Hot school meals are possible with one of these thermos lunches! From Leftovers to quick assembly, this post has them all!
When the weather is chilly, a thermos makes it possible to pack a hearty, hot lunch without needing the microwave.
Thermos Lunch Ideas
Whether you are looking for a cozy soup, hearty pasta, or something you could make for dinner and pack as a thermos lunch the next day, below you’ll find lots of kid and adult-friendly recipes to fill your thermos. Simply pick one, click, and print!
Below the recipes, you’ll find tips on how to heat up the food in a thermos and top-tested containers, so keep reading; lots of info in this post.
Pasta and bacon with a delicious sauce is the kind of meal your entire family will be eager to find every time they open their thermoses!
This flavorful teriyaki chicken with rice is a healthier version of the classic take-out. A quick and delicious hot lunch to make on repeat!
Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta
Make this epic pasta for dinner and pack leftovers for a winning lunch. A restaurant-style meal you can cook in less than 30 minutes!
Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
Enjoy a tasty lunch full of veggies and protein with this easy Alfredo pasta that tastes even better packed in a thermos the next day!
Chicken and Rice Soup
This cozy soup is the ultimate healthy comfort meal to pack on a cold day. It’s easy, delicious, and good for you!
Healthy Cajun Jambalaya
Looking for a low-carb and paleo-friendly hot lunch? This epic cajun jambalaya is one both kids and adults will love!
Ramen Noodle Soup
This budget-friendly ramen noodle soup is just as delicious as the classic and much better for you!
Who can resist a delicious cheesy meal for lunch? This no-bake lasagna is super easy to make and to pack in a thermos to stay hot for hours!
You’ll be waiting for lunchtime after you try this tasty enchilada soup you can make in 30 minutes.
This cheesy, hearty pasta with smoky flavors is super filling and a hot lunch your kids are going to ask for every single week!
Tomato Tortellini Soup
Just imagine taking the lid off your thermos and find hot tortellini in a savory tomato broth! It’s so simple and so yummy!
Chicken Noodle Soup
It’s a fact: Chicken soup always tastes better the second day! That’s the reason why packing it in your lunchbox is a terrific idea!
Salsa Verde Chicken Pasta
Pasta with smoky, vibrant flavors? Yes, please! This easy weeknight dinner is also a great lunch you can pack in a thermos.
Mac and Cheese
Who wouldn’t want this mac and cheese for a cozy and delicious lunch? You don’t want it, you need it!
Blueberry Yogurt Parfait
Thermoses can also keep foods cold! Pack a fresh fruit parfait for a tasty and healthy lunchbox side.
Best Thermos to Use
I’ve tried and tested several thermoses over the years, and the two that perform best for younger kids are the Thermos Foogo and Funtainer. Both hold 10 ounces (a perfect portion for kids and teens) and keep food hot for up to 5 hours.
For larger portions (14 oz) or if you need to keep food warm for longer than 5 hours, the Stanley is the best performer.
That being said, to find a container that’s right for you and your family, check out my top thermos containers list. It provides kid-friendly options with a list of why I’ve enjoyed using each as well as larger sizes for bigger appetites.
How to Use a Thermos for Lunch
To keep food hot for hours, it’s important to make sure you are using a thermos correctly. To do this, you’ll preheat the thermos with boiling water and microwave the food until it is too hot to taste. Use oven mitts to drain the water, then add the food. Top with lid, seal, and ta-da!
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