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40 Easy Lunches You’ll Actually Look Forward To

Skip the same old PB&J. These quick and easy lunch ideas are here to change up your routine.

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Easy Chicken Salad

This easy chicken salad recipe with grapes is ready in a snap when using rotisserie chicken and a few quick chops of pecans, sweet onion and celery. —Julie Sterchi, Jackson, Missouri
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Tuna Melt on Cornbread

Try our rendition of an open-faced tuna melt. Serve it on cornbread for a quick lunch or dinner. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Turkey Spinach Salad with Maple Dressing

My husband and I love to hike in New England. The maple syrup in Vermont is wonderful, and we always bring some home to extend the vacation spirit. This recipe I created reminds us of those lovely days. —Jessica Gerschitz, Jericho, New York
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Peanut Butter, Chicken and Basil Sandwich

Stay with me, here. These classic Thai flavors work on so much more than noodles...try 'em on a sandwich and you won't be disappointed. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Hasselback Tomato Clubs

This no-fuss, no-bread riff on a classic is perfect during tomato season. Make it for lunch or pair with pasta salad for a light dinner. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Pesto Quinoa Salad

My daughter-in-law got me hooked on quinoa, and I'm so glad she did! I've been substituting quinoa in some of my favorite pasta recipes, and this dish is the happy result of one of those experiments. I love using my garden tomatoes and peppers in this salad; however, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted red peppers are equally delicious. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Open-Faced Pizza Burgers

I'm not sure where I first saw this pizza burger recipe, but I'm glad I did! My family requests this meal often. A dash of oregano livens up canned pizza sauce. —Sharon Schwartz, Burlington, Wisconsin
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Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

After having a salad like this at a restaurant years ago, I came up with this recipe. It is especially good when the spinach comes right from the garden to the table.
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Chicken Cucumber Pitas

I wanted a good recipe for pitas. Seeing the large stack of garden-fresh cucumbers on my counter, I decided to improvise and create my own filling. It was a huge hit. —Sheena Wellard, Nampa, Idaho
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Basil Chicken Sandwiches

I got the inspiration for this recipe when I knew my parents and in-laws were coming to see our new home. My mother-in-law has food allergies, my father-in-law has some very specific food preferences and my parents appreciate light meals. I created this chicken sandwich with fresh basil for our lunch. —Kerry Durgin Krebs, New Market, Maryland
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Indian Spiced Chickpea Wraps

Raita, an Indian condiment made with yogurt, elevates this vegetarian dish to a satisfying gourmet wrap. If you're in the mood to experiment, try diced mango or cucumber for the pineapple and add fresh herbs like cilantro or mint. —Jennifer Beckman, Falls Church, Virginia
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Sausage and Pepper Sheet-Pan Sandwiches

Sausage with peppers was always on the table when I was growing up. Here's how to do it the easy way: Just grab a sheet pan and the ingredients, then let the oven do the work. —Debbie Glasscock, Conway, Arkansas
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Shrimp Patty Sandwiches

Quite often when we eat at a restaurant, my husband will try something and tell me that I could make it better at home. That was the case with this shrimp patty. It had very few shrimp and needed more flavor. I made some improvements and now it's one my husband's favorites. — Tina Jacobs, Hurlock, Maryland
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Southwestern Pork Salad

As pork producers, we're proud to cook and serve the delicious product we raise. This tempting salad is refreshing and colorful. It's a succulent showcase for pork. I know your family will enjoy it as much as we do. -Sue Cunningham, Prospect, Ohio
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Dilly Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

These chickpea salad sandwiches are super flavorful and contain less fat and cholesterol than chicken salad. They make delightful picnic sandwiches. —Deanna McDonald, Muskegon, Michigan
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Focaccia Sandwiches

Slices of this pretty sandwich make any casual get-together more speical. Add or change ingredients to your taste. —Peggy Woodward, Shullsburg, Wisconsin
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Grilled Steak Bruschetta Salad for 2

Fire up the grill for this tasty salad. The meat will be done in a snap, leaving you more time to enjoy the summer evening. —Devon Delaney, Princeton, New Jersey
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Quick Tangy Sloppy Joes

I adjusted three different recipes to come up with this one. Kids like the tangy taste and request the sandwiches for birthday parties.—Anna Adams, Chatsworth, California
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Chicken & Onion Caesar Salad

My Caesar with grilled chicken is a healthier alternative to heavy meat and potatoes dishes. After grilling the kabobs, we serve them family style. —Melissa Adams, Tooele, Utah
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Quick Taco Wraps

I was running late one night, so I shopped in my own fridge and came up with ingredients that became taco wraps. Everybody at the table was a happy camper. —Katie Mitschelen, La Porte, Indiana
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Curried Egg Salad

A curry kick gives this egg salad big appeal. We love it when the weather gets warm. —Joyce McDowell, West Union, Ohio
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White Bean Arugula Salad

My red, white and green salad is inspired by the Italian flag. Top it with shaved Parmesan. —Malia Estes, Allston, Massachusetts
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Turkey Salad with Pear Dressing

This salad is perfect for using up leftover turkey, chicken or deli meat. Anjou pears are such a great winter fruit. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Crunchy Tuna Wraps

Packed with protein-rich tuna and fresh, crunchy veggies, these colorful wraps have sensational flavor—and they're good for you, too. —Edie Farm, Farmington, New Mexico
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Fajitas in Pitas

For a weekend lunch with company, we grill chicken and peppers to stuff inside pita pockets. The dressing doubles as a grilling sauce and a sandwich spread. —Clara Coulson Minney, Washington Court House, Ohio
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Asparagus Nicoise Salad

I’ve used my Nicoise as an appetizer or a main-dish salad, and it’s a winner every time I put it on the table. Here’s to a colorful, make-ahead salad! —Jan Meyer, St. Paul, Minnesota
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Sweet Macaroni Salad

A sweet out-of-the-ordinary dressing makes this macaroni salad special. My aunt gave me the recipe and it has become one of my favorites. I occasionally leave out the green pepper if I know that people don't like it, and it still tastes great. —Idalee Scholz, Cocoa Beach, Florida
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Italian-Style Veggie Wraps

Yummy! There are so many great flavors and textures in these wraps. Feel free to experiment with the ingredients—use mozzarella, pepperoni or any combo you like. —Maria Simmons, Rio Rancho, New Mexico
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Skinny Cobb Salad

This "skinny" version of Cobb salad has all the taste and creaminess with half the fat and calories. You can skip the coleslaw mix and do all lettuce, but I like the crunch you get with cabbage. —Taylor Kiser, Brandon, Florida
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Grilled Cheese & Pepper Sandwiches

This is a tasty and wholesome sandwich to make for one or two. It’s a nice twist on a grilled cheese, very tasty and filling and especially good with rye bread. —Arline Hofland, Deer Lodge, Montana
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Bacon Avocado Salad

Everyone in my family loves this bacon and avocado salad—even the younger kids! I serve it at pretty much every get-together I've hosted, and at this point, the recipe's been shared too many times to count. —Noreen McCormick Danek, Cromwell, Connecticut
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Guacamole Tossed Salad

The fresh blend of avocados, tomatoes, red onion and greens in my salad gets additional pizazz from crumbled bacon and a slightly spicy vinaigrette. —Lori Fischer, Chino Hills, California
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Microwave Egg Sandwich

If you're looking for a grab-and-go breakfast for busy days, this high-protein sandwich is low in fat and keeps me full all morning. Plus, it's only about 200 calories! —Brenda Otto, Reedsburg, Wisconsin
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Almond Strawberry Salad

It's easy to love this pretty salad topped with strawberries and sliced almonds. With just a few ingredients, it's loaded with flavor. —Renae Rossow, Union, Kentucky
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The Ultimate Grilled Cheese

These gooey grilled cheese sandwiches taste great for lunch with sliced apples. And they're really fast to whip up, too. Here's how to make grilled cheese the right way. —Kathy Norris, Streator, Illinois
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Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Blue cheese dressing and hot pepper sauce enhance these yummy tortilla wraps. Filled with chicken, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes, these buffalo chicken wraps are colorful, fun to eat...and tote-able, too! —Athena Russell, Florence, South Carolina
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Apple Chicken Quesadillas

My sister came up with an easy recipe that can be served as a main course or an appetizer. People are surprised by the combination of chicken, apples, tomatoes and corn inside the crispy tortillas, but they love it. —Stacia Slagle of Maysville, Missouri
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Salmon & Spinach Salad with Avocado

We eat a power salad packed with salmon and spinach at least once a week. It’s a cinch to make, even after a hard day’s work. —Jenny Dawson, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
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Loaded Turkey Sliders

What these sliders lack in size they make up for in flavor! They're great for little hands and you can customize the toppings to suit kids' tastes. Serve them as an appetizer or as a main dish along with sweet potato fries and fresh fruit. —Kathy DeRousie, Port Angeles, Washington
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Lemon Cranberry Quinoa Salad

As the family cook, I appreciate how easy this is to throw together on a busy weeknight. Plus, this salad never gets boring. One of my favorite variations is to substitute diced fresh mango for the cranberries, cilantro for the parsley, and lime for the lemon juice and zest. —Mary Shenk, DeKalb, Illinois

Jennifer Shaffer
Jennifer has always had a passion for home design, the arts and travel. She is a graduate from Eastern Florida State College. Her motto: "If you never step forward, you'll always be in the same place."
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