Your Guide to Making Honest-to-God 6-Minute Lunches

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

Making lunch happen can be a challenge sometimes when, more often than not, you hardly have the minutes to spare. Although I think you can spare six minutes. That’s seriously all the time it takes to get these five lunch recipes together. These are real lunches, too — I am not talking about grabbing some pita chips and hummus and calling it a meal. Instead, I mean hearty sandwiches, extra-flavorful salads, and more, all made possible thanks to a few key ideas. Follow them and you’re guaranteed to have a tasty, flavorful lunch in next to no time. Here’s how to do it.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

1. Let store-bought ingredients do the heavy lifting.

Save the toiling away in the kitchen for when you have more time. Grab ingredients at the grocery store that need little to no prep but pack in a lot of flavor. A can of black beans and a piece of hot smoked salmon can be tossed together to make one spicy, smoky, protein-packed salad in no time. Or quickly heat up a fully cooked sausage and stuff it in a pretzel roll with a few condiments like tangy sauerkraut and sweet roasted red peppers for a hearty, utensil-free lunch.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

2. Give old favorites a fresh update.

You know a peanut butter and jelly sandwich takes only a few minutes to make, but that can get boring after a while. Use those well-loved lunch staples and turn them into something a bit more unique like a warm, griddled wrap filled with peanut butter, banana, and crunchy granola. Doing this makes it a lunch that both you and the kids can agree on.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

3. Don’t overcomplicate things.

To ensure a quick lunch, keeps things simple but don’t skimp on flavor. Tossing zucchini noodles with store-bought pesto and topping them with a fried egg instantly makes them much more interesting but hardly fussy. And while slices of green apple and brie seem too simple to call lunch, when tucked inside a baguette with a swipe of tangy Dijon mustard, it’s a meal that’s sure to garner excitement.