It’s back-to-school time, but even worker bees need quick and satisfying lunch ideas. These sturdy salads and packable sandwiches and wraps — gathered from the Recipe Finder — offer a variety of flavors and, for the most part, come together quickly or can be prepared days in advance. Because worrying about what you’ll eat for lunch the next day should be the last thing on your mind during a busy week.
Roasted Beet and Lentil Salad. A hearty option that happens to be vegan. If you’re vegetarian, add cheese; if you eat meat, top with smoked salmon or diced, sauteed pancetta.
Lentils With Apples and Ham. Satisfying and with the flavors of autumn, this salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Green Beans, Roasted Pepper and Potato Salad. A zesty, crunchy dish that’s best at room temperature.
Roasted Red Pepper, Tuna and Bean Salad, pictured above. Way beyond your average tuna salad; this one’s loaded with white beans, roasted red peppers and celery.
Emmer, Lentil and Celery Salad With Lemon-Cumin Dressing. A meatless option with versatility: You can use wheat berries instead of emmer or swap out the lentils for chickpeas or white beans.
Minestrone Pasta Salad. The essence of the classic Italian soup, in pasta form.
Couscous-Turkey Salad. Make it the night before so the flavors meld in time for lunch.
Peanut Butter, Honey and Arugula Sandwich, pictured above. This classy number one-ups the PB&J.
Chickpea Sandwich. A vegan sandwich layered with flavor from garlic, roasted red peppers and lemon confit.
Peanut Chicken Pitas. Using already cooked chicken breast makes this recipe come together quickly.
Chopped Egg and Avocado Sandwiches. Egg salad is made even more indulgent with avocado.
Barbecue Chicken Wraps With Celery and Sprouts. Flavorful chicken gets a boost from crunchy carrots, celery and sprouts.
Avocado and White Bean Salad Wraps. A fast, filling vegan wrap.
Pepper-Crusted Steak Wraps. This recipe makes enough for 12 to 16 people but scales down easily, especially if using sliced deli meats.