Easy Lunch Prep Protein Boxes with Three Bridges Tortellini ~ these energy packed protein bistro boxes made with mini tortellini skewers will set you up for healthy lunches and snacking!
*Today I’m teaming up with Three Bridges™ ~ their line of fresh refrigerated pastas and sauces are made in small batches from premium, wholesome ingredients without preservatives, antibiotics, or hormones. The brand makes clean eating a little bit easier for all of us with simple, honest, and better-for-you products.
Lunch has never been my strong suit, and I struggle with mid-day hunger a lot. I mean, I get downright hangry, and that’s never a good thing. Once you’ve gotten all the way to hangry, you need to grab something. Fast. You can stick a spoon in a peanut butter jar, cut off a chunk of leftover Brie, or you can get smart and do some lunch prep!
That’s where Three Bridges comes in. Their line of fresh pastas has turned me into a lunch prep ninja. The base for my lunch (or snack!) boxes here is their Triple Cheese Tortellini. These plump little filled pastas are virtual protein bombs, with up to 14 grams per serving, and the real food ingredient list is a pleasure to read ~ you can offer it to your family with confidence.
TIP: Wonder whether a particular brand or product is healthy? Read the label. If the ingredients are whole foods that you can pronounce, it’s a pretty good indication that it’s good for you.
I like to make colorful little skewers for my lunch prep boxes. With back to school season in full swing, these are perfect for kids lunches! I take long toothpicks and alternate the tortellini with yummy tidbits like olives, cold cuts, cherry tomatoes, etc. Three or four of these skewers makes a satisfying and healthy lunch, and you can stack them up with whatever you like.
Did you know tortellini is also called
ombelico (or belly buttons) in Italy?
I add extras like crackers, baby carrots, grapes…whatever I have around. And then I’ll pack up little containers of dipping sauce for the skewers…I love Three Bridges Pesto Sauces, they make a classic Basil Pesto Sauce and also a delicious Kale Pesto Sauce, and they’re fresh, which makes all the difference.
TIP: If you’re making lunch boxes for kids to take to school, snip off the pointed end of your toothpicks or skewers after you’ve threaded them.
I’ve got lunch for the week ~ take that, hangry!
All kidding aside, mid-day snacking can really wreak havoc on a healthy diet. It’s probably the biggest issue I have with my own eating habits, and prepping lunch or protein boxes like this has really helped me out. Here’s what I packed into my boxes, to give you a starting point~
- cheese tortellini skewers
- dip like pesto, marinara, or hummus
- wheat crackers
- cold cuts
- cheese sticks
- cut veggies like carrots
- hard cooked eggs
- nuts like almonds or peanuts
TIP: Go ‘green’ and ditch your paper lunch bags, baggies, and napkins in favor of plastic or glass storage boxes and cloth napkins. My plaid cotton napkins are made from recycled men’s shirts!
Looking for other delicious ways to use your Three Bridges tortellini? I recommend my TORTELLINI SALAD, but there are lots of great recipes out there, like this Tortellini with Italian Sausage, or this Creamy Tortellini Soup ~ yum!
- 2 cups cooked Three Bridges Tortellini, any variety
- cherry tomatoes
- fresh mozzarella balls
- pitted olives, black or green
- small gherkin pickles
- cubes of cheese, any variety
- Three Bridges Pesto Sauce
- Three Bridges Marinara Sauce
- Three Bridges Alfredo Sauce
- deli meat
- sliced cheese
- cheese sticks
- carrot sticks
- snap peas
- Thread the tortellini onto toothpick skewers, alternately with the tomatoes, cheese, deli meats, pickles, and olives.
- Arrange in lunch boxes with a small container of one of the dipping sauces, and the add-ins of your choice. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Make it your own ~
- Skewered tortellini would make for a fun and easy weeknight dinner for the kiddos. Simply thread the cooked pasta onto skewers and serve with a warm bowl of Three Bridges Heirloom Marinara Sauce or their creamy Alfredo Sauce for dipping. No kid will be able to resist, guaranteed :)
- Serve these skewers as a colorful appetizer, and don’t forget the dipping sauces.