25 Summer Lunch Ideas You Can Make in 30 Minutes (or Less)

We’re all about quick, low-effort lunches, and even more so when the warm, summery weather is beckoning us outdoors. But we’re also not about to settle for PB&J every day of the week. Behold, 25 summer lunch ideas you can make in 30 minutes or less (and then enjoy alfresco).

30 Light Summer Meals Under 500 Calories

1. Cold Lemon Zoodles (20 Minutes)

When it’s too hot to turn on the stove, even for a second, we invite you to make these citrusy zucchini noodles instead.

2. Citrus, Shrimp And Quinoa Salad With Feta (20 Minutes)

If you don’t like shrimp, skip it or use thin slices of leftover chicken or steak instead.

3. Colorful Peanut Noodle Jar (30 Minutes)

Lunches just taste better when eaten out of a mason jar. (This one has picnic written all over it.)

4. Mackerel Asparagus Salad With Sesame Vinaigrette (15 Minutes)

If you’re not on the tinned fish train yet, join us. It’s an easy way to add protein to your meal without even touching the oven.

5. 10-minute Macaroni And Cheese In A Mug (10 Minutes)

Another way to beat the heat? Embrace your microwave. This tastes even better than the boxed stuff.

6. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Stuffed Peppers (30 Minutes)

Make a big batch of the chicken salad so you can eat it all week.

7. One-pot, 15-minute Pasta Limone (15 Minutes)

Wait a second, are we eating lunch on the Italian coast? Nope, but it tastes just like it.

8. 15-minute Mediterranean Couscous With Tuna And Pepperoncini (15 Minutes)

Toss couscous with a few flavorful, super-savory ingredients and you’re basically done.

9. Cold Soba Noodle Salad With Strawberries (21 Minutes)

Strawberries in a salad might sound unusual, it adds a little bit of sweetness that goes great with the miso-sesame dressing.

10. Buffalo Chicken Wraps With Blue Cheese And Celery (20 Minutes)

Rotisserie chickens are our favorite trick for easy summer meals that don’t heat up the whole house.

11. Italian Deli Pinwheel Sandwiches (25 Minutes)

Yep, you could just throw some cold cuts between two pieces of bread. But you eat with your eyes first, don’t you?

12. Vegan Fiesta Taco Bowl (30 Minutes)

You can prep all the ingredients ahead of time and enjoy the loaded bowls all week.

13. Cold Sesame Cucumber Noodles (10 Minutes)

Thanks to pre-baked, marinated tofu, all you have to do is make the dressing and spiralize the cukes.

14. Rainbow Collard Wraps With Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce (30 Minutes)

Unlike regular wraps, these won’t get soggy if you make them ahead of time. (Hint, hint.)

15. Lunch Kebabs With Mortadella, Artichoke And Sun-dried Tomatoes (30 Minutes)

Mix and match your favorite deli meats and veggies for a lunch kebab that’s sooo much tastier than a sad salad.

16. Grilled Peach, Prosciutto And Mozzarella Sandwich (15 Minutes)

Peach season is like Christmas in July. Pair a ripe one with salty prosciutto and you’ll never look back.

17. Soba Noodles With Peanut Sauce (25 Minutes)

If you can boil noodles and whisk together a sauce, you can make this dish.

18. Keto Steak And Blue Cheese Salad For One (5 Minutes)

You don’t have to be on the keto diet to see that this is a genius way to use up leftovers.

19. Shredded Thai Salad With Avocado (30 Minutes)

Not only is it easy-peasy to make, it’s also pretty darn gorgeous. Snap an Instagram pic before you dig in.

20. Mediterranean Pita Pizzas (15 Minutes)

When you’re feeling lazy and craving pizza, make these healthier cuties instead.

21. Quick Guacamole Quinoa Salad (30 Minutes)

We thought we were tired of quinoa, until we remembered how quick-cooking and versatile it is.

22. Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich (25 Minutes)

It’s a classic for a reason, but our version is even better than the kind at the deli counter. It’s fresh, tangy and great on a sandwich (or straight out of the bowl).

23. Avocado And Black Bean Pasta Salad (20 Minutes)

Summer is practically synonymous with pasta salad. This one relies on canned beans and corn to make it effortless.

24. Any-green Pesto (10 Minutes)

Make the pesto in your food processor while the pasta cooks. Lunch is ready in no time at all.

25. 15-minute Gazpacho With Cucumber, Red Pepper And Basil (15 Minutes)

This is so worth getting out your blender, we promise.

Katherine Gillen

Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...
read full bio