Easy Lunch Ideas Not Sandwiches


Looking for easy lunch ideas not sandwiches? If you’re like most of us, you’ve probably been stuck in a rut. For years, we have relied on the same boring sandwich for that midday meal. If you’re looking for something new to spice up your meal routine, look no further. We’ve got a list of ideas and recipes that will keep you satisfied and happy during lunchtime.

Easy Lunch Ideas Not Sandwiches

When I was a kid, I used to hate sandwiches. My poor mom. Every morning, she’d go downstairs at the crack of dawn, and with the sound of flourescent lights buzzing overhead, she’d drink a cup of instant coffee and pack me (and my brother and sister) a non-sandwich lunch. That was back in the days of no internet, no Amazon, and no Walmart, so she’d have to come up with creative lunch ideas all on her own. Then she’d pack them in nothing but sandwich bags and thermoses in my super cool 1980’s denim lunch bag. (Actually, I don’t remember if I had a denim lunch bag, but it sounds very 80’s doesn’t it?)

Do you remember what you ate for lunch when you were in elementary school? I know I ate tons of crackers and cheese? And every once in awhile my mom would pack a hot dog in a thermos, and it was like I had won the lunch time lottery!

Since I still don’t love sandwiches, I tend not to pack very many in my 5 year old’s school lunches. Sandwiches are just, well.. they’re kind of boring? And these non-sandwich lunch ideas are… well, let’s just say that if someone was willing to make me any one of these recipes for lunch, I would throw down the dish towel, jump onto the coffee table, and break into song. And then they can do the dishes too while they’re at it. Any takers? No? Darn.

Here's an AWESOME list of non-sandwich lunch ideas with over a month of delicious meal ideas! I get so tired of sandwiches all the time!

I know we aren’t all going to go out and try every one of the lunches on this list, but I challenge you to try just one of them. I find that when I find one idea I like, I repeat it over and over and over again (do you do that too?), and seeing that we personally only have 3 school lunch ideas on repeat in our household, a new recipe would be pretty awesome right about now!

From deep dish pizza cupcakes to silly snake dogs this list has tons of yummy ideas you need to try!

 Non-Sandwich Lunch Ideas

Non-Sandwich Lunch Ideas - Mini Food Ideas

Mini Hot Dogs

Non-Sandwich Lunch Ideas - Apple Cheese Wraps

Apples and Cheese Wraps

Non-Sandwich Lunch Ideas - Scrumptious Spaghetti Muffins

Spaghetti Muffins

Non-Sandwich Lunch Ideas - Mexican Pizza

Mexican Pizza

Non-Sandwich Lunch Ideas - BLT Wraps

BLT Wraps

Non-Sandwich Lunch Ideas - Crunchy PB and a Wrap

Apple and Peanut Butter Wrap

Non-Sandwich Lunch Ideas - Cheeseburger Minis

Cheeseburger Minis

Non-Sandwich Lunch Ideas - Silly Snake Dogs

Silly Snake Dogs

Non-Sandwich Lunch Ideas - Chicken Noodles

Chicken Noodle Soup

Non-Sandwich Lunch Ideas - Chicken Club Quesadillas

Chicken Club Quesadillas

Non-Sandwich Lunch Ideas - Pizza Buns

Pizza Buns Non-Sandwich Lunch Ideas - Chopped Salad in a Cup

 Creative Lunch Ideas (That Aren’t Sandwiches)

Pigs in a Blanket

Psst! Your fave party hors d’oeuvre is also an awesome lunch option for kids and grownups alike. And with just two ingredients and four steps, your little chefs can even help make these irresistible bites. Want the recipe? Head here.

Turkey Spinach Pinwheels Lunch Box

More pinwheels, please! These super healthy bites—along with a hefty dose of fruits and veggies—are customizable, easy to make, and utterly delicious. Plus, you can make them ahead of time and have lunch for the whole week. Get the recipe from Damn Delicious.

Taco Salad Lunch Bowl

Turn your lunch into a fiesta with this creative idea from Kristine’s Kitchen! Filled with taco beef, lettuce, cheese, black beans, corn and salsa, these lunch bowls are bursting with flavor and healthy to boot. Score the recipe here.

Pepperoni Pizza Bites

Got thirty minutes? That’s how long it takes to make these four-ingredient bites from A Taste of Madness! Sporting some pepperoni and your fave cheese, they’ve got all the flavors of pizza and will fit just right in a lunchbox. Get the easy recipe here.

Mini Bagels with Cream Cheese

Bagels with cream cheese is a classic at any time! Let your kids pick their favorite flavor and fill a small container with cream cheese. They’ll have fun slathering their bagels, and you can throw in cheese and fruit or veggies to round out their lunch. See the details and get other ideas over at Chelseas’ Messy Apron

Fruit and Cream Cheese Wraps

For a sweet but still healthy lunch, you’ve got to try these wraps from Healthy Seasonal Recipes. Pair them with fresh veggies for a light and delicious meal. To get the recipe, click here.

Kiddie Cobb Salad

Turn veggie-averse kids into salad eaters with this genius take on cobb salad from Mom’s Kitchen Handbook. You can customize it with toppings your littles will like, but we figure avocados, turkey and hard-boiled eggs are a delicious place to start. To get the recipe, click here.

Homemade Kraft Easy Mac

Mac and cheese is a surefire win for our kids, which is why we love this take on easy mac from Food Fanatic. The best part? It’s made entirely in the microwave and comes together in a flash. Click here to grab the recipe.

Sweetie Pie Quesadilla

Sneak veggies into your kid’s diet with these delish quesadillas by Katie Sullivan. In addition to being tot-approved, they’re also easy to make ahead and quickly reheat. Click here to get the recipe.

Corn Dog Muffins

These bite-sized muffins from An Affair from the Heart are an instant kid favorite, and way better for you than the deep-fried corn dogs you find at the county fair. To find out how they’re made, click here.

Pizza Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is always a great lunch choice, and this pizza-inspired version from Veggie Quest is bound to be a hit with the little ones. With good-for-you ingredients like beans and veggies, it’s a win for health, too. Click here to get the recipe.

Don’t forget the Creative Roots to make this meal even more fun! This plant-powered coconut water beverage has a taste kids love. With one gram of sugar, you can feel good about it, too.

10 easy sandwich filling ideas

From chunky club sandwiches bursting with veg, to creamy coronation chicken and summery chicken gyros, these funky fillings are perfect for packed lunches, picnics or creative al desko dining. Keep it classic with flavours everyone knows and loves, or try something new with our twists on the traditional. Pair your sandwiches with some mouthwatering snacks and nourishing salads from our top lunchbox recipes.

1. Coronation chicken

Coronation chicken sandwiches on plate

Got some cooked chicken that needs using up? Turn your leftovers into our easy coronation chicken, you can make it in just five minutes. This simple sandwich filling is packed with curry spices and a touch of sweetness from a dollop of mango chutney. It’s also delicious on top of a humble jacket potato or as part of a green salad.

2. Ploughman’s sandwich

Ploughman's baguette on board

You can’t go wrong with a cheesy classic. Try a traditional ploughman’s sandwich, filled with ham, cheddar and plenty of tangy pickle. Upgrade your mayo with a spoonful of wholegrain mustard and add some crunch with thin slices of fresh apple. Top with peppery rocket and enjoy!

3. Club sandwich

Club sandwiches with cocktail sticks on plate

Layer up a gastro pub classic and curb your cravings with a chunky club sandwich. It’s hard to resist a towering treat made with strips of crispy bacon, chicken and all the trimmings. Or, try our delicious veggie alternative packed with creamy hummus, avocado and sweet cherry tomatoes. This doorstop green club sandwich will keep you going until dinner time.

4. Egg & cress

Egg and cress sandwiches with cocktail sticks and crisps

Take some inspiration from an afternoon tea favourite and try a simple and summery egg & cress club sandwich – kids and adults alike will wolf these down. Toast the bread for a little extra texture and bite. These hefty handfuls are great for picnic lunches or a simple storecupboard lunch.

5. Beetroot, hummus & crispy chickpeas

Hummus, beetroot and chickpea sub on board

Add a pop of colour to your plate with our vegan beetroot, hummus & crispy chickpea sub sandwich. Load up crusty ciabatta with hummus, pesto and golden fried chickpeas to keep hunger at bay. For more wraps, soups and salads to satisfy your stomach check out our vegan lunch recipes.

6. Crab & cucumber

Crab and cucumber sandwiches on plate

Make your sandwiches a little bit special with our lemony crab & cucumber clubs. Combine soft white crab meat with mayo, chives and fresh lemon zest, alongside slices of crisp cucumber. They made a delicious celebratory treat or afternoon tea plate. Try our best ever crab sandwiches for a substantial mix of brown and white crab meat with plenty of spices and seasoning.

7. Chicken Caesar

Pitta with salad and chicken

Whip up something filling and healthy with our speedy Caesar pitta. Make a quick yogurt dressing with a few simple ingredients, then add plenty of salad, seasoning and tender chicken for a winning lunch. It also works well with leftover turkey. Go from prep to plate in just 10 minutes and give everyone in your house food envy at the same time.

8. Smoked salmon and avocado

Salmon club sandwiches with cocktail sticks

Layer up hot smoked salmon, peppery rocket and slices of buttery avocado in our salmon club sandwich. This indulgent triple-decker is the perfect balance of flavours and textures. Serve with any leftover rocket as an easy side salad. Serving a bigger family? Try our salmon & egg wraps with moreish mustard mayo.

9. Herby chicken gyros

Chicken pitta sandwich

Indulge in a pitta full of glorious Greek-inspired flavours with our herby chicken gyros. Get a taste of the summer with sweet peppers, homemade tzatziki and garlicky chicken breast. You can also sub in a bit of lean steak as a healthy swap for chicken.

10. Vegetarian club sandwich

Vegetarian club sandwich on plate

Stack up a meat-free marvel in a flash with our vegetarian club recipe. This vibrant veggie meal uses crunchy grated carrot, super-smooth hummus and juicy tomatoes. Even hardcore carnivores will be converted by this wholesome toasted treat. Get stuck into even more vibrant vegetarian lunch recipes.

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