein Diet-Induced Weight Loss (2020,nih.gov)
  4. Spinach Egg Muffins (2020,kaynutrition.com)
  5. Superfood Triple Berry Chia Pudding (2021,skinnytaste.com)
  6. The Benefits of Healthy Fats (2022,news-medical.net)
  7. Whole30 Pesto Chicken Zoodles Recipe (2024,thecleaneatingcouple.com)