Are you considering changing your eating habits in order to live a healthier life? Have you considered going gluten free? While some people are gluten-intolerant and experience symptoms such as pain, gas, bloating, and inflammation from consuming gluten, others feel that avoiding gluten gives them more energy and helps them lose weight. To learn more, read Answers to Your Gluten Free Questions: What is Gluten Free Food? + More.
If you are considering a gluten free lifestyle, I won’t lie to you, it is a BIG change. However, it doesn’t mean giving up everything you love or spending extra time in the kitchen preparing food. You will probably be more successful at giving up gluten if you ease into it. For example, start by going gluten free for one meal a day. To get you going, here are 21 gluten free lunch ideas.
For more tips on how to go gluten free, read How to Go Gluten Free.
Gluten Free Lunch Entree Ideas
1. Beecher’s Kale and Brown Rice Gratin with Smoked Cheese Sauce (Iowa Girl Eats) – If you’re looking for gluten free lunch ideas that are just a little decedent and indulgent, look no further. With creamy smoked cheese sauce and tasty brown rice, most people wouldn’t even know this dish was gluten free.
Tip: If you make a nice salad to accompany it, this dish could totally work as a dinner.
2. The Best Pasta Salad (Iowa Girl Eats) – You probably think that going gluten free means going pasta free, right? Wrong! With great gluten free lunch ideas like this one for pasta salad, you can still enjoy the things you love.
Tip: This would be an awesome addition to any picnic, so keep this recipe on hand for summer.
3. Skinny Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli-Rice Casserole (Iowa Girl Eats) – Yes, comfort food can be good for you. This gluten free lunch idea proves it! Up the “healthiness” of this dish by going easy on the cheese (I know, I know, that’s really hard), using light sour cream, and skim milk. It’ll still taste delicious – I promise!
Tip: Make this dish the night before, serve it for dinner with salad, and then take leftovers to the office for lunch the next day.
4. Cheater Chicken Parmesan (Kiwi and Bean) – As mentioned above, gluten free lunch ideas don’t require tons of time in the kitchen. This recipe, for example, only requires 10 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes of cooking time, so you’ll be eating in just 30 minutes!
Tip: This is a super quick and easy (only 5 ingredients) meal, so keep the recipe on hand for busy weeknights. Trust me, your family will never know it’s gluten free.
5. Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salad (The Cookie Rookie) – Looking for something new? Gluten free lunch ideas don’t have to be boring… just look at this recipe. It’s filled with fresh flavors and just a little bit of spice to break you out of that recipe rut.
Tip: While the recipe calls for salmon, if you aren’t a big seafood fan, you could try it with chicken breast. It might take a little tweaking but I think you could get it to work.
6. Gluten Free Chicken Pot Pie (A Little Insanity) – Okay, this “gluten free lunch idea” may be a little intense to merely make for lunch. However, the pot pies will freeze well so make some for dinner, freeze the extras, and voilà – you’ve got a gluten free lunch.
Tip: Leave the meat out of this recipe to make it both gluten free and vegetarian friendly!
7. Swiss Chard and Halloumi Frittata (Vegetarian Gourmet) – Light and high in protein, this gluten free lunch idea is sure to help you power through that 3 o’clock slump! In case you didn’t know, Halloumi is brined white cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk.
Tip: To be perfectly honestly, you could serve this dish for any meal of the day!
8. Herbed Quinoa with Chickpeas and Walnuts (Vegetarian Gourmet) – While the “chef” behind this recipe suggests serving it “as a grain with any meal”, in my opinion, it’s good enough to be the meal all its own! However, if you want to lower caloric intake, serve this gluten free lunch idea with a salad.
Tip: Quinoa is a great addition to many meals. Consider making some each week and just keeping it on hand.
9. Dijon Mustard Tarte (A Lady in France) – Okay, I’ll admit that this gluten free lunch idea sounds a little strange, but you really should try it especially when you can get your hands on fresh tomatoes.
Tip: This recipe does require a little more work than some of the others since you’re making your own dough. Due to that, I recommend that the first time you make it you do so on a day when you aren’t pressed for time.
10. The Ultimate Vegan BLT (Strength and Sunshine) – Swearing off gluten and meat? No problem! This gluten free lunch idea replaces bacon with eggplant. (Yeah, I know, it sounds bizarre but at least give it a try). If you make the eggplant ahead of time, this recipe is perfect when you need to make lunch fast.
Tip: If you like the eggplant as a bacon substitute, consider swapping the two in other places as well. For example, instead of bacon and eggs what about eggplant and eggs? Note: I haven’t actually tried that one yet, so don’t take my word that it will be good! 🙂
11. Modern Macaroni Salad (Strength and Sunshine) – Tasty macaroni salad gets a makeover, so it’s now grain free, gluten free, and a whole lot healthier. For one, the mayo is replaced with a veggie based puree that’s still creamy and delicious. This gluten free lunch idea is great for days you’re struggling to resist other temptations!
Tip: Here’s another great recipe for the next potluck you attend. Be sure to bookmark it!
12. Lentil Paleo Wrap Burrito (Strength and Sunshine) – Love Mexican food like tacos and burritos? Then you’re going to love this gluten free lunch idea! Warning: It may be a little messy, so you probably shouldn’t eat it while hunching over your keyboard checking emails.
Tip: If you’re going gluten free, you don’t have to give up bread and wraps, but you may have to look for them in different places (such as speciality stores or the health food section of your current grocery store).
13. Sweet Pumpkin and Bell Pepper Sprouted Black Eyed Peas (Strength and Sunshine) – This gluten free lunch idea is also vegan friendly. The different veggies (pumpkin, pepper, chives, and mushrooms) pair perfectly with the beans. Trust me, your tastebuds will be pleased!
Tip: If you’re craving this gluten free lunch idea keep in mind that it takes 2-3 days to get the sprouted beans so don’t wait until the last minute!
14. Apple Chicken Salad (Snappy Gourmet) – This gluten free lunch idea is quick, easy, and a fabulous way to use up leftover chicken. Plus, you’ll never get tired of it since you can easily customize it by replacing the apples with pears or grapes or both.
Tip: Okay, this is more of a question than a tip…. Do you think you could use leftover turkey in this recipe instead of chicken? I’m really not sure but I’m thinking of trying it!
15. Easy Arroz Con Pollo with Creamy Dill Cucumber Salad (Living Sweet Moments) – When it comes to gluten free lunch ideas this is one of my favorites. Partially because it is so delicious and partially because it is a one pot meal which is perfect for those crazy days (a.k.a. most days).
Tip: This is a great dish for when dinner plans change. For example, if you were going to make something else and it doesn’t work out or your husband calls at the last minute and says the boss is coming to dinner, this tasty dish can be made in a flash. It only requires 10 minutes of prep time!