These Copycat Starbucks Bistro Boxes Are Here to Help You Embrace the Snunch

Welcome to Snapshot Cooking, the home of Kitchn’s easiest recipes. These mini recipes are so simple you can practically cook from the before-and-after snapshot itself.

Snack lunches, aka “snunches,” are one of our favorite ways to pack a lunch box for ourselves, our tweens, and our little ones, too. If you’re a fan of Starbucks’ bistro boxes — or other similar snack boxes from the store — these three “snunch” boxes are for you.

These snapshot recipes will tell you what to buy, how much you can expect to spend, and the best way to split up the prep (some happens during Sunday meal prep, and the rest while your coffee brews on a weekday morning).

3 Bistro Box-Inspired Snack Lunches

  • What to buy: The shopping lists below will set you up with enough ingredients to build 4 to 5 boxes of the same variety, with as little leftover ingredients as possible (at most, you’ll be left with one extra sandwich thin or a few extra apple slices). Because there’s some overlap between boxes, you’ll still be able to switch things up a bit even if you only shop for 1 or 2.
  • Weekend prep: Wherever possible, we pulled out any prep that can be done during your weekend meal prep session.
  • While your coffee brews: Five minutes of morning packing is required for most of these lunch boxes. This step will walk you through preparing just one lunch box for the day.
  • Complete nutrition: We had our resident Registered Dietitian, Sheela Prakash, review these snack boxes to ensure each one is nutritionally balanced, with enough protein and fiber to keeps you and your kids fueled and focused through the afternoon. They are lower in sugar and higher in fiber than store-bought snack boxes.

Kitchn Daily

A note on pricingOur costs were calculated based on grocery prices sourced from Instacart, so your local prices may vary. 

Fruit and Cheese Snack Box

  • Yield: 5 boxes 
  • Estimated cost: $29.60 or about $6 a box  

What to buy for Fruit and Cheese Snack Boxes

  • 5 ounces brie cheese 
  • 1 (6-count) package Babybel Gouda or 5 ounces Gouda
  • 1 (6-ounce) box whole-grain crackers, such as Triscuits  
  • 5 ounces dried cherries
  • 6 ounces roasted almonds
  • 3 large apples 

While your coffee brews: Slice 1 ounce of the Brie cheese into a petite wedge, and slice or cube 1 ounce of the Gouda (or unwrap the Babybel, if desired). Slice 1/2 an apple and store the remaining half for tomorrow’s lunch. Pack the cheese and apple slices, 6 crackers, 1/4 cup cherries, and 1/4 cup almonds into a lunch box.

PB&J Snack Box

  • Yield: 5 boxes 
  • Estimated cost: $20.40 or about $4 a box

What to buy for PB&J Snack Boxes

  • 1 small bottle ranch dressing 
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag baby carrots 
  • 3 Persian cucumbers 
  • 1 (6-count) package whole-wheat sandwich thins
  • 5 (1-ounce) packets peanut or almond butter, such as Justin’s 
  • 1 (5.5-ounce) jar fruit jam
  • 1 (6-pack) small raisin boxes
  • 1 (5-ounce) package part-skim mozzarella cheese sticks 

While the coffee brews: Portion 2 tablespoons ranch dressing into a lidded container. Portion about 1/2 cup of baby carrots and slice 1/2 cucumber. Make a classic PB&J: Split the sandwich thin in half, spread a package of nut butter on one half and 2 tablespoons jam on the other, sandwich the two halves, and slice in half. Pack everything together with 1 cheese stick and 1 box raisins into a lunch box.

Protein Snack Box

  • Yield: 5 boxes 
  • Estimated cost: $19.76 or about $4 a box

What to Buy for Protein Snack Boxes

  • Half-dozen carton large eggs
  • 3 medium apples
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese slices 
  • 1 pound red or green grapes
  • 6 whole-wheat pitas 
  • 5 (1-ounce) packets peanut or almond butter, such as Justin’s 

Weekend prep: Hard-boil and peel the eggs. Cover and store in the fridge. 

While the coffee brews: Slice 1 egg in half and cut 1 pita into 6 triangles. Slice 1/2 an apple and store the remaining half for tomorrow’s lunch. Portion 1 ounce cheese and 12 to 16 grapes. Pack everything together with 1 packet nut butter into a lunch box.

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