Updated on January 19, 2024
If you live in Nigeria and you’re not sure about what to have for lunch whether for work, school or weekends, and if you are interested in healthy lunch ideas in Nigeria. Here’s a detailed list of simple lunch ideas and recipes that anyone can enjoy for lunch.
Choosing an ideal meal to eat in Nigeria can be a little tasking.
Especially when you don’t have enough resources to be picky and don’t have a food meal plan you can follow.
It is easier to decide what to have for breakfast, but for lunch, it’s a bit harder as it’s in the middle of the day when generally most human beings are in the thick of their daily lives.
Because people are different we all have needs. It’s no different with our eating, we all have different taste buds and we want to eat different things at different times.
Some want a simple lunch, some others just want a fast lunch while others just want an easy lunch.
But most of us can’t because there’s only so much we can eat for different individual reasons.
However, if we can get a healthy lunch that is easy to access at a very good cost, then it’s a win, no?
Also See: Healthy Breakfast Ideas in Nigeria
Nigerian Lunch Ideas for Work & School (Healthy Lunch Ideas in Nigeria)
Having an idea of what you’ll have for lunch beforehand is a good idea as you don’t want to be indecisive over a matter like this.
Despite how hard it is for people to choose a healthy balanced meal for lunch in Nigeria, it is an important meal of the day, as it can give you the energy to power through the rest of the day.
Here are some healthy lunch ideas in Nigeria to try out for work, school or days when you have guests over:
Jollof Rice is a Nigerian staple and one of the popular lunch ideas in Nigeria. Nigerians even participate in Jollof wars to stake claim to this tasty food. Some rich nutrients you can find in Jollof include Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
However, Jollof rice has a high concentration of carbohydrates, which helps in boosting your mood and helps with improving your immune system and reducing inflammation.
Jollof Rice is usually eaten with some protein on the side, like chicken, beef or fish. Proteins have a bunch of benefits that include improving energy levels and brain function, increasing bone strength, boosting the immune system, and reducing the risk of anaemia.
Beans and Plantain
Beans and Plaintain (Dodo) is one of the healthy lunch ideas in Nigeria. As it packs tons of nutrients that can improve a person’s health without unnecessary calorie intake.
Having beans and plantain for lunch in Nigeria means you get to take in nutrients like; folate, zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, fibre, and more.
Folate-rich food like beans is important for the body not to experience weakness, fatigue, heart palpitations, reduced appetite, and irritability. Beans contain a lot of antioxidants that help to combat free radicals in the body that can trigger ageing, cancer, and inflammation.
Plantain is also a nutrient-rich food that contains magnesium, potassium, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Which helps in increasing libido, improving body weight, lowering cholesterol levels and making muscles stronger.
Amala and Ewedu
You can eat amala with any soup but Newegg is the best companion for it. Amala and Ewedu are one of the top lunch ideas in Nigeria, especially in the South-Western part of the country.
Ewedu and Amala is a great Nigerian lunch idea because of how filling it is despite its moderate calorie count.
This Nigerian food contains nutrients like calcium, zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, carbohydrate, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and fibre.
Boiled Yam and Egg Sauce
One of the most interesting lunch ideas in Nigeria because it works well for breakfast and dinner as well.
Yam and egg are a usual suspect on the tables of Nigerians. Boiled or fried yam coupled with a well-made egg sauce is always a hit!
This meal is quite filling and can carry you throughout the whole day. You also get your needed carbs and protein intake. Yam and Egg sauce is an easy-to-prepare meal.
To enjoy this meal make sure the egg sauce is sautéd with tomatoes, onions, crayfish and veggies. This yam and egg combo can be eaten any time of the day and it would still make sense.
Rice and Stew
Rice again!. I know right? There’s a corny joke about rice being able to grow on the heads of Nigerians.
Rice and stew is one of the most common lunch ideas in Nigeria. It is usually eaten with some protein on the side like chicken, fish and beef. Some people add other accessories like moi-moi or plain cooked beans to this meal for variety.
Some of the nutrients you can find in Rice and stew are; carbohydrates, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and Zinc.
This is one of the most simple Nigerian lunch ideas to make. Some health benefits you get from this meal include increased energy, improved metabolic activity of all the organs, relief of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and diarrhoea and improved brain functioning.
Eba with Egusi Soup
One of the most popular lunch ideas in Nigeria especially in the Southern part of the country, Eba is made from grounded dried cassava mixed evenly in heated water. It is a type of food referred to as swallow.
Eba can be eaten with different kinds of soups like Egusi, Vegetable soup, okra soup, gbegiri, Oha soup, white soup etc. And yes, the soup comes with meat, fish, chicken or a combination of them.
Since Eba is starchy most of the health benefits come from the soup it is eaten with.
Pounded Yam and Vegetable Soup
Pounded yam is another type of sallow, but unlike Eba, you have to pound the yam into a paste with a mortar and a pestle or some pounding machine.
Pounded yam and vegetables are one of the best lunch ideas in Nigeria for any day of the week.
However you want to eat this Nigerian food (pounded yam) in small portions, you can eat as many vegetables as you want.
Other soups you can use to eat pounded yam are egusi soup, bitter leaf soup, Okro, Oha soup, and white soup.
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Spaghetti & Chicken
Spaghetti is another one of the best simple lunch ideas in Nigeria.
While it is very starchy, you can balance it out with eggs and meat or any other protein source. You can also spice up your pasta breakfast with carrots, bacon and other veggies.
Spaghetti is a delightful dish for breakfast and you should incorporate it into your breakfast meal plan.
Boiled Sweet Potato and Egg Sauce
First off, potatoes contain a considerable amount of vitamins, fibre, potassium and other beneficial nutrients.
Sweet potatoes contribute to your well-being by promoting gut health, improving eyesight, enhancing brain function and improving the immune system.
While sweet potatoes can be eaten alone, it’s better to eat it with a sauce. Eggs are great but you can also use vegetables, tomato sauce or garden egg sauce.
Semo & Ogbono Soup
When it comes to soups in Nigeria, there are so many varieties. Ogbono soup is slippery just like Okra.
This brownish shoup can contain all sorts of protein from fish to goat meat, pomo and any other meat you can think of.
While Ogbono can go with any swallow, it goes down the throat well with Semovita.