Ready to shake up your lunchbox game? These vegan packed lunch ideas are just what you need, whether you're packing for yourself or for a kid.
Y'all, my child is in KINDERGARTEN (Edit: Oh my word, he is now in fourth grade! How did that happen?). I can't believe it. He is loving his school and adjusting like a champ.
Now that he's seeming so big, I feel like I need to adjust his lunches accordingly. Those preschool lunches I was packing just don't feel like they're cutting it anymore. I needed some big kid vegan lunch ideas for this dude!
Of course, not everyone reading this is packing lunches for a child, so the list below includes more grownup vegan lunch ideas, too. I tried to include something for everyone!
Whenever I talk about lunches, I get a lot of questions about the containers my family uses. Below the list of vegan lunch box ideas are the actual lunchboxes I use for my son, the meal prep containers Dave uses for his lunches, and a thermos a friend recommended that's on my to-buy list. Her daughter LOVES it!
Vegan packed lunch ideas
Got your containers of choice handy? Let's talk vegan packed lunch goodness!
1. The mighty sandwich
My kid kind of hates bread (I KNOW!), but Dave brings sandwiches a lot. Obviously, you can do sandwiches all kinds of ways, but he tends to make variations on this:
- whole grain bread
- hummus or vegan mayo
- Tofurky deli slices (sometimes)
- vegan cheese slice (sometimes)
He'll usually pack an apple and some pretzels or pita chips to go with this.
For our bread-shunning child, sometimes I do a deconstructed sandwich with that Lock & Lock box I mentioned.
One section has a few rolled up Tofurky slices, one has grape tomatoes and a piece of vegan cheese, and I fill the rest with popcorn or pretzels. He gets an orange or an apple on the side, since you can pack those without a container. It's not the healthiest lunch, but he loves it!
Below, you'll find some additional ideas for vegan sandwiches sprinkled in among the other lunch ideas.
Vegan Lobster Rolls
2. Tofu "egg" salad sandwiches
3. Chickpea salad
4. Cold peanut noodle salad
5. Lentil and quinoa salad
6. Instant Pot Chili or stew
7. Vegan bacon sandwich
8. Sushi burritos
9. Pasta salad
10. Burrito bowl meal prep
11. Sushi bowl
12. Air fryer meal prep
13. Taco salad
14. Sesame noodle bowl
15. Falafel salad or sandwich
Kid-friendly lunch box
For my son, I am still using this Lock & Lock box with four removable compartments. I love this BPA-free modular lunchbox, because my kid can open and close it himself, and I can change up the inner containers to suit what we're packing.
This graphic from my post on preschool lunches gives you an idea of how I make the most of the inner containers:
See how we mix up the configuration to work with what we're packing?
Meal prep containers for grownup lunches
Dave has been on the hunt for the ideal meal prep container, and he landed on these glass ones. They're nice and big, so there's plenty of room for the huge sandwiches he favors at lunchtime.
When he brings leftovers from supper, he usually totes them in these lidded Pyrex containers, because we use different sizes of these to store all of our food, and he has access to a microwave to reheat. Why dirty another dish, right?
If we have a bunch of leftovers, I'll divvy them up between a couple of those Pyrex containers, so Dave and I both have portioned-out lunches to grab and eat.
Thermos for soups and stews
I have not personally tried it yet, but my friend, Andrea, says she and her daughter both love this Thermos for bringing in warm leftovers (bonus: it's adorable!).
She reheats leftovers in the morning, then piles them into this baby. My kid isn't big on soups and stews, so I haven't ponied up for a Thermos for him.
Do you have recipes that make you gain weight. I am constantly starving since going vegan. My onconolgist got me a nutritionist. Being a vegetarian for 25 yrs I felt healthy.
Now being vegan, no energy, constantly starving.
Cannot keep weight on, keep losing weight.
Been unhappy so long with this vegan diet...i am starving as I write that. My cholesterol went up and had to go to the cardiolgist. Pinned it down to indian food every other week and the new gardein burgers.
I take loads of supplements and vitamins. Anyway, i am 98lbs and just lost another 3 lbs which I cannot afford.
If you could add how to gain weight instead of losing. Not all people want to lost weight thanks
I'm sorry to hear this, Kathryn, and I do not post about weight loss on my website. This is a body positive space!
I am not a nutritionist, but I also experienced unwanted weight loss when I first went vegan. For me, the issue was simply not eating enough, because I cut out eggs and dairy without replacing those calories in my diet. What helped me was adding in more healthy fats and proteins. Nuts, seeds, legumes, avocado, whole grains, potatoes, etc. Right now, the only supplement I take is vitamin B12. I hope this helps!
Becky, this post has made me SO HUNGRY. (After I leave this comment, I'm running to the kitchen. STAT.) There are so many good ideas here, and that thermos is adorable. When I used to do touring children's theatre, it was always a treat when I packed lunch in a thermos. Because there's something immediately special about a warm lunch when you're away from home. Thanks for including my kale salad in your list!