Top 10 low-carb lunch ideas
Ready for lunch, but don’t fancy a carb-heavy sandwich? Check out our favourite low-carb lunch ideas, all no more than 40g of carbohydrate per serving. Includes fish, meat and vegetarian options.
It’s easier than you think to make a low-carb lunch – even some sandwiches (like our epic mackerel club, below) come in at under 40g of carbohydrate per serving. Soups, salads and curries are all on the menu, too. Another clever trick is to serve something indulgent like halloumi with veg-heavy salads instead of chips or pitta.
1. Spiced carrot & lentil soup
More than 1,000 people have scored this spiced carrot and lentil soup recipe 5/5 – so what are you waiting for? This nutritious, colourful bowl of soup is made warm with cumin seeds and a pinch of chilli flakes – a great go-to lunch on a chilly day.
2. Nutty chicken satay strips
Another popular recipe, our nutty chicken satay strips can be kept in the fridge for up to two days. Thick chicken breast strips are coated in a curried peanut butter batter, then baked until golden. Serve with cucumber and sweet chilli sauce.
3. Mackerel club sandwich
This epic mackerel club sarnie (only 23g of carbohydrate per serving) sees mackerel fillets, streaky bacon, boiled eggs, crunchy lettuce, tomatoes and a homemade tartare sauce sandwiched between slices of sourdough.
4. Bulgur & quinoa lunch bowls
Grains are a great choice for a filling lunch, especially if you can cram more than one type in. Our bulgur & quinoa lunch bowls come topped with avocado, black olives, minty citrus beetroot salad and toasted pine nuts. So much flavour, so little carbs.
5. Cumin-spiced halloumi with corn & tomato slaw
At only 17g of carbohydrate per person, this cumin-spiced halloumi with corn & tomato slaw is a surprisingly healthy lunch option. Golden, cumin-spiked halloumi is matched with a vibrant homemade corn slaw, made zingy with fresh lime and fiery with red chilli.
6. Microwave shakshuka
Low on time? This microwave shakshuka is ready in 10 minutes – just crack an egg into a bowl of garlicky passata, cover and heat in the microwave until the white is set. Scatter with coriander to serve.
7. Turkey & clementine lunch bowl
Nuts, pulses and lean meat… lunch doesn’t get more nutritious than this turkey & clementine lunch bowl. Packed with vitamin C and folate, it’s ideal if you like citrussy flavours – you’ll need both clementines and lemons – and green lentils.
8. Tuna, fennel and bean salad
Make your lunchtime salad that bit more exciting by mixing tuna, fennel and beans together, before scattering with lemon zest, cucumber ribbons, fresh herbs and pumpkin seeds. A low-carb (and low-calorie) staple that will keep you full until dinner.
9. Cashew curry
Take a chance on this cashew curry recipe from fitness guru Joe Wicks. Instead of rice, it’s served with steamed greens (we’d recommend iron-rich kale) and all those unsalted cashews and chicken breast chunks make it a high-protein option, too.
10. Mexican egg roll
Swap bread for an omelette in this clever Mexican egg roll, which comes in at just 2g of carbohydrate per serving. Fill your egg ‘pancake’ with tomato salsa and fresh coriander for a super-speedy lunch that’s on the table in 15 minutes or less.