Over 50 of the best lunch ideas to make lunchtime easy and delicious! These easy lunch recipes are healthy and so satisfying. Includes meal prep lunches, crave-worthy sandwiches, salads, soups, wraps and more!

Chicken burrito bowl with ingredients placed in different sections of the bowl.

Best Lunch Ideas

Say goodbye to boring lunches! Figuring out what to eat for lunch can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re looking for fresh lunch ideas to enjoy at home, packable lunches to take to work, or make ahead meal prep lunch recipes, I’ve got you covered! These mouthwatering recipes are quick, easy and (mostly) healthy. With over 50 lunch ideas in this recipe collection, you’ll be set with a scrumptious mid-day meal idea for every day of the week.

Meal Prep Lunch Recipes

There’s nothing more convenient than a make ahead lunch, and these easy meal prep lunch recipes are both healthy and loaded with flavor.

Quinoa salad in meal prep container with a fork.

Southwest Quinoa Salad

This flavor-packed quinoa salad has been one of my favorite lunch ideas for years. It’s super easy to make with quinoa, black beans, corn and a zesty chili-lime dressing. Hearty quinoa packs plenty of plant-based protein to keep you full for hours.

Meal Prep Taco Salad Lunch Bowls that you can make ahead! These easy taco salads are filled with taco beef, lettuce, cheese, black beans, corn and salsa! | www.kristineskitchenblog.com

Meal Prep Taco Salads

These meal prep taco salads are quick to assemble and stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days. You’ll look forward to lunchtime when you know these taco salads are ready to go!

salad in a jar ready to east

Chicken Salad Mason Jar Salads

Salads in a jar are a genius lunch idea that helps meal prepped salads to stay fresh for longer. The dressing goes in the bottom of the jar and then the ingredients are layered for maximum freshness. This healthy chicken salad is crisp and flavorful!

Meal Prep Chickpea Salad with fork

Greek Chickpea Salad

This tasty salad is full of Mediterranean flavors. It features protein-rich chickpeas, salty feta and briny kalamata olives, plus couscous. You’re going to want to make this vegetarian salad on repeat!

Wild rice salad in a white bowl.

Wild Rice Salad with Butternut Squash

You might think of wild rice salad as being more of a side dish than a lunch idea, but I guarantee you that this is one of the most delicious and satisfying lunches you’ll try. This hearty salad has a crave-worthy combination of flavors and textures and it stays fresh for days in the fridge.

These easy vegetarian Mason Jar Broccoli Salads with Kale and Apple are a yummy make ahead lunch option! | www.kristineskitchenblog.com

Mason Jar Broccoli Salads

Here’s another vegetarian lunch idea for you: healthy broccoli salad layered in a jar to keep everything fresh until you’re ready to eat. The dressing is made with protein-rich Greek yogurt, a healthier alternative to mayo. Chickpeas and kale help to bulk up this salad to make it more filling, while sunflower seeds and apple add flavor and crunch.

Chicken burrito bowl with ingredients placed in different sections of the bowl.

Burrito Bowl

Lunch doesn’t get much better than a chicken burrito bowl with beans, rice and pico de gallo! The components for these bowls can be prepped ahead of time to make assembling a quick lunch a breeze. Follow this recipe as is, or swap in your favorite ingredients to customize your bowl.

Wraps and More! You’ll Love These Easy Lunch Ideas

Stuck in a sandwich rut? Try a wrap instead! Here you’ll find easy lunch recipes to keep your tastebuds happy, from wraps and nuggets to fried rice, quiche and more.

Buffalo chicken wraps cut in half and stacked on a cutting board.

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

This wrap recipe is super simple to make and loaded with flavor. Spicy buffalo chicken, avocado, crisp lettuce and creamy blue cheese dressing are wrapped up in soft tortillas for a quick and tasty lunch.

Air fryer chicken nuggets served on a plate with a small dish of ketchup.

Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

The air fryer makes the best crispy chicken nuggets, and this recipe is so simple to prepare. You can make these ahead of time and freeze them to reheat later for a quick lunch.

Fried rice in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

Fried Rice

This easy fried rice recipe is ideal for a fast lunch. Use frozen veggies and leftover rice to save prep time. You can add leftover grilled chicken for extra protein.

Baked cauliflower mac and cheese in a casserole dish with serving spoon.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

If it’s low carb lunch ideas that you’re looking for, this cauliflower mac and cheese is just the thing. Cauliflower takes the place of pasta in this creamy “mac” and cheese recipe.

Chicken lettuce wraps with cashews on a white plate with green onions in the background.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

These healthy lettuce wraps are made with ground chicken, cashews and an orange-ginger sauce. Chopped carrot and bell pepper help to bulk up the filling and add more color and flavor.

Grilled vegetable hummus wrap served with grapes.

Hummus Veggie Wrap

These easy wraps are made with hummus, grilled veggies and spinach, plus pine nuts for crunch. Vegetables never tasted so good!

An easy broccoli cheese quiche recipe, made with just 5 ingredients! This broccoli cheddar quiche is a family favorite for dinner, breakfast or lunch!

Broccoli Quiche

Possibly the easiest quiche you’ll ever make, this 5 ingredient broccoli cheddar quiche is perfect for serving alongside a salad for lunch. You’ll definitely want a second slice!

baked potatoes on a plate, some topped with butter and some with sour cream and chives

Baked Potato

A baked potato (or baked sweet potato!) is an often overlooked lunch option, but load it up with toppings and it’s a completely satisfying meal. Try yours stuffed with chili, taco meat and salsa or broccoli and cheese. This lunch idea is make ahead-friendly, too.

These Creamy Avocado Vegetable Burritos are a healthy 30 minute dinner recipe! | www.kristineskitchenblog.com

Vegetarian Burritos

These healthy burritos feature pinto beans, avocado and veggies plus a creamy, spicy cilantro-lime yogurt sauce. Who else is ready to dig in?

Flavor-Packed Salads

I adore a big loaded salad for lunch, and here you’ll find my very favorite lunch salad recipes. With so many flavorful add-ins, these salads never get boring!

Farro salad with arugula, apple and feta in a serving bowl.

Farro Salad

This is my go-to meal-sized salad, and it just happens to be vegetarian. With farro, apple, cranberries, feta and almonds in a refreshing lemon dressing, you’ll want to make this farro salad on repeat.

spinach salad with quinoa in white bowl

Spinach Salad with Quinoa

Protein-rich quinoa makes this spinach salad especially satisfying. The combination of textures and flavors is completely irresistible!

Serving of taco salad in a salad bowl with two forks.

Taco Salad

This taco salad has it all: seasoned ground beef, crisp lettuce, crunchy tortilla chips, black beans, corn and salsa. You can add cheese and sour cream or skip them for a dairy-free lunch idea.

Orzo salad in a white bowl with lemon slices to the side.

Orzo Salad

Here’s another salad that packs in the Mediterranean flavors: orzo salad! Al dente orzo pasta, cucumber, red onion, chickpeas, kalamata olives and feta are all tossed in a zippy Greek salad dressing.

butternut squash salad with kale, candied walnuts, pomegranate seeds and goat cheese

Butternut Squash Salad

Looking for a lunch idea with plenty of fall vibes? This butternut squash kale salad is it! Roasted butternut squash, candied nuts, pomegranate seeds and goat cheese are truly irresistible in this colorful salad.

Cobb salad with balsamic dressing on large salad platter.

Cobb Salad

Who doesn’t love a classic Cobb salad? This one has all the fixings, including a tangy balsamic dressing. Prep the components ahead of time and then enjoy a lunch that will make your coworkers jealous all week long.

salmon salad with spinach and avocado served in a bowl and drizzled with honey mustard dressing

Salmon Salad

Salmon is the perfect healthy protein to keep you full for hours, especially when it’s served in this incredible spinach salad. Add this one to your list of lunch ideas, you’ll be glad you did!

close up of kale salad with apples, cranberries, pepitas and goat cheese

Kale Salad

Fresh, healthy and flavorful, this kale salad has so much to offer. Bulk it up with grilled or poached chicken breast to make it an especially filling lunch idea.

Kale Avocado Salad with quinoa and blueberries in a white bowl.

Kale Avocado Salad

Hearty kale, tender quinoa, creamy avocado and sweet blueberries make this kale salad anything but boring. This lunch idea is quick, healthy and delicious!

Crave-Worthy Sandwiches

Sandwiches are a trusty lunchtime standby, and for good reason. Simple to make and endlessly customizable, these delicious sandwich lunch ideas will never get boring!

Two halves of a chicken salad sandwich on whole wheat bread stacked on top of each other.

Chicken Salad

This is the best chicken salad recipe you’ll try! Crunchy celery, sweet grapes and a healthy, creamy dressing will make this your go-to chicken salad. It’s a great way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken.

Egg salad in a bowl with a spoon.

Egg Salad

Economical and supremely tasty, this egg salad is a lunchtime favorite! Save time by cooking the hard boiled eggs ahead or make the egg salad ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

air fryer grilled cheese sandwich cut in half with melty cheese stretching

Air Fryer Grilled Cheese

Comfort food doesn’t get any better than a grilled cheese sandwich, and the air fryer will be your new favorite way to make it! With ooey gooey cheese and toasty bread, this lunchtime indulgence is so worth it.

Ham and cheddar sliders on a serving plate.

Ham and Cheese Sliders

Simple and delicious, this easy slider recipe features ham and cheese plus honey mustard sauce sandwiched between sweet Hawaiian rolls.

Two tuna salad sandwich halves with lettuce stacked on top of each other.

Tuna Salad

Serve this healthy tuna salad in a sandwich, in lettuce wraps, with crackers, or in avocado halves. It will be your new favorite tuna recipe!

Three tuna melt sandwich halves stacked on top of each other.

Tuna Melt

Fancy up your tuna sandwich by turning it into a tuna melt. Adding cheese, tomato and buttery, toasty bread makes this classic lunch option even more irresistible.

Four BBQ chicken sliders with spinach and cheddar cheese on a plate.

BBQ Chicken Sliders

Leftover shredded chicken? Turn it into these adorable and oh so tasty chicken sliders. Pop them into the oven until the cheese melts and the bread gets toasty, then devour.

Four meatball sandwiches on a platter.

Meatball Sub

Got leftover meatballs? A meatball sub is the perfect lunch option! This satisfying sandwich is loaded with flavor.

Pizza and Pasta Lunch Ideas

When you’re craving something hearty and comforting for lunch, pasta and pizza are sure to satisfy.

Pesto pasta with pine nuts, parmesan and basil served on a plate.

Pesto Pasta

Cheesy, nutty pesto and pasta are a match made in heaven. Serve it with extra grated Parmesan cheese plus toasty pine nuts for crunch.

Spinach Pesto and Tomato Flatbread Pizzas - an easy dinner that you can have on your table in 30 minutes! These vegetarian pizzas are so good with a crispy whole wheat flatbread crust and crunchy pine nuts!

Spinach Pesto Flatbread Pizza

Using flatbread for pizza dough is an easy way to make homemade pizza at lunchtime. You’ll love the extra crispy crust and flavorful pesto sauce in this delicious recipe.

Mac and cheese on a wood serving spoon held over an instant pot.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

This mac and cheese is creamy, cheesy and comforting. Making it is a breeze thanks to the Instant Pot.

Italian pasta salad in a white bowl.

Pasta Salad

I love making a big batch of pasta salad to enjoy for lunches all week. This Italian version has olives, cheese, red onions and a zesty Italian dressing.

Chicken pesto pasta with green beans and tomatoes in a small bowl.

Spinach Pesto Pasta

All of you pesto lovers are going to want to make this spinach pesto pasta with chicken. It’s fresh, healthy and make-ahead friendly.

These Cozy Soups are Perfect for Quick Lunches

Soups are the ideal lunch idea. You can load them up with veggies and they’re so satisfying. I like to make a big pot of soup at the beginning of the week and enjoy it for lunches for days. Most soups also freeze well, too, making it easy to add variety to your meals.

Pot of minestrone soup.

Minestrone Soup

This hearty minestrone is my all-time favorite. With vegetables, pasta and beans in a flavorful broth, I could eat this every day.

Ladle of broccoli cheddar soup held over soup pot.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This broccoli cheddar soup is creamy, healthy and easy to make! When you’re craving comfort food, it’s the perfect way to warm up.

Lentil Soup served in a bowl with a spoon.

Lentil Soup

With tender lentils, warm spices, veggies and fire roasted tomatoes, this lentil soup is healthy, full-flavored and easy to make.

Homemade chicken noodle soup served in bowls with crackers on the side.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Cozy and comforting, chicken noodle soup is like a hug in a bowl. What day wouldn’t be better with a bowl of this warming soup for lunch?

Bowl of tortellini soup with parmesan and spoon.

Tortellini Soup

With only 15 minutes of active prep time, this tortellini soup is sure to become a favorite! Cheese tortellini, kale and veggies make this soup nice and hearty.

Vegetable soup in a dutch oven pot.

Vegetable Soup

Healthy vegetable soup made with lots of colorful veggies is a perfect satisfying lunch idea.

bowl of homemade tomato soup with grilled cheese in background

Tomato Soup

This homemade tomato soup has rich tomato flavor and a luxurious creamy texture. It’s easy to make with just a few pantry ingredients, and the perfect accompaniment to a grilled cheese sandwich.

Asparagus soup in a bowl topped with Parmesan and fresh dill.

Asparagus Soup

This simple asparagus soup is one that you’re sure to love. It has a bright, fresh flavor and a luxurious creamy texture, yet it’s made without cream.

Cabbage soup in a dutch oven pot with a ladle.

Cabbage Soup

If you’ve never tried cabbage soup, you are missing out. Richly flavored and full of healthy vegetables, this simple soup is likely to become a favorite.

Split pea soup with bacon in a white bowl.

Split Pea Soup

Comforting and flavorful, split pea soup is a perfect lunch idea. This one is made with bacon instead of a ham bone, to give you rich flavor with a more accessible ingredient.

More Healthy Lunch Ideas

Here are a few more fresh and healthy lunch ideas to inspire your mid-day meals.

Shrimp stir fry in a cast iron skillet.

Shrimp Stir Fry

Succulent shrimp, colorful veggies and a flavorful stir fry sauce make for a delicious, healthy lunch.

These Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Zucchini Noodles are a 20 minute meal that's gluten free and full of fresh flavors. This healthy dinner is made in one pot!

Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Zucchini Noodles

Light and fresh, this easy one pot dish is made with zucchini noodles instead of pasta. Lemon and garlic bring lots of zippy flavor.

Hummus served in a bowl, garnished with olive oil, paprika and fresh parsley.

Hummus

I love to serve hummus for lunch with fresh cut veggies and pita bread for dipping. It also makes an excellent sandwich spread.

Broccoli stir fry in a skillet.

Broccoli Stir Fry

Crisp-tender broccoli, mushrooms and bell peppers star in this easy vegetarian stir fry. Serve it over brown rice for a wholesome lunch idea.

Chicken burrito bowl with ingredients placed in different sections of the bowl.

50 Easy Lunch Ideas

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Lunch will never be boring again with this collection of over 50 easy lunch ideas! From meal prep lunches to crave-worthy sandwiches, salads, wraps and more, there's a lunch recipe for every craving in this list. Start with this burrito bowl recipe. The components can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for meal prep lunches.

Ingredients

Pico de Gallo*

  • ¾ pound ripe red tomatoes (plum/roma), 2-3 tomatoes, diced small*
  • cup finely chopped white onion
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • salt, to taste

Cilantro Lime Rice

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup long grain white rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from 1 lime
  • cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste

Chicken

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Remaining Ingredients

  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup canned corn, drained
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced; or guacamole
  • sour cream, lime wedges, optional, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Make the Pico de Gallo: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; stir. Set aside.
  • Make the Cilantro Lime Rice: Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and rice and toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the water and bring to a simmer. As soon as the pot comes to a simmer, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook at a very slow simmer without lifting the lid for 15 minutes. Then remove the pot from the heat and let the rice rest for 10 minutes with the lid on. Fluff the rice; stir in the lime zest, lime juice, cilantro and salt.
  • Prepare the Chicken: Meanwhile, combine the chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir or whisk to mix.
  • Place the chicken breasts in a zip-top bag or between two sheets of parchment paper and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound them to an even ½-inch thickness. Rub the seasoning mixture over all sides of the chicken breasts.
  • Grill chicken on an outdoor grill or oiled grill pan over medium to medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes and then chop into bite size pieces.
  • Assemble the Burrito Bowls: Divide the lettuce evenly between 4 bowls (or meal prep containers). To each bowl, add cilantro lime rice, chicken, pico de gallo, black beans, corn, and avocado or guacamole.

Notes

  • To save time, instead of making homemade pico de gallo, you can use store-bought pico de gallo or salsa.
  • When making pico de gallo, remove the core, seeds and juice from the tomatoes so that they don’t water down pico de gallo.
  • These burrito bowls are perfect for meal prep. The grilled chicken, rice and pico de gallo will stay fresh for about 3 days stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator. You can also prep the lettuce, black beans and corn and store in the refrigerator. It’s best to assemble the bowls right before serving to keep everything fresh.
Calories: 499kcal, Carbohydrates: 73g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 858mg, Potassium: 1341mg, Fiber: 15g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 7539IU, Vitamin C: 30mg, Calcium: 110mg, Iron: 4mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Course: Main Course
Tried this recipe?Mention @kristines_kitchen on Instagram or tag #kristineskitchenblog.
Collage of 8 lunch recipes with text overlay, "50 easy lunch ideas."
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