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35 Easy Lunches That Make the Most of Pantry Staples

Make the most of what you already have with these pantry lunches! From sandwiches to grain bowls, we've got plenty of meal ideas that don't require an extra trip to the store.

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Black Bean & Corn Quinoa

Some vegan quinoa recipes are boring, but this one definitely isn’t. My daughter’s college asked parents for the best quinoa recipes to use in the dining halls. This healthy quinoa recipe fits the bill. —Lindsay McSweeney, Winchester, Massachusetts

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Taco Bowls

We love this dish because of its super simple prep. And each serving is so easy to customize with toppings. —Hope Wasylenki, Gahanna, Ohio
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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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Cream of Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

A dear friend brought me some of this soup when I was ill—and it instantly hit the spot. I asked her for the recipe and I've made it several times since, especially when I have leftover turkey to use up. Now I like to take it to friends when they're not feeling well. It's just the filling meal to warm you up on a cold, wintry day! —Doris Cox, New Freedom, Pennsylvania
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Cumin Quinoa Patties

This easy to make veggie burger packs an amazing taste, and the crunch from the addition of quinoa makes the texture to die for. This is an easy and delicious vegetarian burger option that you must try. Pan-frying adds a perfect crisp that takes it to the next level. The mixture can be made ahead of time, and it freezes very well. Enjoy! —Beth Klein, Arlington, Virginia
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Black Bean Chicken with Rice

This spicy family favorite calls for just a few basic ingredients, including chicken, black beans and rice, so it’s quick and easy to stir up in your skillet on a weeknight. —Molly Newman, Portland, Oregon
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Easy Moroccan Chickpea Stew

When I'm invited to a potluck, I easily double or triple this healthy vegetarian recipe to treat the crowd to an exotic dish of enticing, bold flavors. —Heather Demeritte, Scottsdale, Arizona
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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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Skillet Nachos

My mom gave me a fundraiser cookbook, and this is the recipe I’ve used most. My whole family is on board. For toppings, think sour cream, tomatoes, jalapeno and red onion. —Judy Hughes, Waverly, Kansas
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Cauliflower & Tofu Curry

Cauliflower, garbanzo beans and tofu are each subtle on their own, but together they make an awesome base for curry. We have this recipe weekly because one of us is always craving it. —Patrick McGilvray, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Lentil Sloppy Joes

When I experimented with making more vegetarian-friendly recipes, this was one of my biggest hits—we still eat it weekly! My preschooler will always eat every bite of these tangy lentil joes. —Christina Rock, Covington, Washington
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Skillet Mac & Cheese

This creamy mac and cheese is so simple it’s almost too easy! Kids always go for the rich cheese flavor, but I’ve never met an adult who didn’t love it just as much. —Ann Bowers, Rockport, Texas
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Sweet Potato & Bean Quesadillas

Sweet potatoes and black beans roll up together for a quesadilla that’s easy, fast, fun and delicious. —Brittany Hubbard, St. Paul, Minnesota
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Tangy Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs

A tangy sauce, combine with green pepper and pineapple, tranforms Ruther’s pre-made meatballs into a delightful main dish served over rice. —Ruth Andrewson, Leavenworth, Washington
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Zucchini & Sausage Stovetop Casserole

Gather zucchini from your garden or farmers market and start cooking. My family goes wild for this wholesome casserole. You can grate the zucchini if you'd like. —LeAnn Gray, Taylorsville, Utah
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Italian Shredded Pork Stew

Need a warm meal for a chilly night? Throw together this slow-cooked stew that’s brightened with fresh sweet potatoes, kale and Italian seasoning. The shredded pork is so tender, you’re going to want to make this dish all season long. —Robin Jungers, Campbellsport, 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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Quick Chili Mac

This combines chili with one of my favorite pasta dishes. I often serve it for company or potlucks and occasionally add taco seasoning or use beanless chili and add black beans. —Lee Steinmetz, Lansing, Michigan
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Black Bean Chip & Dip Burgers

I finally invented a healthy quinoa burger that wasn't dry and crumbly or really boring. These fit the bill—even my grandkids prefer them over hamburgers. They taste like chips and dip in a burger! —KT Rehrig, Allentown, Pennsylvania
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Artichoke Blue Cheese Fettuccine

Store-bought Alfredo sauce speeds along this flavorful, meatless entree. I use dry pasta, but you can use refrigerated fettuccine to make this recipe even faster. —Jolanthe Erb, Harrisonburg, Virginia
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Beef & Tater Bake

The entire family will enjoy this heartwarming, all-in-one dinner. Plus, it offers easy cleanup! —Mike Tchou, Pepper Pike, Ohio
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Spinach and Tortellini Soup

A simple tomato-enhanced broth is perfect for cheese tortellini and fresh spinach. Increase the garlic and add Italian seasoning to suit your taste. —Debbie Wilson, Burlington, North Carolina
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Pigs in a Poncho

For pigs in a blanket Mexican style, we add refried beans and green chilies. Spice it up even more with pepper jack, jalapenos and guacamole. —Jennifer Stowell, Montezuma, Iowa
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Family-Favorite Italian Beef Sandwiches

With only a few ingredients, this roast beef is a snap to throw together. And after cooking all day, the meat is wonderfully tender. —Lauren Adamson, Layton, Utah
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Mediterranean Chickpeas

Add this to your meatless Monday lineup. It's great with feta cheese on top. —Elaine Ober, Brookline, Massachusetts
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Artichoke Caprese Platter

I dressed up the classic Italian trio of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil with marinated artichokes. It looks so yummy on a pretty platter set out on a buffet. Using fresh mozzarella is the key to its great taste. —Margaret Wilson, San Bernardino, California
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Salsa Bean Burgers

I created these based on a turkey burger recipe and wanted to make them even better for you. Use a favorite salsa with just the heat you like to make it your own. —Jenny Leighty, West Salem, Ohio
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Black Bean & Sweet Potato Rice Bowls

I have three hungry boys in my house, so dinners need to be quick and filling, and it helps to get in some veggies, too. This one is a favorite because it's hearty and fun to tweak with different ingredients. —Kim Van Dunk, Caldwell, New Jersey
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Grilled Greek Pita Pizzas

This easy flatbread pizza captures classic Mediterranean flavors in every bite. It works equally well as a speedy main dish or an appetizer. —Kristen Heigl, Staten Island, New York
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All-Day Red Beans & Rice

My family loves New Orleans-style cooking, so I make this authentic dish often. I appreciate how uncomplicated it is. And its smoky ham flavor is scrumptious. —Celinda Dahlgren, Napa, California
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Fold-Over Tortilla Bake

Here’s something a little different to shake up taco night. But don’t reserve this zippy dish for a weeknight—it’s perfect for potlucks and serving company, too. Something a little different from the usual tacos. It’s special enough for potlucks or dinner guests. —Deborah Smith, DeWitt, Nebraska
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Chicken with Mandarin Salsa

When I have some leftover veggies, I dress the salsa up a little with some diced green onions and bell peppers. If you like a spicier sauce, add cayenne pepper to the skillet. —Aysha Shurman, Ammon, Idaho
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Cool Beans Salad

This protein-filled dish could be served as a colorful side dish or a meatless main entree. When you make it, double the recipe because it will be gone in a flash! The basmati rice adds a unique flavor and the dressing gives it a bit of a tang. —Janelle Lee, Appleton, Wisconsin
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Pressure-Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili

My sister shared this chili recipe with me. The jalapeno adds just enough heat to notice but not too much for my children. —Kristine Bowles, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Deli Roast Beef Sandwiches with Mashed Potatoes

Just like Mom or Grandma used to make—but so much quicker! Store-bought mashed potatoes and gravy and deli roast beef help you turn out this heartwarming combination before you can say, “Order up!” —Ruth Ann Bott, Lake Wales, Florida

Christina Herbst
Christina is a Social Media Editor for Taste of Home. She enjoys trying out local restaurants and coffeehouses and adding copious amounts of garlic and cheese to any recipe she can get her hands on. In her free time, you can find her hunting down one-of-a-kind furniture pieces at thrift and vintage stores and DIYing trendy home decor crafts.