After what’s been the longest summer break of all time, back to school season (or even back to the office for that matter) is officially here. And, whether you have kiddos that are returning to the classroom this year, or maybe you’re getting back to the office after months of WFH, lunch may be on your mind. We have you covered with six delicious packable lunches that you’ll love even if you aren’t going back to school.
The Key Components of a Healthy Packable Lunch
First, let’s break down some key ingredients to keep in mind when making your healthy packable lunch — the most important thing here is balance.
Your packable lunch should have a balance of:
- Clean protein — turkey, chicken, wild-caught salmon
- Healthy fats — such as avocados, nuts, seeds
- Complex carbs — think fruits, veggies, quinoa
Let’s take a closer look at what this looks like IRL with six healthy packable lunches you’ll actually look forward to eating each day.
6 Healthy & Delicious Packable Lunches You’ll Be Reaching For All Year Long
Note: These can all be adjusted based on taste or food preference. Don’t like turkey? Try chicken instead. Want to make it dairy-free? Skip the cheese.
#1 Healthy Turkey Club Sandwich
- 1 gluten-free sandwich bun
- 1 tbsp avocado mayonnaise
- 2 slices of turkey breast (like Applegate brand)
- 1 slice of cooked bacon
- ¼ avocado, sliced
- Lettuce and tomato
Start by adding the mayo to the sandwich bun along with the turkey and bacon.
Top with avocado, lettuce, and tomato.
Add to your packable lunch container along with any other optional add-ins.
- Nuts of choice (almonds, walnuts, cashews)
- Fruit of choice (berries, grapes, apple)
- Sliced veggies (carrots, cucumber, celery)
#2 Turkey Burger & Greens Bento Box
- 1 cooked turkey burger or sliced roasted turkey breast
- 1 cup broccoli florets, steamed
- 4 small cheddar cheese cubes (optional)
- Dressing of choice for drizzling
Add all ingredients minus the dressing to a bento-style lunch box.
Drizzle with dressing of choice.
Pack to enjoy as a simple and filling on the go lunch.
- Fresh fruit of choice
- Almond flour crackers (like Simple Mills brand)
#3 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Pasta Salad
- 1 cup cooked gluten-free pasta (use chickpea or lentil pasta for added protein!)
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar or Italian dressing (like Primal Kitchen brand)
- ½ cup cannellini beans (optional for added protein)
- 1/4 tomato, cubed
- ½ cucumber, chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped red onion
- Freshly chopped herbs of choice
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and toss to combine.
Transfer to an on the go lunch container and enjoy!
- Side of fresh fruit of choice
- Piece of 70% or darker dark chocolate
#4 Healthy Chicken Salad
- 1 cup cooked shredded chicken (rotisserie works well)
- ¼ cup chopped celery
- 2 tbsp chopped red onion
- 2 tbsp avocado-based mayo
- Freshly chopped herbs of choice (dill is super yummy!)
- Drizzle of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Pinch of sea salt and pepper
Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix well.
Transfer to a container that’s easy to take on the go and serve on its own or with lettuce leaves.
- Almond flour crackers with nut butter (like Simple Mills brand)
- Banana or fruit of choice
#5 Avocado Turkey Roll-Ups
- 3 slices roasted turkey breast (like Applegate brand)
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- ½ avocado, sliced
Start by adding the mustard and sliced avocado to the center of each slice of turkey. Roll up and add to your packable lunch container (such as a bento-style box).
- Sliced bell pepper and cucumber served with hummus
- Fruit of choice
#6 Breakfast For Lunch Bento Box
- ½ cup cooked rolled oats
- 1 hard-boiled egg
- ½ sliced banana
- Sprinkle of hemp seeds
- Drizzle of pure maple syrup
Add the rolled oats to a bento-style box and serve alongside a sliced hard-boiled egg and sliced banana.
Sprinkle with hemp seeds and enjoy with a drizzle of pure maple syrup
- ½ sliced avocado
Give Your Packable Lunch an Upgrade No Matter What Back to School Looks Like For You
No matter what this season of life looks like for you (back to school, back to work, staying at home), upgrading your lunch with some drool-worthy and equally as nourishing foods is always a good idea.
So, use these six packable lunch recipes as an excuse to give your daily lunch a bit of an upgrade — your tastebuds will thank you!