Find affordable and filling vegetarian lunch ideas made with vegetables, 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-on-countertop

Vegetarian Lunch Ideas

Relying on vegetarian protein and ingredients is an affordable way to assemble nutritious lunch box Ideas—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 ideas 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.

(You may also like my list of cold lunch ideas for kids, vegetarian protein foods, too, and my Protein Snacks for Kids for more affordable ways to include filling foods in meals. And my Homemade Uncrustables.)

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Frequently Asked Questions

What should a vegetarian eat for lunch?

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 vegetarian protein sources and healthy fats for a satisfying lunch.

What can vegetarians eat for lunch at school?

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.

What is the best thing to make for lunch?

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.

hummus wrap in lunchbox with apples and tomatoes

Hummus Wrap

Spread hummus (which is blended chickpeas) 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. Use Homemade Hummus (without tahini if needed for nut-free) or store bought.

Easy Hummus Wrap (to Share with the Kids)
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.
Easy Hummus Wrap (to Share with the Kids)
hummus wraps on white plates with apple slices
egg sandwiches in lunchbox

Finger Sandwiches

Pair soft bread with easy fillings like thinly sliced cucumber and cream cheese, hummus and shredded carrot or tomatoes, Nutella and jam, raspberries and lemon curd, PB&J, chickpea salad, and more to make these fun tea sandwiches. Use gluten-free bread as needed to make filling sandwiches for kids.

Tea Sandwiches for Kids
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.
Tea Sandwiches for Kids
stack of tea sandwiches for kids on plate
pesto-pasta-salad-in-lunch-box

Pesto Pasta Salad

Served cold or at room temperature, this easy pesto pasta salad is a perfect make-ahead vegetarian lunch option to share with kids. The pasta, beans, and cheese help make sure this is plenty satisfying.

Easy Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe
This is an easy family dinner or lunch. I like to use Spinach Pesto for this, but any will work if you prefer to buy it pre-made from the store.
Easy Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe
pesto-pasta-salad-in-bowl
bagel-sandwich-lunch in lunchbox

Bagel Sandwich

Pair a bagel, either mini size or regular, with cream cheese and jam, just cream cheese, hard-cooked egg, peanut butter or sunflower seed butter, or hummus to make a simple sandwich as a vegetarian lunch idea. (Pinwheel Sandwiches are fun too.)

10 Easiest No-Cook School Lunch Ideas
Use these no-cook school lunch ideas for easy packed kids lunches, or consider them inspiration for packing ones unique to your child. Nutrition info will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.
10 Easiest No-Cook School Lunch Ideas
no-cook-school-lunches-in-lunch-boxes
baked tofu on yellow plate

Easy Baked Tofu

Bake up a batch of protein-rich Baked Tofu and pair with crackers and fruit (or over a salad for yourself) for an easy meal to share. This can be served warmed out of the oven or leftover out of the fridge as an easy vegetarian lunch idea.

Easy Baked Tofu (to Share with the Kids)
Learn how to make the easiest, most delish Baked Tofu with basic pantry staples and a hands-off method. This is our favorite way to turn an affordable plant-based protein into a meal component to share. We like this over rice noodles, rice, or quinoa, but it's very versatile.
Easy Baked Tofu (to Share with the Kids)
baked tofu on purple plate
pizza-bites-in-lunchbox

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. (You might also like my easy Pizza Pinwheels.)

Favorite Pizza Bites
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.
Favorite Pizza Bites
pizza-bites-on-plate-with-pizza-sauce
mac-and-cheese-in-pink-lunchbox

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 and my Pasta with Peas ideas, too.)

Mac and Cheese with Peas (Fav Shortcut Toddler Meal)
With an easy method and a yummy, satisfying result, this quick toddler meal is one of our go-to shortcut kids meals.
Mac and Cheese with Peas (Fav Shortcut Toddler Meal)
mac-and-cheese-with-peas
zucchini egg cups on yellow plate

Egg Cups

Bake eggs, cheese, and veggies in a mini muffin tin for these bite-size frittatas. This vegetarian lunch idea is delicious warmed or at room temperature, and they make an easy meal when paired with crackers and fruit.

Easy Egg Cups (with Zucchini and Cheese)
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.
Easy Egg Cups (with Zucchini and Cheese)
zucchini egg cups with berries and crackers
avocado-pasta-in-bowls-on-towel

Avocado Pasta

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 toddler smoothie to make this idea more filling.

Easy Avocado Pasta
With a creamy, veggie-packed sauce, this easy Avocado Pasta is packed with kid-friendly flavor and nutrients. And the whole recipe can be made in about 10 minutes of cooking time.
Easy Avocado Pasta
avocado-pasta-in-bowls-on-towel
strawberry-muffin-lunch

Strawberry Muffins

I love a muffin lunch where you surround a muffin for kids with easy sides like fruit, veggies for lunch, and cheese (or a smoothie or milk). You can use any muffin you prefer, though these Strawberry Muffins are great.

Healthy Strawberry Muffins
With fresh berries and a burst of lemon, these healthy Strawberry Muffins are a delicious and nutritious breakfast or snack to share with the kids.
Healthy Strawberry Muffins
healthy strawberry muffins on cooling rack.

Easy Lunch Sides and Snacks to Add

You can add any fruit you like, or try these easy sides to round out a lunch.

Roasted sweet potatoes, soups packed in a thermos, black beans with a little salsa for flavor, sliced red bell pepper and dip like ranch, yogurt with a little jam or fruit sauce, cucumber slices, any other leftovers you happen to have, applesauce, whole grain crackers, or fruit salad. (Find more lunch snacks.)

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 kids lunch box or serve at home.
  • Make these meals vegan by omitting the dairy or using a vegan cheese alternative.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this idea, so please comment below to share!

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hummus wrap on plate with tomatoes

Favorite Vegetarian Lunch Ideas

Find affordable vegetarian lunch ideas made with plant-based protein and easy sides. These ideas are great for kid’s lunches and adult lunches for home or at work, starting with this easy hummus wrap.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Cuisine American
Course lunch
Calories 364kcal
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 whole wheat flour tortilla (fajita size; or other type of tortilla)
  • ¼ cup hummus
  • 1-2 slices cheese (such as cheddar or American or crumbled feta)
  • ¼ cup shredded lettuce
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • 2 slices tomatoes (optional)
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Instructions

  • Place the wrap onto a cutting board or clean work surface. If it's not at room temperature, warm it in the microwave for 15 seconds.
  • Spread on the hummus to about ½ inch away from the edges.
  • Add the cheese, if using, and veggies in a little line in the middle.
  • Starting on one side, roll up as tightly as you can. Move the veggies back to the center if they move a little as you work to tightly secure them inside the wrap. The hummus will help hold the tortilla in place.
  • Cut in half with a serrated knife or cut into a few spirals. Serve or pack in a lunch.

Notes

  • If your tortilla isn’t at room temperature, warm it for 15 seconds in the microwave or briefly in a pan over medium heat to help it become a little more pliable—and easy to roll.
  • I prefer to use a fajita-size tortilla in this recipe. You can use whole-wheat or flour.
  • Trade in crumbled goat cheese or feta for the sliced cheddar cheese if you prefer.
  • Use thinly sliced veggies that you and the kids like.
  • Serve deconstructed for younger eaters who may find the texture of a full wrap too hard to hold and bite.
  • Add more flavor with a drizzle of Italian or Caesar dressing.
  • Add desired lunch sides to round out the meal.

Nutrition

Serving: 1wrap, Calories: 364kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 707mg, Potassium: 303mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2156IU, Vitamin C: 50mg, Calcium: 314mg, Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This post was first published August 2022.

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