Join us for an adventure in flavor!

    The 30 BEST School Lunch Ideas

    Sometimes it can be tough to come up with filling and nutritious lunches to pack for the kiddos. That’s why we decided to compile this great collection of easy School Lunch Ideas for you.

    Keep your kids happy and healthy with these homemade lunches. You’ll find plenty of great make ahead meals like pastas and pasta salads, sandwiches, wraps and more! There’s something here for even the pickiest eaters!

    Go through them all, and find some new favorite homemade dishes to pack in those lunch boxes! Have fun…

    The 30 BEST School Lunch Ideas.

    1. Rainbow Pasta Salad

    There is nothing more healthy than a bunch of different colors in your bowl. Make a huge bowl this great Rainbow pasta salad and it’s a great addition to any school lunch box. Tasty and super heathy.

    Get the Recipe

    2. Johnny Marzetti (A Midwest Classic)

    Who is Johnny Marzetti? One hearty and nostalgic American casserole, that’s who. You might call him by another name, but you know this one!

    Get the Recipe

    3. Homemade Hummus

    This smooth, creamy homemade hummus will be a great way to add in more protein power to any lunch box. All you need is some veggies, fruits and some pita breads to scoop this deliciousness away.

    Get the Recipe

    4. Salmon Patties (AKA Salmon Cakes)

    These salmon patties are enhanced with flavors and aromatics and pan fried for a crispy gorgeous crust. It’s light, it’s lean, and it’s healthy. Great easy school lunch idea that you can whip up in no time.

    Get the Recipe

    5. Gigi Hadid Pasta

    Now look at that pasta. This is going to be a big HIT with all the kids. Its This meal is so delicious that you will be eating the sauce as it cooks, before even adding the pasta. It’s that good. They will be asking for this Gigi pasta every day.

    Get the Recipe

    6. Hawaiian Pineapple Fried Rice

    Add some island flair to your fried rice. This quick and easy one pot meal is loaded with flavors from ham and pineapple, and whips up in 20 minutes or less!

    Get the Recipe

    7. Japanese Teriyaki Chicken Bowl

    This Teriyaki Chicken Bowl is absolutely Irresist-A-Bowl! Tender juicy chicken, glistening in tasty sauce, alongside Asian coleslaw and creamy avocado. All atop a bed of hot rice. Yum!

    Get the Recipe

    8. Mediterranean Pasta

    This Mediterranean Pasta is your new best friend. It’s super quick, like 20 minutes quick, and has great flavors the whole family will love. Make a big batch and it will be great in school lunch boxes.

    Get the Recipe

    9. Easy Tuna Melts

    Get the Recipe @ tastesbetterfromscratch

    10. Egg Salad

    Everyone should have one amazing tasting egg salad under their belt. Such a simple salad, but yet with the right ingredients, it’s always finger licking delicious!

    Get the Recipe @ southerndiscourse

    11. Chicken Bacon Ranch Pinwheels

    These chicken bacon ranch pinwheels are a great make ahead school lunch idea. You can make a big batch in no time, and you’ll have school lunches ready for days!

    Get the Recipe @ therecipecritic

    12. Breakfast Egg Muffins 3 Ways

    Breakfast egg muffins 3 ways are low carb, filling and perfect for meal prep. Spinach, tomato & mozzarella… bacon and cheddar… and garlic, mushroom & peppers. Make these mini frittata look-a-likes ahead of time and keep them refrigerated for that grab & go quick breakfast or lunch.

    Get the Recipe @ cafedelites

    13. Turkey Spinach Pinwheels Meal Prep

    Here’s another great meal prep pinwheel recipe. This one features turkey spinach pinwheels, which are packed alongside grapes, carrots and cucumbers to keep things healthy!

    Get the Recipe @ damndelicious

    14. Banana Pancakes

    Using only the freshest, most ripe bananas, these banana pancakes are soft, moist, fluffy, and use batter that you can easily make ahead. Most of the sweetness comes from the bananas, so they don’t use too much sugar.

    Get the Recipe @ natashaskitchen

    15. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

    Perhaps the most classic school lunch… PB&J! This post includes five different additions, to keep things interesting. Your kids will love them!

    Get the Recipe @ crazyforcrust

    16. Crispy Baked Chicken Nuggets

    Every kids loves chicken nuggets, right? This recipe comes out super crunchy and tasty, but they’re baked instead of fried to keep things healthy!

    Get the Recipe @ ambitiouskitchen

    17. Turkey and Spinach Mediterranean Grilled Cheese

    Take your grilled cheese to a new level with this Mediterranean inspired recipe. It has turkey for extra protein, plus spinach and tomatoes for veggie power!

    Get the Recipe @ cafedelites

    18. Chicken Pesto Sandwich

    This chicken pesto sandwich features a chicken salad that’s lightened up with Greek yogurt instead of mayo. It also has a quick homemade pesto for great flavors!

    Get the Recipe @ damndelicious

    19. Chicken Sheet Pan Quesadilla

    Have a lot of kids to cook for? This sheet pan quesadilla is your new favorite school lunch idea! It makes a big batch, so you can keep all the little ones fed!

    Get the Recipe @ gimmesomeoven

    20. Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches

    Now here’s a great make ahead option! You can make a dozen of these English muffin breakfast sandwiches at a time a freeze them for up to a month!

    Get the Recipe @ tastesbetterfromscratch

    21. Barbecue Chicken Pizzadilla

    What’s a pizzadilla? It’s a pizza quesadilla! This one has barbecued chicken, avocado and pineapple for a great combination of flavors. Awesome school lunch idea!

    Get the Recipe @ cafedelites

    22. Margherita Pizza in a Skillet

    Everyone loves pizza, and this one is made in a skillet. It’s filled with fresh mozzarella, ripe tomatoes, and basil leaves. It’s also got a perfect crispy golden crust!

    Get the Recipe @ jessicagavin

    23. How to Make Crepes

    Crepes are an easy and versatile school lunch option. They can be filled with sweet or savory fillings, so your little ones can enjoy them no matter their preference!

    Get the Recipe @ tastesbetterfromscratch

    24. Spaghetti and Meatballs

    Every kid’s favorite, spaghetti and meatballs! Make a big batch and portion it up for lunches all week!

    Get the Recipe @ natashaskitchen

    25. Crispy Garlic Chicken Strips with Sweet Chilli Mayo

    These crispy chicken strips are baked rather than fried, making for a healthy lunch option the kids will love!

    Get the Recipe @ cafedelites

    26. Grilled Cheese Sandwich

    There’s just something so comforting about two slices of grilled bread with melty cheese in between. This recipe has the classic lunch perfected!

    Get the Recipe @ natashaskitchen

    27. Parmesan Crusted Chicken

    This parmesan crusted chicken is great for sandwiches, over salads, or just by themselves. Your kids are sure to love them!

    Get the Recipe @ cafedelites

    28. Buffalo Chicken Wrap

    Wraps are such easy and nutritious lunch options. This one features tender buffalo chicken, tons of veggies and a creamy sauce!

    Get the Recipe @ tastesbetterfromscratch

    29. Caprese Grilled Cheese

    This great variation on your traditional grilled cheese has gooey mozzarella, vine ripened tomatoes and fresh basil. YUM!

    Get the Recipe @ cafedelites

    30. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Sandwich

    Get the Recipe @ damndelicious

    So there you go, thirty great school lunch ideas to pack in the kiddos’ lunchboxes. The only question now is, which to try first?

    Pin or bookmark this collection of great recipes so you always know where to find it. And be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up easy new recipes for you!

    Featured image for School Lunch Ideas post.

    The 30 BEST School Lunches

    Keep your kids happy and healthy with these great homemade School Lunch Ideas. There's something here for even the pickiest eaters! We especially love this rainbow pasta salad.


    Pasta Salad

    • 1 lb pasta such as rotini, penne or farfalle
    • 1  green bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 cup carrots, chopped
    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 1 cucumber, chopped
    • 1/2 cup black olives, chopped
    • 1 cup garbanzo beans
    • 8 oz crumbled feta cheese


    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
    • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
    • 1 tsp pepper or to taste
    • 2 cloves garlic minced
    • 2 Tbsp parsley fresh, chopped
    • 2 Tbsp oregano fresh, chopped (or 1 tbsp dried oregano)
    • 2 Tbsp basil fresh, chopped (or 1 tbsp dried basil)
    • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes


      1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Add salt to your water, at least 2 tbsp of salt.  After draining your pasta add a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking together.
      2. In a small bowl or jar add all the dressing ingredients together and whisk well. If using a jar, put the lid on and close it, then shake well.
      3. Toss all salad ingredients together, mix in dressing. Chill before serving.


    1. Let me know which recipes you try, I love hearing from you!

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Check out these other great recipe collections!
    Family Dinner Ideas
    Healthy Dinner Ideas
    Cheap Dinner Ideas
    Meal Prep Recipes
    Noodle Recipes
    Pizza Recipes

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

    Get griddling! Try these Blackstone Recipes!

    Never miss a recipe!

    Join the GypsyPlate mailing list and get easy dinner recipes right in your mailbox. From homestyle comfort food to exotic dishes from around the world.

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      Search by Cuisine

      Travel a word of flavors with GypsyPlate. Sort our recpes by regions:

      GypsyPlate logo.
      Skip to Recipe