As a homeschool family, it’s probably not surprising that we eat lots of lunches at home. That’s a given, right? But what does lunch look like when you’re home most of the time? We certainly eat our fair share of PB & J, but we also try to mix it up a bit. After all, it takes intentionality to keep our lunch menu more appealing than the offerings of a drive thru. Here’s a list of our lunchtime favorites.
1. Baked Nachos – There’s not a whole lot to this one and there’s lots of room for creativity. There’s no ingredient list needed because it’s all up to you. Just think of anything you like to have on nachos or taco salad and go from there.
When it comes time to assemble, line a baking sheet with nachos and add your favorite toppings – meat, black beans, olives, tomatoes, salsa, whatever you like – and finish it up by sprinkling shredded cheese on top. After that, place it in your oven for a few minutes on 350 degrees. You can use your broiler if you’d like; just watch closely so that you don’t end up with burned nachos. You mainly just need your toppings to be warm and your cheese to be melted.
|Quick tip: If you want use meat in your toppings, consider cooking it while you’re prepping dinner a night or two before. Once you’ve browned it, add some taco seasoning and a little bit of water, stir, and refrigerate until you need it.|
2. Pesto Pasta – Cooked pasta and your choice of homemade or store-bought pesto are all you need for a quick and flavorful lunch. Once you’ve cooked your pasta, stir in a few tablespoons of pesto. You can even amp it up a little by topping it with pine nuts and parmesan. With or without, this is a great excuse to keep some pesto on hand.
3. This Tomato and Parmesan Pasta is another simple and yummy pasta dish and it’s perfect for summer lunch! Here’s the ingredient list:
- Pasta of your choice (bowties work nicely)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Sliced pitted black olives
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Shredded Parmesan
|I didn’t list specific amounts on the ingredients. Add as much of any ingredient or as little as you like.
This one doesn’t need a ton of rules to follow!
Cook your pasta to al dente, drain and add to a skillet. Add a few drizzles of EVOO, some cherry tomatoes, and olives and cook on low until heated through. This shouldn’t take long; just long enough to warm the tomatoes. After a few minutes, top with a sprinkle (or two) of shredded parmesan and bread crumbs and enjoy!
4. Chicken Salad – My picky eaters aren’t chicken salad fans, but Hubby and I love this go-to chicken salad recipe. It’s one of our all-time favorite lunches.
5. Grown-up Grilled Cheese – My kids are grilled cheese purists. They don’t like any experiments with the classic sandwich, but once I’ve got their sandwiches cooking, I start putting my grown-up grilled cheese together. Avocado. Spinach. Pesto. Mozzarella. Why on earth wouldn’t you invite this into your life?
6. Broccoli Mac & Cheese – This isn’t the quickest option on this list, but it’s too yummy to leave off. What’s more is that it’s picky eater-approved! That carries a lot of weight at our table.
7. Applewiches – I first saw applewiches in Paula Deen’s My First Cookbook a few years ago. Since then, my kids have become obsessed. Apples, sharp cheddar, & peanut butter. You understand the obsession, right? Sometimes we have these as a snack, but sometimes we add a side or two and have them for lunch. At lunch or mid-afternoon, these are always welcome at our table.
8. Apple & Cheddar Quesadillas – We’re fans of the apples and cheese combination. That’s probably clear by now.
9. Pizza Bread – This concept shows up in our rotation in several ways. Sometimes we have pizza biscuits, sometimes pizza crescents, and sometimes it’s straight up pizza bread. The kids love all variations. All you need is some type of bread, pizza sauce, and cheese. Pepperoni and other toppings are nice, but you can survive without them.
I particularly love pizza bread because it’s a great way to use leftover dinner bread. It’s even easier than the other two options. This bread mainly just needs to be toasted after adding a layer of sauce, cheese, and other toppings.
10. Knock-off Pad Thai – Martha Stewart’s Raman Noodle Upgrade is easy and inexpensive – two good reasons to add this to your lunch list. I understand that Raman Noodles don’t sound exciting, but if this upgrade is good enough for Martha, then shouldn’t it be good enough for us too?
Looking for some other lunch ideas? Stop by my Lunching at Home Pinterest board and see what you can find. When you’re done there, be sure to check out iHomeschool Network’s Top Ten Lunches to see what other homeschool parents are cooking up.