5 quick, easy and healthy lunch box recipes!
Like most families, mornings in our household can be a little chaotic! So when it comes to packing lunch boxes, we’re always looking out for quick, easy and healthy recipes that require minimal effort and ingredients.
Over the years we’ve built up a collection of “go-to” lunch box recipes and wanted to share a few of our favourites with you here on the blog. These quick and easy lunch box recipes are adult AND kid-friendly, don’t require heating, and can also be prepared in advance to save you some precious time on those busy weekday mornings ;)
From pinwheel wraps to chia puddings, check out these 5 quick and healthy lunch box recipes below.
Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Pinwheel Wraps
Say goodbye to soggy sandwiches with these delicious smoked salmon and cream cheese pinwheel wraps! Pinwheel wraps are always a crowd-pleaser in our family - they’re super quick to make and the fillings can easily be adapted to suit your tastes.
To make these pinwheel wraps, you’ll need:
- 1 x wholemeal wrap
- 2 x tbsp cream cheese
- 1 x packet of smoked salmon
- 8-10 capers
- Spinach leaves
- Lay the wrap on a chopping board, spread cream cheese across the entire wrap
- Tear the smoked salmon and place evenly over the entire wrap
- Top with a sprinkle of capers, some dill and a handful of spinach leaves
- Roll the wrap from the bottom until it is all rolled up
- Cut into slices approximately 1inch apart
- Secure slices on a small skewer and pop them in your bento box!
Super Greens Pesto Pasta
This super greens pesto pasta is incredibly simple but oh-so-flavourful and packed with nutrients. While you can definitely use store-bought pesto, we’d recommend giving homemade pesto a try - it’s probably easier than you think. By making your own pesto, you can also freeze the leftovers using ice cube trays, and pop the frozen pesto cubes into a freezer bag for up to 6 months.
This pesto pasta recipe is from nutritionist Ana Robinson at @mummy_mya.
To make this super greens pesto pasta, you’ll need:
- 1 whole broccoli (heads cut off)
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 avocado
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 lemon juice
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup avocado oil (or olive oil)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- Pasta (as much as you need)
- Steam the broccoli heads until cooked through.
- In a food processor add the broccoli, baby spinach leaves, basil leaves, avocado flesh, garlic, Parmesan, lemon juice, pine nuts & avocado oil, season with a good amount of salt and pepper. Blitz until well combined.
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Add pasta to a bowl, stir through the greens pesto and the cherry tomatoes.
- Store leftover pesto in a container in the fridge, or freeze for up to 6 months.
You can also jazz up your salad with cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, crumbled feta, bocconcini or shredded chicken.
Kids Pasta Salad
A colourful pasta salad your kids will love! This quick and easy pasta salad recipe is perfect for school and work lunches, but also a great side dish for picnics and barbecues.
To make our kids pasta salad, you’ll need:
- 250 grams of elbows or shell pasta
- 1 x grated carrot
- 1/4 purple cabbage finely sliced
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped shallots
- 1/2 cup whole-egg mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- Bring a pot of salted water to the boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook per the packet instructions or until al dente. Set pasta aside to cool.
- Add the grated carrot, finely sliced cabbage and shallots to a large bowl.
- Add the mayonnaise, wholegrain mustard and white vinegar to a jar, shake until well combined.
- Add the dressing to the bowl with the carrot mixture.
- Once the pasta has cooled, add to the carrot and dressing mixture and combine until well coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Tuna and Chickpea Salad
This simple tuna and chickpea salad is a great lunch box recipe for the spring and summer months. This healthy lunch box salad is packed with bright flavours, fresh ingredients and a zesty dressing, and can be easily adapted with whatever veggies you have on hand!
To make this tuna and chickpea salad, you’ll need:
- Mixed lettuce
- Cherry tomatoes
- Chopped red onion
- Tinned tuna
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Mix olive oil and lemon juice together to make a quick dressing (season to taste)
- Toss remaining salad ingredients together except for the tinned tuna
- Add your salad to a bento lunch box or nesting container, and store the dressing in a smaller round container.
- Top with tuna and stir though salad dressing immediately before eating
Looking for a quick, healthy and tasty lunch box idea you can prep the day before? These easy chia puddings will tick all of your boxes.
Chia seeds are packed with protein, fibre and healthy fats to keep bellies full for longer. These chia puddings are great for lunches, but also make a delicious quick brekkie or afternoon snack, too.
To make this simple chia pudding, you’ll need:
- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
- ½ cup of your choice of milk
- 1 teaspoon of honey for sweetness (optional)
- Your choice of toppings
- Add chia seeds, milk and honey to a reusable container (we love using our nesting containers or glamp cups)
- Mix ingredients well until there are no clumps
- Cover container with a lid and store in the fridge overnight
- Enjoy with your favourite toppings such as fresh fruit, chopped nuts, goji berries, cacao nibs, peanut butter, coconut yoghurt or a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Shop Eco-Friendly Lunchware
Elevate your lunch box game with our eco-friendly lunchware here at Ela & Earth, including stainless steel bento lunch boxes and reusable nesting containers!
Our bento boxes are leakproof and dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, with nifty compartments to store meals and snacks. You can shop our eco-friendly food container bundles here, with free shipping over $50.
Want more quick and easy lunch box ideas? Check out our latest IGTV recipes over at @elaandearth.