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 easy vegetarian meals - most of which you can even serve for dinner.
Find your favorite recipe by browsing through this list, and take your pick: meat-free 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!
BEST VEGETARIAN LUNCH IDEAS
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, perfect as a quick lunch.
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.
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.
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; we are sure you'll love it too!
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.
5. White bean dip sandwich
Use this white bean dip for veggies, but also as a delicious spread in sandwiches, wraps, or as a quick pasta sauce. It's a quick way to make a healthy vegetarian lunch!
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.
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.
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.
9. Couscous with vegetables
Couscous with vegetables is a delicious way of enjoying couscous. This is an easy recipe that you can make in less than 30 minutes, with seasonal veggies and herbs.
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.
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 be pleasantly surprised.
12. Bruschetta with avocado spread
Learn how to make the creamiest, most delicious avocado spread to eat in sandwiches and on toast or serve as a dip with warm pita bread and veggie sticks.
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.
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 and simplicity.
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.
16. Protein-packed chickpea frittata
This chickpea frittata is crisp on the outside, soft 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 and satiating.
17. Avocado salad with chickpeas
Avocado salad is creamy, crunchy, and refreshing, and it's all you need for a quick lunch or light dinner during the hot summer months.
18. Piadina with rucola and melted cheese
Piadina is a thin yeast-free Italian flatbread that you can fill with anything you like and enjoy for a light lunch, snack, or dinner.
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.
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.
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.
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.
23. Zucchini pesto and spaghetti
Zucchini pesto might seem unusual but it's actually a delicious, light, and creamy pesto sauce you can make in 5 minutes with simple ingredients.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 starter, dip, or spread in a sandwich.
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.
31. Red pepper pesto on toasted bread
Red pepper pesto is rich, creamy, tangy, and nutty. Serve it as a red pesto sauce with pasta, or as a spread on bread or in a sandwich. We keep this recipe vegan so that everyone can enjoy it.
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.
33. Creamy 20-minute mushroom pasta
Vegan mushroom pasta is a quick and creamy pasta recipe, that you can make in just 15 mins! It's simple, yet incredibly delicious and flavorful.
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 to turn it into a tasty main dish.
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 a satiating and colorful vegetarian lunch idea.
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:
- Breakfast: get breakfast ready in 5 minutes with this scrambled tofu or overnight bircher muesli. Or simply check out our best vegan breakfast recipes.
- Brunch: missing weekend brunch ideas? You'll love this vegan french toast and vegan crepes. Brunch can be fun and vibrant, see our brunch ideas here.
- Lunch: for a nutritious lunch on-to-go, try this Moroccan carrot salad, cauliflower lentil salad, or 10-minute chickpea salad. Or get inspiration from our vegan lunch ideas.
- Dinner: you can easily make an inviting and meat-free dinner for your family! Simply try our vegan fish, tofu curry, vegan orange chicken, or this cheesy eggplant parmigiana.
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 the Italian, Asian, Indian, or Middle Eastern cuisine that are already naturally vegan.
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:
- Vegan pasta recipes
- Replacing chicken and beef with different Tofu recipes
- Replacing eggs with various chickpea recipe ideas
- Add creaminess to salads and protein with these top vegan sauce recipes.
- Satisfy sweet cravings by making these indulgent vegan cakes
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 and answer questions any way we can!
For many more 30-minute meal ideas, check out our 30-minute meal category page.
35 Vegetarian Lunch Ideas
- Check each individual vegetarian recipe for ingredients required.
- Cook your favorite vegetarian recipe, we encorage you to try something new!
- How to store: Keep these vegetarian meals stored in the refrigerator, ideally in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.
- How to reheat: Warm it up on the stovetop or in the microwave. Before serving garnish with fresh herbs.
- How to freeze: You can also freeze the meals 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.
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