7 Quick Lunches You Can Make on the Fly

A busy schedule doesn’t have to mean an empty stomach.

FNK_QuickestMacAndCheese_H

FNK_QuickestMacAndCheese_H

Food Network Kitchen’s Quickest Mac and Cheese for the Grown-Up Comfort Food episode of The Kitchen, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet

Renee Comet

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We’ve all been there. You come home from work (for just a few minutes) and need to whip something up quick. Or, you’re sitting at home starving and a trip to the grocery store just isn’t an option. Neither is ordering takeout for the hundredth time. Some days, you’re so busy that you might even be tempted to skip lunch and for me, that is just unacceptable.

Having a busy schedule doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your lunch plans. You can have a meal in under 20 minutes — and one that tastes good too. These lunches provide you with a fast fix for your cravings, and many can be made with simple ingredients that you already have in your pantry. The next time you’re racing against the clock, try one of these recipes for near-instant satisfaction!

Rachael Ray's Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad for Potluck Picks as seen on Food Network's 30 Minute Meals

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

A new take on classic pasta salad, Rachael Ray’s recipe is fresh, zesty and ready in just under 15 minutes. She adds fresh baby spinach, artichoke pieces and roasted red pepper to tender tortellini for a lunch that’s great today — and easy to refrigerate and enjoy the next day!

Tyler Florence's Tuna Everything Bagel As Seen On Food Network's Tyler's Ultimate

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Tara Donne, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Fresh dill, tarragon, capers and parsley: the tuna salad alone creates an explosion of flavors in your mouth. Sandwiched between a crispy everything bagel and topped with onions, cucumbers and tomatoes, this swift and savory lunch is perfect for busy days.

Baja Fish Tacos_10.tif

Baja Fish Tacos_10.tif

food stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop stylist: Marina Malchin

Everyday can be Taco Tuesday with this Baja fish taco recipe. Crispy, breaded halibut served over delicious corn tortillas: You’ll come for the fish, but stay for the flavorful slaw made from cabbage, cilantro and honey. Thought this recipe couldn’t get any better? These tacos are served with avocado and fresh salsa. So many flavors, so little time.

FNK_QuickestMacAndCheese_H

FNK_QuickestMacAndCheese_H

Food Network Kitchen’s Quickest Mac and Cheese for the Grown-Up Comfort Food episode of The Kitchen, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet

Renee Comet

Whether you’re cooking for your kids or in the mood for some nostalgic, childhood comfort food, this mac and cheese will satisfy your cravings in just 10 minutes. The recipe calls for a delicious blend of American and sharp cheddar cheeses for a thick, creamy sauce to pour over cavatappi pasta. For a crispier dish, add breadcrumbs on top and place your mac under the broiler for a couple of minutes.

Photo by: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC All Rights Reserved

Armando Rafael Moutela, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC All Rights Reserved

Who says soup is only for sick days? This spinach tortellini soup is perfect for those days when you're rushed — or those times when hot soup really hits the spot. Simply add tortellini to some spinach, garlic, basil and tomatoes and simmer. In about 15 minutes, you’ll have a deliciously savory soup! You can even serve it hot with some Parmesan cheese.

Rachel Ray's French Dip Sandwiches

Photo by: Teri Lyn Fisher

Teri Lyn Fisher

What should you do if you only have 15 minutes and are tired of bland sandwiches? Make quick and tasty French dip sandwiches! With seasoned roast beef, they make for a tasty midweek lunch option. The best part is probably the savory au jus: the perfect dipping sauce. Feeding friends or family? These sandwiches are so quick and easy that you can make plenty to share!

giada-de-laurentiis-spicy-tomato-soup-recipe_s4x3

giada-de-laurentiis-spicy-tomato-soup-recipe_s4x3

In this recipe, Giada adds some flair to traditional tomato soup by incorporating chopped onions and carrots, along with cannellini beans. The garlic and red pepper flakes give it a spicy kick that’s guaranteed to wake you up during that mid-day slump!

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