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Want to make plant based lunch? These vegan lunch ideas are easy to make, store, and transport: perfect for desk lunches throughout the week!

Easy vegan lunch ideas
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Need lunch inspiration? Don’t we all. Once the week hits, it’s hard to have the time or energy to meal plan dinners: let alone lunches! And if you’re eating plant based, it can be hard to find creative ideas without meat or dairy.

To help with lunchtime, here are out top vegan lunch ideas! These colorful and healthy plant based recipes make lunch something to look forward to. There’s everything from our fan favorite chickpea salad sandwich to wraps to salads to pasta to soup. All of them stay well in the refrigerator and are easy to transport, which is a must for desk lunches. And most don’t even require reheating!

And now…our best plant based and vegan lunch ideas!

More plant based lunch ideas: without recipes!

Of course, you don’t need recipes to make vegan lunches! Here are some ideas of how you can get by on simple store-bought items in a pinch:

  • Hummus platter: Hummus, pita wedges, nuts, and raw veggies
  • Rice cakes & PB: Rice cakes, peanut butter, apple slices, celery sticks
  • Makeshift nachos: Drain and rinse black beans, mix in olive oil, kosher salt, and cumin. Throw them over tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole!
  • Avocado toast: Easiest ever! Smash avocado onto toast and top with salt. Serve with a handful of nuts and fresh fruit.
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Kale quinoa salad

Kale Quinoa Lunch Bowls

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


These kale quinoa lunch bowls are the perfect plant based or vegan lunch! They’re full of healthy, nutrient-dense ingredients like kale, quinoa, chickpeas, carrots and bell pepper.


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale 
  • 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallot (or red onion or green onion)
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small pinch curry powder*
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and grated
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Optional add-ins: Chopped almonds or other nuts, chopped apples, chopped cucumber, vegan cheese, etc.


  1. Make the quinoa: Go to Stovetop Quinoa or Instant Pot Quinoa. Make it in advance OR if serving immediately, bring the quinoa to room temperature: spread it in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze it for 2 to 3 minutes until it cools.
  2. Prep the kale: Chop the kale. Sprinkle the kale with 1 pinch kosher salt. Coat your hands with a few drops of olive oil and massage the kale leaves for 2 to 3 minutes until all pieces are tender.
  3. Prep the other veggies: Finely chop the onion or shallot. Dice the pepper. Peel and dice the carrots. 
  4. Mix the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, curry powder, and grated garlic. 
  5. Mix the salad: Mix the quinoa, chickpeas and vegetables together with the dressing and the ½ teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Add more kosher salt to taste. Stores up to 3 days refrigerated (you may need to add a pinch of salt before serving since it looses saltiness over time). 


* A small pinch adds complexity without the flavor of curry in the salad.

  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan
  • Diet: Vegan

More resources for plant based eating

Here are a few of our top resources for eating plant based and vegan on the regular!

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. David Benjamin boleen says:

    Doesn’t say when/ how to use garbanzo beans

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Updated: thank you!

  2. Thulani Duma says:

    Will love to have more knowledge about vegan food

  3. Esther Cruz says:

    Great Recipes!!!!!!!