27 Primal Lunchbox Ideas

Packing a lunch day after day saves money and helps you stick to your health goals, but it requires some regular inspiration. From simple no-cook Bento box lunches, to layered Big-Ass salads, to big-batch recipes that provide dinner and lunch the next day, we’ve got you covered. Pack something good every day of the week with these go-to Primal lunchbox ideas.

Big-Ass Salads

Put together several Big-Ass salads and store them in glass mason jars so you can grab the pre-made salads for lunch throughout the workweek. Dressing goes in the bottom of the jar and the salad ingredients are layered on top. This keeps everything crisp and fresh, even if you pack the salad a few days in advance. When you’re ready to eat lunch, dump the contents into a bowl and voila! You’ve got yourself a Big-Ass salad.

Tips For Packing Jar Salads:

  • Use quart-sized jars for main course salads and pint jars for side salads
  • Wide mouth jars are easiest to pack
  • Most mason jar salads can be packed up to 3 days ahead of time
  • Pour 2 to 4 tablespoons salad dressing in the bottom of the jar
  • Layer ingredients from firmest in texture to lightest, so the salad doesn’t get soggy
  • Greens are the last ingredient to go in the jar. Tear larger leaves into bite-sized pieces. It’s okay to pack the greens in tightly.

Mason Jar Big-Ass Salad Inspiration:

Greek Salad: Thinly sliced red onion, cooked ground lamb or sliced lamb , large diced cucumber, feta, Kalamata olives, spinach

Nicoise Salad: Canned olive oil-packed tuna or sardines, cold potatoes, hard-boiled egg slices, green beans, halved cherry tomatoes, romaine lettuce

Chopped Chicken Salad: Leftover cooked, shredded or sliced chicken, thinly sliced red bell pepper, grated carrots, chopped green onion, slivered almonds, shredded cabbage

More Delicious Jar Salads:

Mark’s Big Ass Keto Salad

Banh Mi Salad 

Harvest Bowl with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette 

Bento Box Lunches

Bento box lunches offer a variety of flavors and foods with very little effort. The trick is keeping your kitchen well stocked with healthy whole foods that require little or no prep time. Just open your fridge and pantry, pull a few things out, and pack up your bento lunch box.

Bento Lunch Box Inspiration:

  • Canned olive oil-packed tuna with Primal Kitchen Mayo + Sweet mini bell peppers + Olives + Fresh berries with coconut butter
  • Smoked Salmon + Cucumber + Avocado + Green beans drizzled with sesame oil + Dried Seaweed (nori or SeaSnax) 
  • Primal-approved jerky (no sugar or additives) + Hard-boiled egg + Carrot slices with Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing + Apple slices and nut butter
  • Primal-approved cooked sausage (no sugar or additives) + Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese shavings + Cherry tomatoes with fresh basil (or pesto) + Raw Almonds 

Other Bento Box Ingredient Ideas:

For more kids’ bento box ideas, check out this post.

Leftover Lunches

Not sure what to pack for lunch? The answer might be in your fridge already. It’s called “leftovers.” Packing lunch is always easier when there are dinner leftovers in the fridge. These 9 recipes make big batches of food, providing both dinner and lunch the next day.

Chicken Cacciatore

Tender chicken thighs are cooked in a rich sauce made from tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers and garlic. Packing fresh garnishes in your lunch box like basil, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and black olives will give leftover chicken cacciatore fresh, bright flavor.

Sheet Pan Shrimp and Broccoli

This simple sheet pan meal is just as good the next day eaten as a shrimp and broccoli salad. Buy a bag of baby spinach to toss with the leftover shrimp and broccoli for lunch and don’t forget to dress the salad with Primal Kitchen Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette.

Sweet Potato Chili

Chili tastes better a day or two after it’s made, which means it’s a perfect leftover for lunch. With a simple list of ingredients and a short cooking time, this smoky sweet potato chili is sure to become a regular weeknight dinner that also provides lunch the next day.

Instant Pot Short Ribs With Sesame Ginger Slaw

These short ribs are so good you’re going to be counting down the minutes until lunch so you can eat them again. And the short ribs are tasty hot or cold (especially with the cool and sweet tasting slaw), so you’re good to go without reheating.

Layered Taco Casserole

A pan of casserole in the fridge is always a welcome sight. Especially when it’s Primal taco casserole. Pack this layered taco casserole with an avocado and small containers of salsa and sour cream and you’ll have a filling and delicious lunch.

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Traditional buffalo chicken flavors are baked into this gluten-free, low-carb casserole. Better yet, this recipe is from Meal Prep on Fleek, which provides step-by-step instructions for meal prepping four meals from this one recipe. 

Honey Mustard Chicken

Leftover chicken thighs for lunch? Yes, please! These thighs are flavored with a sweet and buttery mustard sauce that’s Whole30-Approved and Paleo friendly.

Instant Pot Coconut Ginger Pork Shoulder

A big cut of meat means you’ll get several meals from one recipe. This shredded pork flavored with coconut milk and ginger is easy to make, since all the cooking is done in an Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Brisket with Potatoes

Sliced brisket with potatoes is the type of leftover lunch that makes coworkers envious. Pack a few sprigs of fresh parsley to scatter over your meal, plus a little sea salt and a wedge of lemon to perk up the flavors of the meat and potatoes.

Thoughts or other ideas to add to the mix? Share them below, and have a great end to the week, everyone!

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