What’s for Lunch? 50 Ideas for Vegan Lunchboxes

By Reed Mangels, PhD, RD

Whether your child’s school is virtual, blended, or
in-person, lunch is an important part of the day. Many school cafeterias have
few or no vegan options so packing a lunch is a part of the morning routine for
a lot of vegan families. Even if your child’s trip to school only involves
turning on a laptop, a packed lunch can simplify things mid-day. You don’t have
to cook every morning, either. Many items on this list can be a left-over from
dinner the night before or from the freezer. Knowing that some school districts
don’t allow nuts or nut butters, items on this list that have nut butters can
be modified to use soy or sunflower seed butter. Add a beverage, some cut up
veggies and/or a piece of fruit.

Sandwiches

1. Peanut butter and fruit spread on whole-wheat bread

2. Hummus wrap

3. Bean burger on a whole grain bun (can make mini-burgers and serve in small buns)

4. Tofu burger on a whole grain bun (can make mini-burgers and serve in small buns)

5. Falafel in pita

6. Tofu salad on rye

7. Chickpea salad in pita

8. Red pepper hummus on a pumpernickel bagel

9. Vegan deli slices on a small sub roll

10. Almond butter (or sunflower seed butter) on a
cinnamon-raisin bagel

11. Bean burrito

12. Baked tofu on an English muffin

13. Veggie dog in a bun

14. Lentil loaf on multigrain bread

15. Veggie sausage in a biscuit

16. Quesadilla with hummus or vegan cheese

17. Scrambled tofu on an English muffin

18. Peanut butter and sliced or dried fruit on whole-wheat
bread

19. Bagel with vegan cream cheese

Dips

20. Hummus with toasted pita chips

21. Vegan yogurt with fruit dippers

22. Peanut butter (or other allowed butter) sauce with
vegetable dippers

23. Refried beans with tortilla chips

24. Marinara sauce with chewy bread sticks

25. Waffle sticks with fruit sauce

In the thermos

26. Baked beans and veggie dog slices

27. Pasta with marinara sauce and chickpeas

28. Pasta salad

29. Pasta with peanut sauce (or sauce made with soy butter)

30. Chili

31. Rice and beans with salsa

32. Chana masala (curried chickpeas) and rice

33. Ramen noodles with vegetables and tofu cubes

34. Hearty bean soup

35. Barbecue tofu

36. Barbecue seitan

37. Pancakes

38. Pinto bean potato salad

39. Sushi rice salad (sushi rice with vegetables and tofu
cubes and a soy sauce dressing)

40. Vegan mac and cheese

41. Samosa

42. Vegan lasagna

43. Sloppy joe (pack a bun and spoon on the filling at lunch
time)

44. Sesame noodles and vegetables

Miscellaneous

45. Peanut butter and jelly muffin

46. Homemade calzone

47. Corn and black bean muffin

48. Build your own taco (taco shell plus fillings)

49. Sushi

50. Bean spread roll-ups (roll a bean spread in a tortilla
and slice vertically)