Whether you’re heading to classes or the office, having some delicious, no-fail lunch recipes up your sleeve that can fuel your day is essential. And something that makes them even more fun? Packing up everything in a bento box.
Using a bento box is a great way to manage portions and divide up larger servings, keeping food waste to a minimum. There’s also an abundance of bento box lunch ideas to choose from. You can do something traditional like a sandwich or wrap, or get more creative with a build-your-own pizza or no-cook taco salad.
Before you start packing up your lunch, here are a few quick tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your bento box meals.
How to Make a Bento Box, Step by Step
1. Find an Eco-Friendly Bento Box
With how popular bento box lunches are, there’s no shortage of bento boxes to choose from. But the best kind is one that’s eco-friendly. The Bento Lunch Box pictured above (available in our September Product Drop until September 12th!) is comprised of half bamboo fiber, a highly renewable material. The bamboo is also FSC certified and is collected as sawdust waste from chopstick factories.
2. Make Sure Your Meal Is Balanced
When planning out your bento lunch box, try to include a good balance of proteins, complex carbs, veggies, and fruit to make sure you have enough fuel for the day. (And don’t forget to leave room for a little dessert, like this avocado chocolate pudding!)
3. Pack Your Ingredients Tightly
Make sure your ingredients are packed tightly so they don’t move around in your box. Be sure to pack bulkier items first and more flexible items at the very end. Otherwise, everything might be all over the place by the time you’re ready to eat—especially if you’re biking to work.
Now that you know how to pack your bento box, here are some bento box lunch ideas that won’t disappoint.
6 Bento Box Lunch Ideas
There’s nothing like a classic PB&J, but this recipe is a bit more of a twist with its use of figs. During fig season (which is late summer and fall), figs can serve as a great replacement for other jellies because they stay fresh longer and won’t make your bread soggy.
Don’t forget to add some additional protein (like hummus) and your favorite veggies on the side. That way, you’ll stay full until dinner.
This simple no-cook taco salad is an easy recipe to whip up on the go. All you need is a bowl to mix together your pico de gallo, a cutting board to chop your lettuce, and a cheese shredder. In 25 minutes or less, you’ll have a delicious meal!
Add your favorite toppings on the side—like cheese and sour cream—and fill another compartment with chips to scoop everything up with.
Who says you can’t add tofu to a bento box? The secret in making it so flavorful is the ginger sauce. Made with a handful of ingredients—including fresh ginger, soy sauce, maple syrup, and toasted sesame oil—it’s a dish you’ll want to eat over and over again. Pair the tofu with rice (and some veggies to snack on later!), and you’re good to go.
A classic chicken wrap can be a delicious lunch option. This one is super easy to make, and it only takes 10 minutes of your time. Spread your favorite hummus on a tortilla, then top it with spinach. Next, place chicken, carrots, and red pepper on the tortilla and roll it up tightly. Pair it with some fruit, and pop it in the fridge until it’s time to eat.
This one will bring you back to your childhood when pizza Lunchables were all the rage! All you need to make it is three pitas (cut into small circles), some pizza sauce, whichever type of shredded cheese you like, and mini pepperonis or mushrooms.
Who doesn’t love a good quesadilla? This flavor-packed option is loaded with protein thanks to the black beans. Put it in your bento box with some fruit and veggie sides, and you’ll have a nutritious lunch that’s ready to devour.