Find affordable vegetarian lunch ideas made with plant-based protein and easy sides. These 10 ideas are great for kid’s lunches and adult lunches for home or at work.
Vegetarian Lunch Ideas
Relying on vegetarian protein and ingredients is an affordable way to assemble healthy lunches—and there are so many delicious options for kids and adults. These 10 ideas are easy to make, filling and satisfying with a mix of nutrients, and perfect for packed lunches or lunches at home.
Each of these ideas is meant to be an option for the kids and for us adults. There are a lot of ways to vary these ideas for your own personal preferences, so feel free to use them as starting points for your own lunches.
See below to find my favorite vegetarian lunches.
TIP: Brush up on easy vegetarian protein foods, too, for more affordable ways to include filling foods in meals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Eating from at least 2-3 food groups at each meal can help keep us full and nourished—and that’s especially true for vegetarian lunches. Aim to include some protein and healthy fats for a satisfying lunch.
Easy vegetarian lunch options including hard-cooked eggs with crackers, nut or seed butter sandwiches with jam, hummus wraps, DIY Lunchables (without meat), DIY Uncrustables, pasta salad, hummus and crackers or bread, cheese and cracker plate, rice and bean burritos, bean and cheese quesadillas, and more are easy options.
This post includes many options that might work for you! To me, the best thing to make for lunch is food that is easy to prepare, yummy to eat, and easy to pack if you need to send it to school or work.
Spread hummus onto a whole grain tortilla. Place cheese and thinly sliced veggies into the center. Roll up into a simple wrap. Serve the ingredients of this side-by-side cut into small pieces for younger kids who need more help chewing complex textures.
Quickly combine a few simple ingredients to make a really yummy lunch wrap. This recipe makes one wrap, so increase the serving size as necessary.
Pair soft bread with easy fillings like thinly sliced cucumber and cream cheese, hummus and shredded carrot, Nutella and jam, raspberries and lemon curd, PB&J, and more to make these fun tea sandwiches.
Learn how to make quick tea sandwiches for kids to have at a tea party or a special lunch or snack. There are 6 filling options here, plus tips for cutting bread, which breads to use, and which tea to pair with the finger sandwiches.
Pesto Pasta Salad
Served cold or at room temperature, this easy pasta salad is a perfect make-ahead lunch option to share with kids. The pasta, beans, and cheese help make sure this is plenty satisfying.
Pair a bagel, either mini size or regular, with cream cheese and jam, just cream cheese, hard-cooked egg, or hummus to make a simple sandwich.
Use these specific ideas for packed lunches or consider them inspiration for packing ones unique to your child. Nutrition info will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.
Wild Salmon Salad Sandwiches
Stir together this salmon salad (which is packed with healthy fats) in minutes and pair it with bread or crackers for a simple lunch option.
We use homemade relish in this recipe but you can use any that you like the flavor of.
Pizza Bites (with Veggies)
Wrap pizza dough around veggies and cheese to bake up a batch of pizza bites to share with the kids. We like them with broccoli, but carrot and other veggies also work. Pack in a thermos or warm to serve at home.
Fluffy pizza bites are a delicious lunch or dinner option—and you can customize the filling to please your kids! We like these with a little side of warmed marinara sauce for dipping.
Mac and Cheese with Peas
Pair a box of mac and cheese with frozen peas for a filling (and easy!) lunch option. (You may also like this Mac and Cheese Bites idea, too.)
With an easy method and a yummy, satisfying result, this quick toddler meal is one of our go-to shortcut kids meals.
Bake eggs, cheese, and veggies in a mini muffin tin for these bite-size frittatas. They are delicious warmed or at room temperature, and they make an easy meal when paired with crackers and fruit.
Feel free to double the recipe to make a full 24 mini muffins! We like to stash these in the fridge to eat all week, so having more is usually helpful in our house.
Blend up a simple creamy sauce with a base of avocado, then toss with a favorite pasta. Add some beans or peas, or serve with a simple smoothie to make this idea more filling.
Any pasta shape works in this recipe, so choose your family’s favorite! Omit the garlic if you think the flavor might be too strong for your people. My kids prefer this without the garlic. I like it with it for myself!
I love a muffin lunch where you surround a muffin with easy sides like fruit, raw veggies, and cheese (or a smoothie or milk). You can use any muffin you prefer, though these Strawberry Muffins are great.
I love the burst of flavor that the fresh lemon adds to this recipe, so it’s worth adding that ingredient if you can. These can be served at room temperature or slightly warmed according to your preference.
Best Tips for Vegetarian Lunches
- Aim to include 2-3 food groups in a vegetarian lunch to cover nutrient needs.
- Aim to include some vegetarian protein and healthy fats to help the meal satisfy.
- Include a drink such as milk or water.
- Add lunch snacks or easy sides like diced fruit, applesauce, crackers, or nondairy milk to round out these lunch ideas.
- Pack in a lunch box or serve at home.
I’d love to hear your feedback on this idea, so please comment below to share!