When I was in college, it wasn’t uncommon for me to grab a granola bar or a bag of chips from a vending machine and call it lunch. Being older and wiser, I now know: a granola bar is not lunch! But when you’re in a rush, don’t have access to a microwave, or don’t have the money to buy a decent restaurant meal, your options are a little bit limited.
These 20 recipes are all lunchbox-friendly salads, sandwiches and wraps–meaning you can bring them to work or school and eat straight out of your lunchbox, without needing to reheat anything. And because lunch should keep you full and satisfied until dinner, every recipe in this slideshow has at least 10 grams of protein too. Good-bye granola bars, hello satisfying lunch!
Cucumber Chickpea Salad with Lemony Tahini Dressing
This easy chickpea salad is delicious on its own, but it's also great for stuffing into pitas, lettuce leaves or wraps.
The Ultimate Tempeh Sandwich
Fork and Beans adds protein to a veggie sandwich with homemade tempeh bacon.
Thai Tofu and Noodle Salad
To keep the veggies crisp, pack the dressing in a small container and add it just before eating.
Creamy Avocado Sriracha Egg Salad
This is not your mother's egg salad! Running to the Kitchen replaces mayo with Greek yogurt and adds sriracha for a spicy kick.
Grilled Veggie Banh Mi Sandwiches
Who needs takeout or food trucks when you can bring your own banh mi to work?
French Bean Salad
Well Plated shares a vegetarian take on the classic Niçoise salad.
Chopped Power Salad with Baked Tofu and Almond-Miso Dressing
This is one of my favorite salads--not only is it lunchbox-friendly, but it will last in the fridge for a few days!
Brown Rice Bowl with Five-Spice Tempeh
Bowls are a big thing right now and many of them are great for work lunches. We love this one from Avocado a Day!
Butternut Squash, Lentil & Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing
Roasted butternut squash adds a little bit of sweetness to this healthy kale salad.
Chipotle Hummus Wraps
With smoky, spicy hummus and quinoa, these lunch wraps from The Muffin Myth are sure to liven up your lunch.
Rainbow Salad in a Jar with Avocado Hummus
Salad in a jar, AKA the perfect portable lunch. Just bring a fork and dig in!
Herbed French Lentil Salad
Lentils, veggies and herbs tossed in a light vinaigrette--so easy and so delicious!
Fiery Fruit & Quinoa Salad
Don't have time to grill the fruit? Fresh fruit--whatever is in season--will work too.
Tomato & Mozzarella Panini
This tomato and mozzarella panini can be served hot or cold. You have options!
Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and Avocados
With quinoa and chickpeas, you'll get a double dose of protein from this salad from Cafe Johnsonia.
Peanutty Quinoa Bowls with Baked Tofu
Baked tofu is an easy way to add protein to just about any salad or sandwich.
Smashed Chickpea, Avocado & Pesto Salad Sandwiches
Using whole grain bread is a great way to add more protein to your lunch, like in this recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod.
The Ultimate Vegan Taco Salad
Whole grains, like farro, are a fantastic--and often over-looked--source of protein.
Vegan Cobb Salad
If you want a lunch that's absolutely packed with protein, this salad from Delish Knowledge is for you--it has 30 grams!
Mediterranean Kidney Bean Salad
Sometimes you just can't beat a simple bean salad.
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