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In a world filled with the latest low carb craze, it seems everyone is looking for ways to continue to enjoy their favorite foods but in a healthier way. The go to lunch always seems to be a sandwich of some sort, but if you are trying to avoid bread, there are many sandwiches you can turn into a low carb bowl!
Healthy Lunch Served in a Bowl
I don’t know about you but one of my all-time favorite comfort foods are sandwiches. There are so many options! This then begs the question-how can I enjoy my favorite sandwich without all those dang carbs? The easiest option is to take the ingredients and toss it into a bowl! Subway and Jersey Mike’s already jumped on the bandwagon of low carb bowls based on sandwiches, and you can too!
The easiest way to turn a sandwich into a bowl is to deconstruct it. Take out the bread; add lots of lettuce or spinach and your favorite low carb toppings. Here are a few of my favorite sandwiches deconstructed into a bowl that is still delicious, filling and cuts the carbs. These will fill you up so you aren’t reaching for the chocolate later, and the best part is you won’t feel like you’re just eating a salad!
1. BLT Bowl:
One of the most classic sandwich combinations, crispy bacon and lettuce with juicy tomatoes and a creamy sriracha dressing.
- Turkey Bacon-3 slices cooked as crisp as you like and chopped (because let’s be honest bacon makes the world better!)
- ½ tomato diced (or if you like bigger bites, go for wedges)
- Lettuce (I prefer a good spring mix or crispy romaine)
- Salt and Pepper
- Fat-Free Mayonnaise (1 tbsp.)
- 1 tbsp Sriracha (I’m wimpy but a little Sriracha adds great flavor and only a little heat)
- chopped chives
- In a serving bowl, toss together your lettuce of choice, the chopped bacon, and tomato. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a separate bowl mix 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise with a dash or two of Sriracha. Add this to your bowl as a dressing.
- Top with the chopped chives
*TIP: You can also add additional toppings like spouts, cucumber; avocado…the list goes on.
2. Cuban Bowl:
I know, I know… one of the best parts of the Cuban is that crisp pressed panini-style bread. I promise you will not miss it!
- 1 lb. pork loin fat trimmed and cut into bite size cubes (18 points)
- ¼ lb. deli ham cut into cubes (3 points)
- Spring mix lettuce
- 4 oz. Fat Free Swiss cheese cut into cubes ( 2 points)
- 1 cup diced dill pickles
- 4 cloves garlic crushed or finely diced
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- Zest of 2 limes plus the juice
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Take your cut up pork loin and add it to a gallon-sized Ziploc baggie.
- Add the lime zest and juice from 1 lime, salt and pepper, 1 tsp oregano and 2 crushed cloves of garlic.
- Let marinate for 2-3 hours in the fridge.
- Heat a pan and add olive oil.
- Add half the pork and cook until done.
- Remove from pan and cook the remaining pork. (It should be firm to the touch with no pink but have a nice crisp on the outside.)
- In a small bowl whisk together the zest and juice from the second lime, the remaining garlic and oregano, the mustard, and some olive oil to create a dressing.
- Layer the spring mix with the cooked pork, ¼ of the ham and Swiss cheese, as well as ¼ cup of dill pickles.
- Drizzle with the dressing and enjoy!
3. Meatball Sub Bowl:
This bowl is so easy to create and package away for a quick grab and go. If meal prepping store the meatballs in the sauce in a separate container so it can be heated before adding to the bowl.
- 1 pkg frozen meatballs (cook following package directions) (9 points for beef, brands may vary, double check with your app!)
- (Use turkey breast meatballs for lower points)
- 2 oz. cooked quinoa per serving (2 points)
- ¼ cup zero point marinara sauce
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2 points)
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese (3 points)
- In a serving bowl layer spinach or other favorite leafy green along with the quinoa and warmed meatballs and sauce.
- Top with the shredded cheeses. (Told you it was simple!)
*Note: The combination of the greens and quinoa add fiber to keep you fuller longer.
4. Chicken Salad Bowl:
- 1 can chicken drained (1 point on Green)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 stalk finely chopped celery
- 2 tbsp chopped walnuts (3 points)
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise (3 points)
- 1 tbsp. mustard
*TIP: To make this lower in points, use a pack of 100 calorie Blue Diamond Almonds for only 3 points.
- In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients until desired consistency. (You may choose to add more mayonnaise or mustard. Keep in mind if you are worried about calories there are many low fat/low calorie options for mayonnaise. A favorite of mine is made with Olive Oil.)
- In a serving bowl, layer your lettuce or leafy green of choice.
- Add a scoop of chicken salad.
- Top with cucumbers and bell peppers if desired.
5. Shrimp Taco Bowl:
This may not technically be a sandwich, but it’s still traditionally a handheld meal wrapped in a carb fill vessel. Plus it makes for a delicious bowl!
- 12 oz package Medium, frozen peeled and deveined shrimp thawed and rinsed (3 points on Green)
- 1 tbsp. flour (<1 point)
- 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
- Shredded cabbage/coleslaw mix
- Diced fresh cilantro (1 tsp per serving)
- Pico de Gallo
- Coat your thawed and rinsed shrimp in a bowl with the flour and Cajun seasoning.
- In a saucepan over medium heat cook the shrimp with olive oil until pink. The flour will give them a nice crisp coating. If gluten is a worry you can skip the flour.
- In a serving bowl toss the shredded cabbage with the cilantro. Top with the shrimp and Pico de Gallo. You can serve it in a bowl on it's own or on top of spinach leaves. Add some lime wedges to squeeze on top and a dressing won’t even be needed.
Create Your Own Combination Recipes
The key to a great and easy sandwich bowl is taking your favorite deli meat, some lettuce or cabbage, add in some great veggies (cucumber, peppers, avocado, tomato), make a simple dressing with olive oil, some spices and toss in some mustard and mayonnaise. Below is a list of ideas of things you can choose from to make your own sandwich bowl. The possibilities are endless!
- Lettuce (romaine, spring mix, spinach etc.)
- Rice (brown)
- veggies (cucumbers, peppers, carrots etc.)
- Chicken Breast
When it comes to dressings, you have to be careful of the sugar content and fat content. Keep an eye out for Walden Farms Dressings, they are the best! You can also check out my recipe for Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wraps, which has a recipe for a cilantro lime dressing that is dynamite!.
What are some other ideas you can think of for bowls?
Comment below and share your ideas! You should also check out my recipe for Egg Roll in a Bowl! (Yes, I love bowls!)
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This post was written by a guest author, Janna Florie.
Janna Florie is a single mom of 4 boys. She loves crafting and all sorts of DIY projects. She is also an ambassador for the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer 3 Day. She is a strong believer in building women up.