Snacky bento lunches for grown-ups - WAY better than a wilty salad from the deli down the street

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Yumbox. All opinions are my own and all lunches were eaten by my family.

We’re going to change things up a little bit today and talk about packing lunches for adults! Believe it or not, I started this whole bento thing by packing work lunches for myself — not my kids. (Check out my first bento ever here!) That lunch was packed with leftovers from dinner the night before — which is pretty much my favorite thing to eat for lunch — but I also like lunches with a lot of variety. After all, what’s the point of buying a wonderful lunch box with lots of compartments if you don’t put something different in each one? After much thought and creative brainstorming I came up with a name for these meals: Snacky Lunches

(Truly, you are dazzled by my creative naming abilities, are you not?)

Nowadays I work from home living the glamorous life of a freelanceer, so I don’t need to pack lunches very often (or change out of my pajamas) but my husband goes to work in an office so I pack a lot of lunches for him. He is also a big fan of the Snacky Lunch and I’ve come up with several themed meals he’s particularly fond of. (I eat them too!) I like to pack these in the Yumbox Tapas ($32) with the 5 section tray because it holds enough food for an adult’s appetite but it’s also got a bunch of those little compartments I love so much. Here are some ideas for you (or your partner if you are as sweet as I am and pack them lunches sometimes):

Snacky Lunch #1: Chicken Salad Dippers

Chicken Salad Dippers in the Yumbox Tapas

This lunch is pretty basic: lots of fruits and veggies with a little chicken salad and some crackers to keep your motor running all afternoon. I start by making a chicken salad: dice some leftover roasted chicken and a similar amount of apple, then mix in a small handful of dried cranberries and a few toasted nuts (I use pecans and almonds interchangeably in this recipe). Add a dollop of mayo to hold it all together. I’ll also add a shake of curry powder sometimes too. (Not too much!) Pack it into the Yumbox with some whole wheat crackers, grapes, berries and a selection of raw veggies. I used cucumbers, radish, snap peas and carrots but you can use whatever you like/have in the fridge. Squirt some ranch dressing in the dip container for the veggies.

Snacky Lunch #2: Mediterranean Mezze

Mediterranean Mezze in the Yumbox Tapas

This is probably Zach’s favorite lunch of all the stuff I pack for him and I try to keep a lot of these items on hand to throw quick lunches together for him. Cut a whole wheat pita into wedges and put those in the largest section of the Yumbox. You can toast them and let them cool if you have time in the morning. Pita chips are even easier. Add some hummus or tzatziki to the dip well. Chop a little cucumber and mix it with grape tomatoes. Then dice some feta cheese and mix it together with pitted kalamata olives. For an extra special treat, pick up a few dolmas from the deli or salad bar while you’re at the grocery store and add those to the lunch box too.  At lunch time you can dip the pita into the hummus or spread it on the bread and sprinkle it with the veggies, cheese and olives and eat it like a tiny slice of pizza. So amazing!

Snacky Lunch #3: Knock-off Protein Box

Knock-off Starbucks Protein Box in the Yumbox Tapas

When we are out and about, Zach and I both like to grab the Protein Bistro Box at Starbucks for a quick and generally nutritious lunch. (Healthier than a slice of lemon loaf, amirite?) The thing is, those boxes are hecka easy to make at home and if you make a big batch of eggs at the beginning of the week you can pack them in less than five minutes in the morning. The hardest part of this is the sliced apple because you don’t want it to turn brown. My trick: sprinkle the slices with Fruit Fresh powder and they’ll stay white until lunch time or longer. (The air-tight lid on this container helps a lot too.) Fill up the rest of the box with pre-washed grapes, wheat crackers, peanut butter, Babybel cheese and a couple of hard-boiled eggs.

Snacky Lunch #4: Antipasti

Antipasti for Lunch in the Yumbox Tapas

Finally, I’m going to share one of my very favorite meals: the antipasti platter. Aw geez, I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. I started eating this meal at a local restaurant about 20 years ago and I’ve been recreating it for fast dinners at home ever since. The backbone is melon wrapped with strips of prosciutto, then I add a few super flavorful sides. One is small balls of fresh mozzarella mixed with halved cherry tomatoes and a sprinkle of balsamic. The other is a mix of marinated artichoke hearts and strips of roasted red peppers — both pulled straight from jars in the fridge. I also added some flatbread crackers and a little goat cheese to spread on it.

What do you pack when you make snacky lunches?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Yumbox. Find the Yumbox Tapas on the Yumbox website or at

Snacky bento lunches for grown-ups - WAY better than a wilty salad from the deli down the street



The kids are just wrapping up their last day of school (they’ll be home any minute!) and barring any unforeseen playground disasters, I think it’s safe to say we had a pretty good week.  And I think my back-to-school lunch game was pretty strong, if I do say so myself! Here are the lunches the kids had this week — along with a few that my husband enjoyed.

This post contains affiliate links.


I already posted about Monday’s lunches. See them over here.


Soft pretzel Yumbox Lunch

The Augster wanted another pretzel Tuesday and he was jealous of Wyatt’s prosciutto and melon from Monday so he had both of those in his lunch along with cucumber sticks and some cookies. A few people have asked where I found the soft pretzels. I found them in the snack area in the freezer section of our grocery store. The brand I’ve been buying is SuperPretzel and they are just the right size for lunch boxes.

I packed this in our Yumbox Panino.

Grown-up Lunchable in the LunchBots Cinco

I made my husband, Zach, a grown-up version of a Lunchable for his bento. I started by grabbing our big LunchBots Cinco, then filled it with jack cheese, deli turkey roll-ups, cucumber sticks, cheddar, cantaloupe, strawberries and a few whole grain pita chips.


Chicken Tacos for Lunch at middle school

We had tacos for dinner on Tuesday (of course), so Wyatt had the leftovers for lunch on Wednesday. I filled our Hydro Flask thermal jar with piping hot chicken, then packed a LunchBots with the accompaniments: shredded jack cheese, lettuce and street taco sized tortillas.

Back to Basics Bento

Augie wasn’t into the idea of leftovers, so I went back to basics for his lunch: cucumber slices, strawberries, turkey meatballs, pita chips, yellow tomatoes and a few gummy bears. This was packed in our new emoji Yumbox. SO CUTE!

Greek Mezza Grown-up Lunch

Zach also nixed leftovers so I made him a kind of deconstructed Greek salad in our bigger Yumbox Tapas box: strawberries, tomatoes, kalamata olives, cucumber sticks, feta cheese, marinated artichoke hearts and those pita chips again.

This lunch was very well received and Zach texted to thank me for packing it, then thanked me again when he got home. It’s super gratifying to make him lunches because he is always so grateful. I could get used to that….


Hot Rice and Sides 3rd Grade Lunch

Augie was super picky about lunch on Thursday and said no to school lunch and the first three main dish ideas I suggested. I was starting to get pretty frustrated but then he asked me for the yellow rice we had leftover from dinner the night before which is a favorite and is very filling. Score! I warmed that up and packed it into our LunchBots thermal jar, then added cukes, blueberries and melon in a couple of Splash Pods.



Jammy Bagel Lunch

This morning Augie wanted something simple again, so I gave him half a bagel with strawberry jam, some berries, cucumbers and carrot sticks. I packed it in our PlanetBox Shuttle.

Italian Beef Sandwich

My eighth grader and my husband had basically the same lunch today. This is my husband’s – I forgot to take a photo of Wyatt’s lunch. They both had leftover Italian beef sandwiches as their main dish. I packed all the components separately so the sandwiches wouldn’t get soggy between leaving the house and sitting down for lunch: hoagie bun with a slice of provolone cheese tucked inside, peperoncinis, and the beef filling. Wyatt doesn’t have access to a microwave so his filling went into a thermos for a nice hot sandwich. My husband warmed his up at work. Packed in a Bentology bento box.

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