Published on July 23, 2018

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Photography by JAMES RANSOM
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Photography by Karen Mordechai

Nothing makes your mid-workday slump feel even more unbearable than a miserable little, wilted desk salad. You may be better off eating Cheez-Its. And because buying a $15 prepared meal every day can quickly get expensive, it’s time to turn to meal prepping. In the name of making your workdays a little more culinarily enjoyable and keeping your evenings stress-free, we’ve tracked down some delicious recipes to make for lunch that only require three ingredients. No-fuss lunching is about to become a lot yummier.

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Photography by Andrew and Carrie Purcell for Self Magazine


Chickpea Pasta with Spinach and Goat Cheese

This is one creamy pasta dish you don’t have to feel guilty about (not that you should ever feel guilty about eating pasta). Packed with protein from the chickpeas and a healthy serving of greens courtesy of the spinach, this delish lunch will keep you full well into the afternoon.  

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Photography by Chelsea Kyle for Epicurious


3-Ingredient Tomato Soup

When tomato soup is only three ingredients and the recipe is super easy to follow, there’s no excuse to ever buy store soup again. This fragrant and comforting classic reheats well for the next day; it makes six servings, so you’ll have lunch ready ahead of time for days.

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Photography by KAREN MORDECHAI

Cacio e Pepe

This pasta dish is the ultimate comfort food. Made only with cheese (“cacio”) and pepper (“pepe”) for flavor, it’ll be ready in mere minutes.

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Photography by IFOODREAL.COM

Thai Baked Salmon

Make the sweet chili sauce ahead to use with this baked salmon recipe. Add the fish to a salad or on the side of some quinoa for a nutritious, protein-packed lunch.  

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Photography by JAMES RANSOM

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

When Italian culinary icon Marcella Hazan’s famous tomato sauce only calls for three ingredients, you make it as often as you can. Pack it up and take it to work or enjoy it fresh with some grated parmesan.

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Photography by EAT GOOD 4 LIFE

Tomato Cheese Toasts

Consider these a healthier twist on the standard grilled cheese. These toasts are super easy to make and even customizable: layer on your favorite cheese and add some fresh herbs or pepper flakes for extra flavor.

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Photography by THE BLOND COOK

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

You might have to work a desk job, but this slow cooker pulled pork will instantly transport you to a summer barbecue. Throw all the ingredients in a slow cooker and let the dish come together for the ultimate no-fuss recipe.

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Photography by THE ROASTED ROOT

Easy Chicken Wings with Herbs and Honey

Try these wings as a healthy alternative to regular chicken wings. They’re baked and only use three simple, natural ingredients so you can eat as many as you want without feeling guilty (that’s what we’re telling ourselves, anyway).

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Photography by FOOD AND WINE

Chicken Caprese Salad

A no-fail combo, featuring bocconcini, that’s easy quick, easy, and delicious!

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Photography by HONEYANDBIRCH

Black Bean Soup

All you need for this protein-filled blend are beans, broth, and tomatoes! It doesn’t get easier than that. 

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Photography by FOOD52

Zucchini Butter

A light yet filling blend, featuring fresh squash or zucchini, butter, and garlic.

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Photography by THE KITCHEN

Energy Bars

Next time you find yourself craving that KIND bar, indulge in these easy-to-make bars instead!

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Photography by BABBLE

Sundried Tomato Chicken

Feeling fancy? This cream-based recipe is filled with flavor and sure to please.

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Photography by IHEARTNAPTIME


Chili doesn’t get easier than this clever blend featuring meat, beans, and tomatoes. Toppings may be optional, but we’d definitely recommend a dollop of sour cream and fresh scallions.

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Photography by FOOD AND WINE

Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes

Last night’s pasta becomes today’s lunch, with the simple addition of tomatoes and scallions. 

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Photography by FOOD NETWORK

Grilled Mediterranean Shrimp

These generously seasoned goodies make for the perfect additions to salads and wraps. They’re even delicious on their own!

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Simple Salad

With a refreshing hint of savory herbs and a delectable cheese crumble, this easy mix is simply a must!

This story was originally published on May 1, 2017. It has been updated with new information.

See more easy recipes to make now:

Easy 3-Ingredient Recipes To Try This Weekend
The (Healthy!) One-Pot Recipes We’re Making For Lunch This Week
5-Minute Meals That Will Change The Way You Lunch

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