When you’re meal planning for a family, the first question is: “Will most people eat it?” The second question should always be “How can I use it for lunch boxes the next day?” By cooking meals that have a second life as a fabulous lunch, you save time, money, and energy trying to figure out what to prep for lunch the next day. Think outside the box — you might not always serve leftovers in the same form they were originally made. They can often be repurposed into a wrap, a salad, fun finger food, or a whole new dish. Once you get into the groove, you’ll love the game of reinventing meals for lunchtime extravaganzas.
This chicken, in a zesty sun-dried tomato marinade, is one of the most versatile recipes you can make any weeknight. It’s delicious room temperature or cold, so it’s perfect for lunch boxes. Dice it into chicken salad for sandwiches, shred and mix with barbecue sauce for a wrap, or slice it and serve it with mayo and crisp vegetables for a classic chicken sandwich. If you have a heatproof thermos, add it to alphabet noodles and chicken broth for a warming winter lunch.
A dinnertime treat that comes together with minimal prep and is perfect for leftovers. Slice the meatballs and use them to top pizza, serve them on crusty bread with melted cheese for a meatball sub, or place them in a warm thermos with a side of breadsticks for dipping. What a fun lunchtime treat!
These juicy sandwiches are a surefire hit, and the leftovers are dynamite! Serve the meat and pepper mixture cold over iceberg salad with Italian dressing for a hearty lunch or rolled into a wrap with pepper jack cheese for extra spice.
Juicy and flavorful flank steak is the perfect lunchtime canvas. Drizzle with teriyaki sauce for a rice bowl, layer with ketchup for a kid-friendly sandwich, or serve with blue cheese crumbles over a fresh salad for a blast of savory flavor.
Your entire family will be giving thanks year round whenever you make this dish. Leftover turkey and stuffing sandwiches are the stuff dreams are made of. Add a little cranberry sauce for some sweet/tart action.