Us parents are a busy bunch, running between work, school, housekeeping, classes and everything in between! We mostly grab lunch on the go, or eat what the kids are having when they get in from school. Claim back some you-time with these 15 Tasty & Quick Lunch Ideas for Busy Parents to Make, most of which can be turned into lunch box meals.
#1. Spanish Tortilla with Paprika and Parsley
This Spanish Tortilla with Paprika and Parsley is ready in 25 minutes. For convenience and speed, it can be prepared the night before and taken to work for a lunchtime treat.
Top Tip: Add some chopped chorizo for a bit of extra spice.
You may also enjoy: 8 Easy Back to School Dinners
#2. Quick Fresh Noodles
Taking just 20 minutes from start to plate, this quick fresh noodle dish is full of flavour and fresh vegetables.
Top Tip: Add some cooked prawns, chicken, beef or pork to make a more substantial lunch dish.
#3. Cajun Mackerel with Lime Mayo
The Cajun Mackerel cooks in 4 minutes, making it a quick and easy lunch option. Add lime mayo and some crusty bread for a tasty & filling lunch.
Top Tip: Add some steamed spinach to get in one of your 5-a-day.
Recommended Reading: Go To Family Dinner Ideas
A smoothie can make a quick alternative to a carb filled lunch and takes only a few minutes to prepare. Get inspiration from our 10 Simple Smoothies Recipe post.
Top Tip: Add a handful grains or nuts to your smoothie to give you extra nutrients.
#5. Tuna Melt
Shopping List – Makes 4 Sandwiches:
- Tin of Tuna in brine
- 3 Spring Onions finely chopped
- 2 large tomatoes chopped
- Grated Cheese
- 1 heaped tablespoon Natural Yoghurt
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 4 slices wholegrain bread toasted
- Mix the tuna, spring onion, tomato and yoghurt in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Add to toasted bread and sprinkle with grated cheese.
- Cook under the grill at 150C until the cheese bubbles and melts and serve.
Top Tip: Replace the natural yogurt with mayonnaise for a more filling lunch.
More similar ideas on 10 Healthy Snacks for Teens They Can Quickly Prepare
#6. Homemade Soup
I love to make this 15 minute Chicken & Miso Soup for lunch. Or you could try this Silky Smooth Potato, Ham, Spring Onion and Chive soup which only takes 20 minutes to whip up. We’ve lots more tasty soup ideas here also.
Most soups freeze well. When making homemade soups, it’s worth doubling up on the ingredients and freezing the extras, for those handy time-strapped mealtimes during hectic weeks.
Top Tip: Make some tasty melba toast by toasting a slice of bread and cutting it through the centre, so you get 2 very thin slices. Place them in a hot over for 5 minutes or until they curl and brown slightly. A great alternative to croutons.
Recommended Reading : 12 Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas Hungry Kids will Love
#7. Scrambled Eggs Baskets
- To create the baskets, cut the crusts off your favourite sliced bread, heat the oven to 200c and lightly butter both sides of the bread. Press each slice into a muffin tin and bake for approx 10 minutes.
- Cook your scrambled eggs and divide between your baskets.
- Grate over some cheese and place under the grill for 3 or 4 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
Top Tip: Add half a cherry tomato to the top of each basket before you grill for extra nutrition.
You may also enjoy watching – How to Cook a One Pot Pasta Dish in 9 Minutes!
#8. Fish Dip
- 4 oz smoked mackerel fillets skinned and flaked
- 3oz cottage cheese
- 3oz creme fraiche
- Lemon Juice
- Add all the ingredients to a blender or use a hand blender and combine. Add a squeeze of lemon for taste.
- Divide between bowls or leave a large bowl in the centre and serve with your favourite dipping breads or raw vegetables.
Top Tip: Add the mixture to a baked potato for a delicious, healthy filling.
#9. Stuffed Pitta Pocket
Check out our recipe for Pitta Pocket stuffed with Tuna, Egg and Sweetcorn. We do not use mayonnaise so, this is not only a quick lunch but also a healthy one.
You could replace the tuna with grilled bacon if you prefer.
Top Tip: Add some sliced avocado for extra creaminess.
#10. Homemade Pot Noodles
Pot Noodles are the original ‘fast food’ lunch. For a real treat check out our homemade pot noodle recipe, ready in 10 minutes and full of flavour.
Top Tip: Add cooked chicken to give the dish extra protein.
Recommended Reading – 100 Healthy Lunch Box Ideas Your Kids will Love.
#11. Warm Goats Cheese Salad
- Goats cheese (enough for 1 or 2)
- Rocket Leaves
- Pine Nuts
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 5 tablespoons Olive Oil
- Cut the goats cheese into rounds approx 5 cm thick (4 per person).
- Place it on some foil under a hot grill and allow to warm through but not burn.
- Toast the pine nuts.
- Create a quick dressing by adding the vinegar, honey and olive oil to a clean jar, replace the lid and shake well. Add salt and pepper to season.
- Place the rocket on the plate, add on the warm goats cheese, sprinkle with pine nuts and dressing and enjoy!
Top Tip: Add some baby spinach leaves and some crusty bread as an extra treat.
#12. Turkish Style Cous Cous
I found this recipe for Kerryann’s Turkish Style Cous Cous over on the Jamie Oliver site. It is zingy and full of great tastes and is ready in just 15 minutes. The recipe is for 8 people so scale back accordingly!
Top Tip: Serve with grilled fish or chicken if dinner is going to be a long way off!
(Image from Jamieoliver.com)
#13. Spicy Carrot, Peanut & Sugar Snap Pea Wrap
I love the spicy, tangy sauce for these Carrot, Peanut & Sugar Snap Pea Wraps from Myrecipes.com.
Top Tip: Slice some spring onions into the mix for an extra bite.
(Image from Myrecipes.com)
#14. Hot Garlic Prawns with Chili, Lime Yoghurt Dressing
I found this great recipe for Hot Garlic Prawns with Chili Lime Yoghurt Dressing on Supervalu.com. It is a firm favourite for lunch with friends and best of all it is ready in less than 15 minutes.
Top Tip: If you want a lighter lunch, add the prawns and dressing to a wrap or a roll.
(Image from Supervalu.com)
#15. Garden Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
This is another great recipe from Myrecipes.com. It combines corn, squash & courgette/zucchini with fresh herbs and a tangy vinaigrette dressing.
It keeps well and can be prepared in advance and eaten on the go.
Top Tip: I add strips of mango to my Garden Salad to add an extra bit of sweetness.
(Image from Myrecipes.com)
Have you tried any of our tasty & quick lunch ideas or do you have any recipe ideas of your own? Please share them in the comments box below.