Even though plant-based eating is taking over the food scene, lunch can still be tricky to tackle. Eating the same salad over and over gets boring and buying something out can get pricey, fast. And even the best-laid meal-prepping plans can be waylaid by busy schedules and last-minute plans.
Thankfully, there are still plenty of healthy, plant-based lunches you can make in less than ten minutes. (Which let’s be honest here, is about half the time it takes to leave the office, wait in line, and grab something to go.) Rounded up here are nine ideas to try. Bookmark this page and save it for inspiration when your lunch game needs some variety.
Want your midday meal to mirror what people in parts of the world likely to live a long and healthy life are eating? This Mediterranean bowl has you covered. The only ingredient requiring any cooking whatsoever is quinoa, and truth be told, this meal is still filling and nutrient-rich without it, too. With hummus, tzatziki, and lots of yummy veggies, this colorful bowl is full of protein, fiber, and flavor.
All it takes to whip up these quesadillas are three ingredients: whole wheat tortillas, spinach, and cheese. Five minutes later and you have yourself a vegetarian, fiber-rich lunch. As is, this lunch has 28 grams of protein, but if you want to up it even more, add canned black beans, which only take a few minutes to heat up.
Made with cucumbers, onion, and tomato, the starring ingredient is chat masala, a mix of ground spices such as dried mango powder, cumin, coriander, ginger, black salt, black pepper, and chili. It gives the sandwich a super elevated, surprising flavor that’s way more interesting than plain mustard or mayo.
Kale, avocado, hummus…The ingredients list for these wraps includes some truly beloved healthy staples. The key to making them really yummy though is the green curry paste, which really punches up the flavor. None of the ingredients in this lunch need cooking, so it can be ready in five minutes flat.
If you don’t have time to make an all-out chili, this black bean soup is a pretty close substitute. All you do to make it is combine canned black beans with vegetable broth, add chopped tomatoes and onions, sprinkle in some spices, and it’s ready to eat.
Another no-cook lunch, these lettuce wraps have *three* great protein sources: chickpeas, tofu, and cashews. A teaspoon of curry powder is all it takes to add some heat (and honestly, you could add more, to taste). Add a tablespoon of mayonnaise or vegan mayo to have the filling mimic a chicken salad texture.
It turns out that chickpeas—one of Well+Good’s 2020 Wellness Trends, BTW—make a pretty great substitution for tuna. Make your “tuna” salad totally vegan with this recipe by using avocado and plum vinegar in place of mayo all together. To up the fiber even more, add kale leaves between the bread.
Made with rice noodles, coconut milk, and fresh veggies, this dish is a Malaysian classic. If you’re never heard of laksa paste, it’s a base for soups made of lemongrass, dried chilis, shallots, and turmeric. (Some also is made with dried shrimp, so if you’re vegan, just do a quick label read to check.) Adding this powerhouse ingredient instantly ups the flavor.
One benefit to using black beans instead of beef or chickens as your protein source for tacos is that they cook a lot faster (if you go for canned). One cup of beans has 16 grams of fiber (more than half of what you need for the entire day), so this lunch is definitely a gut healthy win.
Join Well+Good’s Cook With Us Facebook group for more healthy meal ideas. And if you’re adjusting to a plant-based lifestyle, these tips can help.