At the Table

Make-Ahead Recipes for Lunch All Week

By: The Local Palate

The week looms ahead, full of loaded schedules, school, work, meetings, appointments, extracurricular activities. Maybe you like to plan it out to the minute, or perhaps you take a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach. Whatever your style, one to-do that’s easy to tackle in advance is figuring out the week’s lunches. These TLP and chef-created recipes provide big-batch meals that you can make on Sunday, then enjoy throughout the week. Plus, the durability of these recipes for lunch means they pack well into a Tupperware, giving the whole family a midday treat to look forward to.

These recipes vary in serving size, so feel free to adjust accordingly! A meal of four servings will last an individual most of the week, but a bigger family might finish it off by Monday.


Brisket with Mustard Sauce

Monday’s only so terrible when there’s a brisket sandwich waiting for you. Feel free to enjoy beyond two slices of bread: Over salad greens, inside a taco shell, or over a rice bowl are all fair game.

Pimento Cheese

Make a batch of pimento cheese every weekend as a favor to your future self. Not only will a jar of it last for sandwiches over the week, but it multifunctions as an evening snack with crackers or breakfast spread for toast. We like pairing it with bacon jam.


Fingerling Potato Salad with Tarragon Pesto

This isn’t your gas station’s potato salad. The company of haricots vert, cashews, and pecorino cheese turn the lowly potato elegant in this salad. The addition of cannellini beans provides a protein boost, too.

Apple and Fennel Salad with Candied Pecans

This salad’s bright crunchiness makes it the perfect antidote for the mid-day slump. The orange juice and apple cider vinegar prevent the apples from oxidizing, so you can make it in advance, and it’ll still taste fresh the next day. Keep the pecans separate, and add them only when you’re ready to eat.

Verde Gazpacho

Make a big batch of gazpacho for lunch on Sunday to enjoy throughout the week. Light and refreshing, it’s delicious by itself, but serving it with the shrimp and a dollop of creme fraiche makes it a meal.

Chicken Souvlaki

Throw these chicken souvlaki skewers on the grill on Sunday evening (or roast in the oven) for an easy protein that can take a number of forms throughout the week: Try them tucked into a pita, over a bed of greens, with a grain bowl, or even by themselves.

Jeweled Couscous

Speaking of grain bowls, this jeweled couscous comes together easily on Sunday and provides a versatile base for any additions you pack it with in the morning, be it chicken souvlaki skewers, fish, curry, or roasted vegetables.


Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

Full of andouille sausage, tender red beans, and warming Creole spices, this recipe lets the Instant Pot do all the work, so you’re free to soak up the weekend’s last leisurely moments. It portions well into lunch containers for lunch and tastes delicious both re-heated or cold.

Tiffany Derry’s Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and cheese, a winner in every household, is decadent, filling, and beyond easy to make. Chef Tiffany Derry dresses up her recipe with staple seasonings already in your pantry.

Rigatoni with Cauliflower Ragu

This vegetarian pasta feels textured and meaty thanks to the cauliflower bits in the sauce. Make this on Sunday night, and portion it into individual containers for the week. Grab and go in the morning for a filling lunch that keeps you fueled until the evening.

Chicken Pie with Fennel, Leeks, and Mushrooms

This chicken in pastry delivers all the comforting elements of the classic chicken pot pie, but the abundant leeks, fennel, and mushrooms keep this version light enough that no one needs a desk nap afterward.

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