30 Bento Box Lunch Ideas That Are Work- and School-Approved

·5-min read

It’s that time again: Time to figure out what you’re going to pack for lunch. Sure, you could go with the good old turkey and cheese sandwich—it hasn’t let you down yet. Or you could break out of your rut and pack one of these 30 bento box lunch ideas, all of which happen to be work- (and school-) approved.

RELATED: 70 Cold Lunch Ideas That Go Beyond PB&J

1. Caprese Chicken Salad Meal Prep Bowls

Preparing a lettuce-based salad days in advance is a recipe for a wilted, sad lunch. Caprese salad, on the other hand…genius.

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2. Easy Vegetarian Bento Box

As a bonus, this one—which features hummus vegetable wraps—is extremely kid-friendly.

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3. Meal Prep Tropical Jerk Chicken and Gingered Broccoli

It’s true, many meal-prep recipes can err on the boring side. Not this sticky-sweet-spicy number.

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4. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

This is one lunch your kid definitely won’t want to trade. (That is, if you don’t pack it for yourself first.)

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5. No-Cook Taco Salad Bento Box

It’s like a full taco bar in one tiny box, and it takes a mere 25 minutes to meal prep for the whole week.

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6. Sheet Pan Garlic-Ginger Chicken and Broccoli

Thanks to this savory soy sauce-garlic-ginger situation, you may never go back to PB&J again. Not that there’s anything wrong with PB&J, but you get the idea.

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7. Slow-Cooker Meal-Prep Burrito Bowls

No time to cook? No problem. Lean on your slow cooker to do the hard work, and reap the juicy pork-shoulder-burrito benefits.

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8. Meal-Prep Chicken Shawarma and Sweet Potato Fry Bowls

Protein-packed and flavorful? Marinating is a lunchtime game changer. (So are pretty glass containers, but we digress.)

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9. Greek Healthy Meal Prep

Tzatziki? Check. Hummus? Check. We could get used to this “packing lunch” thing.

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10. Meal-Prep Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles

OK, this might bend the definition of bento box slightly—but it’s worth it for meatballs.

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11. Meal-Prep Creamy Kale Caesar Salad

Even the biggest veggie-haters will go weak in the knees for this meal. It’s all in the creamy garlic dressing.

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12. Tuna Protein Box

We’ve found the key to making a healthy lunch look irresistible: Give everything a cute compartment to sit in.

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13. Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Broccoli Pesto

In a room full of sad $15 salads, be a homemade chicken kebab.

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14. Meal-Prep Creamy Pasta Salad with Broccoli and Raisins

Want to make lunch for you and your kids at the same time? Look no further than this easy, tasty pasta salad.

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15. Spicy Chicken Meal Prep with Rice and Beans

This is a fantastic way to get rid of the leftovers hiding in your fridge. Got rice from last night? A can of black beans waiting in the pantry? You’re already halfway there.

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16. Whole-Wheat Chicken Wrap Bento Box

We can’t get over the way those itty-bitty chicken wraps look nestled into their bento, begging to be eaten.

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17. Honey Lemon Chicken Bowls

Sweet-and-salty chicken, broccoli and rice in 30 minutes? Swoon.

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18. Tuna Salad Meal Prep

You could scrounge through the stale snacks at your office, or you could pack a healthy Greek yogurt tuna salad that takes ten minutes to make. It’s your call.

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19. Vegan Macadamia Coconut Tofu Bowls

Inspire all the lunch envy amongst your coworkers, this time with a nutritious combo of roasted sweet potatoes and crispy tofu.

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20. Dukkah-Roasted Vegetable Chopped Salad

What’s dukkah, you ask? A totally mouthwatering blend of Middle Eastern spices that will take your lunch from meh to amazing.

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21. Grilled Veggie and Black Bean Meal Prep Bowls

If you’re in search of a lunch that will keep you satisfied without weighing you down, look no further.

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22. Meal Prep Breakfast Taco Bowls

Breakfast for lunch? We think that’s a great idea, especially when it involves tacos.

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23. Healthy Mexican Chicken Meal Prep

Don’t skimp on the avocado-cilantro ranch dressing. Ditto for the southwestern seasoning.

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24. Sheet-Pan Chicken Tinga Bowls

You’ve got whole grains, meat, veggies and legumes representing all the necessary food groups. And tinga sauce—that one’s a food group, too.

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25. Sesame Ginger Beef and Zucchini Noodles

Low-carb doesn’t have to be boring or flavorless, and this dish is proof.

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26. Meal Prep Moroccan Chickpea, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Bowls

There’s no denying that this is a lot prettier than your usual lunch-meat-on-white-bread situation—better tasting, too.

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27. Low-Carb Greek Chicken Meal Prep Bowls

The hardest thing you’ll have to do is crumble feta on top.

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RELATED: 27 Ridiculously Easy Chicken Meal-Prep Recipes

28. Meal-Prep Mayo-Less Potato Salad

Good news: You can be anti-mayonnaise and still get your potato salad fix. Even better, this one lasts up to five days in the fridge.

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29. No-Cook Greek Pita Bento Box

Wait, you’re saying we can prep four meals in 20 minutes? That’s what we call meal-prep magic.

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30. Meal-Prep Honey Sesame Chicken with Broccolini

Don’t have an actual bento box? No worries, friend. This meal looks (and tastes) just as good in any portable dish.

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RELATED: 34 High-Protein Lunches That Are Simple, Satisfying and Scrumptious

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