3 Easy School Lunch Ideas with Leftovers

If you are looking for healthy and easy school lunch ideas with leftovers you are going to love today’s post! These ideas, are quick to prepare with ingredients that are already in your pantry and fridge.

Easy lunches made with leftovers! Perfect for back to school and the office!
Easy lunches made with leftovers! Perfect for back to school and the office!

Forget the sandwich. These recipes are the perfect way to revamp leftovers and give them a new purpose so they don’t go to waste. The bonus is that they each add a few extra veggies to the lunchbox!

For today’s recipe, I’ve teamed up with Libby’s® Fruits and Vegetables, the makers of these Vegetable Cups. They are perfectly portioned, packed with vitamins and minerals, and are a great way to customize a quick lunch.

Easy lunches made with leftovers! Perfect for back to school and the office!

Most of us have pasta once a week, or every other week, and it often leaves a nice portion of plain pasta perfect for a lunchbox meal. Another item we have leftover is beans from Taco night. They are a terrific option to revamp into a delicious lunch! And last but not least, when we have a little bit of broth leftover from a recipe that we aren’t quite sure how to use into something else.

In this video, you’ll see how I take on those three leftover ingredients and revamp them into a new fresh lunch with Libby’s Vegetable Cups.

The veggie pasta salad goes great with other leftovers, like cooked chicken, and the ability to use your favorite dressing makes this the ultimate kid-friendly meal.

Easy lunches made with leftovers! Perfect for back to school and the office!

The black bean and corn salad has a terrific texture that goes great with plantain chips or traditional chips and fruit. Want a more substantial option? Pack it over a bed or rice, heated, inside a thermos.

Easy lunches made with leftovers! Perfect for back to school and the office!

For a warm meal, the quick veggie soup option is a great option to have for cold fall and winter days. Sometimes, there is nothing more comforting that a warm bowl of soup for lunch, school lunch included.

Easy lunches made with leftovers! Perfect for back to school and the office!

What’s great is that the lunches come together quickly, and the Vegetable Cups also make a great standalone snack or side dish at dinner – just lift a corner off the lid and pop in the microwave.

As you can see, a terrific lunch can be put together rather quickly with leftovers that are in most of our refrigerators. These recipes are an excellent way to reduce leftover waste.

How would you use Libby’s Vegetable Cups in your lunchbox?

WIN $100 WORTH OF SCHOOL LUNCH SUPPLIES FROM LIBBY’S

One lucky winner will receive $100 worth of lunch packing supplies: two lunch box sets, a thermos, The Best Homemade Lunches on the Planet, and an insulated lunch bag.

Leaving a comment below sharing How you would use Libby’s Vegetable Cups in your lunchbox?

Giveaway ends September 16th at 11:59AM (CST)

Lunch 1: Veggie Pasta Salad

Easy lunches made with leftovers! Perfect for back to school and the office!
  • Author: Laura Fuentes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked pasta (spirals)
  • 1 (4 oz.) Libby’s Diced Carrots Vegetable Cup, drained
  • 1/2 coarsely grated yellow cheddar cheese
  • 8oz can sliced black olives, drained
  • 23 tablespoons Italian dressing (or just olive oil and Italian seasoning, salt, pepper)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Divide into lunchboxes and pack along with a little fruit and half of a boiled egg.

Lunch 2: Black Bean & Corn Salad

Easy lunches made with leftovers! Perfect for back to school and the office!
  • Author: Laura Fuentes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (4 oz.) Libby’s Whole Kernel Sweet Corn Vegetable Cup, drained
  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo (fresh, chunky salsa)
  • Plantain chips (inka chips) for serving
  • Fruit

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Divide into lunchboxes and pack along with a plantain chips and fruit.

Lunch 3: Quick Veggie Noodle Soup

Easy lunches made with leftovers! Perfect for back to school and the office!
  • Author: Laura Fuentes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chicken or veggie stock
  • 1 cup cooked pasta
  • 1 (4 oz.) Libby’s Peas & Carrots Vegetable Cup, drained

Instructions

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat up stock, pasta, and veggies. Once thoroughly heated, pack inside a thermos.

From time to time, I work with awesome companies to develop recipes for this website. Today’s post was brought to you by Libby’s Fruits and Vegetables. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that encourage my creativity.

41 thoughts on “3 Easy School Lunch Ideas with Leftovers”

  1. Greg Carbone says:

    In our house we can always use a supply of back-up lunch containers! How do so many of these things get lost?

    As for the foods that we pack, leftovers are a great place to start. We do this one or two times a week when the kids tell us that they love a particular dinner.

    The corn and black bean salad sounds very interesting. I would pair this with some of their favorite crackers for dipping or maybe even some lightly toasted whole wheat pita triangles.

  2. Carolsue says:

    The pasta salad would go over bigtime! Only instead of the carrots, I would use corn.

  3. Destiny Stonehouse says:

    My kids would love all the recipes! The veggie cups would be perfect to put in their lunchbox just as a healthy side!

  4. Melissa says:

    Awesome ideas! I would use the Libby Veggie Cups for quick fresh veggies for my kiddos lunches. Love the portioned size to add to and spruce up leftovers to make glamorous lunches!

  5. Amy says:

    My kids love leftovers and soup for lunch! There are so many possibilities for the veggie cups, for added veggies in burritos, quesadillas, soups or dips like your veggie salsa! Yum!

  6. Dawn Tomsik says:

    My preschoolers love it when we have our cooking class 2 times a week. I’m always looking for recipes that we can all do together and yet prepare the foods safely. Recently we made homemade vegetable soup. I don’t like using canned veggies and thought this time we would use Libby’s veggies in the individual cups. It worked out fantastic because I have 6 preschoolers and was able to divide the ingredients equally and safely. Most Importantly, these cups were terrific for the use of small motor skills. Pulling the tabs (covers) up, draining, pulling the covers off and pouring. We had a blast and was also able to through in a math lesson and vocabulary lesson with colors, and the words in our recipes. Thanks Libby for allowing us to have a fun and safe cooking experience.

    1. Dawn Tomsik says:

      Sorry typo above
      Throw! Not through.

  7. Jenn C. says:

    Veggies mixed in soup or sautéed in a stir fry for quick and easy lunches.

  8. Sara Bunnell says:

    my kids would eat them just like they are! But I like the idea of being able to customize their lunches & things with individual veggies!

  9. Nancy B says:

    I could certainly make that black bean and corn salad for my girl. I could use the green beans in a bean salad my kids would gobble up too.

  10. Jackie says:

    Would love to use the lunch containers for my daughter! We are always looking to try new recipes and I can’t wait to try the ones here to incorporate more veggies!

  11. Kristina says:

    Pasta or rice salad, or also in chicken noodle soup. All school lunch favs.

  12. Samantha says:

    I love these ideas not just for my kids but for me too.

  13. Becky Boden says:

    My kids love soups for lunch. What better way to fill their tummies, load their soup with veggies!

  14. Krista says:

    My son would just eat them as is 🙂 mixing them with pasta is always good though.

  15. Marci Powers says:

    I would love to try some of these recipes with my children. I didn’t even know there was individual serving containers of the veggies.

  16. Kim says:

    These are great ideas for me and my kids! I will have to find those Libby cups! We would eat them plain or mixed in salads/soups or along with chicken and rice.

  17. Meaghan says:

    I have 3 kids I make lunch for. I did not even think about using Libby cups. They would make it fast and easy to get some more veggies packed in my kids lunch box. I want to try the chicken noodle soup with the peas and carrots soon!!

  18. Katie says:

    So much healthier than your typical sandwich, easy, and less waste! I love the pasta salad idea 🙂

  19. Avon S. says:

    So many possibilities, but knowing my little guy and with cooler weather, I would definitely throw these veggie cups in his fave soups (chicken noodle, beef stew, etc).

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