45 Real Teacher Lunches That Will Inspire You To Pack Your Own

Yum! Simple, budget-friendly ideas for busy educators.

Collage of teacher lunches, including summer rolls and tomato-avocado bagels
@thedeats__/Summer Rolls and @eat_birmingham/Avocado Bagel via Instagram

When you’re running from the copier to recess duty and back again, it’s easy to fall back on fast-food teacher lunches and granola bars wolfed down in the car. We get it. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for better ideas that are inexpensive, easy to pack, and nutritious too. These folks showed us how it’s done!

1. Taco Salad

Top it with salsa, dressing, sour cream, or even Greek yogurt.

Learn more: @stephs.dlux.kitchen

2. Yogurt Bowl

Plastic bowl with yogurt topped by fruit and granola

@mdcamey/Yogurt Bowl via Instagram

For those with a sweet tooth.

Learn more: @mdcamey

3. Falafel Salad

Crumbled falafel on a ready-made salad is fast and easy.

Learn more: @foodforthoughtlauren

4. Salmon Sushi Bowl

Just as good as sushi, but less expensive when you make it at home.

Learn more: @caitylous_kitchen

5. Peanut Rice Noodles

If your school is peanut-free, try a sesame dressing on this one instead.

Learn more: @sarahlocilentolifestyle

6. Samosa Wrap

Samosa flavors, without the need to fry.

Learn more: @smart.eats.with.nikki

7. Avocado Cream Cheese Bagel

Avocado just makes everything better, doesn’t it?

Learn more: @eat_birmingham

8. Chili Con Carne

Lots of veggies make this recipe nutritious.

Learn more: @healthykerenza

9. Coconut Chicken Stew

Coconut milk, mango chutney, fresh ginger—we’re drooling already.

Learn more: @jessica.r.dietitian

10. Summer Rolls

It’s surprisingly easy to make your own.

Learn more: @thedeats__

11. Mexican Pasta Salad

You can eat this one cold, or warm it up on a chilly day.

Learn more: @smart.eats.with.nikki

12. Cottage Cheese Egg Salad

The cottage cheese adds some extra protein, plus calcium.

Learn more: @lowacideats

13. Cheddar Veggie Muffins

Just add a side salad or some fresh fruit, and call it a day.

Learn more: @kerrygoldsouthafrica

14. Zucchini Taco Boat

Tacos, but make them low-carb.

Learn more: @larasalamone

15. Chilled Cucumber Soup

No need to stand in line for the microwave!

Learn more: @amanda_finkl_coaching

16. Strawberry Turkey Salad

Whoever first decided to put strawberries in a salad was a genius.

Learn more: @stefie_sjs

17. Caprese Salad

So beautiful to look at, so yummy to eat!

Learn more: @cameefaulk

18. Avocado Egg Salad

The avocado really kicks it up a notch.

Learn more: @amyleighharmon

19. Veggie Frittata

Bake up a batch over the weekend, and you’re set for healthy teacher lunches all week long.

Learn more: @polly_bee_bright

20. Pesto Tortellini

Easy and super delicious.

Learn more: @ashn702

21. BLT Salad

It all starts with a simple salad kit.

Learn more: @ambenn_foodie

22. Greek Yogurt Personal Pizza

Because pizza is always a good idea.

Learn more: @teachertastes

23. Snack Lunch

Who says you have to pack a sandwich or leftovers? Snacks FTW.

Learn more: @thepinspiredteacher

24. Mac + Cheese

It’s not just for kids! Mix in some peas or broccoli and pack some raw veggies or fruit on the side for a healthy twist.

Learn more: @taylorcaitlyn

25. Mason Jar Salad

We love all the clever variations on these portable, prep-ahead salads.

Learn more: @ericabohrer

26. Chickpea Salad

For when you’re tired of both chicken and tuna salad. Pack some crackers to go with it for an extra-special lunchtime treat.

Learn more: @getbusyteaching

27. Sheet Pan Meals

Bake in advance, reheat at work, and you’re good to go!

Learn more: @teachertastes

28. Hearty Veggie Soup

This is great for quick and healthy lunches throughout the week.

Learn more: @katienorris27

29. Fresh and Light

Simple doesn’t have to mean boring! Sometimes the best lunches are those that rely on easy, wholesome ingredients.

Learn more: @teacherandtoddlermeals

30. Chicken Tikka Masala

BRB, drooling.

Learn more: @themindfuleducator

31. Couscous and Veggies

Served cold or warm, this combination makes for a great salad that will fill you up.

Learn more: @let.a.girl.eat

32. Breakfast for Lunch

This is inspired (and the overnight oats make it so easy!).

Learn more: @kate_in_the_kitchen

33. Individual Quiches

Imagine opening your lunch box and seeing this beauty waiting for you.

Learn more: @teachingtable

34. Pasta-To-Go

Standing on your feet all day does require carb loading.

Learn more: @millennialmusicteacher

35. Greek Tuna Salad

Feta and lemon jazz up tuna salad. Stuff it in a pita or eat it out of the bowl!

Learn more: @captivatescience

36. Protein and Veggie Bowl

These prep-ahead teacher lunches are packed with the protein you need to sustain your energy all day long.

Learn more: @comprehensibleclassroom

37. Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls

All the yummy flavor, with lots of healthy veggies too.

Learn more: @budgetbytes

38. Spinach Wrap

Switch up your sandwich.

Learn more: @teacherandtoddlermeals

39. Mini Cheese Board

It’s like your own personal charcuterie platter.

Learn more: @easylunchboxes

40. Burger Bowls

This is way better than cafeteria burgers.

Learn more: @teachertastes

41. Chipotle Chicken Bowl

Pretty confident I would eat all five of these meal-prep bowls on a Monday.

Learn more: @teachertastes

42. Chicken Gyro

I want to be this teacher’s friend.

Learn more: @carollovescupcakes

43. Stir Fry

Beats whatever they’re serving in the cafeteria.

Learn more: @archers_all_stars

44. Ravioli Sandwiches

Plus lots of other yummy things … but the world’s cutest mini sandwiches.

Learn more: @schoollunchbox

45. Ramen Noodle Asian Salad

The crushed ramen noodles add terrific texture.

Learn more: @average_everyday_teacher_mom

If you loved these teacher lunches, check out our Top 20 Meal Kits and Delivery Services for Busy Teachers.

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Tired of granola bars? Find quick, easy, and healthy teacher lunches you can prep in advance or throw together in a flash.

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