You won’t go hungry with this helpful list of vegan packed lunch ideas that include sandwiches, wraps, tacos, salads, pasta, and leftovers.
Over the years David and I have taken turns being the Chef of Vegan Packed Lunch. Depending on who has to get up and out the door first, one person puts lunches together while the other gets ready.
As of late, the lunch making duties have been falling to me more often than not. At the early hours of morning, it’s nice to have some simple things to grab to make putting together noon-time meals easy.
These are the most popular vegan packed lunch ideas going through our kitchen these days:
1. Baked Tofu & Salad
Whenever I’m making baked tofu for dinner, I try to make extra for lunches later in the week. Whether they’re slipped into sandwiches, diced in salads, put on bowls, or eaten on their own, they’re a tasty addition that fills you up.
My all-time favorite is my easy baked tofu recipe. The tofu is delicious served either hot or cold!
Don’t have time to cook? Baked tofu from Wildwood or Trader Joe’s is also super easy. The TJ’s brand comes in two flavors – teriyaki or Sriracha.
Baked tofu goes well with any kind of salad like Israeli couscous salad (shown above), easy spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette, green leaf lettuce salad with creamy cashew dressing, kale salad with lemon tahini dressing, or a summery spinach salad with strawberries.
Balsamic vinaigrette (used on the spinach salad) and lemon tahini dressing are especially easy to throw together in the morning, because no blender is required.
2. Tacos, Burritos or Burrito Bowls
Tacos, burritos, and burrito bowls are all easy to throw together with leftovers. Since we have tacos for dinner at least one night of the week, I grab leftover spicy black beans and put them into containers along with green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.
When I make rice or barley, I like to make extra for freezing, and they both reheat in the microwave marvelously well. (If the rice or barley is too dry, just add a couple of tablespoons of water to the container while reheating.) Trader Joe’s also sells frozen rice, and that’s super handy for quick lunches.
Daiya vegan cheese also freezes well, and so I can take out just a few pinches of cheddar or cut half of an avocado, taking the half with the pit inside. (Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice on the cut avocado to keep it from oxidizing, or put it in the container with the chopped onion.)
Put it together with a flour or corn tortilla, and you’re good to go.
3. Pasta with Marinara
For something totally easy, pasta fits the bill! I either pull dried pasta from the cabinet or ravioli from the freezer. (Rising Moon Organics makes several varieties of vegan ravioli, in addition to some with animal-based cheeses.)
After just eight to ten minutes in boiling water, I drain it and add it to a container with some jarred pasta sauce. If I have more time, I’ll sauté bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions to go into the sauce as well.
Add an apple, and lunch is ready!
4. Soup with Bread or Crackers
When the weather is cold and icy, a thermos full of hot soup really hits the spot.
My favorite vegan soup options include:
- Creamy vegan tomato soup
- Vegan miso soup
- Split pea soup
- Fully loaded vegan baked potato soup
- Three bean chili
5. Sandwiches & Wraps
Of course, it wouldn’t be a lunch post without a mention of sandwiches or wraps. You can’t get easier than grabbing a couple pieces of bread or a tortilla, your favorite filling, and adding a handful of potato chips.
Some easy vegan sandwiches & wraps for packed lunches include:
- Vegan tuna salad sandwiches with chickpeas
- Curried tofu salad
- Vegan egg salad sandwiches
- Bagel sandwich with hummus & vegetables
- Picnic sandwich with jalapeño cashew cheese
- Vegan BBQ sandwich with Soy Curls & cole slaw
- Double hummus wraps
- Spring roll-inspired vegan wrap with peanut sauce
For a completely hassle free option there are all kinds of vegan deli slices on the market.
Herbivorous Butcher pastrami is our all-time favorite. Field Roast deli slices are quick, delicious, and widely available. They come in three flavors – lentil sage, wild mushroom, and smoked tomato. Tofurky also has deli slices, and they are inexpensive and tasty.
Add a pickle and a slathering of mustard, and you’re out the door in ten minutes flat.
To go with your sandwich add a bag of chips, vegan potato salad, bowtie pasta salad with roasted chickpeas, or even just some frozen vegetables with a dollop of non-dairy butter. David especially likes corn in his lunch.
Many days of the week, lunch is put together easily by way of leftovers.
Stews and rice dishes re-heat especially well, like Indian fried rice, pesto rice, kimchi fried rice, and Brussels sprouts vegan fried rice. Leftover marinated lentils or air fryer baked potatoes are also a super filling option.
Check out my guide to easy vegan lunches for even more ways to stock your kitchen for fool-proof bagged lunches.
What are your favorite lunch options to take on the go?