I appreciate the civility of digging into a meal with a knife and a fork, but sometimes that’s just not in the cards. More than a year into remote work, I still find myself munching lunch at my desk at least once a week (I know, I know!), and having a meal that I can pick up and bite in between typing definitely helps. As the weather warms up, I can see myself moving the entire operation outside, because, let’s be honest, even the patio feels like a change of scene these days. Whether you’re working alfresco or just enjoying the sunshine, not having to worry about toting out the silverware streamlines the process.

Plus, handheld foods are fun to eat. And they’re often the kinds of meals that are perfect for customizing to whatever ingredients you like or have in the house. Here are some options from our archives to consider:

Mushroom Quesadillas, above. I practically lived off quesadillas for months last year while I was working from home and taking care of my son, so I can attest how much else you can get done while munching one. This recipe employs fresh mushrooms and mozzarella, though it’s easy to adapt to your needs.

Vegetarian Summer Rolls. Like the quesadillas, you’ll find infinite ways to tweak the filling on these refreshing, warm-weather-friendly rolls. For more inspiration, check out Vietnamese Cold Summer Rolls and Colorful Summer Rolls With Dipping Sauce.


Bolani With Morgh Kofta and Chutney Sabz (Afghan Stuffed Flatbread With Chicken). Make the spicy ground chicken filling or get creative with what you have on hand.


Charred Cauliflower and Halloumi Pitas With Harissa. Other than salt and pepper, you just need six ingredients for these jam-packed meatless pita pockets. The broiler speeds along the cooking process, with just the right amount of singe on the cauliflower and melt on the halloumi.


Muffin Tin Deep-Dish Pepperoni Pizza. Need something that adults and kids can grab and go, or at least eat during your weekly movie night? Look no further than this fun, customizable recipe.


Black Bean Breakfast Burritos. Burritos are the ultimate one-hand meal. I like to keep a stash of these in the freezer. See also Extra-Stuffed Veggie Burritos.

Tortilla Egg Wraps. This omelet-burrito mash-up is another flexible option, so long as you have the eggs and tortillas. The rest is up to you.


Quinoa and Vegetable Egg Bites. These are essentially mini frittatas, meaning they’re ideal for having around on days when breakfast — or lunch or dinner — needs to be self-contained. Similarly, One-Bowl Cheesy Jumbo Muffins With Prosciutto and Chives are hefty enough to double as a meal.

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