12 Delicious Homemade Lunchbox Recipes

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Summer has come and gone and back-to-school season is rushing in. Don’t be caught off-guard without a plan for the daily chore of packing school lunches. A PB&J sandwich every day will only lead to the lunchbox blues.

If you want your kids to light up at lunch time, you need to try these 12 delicious, homemade lunchbox recipes.

1. Homemade Spaghettios

Ingredients:

8 ounces dry pasta rings, cooked to package directions

Mini Meatballs:

1 lb lean ground beef

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon minced dried onion

Tomato Sauce:

6 ounces (1 can) tomato paste

1/2 cup marinara sauce

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

2 tablespoons heavy cream

Olive Oil

Topping:

2 cups cheddar & Monterey Jack cheese blend

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in the middle. Cook pasta & drain. Toss with some olive oil.

Combine meat with seasonings and roll 3/4 inch balls in your hands to make mini meatballs. Place on a single layer on a foil-lined baking tray. Bake meatballs for about 10-15 minutes, until browned & almost cooked through. You will end up with about 40 mini meatballs. In a bowl, combine tomato paste, marinara, garlic salt & cream. Coat a cast iron skillet with some olive oil. Add pasta to the skillet and fold in the sauce. Add the meatballs. Make sure they are evenly distributed in the pasta. Top casserole with cheese. Bake uncovered 10 minutes. Increase oven heat to broil. Melt cheese until it is golden brown & bubbling (about 4-5 minutes). Serve in a warmed thermos.

2. Pepperoni Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

2 pieces bread

5 pieces pepperoni

2 ounces mozzarella cheese

Butter

Directions:

Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Assemble sandwich with pepperoni & cheese. Heat until bread is golden brown & cheese is melted, flipping half way through.

3. Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

Selection of your favorite fruits, cleaned & chopped into bite sized pieces

apples

peaches

nectarines

plums

fresh mint

lemon juice

pure honey

lemon zest

Directions:

Wash each piece of fruit. Cut into bite sized pieces. Make lemon honey dressing by whisking together equal amounts of lemon juice & honey. Toss with lemon honey dressing. Mix in and top with some fresh mint and lemon zest.

4. Egg salad

Ingredients:

8 eggs

1⁄2 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp yellow mustard

1⁄4 cup green onion, chopped

salt

black pepper

1⁄4 tsp paprika

Directions:

Place eggs in a saucepan and add enough cold water to cover them. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover pan with a lid and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from water, cool, peel, and chop. Place chopped eggs in a bowl and stir in mayonnaise, mustard, and green onion. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika.

5. Fun PB&J

Ingredients:

peanut butter

jelly of choice

bread

Directions:

Cut crusts off the bread. Use a rolling pin to make the bread really thin. Spread peanut butter and jam on bread and roll up.

6. Blueberry & Peach Empanada

Ingredients:

½ cup blueberries

1 cup diced peach

1 tablespoon brown sugar

⅓ tablespoon butter

1 individual refrigerated pie crust

Directions:

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine blueberries, peaches, brown sugar and butter. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and allow to cook down for 4-5 minutes, until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Roll out and cut into empanadas using pizza cutter. Place filling on one half of each piece of dough, then fold dough over the top of filling. Using a fork, seal the edges of dough together. Prick the top of each empanadas with the fork to allow steam to escape while baking. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

7. Waffle Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients:

8 individual waffles

4 individual sharp cheddar cheese, sliced

4 ½ ounces ham, sliced

Directions:

Top half of waffles with one slice of cheese and two slices of ham. Place other half of waffles on top of ham to form sandwiches. Broil sandwiches on a baking sheet for 4-5 minutes, until outside is crispy and cheese is melted.

8. Ham & Cheese Pinwheels

Ingredients:

8 ounces softened cream cheese

4 individual flour tortillas

6 ounces deli ham, sliced

½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

Spread cream cheese evenly over each one of the tortillas. Top with ham and shredded cheddar cheese. Tightly roll up and slice into rounds, approximately 3/4″.

9. Homemade Pizza Rolls

Ingredients:

15 fluid ounces tomato sauce

2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

½ cups parmesan cheese, grated

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

20 individual wonton wrappers

Directions:

Mix tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning together in a bowl. Fill  a bowl with water and place in work area to moisten wonton wrappers. Put one heaping teaspoon of cheese mixture in the middle of each wonton wrapper. Moisten and fold two opposite sides in, creating a rectangle. Flip over so seam is down. Press each short side down to seal. Place all rolls on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, or until brown and crispy. Place rolls in a warmed thermos.

10. Chicken Bites

Ingredients:

2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces and seasoned with salt & pepper

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup dill pickle juice

1 egg

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons powdered sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup oil, divided

honey mustard dipping sauce

Directions:

Whisk together egg, milk and pickle juice, and pour into a large ziplock bag or bowl. Add chicken pieces and marinate in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours. Combine flour, powdered sugar, salt and pepper in a large ziplock bag. Shake to combine. Remove chicken from the marinade and add into the bag. Shake to coat the chicken completely. Heat half the oil in a large skillet. Gently place chicken pieces into the oil. Cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown on one side. Turn the chicken over and allow to cook for 3-4 more minutes. Move to a paper-towel lined plate. Heat the remaining oil and continue with the other half of the chicken pieces. Place hot bites in a warmed thermos.

11. Pizza Muffins

Ingredients:

Pillsbury refrigerated pizza dough

pizza sauce

shredded cheese

pepperoni

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and grease the cupcake pan. Push the dough into the molds; try to make the dough cover the sides. Top dough with cheese, pepperoni and pizza sauce. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

12. Mini Corn Dog Muffins

Ingredients:

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

8-10 hot dogs, cut into 1″ bites

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine butter and sugar in a bowl then whisk to combine. Whisk in eggs, and then add buttermilk and whisk again. In a separate bowl, combine baking soda, cornmeal, flour, and salt. Whisk into wet ingredients. Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray then spoon 1 Tablespoon batter into each mini muffin cup. Place one hot dog bite into the middle of each cup.

Bake for 8-12 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown. Cool in mini muffin tin.

Image Source: Big Stock

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