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5 Easy Lunch Recipes You Can Almost Make While Your Coffee Brews

We know it’s tough enough just getting out the door in the morning, let alone finding time to pack your lunch, so we’re here to help with 5 lunch recipes you can prepare in the minutes it takes your coffee to brew.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad

A little prep the night before goes a long way in making this easy, versatile, and delicious weekday lunch. See below for the recipe to one of our favorite fall pasta salads, or use any combination of vegetables you like, it’s hard to go wrong. 

The night before, cook pasta and prepare vegetables, so in the morning all you have to do is combine your ingredients in a tupperware, mix in a favorite vinaigrette, and you are good to go!

Keep it vegetarian or add in a protein of your choice to make it a heartier, more filling meal.

See below for a detailed recipe of our favorite fall pasta salad.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad

Servings: 4 (this can be portioned out and brought for lunch multiple days)

Difficulty: 2

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups zucchini, coarsely chopped

1 ½ cups yellow summer squash, coarsely chopped

1 ½ cups eggplant, coarsely chopped

1 cup asparagus spears, cut into thirds

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

10 ounces dried fusilli pasta

Vinaigrette (enough to coat pasta)

Instructions

The night before:

Preheat oven to 415 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a roasting pan, combine zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, asparagus and cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, toss until lightly coated. Roast 35 to 45 minutes, turning once with a spatula.

Remove vegetable tray from the oven and let cool. Transfer vegetables to a Tupperware and store overnight in the refrigerator.

At the same time as your vegetables are roasting, bring water to a boil on the stove and cook pasta according to package instructions. When it is done, drain, rinse and store in a container in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning:

While your coffee is brewing, combine the pasta and vegetables into a single container, gently stirring in enough of the vinaigrette of your choice to coat the pasta, and your lunch is ready.

Divide a portion into a smaller container to bring to work for lunch.

English Muffin Pizzas

Looking for a flashback to one of your favorite childhood meals? These easy English muffin pizzas are the perfect portable bites.

Depending on the appliances in your office kitchen, you can either toast them at home for an instantly-ready lunch, or wrap prepared pizzas and toast at work just before you eat. Either way, pair with a piece of fruit for a fun and tasty weekday lunch!

See below for a detailed recipe of English muffin pizzas.

English Muffin Pizzas

Servings: 1

Difficulty: 1

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 7 Minutes

Ingredients:

2 English muffins, split in half

½ cup canned pizza sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

12 pepperoni slices

Instructions

Split 2 English muffins into 4 halves, toasting until crispy.

Remove the English muffin halves from the toaster and place them on the counter cut side up. Spoon pizza sauce onto each half, spreading to cover the surface. Sprinkle cheese over the sauce and top with a few pepperoni slices on each half.

Place the English muffin halves back in the toaster until the cheese is melted, or wrap halves to toast later at work.

Mediterranean Pita Pocket

Pita pockets might be the ultimate lunchtime ingredient. Fill them with salad, sandwich fixings, or any other filling you crave, and you have an easy, utensil-free meal!

The night before, chop your vegetables so in the morning all you have to do is add a few last ingredients and assemble your sandwich. Wrap halves, and you are out the door in minutes.

See below for a detailed recipe of Mediterranean Pita Pockets. 

Mediterranean Pita Pocket

Servings: 1

Difficulty: 2

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

¼ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

¼ cup black olives, pitted

¼ cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1/8 cup red onion, chopped

1 cup romaine lettuce, torn

1/8 cup crumbled feta cheese

Greek salad dressing

1 8-inch pita

Instructions

The night before:

In one container add cherry tomatoes, olives, cucumber and red onion. Store in the fridge overnight.

In the morning:

Add lettuce and crumbled feta to the vegetable mixture, stirring in Greek dressing to coat salad mixture. Cut the 8-inch pita in half, opening each half into a pocket, and then stuff the pita pocket halves with salad mixture. Wrap filled halves in foil and you are ready to go.

Taco Salad

If you are looking for a fast, fresh and healthy lunch, taco salad is a perfect choice that is easily packable for work! With little more to do than chopping a few vegetables and opening some cans you can have a tasty, filling lunch. Keep it vegetarian, or with a little prep the night before, add grilled chicken for a hearty boost. This one may come together quicker than even your single-serve machine can brew!

 

See below for a detailed recipe of this refreshed version of a favorite meal.

 

Taco Salad

Servings: 1

Difficulty: 1

Prep Time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded lettuce

½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

½ Haas avocado, sliced

¼ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed

¼ cup canned corn, drained

1 teaspoon lime juice

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Small handful of broken-up tortilla chips

½ cup salsa

 

Instructions

In a container, use the shredded lettuce as a base for your salad. On top of the lettuce, add in the cherry tomatoes, avocado, black beans and corn. Stir in lime juice, mixing the vegetables together. Lastly, sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and a handful of tortilla chips to finish.

Put the salsa in a separate container to mix in when you are ready to eat.

Caesar Salad Sandwich

A sandwich spin on a classic salad! Try this new take on Caesar salad for a simple, tasty lunch.

See below for the detailed recipe of this new lunch staple.

Caesar Salad Sandwich

Servings: 1

Difficulty: 1

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

2 slices of bread, any kind

1 tablespoon Caesar salad dressing

3-4 leafs of Romaine lettuce

3-4 ounces chicken, thinly sliced

Grated parmesan cheese, to taste

Instructions

Spread a Caesar salad dressing of your choice onto on both slices of bread. Top one slice of bread with lettuce and then top with your thinly sliced chicken. Sprinkle the other slice of bread with enough parmesan cheese to taste, and then place the bread (cheese and dressing side down) on top of the chicken. Wrap your sandwich and it is ready to go to work with you.