Looking to find the best vegetarian lunch ideas that are quick and easy? You’ve come to the right place!
We’ve selected 35 of our best vibrant, fresh, and healthy vegetarian meals – most of which you can even serve for dinner.

Best vegetarian lunches including sandwich, salad and wraps

Find your favorite recipe by browsing through this list, and take your pick: meatfree meals, salads, sandwiches, wraps, pasta, and many more. Plus, most of these recipes are ready in less than 20 mins making them perfect as a lunchbox or office lunch!

Whether you’re a beginner vegetarian, omnivore, or flexitarian, we’re sure you’ll find your new lunch favorite on this list!

1. Chickpea tuna sandwich

Chickpea tuna is a quick and easy vegetarian lunch idea made with mashed chickpeas. It’s the perfect replacement for tuna in a sandwich, to fill a baked sweet potato, and perfect as a quick lunch.

vegan tuna sandwich

2. Tomato feta salad

Cucumber tomato salad is a refreshing vegetarian lunch idea! Enjoy this crunchy and easy recipe as a summer side dish or add some protein to it and upgrade it to a quick and healthy main.

Greek cucumber tomato salad

3. Pasta alla Norma (eggplant pasta)

Our pasta alla Norma (eggplant pasta) is a classic Sicilian pasta dish made with a rich and creamy tomato sauce, tender roasted eggplants, and fresh basil.

eggplant pasta or pasta alla norma

4. Sweet potato salad

Have this sweet potato salad for lunch, a quick and healthy make-ahead dinner, or bring it to potlucks and picnics. This is one of our favorite ways of eating sweet potatoes, paired with leafy greens, avocado, and a creamy maple syrup dressing, it’s a wholesome and happy lunch salad.

sweet potato salad with arugula and feta

5. Rice salad

Rice salad is the perfect vegetarian summer dish, easy to prepare in advance, and perfect for bringing with you for a picnic outdoors. It’s great for meal-prepping for the week, and as a putlock meal as it keeps well in the fridge for days.

easy rice salad

5. White bean dip sandwich

Use this white bean dip for veggies, but also as a delicious hummus spread in sandwiches, wraps, or as a quick pasta sauce. It’s a quick way to make a healthy vegetarian lunch sandwich!

Bean dip sandwich

6. Fried tofu steaks in mushrooms

Pan-fried tofu with mushrooms is a quick and delicious recipe that is perfect for everyday, last-minute lunch or dinner.

tofu mushroom recipe on a plate

7. Chickpea salad with quinoa

This vegan chickpea salad is an easy and nutritious dish. Make it in just 15 minutes with simple, fresh ingredients and a refreshing lemon vinaigrette.

chickpea salad in a serving bowl

8. Pasta salad

Pasta salad is the ideal lunchtime meal because it’s quick to prepare and delicious to eat. It’s also great to make in advance to have as a ready-to-go meal to eat at any time.

Italian pasta salad with Italian dressing

9. Couscous with vegetables

Couscous with vegetables is one of the happiest vegetarian lunch ideas! This is an easy recipe that you can make in less than 30 minutes, with seasonal veggies and herbs. It’s also highly mealprepfriendly, as you can make a big batch and save it in the fridge for the upcoming week.

couscous with vegetables

10. Zucchini salad with parmesan

Fresh, bright, and crunchy, this zucchini salad is the ultimate summer salad. It’s perfect for picnics, potlucks, and as a light lunch when paired with parmesan and a slice of bread.

vegetarian zucchini salad with shaved parmesan

11. Tofu ‘chicken’ salad

This tofu salad recipe is a crunchy and healthy bowl perfect for lunch or dinner. Low in calories, high in flavor and filling. Make this today and you’ll feel satiated yet light after eating.

tofu salad with creamy dressing

12. Avocado Toast

Learn how to make the creamiestmost delicious avocado spread to eat in sandwiches and on toast or serve as a dip with warm pita bread and veggie sticks. Add fresh tomatoes or roasted chickpeas on top for a colorful and nourishing lunch toast.

avocado spread on toast with roasted chickpeas and cherry tomatoes

13. Panzanella

Panzanella is an Italian bread salad with simple summer vegetables and leftover stale bread soaked in water. It’s an easy vegetarian lunch idea, and you can add your favorite plant-based protein to it.

panzanella salad in a serving bowl

14. Zucchini soup with croutons

Make this delicious zucchini soup in less than 20 minutes with fresh zucchini and a few other simple ingredients you already have at home. You’ll be impressed by its flavor, creaminess and simplicity.

Zucchini soup with croutons

15. Eggplant salad

Eggplant salad is an easy and delicious recipe made with roasted or air-fried eggplant, chickpeas, and crunchy seasonal vegetables. It’s perfect as a make-ahead meal, for potlucks, and picnics.

roasted eggplant salad with farfalle pasta

16. Protein-packed chickpea frittata

This chickpea frittata is crisp on the outsidesoft, and moist on the inside, and for some reason, it feels like eating a regular egg frittata. Packed with protein from chickpea flour, this frittata is tasty, satiating and glutenfree too.

vegan frittata with sautéed zucchini

17. Avocado salad with chickpeas

Avocado salad is creamycrunchy, and refreshing, and it’s all you need for a quick lunch or light dinner during the hot summer months. Serve it with a 5-minute couscous bowl, or slices of toasted bread for a wholesome lunch idea.

crispy chickpea and olives with avocado salad

18. Piadina with rucola and melted cheese

Piadina is a thin yeast-free Italian flatbread that you can fill with fresh leaves, pesto, and dairyfree melted cheese, and enjoy for a light lunch, snack, or dinner. Similar to a burrito, you can also stuff is with guacamole, black bean salad, and rice for a Mexican-inspired lunch idea.

piadina held in a hand

19. Cheesy zucchini pasta

Zucchini pasta, as in pasta with zucchini, is a creamy and easy one-pot recipe you can make as a quick lunch or dinner for the whole family. The cooking method is simple, and with grated fresh zucchini, fresh lemon, and pine nuts, you can create a springfriendly and crowdpleasing meal.

Zucchini Pasta with pine nuts and basil

20. Easy eggplant caponata on bread

Caponata is an Italian eggplant salad with a delicious sweet and sour flavor. We make it with roasted eggplant (instead of deep-fried) in less than 45 minutes. Perfect as lunch on a slice of toasted bread or on spaghetti.

bruschetta with caponata

21. Stuffed eggplant

Stuffed eggplant boats are a modern healthy recipe you can make for an easy lunch or dinner with your family and friends. It’s without meat and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

stuffed eggplants with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and vegan pesto

22. Focaccia with tomato

Our focaccia bread is golden and crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. And with our no-knead recipe, you won’t even make your hands dirty. Top it with cherry tomatoes, Italian herbs, and sea salt for an irresistible and true Italian focaccia experience.

focaccia with tomato

23. Zucchini pesto and spaghetti

Zucchini pesto might seem unusual but it’s a delicious, light, and creamy pesto sauce you can make in 5 minutes with simple ingredients. Mix it with bowtie pasta, and sprinkle it with almonds and fresh leaves of basil for a restaurantworthy lunch idea.

zucchini pesto pasta in a bowl

24. Quick aglio e olio in 15 minutes

This is the original recipe for garlic and oil pasta, a delicious Italian meal also known as spaghetti aglio e olio. It’s a perfect vegetarian lunch idea as it’s without meat, and ready in just 15 minutes.

garlic and oil pasta aglio olio

25. Zucchini boats

You are going to love our zucchini boats because they are filled with an earthy lentil tomato mixture that tastes so good you won’t believe there’s no meat in it. They can be eaten warm or at room temperature for lunch and served with a side salad and a drizzle of sour cream.

Zucchini boats with parmesan

26. Tofu soup in 20 minutes

This tofu soup is quick, tasty, and easy! You can make it in 20 minutes, with simple ingredients and seasonal veggies any time of the year. Serve as an appetizer, or make it a meal by adding rice noodles.

spring tofu soup with zucchini and peas

27. Tomato risotto

Tomato risotto is the perfect recipe for a delicious and fulfilling family lunch and dinner. Kids will love this recipe, and picky eaters will devour it straight out of the pan.

deliciously creamy tomato risotto

28. Orange tofu ‘chicken’

This easy vegan dish is the best alternative to orange chicken. We use crispy oven-baked tofu coated in a sticky, sweet, and sour orange sauce. It’s tasty, tangy, and delicious.

orange tofu served with rice and green onion on top

29. Vegan cream cheese on bruschetta

This tofu vegan cream cheese is made with 5 simple ingredients and it’s smooth, velvety, and perfect to use as a starterdip, or spread in a sandwich. Mix your cream cheese with fresh herbs, or a veggie of your choice for a colorful lunch or appetizer idea.

Tofu cream cheese variations

30. Marinated tofu on bread or rice

Marinated tofu is one of the easiest foods to cook. Our recipe is quick and tasty, and you can make it in less than 30 minutes with simple ingredients. It’s perfectly paired with toasted bread, vegan mayonnaise, and slices of tomatoes.

grilled marinated tofu on an open sandwich

31. Red pepper pesto on toasted bread

Red pepper pesto is rich, creamy, tangy, and easy as it’s made with jarred bell peppers. Serve this 5-minute pesto as a red sauce with pasta, or as a spread on bread, or in a sandwich with leafy greens.

Red pepper pesto on toast

32. Easy spinach pesto with spaghetti

We use tofu to make the spinach pesto recipe creamy and nutritious. You can use the pesto with your favorite pasta, spread it on a sandwich, or as a pizza topping. It’s a quick and creamy vegetarian lunch idea.

Spinach pesto in a pan with pasta

33. Creamy 25-minute mushroom pasta

Vegan mushroom pasta is a quick and creamy pasta recipe, that you can make in just 30 mins! It’s a simple, yet incredibly delicious and flavorful vegetarian lunch idea.

vegan mushroom pasta with cherry tomatoes and parsley

34. Microwave loaded sweet potato

Microwave sweet potato is quick, healthy, and delicious. Eat it as is or load it with one of our toppings, such as black bean salad or chickpea salad, to turn it into a tasty lunch meal.

sweet potato with avo mash on top

35. Chickpea pasta salad

You’ll love this healthy chickpea pasta salad recipe because it’s tasty, nourishing, and fulfilling, with wholesome plant-based protein, vitamins, and antioxidants. It’s one of the most satiating and wholesome vegetarian lunch ideas.

one vegetarian lunch idea that is chickpea pasta

Meatless meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner

It doesn’t have to be difficult to introduce plant-based meals to your diet! If you’re a beginner vegetarian, or slowly starting to cook meat-free, do your research. As with any other diet or lifestyle, make sure that you get a healthy dose of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. For even more inspiration, see our favorite collections here:

8 portions of parmigiana in the baking dish
Eggplant parmigiana is a naturally vegetarian dinner idea.

How to store these vegetarian lunch ideas

  • How to store: you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave. On the second day, these meals will be stickier and less creamy.
  • How to freeze: you can also freeze the vegetarian lunch ideas for up to 3 months. To freeze, let it cool down first, then transfer them to a freezer-friendly container, leaving some space to allow it to expand. Thaw in the microwave or in a pot on the stovetop. Before serving, garnish with fresh herbs, and optionally a drizzle of olive oil.

What should I cook as a vegetarian?

Eating vegetarian is easily made versatile and flavorful by incorporating vegetables and whole foods into your diet.

You can choose many amazing dishes from Italian, Asian, Indian, or Middle Eastern cuisine that are already naturally vegetarian.

For many, a great place to start when cooking vegetarian is with familiar dishes, such as pasta, meat substitutes, and chicken replacements. For inspiration, take a peek at some of our favorite recipes:

Mushroom Bolognese with fork
vegetarian bolognese recipe with grated mushrooms.

Give yourself time to try new herbs, flavor combinations, and ingredients. Slowly, you’ll find your favorite meals, and learn new tricks in the kitchen.

Get started with one of these vegetarian lunch ideas, and get to know your plant-based favorite recipes one by one.

It’s your journey, so you can take the time you need to ease into a vegetarian lifestyle (or simply test a plant-based dinner now and then).

If you have questions or doubts, send us a message in the comments below. We’re happy to support you and answer questions in any way we can!

For many more 30-minute meal ideas, check out our 30-minute meal category page.

Vegetarian lunches

35 Vegetarian Lunch Ideas

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 1 vote
Looking to find Healthy Vegetarian Lunch Ideas? We've got you covered with these 35 Vegetarian meals including sandwiches, pasta, salads, protein-rich meals and wraps.
Our tofu mushroom recipe is an Italian-inspired meal, perfect for a quick and tasty everyday lunch. You can make it in about 20 minutes with a few simple pantry ingredients.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: International, Italian


  • Large nonstick pan


  • 20 ounces mushrooms white, brown, champignon, portobello, etc
  • ¼ cup dried porcini mushrooms (optional) + 1/3 cup of hot water to soak them
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 for the mushrooms, 2 for the tofu
  • 8 ounces tofu firm
  • cup flour
  • cup white wine or vegetable broth
  • cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 handful parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste



  • Soak the dried porcini mushroom with hot water for 10 minutes.
    Note: adding dried porcini mushrooms is optional. Dried mushrooms help boost the mushroom flavour of the dish.
    soaking dried mushrooms in a bowl
  • To a large skillet (non-stick preferably), add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, crushed garlic, and sliced mushrooms. Cook on high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often.
    cooking mushrooms on a skillet
  • Add the soaked dried mushrooms and their soaking water. Season with salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes, or until there's no excess water in the pan.
    cooking mushrooms on a pan
  • When the mushrooms are cooked, and most of their excess water has evaporated, transfer them to a bowl.
    cooked mushrooms in a bowl


  • While the mushrooms cook, slice the tofu into ⅙ to ¼ inch (0.5 cm) slices. There's no need to press it or pat it dry.
    We get 6 slices from 8 ounces of firm tofu (about half of a 16-ounce tofu block) and serve 3 slices per person.
    Add all-purpose flour to a plate, then coat each slice of tofu in the flour.
    tofu slices coated in flour
  • On the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then add the tofu slices. Cook the tofu slices on medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes, turning them once.
    turning the tofu
  • When the tofu is almost ready, add the white wine to the pan and let it evaporate.
    tofu on a pan with white wine
  • Add the mushrooms to the tofu, add the vegetable broth and chopped parsley, and finish cooking for another 2 minutes.
    mushroom and parsley added onto the tofu
  • We recommend serving three slices of tofu per person, with some mushrooms on the side.
    tofu mushroom recipe in a skillet


Tofu with Mushrooms | Easy dinner in 15 minutes


Nutrition Information is an estimate for 2 large portions of tofu with mushrooms.
– Make ahead: this is a quick recipe, and we don’t think it’s worth making it ahead of time.
– Refrigerator: store leftovers in the fridge, on a plate covered with foil, or in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The sauce would have thickened up the next day, so don’t expect the same creaminess.
– Freezer: mushroom tofu is not suitable for freezing.
– Reheat: we reheat this recipe in a microwave for 1.5 to 2 minutes.


Calories: 418kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 17g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Potassium: 1035mg, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 252IU, Vitamin B6: 0.4mg, Vitamin C: 10mg, Vitamin E: 3mg, Vitamin K: 46µg, Calcium: 166mg, Folate: 69µg, Iron: 4mg, Manganese: 0.3mg, Magnesium: 39mg, Zinc: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Leave a comment below or mention @theplantbasedschool on Instagram. We are also on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok.

If you like these vegetarian lunch ideas, you might also like:

Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

Easy right?

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