No matter if it is for back-to-school, or going to work, daily gluten-free lunch ideas can be difficult to come up with. Today, we are sharing our gluten-free lunch ideas, and a gluten-free Charcuterie lunch box recipe to help.
Most items on this list need to be kept cold and this can be achieved with a cool bag, insulated lunch box, ice packs, or if you have access to a fridge. So, keep this in mind when you are making your choices.
Gluten-Free Lunch Ideas
Make sure any deli meats you use are gluten-free. Some do contain gluten, and you want all the elements of the sandwich to be safe to enjoy.
How to make good gluten-free sandwiches?
Always toast your bread. Even if the lunch will be served cold, the bread should always be toasted. Know that gluten-free grilled cheese sandwiches are good cold because they are grilled.
To compensate for the issues with bread, you should try to add as much flavour as possible to the sandwich. This means putting a flavoured sauce or condiment- check out the ultimate gluten-free condiment list for ideas of safe BBQ sauces, mustards, mayonnaise etc…
Think outside of deli meats- leftovers can make great sandwiches, like a meatloaf sandwich or a chicken cutlet sandwich. These leftovers make delicious sandwiches, that are great served cold.
You can even turn leftover BBQ chicken into a delicious gluten-free chicken salad.
Gluten-Free Pulled Pork With Onion And Apple Jam- would make a delicious sandwich.
You can make extra portions at dinner, and simply use them for lunches. When using leftovers, it really gives you extra bang for your buck. This is also time efficient, as you’re getting two meals in the time it takes to make one. These options are great served cold or can be heated- if you have access to a microwave.
The best gluten-free stuffed boneless skinless chicken thighs: These chicken thighs are so good when eaten cold. They are great served with a side of canned cranberries or a favourite sauce.
Gluten-Free Stuffed Meatloaf with Mushroom, Spinach, and Cheddar Cheese: Slice them thin in a sandwich, or cut them into pieces, and store in a Tupperware, as it is very much a delicious meal on its own.
The best gluten-free chicken cutlet: These are great cut up on their own, or made into a sandwich. Another option is to top the cutlet with tomato sauce and cheese and melt it under a broiler or in the air fryer, to make Chicken Parmigiana; which can be delicious cold, hot, or in a sandwich.
Gluten-free bacon-wrapped mini meatloaves: These mini cheese-filled mini meatloaves are delicious whether you slice them in a sandwich, or serve them on their own. What makes this easy for lunches, is that it is already portioned, and you can decide on how many are needed for lunch. These mini meatloaves are perfect, for little kids!
Pizza: Good gluten-free pizza can be hard to find. Making pizza from scratch is not difficult, especially with our pizza dough recipe. You can make pizza in so many exciting ways, one is our gluten-free spinach stuffed pepperoni pizza recipe. Pizza is just as good served hot or cold.
For those with a sophisticated palate, or for an adventurous child, lunch salads are a fantastic idea.
Vegan Protein-Packed Gluten-Free Quinoa and Parsley Salad with Added Chick Peas: This salad is a hybrid of a Tabbouleh, but we’ve added a whole lot more veggies, and added protein from both the quinoa and the chickpeas. This is a very satisfying lunch.
Vegan gluten-free wild rice salad: This is a very filling lunch, as the vegetables and wild rice are delicious and served at room temperature.
To find safe and delicious gluten-free ideas for snacks, you’ll want to check out our gluten-free snack on-the-go ideas.
Gluten-Free Charcuterie Lunch Box recipe
What is needed to make a gluten-free Charcuterie lunch box?
Think of this as a fantasy version, or a high-quality Lunchable.
A lunch box:
I used a container and some cupcake liners to keep everything separate and toothpicks. However, a bento-style lunch box, with reusable silicone cupcake liners, and food-picks are more sustainable options.
A variety of meats and cheeses can be cut up, and retain their shape. You can also use individually wrapped cheeses if you like.
- Crackers: it is easier to use mini breadsticks or other long crackers.
- Vegetable or fruit: for a fresh element. Dried fruit can also be a great addition.
- A sweet element: like chocolate or candy- you can check out our ultimate guide to gluten-free candy and ultimate guide to gluten-free chocolate for a safe sweet treat. Candied nuts can be a great addition too.
- Nuts: Any variety of nuts, as they can add crunch – obviously you need to know if the school allows nuts to be brought in.
Any gluten-free Charcuterie lunch box should be well-balanced like a Charcuterie board. You can read our gluten-free Charcuterie board post, for more delicious ideas of what to add to the cup.
How I arranged my gluten-free Charcuterie cups:
- Candied nuts- I used our recipe for the best homemade gluten-free candied pecans and almonds
- Le Veneziane Gluten Free Mini Grissini – Rosemary
- Provolone cheese cut into cubes
- Cherry tomatoes
- Hot salami, sliced
- Sweet Capicola, cubed
- Prosciutto Cotto, cubed
- Organic Kalamata olives
- Hard-boiled egg cut in half, and seasoned with salt and pepper
- Clementine orange- I peeled mine.
- Rosemary for garnish (optional)
- Toothpicks and wooden skewers
- Prepare the candied nuts- if using them.
- Cube cheese.
- Wash and dry the cherry tomatoes.
- Cube and slice the meats, as needed.
- Dry the olives on a paper towel. This is so the juices don’t drip on anything else.
- On one of the toothpicks, thread the slices of salami to form a curl pattern.
- Place cubes of sweet capicola on one toothpick and prosciutto cotto cubes on another.
Tip: You can use other meats like: bologna, turkey, chicken, ham, or whatever you like. I recommend using one spicy meat for a contrast of flavours. However, you should take into account the preferences of whoever you are making lunch for.
- On a toothpick, alternate the cubes of the provolone cheese and cherry tomatoes
- Using a larger wooden skewer make the second stick of tomatoes and cheese
Tip: you can use mini bocconcini cheese if you like, and even weave fresh basil leaves between them.
- Skewer the dry olives on the toothpick.
- Hard boil the egg
- Peel the egg and cut it in half, and season with salt and pepper
- Wash peel your clementine orange (optional)
- Assembling the gluten-free Charcuterie cups
- I used a reusable metal container with a plastic lid.
- Place the candied nuts in a paper cupcake liner so that they do not touch anything else.
- Pile the Gluten Free Mini Grissini – Rosemary- crackers in a corner.
- Arranged the skewers into the container
- I placed a few sprigs of Rosemary in for colour and aroma.
- Add in the peeled orange
- Place the hard-boiled egg in the container.
- I recommend making extra skewers and not placing them in the cups – this way there are more in case you might need them. You can use the extra skewers for snacks or lunches the next day, or later in the week.
What are your favourite gluten-free lunch ideas?
Is there something you would love to see us try?
Leave a comment below and let us know.
By sharing our ideas, we can all work towards living our best gluten-free lives. Also, don’t forget to tag us in your photos, if you try any of these gluten-free lunch ideas.