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35 Diabetic-Friendly Recipes to Pack for Lunch

Don't settle for the same ol' lunch every day. These tasty diabetic-friendly recipes will help you pack fresh sandwiches, burger bowls, salads and more.

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California Burger Bowls

Burgers are a weekly staple at our house year-round. Skip the fries, chips and bun—you won’t need them with these loaded veggie & fruit burgers. To spice up the mayo, add 1/2 tsp. of chipotle powder. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

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English Pub Split Pea SoupTaste of Home

English Pub Split Pea Soup

This family favorite is the same recipe my grandmother used. Now with the magic of the slow cooker, I can spend 15 minutes putting it together, walk away for five hours, and come back to "soup's on." Finish it with more milk if you like your soup a bit thinner. —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida

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Chicken NuggetsTaste of Home

Chicken Nuggets

I like to make these golden chicken nuggets because they’re so quick and easy. My whole family loves them. You can also use the seasoning to cook chicken breast halves. Stack them on rustic bread with mayo, lettuce and tomato for delicious sandwiches. —Annette Ellyson, Carolina, West Virginia

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Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Lettuce CupsTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Lettuce Cups

The slow cooker is our summertime go-to for cool kitchen cooking. After swim lessons and outdoor activities, it's so nice to come back to a tasty, light dinner. If you can't find Bibb or Boston, green leaf lettuce is less sturdy but can work in a pinch. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah

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Feta Chicken BurgersTaste of Home

Feta Chicken Burgers

My friends always request these tasty chicken burgers on the grill. I sometimes add olives to punch up the flavor! Try them with the mayo topping. —Angela Robinson, Findlay, Ohio

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Avocado & Garbanzo Bean Quinoa SaladTaste of Home

Avocado & Garbanzo Bean Quinoa Salad

This delicious quinoa avocado salad is high in protein and holds well in the fridge for a few days. If you make it ahead, add avocados and tomatoes right before serving. —Elizabeth Bennett, Seattle, Washington

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Zippy Turkey ZoodlesTaste of Home

Zippy Turkey Zoodles

Eating healthy doesn't mean sacrificing flavor—and these spiced-up zoodles prove it. If you don't have a spiralizer, simply slice the zucchini julienne-style. —Elizabeth Bramkamp, Gig Harbor, Washington

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Deli Turkey Lettuce WrapsTaste of Home

Deli Turkey Lettuce Wraps

I used to make these during my training days when I worked at a restaurant in Hawaii. They're low-fat, low-carb, high-protein, quick and delicious—a great choice before or after a workout. —Duncan Omarzu, Astoria, New York

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Herbed Tuna and White Bean SaladTaste of Home

Herbed Tuna and White Bean Salad

This is a quick and delicious salad that can be made special for guests—or yourself—by grilling fresh tuna steaks instead of using canned. —Charlene Chambers, Ormond Beach, Florida

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Ginger-Curry Chicken TacosTaste of Home

Ginger-Curry Chicken Tacos

I love tacos (who doesn't?), but I wanted to put my own unique twist on them by incorporating some Indian flavors. These ginger-curry versions hit the spot! —Michael Cohen, Los Angeles, California

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Herbed Tuna SandwichesTaste of Home

Herbed Tuna Sandwiches

A delightful combination of herbs and reduced-fat cheese makes this simple tuna sandwich a standout. —Marie Connor, Virginia Beach, Virginia

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Crispy Asian Chicken SaladTaste of Home

Crispy Asian Chicken Salad

Asian flavor, crunchy almonds and crispy breaded chicken make this hearty salad something special. —Beth Dauenhauer, Pueblo, Colorado

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Bean Counter ChowderTaste of Home

Bean Counter Chowder

This hearty chowder is one of our favorite vegetarian dishes. Loaded with beans, noodles and bright herbs, it's so comforting on a chilly day. —Vivian Haen, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

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Fall Vegetable Sloppy JoesTaste of Home

Fall Vegetable Sloppy Joes

I make this dish in the fall and sneak grated vegetables into the sloppy joe mixture. It’s especially good when children don’t like to eat their vegetables! Just walk away until the end of the day and let the slow cooker do all the work. Also delicious: Top the filling with a little shredded cheese before serving. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco SaladThe musical "Waitress"

Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Salad

We use this super duper chicken across several meals, including it in tacos, sandwiches, omelets and enchiladas. My little guys love helping measure seasonings. —Karie Houghton, Lynnwood, Washington

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Fajita PitasTaste of Home

Fajita Pitas

I was late coming home one evening and forgot to pick up tortillas for the fajitas we planned for dinner. So we used pita bread that I had in the freezer instead. The warm chicken-filled pockets, garnished with a homemade sauce and other tasty toppings, are often requested when we're hungry for something in a hurry. -Diana Jones, Springtown, Texas

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Veggie Nicoise SaladTaste of Home

Veggie Nicoise Salad

More and more people in my workplace are becoming vegetarians. When we cook or eat together, the focus is on fresh produce. This salad combines some of our favorite ingredients in one dish...and with the hard-boiled eggs and kidney beans, it delivers enough protein to satisfy those who are skeptical of vegetarian fare. —Elizabeth Kelley, Chicago, Illinois

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California Burger WrapsTaste of Home

California Burger Wraps

I love the way these fresh flavors blend together. It's a snap to throw this together using leftover burgers for a quick, healthy lunch. The burgers can also be served on buns. —Rachelle McCalla, Batesville, Arkansas

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General Tso's StewTaste of Home

General Tso's Stew

I love Asian food and wanted a chili-like soup with the distinctive flavors of General Tso’s chicken. The slow cooker makes this super easy, and you can use any meat you like. It’s a great with turkey, ground meats or leftover pork. —Lori McLain, Denton, Texas

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Honeydew & Prosciutto SaladTaste of Home

Honeydew & Prosciutto Salad

For parties, I turn melon and prosciutto into an easy salad with a honey mustard dressing. To add zip, stir in fresh basil and mint. —Julie Merriman, Seattle, Washington

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Creamy Chicken Rice SoupTaste of Home

Creamy Chicken Rice Soup

I came up with this creamy chicken rice soup recipe while making some adjustments to a favorite stovetop chicken casserole. We like this soup for lunch with a crisp roll and fresh fruit. —Janice Mitchell, Aurora, Colorado

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Bacon & Swiss Chicken SandwichesTaste of Home

Bacon & Swiss Chicken Sandwiches

I created this chicken sandwich recipe based on a meal my daughter ordered at a restaurant. She likes to dip her sandwich in the extra honey-mustard sauce. —Marilyn Moberg, Papillion, Nebraska

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Easy Buffalo Chicken Lettuce WrapsTaste of Home

Easy Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

One time when making sloppy joes, I wanted mine spicy, so I doused it in hot sauce. After that, my mind went wild and I made it Buffalo chicken-style with ground chicken, diced celery and blue cheese crumbles. I've been making it this way ever since. —Jennifer Nielson, Spanish Fork, Utah

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Slow-Cooked Beef Burritos with Green ChilesTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Beef Burritos with Green Chiles

I created this recipe years ago, and it has become such a favorite that the wonderful aroma of it cooking makes my family instantly happy. It is hearty, flavorful and easy to prepare, and uses the long, slow cook time that truly defines comfort food. —Sally Pahler, Palisade, Colorado

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Pear Waldorf PitasTaste of Home

Pear Waldorf Pitas

Here's a guaranteed table brightener for a shower, luncheon or party. Just stand back and watch these sandwiches vanish. For an eye-catching presentation, I tuck each one into a colorful folded napkin. —Roxann Parker, Dover, Delaware

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Better than Egg SaladTaste of Home

Better than Egg Salad

Tofu takes on the taste and texture of egg salad in this quick-fixing sandwich from Lisa Renshaw of Kansas City, Missouri.

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Lentil Sloppy JoesTaste of Home

Lentil Sloppy Joes

When I experimented with making more vegetarian-friendly recipes, this was one of my biggest hits—we still eat it weekly! My preschooler will always eat every bite of these tangy lentil joes. —Christina Rock, Covington, Washington

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Poached ChickenTaste of Home

Poached Chicken

You can't beat poaching for chicken that is moist and tender. Once it's cooled, store extra in the freezer for quick meals.—James Schend, Taste of Home Food Editor

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Presto Pizza PattiesTaste of Home

Presto Pizza Patties

Craving both beef and pizza? These patties feature both in an open-faced sandwich. And they're lighter than you'd think! —Barbara Schindler, Napoleon, Ohio

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Butternut Squash and Barley SoupTaste of Home

Butternut Squash and Barley Soup

I love to use my garden produce in this veggie-packed soup. Serve it with oatmeal dinner rolls and you've got a delicious, healthy dinner. —Julie Sloan, Osceola, Indiana

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Three-Green SaladTaste of Home

Three-Green Salad

For a crisp, refreshing side dish, this tasty salad can't be beat. It's the perfect salad to go with lasagna. —Gina Squires, Salem, Oregon

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Hummus & Veggie Wrap-UpTaste of Home

Hummus & Veggie Wrap-Up

I had a sandwich similar to this once when I stopped at a diner while on a long and arduous walk. I enjoyed it so much that I modified it to my own taste and now have it for lunch on a regular basis. Everyone at work wants to know how to make it.—Michael Steffens, Indianapolis, Indiana

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Savory Pork SaladTaste of Home

Savory Pork Salad

Make an easy-going meal in a bowl by tossing together healthful veggies, pork tenderloin, fresh herbs and spices with a warm soy dressing. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Beef Lentil SoupTaste of Home

Beef Lentil Soup

You can prepare this soup as the main course in a hearty lunch or dinner. But on cold winter evenings here in New England, I've often poured a steaming mugful and enjoyed it in front of our fireplace as well. —Guy Turnbull, Arlington, Massachusetts

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Kale Quinoa SaladTaste of Home

Kale Quinoa Salad

Here's a holiday side dish you can feel good about serving. Kale packs a mighty punch of vitamins, while quinoa delivers a hearty serving of protein. Best of all, the flavor of this kale quinoa salad can't be beat! —Lisa Warren, Washington, Washington DC

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.