Our Best Lunch Recipes

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Photo By: Alice Gao©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael

Photo By: Armando Rafael

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Photo By: Matt Armendariz©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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Photo By: Tara Donne



Photo By: Armando Rafael

Photo By: Matt Armendariz©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©Food stylist: Jamie KimmProp Stylist: Marina Malchin

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Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

This vegetarian riff on a classic chicken salad sandwich is both satisfying and loaded with flavor, thanks to the tangy lemon juice, stone-ground mustard and fresh herbs. We added a sprinkle of roasted pepitas and a handful of hearty baby kale for texture and crunch. Serve on toasted whole wheat bread or with vegetables and crackers for a wholesome meal.

Get the Recipe:Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Lentil Soup

We love a good slow-cooker recipe. It saves time and effort in the kitchen and creates options. Take Jeff’s hearty Mediterranean-inspired soup, for example you can toss your ingredients into the pot in the morning and cook everything on high for a soup that’s ready at lunch time OR you can cook the ingredients for 8 hours on low the day before and use the extra time to tackle a task on your to-do list.

Get the Recipe:Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Lentil Soup

Healthy Peanut Soba Noodles with Vegetable Salad

These cold noodles are the perfect thing to make if you need a packed lunch. They’re vegetarian, but still full of protein, thanks to the soba noodles and peanut butter. Go ahead and double the recipe to cover lunch for another day.

Get the Recipe:Healthy Peanut Soba Noodles with Vegetable Salad

Cheddar and Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

The classic combination of tart apples and savory Cheddar transform a basic grilled cheese into a lunch that’s perfect for fall — or any time of the year.

Get the Recipe:Cheddar and Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Mexican Chicken Soup

Soup makes a great lunch because you can make it ahead and reheat it whenever you’re ready to eat. If you can’t find the posole (also called hominy) that this recipe calls for, feel free to substitute frozen corn kernels.

Get the Recipe:Mexican Chicken Soup

Mediterranean Tuna Wrap

Ellie freshens up classic tuna salad with her 5-star recipe. She uses olive oil, lemon salt and pepper to dress the tuna instead of mayonnaise, and adds onion, herbs and olives for even more flavor.

Get the Recipe:Mediterranean Tuna Wrap

BLT Bean Salad

All the flavors of a classic BLT sandwich come together in this hearty bean salad. The homemade herb-mayo dressing adds freshness while the crisp bacon and croutons add a welcomed crunch. It’s a great way to use up those pantry beans.

Get the Recipe:BLT Bean Salad

Tortellini Caprese Salad

Turn quick-cooking tortellini into a colorful and delicious lunch by adding tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. And, the dressing couldn’t be simpler: just a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

Get the Recipe:Tortellini Caprese Salad

Turkey Frittata

Frittata makes a great lunch because it can easily be adapted to whatever you have on hand. This speedy recipe calls for bell pepper, boiled potatoes and turkey but other add-ins like mushrooms, leftover cooked veggies, tomatoes, greens and chicken would all work well too.

Get the Recipe:Turkey Frittata

Spicy Taco Salad

Toss everything you love about tacos (including the shells and cheese) into a hearty salad for a lunch you’ll want to eat every day of the week.

Get the Recipe:Spicy Taco Salad

Caprese Salad Sub Sandwich

The best way to upgrade a classic tomato and mozzarella sandwich? Serve it on garlic toast with fresh basil and thinly sliced salami and ham!

Get the Recipe:Caprese Salad Sub Sandwich

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

This pizza is totally doable at lunch time, thanks to refrigerated pizza dough and pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. The whole thing comes together with just 10 minutes of prep work and only needs about 15 minutes in the oven.

Get the Recipe:Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Chicken Soup with Wild Rice and Hominy

We love the combination of wild rice and hominy in this simple soup. Brown rice or any leftover cooked grain would work well, too. We use a few tricks to get maximum comforting flavor into the soup, starting by enriching the chicken broth with a roast chicken carcass and by adding chopped cilantro and scallion at the very end for freshness.

Get the Recipe:Chicken Soup with Wild Rice and Hominy

Nordic Shrimp Toast

These decorative toasts have all the flavors of Nordic cuisine and no foraging is required! Delicate shrimp get double-hacked: first, they are quickly cooked in a covered pot off the stovetop and then sliced en masse using a trick involving two plastic lids. Perfect when you need a quick lunch!

Get the Recipe:Nordic Shrimp Toast

Chicken, Avocado Cream and Quinoa Salad-in-a-Jar

Enjoy a layered lunch with this portable, Mexican-inspired quinoa salad. To save time, make a big batch of quinoa, and freeze it in resealable bags for up to 1 month. Having a whole-grain arsenal in your freezer will help cut down on prep time later.

Get the Recipe:Chicken, Avocado Cream and Quinoa Salad-in-a-Jar

Healthy Tuna Grain Bowl with Turmeric Sweet Potatoes and Spicy Yogurt Dressing

This healthy grain bowl is loaded with fresh ingredients and vibrant flavors, thanks to the tangy, spicy yogurt sauce and turmeric-roasted sweet potatoes. If you’re worried about time, roast the sweet potatoes over the weekend and stash them in your refigerator. They’re easy to reheat in the microwave.

Get the Recipe:Healthy Tuna Grain Bowl with Turmeric Sweet Potatoes and Spicy Yogurt Dressing

Purslane Quesadillas

These easy treats are inspired by Central American quesadillas and pupusas, which come filled with creamy, mild cheese and delicate squash blossoms or loroco, a mild edible vine. We subbed purslane, which has a similar vegetal flavor and a bit of crunch. If you can’t find it another green like baby spinach would work.

Get the Recipe:Purslane Quesadillas

Copycat Guacamole Greens

This salad is inspired by a popular menu item at a healthy restaurant chain. We love it — but we also love saving money. So set aside some time during your week to make this vinaigrette, which makes enough for about five salads. And if you’re super ambitious, go ahead and prep enough ingredients for a week’s worth of lunches.

Get the Recipe:Copycat Guacamole Greens

Southwestern Pulled Brisket Sandwiches

This is a great recipe for anyone who meal preps their lunch. You can cook the brisket over the weekend. After you shred it, store in the refrigerator for easy sandwiches and wraps all week long.

Get the Recipe:Southwestern Pulled Brisket Sandwiches

Italian Deli Pasta Salad

This speedy pasta salad brings all your deli counter favorites (salami, cheese and giardiniera) together in just 30 minutes. Best of all, it makes 8 servings — so you have lunch for a few days!

Get the Recipe:Italian Deli Pasta Salad

15-Minute Cheesy Polenta with Chunky Tomato Ragu

This quick homemade tomato ragu is packed with vegetables and takes just a few minutes longer than warming up a jar of sauce. Finely chopping the vegetables in a food processor cuts down the cooking time tremendously. Serve it over quick-cooking creamy polenta for a complete meal that’s ready in 15 minutes.

Get the Recipe:15-Minute Cheesy Polenta with Chunky Tomato Ragu

Tuna, White Bean and Olive Flatbread Pitas

Even if your pantry is close to bare, you probably have the fixin’s for these super-simple and special flatbreads. The combo of sun-dried tomatoes and vinegar gives the bean spread a tangy earthiness that goes great with the tuna-and-olive salad.

Get the Recipe:From the Pantry: Tuna, White Bean and Olive Flatbread Pitas

Chicken Korma

Quick-cooking ground chicken gets a major flavor upgrade with coriander, cumin, fresh ginger and garlic, giving these pita sandwiches their Indian-inspired flair.

Get the Recipe:Chicken Korma

Mixed Grains with Shiitakes and Corn

Didn’t have time over the weekend to prep ingredients for a lunchtime grain bowl? No worries! This recipe uses quick-cooking quinoa and millet as the base for mushrooms, corn and herbs, making a filling and flavorful lunch possible — even when you’re racing the clock.

Get the Recipe:Mixed Grains with Shiitakes and Corn

Herbed Egg White Omelet with Tomatoes

Omelets are one of our go-to lunches because they cook up quick and are packed with protein. They’re also highly adaptable — feel free to fill them with whatever ingredients you love or have on hand.

Get the Recipe:Herbed Egg White Omelet with Tomatoes

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