Lunch is probably the toughest meal to get right when following a plant-based lifestyle. Vegan options are certainly more available in the big cities, but that obviously doesn’t suit everyone, so what’s the answer?
Well, the best way to ensure you are getting what you want and nothing else is to make your own before you head out, and these vegan lunch recipes are the perfect place to start.
I’ve put together some of my favorite vegan lunch box ideas in one handy list so you’ll always have a simple recipe to whip up whenever you need one.
Let’s jump straight in with the first of many!
Caribbean Rainbow Salad
Salads often get a bad rap as being boring or flavorless. Well, Alexa Peduzzi over at Fooduzzi Blog has a Caribbean Rainbow Salad recipe that’s anything but dull and is certain to dispel that myth.
Inspired by a dish served at the fabulous Kaya in Pittsburg, this bright and inviting salad uses ingredients like garlic chips, hearts of palm, mango, and avocado to bring both color and texture. With loads of veggies, protein, fruits, and herbs, it’s as healthy as it is flavorful and satisfying.
Amanda at My Goodness Kitchen has an extraordinary recipe index of simple twists on traditional cultural dishes, and I just love her tagline, “Vegan food. Tested on Carnivores.”
Her Sabich Sandwich recipe is veganized, but still keeps all the flair of the traditional Israeli sandwich. Instead of eggs, for example, Amanda uses white beans, which make an ideal substitute.
Pita bread (perfectly lined in a panini press), hummus (here are some hummus storage tips to make yours last longer), eggplant, and tahini sauce keep the dish true to its roots. And, by dish… I mean DISH.
This is not a snack sandwich, people. I’m talking extra napkins and loosening of clothes here. Come hungry!
Thai Tempeh Buddha Bowl
Another common misconception about eating vegan is that you’ll always be left hungry and unsatisfied. Well, Fit Mitten Kitchen has a recipe that will fill even the biggest Buddha belly – Ashley’s Thai Tempeh Buddha Bowl.
With 20 grams of plant protein and 16 grams of fiber, this beautiful bowl of veggies and freekeh with a cashew curry sauce packs one heck of a punch, both in taste and nutrition.
Everyone needs this recipe, vegan or not! Go check it out.
Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich
How about a 10-minute sandwich recipe that’s creamy, a little spicy, and a tad tangy? Sounds good, right? Luckily for you (and me) Traci over at Vanilla and Bean has a Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich recipe that’ll make you forget all about chicken salad for good, and that’s just the beginning!
Vanilla and Bean provides numerous realistic recipes for vegans trying to phase out processed plant-based foods, switching them for whole food recipes instead.
This is a process that even seasoned vegans can find difficult, so sites like Traci’s are always welcome and well worth saving. Bookmark now!
Autumn Arugula Salad With Caramelized Squash And Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette
Jessica Merchant, author of “The Pretty Dish,” has provided a must-have recipe for the holidays.
Her How Sweet Eats site isn’t a vegan blog, but many of her recipes are plant-based and delicious – like her Autumn Arugula Salad with Caramelized Squash and Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette. This dish is almost…almost…too pretty to eat!
While pomegranates are cheaper in fall, the colorful salad makes a refreshing summer dish, too. Check out the full recipe at How Sweet Eats.
Vegan Olive And Artichoke Tart
Green Evi is one of my favorite blogs to find comfort vegan foods.
Evi’s Vegan Olive And Artichoke Tart ticks all the boxes associated with a traditional egg-based quiche, but it’s a total plant-based delight that even non-vegans will fall for, which makes it perfect for families and occasions where people of mixed diets are dining together.
The green peas, cannellini beans, and cashews make for a creamy, fluffy filling that’s rich and satisfying, while the kalamata olives give the dish that perfect hint of saltiness.
This vegan lunch recipe is a keeper. Go get it here.
Super Clean Broccoli Salad With Creamy Almond Dressing
Broccoli salad is a favorite in my house. From family meal time to picnics, it always goes down a treat. The problem? Well, for vegans, it’s the dressing. Finding a delicious plant-based dressing to go with a good broccoli salad isn’t easy.
Thankfully, Lindsay over at Pinch Of Yum has the perfect solution with her Super Clean Broccoli Salad With Creamy Almond Dressing. This is one of those vegan lunch recipes that really hits the spot.
As you may have gathered from the preamble, it’s the dressing that sets this recipe apart. It starts with almond butter and miso and ends with tangy orange juice that zings and sparkles on the palate.
Another bonus of having a dairy-free dressing is the fact that it’s easy to take on outings without refrigeration. Win!
Vegan Wraps With Carrot Noodles, Pepper Tofu And Guacamole
Vegan wraps are super simple to prepare and fabulous for low-mess, on-the-go lunches. Some, however, can be a little uninspiring, to say the least…but not this one!
Sandra, from vegansandra.com, has a recipe that keeps the convenience associated with all wraps, but these beauties also add a wonderfully stylish presentation twist in the form of some spiralized carrot noodles made with a veggie pasta maker. What a great idea!
Not only do they look absolutely stunning, the noodle style of carrot cut gives the veggie an altogether different texture that I just adore. Oh, and did I mention there’s guacamole?!
Super simple meets beautiful presentation. Bravo.
Raw Vegan Noodles Salad
No cooking. Affordable. Vegan. Now, that sounds like a winning combination.
This Raw Vegan Noodles Salad, which can be found over at the ever-brilliant The Stingy Vegan, turns a few veggies into a salad that’ll be the talk of the table with just the help of a spiralizer. Oh, and there’s yet another vegan myth dispelled, here: being vegan is expensive. It’s really not.
I love the fact that this recipe helps me pair pantry staples with whatever vegetables are fresh and available. The possibilities are endless, and it’s such a convenient recipe for small gardeners like myself. Go check it out now!
Lands & Flavors goes above and beyond by providing us with six recipes for Vegan Onigiri.
These little colorful Japanese-inspired balls of perfection are so versatile and have endless ingredient possibilities, which make them perfect whenever you feel that your regular vegan lunch recipes are becoming a little repetitive.
The presentation is super fun and attractive, making it a fantastic party tray food as well as a delicious lunch. Not only that, they’re pretty inexpensive as the main ingredient is rice. What’s not to like?
My personal favorite is the carrot, mint, and preserved lemon. The tart lemon paired with the sweetness of the carrot and crisp hint of mint is enough to have me singing Joy to the World… in June!
Pick up the recipes here.
Vegan Sushi Jars
You’ve seen the holiday jars that have all the ingredients layered up to make cookies, brownies, or hot cocoa? So, why not sushi in a jar?
Natalie, chief blogger over at Feasting On Fruit, has constructed a super cute way to eat vegan sushi by layering it up in just this way. It’s a little messy and tedious, so you probably won’t be making it every day, but the end result is so worth it.
This is especially cool for those with little ones. Getting them to eat what we want them to can be a little tricky (to say the least!), but creating something pretty, interesting, and cool is half the battle, and with these jars from Feasting on Fruit you’re well on your way to winning them over.
Chopped Kale Salad with Edamame, Carrot, and Avocado
Kate Taylor, from the amazing Cookie And Kate, has a Chopped Kale Salad vegan recipe to die for.
For some, this incredible green leafy can be a little too bitter compared to other salad options, but Kate will change your opinion with this recipe, I’m sure.
The dish has hints of Asia about it, so expect the usual flavors, and the creamy avocados complement the crisp bite of the kale beautifully.
Go get the recipe from Kate’s blog now.
Mexican Quinoa Wraps
Contentedness Cooking delivers once again with these delicious Mexican Quinoa Wraps.
As one might expect, there’s corn, veggies, guacamole, and beans aplenty in these wraps. The quinoa brings a nuttiness that works brilliantly with all the other flavors present and, with a total cook time of just 25 minutes, this is one of those on-the-go vegan lunch box ideas that’s sure to become everyone’s favorite.
I promise you that even ardent meat eaters will think this wrap is the new standard for Mexican food!
I’m a big fan of simple with big flavor, and Florian always delivers. Check out this recipe first, but be sure to mooch around the rest of the site, too. You won’t regret it!
Chunky Chickpea Quinoa Tabbouleh
Emilie Eats is always a reliable source of good, wholesome fare, and this traditional tabbouleh with quinoa and chickpeas is no different.
Yep, quinoa is the star once again, and the fresh herbs, tomato, and cucumber complement each other wonderfully well. Oh, and did I mention convenience? This beautiful dish can be made in bulk and it keeps well for up to five days. Very handy!
Fantastic recipe, Emilie. Thank you!
Easy Mediterranean Tart
While I enjoy unusual recipes, they’re often just not feasible when you’re dealing with day-to-day life…but not always. Jacqueline over at Tinned Tomatoes has managed to put together something a little different and keep it simple. Enter her Easy Mediterranean Tart.
The recipe calls for just five ingredients, four of which come frozen so you can really whip this up at any time, making this an easy prepare-ahead lunch that’s still healthy, vegan, filling, and inexpensive.
If this suits your style of cooking, you’re going to love Tinned Tomatoes. Jacqueline’s blog helps vegans keep it real with easy to understand directions and common ingredients that can actually be found at nearly any store. Check it out!
Garlicky Kale Salad With Crispy Chickpeas
Garlicky Kale Salad With Crispy Chickpeas? Yes, please!
As with all of Dana’s recipes, this is a breeze to make, but ridiculously tasty. Honestly, this salad only takes 30 minutes to put together, but the flavors that come together in that short space of time will blow your mind.
The creamy roasted garlic tahini dressing is to die for; seriously, I could eat this stuff like chocolate. Go get the recipe now!
Rainbow Shirataki Bowl With Peanut Lime Sauce
This is one tasty dish, both for the eyes and the palate. Look at how pretty that bowl is! Prepare for envious looks from colleagues when you whip this bad boy out at work!
Cilantro, mango and cabbage give this bowl a very distinctive taste and visual pop, but the dressing steals the show. Oh my, Sam, have you done us proud, or what?!
Go get the full recipe over on Sam’s brilliant blog, It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken now!
Vegan lunch recipes, done!
There you go, a few of my favorite vegan lunch recipes from my bookmark folder for you to ponder. Whether you follow them word for word or just use them as vegan lunch ideas, I’m sure you’ll agree that these recipes beat most midday munch hands down.
What do you pack in your lunch box or food flask? Have I missed a vegan lunch recipe that I absolutely shouldn’t have?
Let me know what should be on the list by dropping a comment in the box below!
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About The Author:
Lisa Williams is a committed vegan, passionate animal welfare advocate, and keen follower of too many v-friendly food blogs to mention. She started happyhappyvegan.com back in 2016 because she felt there was a need for more straightforward information on plant-based living.
Back then, too many sites seem to either concentrate solely on recipes or be too intimidating or inaccessible for the v-curious, and she wanted to change that. The landscape is certainly a whole lot different now!