Though we all know plenty of breakfast and dinner recipes, the opportunities to make a delicious lunch sometimes get overlooked. If you have a busy schedule and forget to pack something in the morning, the temptation to spend a lot of money ordering in at lunchtime can be hard to resist. On the other hand, maybe you have kids and you want to switch out the sandwiches for something a little more interesting. No matter your needs, these creative, easy and delicious lunch recipes are sure to become a new favorite. With no further ado, here are the 10 best lunch recipes we’ve tried in a while.
1. BLT Skillet
Everybody loves a good BLT. Still, you can’t make one of these sandwiches fresh everyday—plus the tomato is bound to soak into the bread if you try to pack one to eat for later. To get around those constraints, why not reimagine the recipe a little bit? This BLT packs all the same flavor as your favorite sandwich, all made more portable. Here’s how you do it:
4 ounces of uncooked wheat linguine
4 bacon strips, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 plum tomato, cubed
1 clove of minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon of minced parsley
1. Cook your linguine according to the package.
2. In a skillet, cook your bacon until it turns crisp before draining it on paper towels and saving one teaspoon of fat.
3. Use the bacon fat to sauté your tomato and garlic for one to two minutes.
4. Stir in the bacon, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
5. Drain your linguine and add to the skillet as well.
6. Sprinkle in cheese and parsley, tossing it all to coat.
2. Stuffed Peppers
Although we all want to get some veggies in at lunchtime, there are still creative ways to do this that taste delicious. For example, these delicious stuffed peppers have plenty of cheesy, beefy goodness while still coming in a veggie shell. If you’re looking for a Mexican-style recipe that will steal heat up well, this is a good place to start. Here’s how you do it:
2 bell peppers
1/2 pound of ground beef
1 can of tomato sauce
1/4 cup of uncooked instant rice
3 tablespoons of shredded cheddar
1 tablespoon of chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1 egg, beaten
1.Chop the tops of the peppers off and take the seeds out.
2. Blanch the peppers in boiling water for five minutes. Bathe them in cold water when they’re done and set them aside.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together your beef, 1/4 cup of tomato sauce, two tablespoons of cheese, Worcestershire sauce, onion, pepper, salt and beaten egg. Mix everything together.
4. Stuff the peppers with the mix and put them in an ungreased baking dish. Pour the rest of the tomato sauce on top.
5. Cover the pan and bake it at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour.
6. When the meat is cooked through, sprinkle the leftover cheese on top and cook for five more minutes.
3. Easy Ginger Pork
If you’re looking for a spicier, Asian-style lunch dish, this simple ginger pork recipe is sure to do the trick. With just a few simple ingredients, you can make something that tastes tangy and delicious. This one is sure to be the envy of the office (or of the school cafeteria). Here’s how you do it:
1/2 pound of pork tenderloin, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of canola oil
1 clove of minced garlic
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch
sliced green onions (optional)
toasted sesame seeds (optional)
1. Get out a large skillet and cook your sliced pork in it with oil until all the pink is out.
2. Add your minced garlic in and cook for another minute.
3. Get out a bowl and mix together your soy sauce, sugar and ginger. Add that to the skillet as well and stir.
4. Make a cornstarch slurry with the water and cornstarch before adding that to the skillet as well.
5. Bring everything to a boil before cooking and stirring it for two minutes until it turns thick.
6. When it’s all ready, serve the pork with cooked rice. Top it all off with green onions and sesame seeds.
4. Tangy Egg Salad
Although we’ve all had egg salad, the specifics of the recipe you use can add a lot to the final flavor. Even though this recipe is so easy to make and tastes delicious, we don’t always think to take the extra time to prepare it. Regardless, once you try this dish you’ll want to make it for lunch again and again. Here’s how you do it:
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons of mustard
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
1/8 teaspoon of lemon juice
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 tablespoon of minced green onion
diced tomato (optional)
1.Mix together your mayo, mustard, salt, pepper and lemon juice in a bowl.
2. Add in your chopped eggs and green onions, stirring everything together.
3. Add tomato on top if you wish and serve as a sandwich or on its own!
5. Buffalo Sloppy Joes
Sloppy Joes can be a tasty and easy recipe to make when we’re feeling lazy. Still, the main recipe for them can get a little bit boring at times. To avoid that, why not mix up the ingredients? This buffalo-style Sloppy Joe dish is sure to add a little excitement to this recipe—and it tastes absolutely delicious. Here’s how you do it:
1 pound of lean ground chicken or turkey
1/2 of a yellow onion, diced
2 diced carrots
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 minced cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 cup of chicken broth
1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
1/4 cup of buffalo sauce
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt
1/3 cup of crumbled blue cheese
3 tablespoons of buttermilk
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of parsley
1/4 teaspoon of dill
1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon of onion powder
1. Add oil to a skillet and sauté your onion, carrots and celery for about three minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
2. Add your ground chicken or turkey and break it up with a wooden spoon. Add salt and pepper.
3. Cook all the pink out of the meat before adding chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the skillet.
4. Get out a small bowl and mix together tomato sauce, buffalo sauce, Worcestershire sauce and apple cider vinegar.
5. Pour that sauce over the chicken and veggies and stir until it’s evenly coated.
6. Turn the heat down and simmer it for five minutes.
7. To make the sauce, mix your Greek yogurt and blue cheese together. Mash it together with a fork.
8. Add your buttermilk and the rest of your ingredients, stirring everything up and pouring it over the sloppy joes.
6. Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Do you like tacos? Although most of us enjoy a good taco every now and then, they’re not the easiest thing to pack for lunch. On the other hand, they’re also not a great fit for anyone who is trying to lower their carb intake. If this sounds like you, why not try these turkey lettuce wraps? Each one tastes delicious and provides the taco experience with fewer carbs and less fat. Here’s how you do it:
1/2 pound of lean ground turkey
1/2 cup of chopped celery
1/4 cup of chopped onion
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 teaspoons of minced ginger
1 minced clove of garlic
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 cup of julienned carrot
6 lettuce leaves
hot mustard (optional)
1.Get out a skillet and cook your turkey, crumbling it up with a wooden spoon.
2. Add your celery and onion and cook it all over medium heat for four to six minutes.
3. Stir in your soy sauce, peppers, ginger and garlic. Add carrot as well and keep cooking and stirring for one to two minutes until the liquid absorbs.
4. Scoop the mixture out and serve in a big lettuce leaf. Add mustard on top.
7. Egg and Veggie Bagel Sandwich
If you still want to make sandwiches for lunch, why not mix it up by using a bagel instead? Although this recipe is more of a blend between breakfast and lunch, it remains a refreshing and delicious meal that you can make at home relatively easily. As an added bonus, you may eat a few more veggies than you usually do as well! You can even microwave it right at the office. Here’s how you do it:
1 everything bagel
3/4 cup of egg whites
10-15 spinach leaves
1 wedge of herb and garlic cheese
2 slices of tomato
2-4 slices of avocado
1. Start by slicing and your toasting your bagel.
2. Get out a bowl and mix together your egg whites and spinach leaves, seasoning it all with a little salt.
3. Microwave the eggs for a minute and 30 seconds.
4. Spread some of your cheese on the bagel and add your tomato slices.
5. When the eggs are done, scoop it all out in a patty and put it on top of the cheese and tomato.
6. Add avocado on top, add salt and hot sauce and serve!
8. Lemon Chicken and Spinach Soup
As things outside get colder, sometimes it’s nice to have a hot bowl of soup to raise your spirits and boost your immune system. Rather than just eating the same old stuff out of a can, why not try to make your own version? If you’re game, this lemon chicken and spinach soup is a deliciously zesty soup that is sure to hit the spot. Here’s how you do it:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
5 cloves of minced garlic
3 medium chopped carrots
1 finely chopped leek
10 cups of unsalted chicken stock
2/3 cup of jasmine rice (dry)
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of fresh dill, chopped
4 cups of spinach, de-stemmed
1 shredded rotisserie chicken
2 teaspoons of salt
1. Heat up oil in a stockpot over medium heat.
2. Add your garlic, carrots and leeks and cook for about 10 minutes.
3. Add your chicken stock and turn the heat up to medium-high, bringing it to a boil.
4. Add your rice and turn the heat down to medium-low, cooking for about 20 minutes and stirring occasionally.
5. Next, whisk together your lemon juice and eggs in a bowl.
6. Slowly pour a cup of hot broth into the egg mix, whisking continuously.
7. Pour the egg mix back into the pan and stir, adding dill, spinach, chicken and salt.
8. Let the spinach wilt and heat the soup back up for 10 minutes. Add pepper and serve!
9. White Chili and Avocado Cream
Even if you’re used to a more tomato-based, richer chili, white bean chilis taste absolutely delicious. Still, this recipe is particularly special because it adds an avocado cream that takes all the flavors to a whole new level. As it gets cold outside, a cup of this hearty stew for lunch is sure to hit the spot. Here’s how you make it:
1 serrano chili
1 jalapeño pepper
1 onion, halved
4 cups of unsalted chicken stock
2 tablespoons of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of adobo sauce
1 chipotle chili in adobo
2 cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
5 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil
8 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon of coriander
1 pound of ground pork
2 pounds of cubed chicken breast
3 cups of white corn
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup of half-and-half
3/4 cup of chopped cilantro
1/3 cup 1 1/2 teaspoons of lime juice
2 3/8 teaspoons of salt
1/3 cup of light sour cream
3/4 cup of diced tomatillo
1. Preheat your broiler on high before arranging your peppers and halved, peeled onion on a foil-lined baking sheet.
2. Spray it with cooking spray and broil it for 15 minutes.
3. Wrap the peppers in foil and let them stand for five minutes before peeling them and throwing out the stems and seeds.
4. Blend your peppers, onion, 1/2 cup of chicken stock, flour, adobo sauce, chipotle and a can of cannellini beans in a food processor until smooth.
5. Heat up a Dutch oven over medium-high before adding oil and swirling it around to coat. Throw in your garlic and sauté it for 30 seconds.
6. Add your cumin, oregano and coriander and cook for another 30 seconds.
7. Add your pork and cook it for four minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.
8. Stir in your onion mix along with the rest of your chicken stock.
9. Bring everything to a boil before turning the heat down and simmering it for 20 minutes, stirring throughout.
10. Add your shredded chicken and cook for five minutes before stirring in the rest of your beans, corn and chickpeas.
11. Cook it all for seven more minutes before turning the heat down to medium-low and stirring in half-and-half, 1/2 cup of cilantro and a 1/3 cup of juice.
12. Cook for three minutes before stirring in 2 1/4 teaspoons of salt.
13. Next, mash your avocado in a bowl before adding sour cream, 1 1/2 teaspoons of juice and the rest of the salt.
14. Serve the chili with the rest of the cilantro along with the avocado cream and tomatillo.
10. Soba Noodle Pork Salad
This one is particularly special. Although everything is easy enough to combine, the taste is just as good as something you might get at a high-end Japanese restaurant. If you’re looking for something more exciting to eat for lunch, this is definitely going to do the trick. Here’s how you do it:
6 ounces of soba noodles
1 1/2 cups of sliced sugar snap peas
2 1/2 tablespoons of lime juice
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 teaspoons of sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon of sambal oelek
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of sliced radishes
1/4 cup of chopped mint
1. Start by cooking your soba noodles according to the package instructions.
2. Add your sliced snap peas a minute before the noodles are done cooking.
3. Drain the noodles and rinse them cold water, draining again.
4. Mix together your lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, sambal oelek and salt in a side bowl.
5. Add your noodles, radishes, mint and chopped pork together, tossing it all to combine.
No matter what kind of taste you’re craving, chances are there’s a cheap and easy way to make it that’s sure to add a little bit of excitement to your lunches. As always, the recipes we’ve included are great to follow as is but there’s always room for experimentation. Feel free to add ingredients or make substitutions as you wish. Have you given any of these recipes a try? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.
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