Whether you’re working (or doing school) remotely or in person and need fresh ideas, here are 15 easy vegan homemade lunch ideas that are ready in 15 minutes or less. Some pack up well to make them portable, others are best made and eaten right away.
Here’s a slew of ideas to explore that will please adult and teen eaters, as well as kids who are open to plant-based flavors and textures.
WRAPS & SANDWICH SPREADS
Chickpea Salad & Sandwich Spread: If you’ve been vegan for a while, you probably have your own version of this chickpea salad recipe. But if you’re a newbie or an omnivore, the idea of making a chopped chickpeas might be new to you. It’s just as good dolloped onto salad greens as it is as a spread on fresh bread.
Ridiculously Easy “Tofuna” — Tofu Salad or Sandwich Spread: “Tofuna,” aka tuna-style tofu salad, is my go-to recipe as a sandwich spread. You can also stuff it into pita bread, wrap it up with leafy greens, or mound over a simple green salad. Though all you absolutely need are three ingredients, the two optional ingredients are highly recommended.
Ultimate Tofu Eggless Salad: Tofu eggless salad has the look and feel of egg salad, though it’s not intended to fool anyone! Whether as an egg salad knock-off or not, it’s delicious in its own right. Serve open face or closed on fresh bread or in a pita. Shredded lettuce, green sprouts, or baby greens make it that much better. You can also skip the bread altogether and dollop it on a green salad — or serve in a large romaine leaf.
Baked Tofu Wraps with Greens, Apple, and Avocado: These easy baked tofu wraps feature baby greens, avocado, and the surprising pop of tart green apple.The ingredient that pulls everything together is French dressing. Its tart-sweet flavor is the perfect “secret sauce” for these wraps. That said, they’d be just as good with a tahini dressing, vegan ranch dressing, or even just vegan mayo.
Easy Creamy Coleslaw & Portobello Wraps: Teriyaki-glazed portobello mushrooms and creamy coleslaw make a dynamic duo in wraps that are equally good for lunch or dinner. If you’ve got any other type of mushroom on hand, go ahead and swap it in — this will still be delicious.
Olive Hummus Wraps with Greens & Avocado: Featuring an easy homemade olive hummus, these wraps are an easy and delicious lunch for home, school, or work. That being said, if you don’t want to take the extra time (maybe 5 minutes) to make your own olive hummus, go ahead and use prepared hummus and add some sliced olives to the wrap.
5 Deliciously Offbeat Ways to Make Avocado Toast: With a wealth of good fats and carbs, avocado toast makes a great quick lunch (or breakfast, of course). Here are 5 deliciously offbeat ways to embellish it, plus lots more ideas.
Rainbow Salad Bowl: You don’t have to slavishly follow a recipe to make an eye-popping rainbow salad bowl. Simply use plenty of colorful veggies and serve in an arrangement by color. As a quick lunch dish, this needs a bit of protein so toss some chickpeas or cubes of baked tofu over the top.
Curried Vegan Chicken Salad with Grapes & Almonds: This easy vegan chicken salad recipe — the classic curried variety — can be served on fresh bread or dolloped onto lettuce leaves. Like the original, there are just a few simple additions to the salad — grapes, celery, and scallion. It’s all pulled together with a mildly curry flavored vegan mayo.
Black Bean & Corn Salad: Here’s a classic black bean and corn salad recipe featuring avocado and grape tomatoes, dressed in lime vinaigrette. This recipe is made for a larger crowd, so go ahead and cut the quantity in half if you don’t need as much.
Super-Quick Two-Bean Salad: This super-easy two-bean salad can be made in 10 minutes or less. Bonus — this simple dish gives you the plant-powered goodness and protein of seeds as well. It makes a great portable lunch packed into a container for work or school or to enjoy for lunch at home, served with tortilla chips or fresh bread, and fresh fruit.
Super-Quick Butternut Squash Soup with Spinach & Peas: A quick butternut squash soup that comes together in minutes has to rely on a clever shortcut. And for this one, that’s a carton of butternut squash puree. Add lots of fresh baby spinach and scallions, and a heavenly hot soup is yours for lunch.
Easiest, Cheapest Raman Noodle Vegetable Soup: This ramen noodle vegetable soup comes in handy when you need a hot, comforting soup, and you need it right away. No chopping other than scallions! The clever hack here is using a bag of frozen mixed Asian vegetables. They taste surprisingly fresh and stay nice and crisp in the soup if you’re careful not to overcook.
Super-Easy Chickpea Curry (Chana Masala): An easy chickpea curry (also known as chana masala) is an always-welcome, practically last-minute meal. For an in-a-hurry lunch, simply add fresh flatbread or pita and a fruit to finish; if you’d like to make this for dinner, a simple salad and grain are nice accompaniments.
Hoisin-Ginger Udon Noodles: Hoisin-ginger udon noodles featuring plenty of bok choy is a 5-ingredient dish with great flavor that’s ready in minutes. Depending on how many servings you need for lunch, you may have enough to stretch to dinner. For extra protein, serve with a couple of slices of baked tofu or tempeh bacon. A few cherry tomatoes will add color to your bowl or plate.
Enjoy these vegan homemade lunch ideas on busy weekdays or leisurely weekends!