With school out for summer, the next few weeks might mean that you have a couple of extra mouths to feed at lunchtime.
If you have the whole family at home together for the school holidays, it can be tricky to plan lunches that everyone will enjoy.
It’s never ideal to make more than one option at mealtimes, so the key is to find dishes that every family member will enjoy.
The good news is that we’ve rounded up our favourite family friendly lunches to provide some midday inspiration for the rest of the summer.
Filling, flavourful and healthy, these delicious lunches will see you through the holidays, whatever you’ve got planned!
Quick and easy lunches
If your day is packed full of activity, you’ll need a lunch that’s ready in no time.
Whatever responsibilities you’re juggling, time is precious, so food that can be on the table in less than half an hour is essential.
The obvious choice is a sandwich – but if you want a change from the same old same old, you could try this Yorkshire Pudding Wrap.
It only takes 10 minutes to cook the Yorkshire pudding, and then you can load it up with whatever fillings you have at hand.
We’ve used beef slices and a good handful of rocket, but anything goes.
If you’re making this with the kids you can even get them involved with whipping up the batter and choosing their own fillings.
Lunch is a great time to use up any leftovers from the night before.
If you have any leftover cooked chicken in the fridge, this Chopped Thai Chicken Salad can be ready in less than 10 minutes.
It’s no ordinary salad, instead, it’s fragrant and full of flavour, with a peanutty dressing that brings the whole dish to life.
We’ll take any excuse to have pasta for lunch every day.
This BLT Pasta Salad is ready in less than half an hour, but if you cook plenty of it, you can store it in the fridge and have it for a couple of days.
We’ve used quark and fat free yoghurt to make the dressing slimming friendly, but you could also add in some mayo if the rest of your family prefer a creamier sauce.
A yummy cheese toastie is always a family favourite at lunch time.
We’ve added even more flavour to these Caramelised Onion Cheese Toasties by throwing in some extra veg.
The onions and mushrooms soften and caramelise in the pan before you add them onto the bread.
As well as making sure this recipe packs in some extra nutrients, the veg tastes great and makes this a really filling lunch.
You could try mixing up this dish with different cheeses and other veg – how about adding in some goat cheese and red pepper?
If the kids are pestering for their favourite fast foods, you could make yourself our version of a KFC Rice Box so you don’t feel like you’re missing out.
It only takes 25 minutes for the chicken to cook in the oven, and you can make the savoury rice while you’re waiting.
With the crunchy coating on the chicken and plenty of fresh salad, this is a super satisfying lunch.
It’s so good even the kids will be asking to try it!
Leftovers for lunch
The easiest lunches of all are the ones you only need to reheat.
Sometimes it’s worth the extra effort to make a big batch of your evening meal so that you have leftovers for busier days.
Whether it’s something you can pop into the freezer for a quick meal in the future, or something that can be stored in the fridge for a day or two, leftovers make the best lunches.
This Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta is a great example.
It’s such a good way to use up whatever veggies you have in the house – and it’s suitable for freezing.
A total crowd pleaser, this is an easy weekday meal that the whole family will want for lunch.
If you can stop everyone from going back for second servings, leftovers of our Spaghetti Bolognese Lasagna make perfect lunches.
It’s one of those recipes where it somehow tastes even better the next day!
By mashing together two of our favourite Italian classics, this dish celebrates the flavours of Italy with rich tomato sauce, lean beef mince and a gooey, golden cheese topping.
You can keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days (if you can resist it that long!) or it can be frozen as soon as it’s cool enough.
We love cooking in a slow cooker for meals that are big on taste and low on effort.
The only thing lower in effort? Reheating slow cooked leftovers!
Try making a huge batch of these Slow Cooker Curried Sausages and saving some for a quick lunch later in the week.
If you have fussy eaters in the family, this recipe will make it so easy to get them on their way to their five a day.
The curry sauce is made from lots of veggies all blended together – and they’ll never need to know.
Leftovers can be frozen or refrigerated, and reheated in less than ten minutes. Winner!
You can’t beat a warming bowl of soup for lunch, but you don’t want to be making it from scratch on a busy day.
You can batch cook this fragrant Mulligatawny Soup and save the leftovers for a day when you need some delicious comfort food in a hurry.
Add in as much or as little spice as you like, and serve with a thick slice of crusty bread for the ultimate lunch.
Cornish pasties were first created as portable lunches for miners, so it seems fitting that we include our (slightly less portable) Cornish Pasty Pie in this roundup!
A lunchtime classic, you wouldn’t want to start making this from scratch in the middle of the day, but leftovers from the night before are ideal.
Our version has a lattice pastry topping to cut down on calories, but if you’re making this for the family you could cover the whole thing.
You could even make the filling using our instructions and then use it to make individual pasties if you prefer.
It’s all too easy to nip into the local bakery and pick up a few pastries, pies and other baked goodies for an easy lunch.
If you’d rather have a go at making your own healthier versions, we’ve got you covered with some bakery classics that the whole family can get involved with.
Let’s start with the ultimate bakery lunchtime treat – a flaky sausage roll!
Our Sausage Rolls don’t technically use pastry, but we promise you won’t be able to tell the difference!
You get to make the sausage filling yourself, so you’ll know exactly what’s gone into it, and have the peace of mind that comes from knowing there’s no nasties in there.
These are guaranteed to become a lunchtime favourite in your house.
You can also swap your favourite pasty for these Cheese and Onion Pasties.
Made with just 7 ingredients, they’re much lighter than the bakery versions, but just as packed with flavour and gooey cheesy goodness.
You can eat them hot or cold, making them perfect for packing up for day trips.
These Cheese and Pickle Twists are more of a snack, rather than a whole meal, but they’re still a great addition to lunchtime.
Why buy cheese twists from the bakery when you can make these at home yourself?
They’re fun to make, and even the kids can lend a hand.
If those slices of pizza in the bakery always catch your eye, you might be interested in our recipe for French Bread Pizza.
Super quick to make, you can get creative with the toppings.
We’ve stayed classic with Margherita, but chop up some veggies or add ham, chicken, pepperoni – even pineapple if that’s your thing!
The whole family can choose their own toppings for a fun lunch that feels like a real treat. So much better than the bakery!
Pies and tarts from the bakery are often made with rich, buttery pastry, which isn’t the healthiest option for lunch.
Our Vegetable Tarts use a tortilla wrap instead of pastry, which might seem a little strange but it works so well!
Filled with a delicious tomato sauce and plenty of vegetables, they make for a lovely light lunch.
Looking for more lunch inspiration?
If you’re after even more ideas for lunchtime recipes, make sure you check out this article featuring Ten Lunches Under 500 Calories.
What’s your family’s favourite lunch? Let us know over on our Facebook Group! We have almost 1 million members who love to share inspiration, ideas and motivation for your slimming journey.