Now you can easily make your own homemade bistro boxes! Healthy, nutritious and prepped for lunch or any quick meal or snack. So much more affordable than buying them.
Bistro boxes are quickly becoming a favorite for lunches and meals on the go. But they are expensive! Instead, start making your own copycat Bistro boxes at home. They are healthy, delicious, and affordable.
I don’t know about you, but I love a good bistro box. Not only are they convenient, but there are some pretty healthy options out there that are packed with protein, fruit, and veggies.
The only problem? Shelling out almost $7 for a hard-boiled egg, peanut butter, grapes, and some cheese feels a little excessive, plus it can get boring pretty quickly.
Recently I went to dinner with a few girlfriends and we were talking about lunches. One of our friends admitted that she has been buying a Bistro Box every day at Starbucks for both breakfast and lunch for over a month. That's $70 a week not including the coffee.
Needless to say, we were all shocked and we proceeded to brainstorm ways she could make these at home. We came up with tons of ideas, but today I am sharing three of my favorites.
However before we dig into specific ideas, I wanted to share the overall strategy for a good DIY Bistro Box.
How to Make a Bistro Box at Home
It couldn't be easier to make your own snack and meal prep boxes at home. Just follow these simple steps.
- Container: Whether or not we want to admit it, the container is part of the appeal. Personally, I love these glass three comparement containers, but any divided container will work. There are tons of options out there and kid's lunch boxes are a great place to start. If you are having trouble finding one, you can also try searching for bento boxes.
- Protein: Next you want to think about the protein for your bento box. Some popular choices include boiled eggs, sliced chicken, cheese, deli meat, nuts, Greek yogurt, canned tuna, or hummus.
- Whole grains: Next you want to think about adding fiber and whole grains. Some easy options include pita bread, high-fiber muffins, beans, whole grain bread, cooked grains, whole grain crackers, tortillas, or even popcorn.
- Fruits and veggies: Usually I try to include one serving of vegetables and one serving of fruit. Since you will be packing these in advance, think of options that stay fresh like baby carrots, sliced bell peppers, raw broccoli or cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, grapes, mandarin oranges, or berries.
- Make it fun: Lastly, think about how you can include something that will make you excited about lunch. Maybe it's your favorite nut butter, a piece of chocolate, olives, or really anything to kick up the flavor and add a fun element.
That’s why today, I am excited to bring you three delicious and healthy Bistro Boxes you can pack for a quick meal. Each is packed with protein, veggies, whole grains, and fruit for a sweet treat.
Bistro Box #1: Copycat Starbucks Protein Box
The classic bistro box is made at home for a fraction of the price.
- 2 tbsp hummus
- 6-8 cubes of cheddar cheese cubes (4-6 cubes)
- 2 ounces deli turkey
- 1/4 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cups sugar snap peas
- 1/2 cup grapes
- 1 hardboiled egg
Bistro Box #2: Mediterranean Bistro Box
We love anything with olives and mozzarella cheese.
- 1/4 cup hummus (or tzatziki)
- 1/2 cup carrots
- 1/2 cup red pepper, sliced
- 1/2 cup cucumber, sliced
- 1/4 cup olives
- 2 oz fresh mozzarella balls (plain or marinated)
- Fruit of choice
- Optional extras: pretzels, pita bread, crackers, or pita chips
Bistro Box #3: Chicken Salad Bistro Box
Chicken and tuna salad are perfect for homemade meal prep boxes!
- 1/2 cup chicken salad of your choice
- Sliced veggies (carrots, cucumbers, red peppers)
- Whole grain pita or flatbread
- Fruit of your choice
Tips for Making Your Own Bistro Boxes At Home
Make sure to follow these tips!
- Well balanced: Make sure your bistro box contains protein, whole grains, fiber, veggies, and fruit. This way you know you are getting a nutritious, balanced meal packed with vitamins and minerals that will keep you full.
- Pack in advance: For quick weekday meals, pack the majority of your bistro box on the weekend. Then add anything that doesn’t keep well in the fridge that day. Things like crackers will get soft if packed ahead of time.
- Pack dressings and dips separately: Depending on your storage containers, pack dressings and dips in separate containers to keep things from getting soggy. If you don’t want to use another container, consider using cupcake/muffin liners.
- Best containers: When it comes to containers, I love this option from Amazon since it even has a built-in compartment for silverware
- Repurpose leftovers: Leftovers can easily become a delicious bistro box. Things like grilled or roasted meats, veggies, pasta, and rice can quickly become a delicious, make-ahead lunch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about making homemade meal prep bistro boxes.
Bistro boxes should be well-balanced and have a combination of whole grains, protein, and fruits/veggies. Some of our favorite things to include are:
- Hummus, yogurt dip, salsa, or dressing
- Pita bread or tortillas
- Pretzels, crackers, and pita chips
- Cheese cubes or mozzarella balls
- Fresh raw vegetables (celery, carrots, cucumbers, mini bell peppers, sugar snap peas)
- Fresh fruit (grapes, berries, apples, stone fruit)
- Deli meat
- Leftover or rotisserie chicken
- Boiled eggs
- Peanut butter or almond butter
It all depends on what is served inside the bistro box. Most are marketed as health but be careful of boxes that contain multiple high-fat or high sugar ingredients. They should include fruits or veggies along with lean proteins and whole grains when possible.