16 Vegetarian Lunch Ideas

Cold soba noddle recipe

The Spruce / Andrew Bui

It's easy to get stuck in a lunchtime rut. Dinner often soaks up most of our attention, leaving little time and effort left for a mid-day meal. Luckily, there are plenty of quick and easy vegetarian options available. Whether you're a full-time vegetarian or trying to cut down on meat, these dishes will leave you satisfied. Some are lightning-fast while others can be made ahead of time, and they're all packable and sure to make your day more delicious.

  • 01 of 16

    Vegetarian Oven-Baked Cheese and Bell Pepper Quesadillas

    Cheese and bell pepper quesadilla

    The Spruce / Emily Hawkes

    Whip up a batch of cheesy quesadillas using your oven—it saves time and mess. The quesadillas are fun to share or reheat for a future lunch. Serve with black bean salsa and avocado or stuff with extra fillings to make it a one-dish meal.

  • 02 of 16

    Orange or Red Lentils With Tomato (Masoor Dal)

    Lentils with tomato masoor dal recipe

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

    Orange or red split lentils are transformed into a creamy and fragrant soup (also known as masoor dal) in just half an hour. You'll only need a few ingredients, and the dish can be served as-is or with steamed rice.

  • 03 of 16

    Garden Pasta Salad With Rotini

    Garden pasta salad with rotini

    The Spruce

    Full of fresh veggies like cucumber, tomato, and bell peppers, as well as olives, this one-dish lunch is a meal prep dream. A creamy sauce of mayonnaise and pesto adds tons of flavor. Use store-bought or, for a real treat, make your own pesto.

  • 04 of 16

    Buddha Bowl

    buddha bowl topped with veggies and lime wedges

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney 

    Colorful Buddha bowls are a fun and nutritionally complete meal in a bowl. Browned tofu, crisp veggies, and fluffy quinoa are topped with a creamy and flavor-packed peanut-tahini dressing. It's easy to make your own twist on this bowl, using your favorite veggies and swapping out the grain.

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  • 05 of 16

    30 Minute Mexican Enchiladas

    30 Minute Mexican Enchiladas Recipe

     The Spruce

    Enchiladas don't have to take all day to make. These 30-minute cheese enchiladas are super easy and delicious. Add your choice of additional fillings, like sautéed peppers, onions, mushrooms, or spinach. Leftovers reheat well, too.

  • 06 of 16

    Deviled Egg Salad

    deviled egg salad

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Enjoy everyone's favorite appetizer for lunch. This egg salad has all of the flavors of deviled eggs in an easier-to-pack form. Enjoy as a sandwich or with toast points, or use it to top a green salad.

  • 07 of 16

    Greek Salad With Lettuce and Lemon Garlic Dressing

    Classic Greek salad recipe

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

    It's hard to beat a classic Greek salad. The combination of crisp lettuce, crunchy cucumber, juicy tomato, zesty bell peppers, radishes, and salty feta is a lunchtime dream. The simple, but tasty, lemon and garlic dressing takes just minutes to throw together.

  • 08 of 16

    Sabich Sandwich

    Sabich Sandwich

    The Spruce / Anita Schecter

    A sabich sandwich is a Middle Eastern dish with pan-fried eggplant and egg with toppings like hummus, fresh veggies, and tahini sauce. You can prepare the components ahead of time, like the eggplant, hard-boiled eggs, and salad. Simply reheat the eggplant and assemble.

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  • 09 of 16

    Zucchini Patties With Quinoa

    zucchini patties with quinoa recipe

    The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo 

    Crisp and savory, quinoa and zucchini patties are fun to eat. Make a big batch and store the extras in the fridge. They can be quickly reheated in a toaster oven or in a pan with a little oil. Serve as part of a salad or turn them into a sandwich, topping with the dill sauce.

  • 10 of 16

    Cold Soba Noodle Salad

    Cold soba noddle recipe

    The Spruce / Andrew Bui

    Soba noodles are made using buckwheat flour. They cook quickly, and after a quick rinse in cold water, they make a chewy base for a soba noodle salad. Toss with fresh vegetables and ginger, sesame, and lime dressing for a super simple meal. Leftovers will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.

  • 11 of 16

    Slow Cooker Vegetarian Taco Soup

    Vegetarian Taco Soup in the Crock pot

    The Spruce

    For a real hands-off lunch, pull out the slow cooker. A combination of pinto, black, and kidney beans along with corn, tomatoes, and spices cooks while you carry on with your day. When ready to serve the taco soup, top with cheese, sour cream, or green onions. It reheats and freezes well, too.

  • 12 of 16

    Easy Vegetarian Rice and Bean Burrito

    Basic rice and beans burrito recipe

    ​The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

    A quick mixture of rice, beans, salsa, and spices are combined and stuffed into tortillas for these easy vegetarian burritos. Add cooked peppers and onions or vegetarian chorizo if you like. If you don't include cheese, avocado, or lettuce in your burritos, they can be tightly wrapped and frozen for enjoyment later.

    Continue to 13 of 16 below.
  • 13 of 16

    Madras Curry Vegetable Soup

    Madras curry recipe

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

    Add your choice of vegetables to this creamy and flavorful madras curry soup. Since the recipe is made with coconut milk and vegetable broth, it's vegan too. Beans or veggie meat can be added for a little protein.

  • 14 of 16

    Punjabi-Style Chole Chickpea Curry

    Chole chickpea curry recipe

    ​The Spruce / Nita West

    An assortment of spices makes this chickpea curry a memorable meal. The flavorful, well-rounded dish may have a long ingredient list, but it's easy to assemble. Reheat leftovers along with rice or naan for a warming lunch.

  • 15 of 16

    Panzanella Salad

    Panzanella Salad

    The Spruce / Anita Schecter

    Panzanella salad is a Tuscan staple and a great way to use up fresh produce and day-old bread. Bread is tossed with oil and seasoning and toasted, making large croutons. They're then tossed with veggies and a lemon vinaigrette, soaking up all of the flavors and softening the bread.

  • 16 of 16

    Vegan Tofu Veggie Burgers

    Vegan Tofu Veggie Burgers

    The Spruce

    Homemade tofu veggie burgers are easy to make and can be prepped ahead of time for a quick lunch. Make and form the mixture, and store in a container in the fridge, using wax paper or parchment to separate the patties. Cook on the stovetop and top with your choice of toppings.