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Easy Bento Box Ideas For Adults

Break out the bento boxes and get ready for a great way to meal prep with these easy bento box lunch ideas for adults! These meal ideas are perfect for busy, on-the-go days, and even meal prep. 

This is a collage of 6 bento box ideas. Each bento box is filled with an easy recipe and colorful side dishes.

What is a bento box?

To understand what a bento box is, we need to ask: what is bento?

bento is a ready-to-go meal packed into a single container, with separate compartments containing separate items of the meal. The term bento is most linked to Japanese cuisine, though the concept is not unique to Japan. 

A bento box itself is the specialized container used to create these nutritious meals. They can be made of plastic, stainless steel, or even wood. While many store-bought bento are packaged in single-use boxes, many bento boxes are like reusable lunch boxes. 

Why use a bento box?

Aside from aesthetics, there are good reasons to consider using a bento box to pack a meal. Bento boxes provide an easy way to structure a balanced meal, as each container can represent a different nutritional component. 

You can place healthy fats in one compartment, a protein source in another... you get the idea. With the separate sections of the container, you essentially have a template to create delicious bento box lunches. 

While they encourage variety, the compartments can also help with portion control. Instead of packing the whole Costco-sized bag of cheese puffs in your bag, measure them out according to the size of the container's space. 

Of course, these benefits are not unique to a bento box! That said, the boxes are a great option for packing lunch and making your delicious ideas come to life. These bento box recipes are here to help inspire you with simple recipes using a basic formula that's easy to apply each week.

Bento box for meal prep

Depending on what you plan to put in a bento box, it may be appropriate to construct it the day you need it. This is probably the most commonplace practice for bento boxes, as its popular to include items that have been heated and will be enjoyed later at room temperature. (J. Kenji Lopez-Alt writes more about this thinking in the New York Times.)

My interest in meal prep influences my approach to recipes. These easy bento box ideas are no different! While some of them you'll want to consume on the same day, others you can reliably pack even a few days ahead to enjoy any day of the week. 

Different bento box ideas will be more or less suitable for this meal prep approach. It's all about finding what works for you and your scheduling needs!

Easy Bento Box Ideas For Adults

Here's a couple of easy bento box ideas for adults that are perfect for busy weeks and on-the-go. These meals can be meal prepped for the week or made the day you need them in about 5 minutes. These lunch ideas can be supplemented with sides or snacks to make it the perfect healthy lunch. 

5-Minute Pinwheels

This is one of the easiest lunch ideas to pack and make — turkey and salami pinwheels. I remember making these as a kid and have even made them backpacking!

You can customize pinwheels however you want by adding extra meat, cheese, veggies, and sauces of your choice. I also like to serve the pinwheels with a side of fresh fruit and pretzels. 


  • Tortillas (any kind, I prefer low-carb)
  • Lunch meat (I prefer turkey or salami)
  • Cheese wedge or whipped cream cheese
  • Dill pickles 
  • Optional: any extra veggies you want! (I like spinach & bell peppers too)
  • Sides: fresh fruit and pretzels


  • Gather all of the ingredients to make this meal.
  • Spread the cheese wedge (or cream cheese) onto a tortilla. 
  • Add layers of deli meat. 
  • Add pickles (and whatever other veggies you want)
  • Roll and cut into sushi-like pieces. 
  • Store in the bento box with sides of choice (like fresh fruit and pretzels).
  • Keep the bento box in the fridge until it's time to enjoy.

5-Minute Healthy Chicken Salad

Easy, healthy chicken salad is the perfect lunch! It takes 5 minutes to make a batch of chicken salad for the week, and you can add whatever sides you’d like. I usually pack chicken salad with crackers and a fresh fruit or veggie.


  • 1 lb rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • ½ Celery, chopped
  • ½ Grapes, chopped
  • ¼ Pickles, chopped
  • ¼ Almonds, chopped
  • Dressing: ⅓ cup greek yogurt, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp lemon juice, sea salt


  • In a large bowl, mix the shredded chicken, celery, grapes, pickles and almonds together.
  • Make the dressing in a separate bowl and then add it to the large bowl and mix until everything is coated. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • This recipe will make about 4 servings of chicken salad. 
  • ​Add 1 serving of the chicken salad to the bento box with sides of your choice. 

Easy Pita Pizzas

These pita pizzas are a twist on a Lunchables classic!! Add all of the ingredients to your bento box and build cute mini pizzas when it’s lunch time. This bento box recipe is one picky eaters will love!


  • Pitas (I use Joseph's low carb pita)
  • Pizza sauce
  • Turkey pepperoni
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Optional: any extra veggies you want! 


  • Add all ingredients to the bento box. 
  • When assembling the mini pizzas, spread the pizza sauce onto the pita. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and turkey pepperoni. 
  • Add extra veggies and sides to this meal. 
  • Enjoy!

Homemade Protein Pack

Protein snack boxes are a homemade version of the portable protein packs you can pick up at the store. This small container has the exact same ingredients of the protein packs, but almost quadruple the amount of protein. Each of these bento boxes have 38 grams of protein per box!

You'll need turkey slices, almonds, and cheese cubes to make this snack.


  • 4 oz turkey slices 
  • 2 servings colby jack cheese cubes
  • 1 oz almonds


  • Add all ingredients to the bento box.
  • Store in the fridge until ready to enjoy.
  • If taking on the go, store in a lunchbox with an ice pack.

Homemade Hummus Box

Try making your own hummus snack box. Add more sides, more hummus, and make this snack work for you. These are perfect for on-the-go!


  • 2 oz classis sabra hummus 
  • Mini snack factory pretzels 
  • Carrot sticks 
  • more ideas: snap peas, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices
  • For even more protein, pack a hard-boiled eggs or some slices of deli meat.


  • Add all ingredients to the bento box.
  • Store in the fridge until ready to enjoy. 

5-Minute Pesto Pasta Salad

Easy pesto salad is perfect for lunch! The recipe uses 5 ingredients because it's as easy as mixing all the ingredients together in a large bowl.

This recipe takes about 5 minutes to make and provides a huge batch of pasta salad that you can split into several servings, making this a great option for meal prep.

You can serve with whatever sides you want. This is a great healthy lunch and packed with protein. 


  • 1 box chickpea pasta
  • 1 lb grilled, shredded chicken
  • 1 pint tomatoes
  • 1 pack mozzarella pearls
  • ½ jar (or 1 jar) of pesto 


  • Add all ingredients to a large bowl & mix well!
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge all week (will make 4-6 servings of pasta salad).
  • I like to serve with bread & side salad in the bento box. 

Easy Salad with Chicken

A salad kit with rotisserie chicken is my favorite easy lunch idea for when I don’t feel look cooking! Grab any flavor salad kit, rotisserie chicken, and you have a veggie-packed, high-protein lunch to keep you full.

Add sides of fruit, crackers, or your favorite things to round out the meal. This is an easy idea to keep in your back pocket when you need something quick! 


  • Salad kit
  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Sides: fresh fruit, apple slices, bread


  • Add salad kit and shredded rotisserie chicken to the bento box.
  • Add sides of your choice.
  • Mix the salad with dressing when ready to enjoy. 

Yogurt Parfait 

We love making our own parfaits to bring on-the-go. With yogurt, fruit, granola, and an optional mix-in like protein powder or honey, we’re set to start the day! This idea is perfect for breakfast, snack, school lunches, or when you need something sweet. 


  • 1-2 servings of greek yogurt (any flavor)
  • 1 serving berries 
  • 1 serving granola 
  • optional: protein powder, honey, etc


  • Add all ingredients to the bento box.
  • Mix together to make a parfait when ready to enjoy.

Favorite Bento Boxes

After researching and trying so many kinds of bento boxes, my favorite Bento Box are the Lunchbots Stainless Steel containers. I use the medium container for snacks and the large container for meals.

These containers are easy to clean, durable, and don't spill in lunchboxes or when on-the-go. They're perfect to use for each of these easy bento box ideas for adults!

This is not a paid review and opinions and experiences expressed in this post are all mine. This post does contain affiliate links. Jordo’s World is a participant in the affiliate advertising programs. If you purchase an item through the link or using the discount codes I will get a small percentage of the sale which goes toward the development I do for this site.


Monday 11th of September 2023

Excited to try these

Jordan Smith

Wednesday 20th of September 2023

Latasha, I hope you enjoy them!