Low cal lunches (1)

Tempting lunch ideas under 400 calories

Cutting down your calorie intake may seem daunting at first, but all it takes is a few simple swaps

By ,
Tempting lunch ideas under 400 calories

After the heavy puddings, meaty mains, mince pies and excessive alcohol inevitably consumed at Christmas, it's nice to have a change of pace in the New Year.

Instead of impulsively swearing off carbs and joining an expensive gym, try implementing a few small dietary tweaks – cutting your daily calorie intake might be as simple as replenishing those mid-afternoon energy levels with a yoghurt instead of a chocolate bar. 

And make no mistake – healthy food doesn't have to mean boring food. 

We've rounded up some tasty, easy and deceptively low-cal lunches to rustle up this month and beyond...

Broccoli and goat's cheese frittata

A frittata is the go-to lunch when you have bits and bobs in the fridge that need using up. Fast, healthy and substantial, what's not to like? This recipe combines florets of broccoli with creamy goats cheese, salty chorizo and tangy sundried tomatoes. A portion is only 226 calories, so you could definitely get away with serving this alongside salad or crusty bread.

Vegan spiced parsnip bisque (342 calories)

Soup is fairly unbeatable as a healthy-but-filling lunch. When the weather is too cold for salad, get the stove on and whip up a batch of spiced parsnip bisque, made lusciously creamy with a tin of coconut milk, and topped with crunchy pumpkin seeds and beetroot crisps. Super-healthy, a serving contains around 343 calories – not bad for such a decadent-tasting dish.

vegetarian chilli-stuffed butternut squash (195 calories)

These veggie chilli-stuffed squash boats tick all the right boxes on a chilly Winter day – hot, spicy and packed with goodness. Served with a dollop of soured cream, this dish doesn't feel too virtuous, either, yet a generous portion contains a mere 195 calories. 

Pizza with celeriac base (221 calories)

We're all pretty familiar with the idea of a cauliflower base, but how about celeriac? Topped with not only Parma Ham but also mozzarella and parmesan, this healthy-crust pizza is about as far from a Dominos as you can get, at just 221 calories per serving.

bBQ steak naked burritos (308 calories)

Salads make a brilliant low-cal option, although they do tend to get boring pretty quickly unless you keep mixing it up… This tasty BBQ steak salad has all of the delicious Tex-Mex elements of a saucy burrito, but by emitting the wrap, you keep all of the flavour at just a fraction of the calories (310, to be exact) - cheese included! 

Chicken Caesar salad wraps (281 calories)

We love a tasty Caesar salad. Crispy chicken, crunchy croutons and a flavour packed sauce - what’s not to like? But despite the healthy guise of a “salad”, this classic lunch tends to pack a punch calorie-wise. 

We’ve subbed out the croutons for a tortilla wrap, helping to fill you up for longer for the same amount of calories. And less lettuce means less dressing! Just half a tablespoon contains all of the flavour you need to give this wrap some truly irresistible saucy goodness. 

Greek salad pitta pockets (345 calories)

The best lunches are those that are easy, lunchbox-friendly and easy to eat on the go. These Greek salad pitta pockets loaded with Halkidiki olives and crumbled feta are super flavourful and make a brilliant lunchbox option filled with sophisticated flavours. Despite the cheese content, they're light on the calories at jusr 345 for two pitta halves.

Brazilian-style fish stew (291 calories)

While your perceptions of fish stew might leave you thinking that silky, spiced broth needs to bubble for hours to achieve such depth of flavour, it’s actually a surprisingly quick meal - perfect for a midweek supper with leftovers for lunch! And at 291 calories per serving, you can even have a hunk of crusty, fresh baguette (a quarter of a home-baked baguette averages 94 calories) on the side to mop up all that gorgeous sauce.

Baked balsamic chicken & Mediterranean veg (266 calories)

Sunshine flavours from the Med will get you into the summer holiday mindset thanks to this delicious tray-bake of balsamic chicken with Mediterranean veg. Stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and drizzled with a honey and thyme dressing, these tasty chicken breasts makes a delicious dinner which tastes just as good in lunch boxes the next day. And for 266 calories a pop, who could say no?

Jerk-spiced basa with pineapple salsa (182 calories)

Just because something’s low in calories doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavour. These jerk-spiced basa fillets pack a punch thanks to their spicy marinade, and at just 154 calories a serving, they’re perfect for calorie-conscious meals.

Throw some of our pineapple salsa on these bad boys for some complimentary sweetness to set off that chilli at 28 calories per serving, while half a pouch of microwavable rice for 190 calories will bulk it out and keep you feeling full. 

Feeling inspired to make some small switches to lower your calorie-count this summer? Make sure to stock up on everything you need at Asda or pop into your local store.