Master List of Simple Lunch Ideas

For everyone who is home with a family to feed during lunchtime every day, this List of Simple Lunch Ideas is for you! These lunches are all made with simple, real foods. (Coming soon: A list of great simple, real food lunches to pack and take to work and school.)

Keep Lunch Simple

As a brand new school year approaches and I am praying away the scheduling craze that is trying to creep in along with the turning of the calendar pages, I’ve decided to put together Master Lists of food and recipes and ideas to make lunches, breakfasts, snacks, and lunchbox options as simple as possible each day. Today’s list:

The Master List of Simple Lunch Ideas

But Laura! You home school and work from home so you’re home all day. Why is it difficult to get food on the table?

{And Laura falls on the floor laughing and crying and kicking the chairs in her path while throwing couch pillows.}

Dear friends. Homeschooling only means that our books and software live in the house and our school is operated out of the home instead of a classroom. We are on the run a significant amount of time between music lessons, college classes, field trips, service opportunities, athletic events, church activities, library runs, and the like.

For our family, homeschooling and working from home has offered us the coolest, most wonderful, and fabulously flexible opportunity and we are extremely grateful for the relationships we have with our kids and with the community because of it. But it also lends itself to extremely full days with little down time. So in the name of sanity…

This mama needs a Master Simple Lunch List.

And a Master Breakfast List. And a Master Snack List. Watch for those lists, coming very soon. (Subscribe here so you don’t miss them!)

Where’s the list of Simple Dinners? This is already taken care of with our Simple Meals plans. I follow those, so our evening meals hit the table very quickly. I am so, so thankful for this!

Why not eat sandwiches every day for lunch?

The short answer is that it would cost my family too much money. The other short answer is that we prefer more variety of nutrients and less carb-heavy meals.

No matter what though, I recommend that we always, always…

Eat a fruit and a veggie with each lunch.

This is easier than you think. I’ll tell you how! I think it’s time for the list, don’t you? (To make this much easier, you can download this entire, beautiful Master Simple Lunch List here.)

Your Real Food Master Simple Lunch List

You can download this entire list here. But I’ll share it all on this post for reference also. I also recommend that you pin it so you can find it quickly as needed!


We’ll begin with fruits and veggies because instead of thinking of them second, let’s start thinking of them first!

Fruits and veggies that can be pulled from the fridge and served immediately with little to no prep (beyond washing):

  • Baby carrots (I like the petite carrots – they are sweeter and easier to eat!)
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Mini sweet peppers
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Unsweetened Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Clementines
  • Fresh Spinach or Mixed Greens

Fruits and veggies that take a few minutes of prep but are still super simple:

  • Sliced apples
  • Sliced peaches or nectarines
  • Steamed peas (frozen peas cook very quickly!)
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Sliced sweet peppers
  • Raw broccoli “trees”
  • Cut cantaloupe
  • Watermelon wedges
  • Sliced pears
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Steamed green beans (frozen green beans take just a few minutes, but can cook themselves while you get the remainder of lunch ready)

If you have Homemade Ranch Dip or Hummus on hand, these can be thrown onto the table quickly to help get the veggies down!


Simple Lunches that can be made ahead of time and warmed up quickly:

Simple Lunches that can be thrown together with little prep time:


Simple Lunches that are flexible and can be eaten in more than one way:

Would you like to make this Master List of Simple Lunches even simpler?

Sign up here to receive the entire Master List of Simple Lunches in a free downloadable document! Then you can keep it handy on your computer or print it and put it on your fridge as a super handy reference!

Master List of 40 Simple Lunch Ideas

Grab a free download of the Master Simple Lunch List!

Watch for more Master Lists coming this month, filled with real food and simple snacks, breakfasts, and lunch box ideas!

What would you add to the list? What are your favorite simple lunches to feed your family?


  1. Amanda Pennington says

    THANK YOU for affirming that being home doesn’t automatically equal more free time! I can’t tell you how many job requests I’ve had to turn down because all people hear is the “home” in homeschool. Busy doesn’t begin to do it justice! It’s kind of the same idea that many have about stay-at-home moms: we eat chocolates, do our nails and watch TV all day, right? Thank you for your ongoing encouragement in loving our heavenly Father and earthly family well!


  2. Deb says

    Thank you! I am just about to start homeschooling my daughter, and I feel like lunch prep is a big hurdle for the flow of our day. This list helps a ton. Thank you, Laura!


  3. Pamela says

    As always, great tips:)! Just wanted to share that I’m trying hard not to waste food (very guilty of that during super busy periods), so lunch today: turkey salad with cubes of LO turkey meat (some still in freezer, used in a pot pie the other night) combined with a few sharded slices of smoked turkey lunchmeat to use up; added some cut-up dried apricots and a few LO roasted veggies on side to increase nutrition like Laura encourages us to do, and several avocado slices…oh, and half a warmed LO tortilla….YUM!! Thanks for your helpful and well-organized articles and master lists, Laura!!


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