15 healthy lunches you can whip up in 15 minutes or less

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Lunch always seems to be a struggle, doesn’t it? If you work at home like me, it can be a total interruption in a busy day. Necessary, but an interruption nonetheless. And if you work outside of the home, it’s a constant struggle to figure out what you might be in the mood for the next day, or what will travel well or even fit in the fridge at work.

But if you look at it, the real issue comes down to, #1 – what to make, and #2 – how long it takes to make. Because lets face it, if lunch was quick and easy, it wouldn’t be a struggle at all. Am I right?

Every year in August and September, people flock to my website for healthy lunch ideas for heading back to school. But it hasn’t escaped my attention that many of you grownups use those ideas for your own lunches too. You may not be in school, but it sure saves time and money if you can make something quick and tasty at home. At least I know that’s how it is for me!

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Eating out at lunch is always an option, but lets face it. If you don’t prepare it at home, you don’t really know what’s in the food you’re eating, even if it’s supposedly healthy. I’ve had this proven to me again and again since I started eating plant based. I never go out to eat anymore because inevitably, I react to something in the food. Whatever it is that restaurants use or add just does not agree with me. So these days, I’m eating almost exclusively at home. And you know what? I’ve saved a ton of money doing that, not to mention I just feel so much better. There’s just no comparison! Even with healthy, vegan foods.

So if you are looking for quick lunch ideas that are both healthy and budget friendly, this is the list for you!!

 

A good egg breakfast is wonderfully high in protein, and it absolutely doesn’t need to be boring! Try egg muffinsfrittatasquicheomelets filled with all kinds of deliciousness and more! Eggs are so crazy versatile, and the protein helps keep you full until your next meal.

 

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Over my years of blogging, I’ve had a lot of people mention wanting some easy recipes for one two people. It’s not something I do a lot of simply because I usually cook for three or more people. So it can be hard for me to downsize.

 

But I recently started making the perfect, single-serving omelet! Pair your egg omelet with a piece of whole grain toast or some fresh fruit, and you have a lovely breakfast for one.

 

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Frittatas are one of the most simple breakfasts you can make. They can be made for one person or for feeding more people. Just pick your pan and adjust the number of eggs accordingly!

 

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Check out all my healthy egg breakfast recipes here!

 

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A tasty, healthy breakfast casserole is a thing of beauty. A good one will be easy to make with readily available ingredients and will make the whole family happy at the breakfast table.

 

Breakfast casseroles are typically easy to put together. A good breakfast casserole can be made a day in advance so all you have to do is pop it in the oven in the morning.

 

These breakfast casserole recipes are sweet, filling and delicious.

 

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I mean, who doesn’t like french toast? It’s incredible stuff! Add to that some super power berries (yes, I said super power), and you’ve got yourself an amazing breakfast for a special occasion or just a normal day of the week.

 

Either way, you’re going to love this. And if you don’t think you can handle 12 servings, make it anyway. You can nosh on it all week and stick the leftovers in the freezer!

 

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Related: Cheesy muffin-tin hashbrown cups

 

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In the fall, everything on the internet gets flavored with pumpkin spice. There are a thousand memes out there to attest to the fact.

 

So I got to work on this fabulous french toast casserole. Because honestly, what foods this time of year don’t go well with pumpkin spice?

 

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This baked oatmeal with pumpkin and cranberries is destined to become a family favorite. Start your mornings off right with a big bowl of oats, pumpkin, cranberries and so much more!

 

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You’ll find the entire list of breakfast casseroles here.

 

 

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If you are looking for a tasty Saturday morning breakfast cereal, you’ve just hit the jackpot! These can be made well ahead of time, store well in the fridge, can be enjoyed with any type of milk and will fill you up with healthy carbs.

 

A good healthy cereal isn’t loaded with processed sugars, and the healthiest cereal should be based on whole grains and other real-food ingredients. All of these cereal and granola recipes fit that description, and, as a bonus, they rock in the flavor department, too!

 

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I have to be honest: I’ve never much cared for store-bought granola. It’s too sickeningly sweet for me, and the flavor is usually blah. I like to be in more control over how sweet my breakfast is, as well as the level of flavor.

 

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People are always asking me what they can pack to take with them on long trips. You guys seem to be a mobile bunch! So I thought I’d make some trail mix you can enjoy on the road.

 

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Few things start your morning off with as much flavor as a good granola. This was actually meant to be a cookbook recipe, but I thought I’d share it here on my blog instead.

 

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If the recipes below aren’t enough for you, I have more breakfast cereal and granola recipes here.

 

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These healthy french toast recipes are the perfect way to use up a loaf of whole grain bread. I start with whole-food ingredients and bread with no sugar added.

I have recipes for baked french toast, french toast cooked in a skillet and even how to make french toast. I even cover how to make french toast sticks for the kiddos!

 

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I don’t know about you, but french toast was a staple growing up. As soon as I learned to make it, I made it all the time. It’s fabulous stuff. I always looked forward to weekends because Saturday or Sunday was always the day I had time to make french toast, and that hasn’t really changed much over the years. I still make it at home at least a couple of times a month. Nothing beats homemade french toast!

 

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I’ve developed a rather strong love affair with coconut over the last couple years. I used to hate it. Couldn’t get me within 10 feet of something that had coconut in it. But that all changed after I had fresh coconut for the first time, and it’s been all downhill from there. I use it whenever I can!

 

Then it dawned on me, why not make coconut french toast? Brilliant! Just brilliant! (Yes, I’m patting myself on the back for this one.)

 

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This Eggnog French Toast Casserole is a delicious holiday treat for clean eaters!

There are only a few dishes I can prepare that really, truly bring the entire family running to the breakfast table. Breakfast is one of those “hit-or-miss” meals around here. If one person is happy, the other is complaining and wants something else.

 

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If that isn’t enough for ya, I also have more french toast recipes here! Get the feeling I like french toast? Umm … ya…

 

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If you need a good oatmeal recipe, I’ve got a ton of them for you! Healthy oatmeal recipes should be delicious, nutritious and versatile. Meaning, whatever flavor is your favorite, there should always be healthy option when it comes to oatmeal.

 

I have a delicious savory oatmeal recipebaked oatmeal recipesovernight oatmeal recipes and more! I even cover, how to make oatmeal. And, of course, all of them are healthy oatmeal recipes based on clean eating principles, so you’ll only find whole-food ingredients in these oatmeal recipes.

 

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Start your morning off right with this healthy apple pie oatmeal recipe!

Few things are as American as apple pie. Except maybe…. oatmeal.

 

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A good baked oatmeal recipe just makes life easier.

 

You can make them ahead or simply prep them the night before to cook in the morning. They freeze well and feed as many people as you need to feed.

 

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If the oatmeal recipes shown here don’t work for ya, I have lots more oatmeal recipes here.

 

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The best quiche recipes have a delicate texture and a robust flavor. Quiche is easy to make and will either feed a larger family at one sitting, or give one or two people a good, healthy breakfast for almost a week.

 

Almost any quiche can be made as a crustless quiche, which will always reduce carbs, calories and fat. Simply use a cast iron skillet or round baking dish to cook the quiche in, minus the crust.

 

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This Southwestern crustless quiche recipe is a delicious, low carb option for breakfast! It’s perfect for a higher-protein breakfast without spending too much time in the kitchen.

 

Breakfast is a meal you should always look forward to. And for me, that means making different things all the time so boredom doesn’t set in.

 

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This clean eating mini quiche recipe is perfect for your Easter table!

 

Start saving your empty egg cartons now, ladies and gentlemen, because these darling appetizers are perfect for the upcoming spring holiday!

 

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This zucchini pie recipe is perfect for breakfast or brunch, but it isn’t have bad for lunch or dinner, either! I took a cooking class in July on making nut cheeses and milks, and I learned a lot.

 

The teacher in this class is apparently a prolific gardener, and she had brought along huge zucchinis from her garden for us to take home. I grabbed one that was about the length of my forearm and happily went home with my mind buzzing over all the possibilities.

 

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You will find the whole list of delicious breakfast quiche recipes here.

 

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Homemade pancakes are total comfort food at the breakfast table. Pancakes are easy to make, can be pretty healthy if made with whole-food ingredients and will always bring the family to the table.

 

All of these pancake recipes are made without pancake mix because believe it or not, pancakes were totally a thing before pancake mix ever hit store shelves, and they definitely predate the modern grocery store all together.

 

The best pancake recipe will always be the recipe that is quick, easy to make and tastes delicious. And while some prefer a fluffy pancake from a packaged mix, I’m hereto tell you that pancakes are delicious even when they are totally flat. But the good news is you can still make delicious, fluffy pancakes without a box mix. My sheet pan pancakes are a perfect example of this!

 

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These cinnamon swirl pancakes are so easy to make, and there is no standing over the stove or dealing with a pancake maker. Just pour and bake!

 

These are the best pancakes I’ve made so far. My whole family loves them!

 

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These leftover oatmeal pancakes are the perfect way to repurpose cold, leftover oatmeal before it goes bad! If you’ve ever had leftover oatmeal in the fridge, you know it doesn’t take long for it to go sour. So if you need to use it up quick, this is a tasty way to do so.

 

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This delicious pancake sandwich is a fun way to enjoy a special, tasty breakfast while you remind the family how much you love them.

 

This delicious breakfast sandwich is a fun and tasty way to make breakfast a little more enjoyable. And if you’re looking for a fun Valentine’s day breakfast, keep reading!

 

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I have many more homemade pancake recipes here.

 

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Homemade waffles are the best because they are actually filling. Store-bought waffles might be convenient in the freezer section, but a good homemade waffles recipe will be easy to make, easy to freeze and just as easy to pop in the toaster in the morning.

 

Here, I have recipes for Belgian waffleswaffle iron recipes (a.k.a. waffle maker recipes), vegan wafflesegg waffleschocolate waffles that taste like having brownies for breakfast, savory, gluten-free waffles made with just eggs, and so much more!

 

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This almond flour waffles recipe is a 50/50 split between almond flour and oat flour, giving them the texture of regular waffles without the smash of high glycemic ingredients in your breakfast.

 

Waffles and pancakes have been a Saturday morning staple in my house for as long as I can remember. The weekend just doesn’t feel complete without them.

 

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These egg waffles are made with no flour at all!

 

Flour is difficult to get at the moment, with everyone staying at home more because of the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some tasty waffles for breakfast!

 

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These vegan chocolate waffles are simply to-die-for delicious, like having brownies for breakfast… only much healthier and without any added guilt. They are totally plant-based, use whole grain flour and plenty of other good-for-you ingredients.

 

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Check out the full list of waffle recipes here.

 

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Want more great recipes for clean eating? Check out the author’s book, Clean Eating Freezer Meals.

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Do people use thermoses anymore? I remember when I was a kid, you always got a matching thermos with your themed lunchbox. They don’t come with them anymore, you have to buy them separately. But I always loved my thermos! There was either something cool and refreshing to drink on a hot day, or some sort of warm soup to keep me nice and toasty on a cold day.

 

In a way, it seems like thermoses have gone “out of style”. I could be wrong, but it just seems that people don’t use them all that much anymore.

 

Well, I’d like to revive those wonderful gadgets. What better way to take a nice warm meal to school or lunch than in a thermos?! So today, I put together a roundup of 10 clean-eating thermos-ready lunch recipes you can easily take for lunch in a thermos.

 

 

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This southwestern turkey chili recipe is what you should make for dinner tonight! I love a nice steaming bowl of good chili on a cold winter night. Few things can beat it. It makes everyone at the dinner table happy and fills up your tummy with good food and comfort. Better still is when that chili is fairly quick and simple to make.

 

Get the recipe here!

 

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Oh ya, this is the good stuff. I mean, cheddar and broccoli are such a wonderful, comforting combination anyway. But turn that into soup and you’ve got a wonderful meal for a cold winter night! It’s creamy, brothy, savory, and just the right balance of cheese and green veg. I try not to make this too often, but it’s hard not to want this every night when it’s chilly out! This is also great for a busy weeknight, too. It cooks up pretty quickly (10-15 minutes!). The ingredients are basic, you probably have most of them on hand already, and if not, a quick trip to any grocery store will get you what you need.

 

Here’s the recipe!

 

 

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I make a lot of rotisserie-style chicken in my slow cooker. I do this at least once a week, sometimes twice. And while we usually eat most of it, sometimes we do have chicken left over. So instead of eating the same old chicken and getting bored with it, I pack it away in the fridge while my slow cooker makes chicken stock overnight. Then with that broth, I make this soup in the slow cooker as well! My slow cooker does all the cooking for two days straight, leaving me free to do other things as well as keeping dinner interesting. That’s a win-win in my book! Now I should mention that I have a 5-quart slow cooker. So this is what works for me. If you have a smaller crock, you may need to adjust down a bit on the spices or they may end up being too strong for you.

 

How to make it.

 

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Every once in a while, I get in the mood for a certain type or flavor of food. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s the only type of food I want for a week. This past week I’ve been in the mood for southwestern flavors. So when I saw my two lonely little butternut squash sitting on my counter all forlorn looking, I knew I had to liven things up for them a bit with a little spice and cilantro! I love southwestern flavors. Maybe because they remind me so much of Mexican-style food (my absolute fave!).

 

See how to cook it here.

 

 

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This slow cooker lentil soup is perfect for a chilly evening at home. I’ve done several lentil soup recipes. For me, there is something very comforting about lentils. They feel homey and nurturing. Even more so when they come out of the slow cooker like this clean-eating slow cooker lentil soup. Plus, it’s a wonderful Meatless Monday dish to come home to after your first day back at work for the week. I like to make some for dinner and pack the rest away in the freezer for quick and easy, grab-and-go lunches. I take it straight from the freezer and by the time I get to lunch, it’s mostly thawed. And if not, a quick few moments in the microwave or in a pot on the stovetop gets the job done.

 

Try it out!

 

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Mini Chef and I were discussing dinner recently on our way to school. I asked him what he wanted that night and expected to get the typical response, “I don’t know.” To my surprise, he thought hard about it, and then informed me that he wanted “tomato soup with broccoli and little carrots all cut up“. Now call me crazy, but this was a really exciting moment for me. Maybe it’s just the food blogger in me, but I was absolutely thrilled. Not only did he request vegetables, but he actually thought through the ingredients! Not bad for a 6-year-old who typically answers with an “I don’t know” response. So I set to work, and found myself actually getting just a little stressed out over the whole thing. I mean, he had thought it through so carefully. So I really put some time into thinking about this one before I ever stepped in the kitchen. So much so that he didn’t actually get his bowl of soup until the following evening. I brought him home and warmed up the soup. A little nervous about his first taste, I served him his bowl and sat back with much anticipation. His response was, “Mmmm!!! You can make this EVERY day!!!“.

 

Here’s the recipe!

 

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I’ve heard from many teachers who remind me that the kids aren’t the only ones going back to school. With lesson plans to create, tests and papers to grade and all those million other things that teachers do for their school kids, let alone their own families, these amazing people run short of time just like any other parent. This recipe is for them, and you. This stew is quick and easy to toss together. You can do it the night before and simply store in the fridge in your slow cooker’s removable dish. Then when you leave in the morning, just put the dish in the slow cooker and head out the door. Dinner will be waiting when you arrive home with all those stacks of papers to grade.

 

Get cooking!

 

 

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This is one of those quick and easy soups that comes together in minutes, fills you up, and is loaded with flavor. You can make this in a pot or a slow cooker, and it’s sure to please the whole family. I actually came up with this while I was creating a recipe for my next cookbook. I accidentally added too much water to the beans and ended up with soup instead of sauce for the casserole I was making. But it was a happy mistake, and one I’m sure you will appreciate on a busy weekday night when dinner has to be on the table in under 20 minutes.

 

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I debated over calling this clean-eating taco soup. I mean, I really feel like in order for something to qualify as taco anything, it really should have at least one tortilla in there somewhere. But in the end, the spices and flavors won me over. And I suppose if you really want a tortilla with it, you could use a tortilla as “bread” for dipping, or even crush a few clean-ish corn chips over the top of your soup. That would be yummy! So for the time being, just go with me on this one. It’s taco soup.

 

How to make it!

 

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I have to thank my Mom for this delicious bowl of soup! You see, Mom and I were a lot alike. We both loved to cook (and bake) and we both tended to cook our meals without using a recipe. I believe they call it “instinctual cooking.” A pinch of this, a dash of that, and before you know it, you’ve got a bowl of something truly yummy to eat!  Mom has been gone now for a few years, but her style of instinctual cooking has stayed with me. This is how I cook every day. I keep adding things until I get a tasty result. Then I simply write down what I’ve done and pass it on to you! It might not be the most scientific method, but so far it seems to be working out okay.

 

To the recipe!

 

Want more meal ideas?
5 sheet pan chicken dinners you can prep in minutes

Delicious & healthy breakfast recipes

 

This article originally appeared on TheGraciousPantry.comand was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

 

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