11 Easy Vegan Lunch Ideas Perfect for Weight Loss

by Marixie Ann Obsioma
Published on April 6, 2022 and last updated for accuracy on May 5, 2022

These delectable and straightforward low-calorie vegan lunch recipes allow you to enjoy a filling meal without sacrificing flavor or nutrition. Weight loss is simple and healthy when you eat plenty of nutritious vegetables, protein, and fiber.

Every aspect of a delicious plant-based meal that you could ask for, but without the excess calories! Even though vegan lunches are more weight-loss-friendly, some recipes can call for a significant amount of high-calorie ingredients.

Enjoy the following low-calorie vegan lunches that only require easy meal prep:

1. Thai Vegetable Stir-Fry

This is one of the perfect healthy meal prep ideas to try in less than 30 minutes. This veggie stir fry with tofu is full of flavor and can be served with any grain. Naturally high in fiber and antioxidants. A good low-calorie vegan lunch that is also highly filling.

Instructions:

  1. Place all of the sauce ingredients in a jar and seal with a lid, shaking vigorously.
  2. Cut the tofu into cubes and place them in a mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients. Allow marinating for 30 minutes after drizzling with stir fry sauce and coating evenly.
  3. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the cubed winter squash, along with a splash of water or cooking oil, to cook until the squash is tender. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly softened, before adding the rest of the vegetables and the vegetable broth.
  4. Everything should be sautéed for about 6 minutes, frequently stirring, until the liquid is completely absorbed.
  5. The final step is to add the marinated tofu in the stir fry sauce to the pan and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  6. Remove the vegetables from the heat once they have reached a tender-crisp consistency and divide them among serving bowls. Adjust the flavor by taking a small bite and tasting it several times.
  7. Make a bed of brown rice and top with Thai basil and cashews to complete your vegetable stir-fry.
  8. Enjoy while still warm, or cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, reheating in the microwave as needed.

2. Zoodles with Black Bean Meatballs

Making the switch from meat to canned beans (black) is an excellent weight-loss tip! When combined with zucchini noodles, they make for a delicious low-calorie vegan lunch that is high in protein and fiber and will keep you full for hours.

Instructions:

  1. Make the vegan meatballs according to the package directions.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/180 degrees Celsius and line a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper before beginning. Prepare an egg replacement by mixing ground flax and warm water in a small bowl and setting it aside for 5 minutes to thicken.
  3. In a food processor, stir the mushrooms, carrots, oats, parsley, thyme, smoked paprika, and garlic powder until smooth. Using a food processor, pulse everything a few times to break it down, then add the black beans.
  4. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper to the mixture and process until it forms a crumbly texture, about 30 seconds. Pulse just until the soy sauce and flax “egg” are fully incorporated, about 30 seconds.
  5. Form the mixture into small balls with your clean hands and arrange them on your prepared baking sheet so that they do not touch one another. Once you’re finished, please put them in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through the baking time.
  6. Prepare the marinara sauce.
  7. While the meatballs are roasting, combine the onion, garlic, and a splash of vegetable broth in a medium-sized saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until the onions are translucent and fragrant. Stir in the seasonings (salt, pepper, oregano, cayenne) and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and fragrant, stirring frequently.
  8. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste until everything is well-combined. Reduce the heat to low and allow the marinara to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through in the oven.
  9. Gently submerge the meatballs in the sauce and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce bubble up around the meatballs.
  10. Suggestions for what to serve

Sprinkle nutritional yeast or vegan cheese flakes on the baked meatballs and herbed marinara before serving over zoodles (zucchini noodles) or spaghetti noodles. Enjoy!

3. Baked Ratatouille with Millet

In honor of the summer months, put your seasonal produce to good use by baking this beautiful ratatouille of zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes in the oven! As a result of its low-calorie content, it is best served with crusty bread or herbed millet, as described in this recipe. Perfect vegan lunch, indeed!

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) and prepare a medium-sized baking dish.
  2. Using the tomato sauce as a base, layer the sliced vegetables on top, constantly alternating between them to create a vibrant pattern.
  3. Season with salt, pepper, Herbs de Provence, and fresh thyme to taste. Place the pan in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and golden brown.
  4. Remove the vegan tian from the oven and serve as a refreshing side dish for the Summer!
  5. Any leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days and then reheated in the oven or microwave.

4. Red Lentil Carrot Soup

There’s nothing more fantastic than a pot of hot, fragrant, and comforting plant-based goodness on a cold day! Take a look at this delicious and nutritious vegan lentil, potato, and carrot soup, packed with spices and protein. This vegan food is excellent for easy meal prep and large-scale cooking!

Instructions:

  1. Place a large pot over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, potato, and spices. Cook, occasionally stirring, until the vegetables are tender. Cook for 5 minutes, frequently stirring, in a splash of water, until everything is hot.
  2. Combine the vegetable broth, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes in a large mixing bowl. Stirring constantly, bring the water to a boil before adding the dry lentils and thoroughly mixing everything.
  3. Slowly bring the soup to a simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but not overcooked.
  4. Toss the spinach into the carrot lentil soup after seasoning it with salt and pepper, and allow it to simmer for another five minutes.
  5. Finish by adding the chopped parsley and lemon juice, then serve your homemade anti-inflammatory soup while it’s still hot.

5. Rainbow Collard Green Wraps

These veggie-stuffed collard wraps are packed with essential nutrients, complex carbohydrates, and plant-based protein, thanks to the millet and chickpeas. If you want a hearty sandwich for lunch, these are perfect! They are suitable for weight loss, are easily customizable, and are convenient to prepare ahead of time and take with you to a lunch!

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celsius and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the eggplant cubes with the smoked paprika, dried thyme, salt, and pepper before arranging them in a single layer on the baking sheet you’ve prepared. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the edges are crispy.
  3. Cook the millet according to package directions while the eggplant is roasting. Make a mental note to set it aside.
  4. Mix the orange mustard sauce ingredients in a small bowl or glass jar with a pinch of salt and pepper until well combined. Make adjustments based on personal preferences.
  5. If you don’t want to use raw collard leaves for your wrap, blanch them for 20-30 seconds in boiling water (individually), then transfer them to a bowl of cold water for 15 seconds. You can use paper towels to dry the dish.
  6. Using a dollop of millet, a spoonful of smoky roasted eggplant, cabbage, carrots, radishes, and chickpeas, stuff each collard leaf. Serve with a drizzle of orange mustard sauce.
  7. You should fold the leaves like a burrito: fold the left and right sides over and roll it up. Cut into slices and enjoy!

6. Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup

This simple vegan broccoli soup is a delicious way to get more of this leafy green vegetable into your diet! It has a similar flavor to broccoli and cheddar soup, but it does not contain as much heavy cream or cheese. Additionally, it includes many white beans, which provide additional protein. This is definitely a perfect addition to your other vegan lunch ideas.

Instructions:

  1. Blanch the almonds by soaking them in boiling water for ten minutes until they are completely soft. Then drain and peel them by pinching them to get rid of their peels. It will be simple to remove the skin. Remove the peels from the almonds and set them aside.
  2. Cook the onion and celery for 5-7 minutes on medium-high heat in a large pot until soft. Use a small amount of oil or water to keep the vegetables from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Once the vegetables have begun to brown slightly, add the garlic and cook for another 30-60 seconds, constantly stirring, until the garlic is fragrant. Then, combine the broccoli, nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, blanched almonds, and a generous pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Roast the aromatics for about 1 minute before adding the broth and stirring to combine.
  4. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat after adding the almond milk and stirring well.
  6. Using tongs, carefully transfer the soup to a blender and blend on high until smooth (use caution when blending hot soup!). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed; if you prefer a thinner soup, you can add more milk or broth.
  7. Warm the dish before serving. Enjoy!

7. Vegan Soy Curl Fajitas

Looking for more vegan lunch ideas? Try these soy curl fajitas made with tofu curls. This requires a quick and easy meal prep that is perfect for busy workdays. Use it to make tacos, burritos, or colorful bowls, and adapt it to your specific needs by modifying the ingredients. They are bursting with Mexican flavor and only require about 30 minutes in the oven to prepare! Certainly one of the best vegan lunch recipes!

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the soy curls in a bowl and pour the hot veggie broth over them to coat them thoroughly. Allow them to soak up the broth for 10 to 15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients for the dish.
  3. Toss the spices together in a small bowl and set them aside.
  4. The onion and peppers should be chopped and placed in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the soy curls from the soaking bowl and set them aside. Remove any broth that has not been absorbed by the soy curls and discard it. Toss the soy curls into the bowl with green onions and peppers and mix well. Combine the spices in a separate bowl.
  6. Spread the soy curls and vegetables on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in an even layer.
  7. Place the pan in the oven for 25 minutes, rotating it once halfway through the cooking time.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and drizzle with the juice of 1 lime until the pan is cool.

8. Vegan Mushroom Bourguignon

Are you looking for a nutritious and comforting vegan lunch ideas that are rich in flavor but low in calories? Look no further. Put some mashed potatoes on the side and serve this mushroom bourguignon with red wine, carrot, garlic, bell pepper, and lots of spices. This delicious lunch is great for both vegans and meat-eaters!

Instructions:

  1. Place one cup of hot water in a measuring cup, add the dried mushrooms, and set aside until ready to use.
  2. One tablespoon of olive oil should be heated in a large pot over low to medium heat. Combine the onion, carrot, and bell pepper in a large mixing bowl. Stir frequently for about 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the sliced mushrooms, minced garlic, thyme, and oregano to the pot and mix well. Cook for about 7-10 minutes, or until the mushrooms release their liquid, depending on how big they are.
  4. Between now and then, drain and reserve the liquid from the measuring cup, leaving the dried mushrooms in place. Remove any tough pieces and finely chop the remaining ingredients. Toss them into the pot, the mushrooms that have been cooked, and two tablespoons of tomato paste. Cook for another 3 minutes after you’ve stirred everything together.
  5. Pour in the red wine and the dried mushroom liquid set aside; be careful not to stir in any sand accumulated at the bottom of the pan. To reduce the liquid by half, bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. You can use a fork to combine the vegan margarine and flour in a small mixing bowl or measuring cup until the mixture is crumb-like in texture, about 1 minute. Add it to the pot and stir until it is completely smooth. Cook for a few more minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt to taste.
  7. Served hot with mashed potatoes, freshly cracked pepper, chives, and a glass of leftover red wine, this dish is sure to please.

9. Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls

These vibrant burrito bowls are among the best vegan lunch ideas! Made with roasted caramelized spaghetti squash halves and topped with homemade red cabbage slaw, black beans, and salsa verde, they make a perfect vegan diet. They are visually appealing, nutritious, and comforting. This low-calorie meal can be prepared in less than an hour and is ideal for special occasions.

Instructions:

  1. To roast the spaghetti squash, follow these steps: To begin, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper to make cleanup easier later. Olive oil should be drizzled over the halved spaghetti squash on a baking sheet before baking. Rub the olive oil into the skin of each of the halves, adding more if necessary to coat them thoroughly.
  2. Season the insides of the squash with freshly ground black pepper and salt, then bake for 30 minutes. Turn them inside out so that the insides are facing up. Roast for 40 to 60 minutes, or until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork, depending on how large your pumpkin is.
  3. Meanwhile, here’s how to put together the slaw: Combine the cabbage, black beans, bell pepper, green onion, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Toss everything together and set it aside to marinate.
  4. To make the salsa verde, follow these steps: Avocado, salsa verde, cilantro, lime juice, and garlic are blended in a blender or food processor in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Blend until smooth, occasionally pausing to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed.
  5. To assemble, first separate and fluff up the flesh of the spaghetti squash with a fork before putting it all together. After that, divide the slaw among the spaghetti squash “bowls” and top each with a generous dollop of avocado salsa verde (optional). Finish with a final sprinkle of pepper, cilantro, and, if desired, crumbled feta or pepitas to decorate the bowl.

`0. Vegan Rainbow Spring Rolls

Looking for an alternative to the usual vegan salad? These brightly colored and crunchy summer rolls are bursting with vegetables and flavor! Definitely one of the best vegan recipes! Particularly when accompanied by delectable dips such as sweet and spicy mango chili sauce or creamy peanut ginger sauce, both are available. In total, it takes 30 minutes to prepare and is entirely gluten-free!

Instructions:

  1. Let’s start with the pretty straightforward sauces. To make the mango chili sauce, combine all ingredients in a small blender or food processor and blend until smooth and combined. Make a mental note to put it aside.
  2. Combine all ingredients (except the water) in a large mixing bowl to make the peanut ginger sauce and thoroughly mix. Whisking constantly as you add the hot water one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached (it should be pourable but thick). Make a mental note to put it aside.
  3. Use a mandoline slicer to slice all your vegetables and fruits before assembling them thinly.
  4. Fill a large bowl halfway with room-temperature water and set it aside. Make sure it fits because we will be using it to soak the rice paper wrapper one at a time while it soaks.
  5. Take one piece of paper and submerge it in the water for 10-15 seconds. If you leave it too long, they will become too fragile to handle and impossible to work with. They will continue to soften even after being wrapped.
  6. Transfer to a clean surface or plate once the softening process is complete. 
  7. Place a small amount of each vegetable or fruit in the lower half of the bowl. Using your fingers, gently roll over and fold the sides of the pastry, then roll completely to seal. Repeat the procedure for all of the remaining wrappers to complete the project.
  8. Once you’ve finished rolling, cut the rolls with a sharp knife and arrange them on a serving plate with dipping sauces on the side. Choose between peanut dipping sauce or vinaigrette made from healthy apple cider vinegar. Enjoy!

11. Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Use this cauliflower and potato pizza crust instead of your usual dough to make pizza night more weight loss-friendly! Only two ingredients and ten minutes of hands-on time are required for the crust, then top with your favorite sauce, vegetables, and, if desired, chickpeas before baking. Perfect for vegan lunches!

Instructions:

Prepare the Potato Pizza Crust 

  1. Steam your cubed potatoes and cauliflower florets for about 25 minutes, or until they are soft and fork-tender, in a medium-sized pot on the stovetop.
  2. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside while preheat the oven to 430° F (220° C).
  3. Drain the potatoes and cauliflower thoroughly after they have finished cooking. Make a smooth paste out of them by blending them with an immersion blender, fork, or food processor.
  4. Mix the potato starch, salt, and pepper until everything is well-combined.
  5. Using a wet spatula, thinly spread the potato mixture onto the baking sheets that have been prepared, forming two pizza crusts in total.
  6. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake the potato crust for 15-20 minutes, or until it is lightly browned on the edges.

Assemble the Veggie Pizza on a Baking Sheet

  1. Removing the potato pizza crust from the oven after this period has elapsed is recommended. If desired, spread the hummus on a plate and top with chickpeas, zucchini, tomato, mushrooms, and onion.
  2. Season the potato veggie pizza with a pinch of salt and pepper before returning it to the oven for another 15 minutes to finish baking.
  3. If desired, garnish with fresh arugula, nutritional yeast, or vegan parmesan cheese before serving immediately. Enjoy!

REFERENCES:

  1. https://nutriciously.com/thai-vegetable-stir-fry/
  2. https://nutriciously.com/zoodles-black-bean-meatballs/
  3. https://nutriciously.com/ratatouille-tian/
  4. https://nutriciously.com/vegan-lentil-soup/
  5. https://nutriciously.com/collard-green-wraps/
  6. https://plantbasedjess.com/broccoli-veloute/
  7. https://aplantifulpath.com/vegan-soy-curl-fajitas/
  8. https://speakveggietome.com/healthy-tofu-lettuce-wraps/
  9. https://www.makingthymeforhealth.com/vegan-mushroom-bourguignon-2/
  10. https://cookieandkate.com/spaghetti-squash-burrito-bowl-recipe/
  11. https://speakveggietome.com/healthy-rainbow-spring-rolls/
  12. https://nutriciously.com/potato-pizza-crust/
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