Garden-inspired lunchbox recipes

Three lunchboxes on a wooden table for Lunch Lady Magazine

If you're a little bit like us, you probably start out the school year full of fresh enthusiasm for making lunchboxes. But it doesn't take long for the routine to feel like a bit of drag.

To inspire your creative juices (or at least your tastebuds), we've teamed up with the good folks at the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation to create some easy-peasy lunchbox ideas. They utilise all the good stuff growing in your kitchen garden and are packed full of flavour.

Give them a whirl and see what you reckon? They get two green thumbs up from our army of tiny critics. Keen to try more kitchen garden family recipes? Download their free recipe booklet for more garden-inspired meals for the family.


Fabulous fritters:

Fritters are thoroughly underrated, if you ask us. They're perfect for almost any meal, but they're especially good in lunchboxes. 

Whip them up with almost any seasonal veggie you have growing, like zucchini, warrigal greens and tomatoes. Add some grated parmesan or creamy ricotta to the batter for an extra boost. Or, if you're feeling fancy, try our Carrot, Cumin & Herb Fritters served with a minty yogurt sauce on the side.

Wrap it up:

When sandwiches don’t cut it anymore, try a wrap packed with some new combinations. Poached chicken, caramelised onions, shredded cos lettuce and a dash of fruit chutney will keep the kids (and adults!) loaded with energy. Smashed boiled egg with a dash of mayo and baby spinach is another winning combo; as is sliced brie, pickles (or pesto) and salad.

Pick and mix playlunch:

A mini ploughman-style lunch is a great way to encourage a pick-and-mix feed. Dice up cubes of firm cheese, roll up ham, and add a hard-boiled egg, cherry tomatoes, mini gherkins (or tiny cukes), and a thinly sliced baguette served in a bento box. Include yogurt-based dips like tzatziki, served in little pots with veggie crudités, for a super-healthy and yummy recess snack.

Baked bliss:

Mini pinwheels, quiches, pasties, savoury slices or spanakopita triangles can all be made in advance and frozen until required. Defrost overnight in the fridge for a super-fast readymade lunch. Enjoy a family pizza-making session on the weekend and prepare double for school lunches.

Tortilla twist:

Mexican-style rice dishes are a super family meal that often leaves leftovers for lunches. For bonus points with the kiddies, serve your leftovers with crunchy homemade tortilla chips.

To make them, cut tortillas or pita breads into triangles, brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and your choice of spices – cumin, smoked paprika, oregano and chilli powder all work well. Scatter lightly with grated parmesan and bake in a hot oven until crisp, about 10 minutes.


Keen to try more kitchen garden family recipes? Click here and scroll down to download a free recipe booklet from the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.

Photo by Kate Berry for Lunch Lady Magazine.