In need of PCOS lunch ideas to make meals less drab?
Before we get to PCOS lunch ideas, let’s just talk about eating with PCOS. Nutrition can feel overwhelming when trying to manage your PCOS symptoms. The internet is chock full of misinformation surrounding PCOS. Eat this, not that. Cut out gluten. Cut out dairy. Avoid soy. Take these supplements. The list goes on.
When you work with a dietitian knowledgeable about PCOS, the science behind it, and the lack of science behind half the information on the internet, you can gain clarity on how to eat for your PCOS.
So how should you eat for PCOS? This is a complex question and can depend on the person. However, insulin resistance is often a driving force behind PCOS symptoms. This is something we can work on through changes in our diet.
With insulin resistance, we work on timing of meals, and the makeup of meals. Eating consistently throughout the day is key, and making sure to combine carbohydrate foods with protein, fat, and fiber to help keep blood sugars stable.
Meal planning is crucial to ensure meals happen consistently and that your meals are balanced. If you go into the week without a plan, meals can often turn out lacking the balance of carbs, protein, fat and fiber. I’m not saying you need to spend your entire Sunday meal prepping, but take time to plan some meals and go grocery shopping. Plan for eating out too because sometimes convenience is necessary!
So what would it take to achieve this beloved balance in our PCOS friendly lunches?
It doesn’t need to be complicated. Pick something that sounds good. For this example, let’s go with honey sesame chicken. This is a great source of protein, and the sauce has a little bit of carbohydrate. Let’s make it a meal with a little more carb by serving it over some rice. Fat is incorporated during the cooking process of the chicken and rice. Let’s add some fiber with roasted broccoli.
Ok, let’s go with a simpler PCOS lunch idea, a no-cook meal. Make a tuna salad sandwich. That provides carbs, protein, and fat. You can add fiber by using a high fiber bread, or by pairing the sandwich with things that add fiber like raw veggies/nuts/etc.
Need more ideas on what falls within these categories of protein, carb, fat, and fiber? Check out this graphic with easy ideas for each!
24 Tasty PCOS Lunch Ideas
Chicken Pita with Peanut Sauce
A stuffed pita makes for a great sandwich option. You can choose whole wheat pita if you want a little extra fiber. I love these chicken pitas because the peanut sauce is tasty and adds fat to the meal (making it more satisfying). Pair with some fruit for a little color!
Cucumber Noodle Greek Salad + Chicken + Pita Chips
Pair a fresh and crisp salad, like our cucumber noodle Greek salad
, with rotisserie chicken and a handful of pita chips for a complete meal.
Delicata Squash Salad with Cranberry Balsamic Dressing + Chicken + Crackers
Our delicata squash salad
is perfect for fall. It’s unique and flavorful. Add chicken for protein, and pair with some crackers if you’d like additional carbohydrate.
Crunchy Sesame Salad + Tofu
Pair our crunchy sesame salad
(or save a few steps and get a salad kit) with some marinated tofu. Trader Joe’s has some great flavorful tofu options!
Egg Roll in a Bowl + Fruit
Egg Roll in a Bowl
is all the flavors of a delicious egg roll, just in a bowl without the wrapper. Did you know that cruciferous veggies can also be helpful for estrogen balance? Another great reason to incorporate cabbage! Add a carbohydrate food, like fruit, to round out the meal.
Honey Sesame Chicken + Rice + Broccoli
Honey Sesame Chicken
is one of my favorite recipes. It’s sweet and spicy, and just darn tasty. Serve over rice and pair with some broccoli for a full meal.
Hummus Crusted Chicken + Salad Kit + Pretzels
Hummus crusted chicken
may sound a little strange but it really locks in flavor and moisture. Even if you forget about your chicken in the oven and overcook it slightly, it’s not dried out at all (just speaking from personal experience). Serve it over a salad and a handful of pretzels.
English Muffin Pizzas + Raw Veggies + Dressing
Pizza in any form is a great option. I like to pair with salad or veggies with a dip for some fiber. One of my favorite ways to do pizza for lunch is to prep in advance some english muffin pizzas
Mexican Street Corn Salad + Cheese Quesadilla
I just can’t get enough of elote (street corn) or esquites (street corn salad
). The flavors are perfect. To make it a meal, I like to pair it with a quesadilla.
One Pot Mexican Quinoa + Salmon
I love a one pot meal. This quinoa
dish has great flavors and is a good source of fiber. Pair with a salmon filet for more protein.
Pumpkin Turkey Chili
Pumpkin Turkey Chili
certainly says fall. When the weather cools off, this is a great meal prep recipe.
Refried Bean and Avocado Quesadillas + Salsa + Sour Cream
I love adding refried beans to quesadillas
. These incorporate beans and avocado for filling fiber. Pair with salsa and sour cream.
Roasted Vegetable Quiche + Fruit + Yogurt
is a delicious breakfast or lunch option. Pair it with fruit and yogurt for a full on brunch vibe.
Chicken Salad in Lettuce Cups + Chips
Anything served in a lettuce cup seems to be a little entrenched in diet culture. But diet culture doesn’t own everything. I love chicken salad
in a lettuce cup or even in a raw bell pepper half. But you bet I’ll be pairing it with some carbs to feel more satisfied!
Sausage And Kale Soup
This soup has everything – protein, carbs, fat, and fiber. I love a sausage kale soup
in the winter. Make a big batch and freeze for later!
Broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese with Chicken Sausage
My broccoli cheddar mac and cheese
is made from scratch but it doesn’t have to be. Make up your favorite mac and cheese, then add in cooked broccoli and chicken sausage! I love banza
for a quick mac and cheese.
Salsa Verde Chicken Enchilada
are a great combo of carbs, protein, and flavor! They reheat great so it’s a good meal prep option.
Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup
The flavors of enchiladas but in soup form. Top the enchilada soup
with tortilla chips for crunch and carbs.
Sweet and Spicy Chicken + Rice + Roasted Brussels
Pineapple is great on pizza. Yeah, I went there. But I also cook with pineapple in other ways too. Like in this sweet and spicy chicken dish
, which pairs well with rice and your favorite veggie.
Sweet Chili and Sweet Potato Salmon Cake on Bun + Broccoli Slaw
A salmon cake or salmon burger on a bun is a tasty alternative to a regular burger (though a beef burger is perfectly great too). Serve with some slaw for a full meal.
Tuna and Pasta Salad
Tuna salad with pasta
noodles mixed in was something that I grew up enjoying. It’s a bit nostalgic for me. But it’s a great way to get some omega 3 fats, protein, and carbs all in one! You can use chickpea pasta or whole wheat for a little more fiber.
Mason Jar Salads
Mason jar salads are a solid option for meal prep. You can prep a week’s worth of salads and they stay fresh for the whole week. You can really make any salad into a mason jar salad as long as you layer it well. Here are three of my favorites:
Looking for more PCOS lunch ideas? Or more meal and snack ideas?
Check out these recipes and blogs!