Two bowls filled with tortellini, peas, and spinach.
Stephen Kent-Johnson
1 of 9

Easy Tortellini Soup

Easy tortellini soup is a quick and simple weeknight recipe made with store-bought tortellini, spinach, peas, and chicken broth. Super simple and perfect for the entire family.
A halved fancy tuna melt with tomato and cucumber on a baguette on a piece of parchment.
Kate Whitaker
2 of 9

Fancy Tuna Melt

A fancy tuna melt is definitely the best kind of tuna melt. Swiss (or Gruyere) cheese, cucumber, tomato, and a splash of lemon juice, all served on a warm baguette. This isn’t your Mama’s tuna sando.

This is an amazing tuna melt recipe! I put it on a thinly sliced everything bagel. Yum!

A black skillet containing a cheese omelet, topped with chives and Gruyere.
Åsa Dahlgren
3 of 9

Cheese Omelet

This cheese omelet is fluffy and filled with fresh herbs, goat cheese, Gruyère, and sour cream. A classic that’s easy, simple, and satisfying any time of day. Here’s how to make it.
A bowl inside another bowl filled with Thai chicken salad with peanut dressing on the side.
Allison Day
4 of 9

Thai-Inspired Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

This easy Thai-inspired chicken salad with tangy peanut dressing makes lunch something to look forward to, with loads of veggies and chicken.

This was a perfect salad. I gently poached some chicken breasts and followed the directions almost exactly.

I doubled the dressing because…….well why not? Loved the combination of mint, scallions and peanut butter!

ellen f.
Arugula, pear, and blue cheese salad on three plates, beside glasses of water, forks, and a salt shaker.
Eva Kolenko
5 of 9

Arugula Salad with Pear and Blue Cheese

This arugula salad with pear and blue cheese is quick, easy, and healthy. Not only that, it tastes spectacular thanks to a subtly sweet honey vinaigrette with walnuts. Tasting is understanding.
A cheese crusted grilled cheese sandwich in a skillet.
Christina Lane
6 of 9

Cheese-Crusted Grilled Cheese

Cheese-crusted grilled cheese is just like what its name implies. It’s a grilled cheese sandwich whose insides are oozing with your favorite cheese while the outside is coated with a crisp, crunchy Parmesan crust. Sigh.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to fillings for grilled cheese sandwiches, but the coating for this one is the star. I added a bit of chopped fresh parsley and garlic to the Parmesan and used a homemade seeded bread.

Cooking slowly is key so that the crust doesn’t get too brown before the cheese melts. A delicious treat to brighten a dismal winter’s day.

A stack of halved reuben sandwiches on a wooden cutting board.
Chia Chong
7 of 9

Reuben Sandwich

Use smoked or non-smoked corned beef brisket in this recipe but don't deny yourself the joy of tangy sauerkraut and the glorious nuttiness of Swiss cheese.
A yellow and white pot filled with smoked salmon pasta and garnished with fresh chives.
Haarala Hamilton
8 of 9

Smoked Salmon Pasta

This smoked salmon pasta is a simple meal that creates lotsa flavor by easily tossing together spaghetti and smoked salmon with a lemon cream sauce. Did we mention it’s on the table in less than half an hour?

I made this smoked salmon pasta for dinner as I was pleasantly surprised I had everything on hand to make it. And I’m so glad I did! If you love smoked salmon and want a new way of enjoying it other than on a bagel with cream cheese, then give this recipe a whirl. It’s creamy, smokey, and really simple to prepare.

Aryn S.
Three servings of hot dog on a baguette with mustard on a paper napkin.
Russell van Kraayenburg
9 of 9

Hot Dog on a Baguette

Who said hot dogs can't be glamourous? This French hot dog is proof to the contrary.

Lunch Recipe FAQs

What easy lunch foods can I pack?

If you’ve got access to a refrigerator and a microwave, the sky’s the limit as to what you can tote along to work. Soups, easy pasta recipes, last night’s leftovers, and egg-salad sandwiches are all great options.

If you’re going to be on the go, and need a quick lunch that’s portable and easy to eat, try this Vietnamese-style chicken salad, or a classic tuna salad sandwich.

What types of lunch recipes can be prepared ahead and reheated?

These Mediterranean eggplant wraps or these tandoori chicken wraps take a little extra time but can be prepared in advance. If you’d prefer a hot lunch, try this leftover pasta frittata, which makes use of leftovers and can be reheated for lunch, or make up a big batch of easy chili and stash it in the freezer.

can you suggest an easy lunch menu to serve to guests?

For an easy, elegant light lunch, serve this apple, fennel, and orange salad, toasted sourdough bread, and a pitcher of sweet tea. Round out the meal with a plate of old-fashioned peanut butter cookies. For a heartier entree, try this asparagus, egg, and cheese strata.

What’s your favorite quick and easy lunch recipe or what types of lunch recipes would you like to see more of? Let me know in a comment below.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

Hungry For More?

5 Easy Chicken Cutlet Recipes

These easy chicken cutlet recipes are the perfect solution for busy weeknights. Find your favorite way to enjoy this quick-cooking healthy protein.

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