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Alex Lau

Photograph by Eva Kolenko. Food styling by Susie Theodorou. Set design by Kira Corbin. On set producer: Jennifer Thomas2/53

Mango and Avocado Salad

Actor and cookbook author Ayesha Curry developed this cooling salad recipe as a side dish, but we love it as a light lunch on those hot days when we’ve had a heartier breakfast.

Photograph by Emma Fishman, food styling by Micah Morton, prop styling by Dayna Seman.3/53

Gochujang-Sesame Noodles

Boil the noodles, whisk up the sauce from two jars in the pantry (gochujang and creamy tahini), stir-fry broccoli rabe for two minutes, and boom! It’s lunch.

Photo by Alex Lau, Food Styling by Susie Theodorou4/53

Lentil Burgers

Yes, the world needs another veggie burger: this one. It’s a cinch to put together if you make the patties ahead of time; they keep in the fridge for four days and need just six minutes to crisp up.


Healthyish Chicken Salad

This recipe is where quick and easy lunch ideas meet healthy lunch ideas: It’s got tender poached chicken breast, crisp greens, cucumbers, and scallions—and no mayonnaise!

Gentl & Hyers6/53

Turkey Club with Herb Mayo

Swap in your favorite store-bought turkey meat for the dry-brined bird in this recipe and it’s a 15-minute club sandwich—crunchy bacon, DIY spread, and all.

Photo by Chelsie Craig7/53

Chickpea and Chorizo Tostadas

These crunchy tostadas hit all the satisfying notes: herby yogurt sauce, a filling chorizo-chickpea combo, and a zingy hit of lime juice.

Photo by Chelsie Craig, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich8/53

Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Low investment and high reward, this not-so-traditional riff on larb is the unofficial late-night meal of much of the BA staff—but it’s just as satisfying as a workday lunch. It’s filling, but it won’t slow you down before those afternoon meetings.

Photograph by Julian Cousins, Food styling by Adriana Paschen9/53

Dal Palak

Red lentils are inexpensive, quick-cooking, and endlessly versatile. Use them in this dal palak, which is packed with spinach; use baby spinach straight from the package instead of taking the time to wash and chop mature spinach leaves.

Photo by Alex Lau, food styling by Chris Morocco, prop styling by Emily Eisen10/53

Spicy Pork Bowl With Greens and Carrots

This is the kind of comfort food that doesn’t make you want to take a nap. In fact, it’s the perfect fuel for the rest of the workday: Giving pork tenderloin the bulgogi-esque treatment makes it super savory, and the carrots and collard greens are just kissed by the heat.

Photo by Alex Lau, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, prop styling by Emily Eisen11/53

Rice Noodles with Cashew Sauce and Crunchy Veg

This recipe is inspired by gado-gado, a colorful and crunchy Indonesian salad, made with a wide array of raw and cooked vegetables (and sometimes noodles). Don’t skimp on the cilantro; treat it almost like lettuce.

Photo by Alex Lau, food styling by Susie Theodorou, prop styling by Aneta Florczyk13/53

New-and-Improved Greek Salad

When you hear the word “marinade,” you tend to think “lots of time,” but this recipe proves that’s not always the case. The (quick!) method for marinating feta works for other fresh cheeses, too—try goat, mozzarella, or paneer.

Photo by Alex Lau14/53

Green Goddess Crunch Sandwich

It’s time to break out the blender! (And yes, it’s still a quick and easy lunch idea!) A few pulses and you’ve got your own from-scratch condiment. The rest of making this sandwich is just assembly.

Photo by Laura Murray, food styling by Susie Theodorou15/53

Gyeran Mari

This Korean rolled omelet is filled with toasted seaweed snacks and Parmesan shavings—talk about an umami bomb! Stuff the individually sliced spirals into a bento box or upgraded lunch bag for primo lunchtime cuteness.

Photo by Laura Murray, food styling by Susie Theodorou16/53

Chickpea Pancakes With Greens and Cheese

This recipe covers pretty much all of our working-from-home lunch criteria: It’s cheesy (check!), packed with greens and protein (yup!), and topped with hot sauce (heck yes!).

Photo by Alex Lau, food styling by Sue Li, prop styling by Elizabeth Jaime17/53

Tomato-Braised Rotisserie Chicken

“Quick braise” is not an oxymoron. Believe! Give a store-bought rotisserie bird a new identity by simmering it in a 20-minute bacon-y, shallot-y tomato braise.

Alex Lau18/53

Grilled Little Gem Salad with Pita Croutons

Yes, you can grill lettuce! And it’s worth it. Yes, you can find a way to use that pita bread that’s just a little too dry for a sandwich. Yes…have you clicked yet?

Alex Lau19/53

Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Sure, this recipe was developed for kids, but don’t we all want to eat like we’re 10 years old sometimes? The pesto gets heft (and a side of veggies) from the addition of broccoli, and the pasta tastes just as good cold or room temperature, so feel free to treat it like a pasta salad.

Photo by Laura Murray, food styling by Susie Theodorou20/53

Lunch Nachos With Spiced Cauliflower

Two words: Lunch nachos! We love this vegetarian version, but feel free to play around. Try canned black beans instead of refried—or opt for some quick-cooking ground beef. Just commit to the formula of chips, beans and/or meat, veg (for balance), shredded cheese, and avocado and cilantro for serving.


Just-Keeps-Getting-Better Lentil Salad

Here’s the answer to your question: “What can I make on Sunday night that will taste great for my 10:30 a.m. desk lunch on Wednesday?” Yes, there’s meal prep, but it’s full-on meal prep, as in the meal is made and you just have to pull it out of the fridge.

Photo by Laura Murray, food styling by Susie Theodorou23/53

Tuna Salad With Crispy Chickpeas

Is it a tuna salad or a chickpea salad or…? Don’t worry about it; it’s just good. The crispy chickpeas and red endive take your lunchtime salad to the next level.

Photo by Heami Lee, food styling by Judy Haubert, prop styling by Rebecca Bartoshesky24/53

Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese

This easy lunch idea is quick—but don’t rush it. While a grilled cheese sandwich is done in under 10 minutes, you don’t want to speed through the cooking process—moderate heat allows the cheese inside to fully melt without burning the outsides.

Photo by Laura Murray, food styling by Susie Theodorou25/53

Green Curry Lentil Soup

Not all soups need to simmer and stew for hours. This soup recipe, which includes lentils, leafy greens, and other ingredients that would make your doctor happy, comes together in 30 minutes.

Photo by Alex Lau, Styling by Sue Li26/53

Eggs in Purgatory

Cherry tomatoes hold their shape well in this easy recipe for lunch—or breakfast, or dinner—but if all you’ve got is a couple of ripe beefsteaks or Romas, then cut them into 1″ pieces and carry on.

Photo by Heami Lee, food styling by Judy Haubert, prop styling by Rebecca Bartoshesky27/53

Swiss Chard Beer Garden Salad

Silky Swiss chard, briny pops of mustard-macerated onions, sharp cheddar, chunks of sausage, and crushed pretzels mingle in this ode to the flavors found at beer gardens.

Photo by Emma Fishman, Food Styling by D’mytrek Brown28/53

Classic Tuna Salad

True works of art shouldn’t be messed with, and we believe that the classic tuna salad is a masterpiece: salty capers, lemon for brightness, celery and red onion for crunch, and mustard and (optional) hot sauce for a little extra flavor intrigue.

Photo by Alex Lau, food styling by Chris Morocco, prop styling by Emily Eisen29/53

Crispy Tofu With Maple-Soy Glaze

Tofu cubes take just 3–4 minutes to get crispy and the sauce takes another 4 minutes to get thick and silky. What else can we say? It’s just a bomb fast and delicious vegetarian dish.

Photo by Chelsie Craig, food styling by Kat Boytsova30/53

Roadie Hoagie

The flavors in this sandwich get more concentrated as it sits, so assemble it while you’re having your morning coffee and you’ll have the perfect, delicious lunch by noon. P.S. Sometimes we like to use arugula in place of the mustard greens.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Susie Theodorou31/53

Kimchi Toast

Have you ever tried something like this before: spicy, pungent kimchi plus smooth cream cheese, topped with a scallion salad, on grilled or toasted country-style bread? It really works.

Laura Murray32/53

Curry-Poached Chicken with Rice and Scallions

We love this poached chicken method, which yields a tender but flavorful result. Pro tip: Make extra and turn it into chicken wrap with a smear of hummus and some greens for tomorrow’s lunch.


Broccoli and Egg Fried Rice

A pan full of veggie-packed fried rice is one of the easiest and most satisfying meals we know of—and once you get the hang of this method, you’ll be able to turn leftover rice and whatever else you have lying around into a quick and delicious meal.

Alex Lau34/53

One-Skillet Creamy Chickpeas with Eggs and Prosciutto

A little bit of heavy cream? And prosciutto? For lunch? Yes, sometimes the day (or the side of the bed you woke up on) calls for some extra comfort.

Photo by Alex Lau, Food Styling by Susie Theodorou, Prop Styling by Sophie Strangio35/53

Bright and Spicy Shrimp Noodle Salad

In this recipe, which is like a pared-back version of Thai yum woon sen, a punchy fish sauce vinaigrette works as a marinade for shrimp and as a dressing for glass noodles and handfuls of basil and cucumber.

Photo by Chelsie Craig, food styling by Kat Boytsova36/53

Marinated Lentils with Lemony Broccolini and Feta

The broccolini doesn’t need any pre-roast browning and there’s barely any chopping—just assemble and let the oven handle it. The dish works as a vegetarian dinner, but it’s even better for lunch the next day.

Alex Lau37/53

Crunchy Veg Bowl with Warm Peanut Sauce

A warm, sultry peanut sauce makes even bean sprouts feel indulgent—but this easy lunch recipe has so much more than bean sprouts. Cabbage! Beets! Cucumbers! Celery! Mint! Brown rice! It’s a filling, healthy meal.

Photo by Alex Lau, Food Styling by Sue Li38/53

Peanutty Noodles with Tempeh Crumbles

Tempeh skeptics, this recipe will make a convert of you: Crumbling tempeh into ripping-hot oil makes for odd-size bits and pieces that are crispy, golden brown, and­—especially when glazed with a spicy-sticky sambal sauce—remarkably delicious.

Photo by Chelsie Craig, food styling by Kat Boytsova39/53

Curried Peanut Dip

This creamy, spicy-sweet dip made with peanut butter, red curry paste, and coconut milk pairs well with leftover rotisserie chicken, jammy eggs, cucumber spears, and roasted sweet potatoes. It’s the perfect desk-friendly lunch.

Photo by Chelsie Craig, food styling by Alison Attenborough40/53

Saag Paneer, But With Feta

This riff on the classic dish swaps paneer out for salty chunks of feta—mozzarella or even tofu cubes could also work—but keeps the garlicky spiced spinach sauce.

Photo by Alex Lau, food styling by Sue Li, prop styling by Elizabeth Jaime41/53

Lemony Salmon and Spiced Chickpeas

Everything’s better in bowl form, and this salmon dish flavored with a garlicky za’atar dressing is no exception. Grilled chicken or even roasted butternut squash could work in place of the salmon too. Feel free to play with it!

Photo by Laura Murray, food styling by Yekaterina Boystova42/53

Italian Chopped Salad

This bitter greens salad with salami and crispy chickpeas is hearty enough on its own, but not so over-the-top that you can’t also pair it with pasta for dinner some time, too. Versatility!

Photo by Chelsie Craig, styling by Molly Baz43/53

Tofu and Mushroom Stir-Fry

If you have a bit of extra time before making this stir-fry recipe, press the whole block of tofu between two layers of paper towels, weighted down with a couple of large cans, for 15 minutes (or invest in a tofu press—here’s why).

Photo by Laura Murray, food styling by Kat Boytsova44/53

Red Pepper, Potato, and Peanut Sabzi

The classic Indian marriage of snappy, sweet red bell peppers and crispy potatoes gets a jolt of flavor from crushed peanuts, toasted cumin and fennel seeds, and a squeeze (or more!) of lime juice.

Photo by Alex Lau, food styling by Sue Li, prop styling by Kalen Kaminski45/53

Spiced Chickpeas and Greens Frittata

When in doubt, frittata. A wedge of this one feels like a full meal, and there’s no side salad required because the hardy greens (like mustard, kale, or Swiss chard) are already inside.

Photo by Chelsie Craig, food styling by Anna Billingskog47/53

Make-Ahead Broccoli and Quinoa Salad

No matter where you’re headed in life, make a big batch of this salad recipe—it’s great for a solo lunch the next day; but it’s also ideal to bring to your friend’s dinner party later that night.

Alex Lau48/53

Salad Sandwiches with Ranch Spread

If you skip making the ranch and instead choose to buy a bottle (we promise not to tell), you just have to prepare the hard-boiled eggs, slice some vegetables, and you’re finished.

Photo by Alex Lau, styling by Sean Dooley49/53

Pork and Bok Choy Stir-Fry

Stir-frying is synonymous with quick cooking. Here, using a fatty cut like boneless pork shoulder guarantees an exceptionally juicy, flavorful dish. No tough strips of dry meat here.

Photo by Alex Lau, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich50/53

Lentil-Smothered Greens on Fried Bread

Red split lentils cook even more quickly than other types, making them ideal for lunch. Turn them into a meal by pairing with these savory spiced greens.

Photo by Chelsie Craig, Food Styling by Michelle Gatton51/53

Soba Noodles With Crispy Kale

Three cheers for nutritional yeast! In this lunch recipe, it acts like a vegan version of Parmesan cheese, adding a hit of umami flavor that plays well with bitter kale and earthy buckwheat noodles.

Photo by Alex Lau, Food Styling by Sue Li, Prop Styling by Kalen Kaminski52/53

Crispy Eggs Over Grains

You’re going to start putting this mixture of fried shallots and garlic with mustard seeds on everything from steamed or roasted vegetables to crispy fish. Watch.

Photo by TED+CHELSEA CAVANAUGH, Food Styling by Susie Theodorou53/53

Greens-and-Beans Sandwiches

This is one of those easy lunch ideas we find ourselves turning to again and again. Canned white beans become a creamy spread for this vegetarian sandwich, while thick-cut feta cheese provides something to sink your teeth into.