By Jen Harwell
February 06, 2015

Buying lunch at the ski lodge is never a bargain. Here are four hot lunches you can make the day before, plus tips for packing them up before you go.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Slow Cookier Chicken Tortilla Soup
Photo by CookinBug

The Night Before:

  1. Prepare the soup and let it cook overnight on low. Need something meatless? Make Black Bean Vegetable Soup instead. Don't add the tortillas or chips until right before you're ready to eat.
  2. Shortcut: If you don't want to prepare the corn tortillas, pick up a bag of corn tortilla chips.
  3. If you have time, bake a batch of these simple Cornbread Muffins I. Once they have cooled, place them in a resealable container or large ziplock bag.

Mini Meatball Subs

Mini Meatball Subs

The Night Before:

  1. Prepare the subs through step 3. Do NOT assemble them. Vegetarian? Chef John's Meatless Meatballs are a great meatless version.
  2. Split your dinner rolls in half so they're ready to fill. Put them back into the package to transport them.
  3. Put the shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses into resealable containers. They should remain refrigerated until it's consumed, so make sure you have your cooler ready.

Debdoozie's Blue Ribbon Chili

Debdoozie's Blue Ribbon Chili
Photo by cookin'mama

The Night Before:

  1. Prepare chili or Vegetarian Chili.
  2. If you have time, prepare the Cornbread Muffins I (above). Once the muffins have cooled, place them in a resealable container or large ziplock bag.

Lunch Box Hot Dogs

Lunch Box Hot Dogs
Photo by RunnerGirl

The Night Before:

  1. Split and pack the hot dog buns you plan to bring.
  2. Put shredded Cheddar cheese into a resealable container. The cheese should remain refrigerated until it's packed, so make sure you have your cooler ready.
  3. Pack single serving ketchup and mustard packets.

Thermos Tips

  • Calculate how many thermos bottles you'll need. If you're going to supply food for more than one person, bring bowls. Otherwise, many thermos bottles double as single serving containers. Just twist off the lid, and dig in!
  • Consider the type of food you're storing. Meatballs? Hot dogs? You'll need a wide-mouth and big thermos.

Right Before You Go

  1. Bring food to a gentle simmer.
  2. Temper (preheat) your thermos with boiling water. Add the water, close the lid, and let it stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Carefully pour your prepared food into the tempered thermos. Empty the thermos, and refill with your food or beverage.

Packing List:

  1. Bowls
  2. Spoons/sporks
  3. Napkins
  4. Thermos(es) with the hot food you've prepared
  5. Prepared tortilla strips (or prepackaged chips)
  6. Shredded cheese(s)
  7. Cornbread muffins/Hot Dog buns
  8. Something to drink! Be sure to fill up your reusable water bottles, or buy single serving beverages
  9. Insulated coolers for transporting cold foods and drinks

Need more recipes? Find a Soup, Stew, or Chili that strikes your fancy.