FOOD

12 Whole30® Lunch Ideas

December 22nd, 2021

Fast, nutritious, and Whole30®-compatible? If it sounds like a tall order, our recipe roundup of Whole30 lunch ideas will help keep your month on track with midday meals you’ll look forward to cooking and eating every day of the week.

Whole30® Basics

Here’s a quick refresher on all things Whole30®. For 30 days, you eliminate processed foods, sugars, grains, legumes, and dairy, and increase high-quality proteins, healthy fats, seeds, nuts, some fruit, and loads of veggies. Sounds doable, right? It’s also way more than a diet. Whole30® is a journey to figure out what makes you feel good, so don’t forget to bring your curiosity to the table.


Top Whole30® Ingredients

Before we get to the easy Whole30® lunch recipes, here are some stand-out ingredients that are compatible and ready to make meal prep extra simple. Many items are featured in the dishes below, and a few others we always recommend having on hand.

Whole30® Condiments

Don’t start your month without picking out a few new Whole30® condiments. These sauces and marinades—like buffalo vinaigrette and classic ranch dressing—are free from sugar, soy, and dairy, and add instant flavor.

Thrive Market Organic Tahini

You’ll find nutty tahini in many salad and sauce recipes—it’s a versatile ingredient for a lot more than hummus and ours is made with only one thing: organic sesame seeds.

Grass-Fed Ground Beef

Keeping a few bricks of grass-fed ground beef in the freezer is a smart Whole30® move for making everything from tacos to meatballs. Ours is sourced from humanely raised cattle in Osorno, Chile who spend their days roaming Patagonian pastures.

Safe Catch Tuna

Tuna is one of the easiest lunches we know, especially when you’re short on time. This brand has rigorous testing methods and its tuna has the lowest mercury levels of any brand on the market.

Primal Kitchen Mayo

Pair your tuna with Primal Kitchen mayo, a Thrive Market member favorite. This spread is made with avocado oil, organic eggs, and a touch of vinegar.

Eden Foods Toasted Sesame Oil

Rich and nutty sesame oil is a great addition to marinades and the perfect addition to stir fries. Thrive Market member Andrea from Michigan has a great suggestion: “I love sauteing greens in a little of this and a little bit of soy sauce then topping with sesame seeds or everything bagel seasoning.” Be sure to use tamari instead of soy for a Whole30®-friendly spin.

Thrive Market Organic Crushed Red Pepper

What’s the quickest way to add instant sizzle? A pinch of our USDA Certified Organic red pepper flakes. Keep them within reach so you can finish your dish.


Whole30® Lunch Tips

The tips that make lunch a breeze are similar to any other meal.

  • Start by stocking the pantry. The picks above are a great place to start, and you can also browse everything Whole30® on ThriveMarket.com.
  • Next, plan ahead. If you prep on the weekends—hard boiled eggs, grilled meats, washed greens, and roasted veggies—you’ll always be ready to assemble a quick meal without much fuss.
  • Finally, leverage leftovers. Whenever you can, double a recipe or roast a little extra of this or that. When you have a second container of soup in the freezer or a glass container filled with roasted zucchini or broccoli, meals are even easier.

Best Whole30® Lunch Recipes

From the Thrive Market blog to our incredible partners, we’re dishing up the healthiest Whole30® lunch recipes from around the web.

Creamy Tahini Dressing

Dress up a fresh salad with creamy green tahini sauce you can whip up in a blender. We use lots of fresh herbs, garlic, lemon, and of course, tahini for its nutty flavor. You can also drizzle it on roasted veggies, bowls, or grilled chicken.

Instant Pot Chicken Tinga Tacos

Who says you have to wait for dinner to celebrate Taco Tuesday? Prep your Instant Pot and add chicken thighs, tomatoes, and savory spices for a family-friendly dish that’s ready in under an hour (and practically hands-off).

Hawaiian Ceviche

Danielle Walker—don’t miss her fantastic healthy cookbooks—has the best recipe for ceviche that’ll help you rock Whole30® with tropical vacation vibes to boot. Start with wild-caught seafood, then add plenty of flavor boosters like lime, cilantro, coconut milk, and garlic.

Asian Steak Bowls

Over at Brocc Your Body, a recipe for Asian Steak Bowls caught our eye. All the flavor is in the flank steak marinade, which includes ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and sambal. Just add cauliflower rice for a Whole30®-ready dish.

Sheet Pan Shrimp With Spicy Broccoli

We love this recipe from the Whole30® Fast & Easy cookbook. It involves a single sheet pan—for simple clean up—baked with shrimp, broccoli, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes for a kick.

Whole30 Shakshuka

Shakshuka is one of those recipes that works for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This Moroccan-inspired recipe involves simmering eggs in tomato sauce, and cooks up in about 15 minutes.

Sweet Potato Hash With Chicken Sausage

Like shakshuka, hash is also firmly in the anytime-meal category, which is why we love it for lunch when you’re following Whole30®. Chopped rosemary warms up sweet potatoes, and chicken sausage helps keep you full until dinner. Jalapeños are optional but recommended if you like spice.

Cobb Salad

Rachael’s Good Eats has a seriously good cobb salad recipe that’s perfect for your Whole30® menu. You can make the dressing in advance (using white vinegar, EVOO, and lemon) and assemble the rest. From crunchy cucumbers to protein-rich eggs, and of course, a crumble of salty bacon, it’s a satisfying main.

Massaged Kale Salad with Sweet Potatoes

There’s an art to making kale salad, and it involves using your two best tools: your hands. Massaging kale helps break down the fibers for a tender bite, and this recipe adds roasted sweet potatoes and a mustard-tahini dressing.

Gluten-Free Pad Thai

Here’s another winning recipe from Danielle Walker. To make this favorite takeout dish Whole30®-friendly, she swaps in lots of veggies (like shredded cabbage, carrots, and cauliflower) for the usual noodles and an almond butter-based sauce.

5-Ingredient Green Chile

Alex Snodgrass from The Defined Dish had us at five ingredients. She doesn’t count salt, pepper, and other flavor enhancers, but the base of this cozy stew couldn’t be easier. Pork roast, hatch green chiles, potatoes, and chicken broth cook in the Instant Pot so you can prep lunch ahead of time and freeze the leftovers.

Baked Mongolian Meatballs

Another can’t-miss recipe from The Defined Dish is sure to become a make-ahead favorite. Start with grass-fed beef, add garlic, coconut aminos, and ginger, and roll your meatballs. Double or triple the recipe to keep your freezer stocked up.

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Nicole GulottaNicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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