8 School Lunch Ideas from Easy Dinner Leftovers

You’ve seen pictures online of the cute school lunches with fruit cut like flowers and sandwiches in shapes of animals. You think, who has time for that?? But don’t worry! Packing lunch is a breeze with these easy weeknight dinner recipes that turn into delicious leftovers for school the next day; all you have to do is pack the thermoses and you’re good to go!

Related: Top 5 Thermos Containers We’ve Tested

Do you need more weeknight dinner ideas that make great lunch leftovers? Get a sample meal plan here and don’t think twice about what to cook again.

 

These recipes are kind of like a two-for-one: cook once and get two meals. Win! What’s best is that all these meals are just delicious the next day as they were for dinner.

Use these easy dinner recipes for some delicious leftovers for your family! These school lunch ideas will make packing a breeze--no extra cooking required.

Forget the sandwiches and enjoy these easy school lunch ideas from the leftovers you’ll have after making these delicious dinners!

1. Hearty Vegetable Soup

Hearty Vegetable Soup - MOMables.com

This soup is a great way to pack all the veggies your kids need in one meal without all the unnecessary ingredients you’ll find in canned soup! This recipe is so easy to make for dinner and even easier to pack for lunch. Just put some in a thermos and you’re good to go!

2. Spaghetti Carbonara

Easy spaghetti carbonara recipe every kid will love! This dinner recipe is great for a thermos leftover lunch!

 

Don’t be intimidated by this spaghetti carbonara; it’s actually really simple! Kids won’t be able to resist the cheesy spaghetti or bacon, so this is a great dish to add to your dinner rotation. It’s great for the next day’s lunch packed in a thermos (unless your family gobbles it all up for dinner!)

3. Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo - MOMables.com

 

This creamy chicken and broccoli alfredo is made in one skillet and is an awesome way to get your kids to eat their green veggies! A perfect blend of noodles, chicken, cheese, and broccoli, this recipe is one you’ll definitely want to have on hand for quick weeknight meals and easy school lunch leftovers.

4. Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Chicken and Pasta Skillet Meal

Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Chicken and Pasta Skillet Meal - MOMables.com

Another easy skillet meal that makes fantastic thermos lunches for school the next day! Your family will think you spent hours cooking this delicious sun dried tomato chicken dish, but it all comes together in under an hour. Kids will love to open their thermos at lunch and find this creamy pasta!

5. Crockpot Loaded Baked Potato Soup 

Crockpot Loaded Baked Potato Soup - MOMables.com

A creamy, hearty baked potato soup that requires almost no effort? It’s a winner in my book–and yours too, I’m sure! Simply throw all your ingredients in the slow cooker and let the magic happen. A dinner that cooks itself and makes great thermos lunches for school is a dinner I can love!

 

6. Quick and Easy Skillet Lasagna

Skillet Lasagna - LauraFuentes.com

This easy dinner requires just one skillet (less dirty dishes!) and makes delicious leftovers for you and your kids. You get the same savory, cheesy flavors of lasagna without the hours of preparation and baking. Simply place the leftovers in a thermos for the next day and you won’t even have to think about what to pack for lunch!

7. Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup - MOMables.com

Crockpot meals are ideal for busy families who may not always have time to cook dinner every night. All you have to do is throw everything in and let it cook; it’s as simple as that. Pair the easiness of a slow cooker meal with a classic like chicken noodle soup and you have a dinner the whole family will have seconds (or thirds) of. Your kids will love to open their lunchbox the next day and find a thermos full of this yummy soup!

8. Jambalaya Pasta Salad

Jambalaya Pasta Salad - LauraFuentes.com

Put some spice into your lunch-packing routine with this Creole Jambalaya Pasta Salad! It’s filling, packed with veggies, and has just a kick of Cajun spice, but feel free to adjust it to your family’s preferences. Enjoy this New Orleans-inspired dish for dinner and pack cold leftovers for lunch the next day.

Keep checking in here at MOMables.com for more back-to-school tips and ideas and check out our sample meal plan to make dinner a little easier for you and your family!

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About MOMables - Laura

Mom to 3 awesome people and MOMables CEO. I work hard in my kitchen so you don't have to. I'm obsessed with tacos and coffee -not always in that order.