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Cooking can be a fun and relaxing hobby, and is one that I love to do when I have the time to really get into it. Unfortunately, making lunches and snacks during a busy work day is not one of those moments when I have the time to break out all the ingredients and prepare a full meal. I prefer easy lunch and snack ideas because these are when my time is the most limited.

Back to school time is always full of excitement, and this year, some added stress. What do you cook when you have meetings, laundry in the dryer, and a hungry family starring you down?

Try one of these easy recipes and take this one task off of your list.

There are more than enough easy lunch and snack ideas here, so between leftovers and these recipes you can make it ultra easy and just put these on the menu, then rotate them after 2-3 weeks. You can place the snacks in a rotation as well and keep everyone happy.

Easy Lunch and Snack Ideas for Back to School

Cheesy French Onion Chicken Sliders

You’ve probably seen and tried the ham and cheese sliders, but this chicken and onion version is a hit for us! We love anything with cheese and I love that I can use leftover roasted chicken in a new way for lunch the next day.

Easy Mediterranean Inspired Power Bowls

These bowls are filled with everything that I love in the summer and early fall time. I usually make extras of everything because this is one dish I don’t mind have back to back for lunch a few days in a row.

Pepperoni Pizza Quesadilla

These little pizzas are so simple to make and you can totally customize the toppings. I always have tortillas and cheese around – these are staples in my house. I like to throw in whatever extra protein I have already cooked if I don’t have pepperoni. 

One Pot Taco Pizza

One pot meal – sign me up! This one is vegan and another one that’s easy to customize. Canned black beans and frozen corn make this one a no brainer that you can pull together in a matter of minutes.

Peanut Chicken Wraps

Wraps are my favorite way to hide vegetables! This wrap is filled with a creamy peanut Asian sauce and hides the carrots and cabbage that give these wraps some crunch and health benefits.

Chicken Club Lettuce Wraps

I gave my son a lettuce wrapped burger the other day and to my surprise, he loved it! I didn’t know if he would do well with the lettuce instead of the bun, but he didn’t have any problems and liked the newness of the meal. I’m going to serve these next, because they are filled with all the things he loves – chicken, bacon and sauce!

Barbecue Chicken Bowls with Sweet Potatoes

This is a make ahead meal that you can pull together from leftovers. If you like roasted sweet potatoes and roasted chicken for dinner you can cook extra and then make this meal for lunch the next day as a remix!

Chicken Gyro

I put a sauce like this tzatziki on everything when I make it – it doesn’t last long. Throw some cooked chicken, cucumbers, and red onion on a pita, top with the sauce and head back to work! So easy.

Easy Ground Beef Nachos

I make nachos about once a month because, why not? They are so easy to do and when you put them on a large pan like this everyone gets the perfect amount of toppings. Or, if I’m not sharing, all my chips have the perfect amount of cheese and love.

Buffalo Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Another vegan meal made easy – this is one my meat eating family will like. Stuff some sweet potatoes instead of the regular baking potatoes for a twist on an easy meal.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Pasta salads can be done in the time it takes to boil some pasta. Just mix up the sauce, add the chopped vegetables you have, and toss in the pasta. Done and done.

Easy Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad

Now that they have frozen tortellini readily available I always have this at home too. I like to make a pasta salad like this and add some protein from the night before. Luckily for us, just about everything goes with pesto.

Sheet Pan Power Bowls

Sheet pan meals are typically shared for dinner, but why not do them for lunch? In between meetings you can run to the kitchen, throw everything on a sheet pan, and pull out lunch while you’re on a call if you have to. Easy peasy.

back to school lunch

Fun and Simple Snack Ideas for the Whole Family

One day during the week I like to prepare a big batch of whatever snack I’m going to serve throughout the week. Sometimes this is Sunday, but sometimes a random Tuesday afternoon is when I have the time and energy. I need to have both to get this done.

I usually allow 2 snacks, one can be fruit, chips, or crackers and the other can be one of these below. In our pantry I have all the easy to grab snacks on the lower level so I don’t have to always get up to grab the snacks, my son can get it for himself after we’ve given permission.

Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

No Bake Energy Oatmeal Bars (8 versions in this one!)

Crispy Broccoli Cheese Bites

Cheese and Meat Kabobs

Healthy Snack Boxes


Prepping Ahead of Time Helps

Last tip I have is to use containers for prepping when you make these easy lunch and snack ideas. This makes lunch easy too – because everything is already washed, cut, and prepped to start cooking, throw together, or grab and go. These are some of my favorite things to use.