Whether you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, enjoy some meatless meals, or simply prefer lighter fare at lunchtime, I’m certain this article has something for you. If you need some new inspiration for meat-free lunch ideas that can be easily packed up and taken to work — or on a picnic! — then you’ve come to the right place. Here are 15 delicious meat-free lunch ideas! Click on the headings to be directed to the recipes.
1. Chickpea Salad Sandwich
This sandwich is sure to satisfy hunger as chickpeas are loaded with fibre to keep you satiated throughout the day. If you were a fan of chicken or tuna salad before adopting a plant-based diet, this sandwich might just fill that void. Not only is it delicious, but super easy to whip together in the morning before work or at night before bed.
2. Veggie Sushi In A Jar
Been craving sushi lately? This idea is genius! Very easy to make, and easy to take with you wherever you’re going. You can customize it anyway you please and experiment with a variety of different ingredients depending on what might hit the spot. Also, you can easily substitute the sticky rice with brown rice or quinoa for some extra fibre and nutrients.
3. Mason Jar Salads
If you’re looking for a light lunch, than look no further! These mason jar salads might be exactly what you need to satisfy your need, for greens and other lovely salad accompaniments. These are very customizable, just imagine, greens, quinoa, avocado, chickpeas, cucumber, carrots, sliced almonds, bell peppers, tomato, mushrooms, sprouts, sunflower seeds, black beans, hummus, avocado – the combinations are literally endless! By placing your dressing at the bottom it keeps the greens from wilting and you just shake the whole thing up when you’re ready for lunch.
4. Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Quinoa Salad
This is one of those lunch ideas that could essentially also be leftovers from dinner the night before, it’s super simple to whip up for dinner, and then voila! There’s lunch for the next day, this couldn’t be any easier.
5. Roasted Cauliflower Tacos
YUM!! These are so delicious that even the meat-eaters will swoon when they see what you have for lunch. These are the best substitute for fish tacos that I’ve ever seen. Enjoy!
6. Sweet Potato & Kale Burritos
These burritos are not only easy to make, but they are easy to make in large batches, which means you can make a whole bunch, roll them all up and then freeze the rest. In the morning, you can literally just grab and go, it should be thawed by lunch and ready to be heated up in the nearest toaster oven. These are also perfect if you know you are going to be away from home for awhile and don’t want to eat out.
7. Stuffed Sweet Potato With Kale & White Beans
Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest foods in the world. They can easily be roasted, whole in batches and stored in the refrigerator for a few days until you are ready to use them. These stuffed sweet potatoes provide a more satisfying meal as the beans add more protein. Again, these fillings are completely customizable to suit your tastes.
8. Spinach, Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Quesadillas
Very simple, and again, very delicious! Like the burritos, these can easily be made ahead of time and frozen until you’re ready for lunch or are looking for a quick and simple dinner. This recipe is delicious, however you can experiment with any combination you like. Pair this with a salad and there you have it, a perfect lunch!
9. Gluten Free Instant Noodles In A Cup
Depending on when you grew up, you might have fond memories of Mr. Noodles in a cup, where you just add hot water, wait a few minutes and BAM! Instant ramen noodle soup. Well, unfortunately those processed and packaged soups often contain a lot of preservatives and other chemicals such as MSG. Luckily, there is a healthy substitute for nearly everything, and yes you can still have your noodles in a cup, and eat them too.
10. Chickpea, Tomato & Basil Salad
Do not underestimate the simplicity of this salad! It may seem very basic, but please don’t knock it till you try it. If you make this in the evening and let all of these beautiful flavours and colours meld together you are in for a very tasty treat.
11. Smashed White Bean, Avocado & Basil Sandwich
Who doesn’t LOVE avocado toast? I suppose those that don’t like avocados, well, if that’s you, you can go ahead and skip this one, but if it is you, oh man, you’re going to love this one. The beans and basil give the classic avocado just the oomph the classic avocado toast needs to constitute a meal that is sure to satisfy.
12. Glowing Lentil Soup
Who doesn’t love a hot soup?! Well maybe not everyone in the summer, but on those chilly days I swear there is nothing more comforting than a bowl of piping hot soup. Lentil soup is filling, delicious and oh-so- satisfying! This can easily be taken to work in a mason jar and heated up just in time for lunch.
13. Lentil Chili
I could literally just copy paste the exact definition of the above soup and use it here, but I won’t, chilli deserves it’s very own write up. Chilli is one of those great things that can be made from a bunch of random vegetables that need to be used and a ton of spices, especially chilli spice and maybe even some jalepeños if that’s your style. This recipe will leave your tummy feeling warm and full.
14. Veggie Lettuce Wraps
Surprisingly easy to make, these lettuce wraps are not only healthy but super fresh and delicious. This is another recipe that can be easily customized to suit your taste preferences, with this lunch, you’ll be the talk of your office or wherever it is that you may work.
15. TLT- Tempeh, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich
This one is a personal favourite of mine, possibly because for a few years I fully believed that I had invented it, until my dreams were crushed while flipping through a vegan cookbook that was written before I adopted a more plant-based lifestyle. Nevertheless, if you were ever a fan of the traditional BLT, you are sure to love this sandwich. If you slice the tempeh real thin, and cook it until crispy, it tastes very similar to the real thing – and no pigs had to die! Win-win.
There you have it! 15 amazing recipes that you can take with you to work for lunch! Even if you aren’t into going completely vegan, that’s totally fine. These recipes are good for both meat and veggie eaters alike. You may even just inspire some of your co-workers to try it out or try something different.