School Resources

21 Teenager School Lunch Recipes to Try



Last Updated: Mar 14, 2022

Why you should pack your teenager food for school 

Sometimes cafeteria lunches are not always the healthiest. However, if you provide your teenager lunch food, you could choose more nutrient-dense meals. Also, chances are you can provide a greater variety of foods than what school cafeterias offer. Here is a list of teenager-approved school lunch recipes to get you started. 

21 scrumptious teenager school lunch recipes

Pack your teenager a delicious and nutritious lunch with these inspiring recipes.

1. Grilled Chicken Pitas

shawarma with chicken, lettuce and tomato cut on a white background

Chicken pitas are filling and balanced, as they contain both carbs and protein. Spice up a few grilled chicken breasts with balsamic vinaigrette and a sauce of your choice for added flavor. 

2.  One pot orzo with smoked Gouda and thyme  

Buy orzo pasta and mix with ingredients like freshly chopped thyme and shallots. For zing, drizzle with lemon juice. If you want, you can also add smoked Gouda to this for a creamy, savory effect.

3. Grilled roast beef sandwiches

Take grilled cheese sandwiches to another level by using leftovers like deli roast beef or steak and adding cheese. This makes for a filling meal. Make it more nutrient-dense by adding green pepper and mushrooms. 

4. Mediterranean brown rice salad 

Cook brown rice as a healthier alternative to white rice. Use grape tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese, for a Mediterranean-like salad edge here! 

5. Turkey and cheddar lettuce wraps

Use lettuce leaves for your wraps. For your filling, use cooked turkey slices, cheddar cheese, and a wrap veggie in season. You could also add mayonnaise to taste.

6. Greek cauliflower salad bowls

Healthy roasted vegetable with couscous vegan bowl

For this, gather cauliflower rice, and don’t forget to include your olives and tomatoes! You can also boost the taste with goat cheese and pumpkin seeds. Add a final touch with a garnish like lemon wedges. 

7. Buffalo chicken meatballs in a bento box 

Fill a bento box with buffalo chicken meatballs, dip, carrot and celery sticks, and rocket. For a touch of sweetness, include a few ripe strawberries too! 

8. Zucchini noodles with pesto 

Save time by buying your pesto for this recipe. Get zucchini pasta and tomatoes to go with the pesto. Parmesan cheese is a perfect complement for this, as it goes with any pasta.

9. Turkey and carrot sushi 

Buy or whip up your own carrot and turkey sushi. Pack sliced cucumber, edamame, and dried apricots in a lunch box to complete this nutritious meal.

10. Butternut squash and turkey chili 

This is an ideal teenager lunch food for chilly days. Make your turkey chili in a slow cooker overnight if you’re pressed for time in the morning! Cumin seeds are a great way to add flavor to this delicious butternut squash and turkey meal.

11. Pepperoni pizza

Skillet Peperonni Pizza on Table

There’s no doubt that most teenagers love pizza. Make a nutritious pizza dough with non-fat Greek yogurt and self-raising flour. Add protein with pepperoni. Slice the pizza, and pack these with a tasty pizza dip!  

12. Chicken salad panini

Mix cooked chicken pieces with ingredients like honey and pecans. You may add shredded cheddar cheese too.  Fill a few panini buns with the mix, and pack them for your teenager. 

13. Whole wheat chicken club sandwiches  

Primarily, this idea requires breaded chicken and wholewheat bread. You could also add eggs, mayo, and a mouthwatering pickle relish.

14. Chicken Parmesan stuffed shells

This teenager lunch recipe comprises pasta shells, breaded chicken tenders, and a marinara sauce. Stuff the shells with the chicken and sauce. You can garnish this with oregano and Parmesan cheese. 

15. Chicken teriyaki bowl 

Delicious Chicken Teriyaki over Rice

Drizzle a sweet and sour teriyaki source over cooked chicken. Turn this into a complete meal with brown rice and roasted broccoli. 

16. Smoked salmon quiche 

Who said that finger foods can’t double up as teenager food for school? You can make this crust from puff pastry. Fill the pastry with a decadent concoction of cream cheese, dill, and smoked salmon.

17. Hawaiian spam and pineapple tacos

Tacos are a popular lunch choice and simple to make. Cut cooked ham into strips. You could use bell peppers, pineapple pieces, and cabbage strips to complete your taco filling. It’s best to pack the filling separately from the taco shells until it is time to eat.

18. Strawberry sando 

These look a lot like club sandwiches, except the fillings contain fruit. Buy milk bread, cut them into little triangles, and fill them with whipped cream and strawberry — Alternatively, you can choose any fruit filling your teenager likes.

19. Egg salad on rye bread

You can never go wrong with a tasty egg and mayo salad. Place it on nutritious rye bread with a sprig of parsley as a garnish for the perfect teenager lunch food. If you want to make this tangier, add yogurt to your egg salad.

20. Chicken Caesar salad 

Homemade Cesar Salad with Chicken, Lettuce and Parmesan

Use fresh deboned, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. You’ll also need Parmesan cheese to make a rich anchovy paste. Meld this with olive oil to serve as a delicious salad dressing, and pour it over romaine lettuce. You can also add black pepper to this for teenagers who prefer a strong taste.   

21. Bistro protein box

Make up bistro boxes for each school day filled with protein-packed teenager lunch snacks. You could place boiled egg, sliced cucumber, cheese, baby carrots, delicious hummus, dried fruit, and wholegrain crackers in the bistro boxes. 

Plan your teenager’s lunch ahead of time

Simplify meal prepping by planning in advance for each week. This way, you won’t feel rushed or run out of lunch recipes. Find the ingredients you need to make fabulous back to school food for your teenager’s school lunch on Instacart today!



Instacart is the leading grocery technology company in North America, partnering with more than 1,400 national, regional, and local retail banners to deliver from more than 80,000 stores across more than 14,000 cities in North America. To read more Instacart posts, you can browse the company blog or search by keyword using the search bar at the top of the page.

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