Quick and Easy Lunch Recipes You’ll Love

Tuesday 23rd Feb 2021 |

With most of us spending more of the daytime at home than usual, you may well be running out of lunchtime meal inspiration.

To help, Discover Great Veg has shared four quick and easy lunchtime recipes, using the super-green cavolo nero.

Add a handful to pastas, stir into soups or toss into salads – cavolo nero can be enjoyed in so many delicious ways! As well as being tasty, versatile, and speedy to prepare, cavolo nero is also brimming with health benefits. It is a good source of vitamins A and C which help the immune system function normally, lutein which can help with eye health, and vitamin K which helps to maintain normal bones. It is also a source of fibre and calcium, and contains manganese, copper and iron.

So, why not try something a bit different on your next at-home lunch break and give one of these tasty cavolo nero recipes a try? 

Quick and Easy Lunch Recipes – Mediterranean Soup with Cavolo Nero

Quick and Easy Lunch Recipes

Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 15 minutes. Serves: 4. Skill Level: Easy

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 410g tin cannellini beans, drained and washed
  • 200g cavolo nero, shredded


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion and pepper for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and season.
  3. Bring to the boil, simmer covered for 6-8 minutes
  4. Serve with warm crusty bread.

Quick and Easy Lunch Recipes – Fusilli Pasta with Chicken, Cavolo Nero & Tomato

Quick and Easy Lunch Recipes

Prep: 10 minutes. Cook: 10 minutes. Serves: 2. Level: Easy 

  • 125g fusilli pasta
  • 150g shredded cavolo nero
  • 75g sun dried tomatoes, sliced + 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • To serve: grated Parmigiano Reggiano


  1. Cook the pasta in boiling water for 7 minutes, add the cavolo nero and cook for a further 3 minutes, drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil from the sun-dried tomato jar and fry the chicken for 5-6 minutes until golden and cooked throughout.
  3. Add the garlic, sun dried tomatoes and cherry tomatoes and fry for a further 1-2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the pasta and cavolo nero with a little of the cooking liquid and season.
  5. Serve sprinkled with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Cooking tip: Try using spaghetti or tagliatelle instead of the fusilli, a great way to use up leftover roast chicken.

Quick and Easy Lunch Recipes – Rice Noodle & Cavolo Nero Salad

Quick and Easy Lunch Recipes

Prep: 10 minutes. Cook: 3 minutes. Serves: 4  Skill level: Easy

  • 200g bag sliced cavolo nero
  • 300g straight to wok ribbon rice noodles
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • Juice 1 lime
  • 1 bunch spring onions, sliced
  • 1 carrot, coarsely grated
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 28g pack coriander, leaves only, roughly chopped
  • 25g unsalted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped


  1. Cook the cavolo nero in a large pan of boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain well.
  2. Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water, stir to break the noodles up a little, leave for 1-2 minutes then drain.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together the chilli sauce, soy, fish sauce and lime juice in a small bowl.
  4. Toss together the cavolo nero, noodles, spring onions, carrot, chilli and most of the coriander and peanuts then stir in the dressing.
  5. Serve sprinkled with the remaining coriander and peanuts.

Cooking tips: Great as a light lunch or served with fish or chicken. Try using egg noodles cooked according to pack instructions instead of the rice noodles. For a more main meal, stir in some shredded roast chicken or cooked prawns.

Quick and Easy Lunch Recipes – Cavolo Nero Potato Cakes

Quick and Easy Lunch Recipes

Prep: 15 minutes : 8 minutes Serves: 4 Skill Level: Easy

  • 800g floury potatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 150g cavolo nero, finely shredded
  • 2 tbsp flour


  1. Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and return to the pan. Mash well and season.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for 3-4 minutes until golden. Stir into the mashed potato with the Parmesan.
  3. Allow to cool. Steam the cavolo nero for 4 minutes and stir into the potato.
  4. When just cold enough to handle, stir in the flour and mould into 8 rounds. Shallow fry in 2 batches for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden and heated through.
  5. Serve with grilled bacon and salsa.

Cooking tips: Great for eating on the go or taking to the office for a quick lunch. Ideal to prepare ahead. Try any leftover meat from the roast dinner or use cannellini or kidney beans.

Craving some Mexican adventure?