Skip to content

7 Ready-to-Eat Healthy Lunches You Can Grab at Grocery Chains

May 17, 2024

We’d love to meal prep all of our lunches and dinners, but life often gets in the way. And grabbing fast food on the run may be OK once in a while, but it’s not something we want to turn to all that much. Luckily, there’s a good third option for fast, healthy lunches: Lots of nationwide grocery stores offer far-better-for-you alternatives to fast food that you can grab and go. 

Though it might take you an extra minute or two to hop out of the car and purchase, the savings for cost and health are worth it. Check out these 7 ready-to-eat grocery store healthy lunches dietitians recommend.

Related: Sign up to receive delicious recipes, expert advice, and shopping tips in your inbox!

  • At Whole Foods

1. Spicy Chicken Quinoa Bowl

“I love the Spicy Chicken Quinoa Bowl at Whole Foods for a quick, on-the-go, ready meal,” says Nicole Ibarra, RD, LD. “It contains 36 grams of protein, and 10 grams of fiber from the quinoa and mixed vegetables. It’s also friendly on sodium for anyone who has high blood pressure. It’s a perfect meal when you’re in a rush.”

2. Salmon Teriyaki Bowl

When you’re craving seafood, but you don’t have the time for a leisurely lunch at a Japanese restaurant (who does?), grab this ready-to-eat Salmon Teriyaki Bowl. “I love [this bowl] as a premade meal option that’s convenient, high in protein, and low in sodium,” says Wan Na Chun, MPH, RD, CPT. “The bowl provides a balanced meal with a serving of protein-rich salmon, carbohydrates from white rice, and fiber from a mix of bok choy and bell peppers.” 

Related: 9 Cheap Whole Foods Organic Items We Love

  • At Trader Joe’s

3. Sesame Miso Salad with Salmon

TJ’s fans know that this quirky chain is a treasure trove of individually packaged lunch options. Some are healthier than others, of course, and the Sesame Miso Salad with Salmon is among the best choices. “Trader Joe’s grab-and-go Sesame Miso Salad with Salmon is delicious,” says Katie Schimmelpfennig, RD. “It’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up packed with healthy anti-inflammatory fats and fiber.”

4. Grilled Chicken, Rice, & Veggies

“Trader Joe’s Grilled Chicken Rice & Veggies Meal is the perfect healthy, balanced meal to grab when you need a quick lunch,” says Sarah Alsing, MS, RD. “You get chicken for protein, a seasoned rice medley provides carbs for energy, and kale, grilled zucchini, yellow squash, and bell peppers provide fiber and micronutrients.” At 360 calories, 43 grams of protein, 28 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of fat, this meal will keep you full and satisfied, she adds. Find it in the refrigerated grab-and-go section at TJ’s. 

Related: 8 Tasty Trader Joe’s Frozen Meals That Are Dietitian-Approved

  • At other stores

5. Taylor Farms Chef Salad Bowl (Walmart)

If you’re doing a quick lunchtime shopping run at Walmart, you can grab yourself a healthy lunch, too. Mandy Enright, RD, recommends the premade salad bowls from Taylor Farms, available at the big box chain. “They include a great variety of veggies and protein, plus the packaging is brilliant and keeps everything separate — so no soggy salad,” she says. She notes that the salad’s price point is also surprisingly low for its quality and variety of ingredients. Each container even comes with its own fork.

6. All Organic Turkey Sandwich (Wegmans)

A turkey sandwich is a classic lunch option. And if you live near a Wegmans grocery store, you don’t have to make it yourself (or get it at a drive-thru). Wegmans’ All Organic Turkey Sandwich packs 41 grams of protein to keep you full until dinner. Alternatively, divide the sandwich in half, pick up some cut-up veggies or a piece of fruit in the store to have on the side, and that’s lunch sorted for two days.

Related: 6 Healthy Grocery Shopping Hacks Nutritionists Swear By

7. California Roll Salad Cup (Kroger)

Kroger has broken the supermarket sushi mold with its California Roll Salad Cup, a super-convenient, easy-to-eat lunch option for busy people (i.e., everyone). It has quinoa, avocado, imitation crab, and a cabbage slaw layered in a cup, with a tangy dressing to top it all off.

Read next: 10 Surprisingly Tasty High-Protein Snacks from the Grocery Store


Good food
people together.
So do
good emails.

What our editors love right now

Good food brings people together.
So do good emails.

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden