20 Warming Lunches That Won't Break the Bank
Eating a cold salad for lunch on a chilly day is a little heartbreaking, isn't it? Ditch the cold veggies and opt for these warming lunch recipes that you'll actually look forward to eating throughout the cold months. The best part? They won't break the bank. Save money and nourish your cold self when lunchtime rolls around with these 20 satisfying recipes.
A slow-cooker vegetarian chili made of cheap canned ingredients and a few fresh vegetables is the perfect budget-friendly Winter meal. This recipe makes eight to 10 servings, so it takes care of lunch and dinner all week — or you can freeze the rest for later.
Get the recipe: slow-cooker chili
Spicy Tomato Soup
Ditch the canned tomato soup for an easy homemade version that gets a kick of spice from red pepper flakes.
Get the recipe: spicy tomato soup
Slow-Cooker Gigante Beans With Tomatoes and Pancetta
Dried beans, when combined with canned tomatoes, pancetta, garlic, and herbs, transform into a flavorful and filling meal that you'll look forward to heating up when lunchtime rolls around. Bonus points if you have crusty bread to bring for dipping.
Get the recipe: slow-cooker gigante beans with tomatoes and pancetta
Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Your co-workers will be green with envy when you heat up this fragrant, soul-warming chicken pot pie soup . . . and then you can give them the recipe.
Get the recipe: chicken pot pie soup
Spaghetti Squash With Kale and Parmesan
Spaghetti squash an inexpensive way to get your "pasta" fix without feeling like you want to take a nap after lunch.
Get the recipe: spaghetti squash with kale and parmesan
Microwaveable Indian Red Beans Over Rice
When you really want to save money (and time), plan to make these Indian red beans over rice in the microwave in two minutes.
Get the recipe: microwaveable Indian red beans over rice
Chinese Brown Rice Salad With Edamame
If you're feeling edamame over beans, opt for this microwaveable Chinese brown rice salad with edamame, ginger, and scallions.
Get the recipe: Chinese brown rice salad with edamame
Creamy, Garlicky Broccoli Soup
Resist the urge to spend money on your nearest cafe's broccoli cheddar soup and opt for this homemade version instead.
Get the recipe: creamy, garlicky broccoli soup
Chicken Lo Mein
Skip the cost of takeout and make your own version of chicken lo mein, which makes for fantastic lunch leftovers.
Get the recipe: chicken lo mein
Slow-Cooker Beef Chili
This chili is bursting with flavor and is made with a cheap ingredient list of ground beef and canned ingredients like tomatoes, beans, and pumpkin puree.
Get the recipe: slow-cooker beef chili
Split Pea Soup
Your grandma's pea soup has nothing on this budget-friendly staple that transforms dried split peas into a luscious, satisfying soup.
Get the recipe: split pea soup
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
Tonight's dinner becomes tomorrow's lunch when you make chicken spaghetti casserole, an affordably cheesy pasta bake that reheats well.
Get the recipe: chicken spaghetti casserole
Slow-Cooker Beef Taco Soup
Bringing "tacos" to work every day becomes possible with this slow-cooker taco soup, which is made with pantry ingredients and will leave you with four to six servings perfect for packing up.
Get the recipe: slow-cooker beef taco soup
Microwaveable Mug Chicken Noodle Soup
You totally can (and should) make your own chicken noodle soup in the microwave at work. All you have to bring is shredded rotisserie chicken, chopped veggies, and broth, and you're on your way to a steaming-hot lunch that can be whipped up in seven minutes.
Get the recipe: microwaveable mug chicken noodle soup
15-Minute Spicy Ramen
This 15-minute ramen recipe is quick and budget-friendly! Prepare the eggs ahead of time to expidite the process too!
Get the recipe: 15-minute spicy ramen
Lightened-Up Spaghetti and Chicken Meatballs
Whole-wheat noodles and chicken meatballs join forces for a lightened-up take on a classic that won't leave you with a carb crash at your desk.
Get the recipe: spaghetti and chicken meatballs
Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Kale Soup
This easy soup, made with sausage, canned white beans, and kale, will become one of your wintertime favorites.
Get the recipe: Italian sausage, white bean, and kale soup
Chickpea Coconut Curry With Sweet Potatoes
A creamy vegan curry that's made with pantry ingredients and filling vegetables like sweet potatoes and cauliflower, this slow-cooker dish makes for an Instagram-worthy lunch.
Get the recipe: slow-cooker chickpea coconut curry with sweet potatoes
Vegan Pumpkin Chili
This recipe proves that chili doesn't need beef to be comforting and filling. Pureed pumpkin, canned tomatoes, beans, bell peppers, jalapeños, and chili powder make this vegan chili an anything-but-boring lunch.
Get the recipe: vegan pumpkin chili
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
This lemony, brothy soup will warm you to the core, and you'll have plenty of leftovers to take for lunch all week.
Get the recipe: lemon chicken orzo soup