10 Easy Vegan Lunch Box Ideas

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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.