Dinner leftovers make a quick and easy packed Lunch

We're 6 days into the school year and so far our family lunch packing is going smoothly. How about yours? In our house, some of our favourite packed lunches are 'repurposed' dinner leftovers. Here's an example using tortellini.

I usually keep a couple of bags of fresh beef or cheese tortellini in the freezer for evenings we need dinner in hurry.

The tortellini takes about 6-8 min to cook. You can usually find it in the deli section of the grocery store near the fresh pasta sauces and cheese. For dinner, we have it with a marina sauce and salad. I cook extra tortellini, keep it plain and set it aside to be 'restyled' for packed lunches.

One way we 'restyle' the tortellini is to just toss it with some oil, salt, pepper, basil and grated Parmesan cheese.

After it's tossed together, I pack it in a lunch container with dip. The dip in the picture is leftover marina sauce. Other dips I've used are pesto sauce, oil and vinegar dressing and plain old mayo. To round out the lunch, I'll add a yogurt or cheese cubes, veggies and fruit and a muffin from the freezer. Voila, packed lunch in a snap.

If I have a bit more time, I make the tortellini into a pasta salad using some veggies and cheese. For this pasta salad I tossed the tortellini with feta, chopped olives, cucumbers and mushrooms. You could have your kids make their own salad by letting them add their favourite veggies. Canned tuna or salmon are tasty add-ins too.

Of course, you could also just toss all the cooked tortellini with the sauce you're have for dinner and set some aside for lunch. Heat it up in the morning and pack it in a thermos. Or, if you're kids are like mine, there's no need to heat it...they eat the tortellini and sauce cold (like leftover pizza). 

Share some of your packed lunch ideas, please!
Michele, RD