Bento Lunch Box Dishes

You can have so much fun creating bento box lunches for yourself or for your little ones! 

Experiment with all of the different traditional Japanese recipes below and add your own adorable ideas. Make sure to use foods that are not liquidy or too soft. These will leak in the bento box and will not hold well! The idea is to keep the bento box varied, cute, and of course delicious! 

Check out these other traditional bento box ideas and these great tips for making your bento box successful

  • 01 of 07


    Yasuhide Fumoto/Photodisc/Getty Images 

    Tamagoyaki is a super popular bento food because it's so easy to whip together and tastes delicious on it's own or with rice. It can also be served at room temperature, which is ideal for a bento box lunch situation. 

  • 02 of 07

    Rice Balls


    The Spruce


    Onigiri is the Japanese names for these tasty bento box-friendly rice balls.  They are usually round or triangle shaped and either wrapped or accented with nori, which is dried seaweed. You can make other cute shapes like a panda, kitten, or bunny.  Use bits of the seaweed to create the eyes, nose, etc. 

  • 03 of 07


    A plate of Inarizushi
    DigiPub / Getty Images

    Inarizushi is also called brown bag sushi. It's made by packing Sushi rice in seasoned aburaage (fried tofu) pouches. Inarizushi is super easy to eat and is virtually mess-free so it's perfect for a bento box. It's another item that can be served warm or cold. The tofu is often dyed different colors for a fun take on the food. 

  • 04 of 07

    Teriyaki Chicken

    Teriyaki Chicken. Whitewish/E+/Getty Images

    Chicken teriyaki is a classic bento box item. A delicous sweet and salty sauce coats the chicken and makes it irresistible!  It's super delicious served hot or cold.  It's easy to make in a pinch but it can also be made for dinner and the leftovers can be used in the next day's bento! 

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07


    Asiansupper / Flickr / CC By 2.0

    Shogayaki is basically pork slices that are marinated in ginger-flavored sauce and stir-fried. It's similar to chicken teriyaki in that it can be served hot or cold and can easily be made ahead of time. 

  • 06 of 07

    Apple Rabbits

    Apple Rabbits
    Apple Rabbits. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Fruit shaped into adorable rabbits, what could be cuter? Both adults and children alike will love these little apple rabbits.  Everyone will happily eat their fruit when they are this cute! 

    You can try shaping other fruits and vegetables into cute shapes, like making flowers out of carrots with a cookie cutter or shaping strawberries into little hearts.  It's all about making lunch fun and appetizing! 

  • 07 of 07

    Kinpira Gobo

    Braised gobo (burdock root) is a traditional side dish which goes with plain steamed rice. It can be served on top of the rice or on the side.  It also tastes delicious served with meats and can be served cold.