5-Minute Homemade Lunch Ideas

homemade lunches on countertop


Make quick work of deciding what to make for lunch with these easy homemade lunch ideas. They work at home, to pack for school, or for a day out and about—for you and the kids both.

homemade lunches on countertop

Homemade Lunch Ideas

I am always saying how much harder it is to make lunch than any other meal, especially when the kids are home, because it always seems to sneak up on me. And if I have to pack lunch, it always seems hard in the moment to decide what on Earth to put together.

So these 5-minute easy lunch ideas are here to help whenever you need ideas that are fast, easy to change up according to what you have on hand, and perfect to make for the kids and adults.

What to Eat for Lunch at Home

My goal with these ideas was to put together a few options that don’t really require any cooking but are more assembly-only ideas. Some include a few ingredients that you can either make ahead of time or buy precooked at the store (like rice), so you can see what works best for your situation.

And since I know everyone has unique likes and dislikes, there are a lot of options for exactly how to put these together, so use them as a place to start and adjust as needed for your family.

Easy Lunch Ideas

You can use these ideas for lunches at home, lunches for yourself for work (just pack them into a storage container), or packed lunches for the kids for daycare or school. You can prep them ahead and stash them in the fridge until you’re ready to go.

Add some simple lunch sides and a drink like water or milk and enjoy!

quick burrito bowl in adult and kids plates

Shortcut Burrito Bowls

Mix together rice, beans, and frozen corn, and heat—then add any taco toppings you like to make really fast burrito bowls. You can buy fully cooked rice at the store (it’s often sold vacuum-sealed near raw rice or in the freezer aisle) to make this faster, or cook it ahead of time.

We like this idea with shredded cheese, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and a side of fruit. But you can totally customize it for your own preferences.

Easy Vegetarian Burrito Bowls

Prep the rice, beans, and veggies ahead if you can or want to. They store well in the fridge and simply need to be reheated. The nutrition information in this recipe will vary based on the ingredients you choose to use.

Get the recipe

grain bowls with rice and beans
sandwich with Caesar salad

Sandwich and Salad Kit

I am a forever fan of a salad kit. The Walmart Caesar Salad kit is a favorite and was the gateway salad for my kids—it was the first way they had salad and they really liked it. And it’s helped them to know that lettuce can be seriously delish.

We like to pair a salad with a simple sandwich, whether PB&J, turkey, or cheese, for an easy lunch.

turkey wrap on blue plate

Turkey Wrap

Roll up turkey lunch meat, cheese, and condiments of choice (mayo, mustard, or even guacamole) with thinly sliced shredded lettuce for a yummy wrap. You can cut it in half, or cut it into spirals with a serrated knife if that’s more fun for the kids.

Pair with some sliced apple or a fruit cup to round out this meal.

Easy Turkey Wrap Recipe (to Share with the Kids)

Roll up a few simple ingredients to make this delicious Turkey Wrap recipe in minutes. It’s a great lunch wrap for home or school, and you can easily adjust the ingredients to suit the preferences of your child. This makes one wrap, so scale up as desired.

Get the recipe

Pancake lunch in lunchbox

Pancake Lunch

We love pancakes for any meal of the day, and serving up leftover ones for lunch is both easy and fun. If packing, you can send them sliced in a thermos to keep them warm with a little container of maple syrup. We usually add some fruit and milk to help the meal be satisfying.

Favorite Yogurt Pancakes, 6 Ways

With just a few ingredients and the option to make these on the stovetop or in the oven as a sheet pan pancakes, these Yogurt Pancakes are versatile and so yummy!

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pesto pasta lunch in container

Pesto Pasta Salad

This pasta salad, which has a nice dose of greens in the dressing, is easy to make ahead and adjust according to what your family likes—with or without beans and veggies. It’s great cold or at room temperature, so it works for all sorts of lunch situations.

Easy Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

This is an easy family dinner or lunch. I like to use Spinach Pesto for this, but any will work if you prefer to buy it pre-made from the store.

Get the recipe

hummus wraps on white plates with apple slices

Hummus Veggie Wrap

Change up your go-to sandwich ideas with this easy hummus wrap, which you can roll up with thinly sliced lettuce, bell pepper strips, and cucumbers in a classic wrap—or you can serve deconstructed with some of the elements on a plate for younger eaters.

You can use purchased hummus or make your own, according to your preference (and how much time and energy you have).

Easy Hummus Wrap (to Share with the Kids)

Quickly combine a few simple ingredients to make a really yummy lunch wrap. This recipe makes one wrap, so increase the serving size as necessary.

Get the recipe

hummus wraps on white plates with apple slices

Wild Salmon Salad

Canned wild salmon is one of the most affordable ways to serve fish, and it’s so delish when used in a salmon salad (which is like tuna salad, only with a different fish). It works as a dip for bread or crackers or to spread on as a sandwich filling.

Pair with some diced fruit and veggies for an easy lunch.

Favorite Salmon Salad Sandwich

This salmon salad is packed with protein, healthy fats, and calcium and can be used as a dip or a spread for sandwiches. We use homemade relish in this recipe, but you can use any that you like the flavor of.

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Pizza Quesadillas

Coat a soft tortilla with pizza sauce and shredded cheese for a fast pizza quesadilla. You could even add cooked chicken, broccoli, mushrooms, or any other pizza topping you like to make this more substantial.

Any type of tortilla works here, though ones labeled “soft” are usually easier for little kids to chew.

Quick Pizza Quesadillas (An Easy Kids Meal)

This meal is perfect for when you’re short on time or when you want to make pizza with less fuss. Add a simple side of cut up fruit, applesauce, or a salad kit and call it good.

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Hummus and Pita

This classic combo is always a winner, especially when you pick up pita (or any flatbread you prefer) and hummus at the store. Add some veggies for more dipping options and any other foods diced cooked chicken, cheese, or fruit to make it more filling.

Creamy Hummus Without Tahini

You can use regular plain yogurt, though I like the consistency that Greek yogurt yields a bit better.

Get the recipe

homemade hummus without tahini

Muffin Lunch

We almost always have muffins on hand (or in the freezer), and I love to use them for lunches. Just surround them with food from at least one other food group to make a satisfying lunch. Some easy sides to consider are fruit, diced or shredded cheese, milk, a smoothie, yogurt, cottage cheese, or hard-cooked eggs.

Favorite Yogurt Muffins (6 Ways!)

This is an epic of a basic muffin recipe that you can then add flavor to in all sorts of ways—from fruit to veggies to chocolate chips. The batter is packed with protein too, so the muffins are great for breakfast or snack. (The allergy-friendly substitutions are listed in the Notes section at the bottom.)

Get the recipe


Scrambled Eggs

Eggs are one of the most versatile protein options since they are both affordable and quick to make. You can scramble them in minutes or even scramble one up in the microwave in 30-60 seconds. Pair with toast, crackers, fruit, or a smoothie for an easy lunch.

(I make scrambled eggs for myself all the time and often double how many I make so I have them to reheat on future days.)

How to Make Eggs in the Microwave

You can season the cooked egg with a little salt, butter or cheese if you’d like, but it’s very good as is. See the Note about the heat setting when cooking in a microwave.

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Veggie Grilled Cheese

Make a classic grilled cheese, but spread a thin layer of sweet potato or butternut squash puree on one side of the bread to add in a veggie and more flavor. (We also love Spinach Grilled Cheese.) This is a go-to for lunch at home, though we sometimes pack it in a thermos for the kids’ school lunches.

Veggie Grilled Cheese Sandwich (to Share with the Kids)

With just 4 ingredients, including a veggie that blends right in, this Veggie Grilled Cheese Sandwich is a yummy kids lunch to share. It packs extra nutrition in the filling, yet only takes a few minutes to make. Such a great easy meal!

Get the recipe


Frequently Asked Questions

What can we eat for lunch at home?

It really is up to you and may be determined by the amount of time and energy you have on any given day. I like to have a main food, then surround it with simple sides like fruit, milk, cheese, or crackers. The ideas here all work well for lunches at home.

What can I make for lunch in 5 minutes?

Easy options including sandwiches, salad kits, scrambled eggs, wraps, quesadillas, and more are easy and fast lunch options.

What are some lunch ideas?

Easy lunch ideas include wraps, sandwiches, burrito bowls, tacos, scrambled eggs, easy sandwiches, hummus and pita, smoothies with muffins, and leftovers.

Best Tips for Homemade Lunch Ideas

  • Think of a main item for lunch, then surround it with a few other types of foods such as fruit, veggies, dairy, whole grains, and a drink.
  • Add peanut-free snacks or lunch snacks as needed to make any idea more filling.
  • Take shortcuts as needed, including salad kits, precooked rice, canned beans, and frozen veggies.
  • Include a drink with lunch, such as milk or water.
  • Invest in durable lunch boxes if you’ll be sending lunches to school or daycare.

Related Recipes

I’d love to hear your feedback on this post, so please comment below to share!

homemade lunches on countertop
  • Warm the pita bread slightly if desired.
  • Very thinly slice raw veggies and the bread for toddlers to ensure it’s easy to chew.
  • Think of a main item for lunch, then surround it with a few other types of foods such as fruit, veggies, dairy, whole grains, and a drink.
  • Add peanut-free snacks or lunch snacks as needed to make any idea more filling.
  • Take shortcuts as needed, including salad kits, precooked rice, canned beans, and frozen veggies.
  • Include a drink with lunch, such as milk or water.
  • Invest in durable lunch boxes if you’ll be sending lunches to school or daycare.

Calories: 253kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 470mg, Potassium: 281mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 42IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 3mg


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