10 Vegan Lunch Recipes

Main dishes and desserts to pack
and go

By Roxanne Webber

Vegan Tofu Apple Spring Rolls
Vegan Tofu Apple Spring Rolls

Vegan Black Bean Tamales
Vegan Black Bean Tamales

Vegan Tofu Fish Sticks
Vegan Tofu Fish Sticks

It can be hard to find good vegan recipes at all, not to mention ones that work well for lunch, so we wanted to share some from Jennifer McCann’s cookbook Vegan Lunch Box. Many of her recipes, such as the black bean tamales and the chili con “carne,” double as main dishes for dinner; she also offers some dessert recipes, in case you’re craving a midday treat. And even if you aren’t vegan, these recipes will add some healthy variety to your lunch box.

1. Vegan Pups in Blankets. This classic preparation uses tofu dogs in place of traditional hot dogs and adds a homemade crust. Pack the pups with dipping sauces.

2. Vegan Back-to-School Chocolate Chip Cookies. McCann makes these with whole-wheat pastry flour for improved nutrition, then adds walnuts or pecans. The cookies can be made ahead in batches, and they freeze well.

3. Vegan Tofu Apple Spring Rolls. Pressing the tofu and marinating it for half an hour on each side gives these spring rolls a flavorful filling that contrasts nicely with the crunch of tart green apple.

4. Vegan Black Bean Tamales. Make these for dinner the night before and take the leftovers for lunch the next day—tamales pack easily.

5. Vegan Cherry Chip Brownies. These brownies get their moistness and density from the addition of dates and dried plums. Dried cherries and chopped walnuts round things out for a vegan variation on a bake-shop classic.

6. Vegan Tofu Fish Sticks. This cute take on a fishless stick employs a fish-shaped cookie cutter and some kelp thrown into the breading. The “fish” sticks are then baked until crispy. McCann suggests cooling them completely and wrapping them in foil, so they stay crunchy in your lunch bag.

7. Vegan Pumpkin Carob Chip Muffins. Pack one of these muffins for a sweet snack with your afternoon coffee. They’re loaded with pumpkin, spices, pecans, and carob chips, and topped with cinnamon-sugar.

8. Vegan Roasted Tomato Basil Soup. This vegan version of an old favorite is brimming with flavor thanks to roasted tomatoes and a generous helping of basil.

9. Vegan Chili Con “Carne.” Pull out your slow cooker for this chili, made with three types of beans and textured vegetable protein.

10. Vegan Mini Wellingtons. These small savories are made with store-bought puff pastry sheets and stuffed with a homemade nut-and-chickpea loaf. Pack a couple for a hearty meal, or make them even smaller and serve as appetizers.

Roxanne Webber is an associate editor at CHOW.

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