26 Grab-and-Go Lunches for Busy Days

By Megan Edwards,

Hectic schedules are no match for these easy grab-and-go lunches. From delicious deli-style wraps to chilled soups and vegan sushi, these whole-food, plant-based meals are perfect for prepping in advance and eating throughout the week. Each recipe is packed full of good-for-you ingredients to keep you satisfied until dinner time, so no matter how busy your calendar gets, you’ll always have something delicious to enjoy. These easy plant-based recipes can come in handy when life gets too busy! Take a look!

Sliced veggie roll-ups shown from the top down, stuffed with spinach, sweet potato, hummus, and roasted red bell pepper

Sweet Potato and Veggie Wraps

Tender baked sweet potato and crunchy bell pepper add substance to these colorful wraps. Creamy hummus adds a luscious texture, while scallions and sunflower seeds add bursts of savory flavor. Make these roll-ups ahead of time to have on hand when you’re running short on time.
Vegan Deviled Potato Sandwiches

Deviled Potato Sandwiches

Black salt is the secret ingredient in these scrumptious sandwiches that transform potatoes into a vegan egg salad. Celery, hearts of palm, and mustard add rich flavor to the filling, while juicy tomatoes provide freshness. Keep a batch in the fridge so you can easily put together a sandwich before running out the door.
Sunshine Gazpacho topepd with apple slices and mint in blue bowls on a peach colored tabletop

Sunshine Gazpacho

Originating from Spain, gazpacho is a chilled soup that typically combines tomatoes with other fresh veggies and acidic components. This summery twist on the classic dish calls for yellow heirloom tomatoes, apples, and cucumbers for a refreshing and satisfying golden soup. Tabasco and chile pepper turn up the heat in this easy lunchtime meal.
Soba Noodle Salad in a light blue bowl being tossed by a wooden fork and spoon

Vegan Soba Noodle Salad

This chilled noodle salad is the perfect grab-and-go lunch when you’re craving something light but filling. Nutty buckwheat soba noodles are tossed with crunchy vegetables and a zesty Japanese-inspired dressing. Ready in 30 minutes or less, you’ll love having this recipe on hand during busy weekdays.
potato artichoke heart and pasta salad wordpress

Potato and Artichoke Heart Pasta Salad

Take your packed-lunch skills up a notch with this delicious vegan twist on the classic macaroni pasta salad. Tofu and savory spices blend together to form a creamy sauce that coats chewy pasta, hearty potatoes, and crisp veggies. Add any fresh herbs you have on hand to finish off this quick and easy meal. 
spring roll bowl for wordpress

Spring Roll Bowls

Love spring rolls but hate how small they are? These bowls are the perfect upgrade! Brown rice noodles form the base of the dish and are layered with edamame, cucumber, radishes, and snow peas. Drizzle everything with a spicy-sweet peanut sauce, and call it a day!
Israeli Couscous Kale Salad

Israeli Couscous and Kale Salad

Say goodbye to boring, bland salads. This delicious veggie jumble combines curry-spiced Israeli couscous, toasted pine nuts, and sweet raisins with lots of fresh produce for a salad that’s both refreshing and satisfying. One reader raves, “Delicious! Perfect combination of ingredients.”

“No-Tuna” Salad Sandwich

One of our most popular recipes ever, this vegan tuna salad sandwich uses chickpeas as a meat replacement. The creamy, flavorful sandwich filling is enhanced with briney pickles, capers, and red onion to create a similar taste and texture to deli-style tuna. Break out your whole wheat bread, and enjoy!

Chilled Peanut Noodles

Peanut butter with pasta? You bet. This easy dish features an Asian-inspired peanut sauce, tender noodles, and plenty of chopped scallions for a simple but flavorful meal. The perfect cold lunch for a warm day, this recipe keeps well in the fridge and is easy to transport in Tupperware. 
Stone Fruit Pasta Salad in white bowl with wooden salad tossers on a light wooden table

Stone Fruit Pasta Salad with Fennel

Peppery arugula is dressed up with sweet stone fruits, hearty whole grain pasta, and a zesty vinaigrette for a delicious fruit-forward salad. Slivered fennel bulbs add extra crunch and a subtle licorice flavor that will leave you reaching for a second helping. Bright and refreshing, this salad is the perfect grab-and-go lunch for busy days at the office.
Soft Tofu with Black Sesame and Wasabi Sauce on a wooden cutting board and sprinkled with scallinos

Soft Tofu with Black Sesame and Wasabi Sauce

Velvety melt-in-your-mouth tofu soaks up a succulent sauce loaded with rich umami and spicy heat. Garnish everything with Japanese chives or scallions to add a refreshing crunch with each bite, and you have the perfect make-ahead lunch in less than 20 minutes.
Minted Vichyssoise soup in white bowls on a light gray countertop

Minted Vegan Vichyssoise

This chilled French soup blends hearty potatoes and savory leeks into a luxuriously smooth bisque. White wine vinegar adds a subtle acidic component, while fresh chopped mint adds bright, cooling herbal flavors to the starchy base. Bring a side of crusty bread, and you’ve got a deliciously simple on-the-go meal.
Summertime Kale Slaw with Wheat Berries, Oranges, and Corn

Summer Corn and Wheat Berry Slaw

This colorful meal is more of a grain bowl than a slaw thanks to the hearty wheat berries, which add extra substance and earthy flavor. Sweet summer corn and crunchy cabbage perfectly complement the citrus dressing, and toasted pecans add a tasty crunch in place of croutons. This recipe is packed full of good-for-you ingredients that will keep your energy up and belly full all afternoon.
spicy tomato sushi rolls

Spicy Tomato Sushi Rolls

Brown rice soaks up the warm flavor of butternut squash to create a creamy base for these vegan sushi rolls. Tomatoes are then soaked in a spicy mixture of sriracha, fresh ginger, and brown rice vinegar to make a filling that really packs a punch. Bring a little container of low-sodium soy sauce or tamari, and you have a perfect quick lunch for when your calendar is packed.
Vegan Egg Salad - Diced potatoes, celery, and other veggies and herbs shown tossed together for a vegan egg salad, in a green bowl on a concrete table

Almost Egg Salad

One reader called this recipe “the mother lode of goodness.” Silky cubed tofu and tender potatoes stand in for hard boiled eggs in this finger-licking-good meal that’s slathered in a lusciously creamy sauce. Peppery radishes and crisp celery add a nice crunch that will remind you of classic deli egg salad. Use it as a sandwich filling or eat it on its own! Either way, this will quickly become one of your favorite weekday meals.
Freekeh grapefruit tabbouleh salad - avocado and grapefruit slices atop a colorful tabbouleh inspired salad

Freekeh Tabbouleh with Grapefruit

Freekeh is a nutrient-rich grain that is commonly found in Middle Eastern and North African dishes. Its earthy flavor pairs beautifully with the tart grapefruit, creamy avocado, and fresh herbs in this inventive twist on tabbouleh. If you’re making this recipe in advance as meal prep, make sure to take the whole avocado with you so you can cut fresh slices when you’re ready to eat.
zucchini lentil salad

Ribboned Zucchini Salad with Lentils and Creamy Turmeric Dressing

Lentils add satisfying heft to this refreshing salad, which can be prepared in just 15 minutes. Raw zucchini ribbons are combined with juicy tomatoes and a creamy dressing to create a bowl full of fresh flavors and textures. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped scallions, and your lunch is ready to go.
cauliflower rice salad

Rainbow Cauliflower Rice Salad

Sneak some extra veggies into your lunch by replacing grains with riced cauliflower! This colorful and refreshing salad combines crunchy bell pepper, sweet corn, juicy peas, and toasted almonds with a light lemon dressing to bring it all together. Feel free to add your favorite herbs or a dash of chili flakes for a touch of heat.
Spring Greens Soup: Two bowls of bright green chilled soup, topped with matchstick-cut radishes

Spring Greens Soup

Get your greens in with this vibrant chilled veggie soup. Peas, spring greens, cucumber, and avocado are pureed together and tempered with a savory broth. Chop up a quick gremolata of fresh parsley, radishes, and chives, and this veg-forward meal will delight your taste buds on a busy day.
Vegan sandwich

PLT (Green Pea, Lettuce & Tomato) Sandwich

When you’re in a rush, this delicious sandwich comes together in a flash. Fresh tomatoes and lettuce leaves are layered on top of a savory green pea spread that adds a burst of herbal goodness. If you have extra spread, take it with you as a dip for veggie sticks or crackers!
Curried Millet Sushi vegan recipe

Curried Millet Sushi

Absorbent millet soaks up warm curry spices and is used as the base for these scrumptious vegan sushi rolls. An assortment of rainbow veggies add a tender crunch to each slice, and salty nori ties the dish together. Perfect with a side of cold edamame or seaweed salad, this recipe keeps well in the fridge for several days as weekday meal prep.
vegan bruschetta

Sweet Potato Bruschetta with Avocado-Tomato Topping

This recipe turns hearty sweet potatoes into crispy slices that take the place of toast for a whole-food, plant-based twist on bruschetta. The fresh avocado and tomato topping is delightfully creamy and perfectly complements the peppery arugula base. Add an extra squeeze of lemon on top, and you have an easy, healthy lunch you can eat with your fingers.

Avocado & White Bean Salad Wraps

These fresh and easy wraps are perfect for packed lunches. A savory avocado bean mixture binds together slices of juicy tomato and crisp baby spinach. Roll everything up in a whole wheat tortilla, and voilà—you have a nutrient-rich meal that can be eaten on the go.

Chopped Veggie Salad with Pasta and Creamy Cauliflower Dressing

Who knew that blended cauliflower could make for a luscious, velvety dressing? Drizzle this creamy sauce over a jumble of macaroni noodles and crisp veggies for a pasta salad that rivals anything you can buy from the store. Tangy pepperoncini and aromatic parsley make perfect garnishes for this quick and easy meal.

Landlocked Ceviche

Finely chopped cauliflower takes the place of fish in this zesty vegan ceviche. Tangy red onions, Southwestern spices, and creamy avocado add bold flavor and texture to this dish, which will instantly transport you to the coast. Enjoy with tortilla chips or spoon into whole wheat pita bread pockets for the perfect grab-and-go lunch!
tortilla roll-ups for wordpress

Tortilla Roll-Ups with Lentils and Spinach

These tasty rollups get their addicting flavor from ras el hanout—a classic North African spice blend of cumin, ginger, and cinnamon. Lentils are mixed with this fragrant seasoning and then packed inside whole wheat tortillas with fresh spinach and creamy hummus. Perfect for both kids and adults, one reader says, “Five stars to the chef! This is a keeper. Easy peasy too!”

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About the Author

Headshot of Megan Edwards

About the Author

Megan Edwards

Megan Edwards is a staff writer and content producer for Forks Over Knives. She is also a certified RYT-500 yoga teacher who is passionate about cultivating holistic wellness through plant-based eating, mindful movement, and meditation. With a background in journalism and marketing, she supports both the online presence and quarterly print magazine for Forks Over Knives.
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