Satisfying and easy lunches of 500 calories or less?

I’m a big dude with a big appetite. I can generally get by without feeling ravenous if my lunch is about 500 calories, give or take, plus an orange and a banana for dessert (which I recognizes probably adds another 150-200 calories).

I’ve been getting lunch most of the time at a soup-and-salad bar, usually soup. But I’m getting really sick of it.

So sometime in the next few months, a big supermarket (Harris Teeter) is opening right next to my office. My plan is this – every day at lunch, I will go to the supermarket. I will buy food there that requires no/minimal prep and eat it in my office. I want to have several options that will be relatively satisfying and less than 500 calories, give or take. I’m thinking about this like an engineer, so an answer might look like “a half-cup container of chicken salad, plus a sub roll, plus a medium tomato”.

What are some diverse options (with details for quantity!) that meet these requirements and that I’ll find at the supermarket?

I like to eat pretty much everything, with no dietary restrictions (I’m lactose intolerant, but I take those lactase pills so it’s not a problem). I’d like to spend less than ~$8 per day, though if it’s more just occasionally that’s okay.

Volume without calories will generally make you end up in the fruit and veggie aisle.

Can you bring a lunch and nuke it?

Chicken, fish, ground beef, ground pork. Add spices and vegetables. A hefty, meat and vegetables-heavy spaghetti sauce can also be good.
I’ve found pollachius virens (a kind of fish) to be sold in supermarket in packages that are good enough for a meal and require no cooking; you just open the package and eat them like chips.
More generally, if you want to cut hunger, foods with lots of protein are best. Fat is ok. Starch is bad. Sugar is worst.

Volume helps but it’s not the main thing. Water volume to calorie ratio is infinity/1 and while it helps to cut hunger, it wouldn’t be enough. Protein’s the thing.

Can’t help you on quantity. You’ll have to experiment.

Keep in mind that it can take 10-20 minutes for you to go from being full to feeling full. The food you eat in-between will add calories beyond what it takes to cut your hunger. Either eat slow OR take a break and decide if you want more after 20 minutes OR learn what’s enough to cut your hunger and stop yourself once you’ve eaten that much.

Does the supermarket have a deli counter? At my supermarket, I sometimes buy a wholegrain roll, 3 oz sliced meat (low-fat ham, turkey or roast beef), a tomato and a carrot. That’s under 400 calories. Put meat on roll. Add low-fat mayo or something if you want (I don’t). I like to peel the carrot and cut the tomato into eighths. You could add a piece of fruit for dessert, if you like.

I figured out the calories of the wrap I just ate:

2 slices of ham at 30 calories each - 60
2 slice of turkey at 25 calories each - 50
2 slices of cheese at 70 calories each - 140
1 tablespoon of mustard (approx) - 30
1 tortilla - 210

Total calories - 490

The supermarket hasn’t opened yet, but I think it will have a deli counter. To everyone, thanks for the ideas!