17 Packable Lunch Ideas and Recipes

17 Packable Lunch Ideas and Recipes 1 Rating(s)

17 packable, portable lunch ideas and recipes

Lunch and Dinner Ideas For On the Go

If your schedule is tight around meal times either because of school or work or other commitments that keep you running, it is difficult to eat healthy and not succumb to the temptation of running by the drive-thru.

The key? Like many other things — having a plan.

Make a list of meals you could take and keep cold, if needed, or bring and reheat, if that’s an option.

Nobody likes to eat the same thing every day, right? So, we are sharing some creative lunch ideas with you (click on highlighted text below to view recipes).

Keep Lunch Cool

If you don’t have the option to reheat your meal, there is still no need to be stuck with sandwiches all the time. (Below photo by Michu Đăng Quang on Unsplash)

Tortilla Wrap by Unsplash | Packable Lunches


• If you like sandwiches, wrap the sandwich ingredients up in a tortilla or a leaf of lettuce to change things up a bit.

• Layer salad dressing in bottom of mason jar or other container, topped with favorite salad ingredients. Then turn upside down and shake briefly before opening to eat.

• Have a chilled rice bowl – fill container with rice or quinoa topped with grilled chicken, black beans, corn, avocado, grated cheese, and tomatoes. (If desired, bring along a container of ranch or southwest dressing for topping when ready to eat.)

• Mix up a quick tuna salad, chicken salad, pasta salad, or bean salad to enjoy one day.

• Pack some hummus with pita chips and veggies.

Lunch in a Thermos

If you don’t have a way to reheat food, consider investing in a container that will keep your meal hot enough until you’re ready to eat.  Then you could enjoy taking one of the following. (Below photo by Steve Tsang on Unsplash)


Soup in bowl by Unsplash | Packable Hot Lunch

• Spaghetti

• Chili or your favorite soup

• Scrambled eggs with sautéed veggies

• Hot rice bowl – rice with chopped chicken, black beans, corn, salsa, cheese, etc.

• Shredded or chopped cooked seasoned chicken in BBQ sauce, buffalo sauce or chipotle sauce; enjoy on small sandwich buns, tortillas or in pita bread.

• Macaroni and cheese – be creative; there are all sorts of fun add-ins and variations

Lunch Heated Up

For those who can refrigerate a meal and heat it up when ready to eat, in addition to any of the above, try one of the following lunch ideas:

roast with potatoes and carrots, lunch ideas

• Leftovers from any meal at home

• Crockpot meal divided up into smaller portion – chicken and potatoes, lasagna, roast beef and veggies

• Homemade pizza

• Baked or roasted meat with veggies or rice


As you can see, there are so many more options than sandwiches or snack bars, no matter your situation. So come up with a plan, pick out your favorites, and enjoy some real food this week as you run from school to work and activities.

We would love to hear your ideas and suggestions, too, in the comments below.

Keep Favorite Recipes in Free Online Cookbook - bannerRemember to start your free online recipe box right here at Dish Dish to find and share your favorite recipes in one place and manage your grocery list, too.

October 4th, 2016

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