Ana Quincoces back to school lunches.

5 School Lunch Ideas from Ana Quincoces

Below, Ana Quincoces, the famed (and busy!) cookbook author, chef and TV star shares her family’s tried-and-true school lunch recipes, full of Latin culture and flavor.

When my girls were growing up, packing a school lunch was always one of the motherly acts of love I treasured. Granted, some days all I could muster was a PB & J (crusts removed, of course), but I always tried to add something special for them — a little note, funny drawing or small treat.

Even though my daughters are all grown up now, they still remember those school lunches with such fondness. You never know what may develop into a great childhood memory, but, if your kids are anything like mine, it will involve food.

Create special lunchtime memories of your own with these fun and easy school lunch ideas for your kids! These recipes are the ultimate brown bag upgrade, especially when packed in chic Target lunch boxes.

Buen Provecho!
Ana Quincoces

BBQ Chicken and Black Bean Tostadas & Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter and Dried Fruit

What You’ll Need:
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
2 tbsp. Market Pantry BBQ sauce
1/4 cup Market Pantry shredded cheese
2 tbsp. Market Pantry ranch dressing
1/2 avocado
1/2 canned Market Pantry black beans drained
4 medium corn tostadas
Lemon juice (to drizzle)

What You’ll Do:
1. Combine the chicken with the BBQ sauce and place in one side of the container.

2. Drain the black beans and place in another side of the container.

3. Cut and dice the avocado and place in the third side of the container. Avocado Tip: Squeeze a little lemon juice over diced avocado before placing in a small plastic re-sealable container to keep its vibrant green color.

4. Place corn tostadas in one plastic bag and shredded cheese in another plastic bag.

5. When ready to serve, place corn tostadas on a flat surface and add 1 1/2 tbsp. of the chicken mixture and 1 1/2 tbsp. of the bean mixture. Add as much or as little avocado as desired.

6. Top with shredded cheese and roll up. Drizzle ranch. Repeat with the remaining tostadas.

What You’ll Need:
2 lightly salted or plain rice cakes
2 tbsp. Market Pantry peanut butter
2 tsp. Archer Farms dried cranberries
2 tsp. Archer Farms shredded coconut

What You’ll Do:
1. Spread each rice cake with one tbsp. peanut butter.

2. Top each rice cake with 1 tsp. shredded coconut followed by 1 tsp. dried cherries.

Deconstructed Pasta Salad with Italian Vinaigrette & No Bake Granola Bars

What You’ll Need:
1 cup cooked bow tie or corkscrew Market Pantry pasta
2 tbsp. prepared Market Pantry Italian dressing
1/4 cup cherry or grape tomatoes cut in quarters
1/4 diced summer sausage
1/4 Market Pantry shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp. chopped yellow peppers

What You’ll Do:
1. Arrange the pasta, tomatoes, cheese, sausage and yellow pepper in a sectional plastic container.

2. Put each ingredient in its own compartment.

3. Place dressing in a small container.

4. Have your child mix the ingredients and dressing, adding as much or as little of each as they like.

What You’ll Need:
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
2 cups crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup Market Pantry raisins
1/2 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup Market Pantry almonds, sliced
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup Market Pantry brown sugar
3/4 cup almond butter

What You’ll Do:
1. Spray 9 x 13 inch sheet pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.

2. Mix rolled oats, cereal, raisins, coconut and almonds in a large bowl. Set aside.

3. In a saucepan, mix corn syrup and brown sugar.

4. Bring to a boil while stirring. Add almond butter and stir to blend well. Pour over oats and fruit mixture and mix well.

5. Press mixture firmly onto pan. Let cool and cut into bars.

Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips

What You’ll Need:
Whole wheat pita
1/4 cup Market Pantry melted butter
Market Pantry sugar
Market Pantry cinnamon
Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread

What You’ll Do:
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cut the pitas in half and carefully separate the two sides.

3. Melt the butter.

4. Brush one side of each pita piece with melted butter.

5. Generously sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the pita.

6. Cut the pita into small chip sized pieces.

7. Bake in a preheated oven for 6-8 minutes.

Hungry for more? Need an after school snack?
Try some of our favorite on-the-go snacks from Target’s Made to Matter collection.

1. Ella’s Kitchen Organic Pureed Baby Food Pouch; 2. Plum Organics Super Smoothie ; 3. Annie’s Homegrown Baked Cheddar Bunnies; 4. Kashi TLC Dark Chocolate Coconut Fruit & Grain Bars ; 5. Horizon Organic Shapes Cheddar Cheese; 6. Simply Balanced Organic Fruit & Nut Mix

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