Kids tired of PB&J? Ready to try something new?
Look no further!
I have rounded up some of the best international lunch recipes from around the world to fill lunch boxes everywhere. These recipes are easy to make, delicious to eat, and nutritionally well-balanced.
Make ahead the night before, or make a big batch Sunday night for the week ahead. Whatever you choose, these recipes are one-dish wonders that will add some pizzazz to your everyday lunch routine.
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The no-fuss Korean cousin of sushi is an ideal choice for a simple lunch. Mess-free, kimbap includes foods your child already likes rolled into one easy-to-eat pinwheel.
While the recipes all have to sound fancy, the many Koreans I’ve known tend to make this with ham or hotdog and whatever vegetables happen to be in the refrigerator. It can be as simple or as fancy as you like.
Here is a sample recipe, but feel free to adjust and adapt to fit your family’s taste and schedule.
Also, while kimbap can be made without the bamboo rolling mat, they’re cheap to buy and easy to use. Here is one from Walmart.
You can make a big batch of kimbap at a time and refrigerate it. Then just take a roll out and slice it up to serve.
I love making meat pies because they’re so quick to come together but still hearty and delicious! Seriously, if you’ve never made a meat pie before, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is.
Meat pies are common in the UK and many former British territories including Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Admittedly, this is the only recipe on the list that doesn’t actually have veggies in it (although I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to add some). Feel free to add some carrot or cucumber slices on the side to make it a fully balanced meal.
Sausage rolls are my favourite type of meat pie, so I decided they needed representation on this list. 😉
20 minute prep time, 25 minute bake time
Pancit is easy to put together, an all-inclusive meal, and tastes just as good at room temperature as it does hot.
This noodle dish from the Philippines has several variations including noodle type, meat type, and veggies. Basically, everything about it can be adapted to suit tastes and ingredient availability.
There are two primary types of noodles, Pancit Bihon and Pancit Canton. Bihon are the thin “glass noodles” made of rice. They have a crunchier texture. Canton noodles are thicker and softer. They absorb the flavours of the dish.
I have included one of each type of recipe (though I personally prefer bihon, and I think it would keep better for lunches).
10 minute prep time, 25 minute cook time
20 minute prep time, 30 minute cook time
Eaten all across Asia, these delicious little rolls can be filled with whatever your heart desires.
If you browse Pinterest, you will come across more traditional recipes like the one I’ve provided that have lots of herbs and veggies and some seafood in them. You will also see modern fusion recipes including Mexican Spring Rolls, Chicken and Strawberry Spring Rolls, and plenty of vegan and vegetarian options as well.
Here is a fairly basic recipe to get you started off with. And of course, you can always change up the filling to accommodate your family’s tastes.
30 minute prep time, 5 minute cook time
While I’m not personally a big quiche fan, this quintessential French dish is easy to make with whatever is on hand, and packs up well the next day.
A good quiche lunch includes protein from the eggs, carbs from the crust, and is packed with veggies for a healthy dose of vitamins and nutrients (plus who can forget cheese for flavour?).
This particular recipe is made with salmon and spinach.
7 minutes prep time, 15 minutes bake time.
*Note: I would recommend putting an icepack in the lunch box to keep the salmon cool if you do choose to use this recipe.