Who doesn’t love a good hot lunch? Whether you’re at school, at work, or just hanging out with friends, a good hot lunch is always a hit. But what are some of the best hot lunch ideas?
Scroll on down to find some easy recipes and get started making something hot for lunch today!
Easy Hot Lunch Ideas
Whether you’re looking for an easy and quick lunch or something more elaborate, these ideas should help you get started! Here are 35 of the best!
BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Looking for an easy, delicious and quick hot lunch? Try a BBQ pulled pork sandwich! All you need is some good quality BBQ sauce, some thinly sliced pulled pork and some bread. For the bread, go for something fluffy and light, like a Kaiser roll or a croissant. And to top it all off, add a side of crunchy vegetables like carrots or celery.
Recipe: BBQ Pulled Pork
Spicy Spaghetti with Meatballs
If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal, why not try spaghetti with meatballs? It’s delicious, filling, and spicy. You can make it with ground beef or turkey, and finish it by adding a little chili pepper or sriracha to give it some heat!
Recipe: Spicy Meatballs and Spaghetti
This is definitely one of those dishes that can be made ahead of time, so it’s perfect for busy days! Just heat some chili on the stove top or in a pot, then serve it up with some tortilla chips or rice cakes for dipping.
Recipe: Slow Cooker Chili
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Another easy and classic hot lunch choice is a grilled cheese sandwich. Just cut some cheese into thin slices and toast them in the oven or on the stove top until they’re melted and bubbly. Then put them inside two pieces of bread and enjoy.
Recipe: The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Hot Turkey Sandwich with Gravy
Turkey sandwiches are a classic lunch option and can be made in many ways. One popular option is to make a hot turkey sandwich with gravy. This sandwich is easy to make and can be served with any type of bread you like.
Recipe: Hot Turkey Sandwich with Gravy
Philly Cheese Steak
The Philly cheese steak is a delicious and easy lunch option that can be prepared quickly and easily. Simply layer thinly sliced steak, provolone cheese, pickles, and onions inside a warm bun. Serve with a side of horseradish sauce for added flavor.
Recipe: Philly Cheese Steak
Buffalo Chicken Wrap
Crispy chicken strips are tossed in a buffalo sauce, which gives them a delicious flavor and an extra zing. Pair the wrap with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and blue cheese dressing wrapped in a warm tortilla which is a perfect lunchtime meal.
Recipe: 5 Minute Buffalo Chicken Wrap
Teriyaki Chicken and Rice Bowl
If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal that will fill you up, try out a teriyaki chicken and rice bowl. The sauce is delicious, and the chicken is cooked to perfection. You can even add in some veggies if you’d like to add some extra crunch to this warm lunch idea.
Recipe: Quick Teriyaki and Rice Bowl
Vegetable Lo Mein
Vegetable Lo Mein is a fun and easy lunch to make. All you need is some lo mein noodles, carrots, green onions, and a can of diced tomatoes. You can also add in some cooked chicken or shrimp if you would like. Just heat the noodles, vegetables, and tomatoes in a pan until the vegetables are tender. Serve hot with soy sauce and Sriracha sauce on the side for extra spice.
Recipe: Veggie Lo Mein
Mongolian Beef with Vegetables
How about a piping hot plate of Mongolian beef with some steamed broccoli for a healthy and satisfying lunch? The beef is coated in a savory sauce made from fermented soybeans and garlic. In addition, this meal can be topped with some fresh ginger to add some spice.
Recipe: Mongolian Beef Stir-Fry
General Tso’s Chicken
There’s a reason General Tso’s chicken is such a popular hot lunch option. The chicken is tender, with a crispy skin and juicy meat. Plus, the sauce is intensely flavorful and addicting. If you’re looking for a delicious and easy hot lunch idea, General Tso’s chicken should definitely be on your list.
Recipe: General Tso’s Chicken
When it comes to hot lunch ideas, turkey burgers always come to mind. Not only are they ridiculously easy to make, but they’re also incredibly versatile. You can make them with a variety of toppings and dress them up or down however you like.
Recipe: Skillet Turkey Burger
I especially love fajitas when they’re made with fresh, juicy chicken breasts that have been marinated in a spicy and tangy salsa. And of course, they’re perfect served with warm tortillas and lots of fresh avocado wedges as well.
Recipe: Chicken Fajitas Recipe
Naan Bread Pizza
If you’re looking for a hot lunch that will truly satisfy your hunger, naan pizza is the perfect choice. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also budget-friendly and easy to make. You can choose from a variety of toppings, including cheese, pepperoni, and even sausage.
Recipe: Pepperoni Naan Bread Pizza
If you’re looking for an easy and delicious hot lunch idea, burrito bowls are definitely worth trying. They’re perfect for busy days when you don’t have a lot of time to spare, and they’re also very filling. You can make them with any combination of ingredients that you like, and they’re even vegan-friendly if you prefer.
Recipe: Healthy Burrito Bowl
When it comes to hot lunch ideas, pizza sliders are certainly one of my favorites. They’re easy to make, and they taste divine, which is why they’re perfect for any occasion. Just put some pizza sauce on some slider buns, add some cheese and your favorite toppings, and you’re good to go.
Recipe: Pepperoni Pizza Sliders
Ramen noodles are a great option for hot lunches because they’re both easy and fast to make. Just boil some water and add the ramen noodles, and you’re good to go. They’re also very filling, so you’ll be able to stay full all afternoon long.
Recipe: Chicken Ramen Noodle
Taco salad is another great hot lunch option that’s quick and easy to make. Just mix some shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and cheese, with some seasoned taco meat, and you’re ready to go. You can also add in your favorite toppings, such as sour cream or guacamole.
Recipe: Doritos Taco Salad
Pizza bagels are a fun and unique hot lunch option that’s perfect for anyone who loves pizza. Just preheat a baking sheet, and then top each bagel with your favorite pizza toppings. You can also add in some diced tomatoes or olives for extra flavor.
Recipe: Easy Pizza Bagels
Salisbury Steak Sliders
There’s something about a juicy, perfectly seasoned steak sliders that just screams summer. Whether you’re grilling them up on the open flame or enjoying them indoors at a picnic, these little bites are perfect for a BBQ lunch.
Recipe: Salisbury Steak Sliders
Nachos are one of the classic hot lunch options, and there’s a reason for that. They’re easy to make, and they’re always a hit with everyone who tries them. Just preheat your oven, and then layer your chips, cheese, and toppings of your choice. You can also add in some sliced avocados or diced tomatoes for a little extra flavor.
Recipe: Sheet Pan Nachos
Gyros are a fantastic option for hot lunches because they’re easy to make and packed with flavor. Just heat up the meat and then layer your gyro meat, tzatziki sauce on a pita. You can also add in some sliced onions or diced tomatoes for a little extra flavor.
Recipe: Homemade Greek Gyros
Hot dogs are an incredible option for kids, and they’re also a great way to use up leftover hot dogs. Simply layer the hot dogs with your favorite toppings and enjoy.
Recipe: Chili Dog Recipe
Baked Potato Soup
Hot potato soup is one of the best things to happen to cold winter days. It’s easy to make, and it’s always a hit with everyone who tries it.
Recipe: Baked Potato Soup
There’s nothing like a juicy cheeseburger on a hot day, and that’s why they’re one of the best hot lunch ideas around. Just heat your patty and then layer it with your favorite toppings. You can also add in some diced onions or diced tomatoes for a little extra flavor.
Recipe: Homemade Smash Burgers
Grilled Cheese With Bacon & Tomato
Bacon is one of the best things in the world, and it also makes a great hot lunch idea. Just layer thick slices of bacon & tomato on top of your grilled cheese sandwich bread and enjoy!
Recipe: Tomato Bacon Grilled Cheese
Soup is a great option for a hot lunch, and there are so many kinds to choose from. You can make a quick and easy vegetable soup, or you can go with something more elaborate like split pea or lentil soup.
Recipe: Lebanese Lentil Soup
Panini is a great option for a hot lunch because it’s easy to make, and it can be custom tailored to your own preferences. Just pick your favorite ingredients and then heat them up in the panini press.
Recipe: Meatball Panini
Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken and dumplings are a classic American dish, and they’re also a great hot lunch option. Just heat up some chicken broth and then spoon it into boiled dumplings to make them perfect for lunch.
Hot Ham and Cheese
Hot ham and cheese is a classic sandwich that’s perfect for a hot lunch. Just layer thin slices of ham and cheese on top of a piece of bread, and then heat them up in the oven or in the microwave.
Recipe: Hot Ham and Cheese Sliders
Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food, and it’s also a great option for a hot lunch. Just cook some elbow macaroni noodles, drain, and then add some shredded cheese with some milk to make a perfect hot lunch.
Recipe: Homemade Mac and Cheese
Quesadillas are a great option for a hot lunch because they’re easy to customize. Just choose your favorite ingredients and then heat them up in the quesadilla maker.
Recipe: Best Chicken Quesadilla
Tuna melts are a classic American lunch option, and they’re also a great option for a hot lunch. Just heat some tuna and then add sliced cheese to make it perfect for a hot lunch sandwich.
Recipe: Classic Tuna Melt Sandwich
Fried rice is a great option for a hot lunch because it’s easy to make, and it’s also filling. Just cook some rice with an egg and then add some chicken or shrimp to make it perfect for a quick and easy lunch.
Recipe: Egg Fried Rice