27 Healthy & Nutritious Gluten-Free Lunch Ideas

Skipping lunch may be more common than you think, especially for busy parents trying to adhere to a gluten-free lifestyle. But, a real food meal in the middle of the day is important for kids and adults alike!

Eating gluten-free has a number of benefits, even for people without Celiac Disease, wheat allergies, or other conditions that prevent them from metabolizing it. Less severe forms of gluten sensitivity are relatively common, and too much wheat gluten can make you feel bloated and tired.

I’m excited to share this list of Primal Peak’s favorite gluten-free lunch ideas that can be made in advance, or put together in a jiff for sustained energy, and deep nutrition.

Key Takeaways:

  • Emphasizes the significance of consuming a nutritious meal in the middle of the day for both kids and adults.
  • Eating gluten-free is beneficial not only for those with Celiac Disease.
  • Highlights innovative ways to substitute common gluten-containing ingredients with gluten-free alternatives.

1. BBQ Pork Jar Salad

BBQ Pork Jar Salad

Jar salads are convenient to take on the go with their simple shake and eat design. This Barbeque Pork Jar Salad is ultra tasty with sweet and savory flavors and plenty of different textures to peek anyone’s palate.

2. Quinoa Buddha Bowl

Quinoa is a grain-like seed that nearly offers complete protein — one of the plant sources — and it’s naturally gluten-free. This square Buddha Bowl (an overstuffed, balanced-nutrition bowl — symbolizing Buddha’s belly) combines quinoa, hard boiled eggs, and Mango Avocado Salsa for a quick and nourishing meal.

3. Chicken & Veggie Collard Wraps with Sun Sauce

Using blanched collard greens is a perfect gluten-free substitute for flour wraps. They are nutrient-rich and full of flavorful they’re one of my favorite high fiber foods for kids. This Collard Wrap recipe takes advantage of leftover or pre-cooked chicken. It includes a delicious sun sauce that will keep anyone dipping.

4. Primal Cobb Jar Salad with Homemade Vinaigrette

Cobb Salad in a jar

Cobb Salad in a jar? Yes, please! The combination of veggies, hard-boiled eggs, and all-natural salami is so tasty with homemade balsamic dressing. I love how the ingredients above the dressing stay crisp until you are ready to eat.

5. Mediterranean Cauliflower-Rice Salad

Not all salads have to be green. This Mediterranean Cauliflower-Rice Salad is easy to make ahead, allowing time for the flavors to marinate. I like to add diced or shredded chicken for a pop of protein.

6. Salmon Chowder

A hot bowl of soup can be just the ticket to keep you charged mid-day. This Salmon Chowder is as tasty reheated and packed in a thermos as it is when it’s first made.

7. Greek Chicken Jar Salad

Have I mentioned how much I like jar salads? They’re one of my favorite gluten free lunch ideas, since they use lettuce for bulk and fiber instead of rice, bread, or other grain-based foods. Not only are they a work of food-art, but they come together quickly if the ingredients are pre-chopped. Greek Chicken Jar Salad is a family favorite.

8. Oregano Salad with Citrus Dressing

This fresh herb salad with citrus dressing becomes a complete meal when topped with diced or sliced steak and avocado. Celebrate the flavors of spring veggies and oregano.

9. Avocado Turkey Caprese Wrap

The best part of a “wrap” is that the inner ingredients can just as easily be used as the wrap itself. In this Avocado Turkey Caprese Wrap, the turkey becomes the shell — all the flavor and nutrition without the gluten. Pair with a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts.

10. Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

This Thai Chicken Coconut Soup is a “make-it-and-forget-it” crockpot recipe that is delicious reheated for a lunch-time pick-me-up. With the comfort of coconut milk broth, Thai flavors, and colorful vegetables, this soup will become a go-to.

11. Korean Beef Bowls

This primal style Korean Beef Bowl celebrates the power of cauliflower-rice, but could also be served over rice. Whether you are packing a healthy lunch for your kids, or yourself, this recipe is sure to be on the list.

12. Chicken Teriyaki Cauli-Rice Bowl

Chicken Teriyaki Cauli-Rice Bowl is a simple dish to pull together for busy weeknight dinners, but also makes for perfect gluten and soy-free lunches. Reheat and pack in a thermos to fill any rice bowl craving you have.

13. Raw Brussels and Kale Salad with Chicken

Raw Brussels and Kale Salad with Chicken

Curly kale and shredded Brussels are complemented so well with fresh raspberries, macadamia nuts, and a tasty tahini dressing. Add diced, sliced, or shredded chicken to this Raw Brussels and Kale Salad for a colorful and filling gluten-free lunch idea.

14. Charcuterie Board To Go

Whether our family is packing up for a day of youth sports, or lunch away from home, one of our favorites is a Charcuterie Board to-go! The sky’s the limit when it comes to a meat and cheese board, but in our home, they always require fresh veggies and fruits.

15. The Ultimate Turkey Sandwich

The beloved Turkey Sandwich stacked high with veggies can still be enjoyed as part of a gluten-free lifestyle, using almond flour bread, or a quality gluten-free multi-grain. This recipe uses simple smashed avocado as a healthy fat spread.

16. Potato Crusted Mini Quiches

Potato Crusted Mini Quiches

Most quiches are typically made with a flour crust. This Potato Mini Quiche recipe uses potato instead — perfect for a gluten-free lifestyle. These tasty morsels are perfect for packing in your lunch box.

17. Nutty Tomato Tart

Have you ever used ground nuts to make a pie crust? It works like a charm and adds so much flavor. This Nutty Tomato Tart is creamy, colorful, and nourishing for any type of lunch break.

18. Leftover Cabbage & Shrimp Dolmas

There is so much flavor and nutrition in these Cabbage & Shrimp Dolmas that your body will be powered up for whatever the afternoon brings. Blanched cabbage becomes a naturally gluten-free wrap for rolling up diced shrimp, pineapple, carrots, green onion, red pepper, ginger, and herbs.

19. Avocado Tuna Boats

Avocado Tuna Boats

This unique mayo-free tuna salad is deliciously transported by way of a halved avocado. Avocado Tuna Boats can also transform into a green salad when served over a bed of spinach, arugula, or mixed greens.

20. Ginger Carrot Soup

The sweet taste of carrot with a hint of spicy ginger are a match made in heaven! Take this creamy Ginger Carrot Soup in a thermos to go and pair it with leftover sliced chicken, or steak for a balanced gluten-free lunch.

21. Shannon’s Meatballs

Meatballs make for one of the best leftover lunches! Top Shannon’s Meatballs over spiralized zucchini and your favorite marinara for drizzling or dipping. No pasta is necessary, making meatballs a great gluten-free lunch idea.

22. Skewers with Pesto Dip

Skewers with Pesto Dip

Snack Time Skewers aren’t just for snacks or just for kids — eating off of a stick is fun anytime for anyone. Turn these tasty skewers into a meal with a side of pesto dipping sauce.

23. Frittata

As long as you have eggs and a few staples on hand, frittata is a great way to use up leftovers. This Clean Out the Fridge Frittata recipe will show you how. Cook it up and use it for an easy healthy breakfast or a gluten-free lunch.

24. Citrus Tarragon Chicken Salad

The licorice flavor of fresh tarragon paired with sliced orange is such a fun addition to chicken. Make a batch ahead of time and use this Citrus Tarragon Chicken mixture over a bed of greens or on a sandwich with gluten-free bread for a satisfying lunch.

25. Italian Sub Pinwheels

Italian Sub Pinwheels

I loved Italian subs as a little girl, but with a gluten-free primal lifestyle, I needed to come up with a healthy substitute for bread. This Italian Sub Pinwheel recipe meets all my needs flavor-wise and uses an almond flour tortilla to wrap up the inner goodness.

26. Zesty Southwestern Taco Salad

Taco salads make for a fun and healthy family dinner, and for great leftovers to throw together for work, school, or a day on the road. We often don’t even bother to reheat the meat — just enjoy it cold! Zesty Southwestern Taco Salad is tasty either way.

27. Crispy Chicken Arugula Salad

My favorite part of this Crispy Chicken Arugula Salad is the combination of sweet grapes and spicy arugula. The next best part is that I cook the chicken in the crockpot in advance with this Herbs de Provence Chicken recipe — and anything with bacon is a win in my book.


How to stop eating gluten?

To stop eating gluten, begin by eliminating all foods containing wheat, barley, and rye from your diet. Read labels carefully, as gluten is often hidden in processed foods. Opt for naturally gluten-free foods like fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains like rice and quinoa. Consider consulting a dietitian for personalized advice.

What happens when you stop eating gluten?

When you stop eating gluten, you may experience changes in your digestive health, such as reduced bloating and gas, especially if you have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. Some people also report increased energy levels and weight loss. However, individual experiences vary.

What food is pure gluten?

Pure gluten is found in wheat gluten, also known as seitan, which is a popular meat substitute in vegetarian and vegan diets. Seitan is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch granules have been removed, leaving the sticky insoluble gluten as an elastic mass.

Does Coke have gluten in it?

No, Coca-Cola products are generally considered gluten-free to the FDA standard of less than 20 parts per million of gluten. This includes the original Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, and most of its flavored variants.

Gluten-Free Lunch Ideas for a Healthier Afternoon

No excuses now! 27 healthy gluten-free lunches that will satisfy your taste buds and sustain your belly through the middle of the day. Prep ahead and make your week a breeze. Which recipe will you try first?