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Minimal effort, maximum taste: the best packed lunch recipes

These exciting, delicious dishes are cheaper than chips… and healthier, too!
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Takeaway Style Doner Kebab

Takeaway Style Doner Kebab

“Fakeaway” doner kebabs for only 67p each!

This slow cooker lamb kebab is so easy to make and tastes like perfection when wrapped up in home-made flatbreads.

So, what can I say about this dish? It. Is. Glorious. Simple as that! We come back to this recipe time and time again, not only because both me & The Hungry Hungry Husband sneakily love a good doner kebab (although perhaps the word “good” is sometimes questionable…), but also because it’s so quick to prepare before you let the slow cooker take over and work its magic. Mostly, it’s really satisfying being able to produce something this good when the actual “involvement time” is next to nothing.

I nabbed the idea from a website called “Mortgage Free in Three” when I was searching for cheap packed lunch recipes and it looked so wonderfully easy that I couldn’t not try it. Unfortunately this site no longer appears to exist so it’s a good job you can find a version of the recipe here instead! (The Pinterest account is still up & running though if you want to check that out.) And, let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Plus, it really is a cheap meal: with salad and home-made flatbreads it comes in at a measly £5.36 for 8 packed lunch servings! Good value and great taste — my favourite kind of meal!

Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 4–8 hours | Servings: 8 kebabs
Essential kit: slow cooker
Cost? I paid £0.59 per serving (£0.67 per serving with flatbreads)

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Full Instructions

Prepare the doner kebab meat:

500g lamb mince; ½ medium-sized onion (very finely chopped – see photo in gallery); 1 clove garlic (crushed or finely chopped); ½ tsp chilli powder; 1½ tsp mixed dried herbs; salt & pepper

  1. Turn the slow cooker onto low
  2. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and combine together very thoroughly
  3. The mince should stop looking like strands of meat and more like a smooth paste — take a look in the gallery above for an example
    *tip* you can squish it through your hands for this, or a potato masher works really well
  4. Shape this into a flattish patty that’s same size and shape as your slow cooker

Cook the doner meat:

  1. Lay the meat in the bottom of your slow cooker, put the lid on, and leave to cook for 6–8 hours (or 4 hours on high if you’re tight on time)
    *tip* it will probably only take 6 hours, so check it then if you can and turn the slow cooker off if the meat is no longer pink inside, but 8 hours is fine if you want to leave it cooking overnight
  2. When done, turn off the slow cooker, take the meat out, and leave to cool before storing in the fridge in an airtight container

Prepare your salad:

Whatever you have in the fridge, suggestions include: cabbage (finely shredded); lettuce (finely shredded); onion (raw, thinly sliced); cucumber (thinly sliced strips); tomatoes (thinly sliced); chillies (thinly sliced or whole, if you’re brave; just like my dad used to get — shout out to Bahar Kebab House in Worthing!)

  1. While the doner kebab meat is cooking, slice and chop whatever salad ingredients you’re using
  2. Transfer them to an airtight container and store in the fridge until needed

In the morning:

  1. Take your meat — and your sharpest knife! — and cut very thin strips so that it resembles proper Turkish doner kebabs
  2. Lay the strips of meat in your flatbread with plenty of your ready-prepared salad and drizzle over some mayonnaise and chilli sauce (like sriracha) or chilli jam
    *alternative* chuck everything together into a pitta bread
  3. Roll up the flatbread and wrap it in some foil for a very convenient lunch

Final thoughts from The Hungry Hungry Husband?

“All the joys of a kebab without the misery of the morning after!”

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Spicy lamb kebabs on homemade wraps

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