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Happy National Pack Your Lunch Day!

by April May

A day devoted to lunch? That's my kind of day! You might have already picked up on my love of lunch from my earlier post on kid lunchbox ideas. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that I've got lots of packed lunch ideas for adults too! 

I started making my own lunches regularly when I got my first full-time job. I couldn't afford to go out to eat every day and resorted to making sandwiches for myself. Honestly, my lunch was pretty boring. That is, until I got a lunch box with compartments! The compartments inspired me to go beyond PB&J. 

I rely pretty heavily on leftovers, and I fill in with fun salads when there aren't any leftovers in sight. For a little inspiration, see below for some of the lunches I've packed this month. 

butternut squash soupPACKED LUNCH IDEA #1. Butternut squash soup with a hunk of baguette, baby carrots, and orange slices.

I use this butternut squash soup recipe from Dinner A Love Story. It's a family favorite and I usually double the recipe so I can bring leftovers for a few days.

chicken and greenbean saladPACKED LUNCH IDEA #2. Greens topped with lettuce, blanched green beans, hard boiled eggs, and ranch dressing with pretzels and mashed sweet potatoes.

I often buy a rotisserie chicken, chop it up on Sunday night, and use the cubes in lunches and dinners during the week, which makes it really easy to throw a simple salad together.  

chicken tikka masala
PACKED LUNCH IDEA #3. Chicken tikka masala with naan, avocado, and orange segments.

I get the Maya Kaimal tikka masala simmer sauce at our local grocery store when I'm in the mood for fast, inexpensive Indian food. I added rotisserie chicken, potatoes, and frozen spinach to the sauce.

salad with chunk tuna and shaved parmesan  PACKED LUNCH IDEA #4. Greens topped with chunk tuna, hardboiled egg, avocado, shaved parmesan, and creamy vinaigrette with orange segments and a mix of almonds and raisins.

When we're out of food or I'm running late, I open a can of tuna. This is just a quick salad I threw together before rushing out the door.

lasagnaPACKED LUNCH IDEA #5. Lasagna, fruit salad, and a mix of almonds and raisins.

I was really happy to find a few pieces of lasagna (and some fruit salad!) leftover after a small party. The easiest lunch ever.

spaghetti carbonaraPACKED LUNCH IDEA #6. Spaghetti carbonara, orange segments, and a mix of almonds and raisins.

Spaghetti carbonara is pretty easy and this recipe makes a lot. An excellent double-duty meal that's easy to reheat in the microwave.

tuna sandwichPACKED LUNCH IDEA #7. Tuna fish sandwich, pink grapefruit, and Wheat Thins.

Last but not least, a classic sandwich. These days I don't make myself many sandwiches, but when there's a loaf of brioche in the house I can't help myself!  

What's your favorite thing to pack for lunch? I'd love to try something new! 

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