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
- 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 kids 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 or 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, 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 that you can pack ahead for a quick meal. Each one is packed with protein, veggies, whole grains and freeze dried fruit for a sweet treat.
For these tasty, make-ahead meals, I decided to use freeze dried fruit because I absolutely love their sweet flavor and crunchy texture. It’s the perfect, guilt-free addition to your meal since they have no added sugar and contain 100% real fruit. Plus, you never have to worry about the fruit spoiling or turning brown.
On average, a bag of freeze dried fruit contains about a half cup of fruit and just 40-60 calories and 0 SmartPoints! But with their crispy texture and sweet flavor, it feels like you are eating something more indulgent. Truth be told, I have replaced my daily post meal candy fix with a bag of these tasty snacks and am particularly obsessed with the mango and pineapple flavors. So good.
Bistro Box #1: Protein Box
- 2 boiled eggs
- 1 oz. sliced cheese
- Baby carrots
- Cucumber slices
- 2 tbsp. hummus
- 1 oz. whole grain crackers
- 1 bag freeze dried fruit (any flavor, but I usually reach for Apples, Bananas, or Cantaloupe)
Bistro Box #2: Asian Pasta Salad
- 1 cup Asian Pasta Salad
- 1/2 cup Edamame
- 4 oz. cooked chicken breast
- 1 bag freeze dried fruit (Pineapple, Asian Pear, Mango, or Tangerine pair really well with the salad)
Bistro Box #3: Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad
- 1/2 cup Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad
- Sliced veggies (carrots, cucumbers, red peppers)
- Whole grain pita or flatbread
- 1 bag freeze dried fruit (Adding some freeze dried apples or Asian pairs to the chicken salad is delish!)
Tips for Making Your Own Bistro Boxes At Home
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- When it comes to containers, I love this option from Amazon since it even has a built in compartment for silverware and is glass.
- 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.