I love fixing a hot breakfast and warm, hearty suppers, but lunches are a bit trickier. Today, I’m sharing 5 easy lunch ideas for the family.
It seems like there are always a lot of recipes floating around for breakfasts, dinners, and desserts. Lunches tend to get left out of the mix.
I think the fact that many people aren’t home during lunch time might be part of the reason. Lunch is also in the middle of a busy time of day, so it tends to get overlooked.
Even I have a hard time thinking of different lunches to serve that don’t dirty my kitchen and that don’t take a lot of time.
Since we homeschool, I need to make sure that the lunches I prepare come together quickly, tide my kids’ bellies over until supper, and are simple.
I have been asked a lot about what I serve for lunch and I haven’t wanted to share it because they aren’t very fancy. We do a lot of cold lunches- deli meats, sausage, cheeses, etc.
We do have a few hot lunches that we like, and even though they aren’t super healthy, my kids love them and beg for them.
I hope these lunch items give you some inspiration for your own home.
Cold Lunch Ideas
I grew up eating school lunches. They weren’t anything to write home about and I rarely got excited about them… probably because my mom was such a good cook.
In the summer when I was home from school I usually ate a cold lunch. I never minded them too much because even a sandwich was better than the school lunch.
I am sharing some cold lunch ideas first to help give you some extra ideas for cold lunches in your home.
Chicken Salad on Croissants
Chicken salad is a go-to lunch for us because we often have leftover rotisserie chicken from when I make whole chickens in the oven.
If we don’t we typically have chicken breasts that we have grilled from another night that works fine, too.
Chicken salad is great because you can create a sauce that fits your family’s tastes and you can add in whatever you want. I will put my basic recipe below, but these are a few add ins that go great with Chicken Salad.
- Chopped Apples
- Halved Grapes
Basic Chicken Salad Recipe
- 5 cups shredded chicken
- 2 cups of “add ins”- whatever combination you choose. We love celery, nuts, and grapes.
- 1 cup mayo
- 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
If you don’t have home cooked chicken, you may use canned chicken in a pinch. Grocery stores also sell shredded chicken in the deli section.
If you don’t have croissants, you may use any bread or wrap for this lunch idea.
Turkey Wrap with Creamy Salsa
Clearly, I’m starting with my cold lunch ideas. We do a lot of sandwich-type lunches around here to keep things easy.
Turkey wraps take the bread and replace it with a simple wrap or flatbread. I try to pack these full of veggies and top it with a creamy sauce to help with flavor.
My kids love these and are stuffed after just one wrap. Here in the picture, the turkey wrap is in a flatbread, but they work best when actually wrapped in a tortilla.
I will share a few things that I put in our turkey wraps:
- Lettuce- usually spinach, bib lettuce, or romaine
- Chopped veggies- carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes
- Creamy Salsa- equal parts greek yogurt and salsa whisked together
Do your kids love sausage, cheese, and crackers as much as mine do? This is a great way to get rid of leftover cold meats and cheeses before they go bad.
I use whatever I have on hand to put together a charcuterie board. Sometimes, it has fruit and nuts on it. Other times, it might have veggies and olives.
If you have little toddlers, put their goodies into a muffin tin. Each space gets a special item in there all by itself. I used to do this when my kids were little all of the time.
Hot Lunch Ideas
I have two hot lunch ideas that are very simple and don’t take very long to put together.
If you have leftovers from the night before, by all means, reheat or repurpose that for lunch. I hope these two ideas will spark many more hot lunch ideas for you.
Turkey and Cheese Crescent Rolls
These are dead simple and not at all healthy, but they are warm, fast, and cheap.
I don’t make these very often, but I wanted to include them because my kids have loved these all of these years, from toddlers to teenagers.
It is so quick for me to roll these up and pop them in the oven. Serve them with a fruit and some sliced veggies to give your kids some added nutrients.
- 1 roll of crescent rolls
- 1 pound deli ham
- 8 slices cheese
- Unroll the Crescent rolls. Place ham and cheese inside. Roll them up and put them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake as directed on the crescent roll package.
Individual Na’an Pizzas
My kids go crazy over these small, individual pizzas. They pick their own toppings and make their own pizzas.
These take only minutes to bake up and the kids love them. Since they make their own pizzas, everyone gets what they want.
Again, they might not be packed with nutrients, but lunch tends to be a meal where I need to get them fed and on to other things.
I fix breakfast and supper every day and lunch needs to be simple. Mama needs a break- lol.
- Mini Na’an breads
- Mozzarella Cheese
- pizza sauce
- other pizza toppings
Other Lunch Ideas
I have other recipes that work really well for lunches, but I don’t make the meals with lunch in mind. It’s more of a “leftover” lunch.
- Meatloaf sandwiches- Take leftover meatloaf and eat it on toasted sourdough bread with some melted cheese on top.
- Baked Chicken Taquitos– These are a family favorite and they bake up the second day so well. Make extra the day you throw these together and have them as a second day lunch. Bake at 300 for 15 minutes to reheat.
- BLT Wraps– I make these for supper often in the summer, but the bacon doesn’t make me want to make them for lunch. The mess of frying bacon doesn’t appeal to me during the mid-day meal. I do like to make extra bacon when I make BLT wraps, crumble it, pop it in a ziplock and use it the next day for more BLT wraps. My kids all love these and cheer when I make them.