17 Mediterranean dietetic lunches without added sugar

Reviewed by Dietitian Jessica Ball, MS, RD

The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest eating patterns out there, and it’s incredibly easy to follow. These lunches are proof of that—they’re easy to make ahead of time or whip up quickly when you’re on the go. Not only that, but you won’t find added sugar in these midday meals either, making them healthy options that will help you have sustained energy and keep you feeling your best. Recipes like our Chile Spiced Chickpea Salad and Saffron Red Lentil Soup are nutritious choices

Saffron Red Lentil Soup

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Jacob Fox

Jacob Fox

This hearty red lentil soup uses spices common in Persian cooking: turmeric, cumin and saffron. Enjoy it with a warm baguette or steamed rice.

Avocado Caprese Salad

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Photographer / Jennifer Causey, Food Stylist / Karen Rankin, Props Stylist / Christine Keely

Photographer / Jennifer Causey, Food Stylist / Karen Rankin, Props Stylist / Christine Keely

This avocado caprese salad has all the flavors of a classic caprese salad with the addition of creamy avocado. The sweet and tangy balsamic dressing brings it all together, with fresh basil adding a refreshing pop of color. Add capers for even bigger flavor.

Chile Spiced Chickpea Salad

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Photographer: Rachel Marek, Food stylist: Lauren McAnelly

Photographer: Rachel Marek, Food stylist: Lauren McAnelly

This savory chickpea salad gets its heat from sambal oelek, a ground chili paste. The carrots provide a crunchy texture to contrast the chickpeas in this easy no-bake recipe.

Lentil and vegetable soup in a pot with parmesan cheese

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Antonis Achilleos

Antonis Achilleos

This lentil and vegetable soup is loaded with kale and tomatoes for a flavorful and filling main course. If you have it, the Parmesan crust adds nuttiness and gives the broth some body. If you avoid cheese made with rennet, look for vegetarian Parmesan, which is made without.

Turkey meatballs with spinach and feta with herb quinoa

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With a variety of flavors and textures (and a whopping 30 grams of protein!), these meal prep bowls will keep you fueled all afternoon long. Turkey Spinach and Feta Patties are adapted from Hilary Meyer’s Spinach, Feta and Tzatziki Turkey Burgers. Look for premade tzatziki near the specialty cheeses and sauces at your grocery store or make your own.

Chicken and chickpea stew with cumin

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This quick, protein-packed chicken stew recipe draws flavor inspiration from shawarma with spices like cumin, paprika, and pepper. Make a double batch and freeze it for a quick and healthy dinner. Serve the stew with couscous and steamed broccoli.

Tomato, Cucumber and White Bean Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

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This no-cook bean salad is a delicious way to use the summer’s best cherry tomatoes or cherry tomatoes and juicy cucumbers for a light dinner or lunch. Fresh basil elevates a simple vinaigrette recipe that dresses up this simple salad into something extraordinary.

Lemon Chicken Barley Soup with Kale

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This healthy and easy soup is packed with veggies, protein, and fiber to keep you full and fueled. Serve this wintery soup topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a side of garlic toast.

Tuna and chickpea salad

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Photography / Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling / Ruth Blackburn

Photography / Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling / Ruth Blackburn

This Chickpea Tuna Salad with Capers, Feta, and Cucumber is the perfect lunch to take to work or school. You can prepare the salad the night before (just be sure to keep the spinach separate and to dress the salad right before serving).

Green salad with edamame and beets

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Katie Webster

Katie Webster

This large salad is a feast for the eyes and an everyday way to incorporate nutrient-rich beets and edamame (green soybean) plant protein. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, add some chopped fresh basil or dill.

Sandwich with vegetables and hummus

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This mile-high veggie and hummus sandwich is the perfect heart-healthy veggie lunch. Mix it with different flavors of hummus and different types of greens, depending on your mood.

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

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Will Dickey

Will Dickey

Ground turkey and canned beans combine in this easy slow cooker turkey chili. A tomato base, plus cumin and garlic powder, provides plenty of flavor, while jalapeo and chili powder bring in the heat.

Green Goddess Salad with Chickpeas

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In this Cucumber, Tomato, Swiss Cheese and Chickpea Salad recipe, a healthy Green Goddess dressing is made with avocado, buttermilk and herbs. The extra dressing is delicious served with grilled vegetables.

No-Cook Black Bean Salad

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The dressing for this vegan black bean salad gets its creaminess from pureed avocado. Any salad greens mix will work well, but try arugula if you want to give this hearty salad a peppery kick.

Avocado caprese toast

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Tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, the building blocks of caprese salad, put a creative twist on a standard avocado toast recipe.

Vegan lentil stew

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Fred Hardy

Fred Hardy

This comforting vegan lentil stew is incredibly satisfying thanks to the hearty lentils and sweet potato. The leeks provide a savory allium note while the tomato paste, miso and cumin add a punchy flavour.

Creamy avocado and white bean wrap

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White kidney beans mashed with ripe avocado and mixed with spicy cheddar and onion make for an incredibly rich and flavorful filling for this wrap. The tangy, spicy slaw adds crunch. A pinch (or more) of ground chipotle pepper and an extra pinch of cider vinegar can be used in place of canned chipotle in adobo sauce. Wrap them up to take as a healthy, portable lunch for work.

Originally Appeared: EatingWell.com, July 2023

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