Healthy hot food ideas
Try these healthy tasty hot food ideas. Many are suggestions from school canteens which have been popular with students and are easy to prepare.
- Corn on the cob: offer some toppings (e.g. sweet chilli sauce or a herby pesto).
- Warm roast vegetable salad: with a dollop of hummus.
- Pasta with tomato-based sauces: spiral or penne shaped pastas are easier to serve, and eat!
- Vegetable pasties: made with filo pastry (either homemade or purchased commercially).
- Falafel wraps: falafel mix can be purchased commercially and is quick and inexpensive to prepare. The healthiest way to make them is to bake them. Serve in a wrap with salad and sauce (e.g. tzatziki, yoghurt, garlic sauce or hummus).
- Oven-baked vegetable chunks or wedges: served with yoghurt or hummus dip – a great alternative to a tub of hot chips.
- Spinach and ricotta filo: make a bulk batch and freeze.
- Spinach and ricotta cannelloni: make a bulk batch and freeze.
- Toasties: half and whole sizes – see Hot Fillings section below for ideas.
Souvlaki: lean chicken, lean mince patties, sliced steak or lamb, served in pita bread with salad and sauce (e.g. tzatziki, yoghurt or garlic sauce)
- Skinless chicken drumsticks: drizzle with honey soy marinade or stir-fry sauce and bake in the oven.
- Lean meat and vegetable kebabs
- Warm chicken salad: mixed salad with grilled chicken or warm skinless BBQ chicken sliced across the top.
- Hot rolls or wraps: (e.g. roast beef and gravy with spinach).
- Fried rice: add plenty of diced vegetables – canned or frozen are okay to use for convenience.
- Burritos: Mexican-style lean mince, beans or chicken, cheese and salad wrapped in a soft burrito.
- Pizza: topped with plenty of vegetables (use English muffins or pita for easy individual size serves, or use regular bases).
- Pinwheels: scone dough rolled with filling (e.g. pizza topping or tomato chutney and cheese) then baked – serve hot or cold.
- Zucchini slice: a pastry-free quiche. Serve hot or cold. Make a bulk batch and freeze into serving sizes.
- Toasties: half and whole sizes. See Hot Fillings section below for ideas.
Baked beans and low fat cheese.
- Creamed corn, reduced fat grated cheese and diced lean ham.
- Chilli con carne (mince and kidney beans mixture).
- Lean mince bolognaise sauce (try a bolognaise made with mince, tomato, garlic, onion and carrot).
- Tuna (canned in spring water), reduced fat grated cheese, corn and diced capsicum.
- Tropicana: crushed pineapple, diced lean ham, low fat grated cheese mixed together with a little tomato paste.
- Finely diced or grated vegetables (capsicum, carrot, corn, celery, mushrooms) combined with a sauce such as low fat mayonnaise or salsa and reduced fat grated cheese.
- Leftover mince, casserole or stir-fry.
- Low fat ricotta cheese, honey and diced dried fruit.
- Banana and cinnamon.
- Banana, sultanas and coconut.
- Canned apple with cinnamon.
Great ways to use these fillings
- Toasted sandwiches (use grainy or wholemeal bread).
- Hot rolls and wraps.
- In filo parcels.
- As a topping for a roast spud.
- As a pasta sauce.
- As a pizza topping.
- In bread cases.
Important information for menu planning
- Where possible, choose reduced fat, reduced salt, and/or no added sugar varieties of products.
- When selecting commercially made food and drink products, remember to check their nutrition information panel against the ‘Nutrient criteria for “occasionally” foods’ table in the Healthy Canteen Kit - Food Planner.