"School Lunch Across the USA” Regional Recipes

School-made recipes are as diverse as the United States! Check out some of these recipes, submitted by SNA members from across the country. They all use true American flavors that can be found everywhere from Cleveland to the Carolinas.

All menus, menu names and recipes are suggestions for your consideration. School nutrition professionals are encouraged to choose menus that fit best with the needs of your staff and students, as well as your own food safety plan and nutrition requirements. SNA has not tested these recipes in a kitchen.


Sweet Southern Homemade BBQ

1-Sweet-Southern-Homemade-BBQ-cropped.jpgThis BBQ Chicken sandwich comes from Henrico County Public Schools in Virginia. It’s served on a whole-grain bun and goes great with coleslaw and baked beans. Serve this southern staple during NSLW! View recipe here 

Southern Sweet & Smokey Rice Bowl

1-Sweet-Southern-Homemade-BBQ-cropped.jpgThis recipe, courtesy of McCormick for Chefs, uses whole grain rice, veggies and beans. Serve it during NSLW and add flavorful fun to your menu! View recipe here 

Tampa's Own Cuban Chicken & Yellow Rice

3-Tampas-Own-Cuban-Chicken-cropped.jpgThe Tampa Bay, Florida area has a rich Cuban culture and background. This recipe reflects the Cuban heritage of the student population. Recipe courtesy of Hillsborough County (Fla.) Public Schools. View recipe here

Black Eyed Pea Salad (Southern Caviar)

5-Black-Eyed-Pea-Salad-cropped.jpgA staple in the Southern diet for over 300 years, black-eyed peas have long been associated with good luck. This recipe comes from Forsyth County Schools in Georgia. View recipe here

Sweet Southern Carrot Soufflé

carrotsouffle.jpgStudents love this recipe from Forsyth County Schools in Georgia. It’s a great way to get kids to eat carrots! View recipe here


Minnesota Sloppy Joes

2-Minnesota-Sloppy-Joes-cropped.jpgLoose meat sandwiches like Sloppy Joes are a staple in the Midwest! This classic version, from Anoka Hennepin School District in Minnesota, is served on a whole-grain bun with a mix of spices and seasonings. View recipe here 

Classic Cincinnati 3-Way Chili

4-Classic-Cincinnati-Chili-cropped.jpgThis recipe is a tradition in Cincinnati, made with a special secret blend of spices and flavors. It’s one of the most popular menu items for Cincinnati Public Schools in Ohio. View recipe here

Midwestern Turkey & Noodles

7-Midwestern-Turkey-and-Noodles-cropped.jpgThis yummy dish is a favorite among students in Decatur Township, Indiana. Students love the recipe and it embodies the comfort-food style of cooking that’s popular in the Midwest. View recipe here

Wisconsin Cranberry Sauce

9-Wisconsin-Cranberry-Sauce-cropped.jpgThis local cranberry sauce was submitted by St. Paul Public Schools in Minnesota. It uses fresh local cranberries from Wisconsin. View recipe here

Thai Sweet & Sour Chicken

12-Thai-Sweet-and-Sour-Chicken-cropped.jpgSt. Paul Public Schools in Minnesota has a high population of Asian-American students, so they developed this recipe to appeal to students. It’s peanut free and still captures many of the popular flavors of Thai cuisine. View recipe here



Chicken-Fajita.jpgServe this southwestern staple to spice up your NSLW menu. Recipe courtesy of McCormick for Chefs. View recipe here

Southwestern Turkey Rice Bowl

Southwestern Turkey.jpgServe this flavorful, southwest-style rice bowl during NSLW. The recipe, from McCormick for Chefs, uses whole grain rice, veggies and beans. View recipe here

Oklahoma-Style Indian Tacos

6-Oklahoma-Style-Indian-Tacos-cropped.jpgIndian Tacos (sometimes times called Navajo Tacos) are extremely popular in Oklahoma. The recipe comes from the Shawnee (Okla.) School District, which represents more than 54 Native American tribes! View recipe here

Southwest Panini

This Panini recipe, from Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia, uses ingredients like peppers and onions to give it a southwestern kick. View recipe here

Southwest-Style Black Bean & Corn Salad

11-Southwest-Style-Black-Bean-Salad-cropped.jpgThis bean salad is loaded with healthy ingredients like corn, beans, and peppers. Courtesy of Provo City Schools in Utah. View recipe here


Hawaiian Chicken & Pineapple Rice Bowl

Hawaiian.jpgSay ‘aloha’ to brown rice, veggies, and fruit – this flavorful recipe, courtesy of McCormick for Chefs, mixes savory and sweet flavors. View recipe here

Italian Baked Fish

fishSeattle is known for delicious fresh seafood. Check out this recipe for Italian-style Pollock, served with a special sauce! View recipe here

Asian Stir Fry Rice Bowl

fishCelebrate the Asian influences on American cusine with this whole grain rice bowl recipe, courtesy of McCormick for Chefs. View recipe here