Want to save money, time, and calories without sacrificing flavor? Then you’re in the right place! These 25 healthy cold lunch ideas offer all of that and more. They’re perfect for just about any situation whether you’re a swamped stay at home mom or heading into the office.
When it comes to saving money, cold lunch recipes like these are an easy win. If you normally eat lunch out, reports estimate you could save a minimum of $1,200 a year by brown bagging it! Even if you normally cook, cold foods for lunch can still save you money by slashing your utility bills. This is especially true during the summer when firing up the oven can also mean firing up your AC unit.
Tip: Some of these healthy cold lunch ides could easily become favorite family dinners, perfect for those hot summer nights!
So, let’s do lunch… or more accurately, 25 healthy cold lunches!
Warning: These healthy cold lunch ideas may cause drooling. Freebie Finding Mom is not responsible for damage done to your keyboard or computer caused by said drooling. 😉
1. Chipotle Turkey Pinwheels: Healthy cold lunch ideas, like this one, that can be scaled up to feed a crowd are always great to have on hand. Use this recipe to feed yourself, the whole office, or a horde of hungry kiddos.
2. Lemon and Dill Salmon Roll-up: Salmon is a great addition to healthy cold lunches as it’s rich in protein and omega 3 fatty acids but low in fat. This particular recipe is bursting with flavor and the perfect way to use up leftover salmon from last night’s dinner.
3. Fresh Rosemary Chicken Salad: Think chicken salad can’t be healthy? Think again! Classic chicken salad gets a healthy makeover in this recipe.
4. Caprese Salad Pita Pockets: Packed with veggies and whole grains and coming in at under 350 calories, healthy cold lunch ideas don’t get much well, healthier (or tastier) than this!
5. Turkey Caesar Sandwich: Missing some of your fav takeout options? Opt for cold lunch recipes, like this one, that mimic restaurant dishes. Trust me, Subway has nothing on this tasty copycat sandwich.
6. BLT Keto Turkey Roll Ups: Cutting carbs? Try this keto friendly recipe. Once the rich flavors of avocado mayo, ripe tomatoes, and bacon hit your tastebuds you won’t even remember bread!
7. Pecan Chicken Salad Sandwiches: Chicken salad is a staple among cold lunch ideas for a reason, and this tasty twist is no exception! The fresh apples, grapes, and celery give this dish a yummy crunch you won’t soon forget.
8. Gluten Free Greek Pasta Salad: Craving healthy cold foods for lunch? Then this recipe is sure to satisfy! It’s hearty and delicious yet gluten-free, vegan, and avoids many common allergens.
Tip: Looking for even more gluten-free options? Look no further! Here are 21 Gluten Free Lunch Ideas!
9. Easy Buffalo Chicken Salad: Things are heating up thanks to this spicy salad! It’s a great way to use up leftover chicken from last night’s dinner and can easily be made Whole30 compliant.
10. Tuna Cabbage Salad: Traditional tuna salad gets a makeover in this recipe to allow it to qualify as one of the healthy cold lunch ideas. Swapping some of the mayo for Greek yogurt and adding in a liberal helping of veggies results in a tuna salad that is crisp, light, and nutritious!
11. Skinny Chicken Caesar Pitas: This recipe checks all the boxes: it’s quick, easy, and healthier than the original (with more vitamins and less fat).
12. Avocado Hummus and Tomato Sandwich: Easy cold lunch ideas don’t get much simpler than this. Seriously, only two steps stand between you and this hearty, fiber filled sandwich!
13. Shrimp Caesar Salad: Craving seafood? Avoid fried fish and shrimp from fast food places and opt for healthy cold lunch ideas like this one. Bonus: The shrimp is served cold, so you don’t have to worry about stinking up the break room at lunch time!
Tip: Need more work appropriate lunch options? Sink your teeth into these 53 Healthy Cold Lunch Ideas For Work.
14. Nut Butter Banana Wrap: There are cold lunch ideas for adults AND kids, and this recipe is a perfect example! After all, who doesn’t like nut butter and bananas?
Tip: Have a nut allergy? Opt for a nut free spread like Sun Butter. 🙂
15. Salad in a Jar: This quick and easy to transport salad is almost too pretty to eat. The keyword there being almost.
16. Thermos Smoothies: Smoothies make fantastic healthy cold lunch ideas, but they can also work just as well for breakfast or a snack. They’re perfect when you need a grab and go option or are going to be stuck in a meeting at meal time! Really, the possibilities are practically endless.
17. Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap: Looking for healthy cold lunches that’ll give you the energy to power through that 3 p.m. slump? Look no further! With 33 grams of protein and 40 grams of carbs, this wrap is sure to do the trick.
18. Turkey, Corn and Sun-Dried Tomato Wraps: Add an additional layer of flavor to this wrap by sprinkling in a little feta.
19. Winter Greens and Walnuts: Normally I choose to stick to really simple healthy cold lunch ideas, but trust me, this one is worth the extra effort.
Tip: Make this salad the night before to save on time and give it time to marinate, which will enrich the flavor. And if you’d like even more make ahead lunch options be sure to explore these 48 make ahead recipes.
20. Turkey Pesto Tortilla Pinwheels: Here’s another of the cold lunch recipes that can be scaled up to feed a crowd. This quick and healthier version of party pinwheels is a great option for kids and adults alike!
21. Chicken Avocado Salad Rollup: This recipe subs avocado and Greek yogurt for mayonnaise, making it a lot healthier without sacrificing any of the flavor.
22. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Sandwich: Opting for healthy cold lunch ideas doesn’t mean sacrificing taste. This spin on classic chicken salad is proof of that! It’s fast, nutritious, and delicious.
23. Egg White Salad Sandwich: No list of cold foods for lunch would be complete without egg salad, right? This classic lunch gets a nutritious facelift to deliver a whopping dose of protein, antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. Trust me, you won’t even notice it’s made with only egg whites.
24. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Avocado, & Feta Sandwich: Cutting meat out, at least some of the time, is another way to save money. This vegetarian sandwich is so delicious, so indulgent, you won’t even miss the meat!
25. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad: Rounding out the list of healthy cold lunch ideas is another take on chicken salad. Using Greek yogurt in place of mayo is an easy way to cut calories and pack in a little extra protein.
Whew! That’s a whole heaping helping of cold lunch ideas, am I right? What are some good cold lunch ideas that you love? Please share your favorite options in the comments!
Trish F says
Thanks for these, they all look very delicious and would also make great hot night dinner meals too.
kathy downey says
There are some wonderful recipes posted,thanks
Thank you for sharing these great recipes. Have a sweet day.
Edna Williams says
These all look fantastic! It will be hard figuring out which to try first! Thanks for sharing.
Sally T. says
Thank-you so much for all of the delicious goodies
to make for when it is so hot outside.
Amy P says
I think I’m severely under-utilizing tortillas this summer. This post is making me hungry.
Sally T. says
The shrimp ceasar salad sounds the best to me,but
I will have to come back and check out some more of the
recipes,as there are several that sound pretty good.
America S. says
Thanks for the recipes. I am 15 weeks pregnant and anything hot sounds AWFUL right now. I so needed these!!
These are really cool! I needed a cold lunch since I’ve been outside in the sun for so long! 🙂
celeb networth says
These recipes look so great! I will definitely try them all.
Marie Ano says
Hope you like it! 🙂