5 Great Pantry Lunches That Aren’t Sandwiches

Don’t let your lunch routine turn stale.

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Sure, there’s nothing technically wrong with a PB&J or a classic tuna sandwich. But let’s be honest — you can only eat a sandwich for so many days before you start dragging your feet on the way to the pantry. Next time you’re in need of a delicious lunch that you can assemble with ingredients you have in the house, try one of these easy and exciting recipes. They’re so good, you won’t miss the bread at all.

Polenta Pizza Bites (pictured above)

Consider this lunch a triple threat: it’s fast, easy and fun. To assemble the mini pizzas, use sliced polenta as a stand-in for dough, then top each piece with jarred marinara, cheese and anything you have in the pantry or fridge. Bacon, pepperoni, or chopped veggies are all great options that will leave you looking forward to lunch the next day.

This is the receipe for Carbonara Fried Rice

This is the receipe for Carbonara Fried Rice

Photo by: Kate Mathis

Kate Mathis

Bring the rich flavors of carbonara to crispy fried rice for a lunch that’ll have you reaching for seconds. Don’t have pancetta? Bacon will work just as well to incorporate salty, smoky flavor!

Hilaria Baldwin makes a Pantry Grain Bowl, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

Hilaria Baldwin makes a Pantry Grain Bowl, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

We’ve got the grain bowl cheat sheet that will help you assemble a delicious lunch in minutes. Combine your favorite grain, veggie and protein (this recipe offers tons of options), then add a crunchy topping and tie it all together with a dressing or oil. With such a variety of colors and textures, it’s guaranteed to be a meal you’ll feel good about eating.


Photo by: Justin Walker

Justin Walker

Make the most of your canned tomatoes and chickpeas by transforming them into a saucy egg dish. To really round out the meal, serve with a dollop of hummus and warmed pita.

Ok, so maybe you still want to eat peanut butter without the sandwich. In that case, look no further than Trisha’s nutty ramen. Creamy peanut butter, frozen veggies and ramen noodles combine to make a comforting lunch that’s ready to eat in less than half an hour. If you have leftover chicken in the fridge, feel free to throw it in!

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