If you want 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 healthy vegetarian meals – most of which you can even serve for dinner.

Best vegetarian lunches including sandwich, salad and wraps

Browse through this list to find your favorite recipe. Choose from meatfree meals, salads, sandwiches, wraps, pasta, and more.

Plus, most recipes are ready in less than 20 minutes, making them perfect as a lunchbox or office lunch.

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

Vegetarian lunch ideas video

1. Chickpea tuna sandwich

vegan 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.

2. Tomato feta salad

Greek cucumber tomato salad

Cucumber tomato salad is a refreshing vegetarian lunch idea.

Enjoy this crunchy and easy recipe as a summer side dish, or add protein, such as chickpeas or fried tofu, to upgrade it to a quick and healthy meal.

3. Pasta alla Norma (eggplant pasta)

eggplant pasta or pasta alla norma

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

Combining roasted eggplant, marinara sauce, and al dente pasta makes an excellent vegetarian lunchbox idea.

4. Sweet potato salad

sweet potato salad with arugula and feta

Have this sweet potato salad for lunch or a quick and healthy make-ahead dinner, or bring it to potlucks and picnics.

Roasted sweet potatoes paired with leafy greens, avocado, and a creamy maple syrup dressing make it a wholesome and happy lunch salad.

5. Rice salad

easy 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 excellent for meal-prepping for the week and as a potluck meal, as it keeps well in the fridge for days.

5. White bean dip sandwich

Bean dip sandwich

Use this white bean dip for veggies, as a delicious hummus spread in sandwiches or wraps, or as a quick pasta sauce.

It’s a quick way to make a healthy vegetarian lunch sandwich.

6. Fried tofu steaks in mushrooms

tofu mushroom recipe on a plate

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

7. Chickpea salad

chickpea salad in a serving bowl

This vegan chickpea salad is an easy and nutritious dish with fresh vegetables and canned corn.

Make it in 15 minutes with simple, fresh ingredients and a refreshing lemon vinaigrette.

8. Pasta salad

Italian pasta salad with Italian dressing

Pasta salad is the ideal lunchtime meal as it’s quickly prepared and stores well in the fridge for days.

It’s also great to make in advance to have as a readytoeat meal at any time.

9. Couscous salad

Couscous salad with tahini dressing

Couscous with chickpeas is a meal-prep-friendly lunch salad ready in 20 minutes.

Make a big batch, store it in the fridge for the upcoming week, and serve it with tahini sauce or yogurt tahini dressing.

10. Zucchini salad with parmesan

vegetarian zucchini salad with shaved parmesan

Fresh, bright, and crunchy, this zucchini salad is the ultimate summer salad.

It’s perfect for picnics and as a light lunch with parmesan and a slice of bread.

11. Tofu ‘chicken’ salad

tofu salad with creamy dressing

This tofu salad recipe is a crunchy, healthy bowl perfect for lunch or dinner.

It’s low in calories but still satisfying with plant-based protein from air fryer tofu.

12. Avocado Toast

avocado spread on toast with roasted chickpeas and cherry tomatoes

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 for a colorful and nourishing lunch toast.

13. Panzanella

panzanella salad in a serving bowl

Panzanella is an Italian bread salad with simple summer vegetables and leftover stale bread soaked in water.

It’s an easy vegetarian lunch idea; you can add your favorite plant-based protein.

14. Zucchini soup with croutons

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.

15. Black bean salad

black bean salad with quinoa and sweet potatoes

Black bean salad with sweet potatoes and quinoa is a wholesome and vibrant grain bowl that works well as a vegetarian lunch.

Mix in some boiled quinoa or whole grain rice; use it as a filling for a wrap, and drizzle with chipotle saucetahini sauce, or avocado spread.

16. Protein-packed chickpea frittata

vegan frittata with sautéed zucchini

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.

17. Avocado salad with chickpeas

crispy chickpea and olives with avocado salad

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.

18. Piadina with rucola and melted cheese

piadina held in a hand

Piadina is a thin, yeast-free Italian flatbread that you can fill with fresh leaves, pesto, and dairy-free melted cheese and enjoy for a light lunch, snack, or dinner.

You can also stuff it with guacamole, black bean salad, and rice for a Mexican-inspired lunch like a burrito.

19. Cheesy zucchini pasta

Zucchini Pasta with pine nuts and basil

Zucchini pasta, as in pasta with zucchini, is a creamy and easy one-pot recipe for 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.

20. Easy eggplant caponata on bread

bruschetta with caponata

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 spaghetti.

21. Stuffed eggplant

stuffed eggplants with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and vegan pesto

Stuffed eggplant boats are a modern, healthy recipe for an easy lunch or dinner with your family and friends.

It’s without meat and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

22. Lentil tabbouleh

lentil tabbouleh with hummus and tahini sauce

Our lentil tabbouleh is an excellent starterside dishor main dish, part of a mezze platter with other Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean recipes.

Serve it with hummusbaba ganoush, or avocado spread with toasted pita bread and fresh vegetables.

23. Zucchini pesto and spaghetti

zucchini pesto pasta in a bowl

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 basil leaves for a restaurantworthy lunch idea.

24. Quick aglio e olio in 15 minutes

garlic and oil pasta aglio olio

This is the original garlic and oil pasta recipe, a delicious Italian meal called spaghetti aglio e olio.

It’s a perfect vegetarian lunch idea as it’s without meat and ready in just 15 minutes.

25. Red lentil soup

Red lentil soup with garlic, lemon, bread, and rosemary

You will love our red lentil soup as it’s easy to make in one pot in 30 minutes.

It’s excellent as an easy weeknight dinner, a proteinrich lunch idea, and delicious with a thick slice of toasted bread.

26. Tofu soup in 30 minutes

Tofu soup recipe in a blue bowl with garlic on the side

This tofu soup is quick, tasty, and easy! You can make it in 30 minutes, with simple ingredients and seasonal veggies anytime.

Serve as an appetizer, or make it a meal by adding rice noodles.

27. Tomato risotto

deliciously creamy 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 from the pan.

28. Orange tofu ‘chicken’

Orange Tofu on a plate with rice and a spoon

This easy vegan dish is the best alternative to orange chicken.

We use crispy oven-baked tofu coated in a sticky, sweet, sour orange sauce. It’s tasty, tangy, and delicious.

29. Vegan cream cheese on bruschetta

Tofu cream cheese variations

This tofu vegan cream cheese is made with five 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.

30. Mediterranean bowl

Mediterranean bowl with parsley

This Mediterranean bowl is an excellent lunch idea with simple storebought or homemade ingredients that are easy, healthy, and delicious.

We combine falafel, pickled red onions, fresh vegetables, hummus, and pita bread for a wholesome vegetarian meal.

31. Red pepper pesto on toasted bread

Red pepper pesto on toast

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, a spread on bread, or a sandwich with leafy greens.

32. Easy spinach pesto with spaghetti

Spinach pesto in a pan with pasta

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 25-minute mushroom pasta

vegan mushroom pasta with cherry tomatoes and parsley

Vegan mushroom pasta is a quick and creamy recipe in just 30 minutes!

It’s a simple yet incredibly delicious and flavorful vegetarian lunch idea.

34. Microwave sweet potato

sweet potato with avo mash on top

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 quinoa salad, to turn it into a tasty lunch meal.

35. Chickpea pasta salad

Chickpea pasta salad with lemon and black olives

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.

Meatless meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Introducing plant-based meals to your diet doesn’t have to be complicated.

As with any other diet or lifestyle, ensure 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 it to a freezer-friendly container, leaving some space to allow it to expand.
    Thaw in the microwave or a pot on the stovetop. Before serving, garnish with fresh herbs and a drizzle of olive oil optionally.

More vegetarian lunch ideas

Vegetarianism is a versatile and flavorful way of incorporating vegetables and whole foods into your diet.

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.

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 3 votes
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

Equipment

  • Large nonstick pan

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions 

COOK THE MUSHROOMS

  • 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

COOK THE TOFU

  • 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

Notes

Nutrition Information is an estimate for 2 large portions of tofu with mushrooms.
MAKE AHEAD & STORAGE
– 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.

Nutrition

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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