Surprise! Vegetarians eat lunch too! I know, it sounds absolutely bananas, which, by the way, are vegetarian even though they are a fruit (fun fact). And lucky for vegetarians (and everyone really) there are some truly great vegetarian lunch items out there in the lunchaverse and today we are here to share with you some of Sporked’s favorite vegetarian lunch ideas so grab your vegetarian friends and your vegetarian lunch bucket and lets (vegetarian) dive in.
- Oikos Lemon Meringue Greek Yogurt
Terry loves yogurt (IYKYK), so do I, and so do many vegetarians out there. It is protein-packed, easy to bring on the go, and, if you pick the right one, absolutely delicious. Rest assured, this lemon meringue yogurt from Oikos is one of the right ones. Our tasters noted how the “tartness of the lemon and the natural tartness of the rich, decadent yogurt are a match made in heaven,” adding that the “overall tartness is tempered by the creamy meringue flavor they managed to cram into this little cup.” This yogurt literally tastes like a crustless lemon meringue pie. If you haven’t tried this, you have to give it a go next time you are packing a vegetarian lunch.
- Trader Joe’s Chana Masala
Trader Joe’s is notorious for having some easy vegetarian lunches, perfect for throwing in your bag and taking as is. One such lunch? This Chana Masala. If you have a microwave handy you need to pick this up because it truly tastes restaurant quality. Justine noted that “the chickpeas are whole and firm, but give way to creamy innards. The sauce is spiced and aromatic and so perfectly balanced between salty, acidic, and sweet.” This is truly a no-brainer, a chart-topper in the world of easy vegetarian lunches, and a master class in chickpea preparation. Check it out next time you’re at TJ’s.
- Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly
Uncrustables are a classic for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. They are fluffy clouds of sweet and nutty heaven and you cannot convince me otherwise. That being said, these rank high on the list of vegetarian lunch ideas. Managing editor Gwynedd Stuart’s take on grape jelly Uncrustables? “She is it. The best of the best. Perfection in a plastic sleeve.” In other words, we here at Sporked are big fans of Uncrustables—as a concept, as a food, and yes, as an easy vegetarian lunch. If you haven’t revisited these as an adult, hoooo boi, are you in for a treat.
Related: All the Uncrustables Flavors, Ranked
- Holy Hummus Traditional Classic Hummus
Hummus is a vegetarian lunch staple. It is creamy, umami, flavor-packed, protein-filled, and versatile as all heck. Feelin’ chips? Dip ‘em in hummus. Feelin’ veggies? Dip ‘em in hummus. Need a condiment for your sandwich that is not mayo or mustard? Hummus, my dude. And this hummus is damn near magical. Why? It has and “unbelievably good tahini-forward flavor that is unlike any other store-bought brand of hummus we’ve ever tasted. And the texture is irresistible.” What more do you need to hear? Go get this hummus and include it in your vegetarian lunch. Heck, put it in your next non-vegetarian lunch, too—I won’t tell you how to live your life.
Related: The Absolute Best Hummus You Can Buy
- Yves Veggie Salami
When it comes to plant-based sandwich “meat,” there are a lot of options. Gone are the days when you had to settle for faux turkey—in this, the year of our vegetarian lord 2023, you can make spicy Italian sandwiches and ding dang muffalettas part of your easy vegetarian lunch rotation. Just pick up some of this Yves Veggie Salami, which the Sporked crew decided is the best vegetarian lunchmeat you can buy. They conceded that it doesn’t quite taste like salami, but it has a lot going for it: a nice meaty texture, and lots of spices, like fennel, onion, and garlic. If you thought satisfying subs were off the lunch menu, we are very pleased to report that you were wrong.
Read the full ranking of the best vegan deli meat
- Alpha Plant-Based Mexicali Burrito
If you are curious how good this vegan burrito is, let us put it this way: When we taste tested microwavable beef burritos, this totally beef-free boi was the Sporked crew’s fave (much to the chagrin of some carnivorous commenters). See, frozen beef burritos made with actual ground beef can be oily and unpleasant. Alpha’s plant-based beef burrito isn’t really beefy, per se, but that’s a good thing in this case. It’s still cheesy and spicy and delicious. Toss one of these puppies in the microwave for an easy vegetarian lunch—and top it with some plant-based sour cream if you really love to have fun.
Read the full ranking of the best frozen beef burritos
- Impossible Chicken Nuggets
Impossible has been a real game changer in the plant-based protein world. And if you’re not a vegetarian who’s turned off by foods that are too much like their real-meat counterparts, you’re going to love how good and chickeny these Impossible nuggets are. According to Jordan Myrick, Sporked‘s resident fake meat freak, these things have “all the flavor and juiciness of actual dark meat chicken.” Tbh, a plate of these and some ranch (or vegan ranch, depending) is the vegetarian lunch idea.
Read the full ranking of the best vegan chicken nuggets
- Unmeat Tuna Style Flakes in Sunflower Oil
Yes, plant based proteins have entered the seafood space, and this is good news for people looking for vegetarian lunch ideas. Canned tuna is a lunchtime staple and now non-meat eaters can get in on that action. This vegan canned tuna is flaky and flavorful, plus, it’s packed in oil, which gives it some of that fishy fattiness. If you really want to go whole hog (or, er, fish) with your easy vegetarian lunch, here’s how to make the ultimate vegan tuna salad sandwich.
Read the full ranking of the best vegan tuna