25 Lunch ideas for when you “just can’t even…”

It’s almost back to school time again for the kids, and you may be lightly panicking with all of the prep that the new school year brings (especially in these uncertain times). Or maybe you have transitioned to a permanent WFH situation, and you’re tired of your old lunch routine. Below, I’ve assembled a quick list of un-recipe ideas for that dreaded workday (or lazy weekend!) you can’t be arsed to cook, yet ordering out isn’t your bag either.

Most of the un-recipes below use fresh, unprocessed or minimally processed ingredients, but I’m not averse to using convenience items (like a can of soup or package of ramen) to make things a little easier for those in a time crunch. Microwaves and toaster ovens are your BFF with these assemblages, though you may occasionally need to break out a pot or pan (ex. grilled cheese), or consider prepping a batch of an ingredient (ex. rice) for the following week. And with the ramen, you can purchase blocks of ramen noodles without the flavour packet, and just boil them up with a stock cube or pre-made broth of your choice.

This is by no means a comprehensive list; many of the ideas below actually do have links to recipes where I felt it may be necessary to expand on the “how-to”. For those that don’t have links, I’ve included a basic ingredient list and sometimes instructions. However, believe me when I say that these are all very simple and quick to make, and usually require very few ingredients or prep.

Happy lunch-enlivening!

(c) BirdHouse Diaries
  1. English muffin pizzas
  2. Toasted tomato sandwiches – toast of choice, mayo, fresh tomatoes, salt, pepper (can also add pre-cooked bacon and lettuce to make tasty blt’s!)
  3. Microwaved loaded baked potato
  4. Beans on toast (my British heritage!) – Tin of favourite baked beans (heated), 2 slices toast, butter, salt and pepper
  5. Soup over steamed rice (I did this a LOT in my low-income youth; hot, nourishing and filling) – Heat soup of choice, pour over hot steamed rice
  6. Microwave 4-minute Chicken Quesadilla
  7. Grilled cheese sandwiches (great with tomato slices or bacon!) – Bread and cheese of choice, butter; assemble sandwich and grill both sides in pan until brown
  8. TikTok ramen
  9. French toast omelette sandwich
  10. Greek yogurt with sprinkle of berries, granola, flax and/or chia seeds
  11. Microwave omelette in a mug (great on toast!)
  12. Easy vegan pasta salad
  13. Sheet pan toasted sandwiches/paninis
  14. Avocado toast – Toast of choice, buttery spread of choice, slice or mash soft avocado overtop, salt and pepper
  15. Hummus toast with tomato and balsamic vinegar – Toast of choice, hummus flavour of choice; add tomato slices and drizzle vinegar overtop
  16. Tex-Mex chicken salad
  17. Ham and cheese tortilla wraps
  18. Caprese salad – Sliced regular or baby tomatoes, bocconcini slices or pearls, minced red onion, olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper
  19. Tuna salad on lettuce leaves
  20. Microwave nachos – Tortilla chips, marble or Tex-Mex cheese, salsa, cooked ground beef or tinned black beans, sliced jalapenos and green onions (optional)
  21. 5 minute microwave mac n cheese
  22. 2 minute microwave baked tomato and cheese – Whole tomato, cored and sliced in half, cheese of choice, salt and pepper
  23. Salad in a jar
  24. Ploughman’s Lunch (Brit heritage raising its head again!)
  25. Green Goddess Pasta Salad (can omit making your own GG dressing and purchase pre-made dressing or another creamy dressing of your choice)
(c) BirdHouse Diaries


One Comment Add yours

  1. Linda K says:

    I love English muffin pizzas!


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