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38 Make-Ahead Lunch Recipes To Last You All Week

When you don't have time to cook your meals each morning, these make-ahead recipes are the answer. Cook them on Sunday, divide them into containers and enjoy delicious, homemade lunches all week long!

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Grilled Steak Fajitas

This tasty main dish is as quick and easy to assemble as tacos. Marinating the meat overnight makes it very tender.

Featured: TAKENAKA bento box ($30)

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Shredded Chicken Gyros

Pack this tasty filling in a container with a pita & toppings and roll up a tasty gyro at your desk!
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Pepperoni Pizza Loaf

Bake up this loaded, golden pizza loaf on Sunday and enjoy slices for lunch all week!
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Cashew-Chicken Rotini Salad

This bright salad is refreshing and satisfying, and easy to make ahead.

Try one of these other cold lunch ideas, too.

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Honey-Lime Roasted Chicken

It’s hard to believe this finger-licking main course starts with only five ingredients. The chicken is easy, light and so good.

Featured: W&P porter bowl ($25)

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Quinoa Turkey Chili

This hearty, heart-healthy chili can be easily portioned out and warmed up for lunches.
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Chicken Salad

This recipe is great to make ahead for busy days. Serve with some crackers or toast for a complete meal.

Featured: The Container Store stainless steel divided-to-go containers ($17)

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Sesame Beef & Asparagus Salad

Pack this savory beef and crisp asparagus in a container with lettuce or cooked rice.
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Crustless Spinach Quiche

Wrap up slices of this veggie-filled quiche and enjoy them warmed or at room temperature for lunch!
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Mediterranean Bulgur Salad

Pack up this delicious vegetarian salad as it is or add chicken or tofu for extra protein.
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Spinach and Cheese Lasagna Rolls

These Italian-inspired roll-ups are fast and fun to make. They may look elegant, but they are also very kid-friendly.

Featured: Frego 4-cup containers ($22)

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Lime Chicken Tacos

This slow-cooked taco filling can be easily portioned out for the week, packed with a soft tortilla and sour cream on the side!
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Italian Apricot-Pancetta Strata

This beautiful strata is packed with wholesome ingredients and is a perfect make-ahead, midday meal.
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Turkey Dumpling Stew

Simmered on Sunday, this flavorful stew makes for warm and satisfying lunches all week.
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Chicken Crescent Wreath

This crescent ring slices up easily into portable portions for the week.
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Gingered Spaghetti Salad

We love this chilled chicken salad brimming with colorful veggies. Make it meatless by omitting the chicken and tossing in more edamame. —Cindy Heinbaugh, Aurora, Colorado
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Pan-Roasted Chicken & Vegetables

This one-dish roast chicken with vegetables tastes as if it took hours of hands-on time to put together, but the simple ingredients can be prepped in mere minutes. The rosemary gives it a rich flavor, and the meat juices cook the veggies to perfection. It’s unbelievably easy! —Sherri Melotik, Oak Creek, Wisconsin
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Deli Pasta Salad

The recipe comes together quickly, is easily divided up for lunches, and requires no reheating!
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Garlicky Chicken Pizza

Pizza for lunch is always a treat, and this homemade version is way better than leftover delivery pizza.
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Asparagus Swiss Quiche

Fresh asparagus stars along with bacon, onion and Swiss cheese in this hearty quiche. —Mary Ann Taylor, Rockwell, Iowa
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Bacon Macaroni Salad

A BLT is a lunchtime classic, and this tempting salad is like having a BLT in a bowl.
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Wintertime Braised Beef Stew

This easy beef stew is incredibly rich. Since it's even better a day or two later, you may want to make a double batch. —Michaela Rosenthal, Woodland Hills, California
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Italian Pulled Pork Sandwiches Exps81269 Lsc143267b10 01 4bc Rms

Italian Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Slow-cooked pulled pork is a cinch to make ahead for hearty sandwiches all week.
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Gnocchi with White Beans

This vegetarian dish is substantial on its own, but add sausage or shredded chicken for even more protein.
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Colorful Quinoa Salad Exps174640 Sd143204c12 03 2b Rms 2

Colorful Quinoa Salad

As well as being delicious and perfect for lunch, this salad is gluten and dairy-free.
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Hearty Paella

I had paella for the first time in Spain. It was so good that I've been on the quest to re-create the rich flavors ever since. We love the shrimp, chicken, veggies and olives in this easy homemade version. —Libby Walp, Chicago, Illinois
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Roasted Kielbasa & Vegetables

Pack a side of cooked pasta or a soft breadstick for a warm and savory meal!
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Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup

This is my favorite tortellini soup recipe. It's one of those
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Stromboli Sandwich

You can swap in your favorite deli meats to customize this yummy, make-ahead lunch.
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Shredded Pork Burritos

This pork roast is slow-cooked with savory and sweet ingredients, including a can of cola, to create tender shredded pork burritos. A tomatillo sauce, made easy with a dressing mix, tops the pork for an out-of-this-world entree. —Katherine Nelson, Centerville, Utah
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Vegetarian Linguine

This meat-free dish is loaded with veggies and Parmesan cheese, and makes a filling midday meal.
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Southwestern Goulash

I had some extra cilantro in the fridge and didn't want to throw it away. Instead, I came up with this delightful and filling family recipe. Everyone just loved it! —Vikki Rebholz, West Chester, Ohio
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Roasted Red Potato Salad

With hard-boiled eggs and bacon, this is a great make-ahead salad to pack for lunch.
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Mom's Swedish Meatballs

In less than an hour you can make these savory meatballs with pasta to enjoy all week!
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Slow-Cooked Pork Tacos

This wonderful taco filling also tastes great wrapped in Bibb lettuce leaves. I like to use any leftovers to make burritos the next day. —Kathleen Wolf, Naperville, Illinois
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Santa Fe Chili

Packed with protein this chili makes for hearty lunches to get you through the week.
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Slow-Cooked Turkey Sloppy Joes

This tangy sandwich filling is so easy to prepare in the slow cooker, and it goes over well at gatherings large and small. I frequently take it to potlucks, and I'm always asked for my secret ingredient. —Marylou LaRue, Freeland, Michigan

Nancy Mock
Discovering restaurants, tasting bakery treats, finding inspiration in new flavors and regional specialties—no wonder Nancy loves being a food and travel writer. She and her family live in Vermont and enjoy all things food, as well as the beautiful outdoors, game nights, Avengers movies and plenty of maple syrup. Find Nancy’s writing and recipes at her website: Hungry Enough To Eat Six.

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