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6 Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas for Busy Moms

Someone topping loaded sweet potato slices with some sour cream.
Jukov Studio/Shutterstock

Busy moms have to sacrifice a lot of things, and a nutritious lunch is often one of them. These delicious recipes are so easy, though, you should be able to fit them into even the busiest of schedules.

Sweet Potato Toast

An amazing alternative to bread, sweet potato toast brings a ton of nutrition to your table. From vitamins C, B, and D, to iron, magnesium, and loads of dietary fiber, sweet potatoes are a great low-glycemic pick-me-up food. They also go well with almost any other ingredient.

For this recipe, all you really need is a sweet potato, cut into thick disks. We recommend you cut from tip to tip to get a really wide slice.

You can load them with any toppings you like, but some of our favorites include:

  • Sliced avocados
  • Poached egg (for those avocado toast vibes)
  • Oven-roasted chickpeas with sun-dried tomatoes
  • Hummus with hemp seeds
  • Ricotta cheese with figs
  • Labneh with falafel
  • Pesto with caramelized onions.

Bake your sweet potatoes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes, flipping them half-way through. Then, take them out and assemble!

Zoodle Bolognese

Zoodles have been all the rage for a while, and it’s not tough to understand why. This amazing low-carb pasta replacement can handle any sauce you drizzle over it. It’s the perfect lunch to enjoy in the middle of a busy day.

The Bolognese does take a bit longer to make, but you can always cook it in batches and keep in the freezer.

You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 large zucchinis
  • 1 lb. of ground beef, coated in your spices of choice
  • 1 can of cubed tomatoes
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt and black pepper
  • 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions:

In a large pan on medium-high heat, fry off the onions until they start to sweat, and then add the meat coated with spices. Keep frying off until no pink is left.

Add the tomatoes, carrot, and water. Cover and let simmer for an hour, checking every once in a while to make sure the water hasn’t evaporated.

Add the mushrooms at the end, and then sprinkle the salt and black pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes more, and then set aside. You can divide it into multiple dishes and freeze it, so then all you’ll have to do at lunchtime is heat it up.

Spiralize your zucchini, and then toss it in a bowl of water to soften for about 10 minutes. Drain, and then add it to the Bolognese. Sprinkle some Parmesan on top and voilà: you’ve got the perfect lunch!

Beet and Burrata Salad

A beet salad loaded with nuts, cheese, and dressing.
DronG/Shutterstock

Packed with protein, healthy fats, and a bunch of vitamins, this salad is super-easy to assemble and devour. You can also easily pack it to-go, or even prepare it the night before and let it cool in the fridge.

You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 medium-sized beets
  • 1 burrata cheese ball
  • 1/3 cup of your granola of choice
  • 2 cups of arugula (or any other kind of salad)
  • 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt and black pepper

Instructions:

Cut the beets into disks and place on a ribbed pan on medium heat. Grill for about 5 minutes, and then flip and grill for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from grill and set aside to cool slightly.

Place the arugula on a large plate. Sprinkle the sun-dried tomatoes, granola, and burrata pieces on top, and then add the beets. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and spices, and then dig in!

If you enjoy having greens for lunch, check out how to make the perfect salad every single time.

Tacos

One of the easiest, most delicious lunches you can ever make is your own version of tacos. All you really need is a tasty tortilla and some good guacamole, and everything else is up to you.

You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 3 tortillas of choice
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 bunch of cilantro

Below are some toppings you might want to include:

  • Grilled chicken, beef, fish, tofu, or veggies
  • Falafel
  • Chickpeas
  • Beans
  • Salsa
  • Cheese of choice

Instructions:

Mix all the ingredients and thoroughly mash them together to make your guacamole.

Heat up your tortillas on a pan or in the oven, and then fill them with any ingredients you like. Add the salsa, guac, and cheese, and then enjoy the deliciousness of every bite.

You can also make an egg omelet to put inside and create a breakfast taco—the possibilities are endless.

Falafel Bowl

A quinoa, beet, and hummus falafel bowl.
Nataliya Arzamasova/Shutterstock

This Middle-Eastern inspired dish will fill you up with a good combination of protein, carbs, and fat. These will help you feel fuller, longer, and give you some much-needed energy to get through your day. Chickpeas are a real superfood. You can either get premade falafel or make your own (see below).

Ingredients for the falafel:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 whole bunch of cilantro
  • 1 whole bunch of parsley
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1 teaspoon of salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of buckwheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for the rest of the bowl:

  • 1 cup of quinoa, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons of hummus
  • 1 tablespoon of pickled onions
  • 1/2 cup of grilled Broccolini
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and then set aside.

In a food processor, pulse all the ingredients for the falafel until well-combined, but before they turn to mush. You can leave it a bit chunky for better texture.

With a spoon or ice-cream scoop, form small balls of dough and transfer them to the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, checking them halfway through.

If you have an air fryer, you can finish them off for another 5 minutes, or fry them off in a pan. This will make them extra crispy.

You can premake your falafel and keep it in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to two weeks.

Once you have all your ingredients, create a bed of salad, rice, pasta, or zucchini noodles in a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients on top, and then sprinkle the sesame at the very end. Enjoy!

Creamy Chicken Wrap

Chicken is the ultimate quick-lunch ingredient, but why just grill or shred it when you can take it a step further? Envelop it in a rich, delicious, creamy sauce that’s perfect to eat as-is, or to fill up a wrap.

You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 4 ounces of chicken (cooked, shredded, or grilled)
  • 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of tahini
  • 1 teaspoon of lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian herbs
  • Vegetables of choice (grilled or sliced)

Instructions:

Mix all your ingredients for the sauce, and then coat the chicken all the way through.

Place it in a wrap with your veggies of choice. Drizzle some sauce on top before you wrap it up, and then enjoy!


It’s all too easy to skip a healthy lunch on busy days. Start with one of these recipes and see how it works with your routine. You’ll love how filling they are, not to mention the energy you’ll get to power through the rest of your day.

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »

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