School Lunch and Bento Box Recipes #3


Hi all! It is time to head back to school. It is an exciting time but also brings some stress to parents who want to provide healthy lunches that the kiddos will actually EAT! I have been planning meals for my family for several years and I would love to share some of my favorite menus and recipes that you can try with your family.

Fall Lunch Bento Box Menu – Week 1

Garlicky Greek Chicken

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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Servings 4 servings


  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 lb. chicken thighs
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • In a large bowl, mix 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and oregano. Add chicken thighs and coat thoroughly. Cover bowl and marinate in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  • When ready to cook the chicken, preheat oven to 425°. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining tablespoon olive oil. Season both sides of marinated chicken with salt and pepper, then add chicken skin-side down and pour in the remaining marinade.
  • Sear until the skin becomes golden and crispy, about 10 minutes. Flip chicken.
  • Move oven-proof pan to oven and cook until the chicken is cooked to 165°F, about 15 minutes.
Keyword garlic Greek Chicken
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Creamy Pasta Shells With Peas

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Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • 1 pound small pasta shells or elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 5 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • One 10-ounce package frozen peas
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced country ham or prosciutto coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta shells until al dente. Drain the shells, return them to the pot and toss with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil to prevent sticking.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the peas and ham and cook until the peas are hot and the ham is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cream and stock and simmer over moderate heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir the cream sauce into the shells. Add the Parmesan and and season with salt and pepper. Serve in bowls.
Keyword bento box recipe
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Caribbean Black Beans and Rice

Caribbean Black Beans and Rice is an easy-to-make side dish that's packed with protein flavor, and fiber! Try this with your favorite latin dish as a side or as a vegetarian meal during the week.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins


  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper cored, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 14.5-ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or chicken stock
  • 2 15.0-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed, or 3 cups cooked
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh cilantro optional
  • 1 lime cut into wedges (optional)


  • Cook rice according to package directions. I love cooking rice in an instant pot or rice cooker.
  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions and cook until just soft, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add peppers, garlic and chili powder and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk and stock and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Stir in beans, then simmer until flavors are melded, about 5 minutes more; season with salt and pepper.
  • Spoon beans over rice, garnish with cilantro and lime wedges and serve.
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Black Bean Salad with Corn, Avocado and Lime Dressing

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  • 2 cans black beans, 15 oz rinsed and drained
  • 3 fresh cooked corn kernels cut off the cob
  • 2 red bell peppers diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots from one medium shallot
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Hass avocados chopped
  • ½ jalapeno, seeded finely diced (optional)


  • In large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, scallions, shallots, cilantro, lime zest, and sugar. Mix in beans, corn, and red bell pepper.
  • Add avocado and gently toss
  • Season with salt, if desired.
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Grape and Feta Salad

Grape and Feta Salad
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Salad Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut oil or any other nut oil or olive oil
  • Juice from 1 Meyer lemon or regular lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • A few rounds of freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 cups of baby spinach
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup seedless grapes sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds optional
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta Ingredients


  • In a medium bowl, add the hazelnut oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Whisk until combined.
  • In a large bowl, add the spinach, arugula, grapes and sliced almonds. Toss until the leaves are evenly coated with the dressing. Garnish extra sliced almonds and feta, then serve.


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