Disclosure: This blog post was commissioned by Capri-Sun. I was compensated for the cost of ingredients and for my time spent creating and photographing this lunch.
This fun autumn bento lunch idea was created for the Capri-Sun Fruit Crush #PackedLunchLove campaign. You can read all about the campaign and find my list of 10 simple lunchbox life 'hacks' by clicking here.
This autumn lunch box idea is another simple one, and takes just 10 minutes to make. It uses leftover pasta and meatballs - using leftovers is such a great way to make lunch quick and easy in the morning. With just a few minutes and a little imagination, you can turn even boring leftovers into something extra special!
10 Minute Autumn Lunch
- simple pasta salad (see recipe below)
- ½ carrot
- leftover cooked meatballs
- cheddar cheese
- 3 green grapes
- 3 large strawberries
- 1 Capri-Sun Fruit Crush pouch
Prep in advance: The night before, take any leftover pasta shapes and create a simple pasta salad (see recipe below).
In the morning: Spoon the pasta salad into a lunch box. I used the Yumbox Panino bento box for this lunch, but you could use any lunch box of your choice.
Take the carrot and create carrot leaves to decorate the pasta salad. To make the leaves, start by cutting the carrot into fairly thick rounds.
Use a mini circle cutter to cut each carrot slice into a leaf shape, as shown in the photo below. With the tip of a small paring knife, score a line down the centre of each carrot leaf. To get a deeper line, score a second line at an angle next to the first, and remove the resulting small strip of carrot. Score lines at an angle down each side of the carrot slice to create a simple leaf design. Repeat until you have a small pile of carrot leaves.
Scatter the leaves over the pasta salad to decorate it.
Add leaf bento picks to the meatballs and pop them into the lunch box.
Cut thick slices of cheddar cheese and shape them into flowers using a mini flower cutter. Pop them in the lunch box too.
Create fruit mushrooms using the grapes and strawberries. To make, take wooden cocktail sticks and using kitchen scissors, trim down by about a third.
Cut the tops off of the strawberries, and a flat piece off the top of each grape.
Thread each grape onto a cocktail stick, then top with an upside down strawberry, so that the flat piece of each fruit lies flush against each other, as per the photo below.
Pop the fruit 'mushrooms' into the lunch box, then pack in a lunch bag with a Capri Sun Fruit Crush pouch of your choice. Don't forget to pack a fork for the pasta salad too!
Simple Leftover Pasta Salad Recipe
- 120g leftover cooked pasta shapes (40g uncooked)
- ¼ red pepper
- 1 spring onion
- 2 tsp pesto
- 50g sweetcorn
Place the leftover pasta into a bowl. If making the pasta salad from scratch without any leftovers, cook the pasta according to packet instructions, then drain under cold running water to cool quickly.
Finely chop the red pepper and spring onion.
Add the pesto to the pasta and stir to evenly coat the pasta. Add the red pepper, spring onion and sweetcorn to the pasta and mix well. Cover the bowl and store in the fridge overnight or until ready to use. This pasta salad recipe is easily doubled and great for adult packed lunches too!
If you'd like to see the other four fun and easy lunches that I created for the Capri-Sun Fruit Crush #PackedLunchLove project, click here. You can also find out more about the project and my list of 10 lunchbox life 'hacks' by clicking here. For more information about Capri-Sun Fruit Crush, visit the Capri-Sun website.
Safety note: Knives should only be used by parents/guardians, or by supervised older children when safe. Take care to show children equipment and decorations pictured are non-edible.
Disclosure: This post contains some Amazon affiliate links; I may receive commission on items purchased through the links.
If you enjoyed this post and would like some more packed lunch inspiration, head over to the creative bento lunches section here on the Eats Amazing blog where you’ll find over 450 fun packed lunch ideas, enough to keep you going all the year around!
If you’re a Pinterest user, I’d love you to pin this post! You could also pop over and follow my lunch themed Pinterest boards for lots more fun and healthy lunch box ideas for kids; Kids Lunch Box Ideas & Packed Lunch Ideas.