One of the best things about summer is that there’s more than enough sunlight to go around. You can sleep in as late as you please (on weekends at least) or stay outside well past dinnertime—the sun will likely be there to brighten up your meals. That carefree lifestyle tends to draw us outdoors all season long when it’s time to eat.
And yet, it’s still easy to bypass the lowly lunch in favor of a patio brunch or a picnic dinner. So next weekend, keep this midday meal front and center with these seven summer lunch ideas that can be accomplished in no time. With seasonal ingredients and easy-to-master instructions, these recipes are sure to give your next food spread its time in the sun.
Caramelized Onion Frittata
Of all the lunch ideas to share with friends, a frittata tends to be among the most impressive. Show off your skills when you serve this recipe from The Modern Proper, which uses caramelized onions, baby kale, crumbled feta, and fresh chives as toppings that are cooked right in the eggs. When it’s bubbling hot, top the skillet with more cheese.
Avocado Caprese Chicken Salad
Looking to eat as many avocados as possible before the end of summer? Master this 15-minute meal from Joyful Healthy Eats, which serves it alongside chicken breasts, fresh mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, and diced basil. A balsamic vinaigrette finishes it all off.
Chicken, Veggie, and Rice Bowl
This colorful bowl option from Half Baked Harvest can give you the energy to last the rest of the day, thanks to seasoned chicken tenders, red bell peppers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, toasted walnuts, and crumbled feta on a bed of basmati rice. Before you dive in, add a scoop of guacamole.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
This quick lunch recipe from The Modern Proper can work as a weekday meal or as part of a weekend feast. Mixed olives, crumbled feta, red onion, diced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and fresh arugula are mixed with cooked pasta and layered in a simple Mediterranean dressing. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Chickpea Salad Sandwich
A sandwich is always a dependable lunch choice, and this recipe from Food Faith Fitness delivers that comforting meal with a slight twist. Chickpeas are mixed with yogurt and balsamic vinegar, and blackberries are added in. After the mixture has cooled, it’s packed between your choice of bread.
Thai Steak Lettuce Cups
You won’t get weighed down by a heavy midday lunch if you try this recipe from The Modern Proper, which serves up skirt steak, carrot slices, red bell pepper, and fresh herbs in butter lettuce leaves. A dressing made with fish sauce, green onions, garlic, and lime juice adds flavor and texture.
If you’re looking for a refreshing lunch that also packs a slight punch, this cucumber salad from Crowded Kitchen fits the bill. Thinly sliced cucumbers are tossed with shallots, garlic sauce, coconut sugar, ginger, garlic, and tamari for layers of flavor that are completed with a topping of cilantro and green onion.