Packed Lunches Aren’t Just For Kids

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I’ve spent a lot of time talking about back to school, food, and getting healthy lately.  I’m just back from Fitness Ridge and in a mindset to alter the way we do things in my house. I told Josh that I’d make him lunch for work if he wants and he was game.  And then I thought – ‘Oh no! Now what?’  I know I can feed an 8 yr old for school but I wasn’t really sure where to start with a grown up at work.  If I’m feeling this way, maybe some of you are too.  Really, most recipes can be made into packed lunch.  It just takes a little figuring out the best way to pack.  I’ve gathered over 30 packed lunch ideas, plus resources, tips and ideas to make it easy.  Over a month's worth of packed lunch ideas - perfect for work! Because lunches aren't just for kids. | Thirty Handmade Days Did you know there are whole blogs dedicated to packing lunches?  For reals! It’s awesome.  Other people have done all the hard work for you and will give you ideas every day to make.  Woot woot! Here are some of the best sites I found that I will refer to often. Fantastic sites to refer to:

Awesome products to use for easier lunch making: 

To make things a little sweeter I made some printables for ya.  The planner will help you… plan.  The notes are for if you’re making lunch for someone you love.  Stick a little note in there to brighten their day! Printable lunch box planner from Thirty Handmade Days   Printable lunch box notes from Thirty Handmade Days Download to print one or all 4 of these lunch box designs.  Select the pages in your printer settings.  For personal use only. Thanks!

Make sure to visit my Kid Approved Lunchbox and snack ideas:
Kid approved lunch box and snack ideas and What to Feed Teenage Boys to Keep Them Full and Happy - 20+ tips, tricks and lunch ideas
What to Feed Teenage Boys (or girls) to Keep Them Full and Happy

Ok onto the recipes and ideas! I divided the ideas up into several categories so that you can find what you’re looking for even easier.


Pepperoni Mozzarella Grilled Cheese from Family Fresh Cooking

Ham & Cheese Croissant
from Martha Stewart

Stuffed Bagel Sandwiches
from Family Fresh Cooking
Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Sandwich
from Food Nasty
BLT 4 ways from Mamabelly’s

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Avocado and Feta Sandwich
from Two Peas and their Pod

Pesto Chicken Roll
from Bon Apetit


Grilled pork chops  from Mommy & Me Lunchbox

Healthy Burrito Bowls

Pizza Buns
from Simple As That

Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta
from Operation Lunchbox

Cool Refried Bean Wrap from Veg Kitchen

Pita Pizza and other easy work lunches  from i Pack Lunch

Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Salad
from Yum Sugar

Quesadilla Strips from Healthy Eating Starts at Home

Twice Baked Potatoes
from Operation Lunchbox

Southwestern Pasta from i Pack Lunches

BLTA Wrap from Bon Appetit

Hawaiian Pizza Rolls from Stockpiling Moms

Poppyseed Chicken from Operation Lunchbox


Simple Southwest Salad
from i Pack Lunch

Gourmet lunchbox from i Pack Lunch

Greek Salad from Family Fresh Cooking

Caprese Chicken Salad from i Pack Lunch


Quick Tomato Basil Soup with Grilled Cheese Sticks from Kitchen Simplicity
Soup Ideas from Betty Crocker
Not sure how to pack soup?  Here’s a good post:

How to pack soup by Family Fresh Meals


Leftovers from Family Fresh Meals

Leftover Chicken Pot Pie
from A Boy and His Lunch

Grilled Salmon
from Family Fresh Meals

Crockpot Zesty BBQ Chicken from Keeley McGuire

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
from Operation Lunchbox

Leftovers packed 2 ways from Family Fresh Meals


I love the idea of a lunch drawer.  So clever! From Home Happy Home.

10 Best Packing Tips
from Family Fresh Cooking

How to pack a quick and healthy lunch from Family Fresh Cooking and here are some good ones for allergy free:
from Keeley McGuire 

Ten Tips for Eating Healthy Lunches on the Go
from Inside Bru Crew Life

Over a month's worth of packed lunch ideas - perfect for work! Because lunches aren't just for kids. | Thirty Handmade Days


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  6. says

    All these ideas are great but my only problem is I work 12hrs a day and drive 1hr to and 1hr back so I eat most of my meals at work how do I figure filling a lunch box that is healthy and keep the cost down.

  7. Deanna says

    These ideas look awesome. May I add a couple? As a lover of mini foods, I love to make mini chicken meatballs. From a pound of ground chicken, I can make about 50-60 mini meatballs. I make half of them italian style, and half of them buffalo style (I bake the hot sauce into the meatballs) for two different types of lunches. I pack the italian style with grissini or mini breadsticks, bocconcini, and a small cup of marinara for dipping. Buffalo style, I pack with spicy onion dip (Helluva Good Bodacious onion is good for this, or make your own) celery and carrot matchsticks. People are always jealous of these lunches. I think because mini food is so cute, but I also think because they are light, and yummy, and have a lot of variety in the little box. I LOVE to make my brown bag lunch an event. It’s my time to take a breather during the day, and it’s also the only meal of the day that’s just about me. Dinner…I have to think about what everybody else wants too. Ok,this post is long enough. Thanks for some great ideas, and yummy looking lunches.

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  9. Stephanie says

    Hey just wondering in the post picture right under the writing there is a picture of some sort of Cinnamon roll spin that looks like maybe its Pizza where is that link I think my kids would LOVE it

  10. says

    I’m always looking for new ideas for lunch! Thanks for these! And this week I’ve highlighted some lunch combos on my blog too, many of which are gluten free. :)

  11. Dave says

    For some reason I lost an appetite for lunch. These dishes look terrific and gave me some ideas to at least something healthy. Keep up the great work.

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  13. says

    Thank you so much for gathering all of these resources! I’ll definitely use them to change yup the same old meals I prepare. :) I did try and pin this, but it wouldn’t work so that may be something to look into – or maybe it was a late night glitch.

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  16. says

    Great round up Mique! I’m not a lover of sandwiches myself and am always looking for new ideas for lunch…… I will definitely try some of these out!

  17. Ashley says

    Love this! Where did you purchase the silicone cups/containers? I’ve only seen the cupcake sized ones before… Thanks!

  18. patti k says

    This information is SO awesome! Thank you for all the work you put into this post, Mique.