If you’re looking for a lunch you can pack that will be enough food for your teenager, this leftover chicken lunchbox is the way to go. It offers a variety of filling ingredients and 35 grams of protein to help satisfy bigger appetites.
This is also a super easy lunch to assemble, and I’ll provide instructions on how to keep cooked chicken fresh until lunchtime.
Protein Lunchbox with Chicken
Adding variety to packed bento lunches is often as simple as using what you have on hand, including dinner leftovers. Chicken is a perfect option because most kids love it, and you can serve it with their favorite snacks and dipping sauce (where are my BBQ sauce fans?!).
This recipe is a perfect lunch idea for teens to keep their growing bodies fueled all afternoon.
If you aren’t certain how to pack cooked chicken for school lunches, it’s easy. Chicken stored at a cool temperature is safe to eat and easier to transport. An ice pack and an insulated lunch bag are all you need to keep the ingredients chilled and fresh.
What to Pack in the Lunchbox
There are so many healthy and fresh options you can include in this protein lunchbox for teens.
In this recipe, you’ll find:
- Chicken: use grilled or roasted.
- Veggies: sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes or your favorite veggies.
- Hard-boiled egg: an additional source of protein and healthy fats.
- Bacon: cooked until crisp and added to this box for more flavor. Your kids will thank you.
- Treat: this lunch includes cheese crisps, but you could swap them for fruit or homemade energy bites.
More lunchbox inspiration for older kids can be found in my lunch ebook!
101 Packed Lunches eBook
All my best kid-friendly lunches from over a decade of creating meal plans. Add some variety to your child’s lunchbox with these epic lunches, plus receive my Pack Meals Like a Pro ebook, free with purchase!
How to Pack Leftover Chicken for Lunch
Here’s how to pack a teen bento lunch with leftover chicken so it stays fresh and safe to eat:
- Pack the chicken
Remove the chicken from the fridge and slice it into strips before adding it to the lunch container. Do not reheat unless you plan to pack it in a warmed thermos.
- Separate wet and dry ingredients
Pack the veggies with the chicken. Add the hard-boiled egg and bacon to a separate compartment.
- Include a treat
Place the cheese crisps or your snack choice separate from the other ingredients.
- Keep it chilled
Add the lunch container to an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack to keep it fresh.
See this high-protein bento lunch come together in the quick YouTube video:
Need a compartmentalized lunch container so you can pack lunches like this? Check out my favorite lunch containers for teens here.
More tips for packing healthy lunches
Cook once, eat twice (or more!)
Chicken leftovers are a terrific protein to build a meal for kids, teens, and adults! Save time by cooking enough (or buying a rotisserie chicken) to pack lunches like this one and other healthy meals, like chicken salads and a chicken soup.
Batch cook hard-boiled eggs
Another great addition to packing high-protein lunches quickly and easily! Cook a batch of eggs, peel them, and store them in the fridge. This way, you’ll always have hard-boiled eggs on hand to assemble filling and nutritious lunches for the entire family.
Add a treat
There are endless options when it comes to adding delicious and healthy treats to the lunchbox, from cheese crisps to fruits and banana chips in their own compartment to homemade pudding or smoothies packed in a separate container. I show you how to pack smoothies for school in this post.
Leftover Chicken Lunchbox for Teens
- 3 ounces grilled or roasted chicken, cut into strips
- 1 cup sugar snap peas
- ½ cup grape tomatoes
- 1 hard-boiled egg
- 1-2 slices bacon, cooked and cut into 2-inch pieces
- Puffed cheese crisps or snack of choice
- Place the chicken strips and veggies into the lunch container.
- Add the hard-boiled egg, bacon, and cheese crisps to the empty compartments, keeping the dry ingredients separate from the hard-boiled egg.
- Close the container and pack it into the lunch bag with an ice pack.