It's the start of the new year- which means that it's back-to-school season for the kiddos, and back-to-work for us adults. In our home, this also translates to this Mama spending a lot of her waking hours thinking up creative and healthy lunchbox ideas for Baby Dude. Bonus points if the same idea would work for Hubby Dear as well!
I know I can't be alone in this struggle, so I've compiled a list of 16 easy and delicious Lunchbox Ideas that we absolutely love. These recipes are tried and tested and are a staple in our home. They're quick and simple to make and most of them can be made the night before. You can find the recipes by clicking on the respective photos.
What are some of your favourites to pack for lunches? Please let me know in the comments below, I'm always looking for new ideas and inspiration. Happy cooking!
Chicken Tikka Quesadilla: Quesadillas are the perfect vehicle when it comes to using up leftovers, and these Chicken Tikka Quesadillas are no different. In a pinch, they work extremely well with spiced-up leftover chicken from the previous night. I like to make a bigger batch of the filling on the weekend and use it to make these Quesadillas throughout the week. You can change up the meat or add in more veggies – anything you like, but the idea remains the same.
Paneer Croissants: Raise your hand if you love croissants. Now wave them around if you’re intrigued with the idea of Paneer Croissants!
Indian-style Keema Pasta: Pasta is one universal pantry staple that pretty much works for any kind of family dynamic or diet plan. I love to jazz mine up with different flavour profiles depending on my mood and the kind of food I’m craving at the moment. Add in olives and feta and you have a Greek-inspired dish. Throw in some coconut milk and a dollop of store-bought curry paste and you can transform it into a Thai-inspired one. Or my favourite – jazz it up with some spices, like this Keema Pasta!
Mediterranean Chicken Burgers: Deliciously thick and juicy burgers, sandwiched between toasted buns and topped with your choice of veggies. Sounds good? Then what are you waiting for? Hop on and let’s get grillin’!!
Chicken Noodle Stir-Fry: This Easy Chicken Noodle Stir-Fry recipe is one I fall back on frequently. It’s a family favourite, so I often make a big batch for dinner so that I have leftovers to pack for the lunch the next day. You can use any kind of vegetables your family enjoys and change it to what’s available or in season. I’ve also tried using different kinds of noodles – many times opting for spaghetti since that’s what I always have on hand.
Vegan Shami Kebabs: These little kebabs have a perfectly crispy exterior and just melt-in-your-mouth as you begin to eat them. I love making them slightly smaller in size so that they’re easy enough to pick up and relished in a couple of bites.
Potato Masala Melts: This recipe is one of my personal favourites. It uses everything you might have in your fridge, freezer or kitchen pantry. To get more creative and introduce Baby Dear to new lunch ideas for when he starts school soon, I left them open-faced and shoved them into the toaster oven to melt and crisp. Do as you please and add/omit ingredients as you like, keep it open-faced or slap another slice of bread on top. Afterall, a sandwich is nothing if not flexible. So here it is, as promised!
Masala Macaroni: This Masala Macaroni recipe is a definite crowd-pleaser – appealing to adults and toddlers alike! I like to add in a huge salad and maybe some buttery garlic bread for a more rounded out meal. Try it, I’m sure it’ll end up in your book of favourites!
Tandoori Chicken Pops: These are perfect eaten as is on sticks or sandwiched between soft hot dog buns. Use any dipping sauce of your choice to take it a step further.
Indian Masala Omelette: This Masala Omelette recipe is what I often fall back on when I need a quick, nutritious and tasty meal on the table in a hurry. It goes great with toast, buns or even rotis and parathas.
Spinach & Cheese Croissants: These Spinach and Cheese Croissants are super easy and quick, and loved by kids and adults alike!
Indian-style Spaghetti: This recipe is packed with protein and veggies, and if you use high fibre whole grain pasta, then its as healthy as can be.
Spinach & Beet Cutlets: Cutlets, or Patties are a favourite snack in our home and a great school lunch idea. You can change up the veggies, adding in anything you like, but the idea remains the same. I like making them into two-bite sizes, but you can also make them slightly bigger to be sandwiched between buns as a burger or sorts.
Chicken Croissants: These Chicken Croissants come together in a breeze. It’s delicious fresh out of the oven or eaten at room temperature. I suggest taking this idea and running with it! Experiment with the filling. Change it up to what you and your family enjoy eating. It works great any which way.
Vegetable Hakka Chowmein: This Vegetable Chow Mein recipe is simple, quick and delicious. It’s a definite crowd pleaser and can surely be catered to suit your tastes. I kept it vegetarian since I had a wonderful stock of fresh veggies in my fridge. If you’re up for it, toss in some sliced chicken or shrimp to take this a step further.
Keema Matar Pulao: Pulaos are rice-based dishes wherein, any kinds of meat, beans or veggies are usually added. This simple recipe for Keema Matar Pulao uses ground veal and frozen green peas, but really, pretty much any other vegetables could be added in as well.
Tried any of these recipes? Leave a Comment and let me know, also Rate it by clicking the number of stars on the recipe card. Want to share your version with me? Tag me on Instagram @hookedonheat