Lunch doesn't have to be a chore. Mix things up with these quick and easy recipes instead of ordering out or eating the same dull salad day after day. They star easy-to-find ingredients, and many make good use of leftover beans, rice, meat, or bread. From salads to wraps and sandwiches to speedy takes on favorite foods, you'll look forward to a delicious lunch that doesn't take up too much time.
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Panzanella salad is a lunchtime treat made with a tasty combination of fresh tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, and a flavorful homemade vinaigrette. It's an excellent use for day-old French or sourdough bread, and cubed mozzarella is a wonderful addition.
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Classic Wedge Salad
The classic wedge salad is often reserved as a dinner side, but it's equally fantastic for lunch and easily sized down for one or two people. This recipe goes beyond pulling the toppings out of the fridge, opting instead for lightly salted tomatoes, pickled red onions, and homemade blue cheese dressing.
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Toasted Pita Bowl Salad
Za'atar adds savory, herby flavor to the chickpeas and vinaigrette in this vegetarian toasted pita bowl salad. Toasting the pita to make an edible bowl means that leftover or defrosted frozen pita works well. You can also roast a bunch of chickpeas at once for future lunches and snacks.
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Vegan and Gluten-Free Quinoa Salad
Quinoa salad takes no time to make and tastes great leftover. Use your favorite veggies for this recipe, and add black or kidney beans for extra protein if you like. The endless variations make this recipe a lunch staple.Continue to 5 of 18 below.
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Egg Roll in a Bowl
Egg roll in a bowl has all of the flavors and textures of the classic takeout egg roll without the hassle of a wrapper or deep-frying. Using coleslaw mix, ground pork, and a tasty combination of seasonings, you'll have a warm salad lunch ready in just 15 minutes.
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Garden Pasta Salad With Rotini
Pasta salads can be a little blah, but this garden rotini salad adds pesto and olives to the mix for a big flavor. Make as much as you like because it tastes great after a day or two. You can also swap the bell pepper, celery, cucumber, red onion, and tomato for whatever fresh veggies you have available.
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Black Bean and Rice Salad
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 dinner to save even more time, and add corn kernels or diced avocado for extra color and flavor.
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The Ultimate Avocado Toast
With a handful of simple ingredients, anyone can make the ultimate avocado toast. There are several ways to change it up, so you'll never get bored of this simple and satisfying light lunch.Continue to 9 of 18 below.
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Vegan Hummus Avocado Wrap
Use tortillas to make a lightning-fast hummus avocado wrap. Start with a flavorful hummus and add fresh veggies like tomato, avocado, and sprouts or lettuce for a tasty meal. If you're not vegan and want more protein, add feta cheese or sliced turkey.
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Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps
Fresher than any premade wrap from the store, it's surprisingly easy to make grilled chicken Caesar salad wraps. Whipping up the homemade dressing in advance and using leftover grilled chicken saves time during the lunch hour. Simply roll them up with lettuce and Parmesan in a wrap, and you're done.
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Vegetarian Bean and Rice Burrito
Not too heavy, this vegetarian bean and rice burrito makes a simple but tasty lunch. Whether black, pinto, or kidney, the beans are flavored with spices, garlic, and hot sauce while the rice gets a dressing of lime juice and cilantro to cool things down. Add additional fillings to the burrito if you like and serve with salsa.
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Classic Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Chicken salad sandwiches are a delicious use of leftover roasted or poached chicken. You can whip up this lunch in about 10 minutes flat, and it's a great make-ahead option that just needs to be assembled. It's also fun to add your favorite flavors like fresh herbs, diced apples, walnuts, or grapes.Continue to 13 of 18 below.
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Cemita Mexican Pulled Pork Sandwich
Leftover pulled pork is the ideal foundation for a filling Mexican cemita (sandwich). The chipotle peppers and adobo sauce provide lots of flavors, while the avocado and tomato add fresh deliciousness to each bite. If you can't get your hands on cemita rolls, hamburger or brioche buns also work.
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French Bread Pizza
Sometimes you simply can't wait for dinner to satiate your pizza craving. Fortunately, this French bread pizza is as adaptable as any other—use your favorite toppings—and comes out of the oven piping hot in just 20 minutes.
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Quick and Easy Canned Tuna Fish Tacos
Mix up a quick sauce, briefly heat the tuna in a pan, crisp the taco shells, and boom: you have 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.
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Cold Soba Noodle Salad
Cooked soba noodles combined with veggies and cilantro topped with a spicy sweet and sour sauce make a delightful lunch. The cold soba noodle salad requires nothing more than prepping the fresh ingredients and cooking the noodles, and it's even better when made a day ahead.Continue to 17 of 18 below.
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Quick Shoyu Ramen
Forget the packaged variety and make ramen from scratch. This shoyu ramen recipe shows just how easy it is. Though the list is a bit lengthy, most of the ingredients are kitchen staples, especially if you regularly cook Asian dishes.
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Fried Rice From Leftovers
This fried rice recipe was explicitly designed to use leftover rice. A little extra soy sauce guarantees that the rice is as moist as the first day. Frozen stir-fry vegetables make prep a breeze when you need a speedy lunch.