22 Vegetarian Lunch Ideas

Get your lunch packing mojo going with these 22 delicious and healthy Vegetarian Lunch Ideas. We’ve got sturdy salads, grain bowls, Buddha bowls, pasta bowls, and other tasty lunch packing inspiration!

photo collage of vegetarian lunch ideas

I don’t know if back to work / back to school time has already started for you or if it’s looming, but I do know what will help make it easier to take: some really great vegetarian lunch ideas.

If the thought of packing your lunch makes you want to run screaming for the hills, you’ll want to start by checking out my top 10 Lunch Packing Tips for healthy, tasty, and budget-friendly lunches. That post has everything you need to know, from how to make a meal plan to bulk-prepping a week’s worth of lunches on the weekend, to the best containers to get your lunch to work in one piece.

Today I’m rounding up 20 incredible Vegetarian Lunch Ideas, and we’re hitting up meal bowls of all forms: Buddha bowls, fajita bowls, pasta bowls, and sturdy, packable salads that will fuel you into the afternoon.

To be honest, I’m much more of a lunch bowl person than a sandwich person these days. I love the variety they deliver, how versatile they are, and they’re practically designed to be packed for lunch. Bowl meals also tend to be great for make-ahead and meal-prepping, which makes my meal planning heart happy.

If you’re more in the mood for sandwiches and wraps for lunch, though, check out these 22 Vegetarian Sandwich Ideas! And I’ve also got 15 Healthy After School Snack Ideas you won’t want to miss out on.

 

22 Make-Ahead Vegetarian Lunch Ideas

We’ve got healthy whole grains, plant-based proteins, and lots of veggies. What could be better than that? So without further ado, here are 22 gorgeous Vegetarian Lunch Ideas to get your season started!

1. Vegan Sheet-Pan Fajita Bowls

Here’s a lunch packing tip: pack the avocado for these Vegan Sheet-Pan Fajita Bowls with the skin still on, face down in the lunch box, and it’ll still be in good shape come lunch time. Tuck a little jar of the chipotle-lime cashew cream alongside and you’re in business!

a fajita bowl made with chickpeas and vegetables on a grey background with rice, cashews, avocado, and lime

Vegan Sheet-Pan Fajita Bowls
These easy Vegan Sheet-pan Fajita Bowls are sure to be a crowd pleaser! With zucchini, peppers, cauliflower, spicy chickpeas roasted on a sheet pan, and served with a zippy chipotle-lime cashew cream and quick fajita rice, these vegan fajita bowls are a healthy, satisfying, and delicious meal. 
Check out this recipe
a fajita bowl made with chickpeas and vegetables on a grey background with rice, cashews, avocado, and lime

2. Asian Kale Salad

If you’re looking for vegetarian lunch ideas that’ll pack in a ton of greens and veggies, look no further than this Asian Kale Salad from Midwest Foodie. I’m definitely drooling over those avocados! 

Three bowls of asian kale salad topped with avocado on a white background

Asian Kale Salad
Fresh veggies tossed in a quick and easy sesame ginger dressing, garnished with crunchy wonton strips and creamy avocado – this Asian kale salad is a meal prep lover’s dream! Make it on Sunday night and enjoy fresh, veggie-filled lunches all week!
Check out this recipe
Three bowls of asian kale salad topped with avocado on a white background

3. Veggie Burger in a Bowl

A veggie burger can be kind of a pain to pack for your lunch… but a veggie burger in a bowl? Now that’s a vegetarian lunch idea I can get on board with! Use your favourite veggie burger, a burger topping salad, and a tasty vegan burger sauce to bring it home.

overhead photo of a veggie burger bowl on a grey surface

Veggie Burger in a Bowl
Can't decide between a burger and a salad? This Veggie Burger in a Bowl Recipe is the best of both worlds! Made with homemade vegan black bean burgers and layered into a bowl with burger toppings, salad, and a vegan burger sauce, it's the perfect light meal while still packed with plant-based protein.
Check out this recipe
veggie burger bowl drizzled with vegan burger sauce

4. Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl

Will you just look at this Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl from Platings and Pairings? I don’t know about you, but I’d like to dive face first into that spicy green Mojo sauce.

sweet potato chickpea buddha bowl topped with jalapenos on a grey surface

Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl
This Buddha Bowl is topped with roasted sweet potatoes, peppers and chickpeas and drizzled with a tangy green mojo sauce. It’s a healthy (vegetarian vegan) dinner or lunch.
Check out this recipe
sweet potato chickpea buddha bowl topped with jalapenos on a grey surface

5. Vegan Rice Noodle Bowls

These Vegan Rice Noodle Bowls are one of my favourite vegetarian lunch ideas. They’re like a salad bar meets a noodle dish and they’re endlessly adaptable. Pack the dressing in a little container to add at the last minute and you’ll be golden. 

A white bowl with cold rice noodle salad on a grey background, with a bowl of rice noodles, peanut sauce and tofu, and a platter of vegetables in the background

Vegan Noodle Bowls
This cool and refreshing Vegan Noodle Bowl is totally vegan and gluten-free, and has a zippy peanut sauce to complement. You can mix and match the vegetables as you see fit, which makes this healthy recipe family-friendly and versatile as well!
Check out this recipe
An overhead shot of cold rice noodle salad in a white bowl with chopsticks, cashews, and chili flakes to the side

6. Easy Greek Orzo Salad

A salad packed with carbs is totally my kinda salad. This Easy Greek Orzo Salad from Happy Kitchen.Rocks takes practically no time to make and will last for several days in the fridge. 

greek orzo salad in a dark grey bowl

Easy Greek Orzo Salad
This easy Greek Orzo Salad is perfect for picnics, potlucks, BBQs and get togethers. Whenever you need an easy and healthy side dish, that is guaranteed to disappear first, make this gorgeous Greek orzo salad!
Check out this recipe

7. Tortellini Pasta Salad  

This quick and easy Tortellini Pasta Salad is delicious served warm, at room temperature, or even cold, which makes it perfect for packed lunches! Add that to your list of awesome vegetarian lunch ideas! 

a large platter of tortellini salad with a small white plate of salad in the front.

Tortellini Pasta Salad with Green Beans and Burst Tomatoes
This easy vegetarian pasta salad can be served warm or at room temperature. It's quick to make, packed with protein, and super healthy. Perfect for family gatherings and picnics alike. 
Check out this recipe
A platter with tortellini salad with a pair of serving spoons and a small pot of pine nuts

8. Cold Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing

I do love a cold noodle salad, and the colours in this Cold Thai Noodle Salad from Zested Lemon are making me want to jump right in! 

thai noodle salad in a white bowl with wedges of lime to the side

Cold Thai Noodle Salad
This Cold Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing has hearty noodles with tons of fresh veggies covered in a delicious peanut dressing and topped with crunchy peanuts.
Check out this recipe
thai noodle salad in a white bowl with wedges of lime to the side

9. Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Kale

If I’m going to eat a salad for lunch it had better have some oomph to it so I don’t end up hangry at 2pm. This Vegetarian Caesar Salad is pumped up with kale, crispy roasted chickpeas, croutons, and a vegetarian caesar dressing. What more could you want?!

overhead photo of a kale caesar salad in a wooden salad bowl with cherry tomatoes on the side

Vegetarian Caesar Salad
This Vegetarian Caesar Salad is made with Tuscan kale, healthy vegetarian caesar dressing, and crispy roasted chickpeas. It's an easy Kale Caesar recipe made without anchovies or eggs, and can easily be made vegan.
Check out this recipe
vegetarian caesar salad on a blue plate topped with chickpeas, croutons, and baby tomatoes

10. Vegan Burrito Bowls

I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of the opinion that a burrito bowl > an actual burrito a lot of the time. Especially if you’re looking for great packed lunch ideas. So much less mess! These Vegan Burrito Bowls from Crowded Kitchen are right up my alley.

vegan burrito bowls with guacamole and cilantro on a grey background

Vegan Burrito Bowls
These delicious vegan burrito bowls are the perfect weeknight dinner and can be easily customized for just about any diet. We like ours with cilantro lime brown rice, spicy black beans, homemade guacamole, salsa, vegan cheese and hot sauce!
Check out this recipe
vegan burrito bowls with guacamole and cilantro on a grey background

11. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

The colours in this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad from Real and Vibrant make me want to salt in the very salty sea, and then pack this salad for my lunches whenI go back to work. Is that weird? Don’t answer.

quinoa salad with cucumber and avocado in a white bowl

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
This Mediterranean Quinoa salad is nourishing and full of flavor and fresh vegetables. Tossed in a refreshing and tangy lemon herb dressing, this salad is a crowd-pleaser and perfect on its own or as a side. Make it for potlucks, picnics, barbeques, or work tomorrow.
Check out this recipe
quinoa salad with cucumber and avocado in a white bowl

12. Buddha Bowl with Maple Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas were a revelation to me, so naturally this Nourishing Buddha Bowl with Maple Roasted Chickpeas from Choosing Chia is right up my alley. Talk about a delicious vegetarian lunch idea!

buddha bowl with roasted chickpeas and avocado on top

Nourishing Buddha Bowl with Maple Roasted Chickpeas
This nourishing Buddha bowl with maple roasted chickpeas makes the perfect wholesome plant-based meal. Loaded with chickpeas, avocado, and sweet potato, you’ll love this bowl!
Check out this recipe

13. Roasted Cauliflower Hummus Bowls

Have you ever wanted to just eat a giant bowl of hummus for your lunch? Great, me too! These Roasted Cauliflower Hummus Bowls are just that. A base of hummus, crunchy roasted cauliflower, and pita on the side if that’s your thing.

portrait photo with two bowls of hummus and roasted cauliflower on a grey background

Roasted Cauliflower Hummus Bowls
Roasted Cauliflower Hummus Bowls are perfect for lunch, a snack, or a party platter! Protein-packed hummus is spooned into bowls and topped with roasted cauliflower and toasted pumpkin seeds for a deliciously different meal. 
Check out this recipe
large blue bowl of hummus and roasted cauliflower on a grey background

14. Cold Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad

Pasta salads just make me happy. They’re such an obvious choice for vegetarian lunch ideas because they can be served cold or at room temperature, which means you can eat them anytime, anywhere. This Cold Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad from Drive Me Hungry is as tasty as it is colourful. 

pesto pasta salad topped with tomatoes on a marble background

Cold Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad
This cold vegan pesto pasta salad is made with vegan pesto & pumpkin seeds for extra flavor & crunch. Tossed with tomatoes, cucumbers & crunchy veggies!
Check out this recipe
pesto pasta salad topped with tomatoes on a marble background

15. Baked Tofu Sushi Bowls

Doesn’t wasabi tahini sauce sound like a vegetarian lunch box dream come true? These Baked Tofu Sushi Bowls from Connoisseurus Veg hit it out of the park!

baked tofu sushi bowl on a white plate with chopsticks

Baked Tofu Sushi Bowls
Tofu cubes are soaked in a savory ginger-sesame marinade and baked until crisp, then served over a bed of rice and veggies topped with wasabi seasoned tahini dressing in these delicious and healthy vegan sushi bowls.
Check out this recipe
baked tofu sushi bowl on a white plate with chopsticks

16. Vegetarian Meal Prep Bowls

These vegetarian meal prep bowls feature quick pickled red cabbage, roasted sweet potatoes, smoked tofu, and a magic tahini sauce that you’ll legit want to bathe in.

overhead portrait shot of brown rice and winter vegetables in a white bowl with chopsticks and sauce in the background

Winter Vegetable Meal Prep Bowls
Winter Vegetable Meal Prep Bowls with brown rice, quick-pickled red cabbage, sweet potato, broccoli, and tofu. 
Check out this recipe
broccoli, sweet potatoes, red cabbage, tofu, and brown rice in a white bowl on a wooden platter

17. Caprese Pasta Bowls

These Caprese Pasta Bowls from Happy Veggie Kitchen are right up my alley! I love the fresh flavours in there, and sometimes you just want a good carby lunch, ya know?!

a bowl of caprese pasta with tomatoes and cheese on a white surface

Caprese Pasta with Goats Cheese
An easy and delicious pasta bowl with fresh tomatoes and goats cheese, inspired by a caprese salad.
Check out this recipe
a bowl of caprese pasta with tomatoes and cheese on a white surface

18. Beluga Lentil Salad 

This Beluga Lentil Salad is a vegetarian lunch idea that can be served a little on the warm side, cold, or at room temperature. Plus: Halloumi Croutons. 

black lentil salad on a blue plate topped with tomatoes and halloumi

Beluga Lentil Salad with Halloumi Croutons
This quick and easy Beluga Lentil Salad recipe is made with salty, chewy halloumi croutons to take it to the next level. Make it with black lentils, Puy lentils, or French green lentils, this is a healthy lentil salad recipe you'll come back to again and again. 
Check out this recipe
beluga lentil salad on a blue plate with a bowl of greens in the background

19. Spinach Pecan Brown Rice Salad

This beautiful and nutritious Spinach and Pecan Brown Rice Salad from Vanilla and Bean is almost too pretty to eat… but eat it, it’s delicious!

more vegetarian lunch box ideas: spinach pecan brown rice salad

Spinach and Pecan Brown Rice Salad
Spinach Pecan Brown Rice Salad with Feta makes a healthy weekday lunch or a hearty salad for a weekend picnic. An easy, make ahead cold rice salad. vegan option gluten free.
Check out this recipe
more vegetarian lunch box ideas: spinach pecan brown rice salad

20. Spicy Tofu Grain Bowls

These Spicy Tofu Grain Bowls feature tofu with a no-press technique, roasted sweet potatoes, kale, wild rice, and apples. They’re a perfect meal prep lunch idea!

portrait shot of wild rice salad in a wooden bowl with apples and cheese

Spicy Tofu Grain Bowls with Roasted Sweet Potato
These Spicy Tofu Grain Bowls are a healthy vegetarian option that's easy to fit in your meal prep plan. Made with wild rice, roasted sweet potatoes, and kale, plus a game-changing tofu technique that doesn't require any pressing! 
Check out this recipe
wild rice salad in a wooden bowl on a grey dish cloth shot from overhead

21. Zucchini Chickpea Quinoa Salad

This protein-packed Zucchini Chickpea Quinoa Salad from A Cedar Spoon will fuel you all the way to dinner time! It’s one of my favourite vegetarian lunch ideas to date.

zucchini chickpea quinoa salad in a blue bowl

Zucchini Chickpea Quinoa Salad
Zucchini Chickpea Quinoa Salad mixes zucchini, chickpeas, quinoa, fresh parsley and green onions, all tossed in a spiced olive oil dressing. This quinoa salad recipe has the rich, warm flavors of cumin, turmeric and paprika and makes a healthy, filling lunch.
Check out this recipe
zucchini chickpea quinoa salad in a blue bowl

22. Black Bean Noodle Bowls

These Black Bean Noodle Bowls are loaded with protein and dietary fiber, and make the perfect base for a vegetarian lunch box. Topped with veggies and a spicy sesame sauce, these make for one delicious lunch.

black bean noodles in a white bowl topped with broccoli, cucumber, cilantro, radishes, and peanut sauce

Black Bean Noodle Bowls with Spicy Sesame Sauce
Spicy sesame peanut sauce with black bean noodles and veggies for a quick and easy meal that would rival any takeout dinner
Check out this recipe
black bean noodle bowls with spicy sesame sauce // www.heynutritionlady.com


 

Comments

  1. Sandra Lea says

    I agree with you, bowls are my favorite way to eat and so easy. It’s a good way to use up leftovers, throw some veggies and grains together and top with a delicious dressing.

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