24 Vegetarian Lunches You’re Gonna Love
It's almost too easy to get stuck in a lunch rut. The same old sandwich every day gets boring really fast, but grabbing a bite out racks up quite a bill. Try one of these make-ahead meatless recipes for a vegetarian lunch you'll actually look forward to.
Fiesta Bowls with Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette
Bookmark this one for your weekend meal prepping session, folks. Loaded with a variety of vibrant veggies and finished with a zippy chipotle-lime vinaigrette, these vegetarian-friendly rice bowls are the perfect make-ahead meal for packed lunches. We opted to go with brown rice for the base of our bowls, but feel free to use white rice or whatever grain you have on hand.
Bulgur and Greens Mini Quiches
Mini quiches are quick, easy go-tos for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Leftovers are great, too, and easy to pack up for lunch at the office or to enjoy for breakfast during the busy workweek.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Veggie Wraps
Lunch to go never looked so good. Try these portable veggie wraps with any flavor of hummus you like and whatever crisp veggies you have on hand.
Pesto Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella
This Caprese-inspired pasta toss is the ultimate summer main for a busy weeknight, outdoor picnic, or lunch on the go.
Farro Burrito Bowls
Enjoy these make-ahead grain bowls for lunch or as a no-cook dinner on hot days.
Farro, Green Bean, and Kale Salad
Hearty grains and kale are topped with crunchy haricots verts, juicy tomatoes, and creamy feta cheese. You'll love the mustardy dressing all week long.
Spinach, Hummus, and Bell Pepper Wraps
Fresh, flavorful, veggie-packed, and ready in a 10-minute snap—now that’s a meal we can stand behind! Hummus delivers a winning combo of protein and healthy fat for staying power, while fresh bell peppers and spinach provide a satisfying crunch. Tomato-and-basil feta cheese adds a kick of salty tang and Mediterranean flair. Make this wrap the night before and store in the fridge—just grab it in the morning on your way out the door. Pair this tasty wrap with whole-wheat crackers or a piece of fruit to round out a nutritious, delicious lunch.
Satay Soba Noodle Bowl
It’s amazing how many delicious meals can come from a can of coconut milk, a little nut butter, and a handful of other pantry staples. Here, with a rich and creamy shortcut satay sauce, soba noodles and frozen edamame are transformed into a scrumptious vegetarian main within a matter of minutes. In other words, during extra-chaotic weeks (as in, so chaotic you haven’t made it to the grocery store lately), this speedy supper is here for you. If you want to customize the dish with other fresh ingredients, go for it! This noodle bowl is a great base for creativity. If you just happened to have a block of tofu in the fridge, go ahead and crisp it up in some oil and add layer it on top of the noodles—you won’t be sorry.
This hearty veggie-forward main dish swaps pork and beef with grated eggplant and mushrooms for a robust, vegetable-based take on traditional pasta bolognese. That said, this is not the type of veggie dish that leaves one wanting, the eggplant and mushrooms develop a deeply rich flavor as the sauce simmers and thickens, delivering plenty of satisfying, umami goodness. Grating and squeezing out the liquid in the eggplant is an essential step, so don't try to shortcut it—otherwise, you’ll find yourself with a watery, slightly bitter sauce. To make the dish completely vegetarian, simply skip the Parmesan cheese. Serve family-style on a large platter for a stunning presentation.
Beet, Apple, and Goat Cheese Sandwich
For a refreshing yet hearty sandwich that you can pack for lunch in a breeze, this vegetarian beet and goat cheese sammie is a healthy, easy option. If you have a mandoline, go ahead and use that for slicing the beets. If not, use a sharp knife to cut slices as close to 1/8-inch-thickness as you can.
"Meaty" Vegetarian Chili
This is an all-time favorite for a chilly night. The classic meaty beef chili gets a modern makeover with the combination of three hearty beans and vegetarian ground “beef.” Make this dish in bulk and freeze the leftovers for a lazy dinner down the road, or pack it away for lunch all week long. Feel free to change up the vegetables in any way you’d like; butternut squash or zucchini are always delicious additions. A recipe so good, even carnivores will be asking for seconds.
Skillet Mushroom Mac and Cheese
Mushrooms and aged Gruyère cheese add heft and depth to this one-pan vegetarian main.
Vegetarian Burrito Bowls
These easy, delicious veggie bowls can be on your table in less time than it takes to drive to the local taco joint.
Penne with Ricotta and Greens
This saucy vegetarian pasta takes on a subtle peppery bite from the arugula and watercress, so feel free to leave out the red pepper if feeding heat-sensitive palates.
Fall Vegetable Curry
Embrace Indian flavors by making this vegetarian meal that only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.
Goat Cheese Nicoise Salad
Chevoo (shay-voo), a super-creamy goat cheese packed in jars of delicately infused olive oil, inspired this vegetarian take on the French summer salad. You can also make the dish with regular goat cheese and olive oil .
Greek Chopped Salad with Grilled Pita
We take the extra step of grilling the bell peppers along with the pita wedges to add a bit of char and smoky depth to the salad. You could also broil the peppers in the oven until blackened and peel them, and then toast the pita until browned.
Superfood Grain Bowl
Arrange quinoa, green beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado, and egg in a bowl for a simple, flavorful lunch. Simply drizzle on the buttermilk-herb dressing for a tasty meal.
Modern Cobb Salad
Toss together arugula, green beans, corn, buttermilk dressing, celery, and tomatoes for a veg-forward bowl. Then top with sunflower seeds for crunch and egg halves for a punch of protein.
Packable Power Salads
Pack dressing separately, and drizzle onto salads just before serving. You can also stuff each salad into a quart-sized jar with lid.
Romaine, Celery, and Parmesan Salad
This streamlined Caesar salad gets extra crunch from celery. We left the anchovies out of the dressing to keep it kid friendly, but if you're looking for that extra salty, fishy flavor, then go ahead and add it in.
Spring Salad with Herbed Goat Cheese
Get a full taste of spring with this baby spinach, pea, and asparagus salad topped with herbed goat cheese. Blanch the asparagus and peas, make the herbed goat cheese, and whisk together the dressing up to 1 day ahead. When you're ready to serve, toss the spinach and veggies with the dressing, top with the cheese, and lunch is ready. For ease in coating the goat cheese with herbs and cutting it into neat rounds, be sure to use the plastic wrap to help you roll it and keep it together as you slice.
Falafel, Feta, and Tomato Salad
Think of chopped falafel as a tasty, protein-packed crouton--it adds texture to the salad and instantly turns a simple side into a substantial main dish. We chose a Mediterranean theme here, but you could use any nuts, cheeses, or vegetables you like.
Autumn Glow Salad
This plant-powered salad delivers over 50% of your daily fiber and one-third of your daily potassium goal. Butternut squash is an excellent source of eye-healthy vitamin A and a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C and blood pressure-supporting potassium.