12 Lunch Recipes to Inspire You

12 Lunch Recipes to Inspire You - pictured is a Chicken Caesar Lettuce Wrap on a Plate, Pizza Pasta Salad in a Bowl, BBQ Chicken & Veggie Pasta Salad in a Bowl, and Meat, Cheese and Veggie Kabobs on toothpicks

August is usually Back to School time for us. While this year is going to look a little different, some things don’t change. I’ll still be packing my lunchbox and going to work, although maybe a little less frequently than in the past. And the kids will still need to be fed lunch – not at a school cafeteria this year but at home in our kitchen. 

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Apple, Cheddar & Bacon Quesadillas #BrunchWeek

Brighten up lunch or dinner with these Apple, Cheddar & Bacon Quesadillas. Tart apples, smokey bacon and a creamy blend of Mexican and mozzarella cheeses come together in a blast of flavor, and a meal that’s ready in less than 30 minutes! 

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Brighten up lunch or dinner with these Apple, Cheddar & Bacon Quesadillas. Tart apples, smokey bacon and a creamy blend of Mexican and mozzarella cheeses come together in a blast of flavor, and a meal that's ready in less than 30 minutes! 

There are some days where brunch is breakfast – pancakes and waffles, omelets and frittatas, bacon and breakfast sausages.

And there are other days when I want lunch. A burger or a really bright and tasty chicken sandwich. Maybe a salad. Or if I’m eating at home? A quick and easy quesadilla.

Brighten up lunch or dinner with these Apple, Cheddar & Bacon Quesadillas. Tart apples, smokey bacon and a creamy blend of Mexican and mozzarella cheeses come together in a blast of flavor, and a meal that's ready in less than 30 minutes! 

I’ve been making quesadillas at home for years – for a while in a quesadilla maker, but later on the stove top or in the oven. I love that they are versatile and easily modified to whatever I’m craving, or whatever is in the fridge.

I was particularly excited to create this recipe, using a mix of two Cabot shredded cheeses – the bold 4 Cheese Mexican blend and the milder mozzarella. Mixing the two gave just the right amount of bold cheesy goodness while still allowing the smokey bacon and tart Granny Smith apple pieces to shine through.

Brighten up lunch or dinner with these Apple, Cheddar & Bacon Quesadillas. Tart apples, smokey bacon and a creamy blend of Mexican and mozzarella cheeses come together in a blast of flavor, and a meal that's ready in less than 30 minutes! 

I devoured this quesadilla, after allowing my husband a slice to taste it (while initially doubtful, he enjoyed it!). One note: while I served this quesadilla with both guacamole and salsa, I personally loved it with just guacamole, and would skip the salsa next time. That being said, feel free to experiment with favorite toppings. And be sure to leave a comment if you find a combination that you love!

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Brighten up lunch or dinner with these Apple, Cheddar & Bacon Quesadillas. Tart apples, smokey bacon and a creamy blend of Mexican and mozzarella cheeses come together in a blast of flavor, and a meal that's ready in less than 30 minutes! 

Apple, Cheddar & Bacon Quesadillas

Brighten up lunch or dinner with these Apple, Cheddar & Bacon Quesadillas. Tart apples, smokey bacon and a creamy blend of Mexican and mozzarella cheeses come together in a blast of flavor, and a meal that's ready in less than 30 minutes!
Course Lunch
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 1
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 2 8-inch tortillas
  • 1/2 c. Cabot 4-Cheese Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 2 Tbs. crumbled bacon bits
  • 1/4 Granny Smith apple finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. Cabot shredded mozzarella

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Place a 10-12 inch piece of aluminum foil on a clean counter. Place one tortilla in the center of the foil.
  3. Then, evenly spread Mexican cheese, crumbled bacon pieces, and chopped apple over top of tortilla. Finally, sprinkle with mozzarella.
  4. Top with second tortilla and another 10-12 inch piece of aluminum foil. Curl edges of foil all of the way around, creating a sealed packed.
  5. Place directly on a rack in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, or until cheese is totally melted.
  6. Slice and serve hot, with your favorite toppings.

Recipe Notes

  • I used Mission Carb Balance Tortillas. If you use a larger tortilla, you may need more cheese and fixings.
  • Stove top directions: Place assembled quesadilla (assembled as directed above) in a 10-inch or larger non-stick skillet set over medium-low heat. Cook until bottom is starting to brown and cheese is melting. Flip and continue cooking until cheese is completely melted.

Brighten up lunch or dinner with these Apple, Cheddar & Bacon Quesadillas. Tart apples, smokey bacon and a creamy blend of Mexican and mozzarella cheeses come together in a blast of flavor, and a meal that's ready in less than 30 minutes! 

Take a look at what the #BrunchWeek Bloggers are creating today!

BrunchWeek Beverages:

Guava Cosmopolitan from Family Around the Table
Guava Gin Fizz from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
How to make Italian Soda from Creative Southern Home
Strawberry Hibiscus Mint Julep from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen

BrunchWeek Appetizers and Salads:

Brown Sugar Bacon Palmiers from Jolene’s Recipe Journal

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:

Breakfast Potato Skins from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Keto Frittata with Bacon & Cheese from April Golightly

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains, and Pastries:

Bacon & Sausage Breakfast Pizza from Eat Move Make
Bananas Foster Pancakes from The Nifty Foodie
Bacon Cheddar Mini Quiche from For the Love of Food
Chai Coffee Cake Muffins from Snacks and Sips
Churro French Toast from The Redhead Baker
Easy Braided Bacon Cheddar Bread Wreath from Cooking With Carlee
Ham and Cheddar Bread Pudding from Cookaholic Wife
Overnight Oatmeal 3 Ways from Big Bear’s Wife
Peanut Butter, Bacon, & Banana Stuffed French Toast from Sweet Beginnings
Princess Toast from Seduction in the Kitchen
Sourdough Bagels from Karen’s Kitchen Stories

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:

Apple Cheddar, Bacon Quesadillas from Books n’ Cooks
Blueberry Cheddar Sausage from GirlCarnivore
Cheesy Hot Chicken & Waffles from The Crumby Kitchen

BrunchWeek Desserts:

Bananas Foster Breakfast Yogurt Cheesecakes from The Spiffy Cookie
Chocolate Pecan Congo Squares from Love and Confections
French Lemon Yogurt Cake from Caroline’s Cooking
Mango Gooey Butter Bars from Hardly A Goddess
Shoofly Pie from Platter Talk
Walnut Crumb Cookies from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Joyjolt, Sweets & Treats, Torani, Sarcastic Cooking, Dessert for Two, Sweet Phi, and The Little Ferraro Kitchen for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The #BrunchWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. Winners have 48 hours to respond once chosen, or they forfeit the prize and another winner(s) will be chosen. The #BrunchWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #Brunchweek posts or entry.

Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries #CranberryWeek

Quinoa, leftover turkey (or chicken), fall Brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries are tossed in a fresh orange vinaigrette creating a dish to enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or even a side dish. 

Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries - Quinoa, leftover turkey (or chicken), fall Brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries are tossed in a fresh orange vinaigrette creating a dish to enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or even a side dish. 

Today kicks off one of my favorite foodie weeks of fall – Cranberry Week! Hosted by Caroline from Caroline’s Cooking, it’s a week of recipes featuring fresh and dried cranberries, cranberry juice, and any other cranberry product you can think of. This week, I have two new recipes for you – a savory dish that you could enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or bright side dish and a fall twist on a classic dessert.

Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries - Quinoa, leftover turkey (or chicken), fall Brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries are tossed in a fresh orange vinaigrette creating a dish to enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or even a side dish. 

What are you plans for Thanksgiving? Can you believe it’s less than a month away?

My husband and I usually crash a friend’s house for the holiday, but this year, we’re hosting. My parents will be in town helping with childcare that week (lots of days off and early dismissals!) so I expect my mom to be doing a lot of prep. Our current count is 16 for Thanksgiving dinner (with at least 8 house guests spending the night for a night or two), but I anticipate adding at least 4 more before the big day. Not going to lie, I’m a little tired just thinking about it!

But seriously, while it’s a bit overwhelming to think about with a bit of travel and a bit of single-momming it before then, I’m looking forward to it. No clue what I’m going to make yet, but that’s ok. It’ll work out.

Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries - Quinoa, leftover turkey (or chicken), fall Brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries are tossed in a fresh orange vinaigrette creating a dish to enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or even a side dish. 

Funny enough, even though I haven’t really done much planning for the big meal, I already know what I’m going to do with the leftover turkey. I’m going to have my mom make me Turkey Noodle Soup (it always tastes better when she makes it!) and then I’m going to steal a bit to make this Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries. It just screams fall, or more specifically, Thanksgiving leftovers. Toss leftover turkey (or chicken) with fall Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, and quinoa and then dress it with a light, citrus vinaigrette. Yum!

Recipe Notes:

  • While this recipe calls for turkey, you can totally use leftover grilled or rotisserie chicken. Or even buy turkey or chicken breast from from the deli counter at your local grocery store.
  • Feel free to up the protein in this recipe with up to 1 lb. of chicken or turkey or omit all together for a bright and flavorful side dish.

Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries - Quinoa, leftover turkey (or chicken), fall Brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries are tossed in a fresh orange vinaigrette creating a dish to enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or even a side dish. 

Print
Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries - Quinoa, leftover turkey (or chicken), fall Brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries are tossed in a fresh orange vinaigrette creating a dish to enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or even a side dish. 

Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries

Quinoa, leftover turkey (or chicken), fall Brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries are tossed in a fresh orange vinaigrette creating a dish to enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or even a side dish. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author Liz

Ingredients

Ingredients for the Vinaigrette:

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1/4 c. fresh orange juice from about 1/2 a orange
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar white balsamic vinegar, if you have it
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the Quinoa:

  • 3 c. cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 lb. turkey breast diced
  • 1/2 lb. uncooked shredded Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 c. coarsely chopped dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Whisk together all ingredients for the vinaigrette and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss together all ingredients for the quinoa.
  3. Top with vinaigrette and toss to coat.

Recipe Notes

May be served hot, warm/room temperature or cold.

Quinoa with Turkey, Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries - Quinoa, leftover turkey (or chicken), fall Brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries are tossed in a fresh orange vinaigrette creating a dish to enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or even a side dish. 

Today’s #CranberryWeek Recipes

I’m excited to be sharing this recipe as part of Cranberry Week – now in it’s third year! See all the tasty cranberry recipes being shared today below and follow #cranberryweek on social media for more ideas all week long.

Turkey Burgers

Highly adaptable, these lean Turkey Burgers take minutes to make, only 15 minutes to cook and make enough to stock your freezer.

Highly adaptable, these lean Turkey Burgers take minutes to make, only 15 minutes to cook and make enough to stock your freezer.

There’s nothing better than an easy recipe that comes together quickly and makes enough to stock the freezer. (Can you tell that I’m doing everything possible to make busy weeknights easier for myself this school year?) This recipe is it.

My mom and I have been eating these Turkey Burgers for years. The recipe can certainly be halved, but honestly, the ease of scaling it is one of the best parts. In just 15 minutes, you can have the turkey burgers made and assembled – enough for a meal to serve immediately with at least a meal leftover to stock in the freezer. Mom used to store them in individual baggies, so that she could pull one out whenever she wanted and cook to order. I freeze in baggies of 3-4, enough for my husband and I for a meal, with a little leftover.

Highly adaptable, these lean Turkey Burgers take minutes to make, only 15 minutes to cook and make enough to stock your freezer.

Serving Suggestions & Deviations:

  • Serve on a toasted English muffin as a sandwich, or on top of a salad for a low-carb lunch.
  • Mom likes to top hers with a little honey mustard salad dressing. I like a little sliced or smashed avocado.
  • Like spicy? I’ve been known to add a hefty pinch of Emeril’s Creole Seasoning to the mixture or on top of the burger patty before cooking for a little extra kick.
Print
Highly adaptable, these lean Turkey Burgers take minutes to make, only 15 minutes to cook and make enough to stock your freezer.

Turkey Burgers

Highly adaptable, these lean Turkey Burgers take minutes to make, only 15 minutes to cook and make enough to stock your freezer.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 15 4-oz. burgers
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper any color, finely chopped
  • 4 Tbs. minced fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/4 c. plain breadcrumbs
  • 40 oz. ground turkey
  • cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, using clean hands to gently mix until ingredients are evenly combined.
  2. Shape into 4-oz. patties, indenting the center with your thumb just slightly.
  3. Spray a skillet (preferably non-stick) with cooking spray. When hot, add turkey burgers so that there's an inch or so in between each (you'll probably need to cook in batches). Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Flip. Cover skillet and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until cooked throughout.
  4. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Freezing Instructions: Uncooked turkey burgers may be frozen in an airtight container of freezer bag to be used later. Simply add a piece of parchment or wax paper in between layers before freezing.

Cooking from Freezer: Turkey burgers can be defrosted and cooked as directed or cooked straight from freezer. To cook frozen burgers, cover immediately. Allow to cook for 10 minutes before flipping, recovering, and cooking until cooked throughout, another 10-15 minutes.

This recipe was adapted from a super old issue of Prevention magazine.

Highly adaptable, these lean Turkey Burgers take minutes to make, only 15 minutes to cook and make enough to stock your freezer.