Need some lunch inspiration? Some fresh ways to pack a healthy, satisfying lunch? We have 10 beautiful ideas for you today, and (shhh!) they're all vegan.
Whether you eat vegan or vegetarian, or just want to try it for a Meatless Monday, these lunches show how vibrant and delicious a plant-based diet can be. These creative lunches are overflowing with protein-packed mains, fruit and veggie sides, and a few store-bought surprises to keep it all feeling fun. These colorful lunches won't let you down.
Buy the Lunch Box
We're pretty obsessed with this simple-yet-sturdy bento-style lunch box from LunchBots. We prefer this large size with five distinct compartments, but LunchBots also offers other sizes and configurations like this Small Protein Packer. We also love their tiny Condiment Cups for dressings and dips.
10 Easy Vegan Lunch Ideas
If you're experimenting with a vegan lifestyle (omitting meat, dairy, and eggs from your diet), these lunches are a quick and easy place to start, and a good way to explore the wide variety of vegan-friendly food options.
They feature ingredients packed with iron, fiber, and protein (including grains, beans, and nut butter), to keep you full and excited about lunchtime. They're easy enough to toss together the night before, but you can also meal prep the boxes on Sunday and stash them in the fridge for easy grab-and-go lunches.
What pantry ingredients should you stock for a vegan diet? Read about our 15 essential ingredients here.
1. Pasta Salad Picnic Lunch
A light mayo-free pasta salad keeps the tasty lunch staple dairy-free, and holds up better in a lunch box, too. Try our recipe below, buy one at the store, or toss cooked noodles with olive oil, salt, fresh herbs, and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
- Get a recipe: Pasta Salad Without Mayo (omit the goat cheese), or buy it from your grocery store's deli or salad bar
- Pack with: Cucumber slices, grapes, clementine slices, Mary's Gone Crackers
2. Mediterranean Pita Pockets
Pick your favorite grain — be it quinoa, bulgur, or cracked wheat — and toss together a veggie-packed tabbouleh that gets even better as it sits in the lunch box. When it's time to eat, spread the pita pockets with hummus; add the tabbouleh, tomatoes, and olives; and dig in.
- Get a recipe: Tabbouleh, or buy it from your grocery store's deli or salad bar
- Pack with: Mixed marinated olives, halved cherry tomatoes, hummus, pita
3. Chickpea Salad Sandwich
This creamy, tangy chickpea salad — flavored with Dijon and a splash of red wine vinegar — is our favorite vegan alternative to chicken or tuna salad. It's super-satisfying and budget-friendly, too.
- Get a recipe: Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich (use vegan mayo)
- Pack with: Fruit leather, avocado chunks, Lucy's Vegan Cookies, bell pepper strips
4. Zucchini Noodle Salad
Zoodles are a crunchy, refreshing main come lunchtime, and now readily available at pretty much any grocery store. They don't need much to go from simple to sublime — try a splash of olive oil and a squeeze of lime.
- Get a recipe: Chilled Zucchini Noodle Salad, or buy any vegan zoodle salad from your grocery store's salad bar
- Pack with: Almonds, pineapple chunks, Bare Natural Apple Chips, carrot sticks
5. Rainbow Vegetable Spring Rolls
This might be the most fun way to eat your vegetables. We like a combination of carrots, bell peppers, purple cabbage, avocado, and sprouts, but feel free to switch it up with some sliced mango or rice noodles.
- Get a recipe: Rainbow Vegetable Spring Rolls
- Pack with: Raspberries, cashews, snap peas, Annie Chun's Organic Seaweed Snacks
6. Quinoa Salad Lettuce Wraps
Avoid the dreaded soggy lunch salad by packing the lettuce leaves separately. Then, use them as a cup to hold a veggie-packed quinoa salad. Pack a side of rice vinegar and flaky salt to season the edamame, if you like.
- Get a recipe: Golden Quinoa Salad, or buy from your grocery store's deli or salad bar
- Pack with: Shelled edamame, dried mango, popcorn, Bibb lettuce leaves
7. Mini Rice Cake Sammies
There are so many ways to enjoy this kid-inspired box. Spread the peanut butter onto the rice cakes and make sandwiches, or make ants on a log with the celery, peanut butter, and raisins.
- Get a recipe: Spread mini rice cakes with nut butter of your choice
- Pack with: Apple slices, celery sticks, raisins
8. Black Bean Guacamole Tacos
A mini taco bar in our lunch boxes? Sign us up! Spread the guac onto mini flour tortillas, and stuff with black bean salsa or any simple black bean salad. We wouldn't blame you if you threw a few of the chips into the taco, too.
- Get a recipe: Black Bean Salsa, or any bean salad from your grocery store's deli or salad bar
- Pack with: Mini flour tortillas, guacamole, red pepper strips, corn tortilla chips
9. Grilled Tofu Slabs
Grab some grilled tofu from your grocery store's salad bar, pack up leftovers from your weekend grilling session, or swap in your favorite tofu recipe — be it Sheet Pan BBQ Tofu or our savory-sweet slabs of Honey-Sesame Tofu.
- Get a recipe: Simple grilled tofu, homemade or from the salad bar
- Pack with: Broccoli slaw, pear slices, applesauce, The Good Bean Crunchy Chickpeas
10. Peanut Butter Pancake Sandwiches
Thought "vegan" and "fluffy pancakes" couldn't belong in the same sentence? Think again! Our easy foolproof recipe is a hit every time. Plus, it's the best way to enjoy breakfast-for-lunch.