Leftovers to Lunch in a Few Easy Steps

These meals transition from dinner to to the lunch table —or even the lunchbox — flawlessly

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Leftovers to Lunch in a Few Easy Steps

Photo Modified: Flickr / alanagkelly / CC BY-SA 4.0

Today’s roast chicken easily transitions to tomorrow’s chicken salad in just a few easy steps. Similarly, the addition of fresh vegetables can take that last serving of pasta into several days of lunch. Pick your favorite vegetables out at the store, like zucchini, carrots, cucumber, or green beans, then just wash, dry, chop, and store in an airtight sealable bag to use all week.

If you are looking for a simple lunch that doesn’t involve the monotony of eating last night’s dinner, we have your next week of meals planned for you. Flavorful pasta dishes, roasted chicken, grilled kebabs, and more can easily transition from a family-style dinner to a personalized lunch with these quick and easy steps.

Roast Chicken: Dinner

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It might seem like a big undertaking for a busy weeknight dinner, but roast chicken is the meal that keeps on giving. Pair this dish with vegetables and you have the perfect one-pan meal that will provide lunches for days to come.

For the Perfect Roast Chicken recipe, click here.

Chicken Salad: Lunch

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To turn last night’s roast chicken dinner into the perfect lunchbox filler, simply shred the leftover chicken and add it to a chicken salad recipe, which calls for a light dressing of mayonnaise, diced celery, and spring onion. If you prefer to skip the mayonnaise, you could always add last night’s leftover chicken to this chicken salad that’s made with vinaigrette instead.

For the Healthy Chicken Salad recipe, click here.

Kebab: Dinner

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Use a spicy, flavor-packed marinade for your kebabs, and alternate between vegetables like bell pepper, red onion, squash, and your chosen protein (i.e. lamb, chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp). Then just grill until cooked through. The subtle flavors of the marinade and the crisped char will add plenty of flavor. It takes little effort to add a few more kebabs to the grill in anticipation of tomorrow’s lunch. Serve them with warmed pita bread.

For a Grilled Chicken Kebabs recipe, click here.

Shawarma: Lunch

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Re-purpose last night’s kebabs with this shawarma recipe that turns your leftovers into a portable lunchtime treat. Simply add a yogurt sauce to the grilled meat and vegetables, and then wrap in a pita for a quick and easy lunch for the office that will be the envy of your co-workers.

For the Chicken Shawarma recipe, click here.

Roasted Vegetables: Dinner

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If you want a healthy side dish that will seamlessly transition into tomorrow’s lunch, look no further than roasted vegetables. Keep it simple with roasted broccoli rabe or make a medley of squashes, eggplant, and peppers.

For the Roasted Vegetable recipe, click here.

Vegetable Sandwich: Lunch

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Even adults find it hard to finish all of their vegetables, so turn those leftovers into a lunchtime fortune. Split a ciabatta roll in half, spread a thin layer of goat cheese, and top with last night’s vegetables. Instantly, you have a hearty meal for lunch that is so much better than that peanut butter and jelly you were about to eat.

For the Vegetable Sandwich recipe, click here.

Pasta Primavera: Dinner

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While pasta primavera is traditionally a pasta made with spring produce, it can be made any time of the year with in-season vegetables. So pick your favorites for this creamy dish the whole family will love.

For the Pasta Primavera recipe, click here.

Pasta Salad: Lunch

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Trade the usual heavy mayonnaise in this pasta salad for Greek yogurt. Your leftover pasta primavera will be the perfect base for this quick and easy lunch. 

For the Greek Yogurt Pasta Salad, click here.

Stir-Fry Noodles: Dinner

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This stir-fry makes for a simple and delicious weeknight dinner that you can turn into an equally tasty lunch of leftovers.

For the Stir-Fry Pasta recipe, click here.

Cold Sesame Noodles: Lunch

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With the simple addition of some sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil, and brown sugar, you’ll take your leftover pasta stir-fry from last night’s dinner to today’s quick and easy lunch.

For the Cold Sesame Noodles recipe, click here.

Grilled Shrimp: Dinner

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Transform a simple dinner of grilled shrimp into something special with a bright and spicy sauce. Serve these grilled shrimp with a side of vegetable-studded rice for a filling weeknight meal.

For the Grilled Shrimp with a Cilantro Chili Sauce, click here.

Shrimp Roll: Lunch

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Leftover shrimp will make for a satisfying lunch. Just chop up the shrimp and toss with last night’s sauce for a herbaceous and spicy twist on the traditional shrimp roll, or combine mayonnaise and lemon juice for a more traditional shrimp salad that can be stuffed into potato rolls for the perfect weekday treat.

For a Classic Shrimp Roll recipe, click here.

Grilled Filet Mignon: Dinner

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Spice up your filet with dry rubs and crusts. The tender cut of meat is well served by this dramatic burst of flavor, and your dry rub will form a wonderful crust.

For the Coffee Crusted Filet Mignon recipe, click here.

Steak Sandwich: Lunch

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In the unlikely event that you find yourself with leftover steak, treat yourself to a next-day steak sandwich. Top with a horseradish mayo or your favorite cheese for a truly outstanding lunch of leftovers.

For the Steak Sandwich recipe, click here.