5 easy ways to turn dinners into school lunches

From the dinner table to the lunch box, these easy recipes are about to become your meal-planning secret weapon.

5 easy ways to turn dinners into school lunches

Photo: Erik Putz

Dinner: Sweet and Saucy Chicken Thighs

Saucy, simple and easy on the grocery budget, your kids will love these tender chicken thighs.

Get the recipe: Sweet and Saucy Chicken Thighs

plate with stir fried chickenPhoto: Erik Putz

Leftovers for lunch: Soba Noodles with Chicken

Use your leftover chicken thighs to make this yummy soba noodle dish that requires just 15 minutes of prep. Free of fat and cholesterol, soba (or buckwheat) noodles are a great, healthy alternative to traditional pasta.

Get the recipe: Soba Noodles with Chicken

section of a bento box with soba noodles and chicken in itPhoto: Erik Putz


Leftovers for lunch: Chicken Lettuce Wrap

Last night’s chicken thighs make a delicious lettuce wrap. 

Get the recipe: Chicken Lettuce Wrap

Bento box with chicken lettuce wraps in one compartmentPhoto: Erik Putz

Dinner: Big Pot of Black Beans

What could be easier than a big ‘ol pot of black beans? Packed with flavour and fibre, these beans will take you from dinner to lunch, no problem.

Get the recipe: Big Pot of Black Beans

plate with black turtle beans greens and roasted sweet potatoesPhoto: Erik Putz

Leftovers for lunch: Greek Pasta Salad with Black Beans

Black beans give this tasty pasta salad an extra boost of protein and fibre.

Get the recipe: Greek Pasta Salad with Black Beans

bowl filled with greek pasta saladPhoto: Erik Putz


Leftovers for lunch: Easy Black Bean Burritos

Want to get an A+ on school lunch? Roll last night’s black beans in a tortilla and you’re done.

Get the recipe: Easy Black Bean Burritos

Bento box with bean burritos in one compartmentPhoto: Erik Putz

Dinner: Juicy Salmon Burgers

Topped with a creamy, lemon and dill mayo, this burger is packed with omega-3 and will please even the pickiest eater.

Get the recipe: Juicy Salmon Burgers

plate with a salmon burger, green beans and a piece of corn on the cobPhoto: Erik Putz

Leftovers for lunch: Salmon Frittata

Leftover salmon burger finds a new life inside of this quick and easy frittata, which can be served warm or cool.

Get the recipe: Salmon Frittata

Bento box with slices of salmon frittata in one of the containersPhoto: Erik Putz


Leftovers for lunch: Salmon and Mango Fresh Rolls

Kids will love assembling these pretty rice paper rolls using leftover salmon. With crisp cucumber and juicy mango, they'll be the talk of the lunchroom.

Get the recipe: Salmon and Mango Fresh Rolls

lunch container with 3 fresh salmon and mango rollsPhoto: Erik Putz

Dinner: Cuban Pork Loin Roast

Spice up your traditional Sunday roast with the flavours of the Caribbean.

Get the recipe: Cuban Pork Loin Roast

plate with pork, mash, and brussels sproutsPhoto: Erik Putz

Leftovers for lunch: Rustic Tortilla Soup with Pork

Leftover pork roast is transformed into a super easy and impressive soup. Top with crispy tortilla chips, queso fresco and avocado for A+ results.

Get the recipe: Rustic Tortilla Soup with Pork

thermos of soup with chipsPhoto: Erik Putz


Leftovers for lunch: Lunch Box Cubano

Upgrade a classic ham and cheese with some leftover pork roast for a Cuban-style sandwich that's layered to impress. Yum!

Get the recipe: Lunch Box Cubano

lunchbox with sandwichPhoto: Erik Putz

Dinner: Korean Steak

Sweet + Salty + Spicy (just a little) = A steak dinner the whole family will enjoy.

Get the recipe: Korean Steak 

dinner plate with Korean steak, fried rice and broccoliPhoto: Erik Putz

Leftovers for lunch: Asian Beef Salad

Toss your leftover steak into this tasty slaw that has an Asian kick thanks to the Miso dressing.

Get the recipe: Asian Beef Salad

lunchbox with beef saladPhoto: Erik Putz


Leftovers for lunch: Korean Steak Taco

Make every day Taco Tuesday with this simple (yet delicious) lunch that uses up your leftover steak from dinner the night before.

Get the recipe: Korean Steak Taco

lunch box with taco and yogurtPhoto: Erik Putz

This article was originally published on Aug 24, 2021

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