There’s no reason for lunchtime to be a chore. I have plenty of quick entrees that can be made for a great mid-day meal. Here are 7 food ideas for lunch that I find to be very useful when I’m in a hurry and need to make something quickly for my hungry crowd.
7. Shrimp Pasta Salad
For this, you’ll need to cook your pasta first and make sure it is rinsed well in cold water. Add a bit of olive oil to the pasta when it has been drained and rinsed. This will keep it from clumping together. I use a 12 ounce package of pasta for this recipe. Toss in a cup of sour cream, a few tablespoons of minced garlic, a cup or two of frozen peas that have been thawed, and then seasoning to taste. I like to add salt, pepper, parsley flakes, and fresh thyme. Once this is all mixed together I add the shrimp. Use the cocktail shrimp in the freezer section. Let them set in some cool water for a few minutes, drain, and then toss them into the pasta mixture.
6. Pigs in a Blanket
I know this name is attached to different types of food, depending on where you live. In the north, I found out it was sausage in cabbage leaves, in the south it tends to be hot dogs in biscuits. I like to use sausage and wrap it in croissants. The croissants in the can work best, since they aren’t already cooked and can be wrapped around each sausage. The frozen sausage links work well for a quick lunch creation, but this recipe can be used with any type of sausage link. If you have to cook the sausage, then it will only add on a bit of time to preparation. Be sure to bake the pig in a blanket as long as the croissant container says to. Undercooking them leaves a gooey bottom on the ‘blanket’ which can be sort of unappetizing.
5. Stir Fry
With the many types of frozen vegetables and quick cooking rice, this is a meal that can be whipped up in less than 20 minutes. If you want to add some meat, then it might take a bit longer. I have some corners that I tend to cut, when it comes to adding meat. I heat up the wok and add in the frozen veggies. When these are almost thawed I throw in a can of chicken that has been drained. I’ll have some water and quick cook rice boiling while the meat and veggies finish heating up. I like to use the stir fry sauce in the jar. I add it to the veggies and meat when they are almost completely heated up.
4. Miniature Pizzas
I’ve made tons of main courses and desserts from biscuits, but this is a favorite of my kids. Take a can of jumbo biscuits and roll or pat each biscuit until it is a flat circle. Place a few pieces of pepperoni and sprinkle some cheddar and mozzarella cheese on top. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at the degrees listed on the can. If they seem a bit gooey after this amount of time, then leave them in until they are starting to turn brown. Watch them closely though. They burn quick!
3. Sandwich Assortment
Making sandwiches doesn’t take long at all. I like to make a variety for everyone to choose from. I’ll make turkey and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, and lettuce and tomato sandwiches. I cut each of these up into four triangles and serve. I usually put sandwich spread on the turkey and cheese, while the lettuce and tomato have mayo on them. I try to stick to simple sandwiches that can be eaten without the worry of everything falling off of the bread during each bite.
2. Quick Veggie Soup
I learned this from my aunt and it is definitely a yummy soup that doesn’t take all day to cook. Brown about a pound of hamburger or cubes of steak, add this meat to a can of spaghetti sauce of your choice, two cans of water and two cans of veggies. You can use a can of carrots and a can of corn or peas. The veggie combo is all up to you. When adding the cans of water, use the spaghetti sauce can for measuring the amount of water. Heat all of this up to the temperature you want it to be and serve.
1. Chicken Quesadillas
I always have a stack of tortillas in the fridge and a bag of shredded cheese. These two are a must for making chicken quesadillas with lots of flavor. Heat up a griddle before you start zapping the ingredients in the microwave. Use some cooked chicken that has been shredded into long stringy chunks, this rough texture holds the sauce the best. Pour some Thousand Island dressing on the chicken pieces and put it in the microwave for about 1 minute. Put this mixture on top of a tortilla, sprinkle with sharp cheddar cheese, place another tortilla on top, and cook for 1 more minute in the microwave. Take this quesadilla out of the microwave and toast on both sides on the griddle. I usually make up a dipping sauce out of sour cream and taco sauce.
Hopefully you find something in my list of 7 food ideas for lunch that you can try out the next time you are at a loss for what to make. Do you already have a quick lunch food that you prefer to make most of the time? Have you heard of something that you’d like to try, but haven’t had the time to make it yet?