As a dietitian who has used the Noom app extensively, I’ve compiled a list of 15 lunch ideas that fit perfectly into Noom’s nutrition guidelines.
So, if you’re bored of having the same lunches and searching for Noom-friendly lunch recipes that will keep you on track with your calorie range, you’ve come to the right place!
What Makes A Noom-Friendly Lunch?
The Noom nutrition guidelines employ a “traffic light” approach, classifying foods into green, yellow, and red categories.
This system prompts users to get most of their dietary intake from low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods instead of less nutritious and calorie-rich ones.
Here’s a glimpse into Noom’s traffic light system:
- Green food list: These foods contain fewer calories and are nutrient-rich. They include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and fat-free dairy products.
- Yellow food list: These foods contain slightly more calories and should be eaten in moderation. They include low-fat dairy, legumes, and lean meats.
- Red (now orange) food list: These foods are calorie-dense and high in fat and/or sugar, like sweets, soda, and fried foods, and should be consumed in limited amounts. However, despite being calorie-dense, not all red foods are low in nutrients (e.g., nuts and seeds).
Considering these principles, a Noom-friendly lunch includes primarily green and yellow foods and limited quantities of red foods.
3 Tips For Creating A Noom-Friendly Lunch
My recommendations for making a Noom-friendly lunch are:
Tip #1: Balance Food Groups and Nutrient Portions
All your lunch meals should follow the same pattern when balancing your foods proportionately to meet your target.
Here’s how your plate should look:
- Roughly ⅓ or more of your plate should be vegetables or fruits for overall health and digestion (vitamins, minerals, and some fiber)
- About ⅓ or less of your plate should be brown rice or pasta, whole grain bread, potatoes, quinoa, or oats for sustained energy that can help with feeling full (complex starches and fiber)
- Around ⅓ or slightly more should be chicken, fish, eggs, legumes, tofu, or fat-free dairy for muscle recovery and retention and satiety (protein)
If your protein source is low in fat (e.g., chicken, tofu, white fish, fat-free dairy), add a small portion of healthy fats like nuts, avocado, or olive oil to complete the plate.
If your protein source is higher in fat (e.g., salmon or beef), skip the added fat source.
Tip #2: Add Spices, Herbs, or Lemon Zest For Flavor
Adding herbs and spices enhances the flavor of meals without adding extra calories, making them ideal for Noom-friendly lunches.
For example, you can add them to salads, soups, rice, or pasta dishes.
These flavor enhancers keep your meals tasty and exciting while offering a bunch of antioxidants (these protect cells from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals, which is why they are associated with health benefits).
Some of my favorite flavor additions are:
- Peperoncino, origano, pepper, curry powder, and curcumin
- Fresh basil leaves, thyme, or rosemary
- A splash of lemon zest or vinegar
Tip #3: Prepare “On-The-Go” Meals For Hectic Days
Having a few foods or meals already prepared for some “on-the-go” lunches will help you stick to your calorie and nutrient targets by limiting your chances of opting for less nutritious foods when you are hungry.
A pre-cooked meal in the fridge may reduce the temptation to opt for fast food or less healthy options when time is short.
Some “on-the-go” foods to stock up on are:
- Proteins like grilled chicken breast, turkey slices, hard-boiled eggs, or tofu, which can be pre-cooked and kept in the fridge
- Pre-cut and pre-portioned fruits and veggies like carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, chopped peppers, celery sticks, apple slices, and fruit salad
- Individually packaged foods or cans that are easy to add to your lunch, like 30g bags of nuts/seeds, small cups of cottage cheese, small tubs of Greek yogurt, tuna packets, single-serve rice cups, and canned beans or chickpeas
- Pre-cooked veggies like steamed broccoli and cauliflower or roasted peppers and potatoes
15 Noom Lunch Ideas
1. Avocado and Pesto Toast
If you are a fan of brunches, then this recipe is for you because it combines whole-grain toast with mashed avocado and pesto.
I suggest adding a poached or fried egg for extra protein and chopped tomatoes (optional) for more food volume.
This combination, including my additions, offers healthy fats from avocado, protein from eggs, and complex carbohydrates from whole-grain bread, supporting a balanced diet while providing long-lasting energy.
Have a look at the recipe here.
360 calories per serving
2. Mango and Black Bean Salad
This lunch idea is ideal for a refreshing summer salad combining black beans, diced mango, red onion, cilantro, spices like cumin and chili, and a lime juice dressing.
I’d suggest serving it with protein sources like eggs or chicken breast to make it a complete meal.
This salad promotes weight loss because it is low in calories but rich in nutrient diversity. Its combination of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals (including many antioxidants) makes it a colorful and nutritious choice.
Find the recipe here.
178 calories per serving (excluding accompaniments)
3. Tomato and Mozzarella Chickpea Pasta
This Noom-friendly pasta recipe combines chickpea fusilli pasta with ripe cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, pesto, and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.
This pasta is a balanced lunch that can contribute to stable blood sugars and aid weight management.
It includes complex carbs and fiber (from the pasta), antioxidants (lycopene and vitamin C from tomatoes, which also provide immunity benefits), protein, fat, and calcium (from mozzarella, which also promotes bone health and muscle retention).
While mozzarella is a red food, you could opt for reduced-fat mozzarella (yellow food) instead to lower this meal’s fat content and calories.
Try this recipe here.
300 calories per serving
4. Salmon Couscous Salad with Feta
This Mediterranean-style lunch features baked salmon, couscous, roasted vegetables, and crumbled feta cheese tossed in a lemon harissa dressing.
It’s rich in nutrients, such as healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Salmon’s omega-3s support heart and brain health, and its high protein content promotes muscle growth and repair. Couscous and vegetables offer starch and fiber to maintain stable blood sugars and digestive health.
While this lunch recipe contains some yellow foods (salmon) and red foods in smaller quantities (crumbled feta, almonds, olive oil), it still has lots of green foods (veggies and couscous), making it a healthy and balanced option.
I suggest opting for reduced-fat feta cheese to lower the calorie and fat content of this meal to make it even Noom-friendlier.
Try the recipe here.
490 calories per serving
5. Black Bean and Veggie Burritos
This black bean and veggie burrito is a filling and nutritious lunch. It includes whole-grain tortillas filled with black beans, sautéed vegetables (like bell peppers, onions, and zucchini), shredded cheese of choice, and optional toppings like salsa and/or avocado.
It’s balanced with plant-based protein, fiber, micronutrients, and healthy fats. The black beans and tortillas provide protein and fiber for satiety and digestive health, while the vegetables (with chili and cumin) offer antioxidants for heart health and immune support.
This Noom-friendly lunch, consisting of green and yellow foods, offers a satisfying option for those seeking a filling and balanced lunch.
Try this recipe.
520 calories per serving
6. Honey Garlic Beef & Rice Bowl
This simple lunch is made with a few ingredients, including thinly sliced beef (pre-cooked), basmati rice, a honey garlic sauce, and steamed or raw vegetables. You can also sprinkle some sesame seeds and a sesame vinaigrette to add flavor.
Rice provides carbohydrates for energy, lean beef provides protein for muscle maintenance, and vegetables offer vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
All these ingredients align with the Noom principles of a healthy meal and support weight management (when portioned appropriately).
However, use honey and sesame vinaigrette (red items) in small quantities because they are higher in fat and added sugar (unless using raw or minimally processed honey).
Have a go at this recipe.
454 calories per serving
7. Chili Lime Sweet Potato And Chicken
If you like spicy, flavorful dishes, this should be one of your lunch choices. It incorporates lean chicken breast, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, onions, and a zesty chili-lime seasoning.
Chicken provides lean protein for muscle maintenance, and sweet potatoes are rich in carbs and fiber, providing long-lasting energy.
The veggies provide additional fiber and antioxidants, while the chili-lime seasoning adds flavor without excessive calories or unhealthy fats.
This dish is packed with green foods and supports weight loss due to its satiating protein and fiber-rich foods while also being low in calories.
Have a go at this recipe.
366 calories per serving
8. Pasta with Edamame Sauce
This plant-based lunch option has a light edamame sauce (made with edamame, soy milk, walnuts, spinach, basil, garlic, and lemon) and pasta. It’s an easy way to get some greens in and provides plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
The protein and fiber content (in edamame and wholegrain pasta) helps stabilize blood sugars by providing sustained energy.
Edamame and spinach are rich in calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamins (A, B, C, E, and K), contributing to overall well-being and offering immune and anti-inflammatory benefits.
This pasta can be valuable for a vegan or vegetarian diet, especially when paired with various vegetables (e.g., in the sauce) and protein-rich plant-based sources.
Have a look at this recipe.
453 calories per serving
9. Farro and Beetroot Salad
This lunch is made with farro and roasted beetroot sprinkled with feta cheese, nuts, seeds, and a mint vinaigrette. It’s a balanced Noom-friendly dish with many green foods, including whole grains and root vegetables.
The farro offers complex carbohydrates and fiber for sustained energy, promoting stable blood sugars. The mint vinaigrette, nuts, and seeds add flavor without added sugars or unhealthy fats.
Roasted beets are rich in vitamins and nitrates, which have antioxidant properties and are pivotal in reducing blood pressure and improving athletic performance.
I suggest adding either chicken, tofu, eggs, or salmon for an extra protein boost, making this an excellent choice for weight management, muscle growth, and recovery.
Here’s the recipe.
420 calories per serving (without add-ins)
10. Sardine Omelet
This omelet is an excellent choice if you need a high-protein lunch. It combines eggs, canned sardines, and various vegetables.
The eggs provide protein for satiety and muscle maintenance, while the sardines are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which support brain health and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Adding vegetables further enhances the nutrient content, providing vitamins and fiber for digestive health.
Add a slice or two of wholegrain bread with a bit of avocado or olive oil spread (rather than butter, which is high in saturated fats) to make the meal more balanced.
Try the following recipe.
271 calories per serving (without the bread)
11. Lentil Burgers with Lemon Yogurt Dip
This lunch features homemade lentil burgers with a lemon Greek yogurt dip. To complete the meal, serve it with roasted or grilled vegetables or a simple raw vegetable salad.
The burgers are rich in plant-based protein, complex carbs, and fiber, while the Greek yogurt adds protein and a kick of probiotics for gut health. The added veggies provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and extra fiber, offering gut health benefits.
This lunch promotes weight loss due to its protein and fiber content, which helps with satiety. It is also a healthier alternative to processed, fast-food meals (such as burgers and fries), which may help curb fast-food cravings.
Have a look at the burger recipe here.
317 calories per serving (without the side of veggies)
12. Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowl
This lunch features quinoa topped with roasted vegetables (such as broccoli, kale, onion, sweet potato, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts), chickpeas, and a tahini dressing.
It’s balanced with complex carbs, fiber, and protein (from chickpeas and quinoa), which aid weight management. At the same time, the antioxidants and healthy fats (from vegetables, olive oil, and tahini) contribute to heart health and offer immune support.
Adding chicken, lean beef, or tofu cubes increases the meal’s protein content to keep you satiated for longer.
You can find the recipe here.
415 calories per serving (without protein add-ins)
13. Lemon Ricotta whole grain Pasta
This recipe combines linguine pasta with a creamy sauce made from ricotta cheese, lemon juice, garlic, basil, cherry tomatoes, and extra virgin olive oil.
Combining these ingredients, specifically complex carbohydrates and fiber (from whole-grain pasta), protein (from ricotta), and healthy fats (from olive oil), promotes satiety and provides sustained energy, thus helping stabilize blood sugars.
Tomatoes also add vitamin C and lycopene for immune support, while ricotta adds calcium for bone health. This lunch is Noom-friendly because it is rich in green foods.
While this recipe suggests using full-fat/whole milk ricotta, I recommend choosing a reduced-fat ricotta to lower the fat and calorie density of the meal.
Have a read of the recipe here.
433 calories per serving
14. Red Lentil Pasta with Lemon/Garlic Kale
This lunch recipe incorporates red lentil pasta with sautéed kale, garlic, and toasted walnuts.
While it only includes plant-based ingredients, I’d suggest topping it with grated Parmesan cheese for a cheesy, rich taste (use nutritional yeast for a vegan alternative).
This balanced, low-calorie lunch features plant-based protein and fiber from lentil pasta, vitamins and minerals from kale and aromatics, and fat from walnuts. It is ideal for weight management and promotes digestive health.
Check out this recipe.
370 calories per serving
15. Roasted Veggie Pesto Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas
This colorful salad features roasted vegetables, such as onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and sweet potato, mixed with cooked quinoa and chickpeas and a splash of lemon mixed with homemade pesto for a taste twist.
It’s weight-management-friendly due to its low-calorie density, fiber-rich components, and balance of macronutrients (protein and complex carbs from chickpeas and quinoa, and healthy fats from olive oil and nuts) and micronutrients (from all the veggies and aromatics).
Have a go at this recipe.
324 calories per serving
Other Noom-Friendly Meal Ideas
- Noom-Friendly Breakfast Ideas
- Noom-Friendly Smoothies
- Noom-Friendly Soup Recipes
- Noom-Friendly Dessert Ideas
Yashin A, Yashin Y, Xia X, Nemzer B. Antioxidant Activity of Spices and Their Impact on Human Health: A Review. Antioxidants (Basel). 2017 Sep 15;6(3):70. doi: 10.3390/antiox6030070. PMID: 28914764; PMCID: PMC5618098.
Domínguez R, Cuenca E, Maté-Muñoz JL, García-Fernández P, Serra-Paya N, Estevan MC, Herreros PV, Garnacho-Castaño MV. Effects of Beetroot Juice Supplementation on Cardiorespiratory Endurance in Athletes. A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2017 Jan 6;9(1):43. doi: 10.3390/nu9010043. PMID: 28067808; PMCID: PMC5295087.
About The Author
Giulia Rossetto is a qualified Dietitian and Nutritionist. She holds a Masters in Human Nutrition (University of Sheffield, UK) and more recently graduated as a Dietitian (University of Malta). Giulia aims to translate evidence-based science to the public through teaching and writing content. She has worked 4+ years in clinical settings and has also published articles in academic journals. She is into running, swimming and weight lifting, and enjoys spending time in the mountains (she has a soft spot for hiking and skiing in the Italian Dolomites).
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