A packable, portable lunch is king of warm weather, in my book.
Leave the house at 8 a.m. with a salad or sandwich you can tote around reliably for hours, and your day's possibilities are endless. Impromptu park picnic to celebrate sun? No problem. Road trip upstate? Sure, and no need to stop for a bite. Spontaneous beach trip? Yes, and I'll be the one eating my tuna sandwich under a wide umbrella, with a book.
And I'm not talking sad, dented PB&Js here. I mean expertly delicious broccoli salads, curry chicken salad lettuce cups, and other stunners fit to be the star of your lunch. Here are 9 salads and sandwiches that travel so well, they deserve frequent flyer miles:
A raw broccoli salad is a make-ahead luncher's dream. This one has a pesto dressing, walnuts, and sliced apples, though any salad-friendly ingredient would make for an excellent swap. Think: crumbled cheese, citrus, cooked grains...
Minced shallot, curry powder, and cayenne pepper make Senior Editor Eric Kim's chicken salad deeply compelling. It's great on any bread you like, or, you can pack the salad along with lettuce cups to use as wraps.
"This sandwich has trekked with me on many a train trip, plane ride, and afternoon in the park," says its creator, vvvanessa. "In Spain, it usually doesn't come with the addition of allioli (the Catalonian version of aioli), and since it potentially won't travel well on longer trips, feel free to leave it off."
Meet the $1.89 sandwich our SVP of Brand Suzanne D'Amato swears by. Make the chickpea salad part up to three days in advance, and assemble with the greens, tomato, and pita right before serving—or, ditch the tomato and greens, and assemble in advance on crusty bread, with pickled onions.
Kale & Bulgur Salad with Brown Butter Apple Vinaigrette
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
Ella Quittner is a a writer at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches. You can follow her on Instagram @equittner, or Twitter at @ellaquittner. She also develops recipes for Food52, and has a soft spot for all pasta, anything spicy, and salty chocolate things.