Yum! 40+ Non-Sandwich School Lunch Ideas for Kids

image of a child's school lunch without sandwich

Non-sandwich school lunches?

We know, we know, sandwiches are the go-to lunch staple for many kids.

Who can blame them?

They’re easy, quick and can be made with a variety of different ingredients.

But sometimes kids can get bored of taking the same old sandwich lunches to school every day and they want to try something different.

The web is a great place to find a variety of creative ways to make kids’ lunches each day, so we’ve searched high and low and found some awesome no-sandwich school lunch ideas for kids.


From savory to sweet, there’s something here for every kid to try.

Non-Sandwich school lunch ideas for kids

Cheesy Pizza Crescent Rollups

Did someone say cheese? Yes, please! These pizza crescent roll-ups are sure to be a hit during lunchtime.

Corn dog muffins

Corn dogs are classic. Wrap them in a delicious muffin and you have a fun, bite-sized winning recipe for lunch. These would also pair well with a dipping sauce!

Easy turkey pinwheels

Via Project Meal Plan

Use the same ingredients as you would for a sandwich, but skip the bread. Roll the turkey (or any lunch meat) up with cheese and any other ingredients and have fun eating them!

Vegetable Muffins

Via Healthy Little Foodies

Hide their vegetables in these colorful muffins and send them off to school. They’ll love this healthy treat!

Homemade Spaghetti-O’s

Via Love Bakes Good Cakes

What kid doesn’t like muffins? Hide those veggies in the muffins before you bake them so everyone’s happy. You’re happy because the kids are getting their vegetables (whether they know it or not, and the kids are happy because they got to take yummy muffins for lunch.

Yep, you can make them yourself with much more wholesome ingredients than those from a can. Homemade spaghetti-O’s make a filling main dish and you can add crackers or muffins on the side to make it complete.

Pizza Bagel Bites

Via Strength and Sunshine

Ham, Carrot and Cheese Muffins

Notice a theme here? Homemade is way better than store bought and that’s definitely true for these pizza bagel rolls. You can make a batch of these ahead of time and keep them in the freezer. Just pull out a few and heat them when the kids want to take them for lunch.

Via Simplify, Create, Inspire

Another delicious stuffed muffin recipe. These muffins are filled with hardy ingredients that will keep kids full through the school day. Substitute any of the ingredients for others to make them extra special.

Pizza Dippers

Via Finding Zest

These are definite crowd-pleasers. Stick some pepperoni or meat of your choice on a stick with cheese and dunk “em in a bowl of dipping sauce.

Paleo Chicken Nuggets with Sweet Potato

Via Mom Foodie

These nuggets are a great alternative to traditional nuggets. They’re made with sweet potatoes and they’re paleo friendly.

Quick Chicken Pasta Salad

Via Mom Foodie

This pasta salad will work as a side dish or as a main dish because it’s made with chicken. It will fill up even the hungriest kid at lunch time!

Easy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Via Delicious Obsessions

Macaroni and cheese gets a healthy makeover by adding cauliflower. Get a vegetable, carb and dairy all in one dish.

Turkey and Cheese Kabobs

Via Eating on a Dime

Kids love anything on a stick. Fold a few pieces of turky (or ham, salami, etc.) and slide it on a skewer with cheese and any other vegetable for a great alternative to the sandwich.

Muffin Tin Sushi Cups

Via Rhian’s Recipes

These sushi cups can be made any way your imagination can think of. They’re the perfect size to fit in lunch boxes, too.

Healthy Pizza Pockets

Via Food Meanderings

Pizza pockets are the perfect portion size for a hungry kid. They can be made ahead of time and frozen so it’s easy to grab one go.

Bacon-wrapped Chicken Tenders

Via Low Carb Yum

Bacon and chicken tenders. Need I say more? This dish would make a good finger food for a school lunch.

Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bars

Via Served From Scratch

These bars are packed full of vegetables and nutrition. They’re really filling and most importantly, kid-approved.

Homemade Hummus Dip

Via Turning the Clock Back

Use crackers, chips, bread or anything you can think of to dip into this healthy hummus dip.

Ham and Cheese Biscuits

Via Beyond the Chicken Coop

Meat and cheese all wrapped up in a fluffy biscuit. Make a big batch of these and freeze them so you’ll always have some on hand for lunches.

Chicken Taco Bento Lunch

Via Mom Foodie

Keep lunchtime fun by letting the kids assemble their own taco salad with this fun bento-style taco lunch kit.

Barbecue Chicken Quesadillas

Via Eating on a Dime

Another fun dipping lunch. These quesadillas are made with chicken, but there are so many ways you can customize them. Use barbecue sauce or any other flavor to dip them and enjoy.

Baked Chicken Tenders

Via Culinary Ginger

Store-bought chicken tenders are okay, but there’s nothing like homemade chicken tenders. You’ll know what’s in ingredients and feel good about a healthy alternative to sandwiches.

Crunchy Apple Peanut Butter Wrap

Via Finding Zest

Wraps are my favorite way to avoid sandwiches for school lunches while still include something that is filling. These crunchy peanut butter apple wraps are delicious and super easy to make. Kids can also experiment with filling their wrap with all kinds of yummy ingredients.

Macaroni Egg Salad

Via Dancing Through the Rain

This dish includes eggs, macaroni and veggies so it’s the perfect replacement for a sandwich. It can be kept cold with an ice pack and will be ready to eat when lunchtime rolls around.

Watermelon and Feta Skewers

Via Happy Kitchen

Mmmm. Watermelon and feta skewers make a good side dish to compliment a hardy lunch. You can also use different combinations of fruit and cheese to tailor these skewers to your child’s liking.

Banana Strawberry Muffins

Via The Sunny Kitchen

Call it a dessert or a part of the main dish. Either way, these banana strawberry muffins won’t last long.

No-bake Date Bites

Via Pink Fortitude

Don’t forget about dessert! Keep it healthy with these date bites. They’re not only healthy, but they’re sweet and easy to make since they don’t need to be baked.

Fruit Salad

Via Me and My Inklings

Mix all of your child’s favorite fruit together for a quick snack or side in their lunch box.

Cucumber Sushi

Via Healthy Little Foodies

Cucumber sushi is a fun finger food that can be made with different vegetables. The good thing is kids can eat as many as they want because they’re a healthy lunch option.

Gluten-free Pizza Quesadilla Dippers

Via The Helpful GF

Whip up a batch of these pizza dippers and send them off to school with their favorite sauce to dip them in.

Tomato Soup

Via Recipes From a Pantry

No non-sandwich school lunch list is complete without soup. You’ll need a good quality lunch thermos. Make this delicious tomato soup and send the kids to school with it in a thermos to keep it warm all day.

Blackberry Ricotta Pizza

Via Cooking Journey Blog

Another dessert that healthy and tasty. A slice of blackberry fruit pizza a the perfect way to end a delicious and nutritious lunch. Use any fruit to customize a fruit pizza just the way your kids like it.

Captain America Savory Rice Cakes

Via Meraki Mother

Have a super hero fan in your house? These Captain America rice cakes are not only fun, but they replace a traditional sandwich while still filling up the hungriest super hero tummy.

Hidden Veggie Cream Cheese Bagels

Via The Inspiration Edit

You can send these veggie cream cheese bagels premade or to kick it up a notch, let your child decorate their own bagel on fun characters before they eat.

Banana Bread

Via Play, Party, Plan

Banana bread is a classic and a favorite among many kids (and adults!). Make a loaf of banana bread and the kids can take a slice each day for lunch (if it lasts that long!).

Vegan Potato Cakes with Carrot and Rice

Via Little Sunny Kitchen

There are so many ways to use potatoes in a lunch. I like that these are make with vegetables and rice to add to the hardiness of the dish.

Healthy Banana Muffins

Via My Gorgeous Recipes

Banana muffins can be used for a quick breakfast before school or tossed in a lunch box as a treat.

Turkey Roll-ups

Via Hungry Hobby

I love these turkey rollups are so quick to make. Running late? Just roll up a few slices of lunch meat and you’re good to go. Simple and filling.

Spanakopita Triangles

Via My Gorgeous Recipes

Packed with delicous, wholesome ingredients, these spanakopita triangles would be a great way to mix up the traditional school lunch and let the kids try something new.

Chewy No-bake Granola Bars

Via Happy Kitchen

These granola bars make good lunch items because they don’t need to be cooked and they’re quick to grab and go with. Make them like the recipe suggests or have fun by mixing in other ingredients and creating different homemade granola bars each week.

Turkey Cheese Apple Sandwiches

Via We’re Parents

Instead of using bread why not sandwich the meat and cheese between apple slices! Genius!

PB & J Pizza

Via Rockabye Parents

A fun twist on a classic. This peanut butter and jelly pizza is fun to make and tastes great, too!

Have your kids give these non-sandwich lunch options a try. They just might decide to kiss sandwiches goodbye for good!

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