15 Vegan Lunch Ideas!

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on February 21, 2014

A few months ago, a blog reader asked me if I could share some lunch ideas to help her get out of a rut. That’s when it hit me that I was in quite the lunch rut myself too. I sent her some of my go-to lunch ideas (when I’m not in a rut, that is) and then I used this as a nudge to start creating more balanced lunches. As added motivation, I’ve been sharing lunch snapshots on Instagram because I thought it might be helpful for others in need of inspiration. I personally love seeing what other plant-based people whip up for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Sometimes you just need that one moment of inspiration to spark a new idea!

I have a couple main goals when making lunch:

1) They have to be quick to throw together. My secret is to rely on leftovers for most of my lunch. I’m not ashamed to admit I love leftovers. I think they’re big time savers and well, I can’t argue with the foods that taste even better the next day (like soup or chili). To me, the beauty of putting so much time and effort into food prep is that you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour the next day or two without any mess, dishes, or hassle. Leftovers rule! And if I get sick of any particular leftover, I just freeze it for another time…no big deal.

2) I aim for lunches that are packed with nutrition to fuel my day and keep my energy high. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s definitely something I shoot for most days.

veganlunchideas

Here are a handful of my favourite lunches from the past couple months, as shown above. I apologize for the photo quality – all photos were snapped on my phone. I’ll also share some other lunches I love in the list below.

1. Chickpea Quiche (new recipe I’m working on) + sides, sliced Gala apple, sliced carrots, Blissful Blueberry Banana Spelt Muffins with Strawberry Chia Seed Jam.

2. Big Burrito Bowl inspired by my Raw Taco Salad. It features a sun-dried tomato walnut “meat”, shredded kale, salsa, spiced tomato rice, green onions, black beans, and hummus. Divine!

3. Travel Meal: This is a meal I packed for travel last week. It includes a simple chickpea salad I threw together with balsamic vinaigrette, two slices of seedy spelt bread, hummus, apple, and a banana.

4. Leftover bowl of My Favourite Vegan Chili with Vegan Sour Cream. Perfect on a cold winter day!

5. Leftover soup, specifically my favourite Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato, and Kale Soup! With a huge side salad and toast with hummus. I love this lunch!!

6. A huge “kitchen sink” salad topped with leftover Cumin Lime Black Bean Quinoa Salad and hummus toast on the side.

7. Leftover bowl of cauliflower-potato-kale-lentil soup I was testing last December.

8. The Big Vegan Bowl! Packed with roasted chickpeas, sweet potatoes, quinoa, hummus, carrots, avocado, sliced cabbage, and more.

9. Avocado toast served on top of my Super Power Chia Bread.

Other lunch ideas not shown above:

10. Almond/Peanut/Sunflower Seed Butter and Chia Seed Jam on toast with fruit and veggies on the side

11. Ultimate 4-Layer Vegan Sandwich

12. Loaded Savoury Oatmeal

13. Wraps stuffed with crumbled veggie burgers or leftover casserole/burrito filling + veggies

14. Leftover Tofu Quiche

15. Easy Flaked Almond “Tuna” Salad – a reader favourite!

 

Ok, that’s all for now. I hope this list gives you some inspiration! Be sure to let us know in the comments what your favourite go-to lunches are.

Happy Friday!

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

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Erin @ Erin's Inside Job February 23, 2014 at 7:16 pm

Those were taken on your phone? They look amazing! I never have good lighting for my phone pictures. Anyway, it all looks delicious and I can’t wait for the cookbook on the 4th!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 24, 2014 at 8:24 am

haha thanks ;) I usually use a small white board to bounce light for pictures, especially if it’s dark or shadowy. Works like a charm!

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Alison February 23, 2014 at 9:07 pm

I’m interested in seeing the chickpea quiche. I can’t eat tofu (soy bothers my tummy) and if it soy-free I’d love to try the recipe.

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Rebecca Thomas February 24, 2014 at 8:36 am

Thank you so much! This was exactly what I needed to inspire my Monday morning move out of my own lunch rut. Your inspiration is much appreciated!

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Marian February 24, 2014 at 9:43 am

These are great ideas! Thank you for sharing! I’ve been pretty stuck lately as well as to what to pack for lunch. Simple fruits and vegetables are getting a little boring for me now. I really liked the idea for the vegan chili with homemade sour cream. I will definitely try it out soon!

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Stephanie L February 24, 2014 at 11:59 am

My go to is leftovers. However, I always keep cooked quinoa in the fridge so if I’m in a pinch its usually a bowl of quinoa, whatever veggies are in the chill and some apple cider/mustard vinigrette accompanied by good (homemade) seedy bread. I need to get more creative, but between school and work I fizzle out sometimes. LOL Thanks for the inspiration…I want that Big Vegan Bowl every.day.of.the.week. Please? =D

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Anna February 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm

I love all your lunch ideas! I get in food ruts all the time; same breakfast and lunch for weeks on end. I love having leftovers and I often will freeze 1-2 portions to have in the future.

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jacky February 24, 2014 at 4:30 pm

My go to lunch when I can’t think anymore is a variation of your Big Vegan Bowl. Whatever veggies I have in my fridge, I roast up, and throw whatever beans/tofu etc I have and a big dollop of hummus and/or avocado. no thinking & always delicious! Thanks for more ideas, going to try the quinoa/black bean salad tonight!

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Caroline February 24, 2014 at 7:10 pm

The quiche sounds amazing! I can’t wait till the recipe is ready!

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Christi Spivey February 24, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Thank you for the delicious Banana Bread Muffin Tops recipe! It was so easy to make. I thought they would be delicious as I was processing the bananas, dates, vanilla and coconut oil (the smell of the ingredients was heavenly) but I was not prepared for the wonderful texture and taste they had when they came out of the oven! I plan to always keep a batch of these on hand for snack emergencies.

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Catalina @ Baby on Board February 24, 2014 at 8:16 pm

So many great ideas, I have avocado toast on hummus almost every other day for lunch, sometimes I add sun dried tomato paste and cucumbers.

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Fat loss tea February 24, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Going vegan is healthy! There are a lot of recipes which you can have on your vegan diet and still manage to stay fit and healthy.

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Choylo Shaw February 25, 2014 at 1:42 am

Thanks for sharing :-) They all look very tasty and healthy. I’m having a hard time choosing which one to try for Lunch tomorrow lol.

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Vicky February 25, 2014 at 7:15 am

It’s just amazing! Thank you so much!

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April February 25, 2014 at 7:20 am

Good Morning!

This post was perfect. We’ve been stuck in a veggies & hummus rut for two weeks for lunches. I made your cumin, lime, black bean and quinoa salad for supper last night, adding in the last of the cherry tomatoes and an avocado, and have enough left for a couple of lunches for my daughter and I. We all loved this. My 9 year old daughter said “Put that one in THE BOOK” which is her cookbook of her favorite recipes I make. It only makes the book if she loves it. This was definitely Amber approved. Thanks for coming through, once again. Can’t wait for your cookbook to come in. Loved the extra book you put out as well!! :)

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Nell Foster February 25, 2014 at 1:28 pm

I work from home & make lunch every day so thanks for all the ideas. Looking forward to the Chickpea Quiche recipe!

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Iman February 25, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Wow! these lunch ideas are utterly marvellous! My fav is the Travel Meal, it incorporates some brekkie items and I’m very obsessed with breakfast :D I also love the collage, your blogs pictures are amazing(I’ve been reading your blog for long now! and love it!) it’s fabulous, Those pancakes you come up with and the granola recipes, yuuuuum! :D

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Taryn Inglis February 27, 2014 at 12:13 pm

I just wanted to say that I have recently started reading your blog and am very unhappy… Because now I am going to go to the store and put myself into debt buying all of the ingredients to make all of these delicious recipes!

Definitely trying the vegan chili ASAP! :) Love love LOVE your blog and all of the recipes! (And those desserts though…)

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lorelei February 28, 2014 at 7:18 pm

One of my fav vegan lunches is leftover baked potato smothered in homemade salsa, some guacamole and just a little bit of Sriracha. If I have some grilled mushrooms, I’ll throw those on too! It’s really good hot or cold. Makes me want to have some right now. Also, any leftover soup makes a great topping to a baked potato!

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Lauren March 2, 2014 at 6:36 pm

This may sound silly, but can you talk a little bit about freezing your leftovers? What sort of storage containers do you use? I’m super lucky and get a ton of fresh produce through my job, but that means I’m always cooking, to the point where the amount of food is a little ridiculous for one person.

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Shelley March 3, 2014 at 1:14 pm

I was so excited to receive my copy of your new cookbook. I have made a few soups/stews, smoothies and the metabolism-boosting green citrus tea which is simply divine. I can’t get enough of the indian lentil-cauliflower soup…I just love it :) Tonight – veggie burger!!

Congratulations on the success of your new book, it has quickly become one of my all time favourites.

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Fiona March 3, 2014 at 4:00 pm

I’m so glad you mentioned Savoury Oats! I don’t know how I missed them on your blog before! I looked at all of your Savoury Oats posts and made mine with oats, almond milk, water, veg broth, leftover cut up balsamic glazed tempeh, leftover cauliflower/potato mashed potatoes, frozen veggies, and garlic, pepper, parsley, and nooch! AMAZING!
It got me to thinking, have you ever tried a cold savoury oats recipe? (Kind of like overnight breakfast oats, but a savoury lunch version)? I thought of it because I was thinking how cheap, easy, and delicious this is and how is want to eat it all year long, but then I realized I wouldn’t want hot food like this when the weather is warm. If you haven’t tried it, maybe it’s an idea to explore? :) Or perhaps I’ll try it myself this summer!

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Alexandra March 6, 2014 at 12:04 pm

These all sound amazing! I am currently studying abroad and living with a host family. My program doesn’t allow us to make our own meals in our home stays, which I find frustrating at times, so I can’t wait to try these out when I return to the states. These all look perfect for helping me get on a much needed health grind!

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Jessica Lauren DeBry March 9, 2014 at 1:23 am

Yes, yes and yes! So many good suggestions. I myself like to keep cooked quinoa and lentils in the fridge, and then do some sort of bowl with those and whatever veggies and sauces I have on hand. I LOVE a hearty lunch!

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Heidi Kinnamon March 11, 2014 at 9:31 am

I love your website! I hope you don’t mind but I am following you! Your ideas are amazing and I have already tried a few of your recipes. I just started to blog but I hope when I “grow up” that mine will be as cool as yours someday… :)
Thank you for the amazing photographs and great ideas!!

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Christian March 15, 2014 at 7:34 am

I’m with you there on the left-overs. You’re not alone. My wife does it all the time. Just add a couple of more items or some ingredients or mix to make it taste just a bit differently from how it tasted yesterday and she’s in business. And we’ve gotten a few bucks saved!

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Gretchen March 15, 2014 at 1:12 pm

YUM! And for those looking to dine out, here are GMO free vegan fast food options…

theveganvibe.com/3/post/2014/03/top-3-vegan-pure-fast-food-joints.html

ps – Your photography is beautiful!

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Makenna March 16, 2014 at 5:46 pm

How do you make the spiced tomato rice in the Big Burrito Bowl? It looks great!

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Michele March 24, 2014 at 11:34 am

Thank you for existing, for Oh she glows. It is just amazing. And I read this morning about your news! Félicitations we would say in French, a beautiful baby’s coming soon :) mommie!

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Laura April 18, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Angela-

Your recipes are amazing! I got your cookbook less than a month ago and I have made at least half of the recipes already. Not a bad one yet. All fantastic. The enchiladas might be my favorite so far. Can’t wait for the next cookbook! Keep up the great work and congratulations!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 21, 2014 at 10:03 am

Hi Laura, Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so happy you are enjoying it :)

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Ana September 17, 2014 at 8:40 am

Very nice recipes. I love them and I cannot wait to prepare the first one as soon as I come home now.

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Lori Rizzo September 19, 2014 at 8:46 am

I am an event planner and caterer .I am considering bringing a vegan food product to market. In your opinion what are we lacking by way of frozen meals, sauces, dips, etc that would be something you would like to see more of on store shelves?

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sinikka May 9, 2015 at 4:20 am

I get so much inspiration from you guys! its hard to find a recipe that i dont like!
99% of people wouldn’t eat the meat they have in front of them if they knew the horrible things that has happend to allow them to eat that meat. Just try a few Vegan recipes!
Thats all it takes!

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jackie lee May 12, 2015 at 2:21 am

Great ideas and very timely, as I’m stuck in a rut, too. Thanks! One of my fave lunches is chick pea pate. Whizz a drained and rinsed carton of chick peas with 2 tablespoons of sun-dried tomato paste (or to taste) and 2 – 3 sprigs of fresh basil in a food processor. You might need to add a little water so it ‘sticks’ together. I have it on Dr Karg’s crispbreads with a big salad. Delicious and filling!

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Dante May 25, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Alrighty I need some help on lunches please?
I am so tired of sandwiches, soup and salads for lunch is there nothing else for lunches any more?
I can not eat tofu or lentils of any kind, so no chickpea’s, black beans etc..So what else is there for lunch???
Thanks everyone…

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Jerry July 24, 2016 at 1:17 pm

I love these idea’s, but I have one problem, my partner and I work from home, and he will not eat another sandwich, soup or salad, he was mostly raised on those, so not sure what to do for lunches anymore, anyone have ideas?
He can not have lentils or beans of any kind, thanks.

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Angela Liddon July 29, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Hi Jerry, Oh, that’s a tough one! I find the benefit of working at home, though, is that you have full access to your kitchen, so that should help expand your options a bit more. My Broccoli & Cashew Cheese-Quinoa Burritos (The Oh She Glows Cookbook p. 159) are a tasty possibility; the filling could be prepared beforehand, stored in the fridge in an airtight container, and reheated then placed in a tortilla wrap when you’re ready to have it for lunch. Sometimes just switching up the traditional sandwich into a wrap makes things so much more exciting! You could also do the same with my other burrito fillings (try my newest DIY Burrito Bowl or my Black Bean and Butternut Squash Burritos from back in 2011!). If he can’t have beans, you could simply leave them out or swap them for more veggies, tofu, or quinoa. Again, you can prepare the filling in advance and simply reheat the leftovers and wrap it up for lunch. Easy and so tasty! The filling often tastes even better the next day, too.

If you’re open to a “second breakfast”–type meal, I’d recommend my Sunrise Scramble with Roasted Home Fries & Avocado Toast (p. 33). Or, if you’re really on board with second breakfast, there’s nothing wrong with going for a hearty smoothie bowl (like my Green Tea Lime Pie Smoothie Bowl), overnight oats, or a meal-sized protein smoothie. Sometimes when it’s really hot out I make a huge meal-sized smoothie that’s packed with hemp, chia, protein powder, veggies, fruit, and more.

You could also whip up my Life-Affirming Warm Nacho Dip (p. 83). Stored in an airtight container, it can be kept in the fridge for 3 to 5 days and easily reheated in the oven, so you can make a batch one evening and let it feed you for at least a couple lunchtimes (depending on how quickly you gobble it down! It never seems to last very long in our house…).

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Anastasia September 9, 2016 at 3:26 am

Wow these look AMAZING!! I’m so happy you’re showing people that a healthy lunch doesn’t have to be boring. Awesome ?

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