This herbed and garlicky homemade lunch meat is make en masse, and then frozen for easy and healthy lunches later in the week. Nothing beats homemade lunch meat. It’s so much more flavorful and hearty. Plus, when you compare the cost per pound, you can also save significantly by making your own.
However, I don’t recommend that you make lunch meat every other day. This becomes tiresome at best, and impossible at worst. Instead make a huge batch, and then freeze it to use later in the week. Here’s how I did it (and also check out the easy lunch ideas at the bottom of the post!)
Making and Freezing Homemade Lunch Meat
For the pictured lunchmeat, I used this recipe of mine for Homemade Lunchmeat, except this time I only used the lemon peel (not the lemon juice) and added generous pinches of dried basil, thyme, and oregano for an herbed version. The important thing to remember is that this type of recipe is incredibly flexible! Use what you have on hand. .
I marinated the meat for about an hour or two, but you can go even longer – say overnight. Cover it, and mix the chicken around (to make sure all of it is getting marinated) if you are marinating for over an hour.
Then, lay the chicken thighs on a sheet, making sure they don’t touch each other. I used several baking sheets. Cook for about 35 minutes, or until done.
Let cool for about ten to fifteen minutes, and then place in the refrigerator to chill completely (I piled them all into one large dish for this part). This is so you can thinly slice it. To get really thin slices, you can even freeze it for about 15 minutes.
Separate into how much you want to defrost at a time (I did about ½ a pound for 4 people). I wrapped the chicken in either wax paper, or these little wax baggies; then I put all of it into a freezer bag.
To use, defrost in the refrigerator!
Easy Lunch Ideas
1. Use the above lunch meat in a sandwich or wrap. Pair with sliced cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and spicy mustard. To make it even more flavorful, add a little lacto-fermented sauerkraut.
2. Make a main dish salad using the defrosted lunch meat, chopped olives, tomatoes, and feta cheese. Use this creamy balsamic dressing.
3. Make a big pot of soup (like this Egyptian Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions) and reheat during the week, as desired. If you want a heartier meal, serve with a small green salad topped with the lunch meat!
5. Pack in individual lunches, or place on a platter for serving, the following: Sliced cheese, sliced homemade lunch meat, grapes, olives, and sliced bread.
6. Make a creamy sauce (with dairy, or dairy-free) and gently reheat the sliced meat in it to serve over noodles. (Read about some of our favorite gluten free noodles here, and 4 grain free noodle options here).