365 Lunch Ideas
To get started, click on a season above and scroll down to find a host of enticing bento menus. We're sure you'll find something that inspires you!
New menus are being added all the time, so be sure to check back often.
In anticipation of the upcoming holiday weekend, we decided to fill this week's bento with goodies that can be enjoyed for lunch, dinner or an evening picnic under the fireworks. Happy 4th of July!
This cool lunch is perfect for hot summer days. It can be prepared quickly, which not only saves time, but allows you to get in and out of that hot kitchen in record time. Refreshing and delicious!
Baby spinach is not only delicious, but it's packed with nutrients too. Prepare a simple salad with just a few ingredients, or go all out and make it fancy. Some of our favorite toppings include: avocado, red onion, cherry tomatoes, pears, pecans, radishes, crumbled goat cheese, and cucumbers. The raspberry vinaigrette tastes great on spinach and complements the berries packed on the side.
It's official, school is back in session! To kick off a new school year filled with nutritious and creative bento lunches, we decided to put a spin on the traditional sandwich lunch. Our hummus sandwich and sunflower seed sprouts paired with the sweet tastes of granola crunch and fresh summer cherries will give your family the great mid-day tastes they crave along with a wealth of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help you start the school year off right!
What could be better than a pancake? How about a thin pancake stuffed with cheese and fried to perfection? That's right... this week we made blintzes for lunch! Enjoy!
Cherries are in season! All winter we look forward to this time of year--when more and more fresh fruit becomes available locally and the colors in our lunchboxes really come to life.
Our new Bento System 2.0, when used with our new Bento Buddies, allows for a wider variety of container configurations that accommodate a broader range of food items. A few weeks ago we featured a Breakfast for Lunch menu using the original Laptop Lunches bento set. Here's another breakfast photographed in our new Bento Set 2.0, using the extra large container from the Bento Buddies set.
It's fun to change it up a bit at lunchtime by packing breakfast for lunch. Kids, in particular, seem to get a real kick out of this surprising change in their routine. Whole wheat biscuits are quick and easy to prepare, especially when making them with a friend or family member.
Take advantage of every nook and cranny in your bento lunch box with this chock full menu! Green Salad, Rice Crackers, Fresh Avocado, a tasty Roulette, plus a dessert of Strawberry and Chocolate! Who could ask for anything more?
Think soup has to be hot to be good? Think again. Chilled cucumber soup is one of our all-time favorite summer joys. With cucumbers now in season, it's the perfect time to give this dish a try. It's cool, light, and refreshing, especially on a sizzling summer afternoon.
Now that the weather is heating up, salads are a lunch- time must. This week, we added pumpkin seeds and sprouts to some arugula from the garden. Crisp, cool, and seasonally fresh, this salad is sure to become a staple around here this summer.
This refreshing lunch is simple to make: pasta, deviled eggs, red grapes, sugar snap peas, and your favorite dressing as a dip.
This lunch is fun to make and fun to eat--and it and serves as a great excuse to make popcorn! The steamed carrot coins are a flavorful winter alternative to raw carrot sticks, and the apple-cinnamon combination is a classic combo.
Labor Day is coming up which, for many, marks the end of summer. This week's bento lunch was put together to make sure you'll be able to keep your energy up and get the most out of these last summer moments without skipping a beat, so get out and have some fun!
If you're a parent of a school-age child, then you're probably feeling the end-of-the-school-year heat--in more ways than one! Here's a quick and easy lunch to get you through one more lunch-making day! Ahhh... Summer vacation is just around the corner!
The day the pizza met the tostada was a beautiful day indeed and this week we're celebrating that very marriage with pizza tostadas! Feel free to be bold when combining ingredients so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
Greek Salad with a Whole Wheat Pita Pocket stuffed with Hummus, Falafel, Olive Tapenade and Greens - Opa! Pita pockets are a fun and healthy meal on the go for all ages. The zesty flavors and crisp veggies will brighten your lunch hour and leave you feeling satisfied and happy!
This week's lunch packs a blast of flavors sure to please. From the savory tuna burgers to the sweet nectarines and everything in between, we hope you'll enjoy this lunch as much as we did!
To keep lunch time interesting, we decided to combine it with tea time in this week's bento lunch. It's easy - just grab some of your favorite noshes, a glass of tea and enjoy!
The Bento Buddies extra large container is perfect for a nice, big summer fruit salad. We've used strawberries, blueberries and an heirloom melon from the farmers' market here, but any combo of fresh seasonal fruit will do. We like to add a bit of fresh orange juice for additional juice and flavor. Enjoy separately or mix the three items together at mealtime.
There's nothing like cool gazpacho made from fresh summer tomotoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, and herbs. For added variety and zest, pack it together with sesame noodles, crisp tart apples, and a bulgur salad.
Getting your greens doesn't have to be a drag! Dress up a salad with fun garnishes and panda picks, make a bear shaped egg, plus a side of delicious dip and you will have the most festive and fun-to-eat salad, ever!
This lunch is perfect for an early or mid-summer morning when you're in a rush and don't have much in the kitchen. It takes less than 5 minutes to add a handful of each of the following ingredients as you're running for the door.
If you ever dream you're sitting on a beach in the Mediterranean instead of the office, you're going to love this week's bento lunch! We've put together a sampling of some of our favorite Greek snacks, sure to be the perfect complement to those office daydreams!
We put this lunch together after returning from a trip to the farmers' market. We were lucky enough to find these tender baby cabbages, which we seared to perfection. We then added a number of other items to "round out" the lunch.
Healthy whole snacks is the best way to stay energized during a day hike. Packing a bento is easy and a convenient way to carry your food during a hike. Fresh Veggies and Fruit along with Cheese and Crackers -- it's a perfect mid-hike treat to keep you going!
The first thing we said after opening this week's bento lunch was, "It's a pizza pie!" That's right... it's not just a slice of pizza; it's a pizza pie and it's delicious! Paired with peas and sweet kiwi, this lunch is the perfect summertime treat.
Chilled Japanese soba is a wonderful summer treat. Top with chopped scallions and serve a dipping sauce on the side. Add some local fruits and vegetables for nutrition and color and you've got a deliciously simple lunch.
This week we chose to have a sandwich for lunch but kept things interesting by pairing it with sautéed veggies, fresh berries from the garden and mini pretzels. Enjoy!
Two of our favorite things about the summer have come together this week to make one amazing bento lunch! Using fresh veggies from our garden to enhance some of our barbecue favorites made for the ultimate summertime meal.
Traveling this summer? Remember to pack a bento so you won't have to settle for fast food or overpriced on-the-go meals. Here's one example for keeping it simple, delicious, and fun. And don't forget to use your bento box as a reusable take-out or "doggy bag" container when you're out seeing the world!
Expecting some heat this summer? Toting this fresh, colorful lunch will surely cool you down during the hot summer months. Soft goat cheese makes a delicious dip for bread sticks, carrots, and green beans, and juicy watermelon is a delicious finish to any fresh meal. Need we say more?
For this week's bento lunch, we decided to give one of our classic favorites, the grilled cheese, a little makeover. Less bread and a healthy serving of veggies made this sandwich a new favorite!
This bento lunch is a Mediterranean marvel, filled with the best of the region's delicious foods--- from Italy to Greece! Packing this bento lunch is like giving yourself a mid-day vacation!
This lunch is a fresh and festive way to brighten up your day. A zesty quinoa salad, with pita and hummus, plus a side of mango is an easy gourmet lunch to pack on the go, whether for work, school or play!
If you're looking for something new to add to your lunch box, you're in luck. This week we made a rice sauté using black rice, which has a decadently sticky consistency and great flavor, and is full of vitamins and nutrients. For even more taste and nutrition, we sprinkled the sauté with nutritional yeast, which added a wonderfully nutty flavor. We hope you'll give it a try because we think you'll like it too!
Whether you’re busy getting ready for Back to School or enjoying your favorite summertime activities, this week’s well balanced bento is sure to leave you feeling both healthy and satisfied. Sunflower seed sprouts and red quinoa pack a strong nutritional punch, making them a great accompaniment to the satisfying deviled eggs they’re served alongside. Enjoy!
Hummus is a great double-duty dip that is both nutritious and delicious. We added sundried tomatoes to our hummus to give it an extra burst of flavor and brought along carrot sticks and pita chips for dipping. Energy-packed trail mix and a sweet pluot rounded out this meal, which left us feeling energized enough to tackle the rest of our day.
Lunch-making can be especially satisfying this time of year with so many fresh vegetables and fruits in season. This pasta dish, for example, is incredibly flavorful and takes just a few moments to prepare. If you belong to a CSA and find yourself wondering what to do with "extra" vegetables at the end of the week, these patties could be just what you're looking for.
Need to get out of the house? Pack a bento picnic lunch filled with pasta salad and greens and take yourself on a lunch date! With a side of whole-grain pretzels, sunflower seeds and grapefruit, this lunch will give you a little break from the mundane.
This decadent picnic lunch is ideal for special occasions when you want something light and satisfying. It's especially deliciious during the summer months when local blueberries are in season. Substitute melon for the papaya if you prefer.
Summertime means potluck time for us; and we love potlucks! To help bring some of the fun spirit of summer with us to the office, we decided to put together a couple of our favorite potluck dishes for this week’s bento lunch. Here’s to great summer memories every day of the week!
Quinoa is an incredibly nutritious grain that can fill you up while giving you tons of energy. Mix it into a pilaf with a side of summer squash and cherries. Finish off your lunch with a special, healthy sweet treat and you have got a real power lunch!
Loved by both adults and children, this nutrient-rich lunch is fresh and delicious. Blueberries are in abundance this time of year, and they add balance to the orange, white, red, and green of the surrounding colors. Notice the variety of textures as well: crunchy jicama, juicy blueberries, crisp spinach, and creamy yams. It's got the word satisfying written all over it!
Travelling on the road this summer? Pack a delicious bento breakfast for those early morning drives. Creamy steel-cut oats with a side of fruit, plus a serving of Greek yogurt and granola is a delicious meal that will keep you satisfied and charged for your summer road trip adventures!
Salad and summer clearly go hand in hand, so why not put together a salad-only lunch to celebrate the last few weeks of this bountiful season? Any four salads will do, but here are a few to get you started.
This week our office has been trying to stick to a 100-mile diet as part of our monthly challenge series. This challenge has led us to get creative with local products and has given us an even greater appreciation for the fresh tastes of our town. We hope you'll either enjoy this Santa Cruz lunch or get creative with some of your local favorites.
Celebrate summer with a breakfast bento and whip up a delicious omelette stuffed with your favorite seasonal veggies. Add a side of fresh fruit and toast with fresh avocado spread and you have the perfect special summer bento breakfast!
Now that the football and baseball seasons are overlapping, we decided to put together a bento box full of fun, healthy snacks that can easily be enjoyed while watching or playing your favorite sports. Go team!
The 4th of July may be over but we're still seeing stars! Fun bento lunches like this week's are a great way to remind us all of the excitement that can be found in every summer day!
Fourth of July weekend is a great time for a picnic! Take all those potluck leftovers and create a beautiful bento for a lunch in the park. We put together an avocado stuffed with grilled salmon, a side of cubed watermelon, snap peas, and banana bread for a sweet treat! Embrace your holiday weekend with good food and family!
This lunch is easy to make and fun to eat, and most of the fresh ingredients are available at the farmers' market this time of year. If you're not used to eating whole grain pasta, consider giving it a try. You may discover that you prefer the nuttier more robust flavor it offers.
When you're in a rush, this festive lunch can't be beat. We adore these Tofurky brand sun-dried tomato and basil sausages, especially when paired with tortilla chips and salsa! Yum!
Nothing says "summer" like corn on the cob! Pack your dinner leftovers, or steam it fresh in the morning. Add some juicy fruits and vegetables for a refreshing lunch on a hot summer day.
Grilled veggies are a great way to make an everyday salad more interesting and flavorful. With a side of fresh cherries and summer peach bread for dessert, this week's bento makes the perfect summer lunch.
Blast off into summer! This stellar mix of Veggies, Fruits, and a Mini Bagel Moon with Starry Cheese is the perfect way to end the school year! Easy and playful, this lunch starts the summer right with shooting stars and will get your child galactivated for an awesome summer break!
It’s important to indulge a little bit every once in a while, so this week we chose a bento box that is sure to satisfy just about anyone’s sweet tooth. Although this bento is full of treats, we chose to use wholesome goodies, so we hope you’ll enjoy the indulgence!
Yes, it's still summer here in California, and we're still very much enjoying the delicacies found at our local farmers' markets. This lunch is truly delightful as it represents many flavors of the palate. The words sweet, salty, sour, bitter, aromatic, and pungent come to mind. What a lovely combination!
In Santa Cruz, we have the best fresh fish, right off the dock. So we put together some amazing fish cakes with two tasty summer salads and fresh, farmer's market blueberries! Eating local is just the best!
Turn up the heat on your lunch and spice things up with delicious tofu fajitas! Wrap up your tofu and veggies in a grilled tortilla with a squeeze of lemon and some of your favorite salsa, finished off with some sweet pineapple. Fajitas are a fun healthy way to make a delicious and festive lunch!
You don't have to be vegan to enjoy this lovely, light lunch! The bright crisp flavors of baby greens, ripe cherry tomatoes all paired with tofu salad and crackers is a fulfilling and healthy lunch for anyone. With a fresh peach to finish, this bento is a wonderful celebration of summers bounty soon coming to a close. So, get it while you can!
Sometimes, it's the simple things that make us happy. Smoked turkey on whole wheat, with a side of fresh veggies, colorful fruit and mango covered almonds is a bright and cheery lunch that will bring a smile to anyone's face!
Tired of that same old tuna tune? Turn up the beat with some fun garnishes and additions to your tuna salad sandwich! Add some kick with peppers, a little crunch with cucumbers and some zesty spices for an extra tasty twist! Paired with a side of carrots with dip and sweet applesauce, this lunch is bound to keep your lunch hour up-beat!
If you believe that variety is the spice of life, then this bento was made for you. Sweet, sour, salty and tart; this bento’s got something for all of your taste buds!
This bento lunch is wonderfully satisfying and guess what? It's vegan AND wheat-free!! It's a lunch that is so delicious you won't even miss the meat. Eating vegan can be so good!
Want to have some fun with your veggies? Try rolling them up into a sushi roll! We paired our sushi roll with some fresh fruits and veggies from our farmers' market along with a PB&J to create a well-rounded, healthy, and fun bento lunch.
This "dipping lunch" is easy to pack and fun to eat!
This week we decided to jazz up our bento box by sprinkling some veggie confetti into our quinoa. This wholesomely fun, brightly colored bento lunch is the perfect way to officially say good bye to summer!
This garden delight is one of our summer favorites. It's best prepared when fresh zucchini, garlic, basil, and tomatoes are still in summer abundance. Be sure to try it before fall arrives in earnest.