Get rid of lunch boredom with these delicious recipes!
Sometimes it can be a bit of a drag to decide what you are going to have for lunch. And not only are there some recipes we have all done over and over again, but the general go-to ideas can end up creating boredom. What’s more, once most people are bored, there is a problem of people ending up relying on fast food or unhealthy lunch options that will do nothing for their health.
We should take the chance and turn lunch into a light but filling meal that will keep us going until dinner but also be healthy and not slow us down for the rest of the day. It is a great idea to take meat out of the options, as most of us end up having it at dinner as well if we aren’t vegetarians or vegans. However, the question remains, What should we eat?
Here we have compiled a list of healthy, easy, and delicious recipes that are bound to turn lunch into your favorite meal of the day! To make things even better, some of these you can make ahead of time, and they will either keep in the fridge beautifully, or you will be set for your midday meal for a few days!
Let us know which recipe was your favorite in the comments below!
#1 Box Lunch Buddha Bowls
While they may appear to be millennial and Gen Z fads, Buddha bowls make an excellent lunch that can be assembled in a matter of minutes, even if you have to cook some protein and chop up a few ingredients. If anything, you can take any recipe that piques your interest and adjust it to your tastes, changing things up and adding others in.
The basic formula that you need to keep in mind when it comes to bowls is this one: a grain, a raw vegetable (such as kale or other leafy green), a roasted vegetable, a pickled vegetable, and some type of bean (or legume). You can take some things out and add proteins of your choice if you want to make it more hearty, but it will continue to be healthy!
Here’s our suggestion for your starting lunch Buddha Bowl!
- leftover (or freshly boiled) brown rice or quinoa
- chickpeas or black beans
- roasted sweet potato
- radishes, shredded cabbage, and carrot
- pickled ginger or pickled onions
- tahini sauce
- sesame seeds
To start your cooking process, you should wash all the vegetables you need, massage the kale thoroughly, and make sure your grains are ready. Preferably, you can use roasted veggies from last night’s dinner, but if you can do it the day off as well (toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then cook the sweet potato for up to 28 minutes at 425F or until tender),
Cut your radishes thinly (preferably using a mandoline), along with your cabbage, and make some carrot peels with a potato peeler. If you want to quickly pickle some red onions, thinly slice the onion and then add it to a bowl. Massage it gently with some oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper, and let it sit for a few minutes.
Once all your ingredients are ready, assemble them in sections in a bowl, then top with a generous drizzle of tahini sauce and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. Alternatively, you can toss them all together to blend all of the flavors.
#2 Soup for Lunch! Butternut Squash Soup
The best thing about this soup, besides the fact that it is absolutely delicious, is that you can keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days! You only need to cook once, and then you’re set for lunch for the next few days.
Healthy and convenient! And this goes for other types of soup as well, but before you start digging through your cookbooks, give our recipe a try!
- 1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
- 3 or 4 cups of veggie broth
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary
- salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra for serving:
- toasted pepitas
- homemade croutons
- chopped parsley
- sour cream
Before we get to cooking, you will have to prepare all your ingredients. When it comes to the squash, you should peel and deseed the vegetable, then cut it into cubes. Try to cut the squash into about the same-size cubes so they can all cook at the same time.
Chop your onion alongside your garlic, then make sure you have started your ginger after you peeled it. For the aromatics, chop your sage and mince your rosemary, then set aside and get to cooking.
Place a large pot over medium heat to heat up your oil before adding the chopped onion, seasoning it with some salt and pepper, and then saute it for about 8 minutes until it softens. Over the onion, add the squash and keep cooking for another 8 to 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until it has turned soft.
Add your aromatics (garlic, ginger, rosemary, and sage), then cook between 30 seconds and 1 minute until fragrant. Add 3 cups of the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, and cover with a lid before bringing the heat down to a simmer. Let everything simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes or until the squash is tender.
After letting everything cool a little, add it to your blender (it may need more batches) and blend until smooth. If you have an immersion blender, you can do this directly in the pot. If the blended soup ends up too thick, you should add more broth and blend again. After the soup reaches your desired consistency, season to taste.
Serve hot with a drizzle of sour cream, a sprinkle of chopped parsley, and with croutons and pepitas if desired.
#3 Italian Chopped Salad
Between you and us, this is just a fancy name for a salad that can end up being any sort of salad you may wish. The key ingredients are salad, tomatoes, and cucumber. But in reality, you can put your own spin on it, and as long as you chop everything, it will be the best Italian Chopped Salad out there! And an easy lunch to throw together!
However, we also prepared a basic, healthy, and delicious recipe for you to try out before you start making changes!
- 1/4 extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red vinegar
- 1/2 shallot
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Finely chop the shallot and the garlic clove before you add them to a small bowl. Then whisk them together with the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and oregano until combined. Put to the side to rest until the rest of your salad is ready.
- 1 small head of lettuce of your choice (preferably iceberg)
- 1 small red onion
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 4 ounces mini mozzarella balls
- 4 ounces salami
- 4 ounces provolone cheese
- (optional) dried oregano
- salt and pepper
Lunch Salad Instructions:
After washing all your vegetables, you should start prepping all of them for the salad. Take the iceberg lettuce, halve it through the middle, and then take out the core with your knife. Afterward, cut it into strips, preferably 1/4 inches, but any size that you prefer will work well. Then halve or quarter your tomatoes, as well as dice your Provolone cheese and salami. Make sure to drain and rinse your chicken.
In a large bowl, you can assemble all your ingredients, then drizzle the dressing over and toss to combine, making sure everything gets coated evenly. Give it a taste, and then season with salt, oregano, and pepper as needed.
If you want to make it vegetarian, you can take out the salami. For vegan options, you can add more veggies, even some roasted ones, and replace the salami with falafel or tofu!
Lunch is served!
#4 Tortellini Salad
If you want to not worry about making lunch on the same day, this salad is perfect, especially if you have made some tortellini pasta with sauce the night before. You can save some without the sauce and assemble the salad after dinner, put it away in a container, and then just take it out for lunch the next day!
- 18 ounces cheese/ham/vegan tortellini
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 14-ounce artichoke hearts
- 1 cup cooked/canned white beans
- 1/2 red onion
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 cup fresh basil
- Italian dressing
- parmesan or pecorino (optional)
- red pepper flakes (optional)
Before you start anything, you should cook your tortellini according to the package instructions. Then make sure your veggies are peeled and washed thoroughly. Afterward, you should half your cherry tomatoes (if you have normal tomatoes, you can just cube those), thinly slice your red onion, drain and rinse your white beans, and likewise, drain your artichoke and chop it.
Add everything into a big bowl together with the dressing to coat everything well. Add the basil and arugula afterward and toss again, then season to taste with salt and pepper. If desired, grate some parmesan on top and add some red pepper flakes for a little bit of a kick.
You can serve it right away or put it in the fridge for the next day’s lunch. What’s more, it keeps fresh for up to 4 days.
PS: This works great as a picnic side dish or lunch as well!
And if you’re looking for more ways to diversify your meals, you can always take a look at our good old friend, the potato! Here are all the best ways in which you can cook them!