14 Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas

It Doesn't Have to Feel Like a Chore

Vegetarian Bean and Rice Burrito

The Spruce

Lunch doesn't have to be a chore. Instead of ordering out or eating the same boring salad day after day, mix things up with these quick and easy recipes. They star easy-to-find ingredients and many make good use of leftover beans, rice, meat, or bread. Far from boring, these dishes are worth looking forward to without taking up too much time.

  • 01 of 14

    Egg Roll in a Bowl

    egg roll in a bowl

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    Egg roll in a bowl has all of the flavors and textures of the classic takeout egg roll without the carbs and hassle of a wrapper. Ditching the deep frying makes it healthier but still fun to eat. Using a coleslaw mix makes it extra quick.

  • 02 of 14

    Classic Chicken Salad Sandwiches

    Chicken salad sandwich

    The Spruce

    Chicken salad is a delicious way to use up leftover roasted or poached chicken. If you're using leftover meat, you'll be able to whip up this lunch in about 10 minutes flat. It's easy to scale this recipe up or down and add your favorite flavors like fresh herbs, diced apple, walnuts, or grapes.

  • 03 of 14

    Panzanella Salad

    Panzanella Salad

    Anita Schecter

    A delicious combination of fresh tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, crisp bread, and flavorful vinaigrette, panzanella salad is a lunchtime treat. It's a great use of bread that's a day or two old, especially if it's French bread or sourdough. Add cubed mozzarella if you like.

  • 04 of 14

    Vegan Hummus Avocado Wrap

    Vegan avocado wrap

    The Spruce

    Use any extra tortillas to make a lightning-fast hummus avocado wrap. If you start with a flavorful hummus, all you need is some fresh veggies like tomato, avocado, and sprouts or lettuce and you've got a tasty meal. If you're not vegan and would like more protein, add feta cheese or sliced turkey.

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  • 05 of 14

    Cemita, a Pueblan Style Mexican Pulled Pork Sandwich

    Cemita Mexican pulled pork sandwich recipe

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Put leftover pulled pork to good use by making a Mexican cemita (sandwich). If you can't get your hands on cemita rolls, hamburger or brioche buns will work as well. The chipotle peppers and adobo sauce add lots of flavor to this filling sandwich.

  • 06 of 14

    Vegan and Gluten-Free Quinoa Salad

    Quinoa salad

     The Spruce

    Quinoa salad takes no time to make and tastes great leftover, too. Use your favorite veggies for this recipe, and you can add black or kidney beans for extra protein. The endless variations make this recipe a lunch staple.

  • 07 of 14

    Black Bean and Rice Salad

    Rice and Black Bean Salad
    Diana Rattray

    It only takes a few moments to cook white rice, chop the veggies, and combine everything in a bowl for this black bean and rice salad. You can also use leftover rice from the night before to save even more time. Try adding corn kernels or diced avocado.

  • 08 of 14

    Turkey and Hummus Sandwich

    Turkey and hummus sandwich

    The Spruce Eats / Nita West

    Go above and beyond the typical turkey sandwich with creamy hummus, salty feta cheese, zesty red onions, and juicy tomato. If you don't have all of the exact ingredients, don't fret. The most important parts are good turkey, good bread, and good hummus—the rest is optional.

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  • 09 of 14

    Garden Pasta Salad With Rotini

    Garden pasta salad with rotini

    The Spruce

    Pasta salads can be a little blah, but this garden rotini salad adds pesto and olives to the mix for big flavor. Fresh veggies add nutrition and flavor and can be swapped for whatever you have available. Scale it up or down—it still tastes great after a day or two.

  • 10 of 14

    Vegetarian Bean and Rice Burrito

    Vegetarian Bean and Rice Burrito

    The Spruce

    Fresh or leftover beans (black, pinto, or kidney beans work here) and rice come together to make a simple but tasty lunch. The beans are flavored with spices, garlic, and hot sauce while the rice gets a dressing of lime juice and cilantro. Add additional fillings to the burrito if you like and serve with salsa.

  • 11 of 14

    Vegan Hawaiian Poke Bowl

    Hawaiian vegan poke bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak 

    This no-cook recipe has all of the flavors of a Hawaiian poke bowl without the fish. Swap the high-grade tuna or salmon for tofu, which happily soaks up the soy and ginger sauce. Add fresh kale along with steamed rice for a complete meal.

  • 12 of 14

    Toasted Pita Bowl Salad

    Pita Bowl Salad
    Anita Schecter

    Za'atar adds savory, herby flavor to the chickpeas and vinaigrette in this vegetarian toasted pita bowl salad. Since the pita is toasted to make an edible bowl, leftover or defrosted frozen pita works well. Roast a bunch of chickpeas at once for future lunches and as a tasty snack.

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  • 13 of 14

    Grilled Chicken and Mozzarella Panini

    Grilled Chicken and Mozzarella Panini Recipe

     The Spruce

    Paninis are a nice way to level up a plain old sandwich. Use leftover grilled or roasted chicken breasts to save time and effort. It will get warmed and juicy again in the panini press along with melty cheese and sliced tomato. If you don't have a grill press, set a heavy cast-iron pan on top of the chicken panini to press.

  • 14 of 14

    Quick and Easy Canned Tuna Fish Tacos

    Quick tuna taco recipe

    The Spruce 

    Mix up a quick sauce, briefly heat the tuna in a pan, and crisp the taco shells and boom: you've got lunch. Tuna fish tacos are a nice change of pace from your standard tuna salad, and they take only minutes to make. You can swap the canned tuna for leftover flaked tuna fish.