As you know, the recteq lifestyle is all about good food with less stress and this mantra isn’t just for summer weekends. We can apply the same simple cooking techniques to delicious lunches for the back-to-school season, giving you another reason to fire up the recteq and stock up on BBQ wood pellets. Let’s try out some new recipes to help make your mornings a little less stressful and give your whole family an upgrade to the their lunch routine. When Monday mornings roll around, you’ll be so glad you planned ahead with simple lunches perfect for packing.
First things first, there are a few tools you can use to make these recipes even simpler. For make-ahead prep with fantastic results, we recommend you grab a few Mesh Cooking Mats, our Rub & Sauce Bundle, and maybe a pack of our Nitrile Gloves to make everything quick and easy. If you haven’t tried insulated stainless steel food jars for lunch, you might like the flexibility and temperature control they offer; you can find them at most big-box stores. Now that you’ve got the gear, let’s dive into delicious grab-and-go lunches for stress-free mornings.
Smoked Chicken Salad Sandwich
We’ve talked about it before because it’s just that good! Our savory Smoked Chicken Salad is delicious warm or chilled and can be batch cooked on the weekend for lunches through the week. All you need is an insulated food jar or ice packs to keep this tastiness safely cool until lunch. Pack it up with crackers, rolls, or sliced bread and serve with yogurt or fresh fruit for a refreshing combo.
If you have the flexibility of reheating, or can wrap up a warm lunch for your kiddo, the Crunchwrap is a great option for a less-messy taco alternative that’s just as cheesy and delicious. Slice it up into wedges and pack with a small dipping container of salsa, ranch, or sour cream. For sides, clementine oranges would be perfect along with some sliced cucumbers. Your kids will ask for this one again and again.
Here’s your reminder that pizza is just as delicious cold as it is hot. It will always be a reliable fallback hit, especially when you’ve made it on the recteq. Check out our Pineapple and Canadian Bacon Naan Pizza or Buffalo Chicken Naan Pizza. At recteq, we love pizza so much we’ve created an entire blog post devoted to it. For sides, we would probably go with grapes and carrot sticks to round-out the finger-friendly format. If your kids like a lighter lunch, check out our Pizza Roses.
Mac n' Cheese
We couldn’t talk about lunches without a nod to our favorite cheesy pasta dishes. We’ve got a couple of great recipes that your family will love: Grandma’s Mac n' Cheese and Southern Style Mac n' Cheese. You can always throw in some leftover smoked chicken or bacon to boost the protein. Remember, to prep your stainless steel double-walled container, prefill it with boiling water and leave it closed for a few minutes before adding hot food. You can brighten up the lunch bag with some edamame and strawberries to boost the nutritional impact.
If your child loves meatballs, Swedish Meatballs is an easy meal that should stay hot in the insulated food jar and will be easy to eat with a fork or fun reusable toothpicks. This dish tastes delicious as left-overs and would be perfect served over noodles or mashed potatoes as a lunch-time version of the dinner favorite.
Grilled & Chilled
If you think grilled sandwiches can’t be made ahead that’s probably because you haven’t tried it! Give them lots of fuel for their day with the protein-packed Smoked Club Sandwich. For a fun crustless option, pick up a sandwich sealer. Hint: the square ones waste a little less sandwich than the circle ones, but both are fun ways to pack up a neater, crust-free sandwich. Make sure you are generous with the butter and the final product will taste great even chilled.
Besides all of these awesome ideas, don’t miss our Smoked Gouda Pimento Cheese Sandwich, Smoked Egg Salad Sandwich and the Ultimate Beef & Cheddar. What’s your back-to-school meal plan? Share it with us!