In The Kitchen Recipe Collections

10 Quick and Easy Back to School Lunch Box Recipes

Whether online or in-person, lunch is a highlight to any school day. Yet it can be challenging to decide what food to put in the lunch box. Make it easy on yourself with these easy lunch box recipes that your kids will love!

Three images side by side. The photo on the left is a bowl of red pepper hummus. The middle picture is a plate of chicken taquitos stacked on a plate. The image on the right is a platter of cucumber sandwiches cut into triangles and stacked on a plate.

There’s no doubt that school looks a lot different this year. There are many directions we're taking to navigate the upcoming school year, but one thing remains a constant... SCHOOL LUNCH. Whether you’re in-person, distant learning, doing a hybrid method, or homeschooling, those kiddos need to eat!

I am doing a homeschooling co-op with a few other families in my neighborhood, and the topic of lunch has come up in all the logistics we’ve had to figure out. We have decided that each kid will bring their own lunch, which means I will still be packing five different lunches every night. (Yes, I pack my lunches at night! It’s one of the ways I help my mornings run just a bit smoother.)

While PB&J is still a major contender for our lunch boxes, we definitely like to try new things.

  • Instant Pot Easy-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

    How to Make Easy Hard Boiled Eggs in the Pressure Cooker
    Emma Christensen

    Hard boiled eggs are an easy source of protein for kids. They make a great lunch when paired with fruits and veggies. My only advice would be to leave the shell on and have your child peel the egg when ready to eat. It tends to stink up the lunchbox if it’s already peeled.

  • Quesadilla

    Quesadilla
    Elise Bauer

    My kids would eat quesadillas all day, every day! The combo of carbs and cheese is one that’s beloved by all, and I love that they’re so simple to make. My kids really don’t care if they’re hot or cold, so I like to make a big batch at the beginning of the week to make things easier on myself! Feel free to mix it up and add beans, chicken or broccoli.

  • Scallion Pancakes

    How to make scallion pancakes
    Lisa Lin

    These only take a handful of ingredients to make and can be made ahead of time. Warm them up in a skillet and then place in a thermos. This will keep them warm until lunch.

  • Baked Chicken Taquitos

    Homemade Taquitos with chicken
    Nick Evans

    Everyone loves taquitos for lunch, but they’re so much better when made from scratch! These can be made in advance and frozen for easy peasy lunches. You can heat them up in the oven while you’re getting ready for school and then stick them in a thermos to keep them warm!

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

    Overhead view of a bowl of the best roasted red pepper hummus is topped with chopped roasted red peppers and feta cheese. Surrounding the bowl are scallions, sliced yellow bell peppers, pitas and sliced cucumbers.
    Alison Bickel

    This hummus is a favorite at our house! It’s the perfect dip for vegetables, pretzels, and naan. It’s clearly a must for any lunch box!

  • Rotini with Kale and Walnut Pesto

    Horizontal view of a white bowl with rotini and kale pesto inside. Walnuts and basil are in the background.
    Nick Evans | Art Banner Credit: Andy Christensen

    Surprisingly cold pasta makes for an awesome lunch! While this can’t be made several days in advance, it does make for great leftovers. I would suggest having it for dinner the night before and serving what’s left to your kids.

  • Cucumber Sandwiches

    Triangle cut cucumber tea sandwiches are stacked on a cake stand and encircled with fresh herbs. Sliced cucucumbers are visible inside each one.
    Sally Vargas

    I always have the ingredients needed for these sandwiches, so making them for lunch is a no-brainer. If you’re worried about them getting soggy, you can always make put the ingredients in separate containers in your lunch box and have your kids assemble them at lunch. Think of it as a sophisticated Lunchable!

  • Kid-Friendly Wraps

    Kid Friendly Wraps
    Elise Bauer

    Since PB&J is our main jam (pun intended! Ha!) we love these wraps! These are easy to make, which means you can easily have your kids make their own lunches. We also have a meat and cheese version for those who don’t love PB&J.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • Best Ever Tuna Salad Sandwich

    How to make tuna fish
    Elise Bauer

    Of course there had to be a tuna sandwich in this round-up! Make the tuna mixture ahead of time and assemble your sandwich with lightening speed each morning. You can most certainly mix-things up so you won’t get tired of having the same sandwich over and over again!

  • Broccoli Cheddar Bites

    Broccoli Cheddar Bites
    Elise Bauer

    These tasty gems will become your new best friend! They’re freezer friendly, easy to make, AND they get your kids to eat their veggies! If you decide to freeze them, you can reheat them in the microwave and then stick them in that glorious thermos so they stay nice and warm all the way until lunch!