Quick-Fix Lunches

No time to make lunch? These tips and recipes help you prepare your midday meal super fast.

Need some ideas for preparing speedy yet satisfying meals to bring to the office? Look no further. Check out our best time-saving tips, as well as a few of our favorite lunchtime recipes.

We've also included ideas posted on our Message Boards—recipes real users have found and loved. They're quick, creative and make saying "no" to those leftover muffins and doughnuts in the boardroom a piece of cake.

Ready, Set, Cook
Here are some handy preparation tips, plus recipes for when you're in a hurry:

Stock up.
Buy precut vegetables, or prepare your own and store them in the fridge (keep in plastic bags or containers, and add a touch of water to vegetables like carrots and celery to retain crispness). Then you'll have easy, last-minute additions for wraps, salads and sandwiches. Try Roast Beef Rolls.

Plan for leftovers.
If you're having baked chicken on Monday night, cook a few extra breasts for use in a low-fat chicken salad sandwich Wednesday and a grilled chicken salad on Wednesday night. Try Chicken and Chile Wraps.

Shred away.
Already shredded, low-fat cheese adds quick protein to bagged salad mixes and makes homemade pita pizzas a snap to prepare. Try Cobb Salad.

Try potluck.
Dice up any leftover cooked chicken, meat or fish and cooked or fresh vegetables from dinner to whip up creative "garbage" salads and wraps for lunch during the week. Try Cajun Chicken Salad.

Keep basics handy.
Already cooked rice or pasta stashed in the fridge can be turned into quick, delicious lunches when tossed with cheese, vegetables and your favorite light dressing. Try our Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad.

Community Lunch Favorites How to Prepare
Chicken Mandarin Noodle Salad Toss spinach leaves with cucumbers, chickpeas, zucchini, radishes, olives, chow mein noodles, mandarin oranges and onions. Add diced, leftover grilled chicken and toss with your favorite low-fat bottled salad dressing.
Almond-Grape Tuna Salad Toss water-packed tuna; romaine lettuce; sliced, seedless red grapes; slivered almonds; and pine nuts with light salad dressing.
Smoked Turkey-Avocado Roll Layer smoked turkey, low-fat Swiss cheese, avocado, sprouts and diced tomatoes in a whole-wheat wrap.
Cranberry-Spinach Salad Toss spinach, chopped almonds and dried cranberries in a bowl with low-fat balsamic vinaigrette. Enjoy as is or stuff into a wheat pita that's spread with some soft goat cheese.
Red Bean, Feta and Pepper Salad Mix together drained kidney beans, chopped pepper, chopped cabbage, green onion and crumbled feta cheese, and dress with 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Toss well and serve with a high-fiber roll.
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