My Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes- 12 Great Cold Lunch Ideas

Curried Chicken Salad
Curried Chicken Salad | Source


This is my third recipe hub in my series on my favorite Weight Watchers recipes. I shared my favorite “big portion” Weight Watchers recipes in the first in this series, and my favorite Weight Watchers pasta recipes in the second. For this hub, I have shared my favorite Weight Watchers cold lunch ideas.

I convey the recipes in terms of exchanges, which is the old Weight Watchers system, before points. For more information on this, please refer to My Experience with Weight Watchers as my “old faithful” diet plan during my Air Force years. I have always used the Weight Watchers Quick Start Program cookbook as my information source. There are a couple recipes from this book, but for salads and cold lunches, WW Meals in Minutes is a great resource, with loads of salad ideas.

These recipes are my modifications for cold lunches that are filling, preferably with 1 bread and 2 protein exchanges, but no more than 2 bread and 3 protein. I am a night owl. Even when I was forced to rise at 6 a.m., my body clock was geared toward the night. It does not work for me to eat most of my exchanges for breakfast and lunch, then a lighter supper.


Recipes for cold lunches in this hub:

Curried Chicken Salad

Citrus-Bean Salad

Chicken or Turkey Rice Salad

Bean Slaw

Chick-Pea and Artichoke Salad

Cannellini-Tuna Salad

Southwestern Black Bean and Corn Salad

Hoppin John Salad

Spaghetti Squash Slaw

Sweet and Sour Corn Salad

Curried Rice Salad (with Chicken)

Honeyed Fruit & Carrot Salad



Weight Watchers Curried Chicken Salad on Wasa- definitely a favorite of mine.
Weight Watchers Curried Chicken Salad on Wasa- definitely a favorite of mine. | Source

Curried Chicken Salad


Modified from Weight Watchers Quick Start Cookbook. This is one of my absolute favorites. I love the curry in this chicken salad. It calls for raisins. I use golden raisins, which also makes it special I think.


Ingredients

¼ c low fat yogurt

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp mayonnaise

¼ tsp curry powder

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp white pepper

3 oz diced chicken

2 Tbsp finely diced celery

1 T raisins (I use golden)

2 slices of low calorie bread (no more than 45 calories per slice), ½ English muffin (no more than 80 calories), pita, wrap, or any bread of 80 calories or less


Instructions

1- Combine yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, and spices.

2- Add chicken, celery, and raisins.

3- Stir to coat.

4- Serve on bread of your choice, no more than 90 calories.

Yield: One serving of 3 protein exchanges, 1 bread, ½ fruit, ¼ vegetable, ½ milk, and 1 fat.


Weight Watchers Citrus-Bean Salad with chickpeas, orange, and bell peppers
Weight Watchers Citrus-Bean Salad with chickpeas, orange, and bell peppers | Source

Citrus-Bean Salad

From Weight Watchers Meals in Minutes Cookbook. This salad is beautifully colorful, and surprisingly tasty.


Ingredients

4 oz chickpeas

½ navel orange, about 4-6 oz

¼ c red onion, thinly sliced, about 1” lengths

¼ c diced red bell pepper

¼ c diced yellow bell pepper

¼ c sliced celery

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 Tbsp lime juice

1 tsp honey

½ tsp olive oil

½ tsp sesame oil

Salt & pepper

Lettuce leaves


Instructions

1- Combine peppers, onion, and celery in a medium-sized bowl. I did not have celery, and substituted about 1/8 c green bell pepper.

2- Peel orange, including membrane from orange slices. Cut or break into ½” pieces. Add to chopped vegetables.

3- Drain and rinse chickpeas, and add to bowl.

4- In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients to make dressing. I just poured each ingredient into my bowl with my vegetables, orange, and chickpeas. I tipped the bowl to get the honey off the spoon by swishing it in the lime juice and vinegar.

5- Stir to mix ingredients, and coat with dressing.

6- Serve on lettuce leaves.

Yield: Two servings of 1 protein exchange, 0 bread, ½ fruit, ½ fat, and 2 vegetable exchanges.


Weight Watchers Turkey Rice Salad, pictured here made with chicken.  This is an actual portion size.  Very large serving!
Weight Watchers Turkey Rice Salad, pictured here made with chicken. This is an actual portion size. Very large serving! | Source

Turkey Rice Salad


Modified from Weight Watchers Quick Start Cookbook. I've had this one many times. I like the large portion size.


Ingredients

4 oz diced chicken or turkey

1 c cooked rice (basmati has a low glycemic index)

1/3 c finely diced celery

4 Tbsp finely diced onion

1 Tbsp finely diced red pepper

2 tsp mayonnaise

½ c low fat yogurt

1 ½ tsp lemon juice

½ tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp Lawry’s garlic powder with parsley

Salt and pepper to taste


Instructions

1- In a small bowl, combine mayo, yogurt, seasonings, lemon juice, and Dijon.

2- In another bowl, combine chicken (or turkey) and chopped vegetables.

3-Pour yogurt mixture over meat and vegetable mixture. Stir to thoroughly combine.

4- Chill before serving.

Yield: 2 servings with 2 protein exchanges, 1 bread, ½ vegetable, and 1 fat serving each.


Weight Watchers Bean Slaw.
Weight Watchers Bean Slaw. | Source

Bean Slaw

 

Modified from Weight Watchers Meals in Minutes Cookbook. 

 

Ingredients

1 small apple, about ¼ lb, diced

2 tsp lemon juice

2 c cabbage

6 oz small white beans, rinsed and drained

½ c shredded carrot

1 oz shredded Swiss cheese

½ c green onions, sliced (or diced sweet onion)

¼ c red bell pepper, diced

¼ c green bell pepper, diced

½ c yogurt

2 tsp mayonnaise

 

Instructions

1- Toss diced apples with lemon juice to coat.  This minimizes the browning. 

2- Combine with remaining ingredients. 

Yield:  2 servings with 2 protein exchanges, ½ fruit, 1 fat, ½ milk, and 1 ¾ vegetable each serving.  

Don’t let it stop you if you don’t have all of the ingredients.  I usually make it without the peppers. 

 

Weight Watchers Chickpea Artichoke Salad- I cut the recipe in half and made a single serving.  It's a large portion!
Weight Watchers Chickpea Artichoke Salad- I cut the recipe in half and made a single serving. It's a large portion! | Source

Chick-Pea and Artichoke Salad


From Weight Watchers Meals in Minutes Cookbook. I usually prefer water-packed artichoke hearts, but my brother bought premium marinated artichokes, which were very good. I'd like to try this salad with a different bean, such as cannellini or navy beans.


Ingredients

8 oz chickpeas

1 c artichoke hearts

1 medium tomato

¼ c sliced scallions

1 Tbsp fresh basil, minced

1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp olive oil

Salt & pepper

2 tsp Parmesan cheese


Ingredients

1- Drain and rinse chickpeas. Drain and quarter artichoke hearts. Place in a medium-sized bowl.

2- Add scallions. Cut tomatoes in 6-8 wedges and add to bowl.

3- In a small bowl, add all remaining ingredients except Parmesan cheese. Whisk together.

4- Pour dressing over chickpea and vegetable mixture, and stir to coat.

5- Divide into two servings and top with Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 2 servings, each with 2 protein exchanges, 1 fat, 2 ¼ vegetable exchanges, and 10 optional calories.


Weight Watchers Cannellini Tuna Salad.  I used a grilled tuna steak instead of canned tuna.
Weight Watchers Cannellini Tuna Salad. I used a grilled tuna steak instead of canned tuna. | Source

Cannellini-Tuna Salad


From Weight Watchers Meals in Minutes Cookbook. This is a very satisfying salad. Using grilled tuna steak instead of canned tuna gives a more satisfying texture.


Ingredients

6 oz cannellini beans

3 oz flaked tuna

2 Tbsp red onion, diced

1 Tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp water

2 tsp olive oil

1 c chopped lettuce


Instructions

1- Combine cannellini beans, tuna, onion, basil, lemon juice, and water in a bowl. Stir to combine.

2- Serve on bed of chopped lettuce.

Yield: 2 servings, each with 3 protein exchanges, 1 fat, and 1 1/8 vegetable exchanges.



Weight Watchers SW Black Bean & Corn Salad
Weight Watchers SW Black Bean & Corn Salad | Source

Southwestern Black Bean and Corn Salad


From Weight Watchers Meals in Minutes Cookbook. This is a new favorite. As with many things, it was better the next day.


Ingredients

5 oz black beans

1 hard boiled egg, mashed or chopped

½ c corn

½ c diced tomato

¼ c red onion, fine chopped

½ oz shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

1 Tbsp sour cream

1 tsp chopped cilantro

1 tsp chopped parsley

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp red wine vinegar

Lettuce leaves


Instructions

1- Drain and rinse beans and put in mixing bowl.

2- Chop egg and add to bowl. I don’t enjoy the texture of egg white, so I finely mash the egg, or in this case, used my food processor.

3- Add corn, diced tomato, minced onion, and shredded cheese. I used Mexican Queso Fresco. I shredded it in my mini-chopper food processor, so it looks like egg white.

4- Add sour cream, cilantro, parsley, oil, and vinegar.

5- Stir to combine ingredients. Serve on lettuce leaves.

Yield: Two servings, each with 2 protein exchanges, ½ bread, ½ fat, 1 ¼ vegetable, and 15 optional calories.



Hoppin John Salad.  This is less than a serving.  The servings are huge!
Hoppin John Salad. This is less than a serving. The servings are huge! | Source

Hoppin John Salad


Modified from Weight Watchers Meals in Minutes Cookbook. My can of peas yielded 8 oz after they were rinsed and drained. I just went ahead and threw in the extra 2 oz of peas. Regardless (of using 6 vs 8 oz of peas) this makes 2 very large portions.


Ingredients

2 c chopped lettuce, such as escarole

6 oz black-eyed peas

2 oz smoked ham, diced

2 Tbsp sweet onion, chopped

1 c cooked rice

½ medium tomato, diced

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Dash hot sauce

Salt to taste


Instructions

1- In a hot non-stick skillet, wilt lettuce. Transfer to mixing bowl.

2- Drain and rinse peas. Add to lettuce.

3- Add ham, onion, rice, and tomato.

4- In a small bowl blend dressing ingredients- oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and hot sauce.

5- Pour dressing over pea mixture. Stir to combine.

Yield: Two servings, each providing 2 ½ protein exchanges, 1 bread, 1 ½ fat, and 2 ½ vegetable.




Spaghetti Squash Salad
Spaghetti Squash Salad | Source

Spaghetti Squash Salad


From Weight Watchers Fast & Fabulous Cookbook.


Ingredients

3 c cooked spaghetti squash

6 cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered

½ c diced bell pepper

2 Tbsp chopped scallion, or red onion

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp olive oil

½ tsp salt

1 clove minced garlic

½ tsp oregano

Pinch of black pepper


Instructions

1- A spaghetti squash approximately 2 lbs will yield about 3 cups of cooked squash. Pierce squash several times. Bake at 350° for about an hour. Let cool. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Discard the seeds. Use a fork to separate and remove strands of squash. Save shell if desired for serving.

2- Place squash strands into a mixing bowl. Add tomato quarters, bell peppers (red bell peppers will give the dish color), and scallion or onion. Stir to combine.

3. In a small bowl, blend together vinegar, oil, salt, minced garlic, oregano, and pepper. Pour over squash mixture and stir to coat.

4. Chill for 2 hours before serving.

Yield: Four servings, each with 2 vegetable exchanges, 1 ½ fat.


Weight Watchers Sweet & Sour Corn Salad
Weight Watchers Sweet & Sour Corn Salad | Source

Sweet and Sour Corn Salad


From Weight Watchers Fast & Fabulous Cookbook.

Ingredients

1 c corn, drained

½ c celery, diced

6 cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered

2 Tbsp sliced scallions

1 Tbsp mayonnaise

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp sugar

Pinch of black pepper

4 lettuce leaves


Instructions

1- Place corn, celery, tomatoes, and scallions in a medium sized mixing bowl.

2- In a small bowl, blend mayo, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar.

3- Pour dressing over corn salad and stir to combine.

4- Serve each portion on top of 2 lettuce leaves.

Yield: Two servings, each with 1 bread exchange, 1 ½ fat, and 1 ½ vegetable.


Curried Rice Salad with Chicken
Curried Rice Salad with Chicken | Source

Curried Rice Salad (with Chicken)


From Weight Watchers Fast & Fabulous Cookbook.


Ingredients

1 c buttermilk

1 Tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp curry powder

¼ tsp salt

Pinch of white pepper

8 oz cooked boneless, skinless chicken, diced

1 c cooked long grain rice

1 medium tomato, chopped

¼ c chopped red bell pepper

1 Tbsp chopped scallion

1 Tbsp chopped parsley


Instructions

1- Place buttermilk, mayo, sugar, salt, pepper, and curry powder in a mixing bowl and whisk to blend.

2- Add chicken, rice, tomato, pepper, scallion, and parsley. Stir to coat with buttermilk dressing.

Yield: Two servings, each with 4 protein exchanges, 1 bread, 1 ½ fat, and 1 vegetable exchange.



Honeyed Fruit and Carrot Salad


From Weight Watchers Fast & Fabulous Cookbook.


Ingredients

2 c carrots, shredded

1 small apple, diced

1 large prune, diced

1 Tbsp raisins, chopped

1 tsp sunflower seed, chopped

1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice

½ tsp honey


Instructions

1- Place carrots, apple, prunes, raisins, and sunflower seeds in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

2- Combine lemon juice and honey in a small bowl, and blend thoroughly. Pour over carrot mixture and stir to coat with dressing.


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6 comments

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

Terrific. The curried chicken gets bookmarked, for sure! Thanks, RM!


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

You know Paradise, I've been thinking about that chicken salad a lot lately! Used to catch chicken breasts on sale at HEB for $1 a lb...


Latrelle Ross 5 years ago

What great recipes. I like the modification of using low fat yogurt instead of mayonaise. Thanks for a wonderful hub :)


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 5 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks Latrelle. We almost always have yogurt in our frig. I love the texture of the Greek yogurt.


Nica 4 years ago

I love to try the chicken curried salad all over again. This is something new for me. You may also try my homemade chicken broth recipes at http://chickenbrothrecipes.com/


Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

This looks amazing also!

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