60 Easy Lunch Recipes You'll Wish You Knew Sooner

Lunch is sometimes one of those "throw-away" meals. Maybe you grab a frozen dinner to heat up at work, maybe you slap together a peanut butter sandwich in the morning and call it good, or maybe you speed through the drive-thru because you didn't want to think about packing a lunch. Then you resign yourself to eating whatever merely "okay" meal you end up with because you're hungry and it's, well, food. 

But the thing is, you don't have to resign yourself to sad meals. There are lots of quick and easy dishes you can make ahead of time to pack with you and enjoy at mid-day, or which you can throw together in a hurry when you're eating at home. And with a little planning and preparation, you may even end up saving yourself some cash if you spare yourself a daily trip to a local lunch joint. So if you're short on lunch ideas and you're looking to jazz up your daily menu, try your hand at one of the following tasty options. 

1. Egg Salad with Avocado

For a twist and a veggie boost to the traditional egg salad, you'll want to add this avocado egg salad recipe to your weekday menu. The eggs deliver the protein, the avocado delivers healthy fats, and you can choose from an array of carbohydrate options to balance out the meal. Plus, the recipe takes only 25 minutes to make, with most of that time reserved for boiling eggs. This offers a flavor that sits somewhere between traditional egg salad and guacamole.

Recipe: Egg Salad with Avocado

2. Cobb Salad

The Cobb salad is the type of salad that lunch dreams are made of. While it certainly delivers its fair share of veggies, it's not just greens piled on a plate and drizzled with dressing.

While this Cobb salad recipe takes 35 minutes to make, if you familiarize yourself with your grocery store deli's prepared foods, you might be able to assemble the salad in minutes flat. Just pick up a rotisserie chicken, pre-packaged hard-boiled eggs, and real bacon crumbles to pull it all off. 

Recipe: Cobb Salad

3. Lettuce Wraps

To really make the most of your midday meal, you need to think "leftover remix." You see, having parts of your leftovers available to turn into new options, such as this simple lettuce wrap, is the perfect way to keep your tastebuds (and your wallet) happy. Because really, how hard is it to take a little meat and some veggies, add a little dressing, and scoop them into a lettuce leaf to enjoy for lunch? It's not difficult at all.

Recipe: Lettuce Wraps

4. Basic Tuna Salad

It's easy to forget about tuna salad as an easy and delicious lunch recipe, but it's a great way to take a break from the standard ham and cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Plus, you can use this tuna salad recipe to add protein to a salad, eat with your favorite veggies, or even in a hollowed-out apple. You only need 10 minutes to make the salad, which yields four servings. Keep mixing up your recipes to try different ideas as the week wears on.

Recipe: Basic Tuna Salad

5. Easy Egg Salad

When you want the nostalgic flavors of a classic egg salad sandwich that you can serve up in five minutes, it's time to check out this egg salad recipe. The best part is that it calls for pre-boiled eggs that you can purchase at the grocery store, so you don't have to boil water to get this right. Aside from the eggs, you just need mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, and the bread of your choice. Pair with veggies and a piece of fruit and you may just feel like you're back in elementary school again. 

Recipe: Easy Egg Salad

6. Pigs in a Blanket

Pigs in a blanket might not be the first thing you think of when you hear the word "lunch," but why not? Especially on the weekend when you're eating with your family, these crescent roll-wrapped hot dogs are guaranteed to be crowd-pleasers. Plus, they only take five minutes to prep and 15 minutes to bake, so you can have a whole panful ready in a flash. Simply serve with your favorite dipping sauces and you're good to go. 

Recipe: Pigs in a Blanket

7. Copycat Trader Joe's Chicken Salad

If you've fallen in love with Trader Joe's chicken salad, you'll want to try your hand at making this copycat recipe at home. If you already have cooked chicken breasts on hand, the recipe itself only takes 10 minutes to prepare. The main task is to chop and mix the chicken, dried cranberries, celery, and pecans. Once that's done, simply whisk together the dressing, mix the salad together, and add it to your favorite bread, wrap, or pita pocket to create the perfect, portable midday meal. 

Recipe: Trader Joe's Copycat Chicken Salad

8. Simple Caesar Salad

Caesar salad is a popular lunch choice at restaurants, but it's rarely the first choice on the list when you're making lunch at home. This is a shame, as Caesar salad is one of those perfect options for delivering nutrients and flavor at the same time. This Caesar salad recipe requires practically no preparation, other than making homemade croutons if you so choose. You can then add chicken, tuna, and additional veggies to really make it sing. We suggest black olives, cherry tomatoes, and banana peppers for an added kick. 

Recipe: Simple Caesar Salad

9. Basic Chicken Salad

Kids may not be up for a more "adventurous" chicken salad recipe with lots of fruits and nuts added, but chances are you can try this standard chicken salad recipe to make sandwiches the whole family will enjoy. It takes just 10 minutes to make four servings, so you can have the whole fam's lunch bags ready to go in a flash. 

All you need is cooked chicken, celery, green onion, mayonnaise, and salt and pepper. If you're looking to cut back on added fats, you can sub plain Greek yogurt for mayonnaise. Just keep in mind that it'll add more tang to the recipe. 

Recipe: Basic Chicken Salad

10. Healthy Egg Salad

When you're looking for a creamy, comfort food-like lunch recipe that's gone through a healthy makeover, you need to test drive this healthy egg salad recipe. Just remember, healthy doesn't necessarily mean low-calorie or low-fat — it just means the ingredients are better for you. 

For instance, instead of mayonnaise, you'll use Greek yogurt along with mashed avocado to give the salad its creamy, familiar consistency. You'll also add chopped walnuts to give the salad some crunch. Serve on a whole-grain bagel or enjoy on its own. 

Recipe: Healthy Egg Salad

11. Keto-Wrapped Chicken Burgers

If you're currently on the keto diet bandwagon, focusing on high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate food choices, then Costco should be one of your favorite shopping stops to stock up on lunch-friendly items. They offer a cheese wrap that makes it easy to create your favorite meals in wrap form without killing your daily carb count. 

This chicken wrap recipe takes just 20 minutes to make, most of which is the time it takes to cook the chicken, which you can skip altogether if you opt to use leftover chicken or pre-cooked chicken from the deli. 

Recipe: Keto-Wrapped Chicken Burgers

12. Lettuce Tacos

If you're hosting guests for lunch, lettuce tacos are a light and easy way to offer a meal without spending all of your time in the kitchen and away from your friends. These tacos are ready to go in just 15 minutes, and the only cooking required is to brown the ground turkey or chicken. Then, you simply serve them up with the toppings of your choice and let your family and guests create their own combinations. 

Recipe: Lettuce Tacos

13. From-Scratch Pizza Mug

Skip the microwaveable soups for once and try whipping up a mug pizza. If you haven't heard of the concept, think mug cake, but with savory ingredients. You can even mix it in the morning, so when it comes time to cook it in the microwave, you're already ready to go. 

While this mug pizza recipe only calls for the dough, marinara sauce, cheese, and a little basil, there's no reason you can't throw some other ingredients inside — maybe a few pieces of chopped up pepperoni, diced onions, or pre-sliced olives.

 Recipe: From-Scratch Mug Pizza

14. Copycat Long John Silver's Fish

Long John Silver's may not be the most popular fast food restaurant around, but they sure have mastered the art of quick and easy battered fish. Consider making this copycat Long John Silver's fish recipe at home. It only takes 20 minutes to make (you would spend at least that much time driving back and forth to the restaurant and sitting in the drive-thru), and the end result is a crunchy, flavorful fish that you can enjoy with pre-made coleslaw, potato salad, or even french fries. 

Recipe: Copycat Long John Silver's Fish

15. Copycat Steak 'N Shake Frisco Melt

Sure, you can make a turkey and mayo sandwich like a pro, but when it comes to cooking up more savory melts, your best bet is to mimic the real experts and try your hand at this copycat Steak 'N Shake Frisco Melt. It's the perfect side-sandwich for a cup of tomato soup and it'll make you feel like you're enjoying a real lunch instead of something you grabbed on the run. It'll take about 30 minutes to make, but makes two servings, so you can store one to heat and eat the next day, too. 

Recipe: Copycat Steak 'N Shake Frisco Melt

16. Copycat Chick-Fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich

When you're craving Chick-Fil-A, but you're just not up for getting in the car and driving to the restaurant, you can easily make a copycat of the brand's grilled chicken sandwich at home. The trick here is anticipating your craving before it happens, as you do need to marinate the chicken breasts for at least four hours. But if you're like most people, you know you'll crave a sandwich on the regular, so you might as well plan ahead. Then, it's just a matter of cooking and assembling your sandwich which takes just 11 minutes to do.

Recipe: Copycat Chick-Fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich

17. 5-Ingredient Copycat Taco Bell Mexican Pizza

Skip the microwaveable frozen pizza for lunch and try your hand at making a copycat Taco Bell Mexican pizza. It only takes 10 minutes to make, and it won't leave you with the chewy, weird-textured crust that's so ubiquitous for lunch pizzas. In fact, this recipe uses flour tortillas in place of bready crusts, so you're going to end up with a crunchy, satisfying sensation, topped off with the flavor combination of ground beef, cheese, refried beans, and enchilada sauce. 

Recipe: 5-Ingredient Copycat Taco Bell Mexican Pizza

18. 5-Ingredient Copycat Taco Bell Bean Burrito

Looking for another satisfying Taco Bell copycat recipe that will keep lunchtime hunger at bay, consider this recipe for a five-ingredient bean burrito. All you need is tortillas, refried beans, taco sauce, a yellow onion, and shredded cheddar cheese. You'll have four burritos ready to eat or store for later. In fact, you can double or triple the recipe and freeze them for later, for up to three months.

Recipe: 5-Ingredient Copycat Taco Bell Bean Burrito

19. Simple Ceviche

When you make ceviche at home in advance, you're more likely to be able to enjoy this easy, protein- and veggie-packed meal without a complaint from your co-workers. This is because the fish in ceviche isn't cooked — it cures in citrus juices and seasonings. If you prep it the night before and store it in a well-sealed container, any fish smells are likely to be modest, giving you the chance to enjoy a healthy, fast, and cool lunch that's perfect for warmer summer months. 

Recipe: Simple Ceviche

20. Easy Homemade Poke Bowl

Poke bowls are another one of those recipes that seem best left to chefs at restaurants, but the reality is they're surprisingly easy to make. When you're looking to level-up your at-home lunches, pick up sushi-grade tuna from your grocery store, along with Japanese cucumber, watermelon radishes, and a few other ingredients, then try your hand at making this poke bowl recipe. It takes just 30 minutes, and the end result is a flavor sensation you'll want to make over and over again. 

Recipe: Easy Homemade Poke Bowl

21. Quick Turkey Burgers

Turkey burgers are another easy recipe to whip up for the family when everyone's at home for lunch. They're a little lighter than beef burgers and you can serve them with a side salad to bump up your veggie intake. This recipe makes eight burgers in just 30 minutes, so not only can you feed a crowd, but you just might have leftovers, too. The key to a crave-worthy burger comes down to the seasonings, so make sure you have garlic, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce on hand before firing up the stove.

Recipe: Quick Turkey Burgers

22. Taco Salad

You'll never think of lunchtime salads as boring or "meh" again once you try this taco salad recipe. It'll take 30 minutes to make but serves four, so you can either set the leftovers aside to enjoy for dinner or lunch the next day, or you can feed the whole family. The key is in the toppings, which feature a little bit of everything, including beans, ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, tortilla strips, olives, pickled jalapenos, shredded cheese, onions, avocado, and pico de Gallo. 

Recipe: Taco Salad

23. Calzones

When you want a handheld lunch that's akin to a Hot Pocket, but tastes a lot better, make a batch of these calzones that feature turkey sausage and spinach. They're the perfect thing to make on a Sunday afternoon and keep in the fridge for a quick grab in the morning as you're heading out the door. Make the sauce that's included with the recipe or keep a bottle of pre-made marinara in the fridge at work. Simply heat up your calzone in the microwave and enjoy!

Recipe: Calzones

24. TikTok Tortilla Wrap Hack

If you haven't tried this TikTok tortilla wrap to make a quesadilla-style lunch, then you're in for a treat. By simply making a slice along the radius of a flour tortilla, you can easily fill and fold your wrap to make a genuinely easy handheld quesadilla. And once you've mastered this recipe, which includes very quesadilla-like ingredients, you can use the same hack to try your hand at other fillings and flavors. 

Recipe: TikTok Tortilla Wrap Hack

25. Tteokbokki (Spicy Rice Cake)

Just because you may be in a rush and can't put much thought into your lunch doesn't always mean that it has to be the same uninspiring and boring mix of leftovers haphazardly thrown together. With a little preplanning on your next grocery trip and a bag of Korean rice cakes, gochujang, chicken thighs, vegetable stock, and some seasonings, you'll have all the right ingredients to make this spicy Korean street food for lunch in just 30 minutes at home.

Recipe: Tteokbokki

26. Ginger Sesame Noodles

The simplicity of this recipe aside, the great part about these ginger sesame noodles is that the sauce is prepared off the heat and the cooked noodles are mixed in only once they have cooled down. This means that the noodles don't have to be eaten warm and thus make for a great lunch to prepare early on in the day and eat later. Recipe developer Hayley MacLean also adds that the strong flavor of the sauce only gets better the longer that it sits in the noodles! If you're looking to meal prep your lunch in advance, these ginger sesame noodles are a winner.

Recipe: Ginger Sesame Noodles

27. Pasta Skewers

You've heard about meat and vegetable skewers or even the odd seafood skewer here and there, but when was the last time you came across pasta skewers? These pasta skewers only require seven minutes of prep, five minutes in the air fryer, and all but five handy ingredients that you probably already have lying around. Although these skewers are wonderful as party finger foods or appetizers, they are a fun way to switch up the usual lunchbox pasta, too!

Recipe: Pasta Skewers

28. Peanut Soba Noodle Salad

There's no denying that salads are one of the quickest and most convenient well-rounded lunches that can be put together with minimal effort. But salads don't always have to be a mix of lifeless leaves, runny dressing, and sad-looking veggies. This cold peanut soba noodle salad is packed with all that is good for you — a mix of carbs, proteins, and healthy fats from kale, cucumbers, bell peppers, peanut butter, and more — but makes for a far more inviting meal if you're not one for the usual run-of-the-mill salad.

Recipe: Peanut Soba Noodle Salad

29. 30-Minute Tortellini Skillet Lasagna

We bet you didn't see a lasagna coming in a list of recipes meant to show you easy-to-make lunches (unless, well, it was frozen). If you're making lunch for more than one person, this recipe is perfect, as it only requires 10 minutes of prep time and another 20 in cook time to produce a lasagna that has six servings. You use packaged tortellini, store-bought Italian sausage meat, and jarred marinara sauce to leave the most complicated elements of the lasagna out of this simple recipe. The best part? All the cooking and "baking" happens in a stovetop skillet so there's very little to clean.

Recipe: 30-Minute Tortellini Skillet Lasagna

30. 15-Minute Tomato Soup

If your go-to lunch is usually a microwaveable tomato soup or a powdered mix that needs hot water to revive, this 15-minute tomato soup will easily replace a packaged lunch with a nutritious, homemade alternative. Simply pick up a can of tomatoes, half-and-half, and basil leaves, throw them in a blender with seasonings, simmer the liquid on the stove, and there you have it — a minimal effort lunch with maximum flavor. You could sip on the soup with a side of toasted bread, of course, but if you have another 15 minutes to spare, dunk this crisp homemade grilled cheese into it!

Recipe: 15-Minute Tomato Soup

31. Scallop Casserole

If you're hoping to charm your guests with a lunch that looks way more elaborate than it actually was to make, this scallop casserole is going to do the trick. Scallops have a way of making a meal "feel a little fancier than normal," says recipe developer Erin Johnson, who thinks that scallops give a feel of luxury in return for very few dollars spent on them. Serve this casserole with orzo, rice, or pasta, and you'll have yourself a grand lunch in just 15 minutes.

Recipe: Scallop Casserole

32. Frito Pie

When you're looking for lunch that is going to provide much-needed comfort amidst a mountain of unanswered emails, meetings, and a mounting pile of work, this Frito pie will make you forget all about your work woes... at least for a moment. This old-fashioned Frito pie has a bag of Frito chips as its base, chili in the middle, and bubbling cheese on the top. Serve the rich and savory pie with a side of green salad or eat it as it is — but whatever you choose to do, make sure to eat the pie on the same day unless you're one for soggy Frito chips in your pie.

Recipe: Frito Pie

33. Spicy Shrimp Fra Diavolo

According to legend, Fra Diavolo sauce, Italian for "brother devil," is named after a naughty hot-tempered boy who lived in the 1770s (via Paesana). Inspired by his fiery personality, this Neapolitan sauce is equally hot and spicy, and a winner for anybody that has a fondness for strong flavors that pack in a ton of heat. This shrimp Fra Diavolo has all but three components — the shrimp, the sauce, and the seasonings — and you only need to set aside 10 minutes of your time for it. Besides, shrimp Fra Diavolo goes excellently with red wine, so it's the perfect opportunity to squeeze in a cheeky glass of wine in your day!

Recipe: Spicy Shrimp Fra Diavolo

34. Cucumber Rolls

Sushi is one of those technical-looking foods that you perhaps wouldn't fathom making at home, let alone making it for lunch when you're short on time. So it's not surprising if you think of sushi as something best left to take out or store-bought alternatives. But hear us out: this sushi requires six ingredients (half of which are already in your pantry), 30 minutes of cooking, and very little skill on your part. In the end, you'll have a fancy-schmancy plate of 18-piece cucumber roll sushi that will make you question everything you thought easy lunch recipes had to be.

Recipe: Cucumber Rolls

35. Chicken Enchiladas

If you're looking for a recipe that can feed your family with very little prep, these chicken enchiladas are just the thing. After five minutes of prep to make the filling and assemble the enchiladas, you can sit back as they bake in the oven without you having to do a thing. 25 minutes later, you'll have enough enchiladas to feed a table of eight. Besides, these enchiladas are a great way to put rotisserie chicken to use as well.

Recipe: Chicken Enchiladas

36. 15-Minute Loaded Sweet Potato

Sweet Potatoes, Healthline explains, are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, can help improve blood sugar regulation, are high in fiber, and make for a very filling and nutritious meal. Not only are sweet potatoes an excellent root vegetable to add to your diet, but they make for a quick, easy, and convenient dish for a light lunch as well. This recipe leaves out the time-consuming process of baking sweet potatoes in the oven and cooks the vegetable for six minutes in a microwave instead. On go yogurt, onions, corn, chives, black beans, and seasonings for a simple, fresh, and tasty lunch!

Recipe: 15-Minute Loaded Sweet Potato

37. Kitchari

As long as you have rice, some type of lentil, and spices, you can make the nutritious kitchari that is very adjusting to the stock of greens in your pantry. A porridge-like dish similar to a dal, Blum Center for Health says that kitchari translates to mess whereas Healthline insists that kitchari means mixture. Regardless of what it means, kitchari is an Ayurvedic meal, says recipe developer Kristen Carli, that has long been used as an energizing meal to reset the digestive system. It's only a bonus then that this incredibly healthy kitchari only requires 10 minutes of your attention for prep and then cooks undisturbed for 30 minutes in a pot.

Recipe: Kitchari

38. Air Fryer BBQ Cauliflower Wings

What if we were to tell you that it was entirely possible to make wings for lunch and in 30 minutes at that? What if... they were healthy, too? Don't be too shocked; recipe developer and certified wellness coach Miriam Hahn brings an air fryer cauliflower wings recipe, which she says may be a tad messy but also incredibly easy to make. Hahn gives another option to make the wings even healthier by using almond milk in the batter to coat your cauliflower florets. The cook time does increase if you're making multiple batches of cauliflower wings but if you're only cooking for one, they will be ready in a jiffy!

Recipe: Air Fryer BBQ Cauliflower Wings

39. 15-Minute Spicy Thai Tofu Tacos

It's difficult enough to find easy lunch ideas that go beyond the salad and sandwich combo but if you're a vegan or a vegetarian, things are even harder. Luckily, these 15-minute tofu tacos with an Asian twist are already vegetarian and can even be made vegan if need be. Don't allow the misconception of tofu being bland fool you into thinking these tacos are anything but packed with flavor. Because tofu absorbs other flavors very well, this recipe seasons it with a spicy soy sauce mixture first and then uses another peanut sauce while assembling the tacos. In the end, you'll have tofu tacos that even your meat-loving friends will want to take a bite of!

Recipe: 15-Minute Spicy Thai Tofu Tacos

40. Jerk Salmon

It's probably not the first time you've thought of salmon as an easy protein to cook for lunch but have you ever considered the possibility that easy salmon doesn't always mean a thin sauce of lemon, butter, and a hint of spice? This recipe uses a jerk seasoning blend to rub the salmon fillet in a ton of spice and flavor before it is pan-seared for six minutes. The best part? The recipe even includes a sweet, salty, and acidic mango slaw to go with the jerk salmon. All of that in a mere 15 minutes!

Recipe: Jerk Salmon

41. Copycat Denny's Moons Over My Hammy

Rushing to Denny's to grab a Moons Over My Hammy for a quick breakfast-for-lunch sandwich between work? Don't run just yet because this copycat version of the sandwich will be ready in less time than it will take for you to get to Denny's in the first place! With bread, butter, eggs, ham, and two types of cheese, you can make a Denny's-like Moons Over My Hammy sandwich at home in 15 minutes. The best part about making it at home is that you can swap the ham for sausage if you want to switch things up or even substitute it with a vegan or vegetarian filling.

Recipe: Copycat Denny's Moons Over My Hammy

42. Instant Pot Pumpkin Pasta

Pasta is a solid choice for an easy but tasty lunchtime meal. What do you need other than dried pasta, jarred sauce, and a handful of cheese after all? This pumpkin pasta, however, takes even less effort to make but gives in return a pasta oozing with flavors that will take you back to fall. Although the ingredient list is considerably longer, there are several advantages to this recipe because you're making the pasta in an instant pot. This means that you're not wasting time boiling the pasta separately before you fold it into the sauce, and thus the entire dish comes together in 10 minutes.

Recipe: Instant Pot Pumpkin Pasta

43. Hibachi Fried Rice

Don't let the name of the recipe fool you into thinking that you need a hibachi to make this fried rice. On the contrary, the best part about this recipe is that you don't need a hibachi to replicate the flavors of hibachi-style fried rice at home. This recipe takes away all the fluff of the showbiz that happens on your table at a hibachi restaurant to focus on what is important: flavor, flavor, and flavor. Once your plain rice is cooked, it only takes 15 minutes for the final dish to come together. You even have the option of adding shrimp, chicken, or tofu to the rice to make it a more protein-rich lunch.

Recipe: Hibachi Fried Rice

44. 3-Ingredient Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Dwindling groceries stopping you from making lunch at home? Not counting olive oil, salt, and pepper, this recipe requires three ingredients — broccoli, whole milk, and cheddar cheese — to produce a wonderfully creamy and flavourful soup. The trick, recipe developer Sher Castellano says, is simple: You roast the broccoli first. Roasting broccoli is the key to giving this three-ingredient soup a rich and complex flavor that simmering never would, and cheddar cheese gives the soup some much-needed punch. Slice a crusty bread to serve on the side, and you have yourself a lunch that is as simple as can be.

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

45. Portobello Mushroom Burger

Burgers are not what comes to mind when you think of a quick lunch unless it involves a drive-thru and a Big Mac. This recipe, however, strips the most arduous element of a burger (aka the patty) and uses portobello mushroom caps for an easy-to-make burger at home. Tender, pan-seared portobello mushrooms brushed with tamari, ketchup, mayo, or soy sauce make the burger patty, and a two-ingredient special sauce gives the burger more flavor. From there, depending on the time you have or the effort you're willing to put in, you can toast your burger buns and add tomatoes, lettuce, or any other veggies of your liking, and ta-da! You have a perfectly juicy burger in 15 minutes.

Recipe: Portobello Mushroom Burger

46. Lazy Pierogi

The origin of pierogies may be contentious, but these little dumplings filled with sweet or savory fillings are quite the popular dish in Poland (via My Recipes). The most complicated part about a pierogi, or any dumpling for that matter, is the dough for the wrapper. This lazy pierogi recipe relies on store-bought wonton wrappers so that you can focus on what's important: the filling. You can customize the filling to your liking but this recipe uses a simple creamy mixture of potatoes and cheese because who can ever go wrong with that?

Recipe: Lazy Pierogi

47. Chow Mein

Ringing your neighborhood Chinese restaurant for a chow mein delivery? Save yourself a few bucks and make use of those fresh veggies you just bought with this 25-minute chow mein! The best part about making this chow mien at home is that it leaves plenty of room for you to add or leave out ingredients depending on your diet, taste preference, or even just the stock of your pantry. Like heat? Add some chilis. Vegetarian? Swap the chicken with tofu. Don't like a certain vegetable? Leave it out!

Recipe: Chow Mein

48. 3-Ingredient Baked Taquitos

Don't be fooled by the 38 minutes that this recipe asks of you. All these taquitos need is tortillas, a can of black beans, a can of green chilies, and five minutes of the time that it takes to assemble them. For the better part of this recipe, you're waiting for the taquitos to bake and crisp up in the oven. You can make a side of rice and beans while the taquitos bake if you're feeling up for it, wolf them down with guacamole and sour cream, or eat them plain as they are.

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Baked Taquitos

49. Sheet Pan Pork Chops And Vegetable

There are several reasons to love this sheet pan pork chops recipe. For one, the recipe requires very little prep and leaves most of the cooking to the oven. This also makes it a great recipe to cook when you have a large group of friends or family over because you only have to throw the ingredients in a pan for the most part. There's also the twist of apple cider vinegar in here that makes the pork chops incredibly tender. Because it's a sheet pan recipe, you also won't be left with a pile of dishes to clean after, and that's got to be the best part about this recipe!

Recipe: Sheet Pan Pork Chops And Vegetable

50. 15-Minute BBQ Chicken Pizza

Pizza for lunch? Now, who doesn't want that! Sure you could call a pizza place for a hot pie but this BBQ chicken pizza will likely be ready much before the pizza delivery person rings your doorbell. Besides, this recipe swaps out the tomato sauce for a barbecue base, which recipe developer Susan Olayinka thinks is far superior. Chicken is a no-brainer topping to pair with barbecue sauce, but you could also use whatever meat is sitting in your refrigerator at that moment — think pepperoni, pulled pork, or even tomatoes.

Recipe: 15-Minute BBQ Chicken Pizza

51. Mexican Meatloaf

When you're hosting people over the weekend and need a lunch that doesn't require you to be in the kitchen all day but which will wow your guests at the same time, this Mexican meatloaf is just the thing. With herbs and spices signature to the Mexican cuisine added to a classic European dish, this meatloaf is awfully easy to make. All you need is eight minutes of prep and then you chuck the meatloaf in the oven for 45 minutes as you mingle with your guests till lunch for eight is ready.

Recipe: Mexican Meatloaf

52. Air Fryer Cauliflower Steak

This air fryer cauliflower steak not only makes for a quick and healthy midday meal but also leaves plenty of room for you to tweak and customize the plant-based steak to make it your own. This recipe uses smoked paprika, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper for flavor, but you could also add a little bit of sriracha, cajun seasoning, or red pepper flakes for more kick. If you've never been a fan of cauliflower, this crisp steak might make you rethink your feelings about the veggie!

Recipe: Air fryer Cauliflower Steak

53. 20-Minute Fire-Roasted Chilli Mac

Recipe developer Miriam Hahn's Fire-Roasted Chilli Mac is a super quick and delicious dish that is packed with nutritious ingredients. The chili mac uses plant-based Beyond Meat Italian Sausage for protein, but there is the option of going with regular sausage, too. To the protein, you add tons of veggies (tomatoes, spinach, carrots, and bell peppers), spices, and an entire can of kidney beans. The macaroni here only adds a bit of fun to this super healthy lunchtime meal.

Recipe: 20-Minute Fire-Roasted Chilli Mac

54. Instant Pot Chicken Biryani

Anybody who has previously made a biryani at home, or even tasted one before, knows that biryani and the word "easy" do not go hand in hand. Meticulously layering marinated meat and rice with caramelized onions, dried fruits, herbs, and spices in a pot sealed off with dough that is allowed to cook low and slow is probably not what you want to be doing for a midweek lunch (via The Spruce Eats). Though recipe developer Ting Dalton admits that this version of the chicken biryani is not traditional, it does pack in heaps of flavor and gives you a biryani in as little as 18 minutes — all with the help of an instant pot, of course.

Recipe: Instant Pot Chicken Biryani

55. Creamy Pasta Primavera

Pasta primavera essentially means two things: pasta and vegetables. Sure enough, this recipe is packed with tons of vegetables, which include mushrooms, carrots, red peppers, asparagus, peas, and tomatoes. While you could tweak the kind of veggies that you add to your pasta, what the recipe most definitely relies on is a secret sauce that gives the pasta a creamy texture without the use of any cream at all. The secret? Flour, water, broth, milk, and lots of parmesan cheese!

Recipe: Creamy Pasta Primavera

56. Copycat Subway's Steak And Cheese

What's not to love about a toasted Subway sandwich for lunch? You could be in and out of a shop in a matter of minutes with a healthy-ish sandwich customized precisely to your liking. But if it's the restaurant's Philly-style steak and cheese that is your go-to lunch order on most days, recipe developer and former Subway manager Angela Latimer says that you can easily recreate the sandwich at home in a little over 10 minutes. Add a few extra ingredients to your grocery list the next time you're out and you'll have yourself everything you need to make a Subway-style steak and cheese sandwich at home that tastes like the real deal!

Recipe: Copycat Subway's Steak And Cheese

57. Grilled Veggie Kabobs

There's a reason why salads are a popular lunchtime meal. They're a quick and effortless way to get your daily dose of greens in. Even then, it's easy to get bored of them. These veggie kabobs, however, are a great way to add some tasty flair to your usual bowl of vegetables. Simply chop and skewer a few vegetables, brush them with a liquid mixture of oil and herbs, and pop the kebobs on the grill for a few minutes to crisp up.

Recipe: Grilled Veggie Kabobs

58. Tofu Fried Rice

There are several reasons why you should be adding tofu to your diet wherever you can. Besides being an excellent source of protein, tofu contains all the amino acids that are essential for humans and makes up for a considerable portion of your daily recommended calcium and manganese intake (via Healthline). If the benefits of tofu have you convinced about cooking with this plant-based protein more often, you may want to consider using it in fried rice. Recipe developer Kristen Carli whips up a one-pan tofu fried rice using leftover rice and vegetables in a little over 20 minutes. In the unlikely event that you have leftovers, the fried rice can even be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Recipe: Tofu Fried Rice

59. 15-Minute Thai Red Curry With Shrimp

Thai curry in 15 minutes? Who would've thought such a thing possible? The ingredient list for this recipe is pretty short and simple: store-bought Thai red curry paste, coconut milk, pre-cooked or frozen shrimp, bell peppers, onions, green beans, garlic, soy sauce, and brown sugar is all you need to put together this Thai curry. Serve the curry piping hot alongside some rice, and you'll have yourself a healthy and filling lunch that is enough to feed a table of two.

Recipe: 15-Minute Thai Red Curry With Shrimp

60. 3-Ingredient Teriyaki Chicken

To send you off with one last inspiring meal for the road, we're ending this roundup with a lunch recipe that is as easy as lunch can be. All you need is two cups of chicken breast, soy sauce, brown sugar, and... well, that's it! A delicious mix of sweet and salty flavors, this teriyaki chicken can be ready in 25 minutes with very little effort. While there is the option of adding more flair to the chicken with sesame seeds, veggies, and green onions or serving it with rice and noodles, this teriyaki chicken makes for an excellent lunch as it is, too!

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Teriyaki Chicken