These lunch ideas include delicious, filling, and easy-to-make lunch recipes that are perfect for bringing to work or school. From sandwiches, pasta dishes, soups, and salads, to creative ways of using leftovers, this page is here to provide you with a variety of tasty lunchtime options! From hearty sit-down lunches to quick recipes you can eat on the go, there's something here for everyone!
Best Lunch Recipes To Make
I have rounded up some of the best sandwiches, pasta dishes, soups, salads, and more for all your lunchtime needs. From classic favorites to creative new dishes, there is a wide variety of lunch ideas to choose from!
Even if you have leftovers from dinner the night before, you can still create a delicious and satisfying lunch with a few extra ingredients. With these recipes, you'll be looking forward to lunch every day!
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There are many popular lunch ideas that are quick, easy, and satisfying. Here are a few examples:
Sandwiches are a classic lunch choice that can be customized in countless ways. Try making a turkey, avocado, and bacon sandwich on whole wheat bread or a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup.
- Fried Bologna and Egg Sandwich - Pan-fried bologna and eggs with cheese between two slices of bread are delicious any time of day.
- Fish Stick Sandwich - Fish sticks on a sandwich, what's not to love? This recipe is 100% kid approved!
- Breakfast Sandwich - Breakfast sandwiches are still delicious at lunchtime! This one is fully loaded with eggs, breakfast sausage, crispy bacon, Canadian bacon, and of course, cheese!
- Chicken Parmesan Sandwich - Slices of crispy breaded chicken breast topped with melted mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce on sliced French rolls (or any deli-style Italian bread).
- Lobster Breakfast Sandwich - If you're craving a breakfast sandwich mid-day, why not go all out? Try this easy and delicious breakfast sandwich with fresh lobster meat and scrambled eggs on a brioche bun!
- Tuna Melt Sandwich - For lunch, enjoy an open-faced tuna melt with cheddar and tomatoes, or close it up for an even heartier meal!
- Chicken Club Sandwich - Pan-seared chicken breast with bacon and all the toppings. I love to split this sandwich in half and pair it with soup as a lunch for 2!
Salads are a great way to incorporate vegetables and protein into your lunch. They come in a wide variety of flavors and textures - from classic lettuce salads to potato salads, even chicken salads and fruit salads!
- Chicken Salad with Grapes - Creamy chicken salad with bursts of sweetness from the grapes in every bite. It makes tasty sandwiches or can be enjoyed on its own!
- Egg Salad - An egg salad sandwich is an oldie but a goodie! This classic egg salad recipe has all the nostalgic flavor you know and love.
- German Potato Salad - Potatoes, onion, and bacon in a tangy-yet-delicious vinegar-based sauce!
- Wedge Salad - A wedge salad is simply a large wedge of iceberg lettuce with all your favorite toppings! I keep it classic here with blue cheese, bacon, tomatoes, and blue cheese dressing.
- Caprese Salad - For a light and refreshing lunch, slice up some juicy tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil!
- Asian Cucumber Salad - A chilled salad made with cucumbers tossed in a flavorful sesame soy sauce vinaigrette!
- Greek Salad - If you're looking for a light and refreshing lunch, this salad made with cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese in a simple Greek dressing is just the thing!
- Hawaiian Macaroni Salad - Hawaiian macaroni salad is sweet, savory, and tangy. It makes a great lunch any day of the week!
- Rotisserie Chicken Salad - Not only does the rotisserie chicken add that classic roasted flavor, but it saves you tons of prep time! Serve it on lettuce or bread as a sandwich!
More Tasty Salads To Serve For Lunch
- Doritos Taco Salad - Nacho cheese Doritos on a salad? Dreams do come true! It also features taco-seasoned beef, cheese, tomatoes, onions, and Catalina dressing!
- Ham Salad - This easy and creamy ham salad makes the most delicious sandwiches and comes together in no time at all!
- Broccolini Salad - This broccolini salad is a great vegetarian lunch made with fork-tender broccolini tossed in
- Turkey Chef Salad - If you're looking for a satisfying salad, a chef's salad is always a great choice. It has turkey, cheese, bacon, eggs, tomato, and croutons on a bed of fresh lettuce.
- Caesar Salad Dressing Without Anchovies - Throw some chopped romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, and croutons in a bowl with a quick side of this easy homemade Caesar dressing!
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Wraps are a convenient lunch option that can be filled with a variety of ingredients. Try a chicken Caesar wrap, a veggie wrap with hummus and roasted vegetables, or a buffalo chicken wrap with blue cheese dressing.
- Pinwheel Sandwiches - Add your favorite sandwich toppings, roll it up, and slice it into tasty finger sandwiches! I featured 3 of my favorite varieties to try!
Quick Pasta Lunch Dishes
Pasta dishes can be a filling and comforting lunch option. Try making a cold pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil or a warm pasta dish with marinara sauce and meatballs.
- Garlic Shrimp Pasta - Shrimp cooks up in no time at all, so shrimp pasta always makes for a great quick lunch!
- Garlic Parmesan Angel Hair Pasta - Angel hair pasta tossed in a rich and creamy garlic Parmesan sauce. Add your favorite protein, and enjoy!
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta - Al dente spaghetti and juicy shrimp in a flavor-packed lemon garlic sauce!
- Cajun Sausage Pasta - You'll look forward to lunch when this creamy pasta with smokey Andouille sausage is on the menu!
- Tuna Salad With Pasta - Tuna salad, bow tie noodles, red onion, peas, and celery, in a smooth and creamy dressing.
- Cream Cheese Pasta - These tender noodles in rich cream cheese sauce make the perfect base for your favorite lunch proteins!
- Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta - A 20-minute recipe for shrimp pasta in a flavorful 'bang bang' sauce!
- Pad Thai - Chicken, eggs, bean sprouts, roasted peanuts, and rice noodles in a tasty homemade pad Thai sauce.
- Drunken Noodles - Stir fried chicken, veggies, and wide rice noodles, in a deliciously simple Thai sauce!
- Greek Pasta Salad - Farfalle pasta, feta cheese, red onion, artichokes, and cherry tomatoes in a tangy and delicious Greek dressing!
More Great Pasta Lunch Ideas
- Buttered Noodles - Add chicken, shrimp, beef, pork, or veggies to these quick buttered noodles, and you have lunch ready to go!
- Teriyaki Noodles - An easy and versatile recipe for teriyaki noodles that makes a great base for veggies and other proteins!
- Hibachi Noodles - Whip up some quick hibachi noodles for lunch and experiment with different proteins and mix-ins!
- Spaghetti Bolognese - You can never go wrong with al dente spaghetti in a meaty red sauce!
- Ham and Pea Pasta -If you have leftover ham or ham steaks, you can make this creamy and cheesy ham and pea pasta!
- Grilled Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo - This grilled chicken fettuccini alfredo only requires a handful of ingredients and 30 minutes of time, so it's perfect for a quick lunch!
Easy Soups For Lunches
Soup can be a warm and comforting lunch option. Try making vegetable soup with barley or lentils or chicken noodle soup with homemade broth.
- Creamy Yellow Squash Soup - If you have some summer squash on hand, you can use it to make this quick and richly flavorful soup for lunch!
- Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup - Chop up some leftover turkey and use it to make savory turkey noodle soup!
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Detox Cabbage Soup - If you're looking for a light-yet-satisfying lunch that won't weigh you down all day, detox cabbage soup is the way to go!
- 4 Ingredient Potato Soup - The name says it all, it doesn't get easier than this creamy potato soup made with just 4 ingredients!
- Roasted Tomato Basil Soup - Pair this homemade tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich for a filling meal, or enjoy it on its own as a lighter lunch!
- Benihana Onion Soup - Mushrooms, scallions, and fried onions, in a rich and savory broth.
- Creamy Cauliflower Ham Soup - Use your leftover ham to make this super easy and comforting creamy cauliflower soup!
- Italian Chicken Pastina Soup - Tender chunks of chicken and veggies with orzo pasta in a rich and savory broth.
More Amazing Soups To Serve For Lunch
- Creamy Chicken Minnesota Wild Rice Soup - A super creamy soup made with Minnesota wild rice, chicken, and tender veggies.
- Cabbage Soup with Kielbasa - The chunks of smokey kielbasa sausage will have you savoring every bite of this cabbage soup.
- Chicken Noodle Soup - Chicken noodle soup is an amazingly satisfying lunch any time of year, particularly when cold weather comes around!
- Potato Leek Soup - This classic Irish soup is rich, creamy, and satisfying. Enjoy it with crackers or a side of crusty bread!
- Crab Egg Drop Soup - If you love seafood and Asian cuisine, this crab egg drop soup will blow your mind! It's ridiculously simple but tastes gourmet!
Rice bowls are a popular lunch option that can be filled with protein, vegetables, and grains. Try making a teriyaki chicken rice bowl with broccoli and carrots or a vegetarian bowl with roasted sweet potato, black beans, and avocado.
- Red Beans And Rice - A zesty Cajun classic made with canned beans to cut down on prep time!
- Dirty Rice - Ground beef, ground pork, veggies, and rice with lots of Cajun flavor!
- Meal Prep Sweet and Sour Chicken - Plan multiple lunches at once with this easy and nutritious meal prep sweet and sour chicken!
- Instant Pot Mongolian Chicken - I like to whip up this Mongolian chicken the night before and enjoy it with white rice for lunch the next day!
Quiches or frittatas can be a tasty and filling lunch option. Try making a spinach and feta quiche or a mushroom and goat cheese frittata.
- Quiche Lorraine - Bacon, cheese and a rich eggy custard come together in this classic French tart.
- Hash Brown Crust Sausage Cheddar Quiche - Breakfast for lunch is always acceptable! This quiche has all the breakfast classics - hash browns, sausage, eggs, and cheese!
- Ham & Cheese Quiche - An open-faced butter pastry crust loaded with chunks of ham, cheese, and a delicious egg-based custard!
If you're looking for some tasty side dishes to pair with your quiche, be sure to stop by my page dedicated to what to serve with quiche!
Burrito Lunch Bowls
Burrito bowls are a delicious and nutritious lunch option that can be made with rice, beans, vegetables, and meat or tofu. Pack the ingredients separately and assemble the bowl when you're ready to eat.
- Steak Burrito Bowl - Cilantro lime rice, steak, and all your favorite taco fixings make for an awesome Tex-Mex-inspired lunch!
- Chicken Burrito Bowl - Swap the steak for chicken and add a side of your favorite salsa for a truly tasty burrito bowl.
- Shrimp Burrito Bowl - If time is a concern, shrimp is about the quickest protein you can make! Toss some on your burrito bowl and enjoy!
Leftover Lunch Ideas
Leftovers from dinner can make a great lunch option. Simply pack them in a container and reheat them in the microwave when you're ready to eat - or you can use them to create new delicious recipes like these!
- Leftover Prime Rib Sandwich - Thinly slice your leftover prime rib and use it to make a sandwich like this one with creamy horseradish sauce!
- Leftover Prime Rib Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich - Leftover prime rib roast makes for the most delicious Philly cheesesteaks you'll ever have!
- Leftover Prime Rib French Dip Sandwich - All you need is some leftover prime rib, salt & pepper, olive oil, butter, hoagie rolls, and a quick au jus for dipping!
- Leftover Prime Rib Taquitos - Roll up some corn tortillas with shredded prime rib and cheese, then fry until crispy!
- Leftover Prime Rib Tostadas - Tender slices of leftover prime rib nestled into flour tortillas with beans, cheese, lettuce, pico de Gallo, and Mexican crema.
- Leftover Prime Rib Burritos - Elevate your burritos by adding prime rib! I add cilantro lime rice, black beans, pico, cilantro, and guac, but you can customize them however you like!
- Leftover Prime Rib Tacos - Prime rib makes for some extra tasty tacos. You can use corn or flour tortillas and all your favorite taco toppings!
More Great Lunches To Make Using Leftovers
- Leftover Turkey Curry - This quick and flavorful turkey curry is the perfect way to turn your leftover turkey meat into comfort food!
- Leftover Ham Ramen - This 15-minute recipe for ramen soup will be your new favorite way to enjoy leftover ham!
- Cheesy Leftover Ham Pasta - Diced ham, carrots, peas, and farfalle pasta tossed together in an ultra cheesy sauce!
- Leftover Lamb Gyros - Quickly season and sear your leftover lamb meat to add to gyros. All you need is a side of tzatziki sauce, some pita bread, and seasonings!
With so many incredible lunch ideas, it's hard to choose just one! Be sure to come back and let me know how you enjoyed your lunch in the comment section below!
Lunch Ideas: 4 Ingredient Potato Soup (+More Great Recipes To Try!)
- 6 tablespoon butter (divided, 1 tablespoon and 5 tablespoon portion)
- 1 small onion (white or yellow onion, finely diced)
- 3 lbs russet potatoes (peeled, rinsed, and diced into 1-inch cubes)
- water (enough to cover the diced potatoes with 1 inch over)
- 2 cups milk
- each, salt & pepper (to taste)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese (optional - grated)
- 2 strips bacon (optional - crisped then crumbled or chopped)
- 2 green onions (optional - green parts only, chopped)
- In a large stockpot melt the first 1 tablespoon portion of butter and saute the diced onion until tender and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.6 tablespoon butter, 1 small onion
- Add the diced potatoes and enough water to cover the potatoes with about an inch of excess water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.3 lbs russet potatoes, water
- Drain off most of the water once the potatoes are tender, leaving about ½-inch of water in the pot with the potatoes. Return the sauteed onion, then add the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter, salt and pepper, and milk. Gently mash the cooked potatoes.2 cups milk, each, salt & pepper
- Continue cooking on low heat for 5 minutes before serving, top with cheese, bacon, and green onion if desired.1 cup cheddar cheese, 2 strips bacon, 2 green onions
Equipment You May Need
- Use an immersion blender for a finer potato soup consistency.
- Saute the onion in bacon grease (if crisping with the soup) while the potatoes cook.
- I like 2% milk best in this soup, however, 1%, skim milk, and unsweetened dairy alternatives also work exceptionally well.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!
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