Are you in a bit of a lunchtime rut? Want ideas for easy lunches at home or at work? Looking for some quick and easy lunch ideas? Need some lunchtime inspiration? Then you have come to the right place.
In this article I share more than 40 easy and quick lunch ideas that the whole family will love!
Many of these quick and easy lunch ideas are great to prepare ahead of time and take with you to work or wherever you need to go!
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Tip: Save the image above to Pinterest so that you can easily refer to this article with easy and quick lunch ideas later!
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- 15 Easy and Budget Friendly Dinners for Families
- 7 Best Grocery Money Saving Tips to Stretch Your Monthly Budget
What Is an Easy Lunch to Eat at Home?
Below you will find more than 40 ideas for easy lunches that you can eat at home! (And they work great for an easy dinner idea, too!)
You can use these quick and easy lunch options to do easy meal planning. Meal planning is a great way to save both time and effort in the kitchen (and at the grocery store!), and it is a great way to save tons of money, too!
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43+ Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas
If you are looking for simple meals, you will love this list of easy lunches!
1. Peanut butter sandwiches
Peanut butter and jam or jelly sandwiches, peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and peanut butter and honey sandwiches are about as simple as you can get, but they are still some of my favorite easy and quick lunches!
2. Tuna melt
Take your tuna sandwiches up a notch by adding your favorite cheese and grilling them! Yum!
3. Tuna fish (and pickle or relish) sandwiches
One great way to spruce up regular tuna fish sandwiches is to add relish, pickles, or celery to the traditional tuna and mayo or tuna and salad dressing. Add a squirt of your favorite mustard for another splash of flavor!
4. Egg salad sandwiches
Egg salad sandwiches from hard-boiled eggs chopped up and mixed with mayo or salad dressing is so simple, but I just love them! You can make them even more filling by adding a slice of your favorite cheese.
5. Tuna fish and egg salad sandwiches
Like tuna sandwiches? Like egg salad sandwiches? Why not bring them together and make tuna fish and egg salad sandwiches? Tasty!
Boil two or three eggs to your preferred hardness (we usually boil them for about 10 minutes), let them cool in cold water for about 10 minutes, and then peel and chop.
Then add the tuna from a can, the chopped eggs, and enough mayo or salad dressing to coat well. Add a dash of mustard if you want and relish or diced pickles if you like, and voila! Spread on your favorite bread, and enjoy!
6. Luncheon meat and cheese sandwiches (with tomatoes and lettuce or spinach, if desired)
For this easy lunch, pair one or two of your favorite types of deli luncheon meat with a slice or two of your favorite cheese(s), add tomatoes and lettuce or spinach (spinach works great and adds more nutrition), and mayo and mustard if you like, and bon appetit! Enjoy with carrot sticks, apple slices, or your favorite chips or crackers to make it a meal.
7. Chicken salad sandwiches
Chicken salad sandwiches are another of my favorite easy and quick lunch ideas. And I love how diverse they can be! But for the simplest version, take precooked (or canned) chicken breast, chop it up, and mix with mayo or salad dressing and salt and pepper and any of your favorite seasonings you want to try.
To spruce it up, you can add chopped apples, chopped celery, raisins, craisins, sesame seeds, chopped grapes, chopped peanuts (or your other favorite nuts), or any combination of the above. So tasty!
8. Grilled cheese sandwiches
Grilled cheese sandwiches are another of our family favorite quick and easy lunch ideas. To make, just slice your favorite cheese, make the sandwiches, and grill on the stove or a griddle. You can spread the outside of the bread with butter or margarine if you like for a more golden brown, but you don’t have to.
For some fun variations, add your favorite variety or two of luncheon meat. Or add thinly sliced grilled chicken, or large slices of tomato.
You can eat your grilled cheese sandwiches with the traditional tomato soup or with cream of mushroom soup, or you can do like we sometimes do and make tomato with cream of mushroom soup (makes the tomato soup even creamier).
My cousins also love their grilled cheese sandwiches with ketchup, so that’s another option, as well.
Traditional quesadillas are another of my favorite easy lunches. They are a great alternative to grilled cheese sandwiches. You can follow the same directions as above, and you can add your favorite luncheon meat, if you like. My younger siblings also liked what they called “hot dogadillas” when they were growing up, so if your kids love hot dogs, you can give that a try!
Adding spinach or salsa to your quesadillas is a great way to add extra nutrients.
10. Cheesy crust skillet pizza
This is a fun (and quick) alternative to traditional pizza. All you need is cheese, marinara (or alfredo or other) sauce (if desired), and your favorite pizza toppings!
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle evenly with your favorite cheese, to cover the pan (2+ cups, depending on the size of your frying pan).
Cook until the cheese it melted, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Then spread on the sauce (if using), and sprinkle with additional cheese, pepperoni, sliced olives, or other favorite toppings. Cook until cheese is bubbly and edges are lightly browned. Enjoy!
11. Backpackers pizza
This is one of our favorite backpacking meals, but it works great as a simple lunch (or dinner!), too. All you need are tortilla shells, marinara or spaghetti sauce (or omit, if needed), your favorite shredded cheese, and pepperoni and/or other favorite toppings.
Coat the outside of a tortilla with butter or margarine (or omit), and then fill with the toppings. Then place in a heated skillet and fold over one side of the tortilla. Cook until lightly browned, and then flip and lightly brown the other side. Cheese inside should be melted. Yum!
12. Avocado egg salad sandwiches
This is a fun alternative to traditional egg salad sandwiches. To your mayo and chopped hard-boiled eggs, add thin slices or cubed avocado, mix, and spread on your favorite bread, or wrap in a tortilla.
13. Barbecue chicken sandwiches
This is a great, quick and easy lunch when you have leftover chick to use up. Simply shred the leftover chicken, heat it up, add your favorite barbecue sauce to taste, put on a bun or your favorite bread, and enjoy!
Like many of these recipes, this can be a great quick and easy lunch for work, if you want to take it with you on the go.
14. Bacon, lettuce, tomato, and cheese sandwiches
Mmmm. BLTs. It doesn’t get much better than that. (Only when the bacon is flaccid, not crispy. Never crispy! :P) Tastes great with toasted bread. Another of my favorite easy lunches. Spread on mayo, if you don’t mind the extra calories.
15. Garlic chicken sandwiches
For this easy and quick lunch idea, take your favorite type of buns, and cut them in half if needed. Then butter with a mix of butter (or margarine), garlic powder, and parsley (optional). Broil the buns in the oven for a couple of minutes, until they are nicely toasted.
Then add grilled chicken, tomatoes, lettuce or spinach, olives or pickles (optional), and mayo. Eat while warm.
16. Chicken Caesar salad
Chicken Caesar salad is one of my faves! To the traditional green salad, add thinly sliced, cooked chicken (or cubed chicken is fine too), sliced hard-boiled eggs, chopped cooked bacon pieces if desired, croutons, Parmesan cheese, and Caesar (or other; I prefer ranch) dressing.
17. Chicken salad
For chicken salad, I like spinach (or use your favorite lettuce), chopped cooked chicken breast, tomatoes, shredded carrots, chopped broccoli, chopped cauliflower, and ranch. You can also add shredded or cubed cheese, and use whatever dressing you prefer.
18. Green salad
For traditional green salad, I like spinach (or use your favorite lettuce), tomatoes, shredded carrots, chopped broccoli, chopped cauliflower, croutons, cheese, and ranch. I also like to sometimes add ham or chicken. You can of course use whatever dressing you prefer.
I’ve discovered that when I really like green salad, it’s because I basically tern it into a sandwich (croutons, cheese, ham, and so on). 🙂
19. Spinach and strawberry salad
This is another simple to make salad. I keep it easy with spinach, sliced strawberries, occasionally slivered almonds, and poppy seed dressing. Yum!
20. Avocado tuna melt
For this tasty quick and easy lunch idea, just added sliced avocado to the tuna melt described above.
21. Veggie tuna wraps
For these simple wraps, you can include grated carrot, chopped tomato, chopped spinach (or baby spinach leaves), and chopped red onion (if desired).
Mix tuna, mayo, and lemon juice (if desired) in a small bowl. Then add this mixture to the center of your tortillas. Then add the veggies, wrap it up, and enjoy.
22. Avocado and chicken salad
To your favorite chicken salad, add chopped or finely sliced avocado.
23. Chicken avocado salad sandwiches
And for this variation, add chopped avocado to your chicken salad mixture to enjoy in your sandwiches.
24. Chicken and tomato pitas
For this simple meal, prepare chicken like you would for chicken salad sandwiches (remember to include your favorite seasonings), and then add chopped tomatoes. Put them in a pita, and enjoy!
25. Bacon, lettuce, and tomato wrap
For a fun twist on a common easy and quick lunch idea, instead of making BLTs, make bacon, lettuce (or spinach), and tomato wraps.
26. Sloppy joes
Sloppy joes are another great lunch option for when you have a little time to cook. I like this sloppy joe recipe from The Chunky Chef.
27. Chicken fajitas
Chicken fajitas are another great option for quick and easy lunches. For this one, grill chicken on the stove with your favorite veggies like red, green, and yellow peppers, onions, and whatever other veggies you want to include (we often include broccoli and carrots with ours). You can use fajita seasoning from a packet (what we usually do), or use your favorite poultry seasonings on hand.
Cook it up, wrap it in a tortilla, and enjoy.
28. Chicken quesadillas
You can make chicken quesadillas really quick if you have leftover chicken or want to use canned chicken, or you can grill it up in about 10 minutes and add it to your quesadillas. You can also add salsa (on the inside, or dip the quesadillas in salsa).
29. Meatball sub sandwich
Making meatball subs is a great way to use leftover meatballs.
30. Pizza bagels or pizza buns
This is a great way to get pizza, fast! Take plain or savory bagels and add cheese and pepperoni and your favorite other toppings, and enjoy. Or use buns, instead.
Or you can make meatballs in about 30 minutes with this simple meatballs recipe.
31. Leftover pasta frittata
Leftover pasta frittata is a great way to use your leftover spaghetti from last night (with or without the sauce). Simply add eggs and Parmesan cheese. You can find a simple leftover pasta frittata recipe here.
32. Creamy lemon chicken pasta
Creamy lemon chicken pasta is another delicious and filling option for easy and quick lunches. This is a quick creamy lemon chicken pasta recipe here.
33. Grilled chicken sliders
Grilled chicken sliders are another tasty option for fast and easy lunch ideas. And they are super quick if you already have the grilled chicken left over from last night.
34. Cauliflower pizza
Pizza with cauliflower pizza crust is another tasty lunch option. This is quick if you already have the cauliflower crust. If you don’t, this is a tasty cauliflower pizza crust recipe here.
35. Pesto pasta
Pesto pasta is another delicious and easy lunch idea. This pesto pasta recipe from Love and Lemons is ready in just 25 minutes!
36. Bean and cheese burritos
Bean and cheese burritos are another great quick and simple lunch that is also really budget friendly.
To make the bean and cheese burritos, take a can of refried beans and add any favorite spices you would like such as chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin (1/4 teaspoon is a good amount to start). You can mix in a little salsa (one to two tablespoons) if you like,
Then either mix in cheese, or spread the mixture on the tortillas and then sprinkle cheese on top.
Then cook in 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat. Begin by placing seam side down, and then turn every 30 to 60 seconds until golden brown on all sides.
Serve with salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or other favorite toppings.
37. Bacon avocado salad
For this salad, you can use your favorite lettuce, chopped tomatoes, thinly sliced or chopped red onions, crumbled bacon (8 to 12 ounces is good for 4 good-sized servings, or scale down from there), 3 medium ripe avocados, cubed, and a tablespoon or two of lemon juice. Add a cup of crumbled feta cheese, if desired (or use your favorite cheese).
To make, combine all ingredients in a large bowl except the avocados and lemon juice. Stir those. Then add the avocado and lemon juice to a small bowl and mix them first, and then add them to the salad.
Sprinkle with the cheese, if using.
Serve with your favorite dressing.
38. Cheese and avocado salad
For cheese and avocado salad, you can follow the directions above, and just substitute spinach if you want in place of your favorite lettuce (or omit), and then add your favorite cheese, cubed or shredded, Serve with your favorite salad.
39. Stand-up tacos
This is another quick lunch idea that I love. If you have leftover taco meat (ground beef, chicken, or pork), that makes this even quicker.
On your plate, put some broken tortilla chips and top with your favorite taco toppings, such as meat, chopped tomatoes, chopped lettuce, shredded cheese, sliced olives, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. Then top with ranch dressing, if desired, and enjoy.
40. Sesame chicken stir fry
Sesame chicken stir fry is another tasty option for easy lunches. I like this simple sesame chicken recipe. If you want, you can add your favorite veggies to the recipe, such as chopped broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, carrots, and more.
41. Easy pasta salad
If you have leftover pasta, making an easy pasta salad is a great way to use it up. My favorite pasta salad I make with about 4 cups of cooked pasta, sliced carrots (about a cup), chopped broccoli (about a cup), chopped pepperoni, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, a tablespoon of sugar, 1/4 cup of mayo, and salt and pepper to taste
42. Macaroni and cheese
Macaroni and cheese from a box is one of the easiest lunch ideas. You can add broccoli, carrots, onions, and/or peppers to it, too, to make it more nutritious. You can also add cooked ground beef, cooked chicken, salsa, and more of your favorite cheese to spruce it up at the end, if you like.
If you want to make your macaroni and cheese from scratch, I like this simple recipe.
12 ounces elbow macaroni (or other pasta)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups milk
1 to 2 cups shredded cheese
Boil the noodles as directed in a large pot. In a separate pan, melt the butter, and sprinkle in flour and stir to make a roux. Add the milk, cheese, salt, and pepper. Combine with the noodles. For a creamier texture, add more milk. Add more cheese, if desired.
43. Fried avocado tacos
If you love avocado, try this twist on a classic dinner staple. You can find a tasty fried avocado tacos recipe here.
44. Deli meat and cheese wrap
For this simple lunch idea, use your favorite luncheon meats and cheeses, and put them in a tortilla or your favorite bread wrap. You can spread your favorite cream cheese (or mayo or salad dressing), and include favorite fixings like spinach, tomatoes, avocado, or red onions. Yum!
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Final Thoughts about Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas
There really are a lot of options for quick and easy lunches that you can either make and enjoy at home or make ahead of time to enjoy at work or elsewhere. Many of the ideas listed below work great for on the go.
What other quick and easy lunch ideas do you love? What are your favorite easy and quick lunches that you turn to again and again? Leave a comment below and let me know. I would love to hear your thoughts!