10 Dinner Recipes That Make Great Lunch Leftovers

updated Jul 19, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Faith Durand

When it comes to packing a healthy, homemade lunch, dinner is your best friend. A good dinner is one that is delicious and generous enough to become lunch the next day. From slow cooker enchiladas to green curry, and vegetarian casseroles to hearty meatloaf, here are 10 of our favorite homemade dinners that also make great homemade lunches.

Personally, I think a good dinner-to-lunch meal has a few specific characteristics:

  • It reheats well or is good cold. Some dinners just don’t reheat well. Others are no good cold. Some are only good one way (I don’t like reheated chicken breasts, for instance, but love them cold and sliced on salads).
  • It is easy to eat at your desk. I know many people love lasagna as leftovers, but man, it’s hard to eat with a plastic fork! Personally, I like casseroles and pasta dishes that are already in bite-sized pieces.
  • It is easy to pack. There’s no fussiness or separate container needed. If you need a separate container for the sauce, and another for the topping or a mix-in, eh — too much work. It’s better to just be able to throw a portion in a container and go. Double points if it’s a complete meal, with starch and veg.

Having said that, here are some fabulous dinners from our archives that really work well as lunches.

 Dinner Recipes That Make Great Lunch Leftovers

1 / 8
Cauliflower & Chicken Sausage Casserole

A simple, vegetable-based casserole that gets even more flavorful the next day.

Go to Recipe
2 / 8
Slow Cooker Coconut and Green Curry Pork

Curries and braises just get better as they sit in the fridge. This one is no exception, and since it includes potatoes already, I find that rice is optional.

Go to Recipe
3 / 8
Spiced Lamb Meatballs

Make a big batch of these, freeze them, and bake them off as needed.

Go to Recipe
4 / 8
Slow-Cooker Black Bean Enchiladas
An easy recipe for slow cooker enchiladas with black beans and cheese. Vegetarian.
Go to Recipe
5 / 8
Meatloaf from Scratch
Here's how to make the most tender, most tasty meatloaf you can imagine.
Go to Recipe
6 / 8
Chickpea Casserole with Lemon, Herbs & Shallots

This vegetarian casserole makes a generous amount, and it’s packed with protein and fresh flavor.

Go to Recipe
7 / 8
Creamy Macaroni and Cheese on the Stove
A no-roux method for faster (and tastier!) macaroni and cheese on the stovetop, made with just 5 ingredients.
Go to Recipe
8 / 8
Goat Cheese and Swiss Chard Casserole

One more pasta recipe that makes fantastic leftovers.

Go to Recipe

What are your favorite dinner-to-lunch meals? Do you have meals that you cook just for the leftovers?

Originally published April 11, 2011