Want to make plant based lunch? These vegan lunch ideas are easy to make, store, and transport: perfect for desk lunches throughout the week!
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!
At the top of our vegan lunch ideas: kale quinoa salad! It's so easy to make and stays good in the refrigerator for days. It's full of nutrient-dense ingredients like Tuscan kale, chickpeas, bell peppers, carrots, and quinoa, and covered in a tangy dressing. The perfect healthy lunch!
Here's a sandwich that's a vegan version of that lunch standard. Instead of chicken salad...it's chickpea salad! This one is one of our most popular recipes, featuring a flavor-popping filling that's creamy and savory. Spread the bread with hummus before serving to add even more flavor! Or serve in a wrap or with crackers.
These vegan roll ups are perfect for lunch! They're easy to make and take only a few minutes. Chop up some veggies, spread a tortilla or wrap with hummus, and roll them up! They're easy to transport and fit perfectly in a lunch box.
This tofu scramble might sound like a breakfast food, but it's perfect for lunch! It takes only a few minutes to whip up, and saves well. With its savory flavor and texture, the tofu tastes just like scrambled eggs. Make it with a veggie saute, and you'll have a healthy and delicious lunch. (It saves for a few days in the refrigerator.)
Looking for healthy and easy lunch ideas? Here’s a genius idea for busy days or even a lightening fast weeknight dinner. This ultimate hummus sandwich! That’s right: hummus on a sandwich. You don’t have to reserve hummus just for carrots and pita triangles! It works as a sandwich spread that’s full of plant-based protein to keep you full for hours. Throw it on bread with all your favorite crunchy veggies and it’s a lunch or snack that couldn’t be easier to whip up.
Here's a tasty lunch sandwich idea: a vegan banh mi! The banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that's typically filled with meat or eggs and is topped with pickled vegetables. The vegan version uses ginger lime hummus as a filling instead! Topped with pickled carrots and cabbage, it's full of flavor and a unique lunch you'll look forward to all day.
This simple chickpea salad is a vegan lunch in 5 minutes! This plant based lunch is built around a a can of chickpeas. Throw them together with cucumber and red pepper, stir with olive oil and red wine vinegar, and you've got an incredible Mediterranean-style salad that tastes like it took all day. Serve with pita triangles or crackers.
Lentils are one of the healthiest foods on the planet, so why not incorporate more of them into your everyday? This vegan lunch recipe results in perfectly seasoned, tender lentils. Make them into a bowl meal: dollop with cashew cream or vegan sour cream, add sliced raw veggies and pita wedges.
This plant based lunch idea is tangy and delicious: a Latin-style black bean salad! This one mixes black beans with rice, bell peppers, green onions and rice. It’s a great healthy gluten-free and vegan lunch to make ahead. It can sit in the refrigerator for 4 or more days without losing flavor, so it’s great for making ahead and eating off of all week.
Make up a batch of vegan pasta salad and it's a perfect plant based lunch! This combo of Italian chopped salad and pasta features crunchy romaine, colorful veggies, salty Kalamata olives and capers, and zingy pepperoncini. It comes together in 30 minutes, perfect for make-ahead lunches.
Yes, refried beans can work as a meal! Make refried bean tacos: throw them into a tortilla and top with storebought salsa, defrosted frozen corn, and crunchy bell pepper strips. Or serve them over tortilla chips with guacamole as make-shift nachos! Also try our Refried Black Beans.
This marinated tofu is a perfect easy vegan and plant based lunch idea! It takes just a few minutes of hands on time to make the BEST tofu you've ever tasted. It's so savory and full of flavor, this will become a go-to recipe. Serve with soba noodles, which work great cold (drizzle them with a little soy and sesame oil).
Lastly: this creamy vegan broccoli soup is perfect for lunches! You'll need to reheat this one, but it's absolutely worth it if you have access to a microwave for desk lunches. It's creamy and savory, featuring lots of colorful veggies. The secret to the creaminess? Cashews, which also add protein to keep you full.
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
Optional add-ins: Chopped almonds or other nuts, chopped apples, chopped cucumber, vegan cheese, etc.
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.
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.
Mix the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, curry powder, and grated garlic.
Mix the salad: Mix the quinoa 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.
Keywords: Vegan Lunch Ideas
More resources for plant based eating
Here are a few of our top resources for eating plant based and vegan on the regular!