10+ Anti-Inflammatory, Gut-Healthy Lunch Recipes

Your body will be thanking you, once you start making these fresh and flavorful lunches. Highlighting anti-inflammatory and gut-healthy ingredients like onions, yogurt, asparagus and legumes, these recipes can help relieve inflammation’s pesky symptoms like joint stiffness, mental fog and moodiness while supporting healthy digestion. Recipes like our Vegetarian Reubens with Russian Dressing and Gochujang-Glazed Tempeh & Brown Rice Bowls are nutritious and delicious lunch options you’ll be wanting to make again and again.

Pear, Gorgonzola & Walnut Salad

This pear and gorgonzola salad celebrates fall with its beautiful colors. The light and refreshing vinaigrette offsets the tangy funk of Gorgonzola and the sweetness from the raisins and pears.

Vegetarian Reubens with Russian Dressing

Photographer: Rachel Marek, Food stylist: Annie Probst

The spinach, mushroom and onion filling is so satisfying, you won’t even miss the corned beef in this vegetarian take on a Reuben sandwich. This exceptional sandwich was inspired by a dish at the now-closed Penny Cluse Cafe in Burlington, Vermont.

Gochujang-Glazed Tempeh & Brown Rice Bowls

If you’re a tempeh skeptic, you’ve probably never had the firm soy-based slabs slathered with a sweet-and-spicy barbecue sauce. We give this easy BBQ tempeh combo a punch of umami with tamari and add a little heat courtesy of gochujang. It’s easy to put your own spin on this recipe; see Variations (below) for some riffs.

White Bean & Veggie Salad

This meatless main-dish salad combines creamy, satisfying white beans and avocado. Try mixing it up with different seasonal vegetables.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Photography / Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling / Ruth Blackburn

This vegan chickpea salad sandwich is lemony, bright and surprisingly delicious. It’s got all the flavors of a classic tuna salad sandwich—dill, lemon and a bit of garlic—but with chickpeas instead to add a vegan source of protein and a healthy boost of fiber. Celery brings a nice crunch.

Cucumber, Tomato & Arugula Salad with Hummus

Tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and feta top arugula in this quick Greek-inspired salad. Served with whole-wheat pita and prepared hummus, it makes a filling, yet healthy lunch.

Peach, Raspberry & Watercress Salad with Five-Spice Bacon

Sweet peaches and raspberries stud the peppery watercress to make this savory fruit salad recipe gorgeous. But what makes it so delicious is the crisp bacon coated in the delightfully sticky-sweet maple-port wine glaze.

Sesame-Honey Tempeh & Quinoa Bowl

Here we toss tempeh with a honey-sesame sauce and serve it over quinoa and shredded carrots for a satisfying vegetarian meal. Serve with sesame breadsticks.

Black Bean Wraps with Greens & Cilantro Vinaigrette

Jason Donnelly

A simple salad tossed with a tangy vinaigrette packs these no-cook wraps with tons of bright cilantro flavor. The mix pairs well with mashed beans and avocado, which hold everything together.

White Bean & Avocado Sandwich

White beans mash seamlessly into a creamy protein-packed spread for a satisfying healthy sandwich that makes for an easy lunch or dinner. Mix it up by trying it with canned chickpeas or black beans. This vegetarian sandwich recipe is also a fiber superstar: avocado, beans, greens and whole-wheat bread team up to give it 15 grams of fiber, more than half of what most women should aim for in a day.

Spinach-Avocado Smoothie

This healthy green smoothie gets super creamy from the frozen banana and avocado. Make ahead (up to 1 day) and store it in the fridge until you need a veggie boost.

Feta, Kale & Pear Salad

The crunchy seed topping is the perfect textural juxtaposition to a creamy dressing, soft pears and tender massaged kale salad. Tossing it all with mint, feta and red onion gives it a Middle Eastern flair.

Watermelon, Orange & Cucumber Salad with Castelvetrano Olive Vinaigrette

This easy and superfast salad is incredibly refreshing, thanks to juicy watermelon and oranges! The Castelvetrano olives lend a briny hit, while the herbs add lots of delicious depth to the salad. Pair this colorful salad with grilled shrimp or chicken.

Roasted Veggie & Tofu Brown Rice Bowl

A healthy and satisfying vegan lunch for one, featuring roasted butternut squash, broccoli, peppers and onions with simple brown rice, lime-marinated tofu and creamy cashew tahini sauce.

Potato, Leek & Asparagus Soup

Charlotte & Johnny Autry

Rather than tossing your potato peels, asparagus stalks and leek tops, cook them down into this soup instead. Once tender, they’ll blend right in. Plus, they contain prebiotic fiber to help feed the good bugs in your gut. We reserve the asparagus tips to pan-fry with peas for a bright green garnish.

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When Mmabatho Molefe was growing up in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, Friday was a special day, when her parents would give her pocket money to buy food rather than take a packed lunch to school. On a good day, she would spend it all on a vetkoek – […]

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