12 Fresh Lunch Pairings (Including Many Gluten-Free)

12 Fresh Food Pairings for a More Appealing Lunch

12 Fresh Lunch Pairings (Including Many Gluten-Free) What was the last homemade lunch you truly enjoyed?   I like to find a balance between variety and keeping things simple. Even folks like my husband, who are willing to eat the same sandwich five days in a row, appreciate an upgrade from time time.

Whether you pack a lunch for work, make lunches for kids, or just want something different on the weekend, it is helpful to have a creative range of mid-day options.  Yet when life gets busy I start forgetting about the breadth of possibilities available.  I fall into food ruts.  Sometimes I overlook something simple and obvious–that I could make from pantry ingredients I already have.  Or I neglect some delicious recipes posted a while ago on this blog!

So when you need a change from the usual sandwich routine, here are 12 fresh lunch options–paired up for your convenience and mine.  Because some days I get stuck puzzling over what to make.  Don’t we all?  The first eight pairings are all gluten free (GF), and none of the twelve involve sliced bread.

Celery Sticks + Gluten Free Pineapple MuffinLadybugs on a Celery Stick + Pineapple Almond Muffin (GF)

Gluten Free Summer Rolls + Mango Lemon BarsShrimp or Chicken Summer Rolls + Mango Lemon Bar (GF)

Gluten-Free Pigs in a Blanket + Napa Cabbage SaladGluten Free Pigs in a Blanket + Napa Cabbage Salad (GF)

Asian Cucumber Salad + Pumpkin Bites (gluten-free)Tangy Cucumber Salad with Chicken and Peanuts + Pumpkin Coconut Bites (GF)

wrap + chai CollageHam and Pear Lettuce Wraps + Chai Chokladbollar (GF)

Rainbow Potato Salad + Tapenade and Buckwheat Crackers (gluten-free)Rainbow Potato SaladBuckwheat Crackers with Cilantro Olive Tapenade (GF)

Ham Musubi + Creamy Pea Salad (gluten-free)

Ham Musubis + Creamy Sweet Pea Salad (GF)

Bacon Avocado Tomato Kebabs + Sweet Potato and Lentil SaladBacon Avocado Tomato Kebabs + Wild Rice Salad (GF)

Ham and Broccoli Pocket + Cherry Chocolate PuddingHam and Broccoli Pockets + Fresh Cherry Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Green Bean Foccacia + Deviled EggsGreen Bean Foccacia + Tapas-Style Deviled Eggs

Taquito + Fruit CollageChicken Taquitos with Cranberry Salsa Paradise Fruit Salad

Mango Chicken Curry + Naan Bread (dairy-free)Mango Chicken Curry + Dairy Free Naan Bread

Feel free to mix and match options that work best for you and your situation.   Many of the recipes double as appetizers and sides that can be made a day or more ahead of time and served as part of a meal (if you like).  Set aside portions for lunch and you are set for the next day.   Then, instead of sighs, let there be smiles of anticipation when you think about lunch!

I like to share ideas here , at Homemade Mondays, and at Allergy Free Wednesdays.


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