50 Easy Lunch Ideas That Are Better Than Ordering Takeout

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If you're getting tired of the same old lunches and looking for some new delicious lunch ideas, I've got you covered!

From the best taco salad and triple decker sandwich to all the soup recipes you could want! I've even got lunch ideas for kids, so if you're in a rut with packing school lunch, there are plenty of recipes your kids will love, like a crispy cheese quesadilla that's sure to make their box lunch anything but boring. Of course, there are a bunch of healthy lunch ideas too, like refreshing salads and even some meal prep lunch ideas that only get better with time. So, without further ado, here are 50 lunch ideas to get you out of your lunch rut!

Spiced Salmon Bowl with Thai Basil Yogurt from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Sandwich & Wrap Ideas

These sandwich recipes are anything but average. There's everything from crunchy lettuce wrap ideas to a tuna melt sandwich.

• Ginger Scallion Chicken Wraps

• Triple Decker California Club

• Chipotle Chicken Lettuce Wraps

• Turkey Larb Lettuce Wraps

• Open Faced Bell Pepper and Scallion Tuna Melt

• Leftover Asian Chicken Wraps

• Smoked Salmon Tartine

Chicken Kefta Wraps

Pesto Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Chicken from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Brussels Sprouts Salad with Persimmons from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Salad

There's no missing out on any of the flavors with these salad recipes. There's a salad for every season of the year. Some of my favorites are the viral cucumber salad, a super colorful farmers market chicken salad, and the perfect taco salad topped with crispy homemade tortilla strips. Trust me, they'll be your favorites in no time too.

• Pesto Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Chicken

• Brussels Sprouts Salad with Persimmons

• Cucumber Feta Salad

• Ginger Soy Herb Salad

• Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad

• Greek Salad with Salmon

• Taco Salad

• Avocado Kale Caesar

Curry Lentil Soup from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Italian Wedding Soup from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Soup

If you didn't know, we're big fans of soup over here, so you bet these soup recipes are going to be the best of the best! You must try the most delish potato soup, my all-time favorite lentil soup, and this minestrone soup loaded with every vegetable under the sun! Talk about easy lunch ideas right here!

• Curry Lentil Soup

• Italian Wedding Soup

• Chicken Chili Verde

• Potato Leek Soup

• Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili

• Chicken Tortilla Soup

• Sweet Potato Soup

• Not your Grandma’s Minestrone Soup

Summer Grain Bowl with Green Goddess Feta Dressing from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Quinoa Taco Bowl from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Bowls

I'm all for a quick and easy lunch bowl! From a quinoa bowl to a grain bowl to my DIY burrito bowl that rivals the one from chipotle - I know it's a big claim, and I stand by it.

• Summer Grain Bowl with Green Goddess Feta Dressing

• Quinoa Burrito Bowls

• Chicken Shawarma Bowls

• DIY Chipotle Burrito Bowl

• Ginger Scallion Chicken Bowls

• Chicken Larb Bowls

• Salmon Shawarma Bowls

Castelvetrano Greek Pasta Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Deconstructed Falafel Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Meal Prep Lunch Ideas

These are the kinds of recipes that only get better with time which means they're perfect for meal prep and quick lunch ideas. So, for example, you could make a big batch of this greek pasta salad that would last you for days or whip up the chicken salad for these stuffed pitas, and boom, not only will you have a delicious lunch for work but also save yourself a ton of time.

• Castelvetrano Greek Pasta Salad

• Deconstructed Falafel Salad

• Asian Chicken Slaw

• Green Goddess Quinoa Bowls

• Greek Chicken Stuffed Pitas

Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Schinkennudeln from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Lunch Ideas for Kids


I've even got school lunch covered for you! If you're looking for kids lunch ideas, I have plenty of kid-friendly recipes like gnocchi, cheesy quesadillas, and even how to make the cheesiest grilled cheese. Most of these recipes are also meal prep friendly, so you can make them ahead and pack them up in the morning before school drop off. And if you're looking out for the best things to pack lunch in, this Yeti lunch box is great at keeping things cool, or if you're wondering how to keep food warm for lunch, try using this Thermos which will keep everything hot for hours!

• Pesto Pasta Salad

• Garlic Buttered Angel Hair with Burrata

• Cheesiest Grilled Cheese

• Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

• Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad

• Schinkennudeln (Ham & Cheese Pasta)

• Crispy Cheese Quesadilla

• Cheesy Baked Gnocchi

Chicken Fajita Bowls from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Basil Vinaigrette Pasta from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Some of the most popular lunch recipes on What's Gaby Cooking that I'm sure you'll love as well, like these 25 minute chicken tacos or five different ways to make avocado toast. And I must add this chicken fajita Cobb salad is a must-try! I mean, it is seriously incredible. Think everything you'd normally wrap up in a tortilla but over a crisp bed of greens.

• Chicken Fajita Bowls with Guacamole

• Basil Vinaigrette Pasta (The ONLY summer pasta you need)!

• Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

• Chicken Fajita Cobb

• Avocado Toast – 5 Ways!

• Ground Chicken Tacos

Looking for more easy lunch ideas?

Take a look at this roundup of 10 easy make ahead lunches. If you're looking for dinner ideas next check out this roundup of 50 easy dinner ideas.

Quinoa Taco Bowls

Author: Gaby Dalkin
5 from 2 votes
A healthy version of a taco bowl loaded with quinoa, taco meat, plenty of cheese and the best tomatillo avocado salsa ever.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Lunch
Cuisine Mexican, Tex Mex, Southwestern
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

For the meat:

  • ¾ pound ground turkey or chicken
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning

For the Bowls :

  • 2 cups thinly shredded Romaine Lettuce
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup Pico de Gallo
  • ½ cup freshly grated colby jack cheese
  • 2 ears of corn shucked and corn sliced off the cob
  • 2 avocados diced
  • 3 green onions sliced
  • cilantro leaves
  • A few tablespoons red onion chopped or sliced
  • 1 cup black beans rinsed and drained

For the Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • ½ jalapeno, you can remove the seeds if you want, or leave them in for an extra kick
  • 1 small yellow onion, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the meat:

  • Place a medium skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds more. Add the ground chicken or turkey and continue to cook for 6-7 minutes until fully cooked. Add the taco seasoning and a few tablespoons of water and reduce heat to low. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes while you assemble the bowls.

For the Bowls

  • Divide the quinoa amongst 4 bowls and top with piles of the meat, romaine, pico, cheese, corn, avocado, green onions, cilantro, red onion, black beans and a dollop of the avocado dressing. Season with salt and pepper and serve as needed.

For the Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Remove the husks from the tomatillos. Rinse under warm water well and wipe clean. Cut the tomatillos in half and place into a baking pan with the onions and jalapeno. Roast for 20 minutes until they are tender. Remove and set aside to cool.
  • Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse for 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add a few tablespoons of water if needed until it’s smooth like a salad dressing. Serve as needed. Keeps in an air tight container for up to 5 days.

Notes

I love to keep these ingredients on hand, such as cooked quinoa in the fridge. It makes the meal come together quickly! It's also perfect for gatherings as everyone can customize their own dish.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 495kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 423mg | Potassium: 1292mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 2167IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 4mg
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One thought on “50 Easy Lunch Ideas That Are Better Than Ordering Takeout

  1. 5 stars
    Great post - I can whip up breakfast or dinner with no issues but when it comes to lunch I am always stuck in the rut!

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