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5 Recipes for a Week of Budget-Friendly Lunches — Recipes from The Kitchn

One of the best reasons to pack your own lunch is that it's much easier on your wallet than running out to your favorite fast-casual spot every day at noon. These five recipes are proof of that and then some because they happen to be more budget-friendly than most. They also happen to be extra-satisfying meals you can make at the start of the week, keep in the fridge, and grab when you need them, which means there is no excuse not to try at least one of these recipes this week.

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How To Make Frozen Garlic Bread — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

Garlic bread is one of dinner's simple pleasures. It comes together quickly and easily, and the results are always super satisfying, yet a huge market still remains for frozen garlic bread from the supermarket. If you've never bought a box to stash in the freezer, you may be wondering, why bother?

Here's the thing about frozen garlic bread — not only is it a comforting little shortcut for your busy life, but good frozen garlic bread is also totally crave-worthy in its own right. Frozen garlic bread takes full advantage of every inch of surface area on a slice of bread by slathering it with rich garlic butter that basically fries the bread in the oven. Plus, with garlic bread in the freezer, you can make a single slice (or two) whenever the craving strikes.

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Recipe: Spicy Ground Pork & Zucchini Stir-Fry — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This spicy, satisfying pork and zucchini stir-fry, rich with ginger and garlic, is the ultimate solution when you don't know what to cook midweek. Toss everything together in one skillet or wok and it comes together in next to no time. Pile the good stuff on top of rice in a bowl and enjoy the comforting, well-balanced dinner in front of you. Go ahead and take that bowl to the couch if you'd like, along with a glass of wine, if you're in need of serious respite after a long day — it will most definitely help nudge you along toward the weekend.

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Recipe: Skillet Eggplant Parm — Quick and Easy Vegetarian Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Here is how you do eggplant Parmesan on a weeknight. This twist on the classic is just as comforting as the original, without any of the fuss. There's no frying involved and the whole dish comes together in just one skillet, meaning less mess and less cleanup — both of which are always a win. You still get those crispy, crunchy breadcrumb bits, lots of sweet, garlicky tomato sauce, and all that gooey, melty cheese. Served alongside pasta or simply with a good amount of garlic bread, this Italian-American favorite has never looked better.

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Recipe: Chickpea and Cheddar Quesadillas — Quick and Easy Lunch Recipes

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

If your lunch struggle involves coming up with veggie-friendly options that are filling, easy to make ahead, and a breeze to eat at your desk, this wrapped quesadilla stuffed with cumin-scented chickpeas, gooey melted cheddar, and scallions was made with you in mind.

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Recipe: Geraldine’s Mellow Tomato Sauce with Brie — Quick and Easy Vegetarian Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

For the most part, watching Instagram stories is always a good idea — especially since it brought the idea for summer's most amazing tomato sauce to life. Had I not been scrolling through my feed, I never would have seen this simple, must-make tomato and Brie sauce that managing editor Geraldine pulled together for a fast and fancy midweek dinner. It's the kind of no-cook sauce made with the ripest, juiciest summer tomatoes in mind. They're chopped and tossed together with torn sweet basil, a few glugs of good olive oil, and chunks of creamy, pungent Brie that melt into the sauce when hot pasta hits the bowl.

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