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Let’s face it, we’re all busy. We barely have time to get everything done in the day, let alone meal prep healthy lunches for the week. But you know what we also don’t have time (or budget) for? Trekking outside for a $12 lunch salad that’s not even that good.

Luckily, we have a solution: Presenting 50 easy lunch ideas that require basically zero effort to whip up (and taste delicious). With everything from chicken salad stuffed peppers to radish barbecue bowls with honey-mustard dressing, this handy list of recipes should keep you going for months to come. Finally, a brown bag lunch that you can get excited about. Bon appétit.

RELATED: 20 Low-Maintenance, Satisfying Vegan Lunches

1. Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich

It’s as easy to make as it is to slice a tomato. If you have 25 minutes, you can make four days’ worth of lunches.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

2. Linguine with Bacon, Peaches and Gorgonzola

This dish takes just 30 minutes from start to finish and we give you permission to eat it cold. It tastes just as good—if not better—that way.

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3. Zoodles with Avocado and Mango Sauce

You had us at 15-minute lunch, and again at no oven required. Double the recipe to make enough for the entire week.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

4. Buffalo Chicken Wraps with Blue Cheese and Celery

Rotisserie chicken, we salute you. (How else could we have a mouthwatering lunch ready to go in a mere 20 minutes?)

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Aubrie Pick/Great Tastes

5. Tomato Salad with Grilled Halloumi and Herbs

It’s impossible to beat a ten-minute salad. This one has halloumi cheese, so it’s even better.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

6. Italian Deli Pinwheel Sandwiches

The sandwich equivalent of icebox cookies. And by that we mean easy, delicious and impossible to eat just one.

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RELATED: 10 Easy Brown Bag Lunches That Aren’t a Turkey Sandwich

Amy Neunsinger/Magnolia Table

7. Joanna Gaines’s Peach Caprese Salad

When it comes to low-fuss, healthy lunches, it turns out our design crush knows best.

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Jonathan Lovekin/At My Table

8. Sheet Pan Indian-Spiced Chicken

It sounds time-consuming, but we promise it’s a breeze. (Only ten minutes of prepping!) Just chop everything up and toss it on a tray.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

9. Make-Ahead Aloo Gobi

Tender and flavorful, this pretty lunch keeps in the fridge for up to four days. (It’s also vegetarian and ready in 30 minutes, but we didn’t want to brag too much.)

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

10. BLT Pasta Salad

Bowties beat sad wilty salads any day of the week. Would you believe us if we told you it takes 40 minutes and makes a whopping eight servings?

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RELATED: 18 Healthy and Filling Work Lunches That Aren’t Salad

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

11. Meal-Prep Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles

Ready in half an hour is just the beginning. These meatballs are tender, rich and juicy, plus they’re baked instead of fried for easy cleanup.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

12. Make-Ahead Farro and Brussels Sprout Salad

Psst: This is the easiest way to prepare Brussels sprouts. All you have to do is trim, separate and toss them with the farro before serving.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

13. Lunch Kebabs with Mortadella, Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Aside from being a delicious lunch for you or your kids, they’re so darn fun to eat. Customize to your heart’s content.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

14. Slow-Cooker Meal-Prep Burrito Bowls

The answer to your lunchtime prayers? Spicy, nourishing burrito bowls portioned out for the entire week.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

15. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Stuffed Peppers

Bye, lunch rut. We’ll see you never, thanks to these adorable pepper boats of healthy chicken salad.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

16. RAINBOW COLLARD WRAPS WITH PEANUT BUTTER DIPPING SAUCE

You can make them two days in advance, they take 30 minutes and they won’t get soggy. Plus, there’s peanut sauce. Need we say more?

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

17. Meal-Prep Honey Sesame Chicken with Broccolini

Kick that sad lunch salad to the curb and replace it with this satisfying meal. The sides are swappable, but the sticky-sweet glaze is mandatory.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

18. Mini Chicken Shawarma

You can’t go wrong with these two-bite pockets. Thanks to a quick marinade, they’re as flavorful as if you spent all day in the kitchen (but they’re actually very simple to make).

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Power Plates

19. Quick Guacamole Quinoa Salad

It’s basically a giant bowl of guac masquerading as a salad, and we’re not complaining at all. In fact, that’s the definition of our dream lunch.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

20. Firecracker Chicken with Rice

Low-maintenance is the name of the game. Make this spicy-sweet number the night before (it takes just 35 minutes) and reap the rewards when your stomach growls at lunch the next day.

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RELATED: 7 Surprising Lunches That Put Your Boring Kale Salad to Shame

Photo: Jon Cospito/Styling: Heath Goldman

21. 20-Minute Burrata Salad with Stone Fruit and Asparagus

Tip: Don’t skimp on the good stuff. And by good stuff, we mean all that creamy burrata.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

22. Bruschetta Chicken

One-pan lunches are the way to go. This one tastes super decadent, but it’s surprisingly healthy and low-carb.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

23. Keto Sheet-Pan Chicken and Rainbow Veggies

Dishes, what dishes? We’re making only sheet-pan lunches from now on.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

24. 20-MINUTE PALEO EGG ROLL BOWLS

We’re ditching the greasy egg roll wrappers because everyone knows it’s what’s inside that counts.

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25. Easy Stir-Fried Rice Cakes with XO Sauce

These chewy, sticky rice cakes are about to win the lunch game. Grab the flavor-packed XO sauce from your local Asian market. 

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

26. 15-Minute Mediterranean Couscous with Tuna and Pepperoncini

What looks fancy but takes virtually no effort? This guy. What can we say, we’re suckers for a can of tuna.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

27. Radish Barbecue Bowls with Tangy Honey-Mustard Dressing

This is our new favorite way to eat veggies, hands down. It must have something to do with those briny, charred radishes.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

28. Cold Sesame Cucumber Noodles

The secret ingredient? Store-bought marinated tofu. It’s a time-saving and easy way to add a ton of flavor (not to mention protein).

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

29. 15-Minute Mezze Plate with Toasted Za’atar Pita Bread

Finger food is the best food. The second best? It’s a tie between charcuterie, olives, toasted pita and yogurt sauce.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

30. Shredded Thai Salad with Avocado

The prettiest salad you’ll ever make. Just look at all those colors!

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RELATED: 21 Non-Boring Work Lunches You Can Make in 15 Minutes or Less

https://www.purewow.com/recipes/avocado-egg-salad-sandwich

31. The Ultimate Quinoa-Avocado Bowl

The beauty of shrimp? It’s done in five minutes and goes with just about everything—a lunchtime blessing.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

32. Chicken and Snap Pea Stir-Fry

Not only is stir-fry easy to make in the first place, it’s also the most acceptable meal to microwave the next day. (We might even venture to say it tastes better as leftovers.)

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

33. 15-Minute Cheater’s Pad Thai

It’s even faster than ordering takeout, and so much healthier. You can even swap the ground pork for turkey or chicken, if you’re so inclined.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

34. Rotisserie Chicken Ramen

Doctor up a box of noodles with store-bought (or homemade!) broth, aromatics and our old standby, rotisserie chicken.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

35. Cauliflower Rice Bowl with Curried Lentils, Carrots and Yogurt

Who says eating healthy has to be boring? This fresh legume-veggie-yogurt combo will fill you up without weighing you down.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

36. 15-Minute Lemony Broccolini Pasta

Nothing against jarred marinara sauce, but we need a break. And good news, you can totally swap the pine nuts for almonds in a pinch.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

37. Sheet-Pan Lemon Butter Veggies and Sausage

Two things we love: hands-off meals and zero dishes. This easy lunch happens to offer both and then some.

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Stir-Fry

38. Kung Pao Chicken

Juicy, sweet and totally irresistible. And we should mention it comes together in a single skillet, so cleanup is easy-peasy.

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Lauren V. Allen/Chèvre

39. Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Chèvre Ranch

This is a brand new way to use goat cheese and it’s the opposite of that ’90s salad with dried cranberries you used to know and love.

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40. Easy Black Bean Soup

Thanks to Coterie member Monique Volz for keeping us warm with this guy, which is simple, flavorful, healthy and ready in 35 minutes.

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41. White Turkey Chili with Avocado

Light enough to eat all year long. Even better, it freezes like a dream, so you can stash some away for the busiest days.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

42. Buddha Bowl with Kale, Avocado, Orange and Wild Rice

Mixing and matching is the name of the game. With all these fresh, filling ingredients, you’ll avoid an afternoon slump like nobody’s business.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

43. Avocado and Black Bean Pasta Salad

So much more fun than avocado toast, but just as easy to make. File this one under “genius.”

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

44. Green Goddess Wraps

Real talk: This recipe’s got us excited about greens. About that homemade green-goddess dressing: It comes together with just a few spins in your blender.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

45. Caprese Salad

Grilled zucchini is a major upgrade to everyone’s favorite seasonal salad. Drizzle on some extra balsamic for us, would you?

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

46. Spring Roll Bowls

The healthiest way to get your takeout fix is to ditch the carb-heavy wrappers for chewy rice noodles. Swoon.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

47. Zoodles with Summer Vegetables

Finally, the best way to use up a boatload of produce. Feel free to swap these veggies for whatever looks good (or is available in your fridge).

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

48. Grilled Watermelon-Feta Skewers

Light, tangy and irresistible. Let’s eat every meal on a stick from now on.

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RELATED: 21 Meal Prep Lunch Recipes That Are Better Than an Expensive Salad

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

49. Avocado Chicken Salad Recipe

No grapes or walnuts in sight, just how we like it. The addition of avocado, on the other hand, is *chef’s kiss*

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

50. 15-Minute Cucumber-Avocado Blender Soup

We like the sound of zero prep even more than we like that cheesy toasted baguette.

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RELATED: 30 Soups You Can Make in 30 Minutes or Less

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