Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!
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If you’re looking to reduce your meat consumption, or are becoming a vegan and are looking for high protein vegan lunch ideas, my 45 easy vegan recipes are just what you need. These dishes are easy to make and make a perfect vegan lunch for work or for enjoying at home!
A misconception about vegan dishes is that they lack protein, flavor, substance, and variety, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! The key is knowing all of the different sources of vegan-friendly protein and how to best use them in your cooking. My high-protein vegan lunch recipes are bursting with flavor and color, not to mention all the nutrients you need to stay full until dinnertime. So let’s take a look at these 45 high protein vegan lunch ideas that everyone will love.
In case you don’t know what a vegan diet is, it’s a diet that avoids all animal products. This means no dairy or meat products, as well as foods that contain animal products as a part of their production process. This includes things like candy that contains gelatin and mayonnaise that is made with egg yolks.
Why Do People Become Vegan?
Veganism is a lifestyle choice that many people make for a variety of reasons; from religious beliefs to health reasons and wanting to lessen their personal impact on the environment.
A vegan diet is synonymous with being a healthy way to live because of the emphasis on eating more vegetables and grains, but like any other diet, it needs balance with each of the main food groups.
Is A Vegan Diet Healthier Than Eating Meat?
Like any type of diet, veganism has the potential to be both healthy and unhealthy depending on what you choose to eat. A vegan diet can be healthy, providing you eat a balanced and varied diet that avoids processed foods, and high sugar and high salt foods where possible.
In terms of the potential health benefits of a vegan diet, there are advantages to cutting things like red meat out of your diet. These include a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, and substantial weight gain, which you are at a much higher chance of developing when eating large amounts of red meat.
Best Vegan Protein Sources
If you’re wondering how to make a high protein vegan lunch, you’ve come to the right place! The key is to incorporate some of these vegan foods that are high in protein into every meal. This, fortunately, isn’t as hard as you might think, as there is a whole range of other protein-rich foods available to vegans and non-vegans alike. Let’s get familiar with some of them!
Using soy is one of my favorite ways to add protein to any meal. Soy-based proteins such as tofu, edamame, and tempeh all come from soybeans and are a fantastic source of protein for vegan dinners and lunches. Edamame beans are great added to salads and stir-fries, while tofu and tempeh act as ideal meat substitutes to use in veggie burgers, sandwiches, stews, scrambles, curries, stir-fries, and just about any other high protein vegetarian lunch. Tofu and tempeh can be air-fried to create an amazing crunchy texture.
Seitan is a popular protein source for vegans as it is so naturally high in protein. It’s one of the highest protein foods you can find. It resembles meat in terms of appearance and texture when you cook it, meaning it can be used to substitute meat in an array of dishes that traditionally use meat. It can also be sauteed, fried, and baked, so is a really versatile meat substitute too and works well in most lunch or dinner recipes. With so much protein, this source should not be missed!
Please note that seitan is made from gluten, and should be avoided by anyone with gluten intolerances or celiac disease.
Lentils are one of my favorite high protein vegan sources. They can be used in soups, daals, stews, salads, and even sandwiches like sloppy joes. They are packed with other nutrients such as folate, fiber, and iron.
Whether it’s kidney beans, black beans, butter beans, white beans, or chickpeas, beans and even refried beans are fantastic sources of protein. They are often my go to when creating a high protein vegan lunch. Similar to lentils, they make great additions to soup dishes, stews, chickpea wraps, and curries, and can easily be made into burgers too which are always a hit with kids! You can even prepare goods with chickpea flour, which has plenty of protein.
Nuts And Seeds
Nuts, nut butters, and seeds are some of my favorite vegan foods because they’re high in protein, high in healthy fats, contain fiber and important vitamins and minerals that are critical for any vegan meal plan. An easy way to add protein to any meal is to just sprinkle some of your favorite crushed nuts on top, or stir in some ground chia seeds or flax seeds into your morning smoothie or overnight oats!
Many vegans use nutritional yeast for a boost of protein in a variety of dishes, from pasta to soups. It has a cheesy flavor, so it’s a good vegan-friendly cheese substitute. If you’re looking for a way to add a little more protein to your meal in a quick and simple way, then nutritional yeast is what you need.
Certain grains are particularly high in protein, including spelt, sprouted wheat, fluffy quinoa, brown rice and teff. They make great substitutes for wheat or rice so can be used in baked recipes or dishes that typically use rice, and quinoa especially happens to be a complete protein.
What Can I Eat In A Vegan Lunch Instead Of Meat?
Meat substitutes in dishes such as burgers, chilis, or sandwiches: Opt for meat substitutes such as vegan meat slices or vegan sausages to use in your sandwiches, swap burgers for bean burgers, and add lentils or beans in your stews.
Add protein to your salads in the form of lentils, beans, or tofu.
Make a hearty, warming soup that’ll give you lunch for days or feed the whole family on a weekend. This is a great high-protein vegan lunch idea for colder weather too!
What Makes A Good Vegan Lunch?
When it comes to a delicious high protein vegan lunch, you want to make sure that it’s balanced with the right food groups. Lunchtime is a tough one to master because you want to be full enough to keep you (or your kids) energized for the day ahead, but not so full that you feel sluggish and sleepy. The great thing about vegan lunch recipes is that they aren’t too heavy and won’t leave you feeling too weighed down like a lot of meat dishes can do sometimes.
Because a vegan diet doesn’t include any animal products, means that you’ll need to find other sources of protein to maintain a balanced diet.
My vegan lunch ideas utilize a range of different protein sources, as well as a variety of vegetables and flavors inspired by Mexican, Indian, and East Asian cuisines to create fun and tasty lunches for the whole family. So if you’re in the mood for a certain cuisine, there’s an easy vegan lunch you can enjoy in under 30 minutes.
Best High Protein Vegan Lunch Ideas By Cuisine
I often take inspiration from Mexican, Indian, and East Asian cuisines for my high protein vegan lunch recipes, because of the large variety of flavors and ideas these cuisines have to offer! Create a delicious meal with added spices!
Mexican-Inspired Vegan Lunch Ideas
Mexican food is a rich and versatile cuisine with a number of dishes that make great lunchtime food. From chilis and enchiladas to a lighter burrito bowl, you won’t miss the meat in these vegan lunch recipes!
Chili Stuffed Peppers with Black Beans and Mushrooms
These chili stuffed peppers are packed with fire-roasted tomatoes, black beans, mushrooms, jalapeño peppers, and the perfect amount of cheese in every bite. They’re a healthy, satisfying, totally delicious and easy weeknight meal!
Vegan Enchiladas with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes
Lip-smacking Vegan Enchiladas are easy to make, delicious, and a real crowd-pleaser. Each enchilada is filled with sweet potatoes, onions, bell peppers, fire-roasted tomatoes, black beans, spices, and they are topped with a 5 minute homemade enchilada sauce!
This pulled BBQ jackfruit burrito recipe in a bowl is simply incredible and bold in flavor. Made with tender jackfruit, hearty beans, rice, fresh vegetables, and comforting spices, this recipe is the perfect healthy option for meatless weeknight dinners!
This vegan chorizo is the best! Super flavorful and full of protein, this easy recipe is a great way to make traditional plant-based chorizo. Made with crumbled firm tofu, tomato paste, paprika, and chili powder, you will love this chorizo sausage that is perfect for taco night, breakfast burritos, burrito bowls, and so much more!
This healthy and easy Vegetarian Burrito Bowl with black beans is packed with goodness and awesome flavors! Inspired by Chipotle's veggie bowl, it’s loaded with jalapeno peppers, black beans, onions, peppers, warm spices, hearty brown rice, sweet corn, and a secret ingredient that makes it extra filling and satisfying!
Gooey vegan cheese, crispy tortillas and a spicy mix of hearty veggies make these vegan quesadillas the BEST you'll ever eat! Ready in just 30 minutes, these are super easy, healthy and absolutely delicious!
This easy Vegan Pozole is a delicious Mexican stew that is packed full of flavor. Ready in just 30 minutes, with rich spices, crunchy veggies, and chewy hominy – this healthy soup is perfect for a quick one-pot meal.
Indian food is nutritious and warming, and full of flavor. It’s also a cuisine that is particularly geared towards a vegan diet, with so many wonderful plant-based dishes to choose from. These vegan and vegetarian recipes can keep you fueled for the day.
Sweet Potato Dahl with Kale
Comforting and delicious, this Sweet Potato Dahl is a fast and easy meal. Perfect for lunch or dinner, this dahl is filled with warm Indian spices, kale, sweet potatoes, and yellow split peas. It’s vegan, gluten-free, hearty, healthy, and nutrient rich!
This healthy version of matar paneer (made with tofu paneer!) is so rich and creamy it pretty much melts in your mouth when you take a bite of it. Made with only five ingredients, you can enjoy gourmet, restaurant-quality Indian food at home in just 20 minutes!
Pav Bhaji (or Indian Spiced Vegetarian Sloppy Joes)
This Pav Bhaji is the perfect Indian inspired street food, but it has a healthy and nutritional twist that is insanely good. Munching on this Indian spiced vegetarian sloppy joe style sandwich will keep the entire family happy and makes for an easy dinner idea.
This palak tofu recipe is full of spices, creamy and rich, but thanks to light coconut milk and tofu in place of paneer, it’s only about 200 calories for 1/4 of the ENTIRE recipe, and it's gluten-free and vegan friendly too!
Indian Dal (also spelled Dhal or Daal) is a delicious plant-based, yet high protein meal. Warm, comforting, and aromatic, this lightened up red lentil dal contains all of your favorite Indian flavors, minus the oil and fat. Healthy and vegan friendly!
From stir-fries to rice dishes, it’s easier than you think to enjoy an East Asian-inspired vegan lunch that’s healthy too. Tofu is an extremely popular source of protein that is usually a hit with kids too! Try out these high-protein vegan recipes for lunch with a kick.
Vegan Tofu Fried Rice
Vegan Tofu Fried Rice is super satisfying, healthy and flavorful. It's packed with nutrients, and it’s a one-pot meal that can be thrown together in around 20 minutes! Family-friendly and kid-approved!
We took out the insides of an egg roll, and put them in a bowl! It's easy to make, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, keto-friendly, and is ready in just 30 minutes. This vegetarian egg roll in a bowl recipe is a flavorful, healthy one-pan meal that the whole family will love!
This frozen vegetable stir fry recipe is the ultimate Asian dinner made with tofu, vegetables, soy sauce, and red curry sauce! Ready in just 20 minutes, you'll love this healthy and tasty meal that tastes way better than takeout!
This Tofu Yellow Curry with Veggies and Cashews is a vegetarian and vegan friendly makeover of the classic Thai Yellow Curry you'll find on the menu at your favorite Thai restaurant. It's lighter, healthier, yet still restaurant quality!
Sweet and crunchy peanut butter mixed with silky coconut milk for the curry – combined with firm tofu and fresh farmer’s market vegetables make this vegan panang curry recipe a comforting and tasty meal.
Vegan-friendly Thai Peanut Curry is a one-pot dish that is comforting, delicious, and so so satisfying! Each bowl of this curry contains healthy chickpeas, peppers, zucchini, carrots, seasonings, creamy coconut milk, and chopped roasted cashews. You will love this easy, healthy recipe!
If you’re looking for an easy vegan lunch that you can take on the go to work with you, these salad recipes are quick, great for meal prep, travel well, and are oh-so-tasty. Many of them are low carb too!
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Spinach and Chickpeas
This recipe makes cauliflower the star, roasted to perfection and tossed with a warm dressing, along with some chickpeas for protein, spinach for some greens, and kalamata olives for a nice tangy bite.
This veggie shawarma is stuffed with crispy savory tofu, chopped greens quick pickled onions and a super creamy yogurt sauce. Everything is tightly tucked into a soft and pliable naan bread warmed to perfection.
Packed with veggies and chickpeas, this Stuffed Pita Sandwich with Yogurt Sauce is perfect for an easy, plant-based, healthy lunch! This filling dish is made with fresh cucumbers, garlic, mint, whole wheat pitas, chickpeas, arugula, tomatoes, and seasonings that create a vibrant, delicious meal.
Homemade samosa wraps are filled with spiced potatoes, sweet peas, protein-packed tofu, warm spices and fresh jalapeños all rolled into a soft, whole grain tortilla. They're a copycat version of Amy's Indian Samosa Wrap, but are even tastier than the store bought version! Easy to make, vegan, can be made gluten-free, and totally delicious!
If you’re working from home or need a tasty meal to whip up on the weekend, these high protein vegan lunch recipes work great for feeding the whole family, or as meal prep for the week ahead.
Vegan Paella with Tofu
The vegan paella is comforting, flavorful and family-friendly. It’s made with cooked brown rice, spicy tofu, earthy mushrooms, veggies, a hint of fresh lemon juice, and the perfect amount of seasonings. It's so delicious that you won't miss the meat – I promise!
Delicious Vegan Pasta Primavera will knock your socks off with its incredible flavors. Filled with fresh, tender vegetables, tossed in a rich marinara sauce, and seasoned to perfection, you can whip up this family-friendly meal in just 25 minutes!
Naan bread pizza is a simple yet delicious take on pizza night! Just spread marinara on naan bread, sprinkle with your favorite toppings, and bake until the edges are golden brown and the cheese is bubbly! Ready to eat in less than 15 minutes!
Enjoy a plant-based version of the iconic Philly cheesesteak. These vegan Philly cheesesteak sandwiches are made with homemade beef seitan, topped with melted vegan cheese, and piled high with sauteed onions and green peppers. The perfect game day food!
This vegan breakfast frittata recipe is easy to make and perfect for starting your day off right! If you are looking for a healthy breakfast you can whip up in a snap, this vegetarian frittata is the answer. You definitely will not miss the eggs in this vegan frittata!
Air Fryer Tempeh is a delicious way to make amazing smoky tempeh. This 30-minute vegan dish is perfect for adding to other meals or eating for a snack with dipping sauce. Tempeh cubes are marinated and then cooked in the air fryer until crispy. It’s a dish everyone will love!
Southwestern Quinoa Salad is light, refreshing, sweet, and spicy. Ready in just 20 minutes, it's a great recipe for meal prep or or for a light dinner. Super healthy, packed with protein, totally tasty, gluten free, and vegan friendly!
Enjoy this childhood favorite with all the nostalgia, but none of the meat. Vegan hamburger helper is an easy one-pot dish that whips up in 25 minutes! This plant-based recipe is meatless and worlds better than the boxed version. Perfect for busy nights or when you're craving cheesy pasta!
This vegetarian black eyed peas recipe for Hoppin' John is a healthy and meatless version of the southern classic. Onions, bell pepper, celery, and kale are sautéed in spices with black eyed peas and a smoky finish served with brown rice. It’s a complete meal in one pan!
This hearty vegan white bean chili is jam-packed with plant-based protein, creamy potatoes, warm spices, and a little bit of heat! It's easy to make, easy to freeze, and kid-friendly. Naturally dairy-free, vegan, and gluten-free.
High Protein Vegan Lunch Recipes (For Kids’ School Lunch)
If you’re trying to reduce your family’s meat consumption or are raising your kids on a vegan diet, try these kid-friendly vegan lunch ideas that are easily packed up for school and are sure to please even the pickiest eaters!
Vegan Tacos with Black Beans and Avocado
These healthy and delicious vegan tacos are great for an easy weeknight meal. Packed with black beans, veggies, and spices, they're full of flavor, ready in 30 minutes, and perfect for the whole family!
This delicious falafel wrap recipe is healthy comfort food at its best! These crispy falafel patties are baked instead of fried, then wrapped in a whole wheat pita and topped with spinach, tomato, and a creamy hummus sauce. Vegan, easy to make gluten free, and totally family friendly!
There are different amounts of protein recommended per day depending on whether you’re male or female, and whether you are trying to build muscle. In general, men are recommended to have 56 grams of protein or more per day. Women are recommended to have 46 grams of protein or more per day.
The challenge with vegan protein sources is that you want to make sure you get a variety of different plant proteins to make sure you have all of the essential amino acids to create a complete protein on a daily basis.
So it’s important to make sure you get enough protein each day by incorporating plant protein in each meal. Add protein powder to your morning smoothie. Sprinkle hemp seeds on your salad. Spread peanut butter on your morning toast. Including high protein ingredients in each meal will make it easy to ensure you have an adequate protein intake each day!
What vegan foods are high in protein and low in carbs?
Soy based foods (tofu, tempeh, edamame) and seitan are the highest in protein and the lowest in carbs – making them a great option for a low carb vegan diet.
How can vegans get 200g of protein in a day?
Can you eat high protein as a vegan? Yes, of course! Here are my tips to getting to over 200g of protein daily on a vegan diet:
1) Start with a healthy, protein rich breakfast such as a smoothie made with vegan protein powder (2 scoops can get you 40 grams of protein), nut butter (8 grams of protein for 1 serving), silken tofu (4 grams of protein for 1 serving), your favorite fruits + an assortment of veggies (veggies like broccoli are high in protein), and unsweetened soy milk (8 grams of protein for 1 serving) = 60 grams.
2) Snack: Enjoy a vegan protein bar (20 grams protein)
3) Lunch: Make a high protein vegan salad – which includes tempeh cubes, nuts, seeds, edamame and other beans (depending on how much you add, can come to about 60 grams of protein)
4) Dinner: Make a seitan veggie burger and serve it with another high protein vegan smoothie (with protein powder) on the side! (60 grams protein)
Looking For More Vegan Recipes?
I’ve given you 45 high-protein vegan lunch ideas, but for breakfast and dinner options, as well as sweet treats, check out my full range of vegan recipes here! And if you’re just starting out on a vegan diet, check out my 50 beginner vegan recipes here!
If you have tried any of these vegan recipes, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family-friendly food!
Vegan food doesn’t have to be boring! In fact, most of these vegan recipes will satisfy vegan, vegetarian and meat eaters alike! They are all hearty, satisfying, healthy, plant-based and totally delicious.