Thermos-Friendly Recipes for Your Lunch Box

Thermos-Friendly Recipes for Your Lunch Box

When you’re trying to juggle multiple food allergies, it can be difficult to work variety into your diet. You may find it safer to find a few reliable recipes and stick with them to ensure everyone at your table eats the same meal without worry. Who doesn’t, however, love a little variety? Finding a new favorite is something to celebrate. 

In the past we’ve taken a look at recipes for dinner, holiday meals, breakfast, desserts, and snacks. This time, let’s talk about your lunch box. If you’re looking for something new that doesn’t require reheating that can easily be taken to school or the office, try some of the following ideas.

Grab a Container

Invest in a good thermos. In fact, grab a few of them. You’ve got plenty of options today ranging from the original Thermos brand to other brands that offer containers in different sizes and colors to keep hot things hot and cold things cold. 

From dinner leftovers to some of the recipes shared below, a reliable thermos opens the door to a wider range of lunch options than the old standby sandwich. If you’re avoiding wheat, or you just want something other than what fits between a couple of slices of bread, a good container is a must have. 

Chicken Chili

A good chili recipe is one of the ultimate comfort foods and this chicken chili variant from Food Network’s Ina Garten is a good option if you don’t have your own go-to chili recipe on hand already. Spoon a hearty helping into your trusty thermos. Grab a second small container and fill it with any allergy-friendly toppings you want to add at lunch time. 

Fried Rice

One of the best things about a good fried rice recipe is that you can add a variety of ingredients to it. This basic recipe from Faithfully Gluten Free is a good starting place. Depending on your allergies, you can add in some protein like chicken, scrambled egg, or tofu. You can add other vegetables to the mix, too. Spoon your desired lunch portion into your thermos and then add a couple of tablespoons of broth to help keep your fried rice from drying out.

Taco Soup

You don’t need to wait for a Tuesday to fill your thermos with this one. You may, however, need to experiment with the suggested toppings list to adapt for your allergies. It’s worth it though. A good taco soup can check the boxes of warm, hearty, unique, and comforting if that’s what you’re looking for in a lunch. This recipe from Foodlets is a good starting point.

Quinoa Salad

Amp up the protein and the taste with a quinoa salad. Like some of the other recipes we’ve shared above, this one has the benefit of being customizable. You can stick to a recipe as written like this one from Cookie and Kate, or you create your own mix of add-ins and flavors using quinoa as a base. 

Curried Sweet Potato Chowder

There’s just something special about the delicate balance of tender, earthy sweet potatoes and the warmth created by a good mix of spices in a classic curry. This recipe from the Gracious Pantry looks like it hits that balance well without relying on any of the top 9 allergens. Even better, it translates well to lunch out of a thermos. 

Keep It Cold

Don’t forget, the thermos isn’t just for hot meals. You can pack cold foods in there too and keep them at a good temperature until lunch time. Try your favorite dairy free yogurt and pack a container of add-ins like healthy fruits and nut-free granola. Of course, you could also blend your favorite yogurt with fruit and fill your thermos with a smoothie to sip later. Experiment. Have fun with it!

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