Is it any wonder why we are crazy for canning jars? They are cheap, easy to find and leak-proof. They can be frozen, microwaved (minus the lids, of course) and even baked in the oven. And they make great containers for lunches prepared in bulk, individually portioned, and stored in the refrigerator or freezer, so it's easy to grab a wholesome, homemade meal on even the busiest afternoon.
• Salad: It's easy to get more vegetables into your day when they are prepped in bulk on the weekend and waiting for you in the refrigerator. Be sure to check out yesterday's guide to assembling the perfect salad in a jar.
• Soup: Make a big batch of soup and portion it into canning jars, which can be refrigerated for several days of lunches or frozen for several months. Added bonus: no leaking in your lunch bag!
• Chili and Cornbread: Pack chili into jars, top it with cornbread batter, bake until the bread is golden-brown, and you have warm, comforting lunches that can be refrigerated or frozen. This idea can also be adapted with any type of stew and starch combination. Try it with our Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuit Topping or vegan Lentil, Mushroom and Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie.
• Vegetables and Hummus: Partially fill widemouth jars with hummus or other hearty dip and store sliced vegetables right on top and ready to grab for lunch or snacks.
• Crustless Quiche: We love this idea, which comes from the blog Krista and Jess. You can use half-pint widemouth jars in place of ramekins for all kinds of recipes, including individual crustless quiches.
→ Get the recipe: Crustless Quiche in a Jar 3 Ways at Krista and Jess
Do you have any other ideas for make-ahead lunches to pack in jars?
Related: 20 Satisfying, Wholesome Lunches You Can Make the Night Before
(Image: Kathy of Healthy. Happy. Life; Faith Durand; Giver's Log; Sarah Rae Trover; Krista and Jess)