10 Delicious and Nutritious Low Calorie Vegan Lunches
So you’re trying to eat healthy and watch your calories but you’re not sure where to start. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. As vegans ourselves, we know how challenging it can be to find satisfying lunches that won’t break the calorie bank. That’s why we put together this list of 10 delicious low calorie vegan lunches under 300 calories that will keep you full and energized through the afternoon. From protein-packed salads and grain bowls to noodle soups and sandwiches, these lunch options prove that eating vegan on a diet doesn’t have to be boring. And the best part? Most of these meals can be made ahead of time so you can enjoy them all week long. Ready to get cooking? Let’s dive in!
Massaged Kale Salad: Nutritious and Satisfying
A massaged kale salad is a perfect light yet satisfying lunch. Here’s how to make one for under 300 calories:
Start with a bunch of lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur kale. Strip the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite-sized pieces. Add a splash of lemon juice and olive oil, then use your hands to massage the dressing right into the kale until the leaves soften and darken in color. This makes the kale more tender and easier to digest.
Next, add in extras for protein and healthy fats. Some great options include:
- 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (104 calories): chickpeas add protein, fiber and a creamy texture.
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts (185 calories): walnuts provide healthy omega-3 fats and a crunchy contrast.
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (110 calories): feta adds a punch of flavor, creaminess and saltiness.
Finish it off with optional additions like diced avocado, dried fruits, fresh berries or a light vinaigrette. Mix everything together and enjoy your nutritious, delicious kale salad!
This salad packs in nutrition with few calories by focusing on whole plant-based foods. Kale provides vitamins A, C and K while the mix-ins supply protein and healthy fats. By massaging the kale, it becomes more palatable so you can eat a large portion and feel fully satisfied. For under 300 calories, this salad can serve as a wholesome, waistline-friendly meal. Dig in and enjoy!
Lentil and Vegetable Soup: Hearty Comfort Food
A hearty lentil and veggie soup is comforting on a chilly day and perfect for a low calorie vegan lunch. This cozy soup will fill you up without filling you out.
To make the soup, sauté some aromatics like chopped carrots, celery and onion in a little broth or oil. Add broth, lentils and chopped potatoes and simmer until the lentils and veggies are tender, about 20-25 minutes. For extra flavor, throw in some crushed garlic, bay leaves, thyme or rosemary.
Add in chopped kale, spinach or Swiss chard during the last few minutes of cooking. The greens will wilt into the soup, adding nutrition without many calories. Season the soup with a bit of salt and pepper. For a creamier soup without the cream, purée some of the lentils right in the pot using an immersion blender.
Have a bowl of this satisfying soup with a piece of fruit for a balanced 300 calorie lunch. The lentils provide fiber, protein and iron while the veggies add vitamins and minerals. This soup makes a great leftover too, so you’ll have lunches ready for a few days.
Some other add-ins to boost nutrition:
•Diced tomatoes – lycopene and vitamin C
•Zucchini – vitamin C
•Bell peppers – vitamin C and antioxidants
This comforting, good-for-you soup proves that healthy vegan food can be delicious and filling. Enjoy your hearty bowl of lentil and veggie soup!
Hummus and Veggie Wrap: Fresh and Flavorful
Fresh and Nutritious Ingredients
A hummus and veggie wrap is a perfect light, energizing lunch option for vegans and anyone looking for a healthy low calorie vegan lunch under 300 calories. The key is using fresh, nutritious ingredients:
- Hummus: Look for hummus with minimal added oil and salt. Chickpea hummus is a great protein-packed choice.
- Vegetables: Fill your wrap with a variety of crisp veggies like cucumbers, carrots, sprouts, spinach and tomatoes. The more colorful the veggies, the more nutrients.
-Whole wheat wrap: Choose a medium-sized whole wheat wrap, lavash or pita to hold all the fillings. Whole wheat has more fiber than white flour to keep you full.
assemble and enjoy
Assembling your hummus and veggie wrap is quick and easy:
- Spread 2-3 tablespoons of hummus on your wrap.
- Top with 1/2 cup of sliced or chopped fresh vegetables of your choice.
- Roll it up tightly, cut in half and enjoy!
This simple vegan wrap is satisfying yet light, with healthy fats, fiber and protein to keep you energized for hours. At around 250 calories, it’s a perfect guilt-free option for lunch or a snack on the go. Customize the fillings to your tastes and what’s in season for endless variety.
A hummus and veggie wrap is a win all around – nutritious, delicious, and budget-friendly. Keep the ingredients on hand for an easy packed lunch or whip one up when you have a craving for something fresh and flavorful. Your body and wallet will thank you! Try different types of hummus and veggies to find your favorite combination.
Other low calorie vegan lunch ideas:
- Vegetable broth-based soup with whole grain toast – under 200 calories
- Bean and avocado salad over greens – around 250 calories
- Roasted vegetable and tofu bowl with quinoa – under 300 calories
- Lentil curry over rice with cilantro – around 270 calories
PB&J Rice Cakes: A Healthy Twist on a Classic
A classic PB&J sandwich is a nostalgic comfort food for many. Unfortunately, the white bread and sugary jelly can pack on the calories. This version swaps in rice cakes for bread to create a light, crunchy base for your peanut butter and jelly. At under 300 calories, you can feel good enjoying this favorite snack.
- 2 rice cakes (or flavor of choice)
- 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons low-sugar fruit spread (strawberry, raspberry or apricot)
- Place the rice cakes on a plate or flat surface.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on each rice cake. Use a knife to evenly distribute it from edge to edge.
- Top each rice cake with 1 tablespoon of fruit spread. Again, spread it evenly over the peanut butter.
- Put the rice cakes together to form a sandwich. Slice the sandwich in half diagonally and enjoy!
This simple snack comes together in just a few minutes but tastes like an indulgence. The light and crunchy rice cakes contrast nicely with the creamy peanut butter and lightly sweet fruit spread. Feel free to customize the flavors by using different nut butters like almond or sunflower seed butter and switching up the fruit spread.
For extra nutrition and crunch, top your rice cake sandwich with:
•Sliced bananas – Adding 1/2 a small banana will add about 50 calories.
•Granola – 2 tablespoons of low-sugar granola adds 60-80 calories.
•Chia seeds – 1 tablespoon of chia seeds adds 60 calories, 5 grams of fiber and lots of omega-3 fatty acids.
Rice cakes have a mild flavor and readily absorb other tastes, so have fun with mix-ins and toppings to create a flavor explosion in every bite of this healthy snack. Your taste buds and waistline will thank you!
Avocado Toast: Creamy and Delicious
Avocado toast has become popular for good reason. It’s creamy, delicious and perfect for a light lunch. Avocados are packed with healthy fats and fiber to keep you full, while the toast provides some satisfying crunch. This 300- low calorie vegan lunch comes together in just a few minutes.
- 1 slice whole grain bread
- 1/2 medium avocado, mashed
- Lemon or lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: red pepper flakes, cilantro, tomato
- Toast the bread. Place the bread in a toaster and toast until lightly browned.
- Mash the avocado. Halve and pit the avocado, then scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash with a fork until mostly smooth with some small chunks remaining. Mix in a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the avocado on the toast. Use a knife to spread the mashed avocado evenly over the toast.
- Add optional toppings (if desired). Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, chopped cilantro, diced tomato or your favorite veggies.
- Enjoy your avocado toast! This vegan lunch is best eaten immediately. The avocado will start to brown quickly, so gobble it up!
Avocado toast makes a satisfying low calorie vegan lunch, with healthy fats to keep you energized all afternoon. Swap in different types of bread, seasonings or mix-ins to create new flavor combinations. Get creative – avocado toast is highly customizable! Keep portions in check for a 300- low calorie vegan lunch, as avocados are calorie-dense. One half of an average avocado contains about 160 calories and 14 grams of fat. But the good news is, it’s the kind of fat that’s good for you!
Buddha Bowl: A Rainbow of Nutrition
A buddha bowl is a perfect light and nourishing option for lunch. These vibrant bowls contain a rainbow of nutritious ingredients that provide a balance of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs to keep you satisfied all afternoon.
Start with a base of greens like spinach, kale, or romaine lettuce. Mix in some crunchy veggies such as shredded carrots, cabbage, cucumbers or bell peppers. Top it off with cooked whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa or farro. The fiber and protein in the grains will help fill you up.
Add a plant-based protein such as chickpeas, edamame, or tofu to boost the nutritional content of your bowl. Chickpeas provide manganese, folate and plant-based protein. Edamame is high in isoflavones, vitamin K and magnesium. Look for extra-firm tofu and pan-fry or bake it to add some texture. Cubed and marinated tempeh is also a great option.
The Healthy Fats
No buddha bowl is complete without some healthy fats. Avocado adds creaminess and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Nut butters such as almond or sunflower seed butter provide protein and healthy fats. And don’t forget the nuts and seeds! Add a sprinkle of hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds, chia or flax for extra nutrition.
The Flavor Boosters
Boost the flavor of your bowl with fresh or dried herbs, citrus juice, tamari or miso, nut-based sauces and dressings. Fresh or sun-dried tomatoes, olives, capers and vinegars also make great additions. And for a bit of natural sweetness, add some fresh or dried fruit like berries, mango, or apricots.
With so many possible combinations, you can create a new buddha bowl every day of the week. Packed with a rainbow of nutritious veggies, grains, legumes, fruits and fats, these 300 low calorie vegan lunches will satisfy and energize you. Mix and match your favorite ingredients for a quick, delicious and balanced meal.
Stir Fry Tofu and Broccoli: Quick and Easy
For this quick and easy stir fry, you’ll need:
- 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 cups cooked brown rice or your favorite grain for serving
- Drain the tofu and pat dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger and garlic. Pour over the tofu and stir to coat. Let marinate for at least 10 minutes to absorb the flavors.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and stir fry until crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Add the tofu and stir fry until browned on most sides, about 5 to 7 minutes total.
- Return the broccoli to the skillet. Pour in the marinade and stir fry until the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes more.
- Serve over the brown rice. Enjoy your quick and delicious vegan lunch!
This stir fry dish is packed with protein from the tofu and healthy broccoli, all for under 300 calories. The flavors of the garlic, ginger and soy sauce give it an Asian-inspired zest. Let me know if you have any other questions!
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos: Tex-Mex Flavor
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos are a delicious Tex-Mex inspired low calorie vegan lunch option under 300 calories.
For the filling, you’ll need:
- 1 medium sweet potato, diced
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup salsa
- Chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder to taste
- 8 small corn tortillas
For the toppings:
- Diced avocado
- Chopped cilantro
- Lime wedges
- Hot sauce (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss the diced sweet potato with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, stirring halfway through, until tender.
- In a medium skillet, heat a bit more olive oil over medium heat. Add the spices – start with 1/2 tsp each of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder – and stir to coat the sweet potatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the black beans, salsa, and 2-3 tbsp water. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until heated through. Mash some of the beans and sweet potatoes to thicken the mixture.
- Warm the tortillas in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Fill each tortilla with the sweet potato and black bean mixture, then top with avocado, cilantro, lime juice, and hot sauce (if using).
- Fold the tortillas over and enjoy your tacos! This recipe makes 4 servings of 2 tacos each. Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 3 days.
These flavorful vegan tacos are packed with nutrition from the beans and sweet potatoes, so you can feel good about this meal choice. Switch up the spices for variety and add other toppings like diced onion or vegan cheese. Buen provecho!
Vegan Lentil Bolognese: A Plant-Based Take on an Italian Classic
A hearty, protein-packed lentil bolognese sauce is a perfect low calorie vegan lunch option. Lentils provide a meaty texture without the meat, and this sauce is bursting with flavor from aromatic vegetables, herbs and red wine. Serve it over your favorite pasta, zucchini noodles or mashed potatoes.
- 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
- 1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the lentils, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 20-25 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrots and celery and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the wine and tomatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the basil, oregano and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the cooked lentils to the sauce and stir to combine. Simmer for a few more minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
- Serve over your favorite pasta, zucchini noodles or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!
This hearty lentil bolognese sauce provides nearly 10 grams of protein and lots of fiber to keep you full, all for under 300 calories per serving. The red wine adds richness, but you can also use broth or water. Add other veggies like mushrooms or bell peppers for extra nutrition. Leftovers freeze well for up to 3 months—perfect for a quick vegan lunch or dinner.
Low Calorie Vegan Lunches FAQ: Answering Your Questions
So you have some questions about low calorie vegan lunches, huh? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about crafting delicious and nutritious low calorie vegan lunches under 300 calories.
Do I have to eat salads?
Absolutely not! While salads can be a great low calorie option, there are plenty of other choices. Some other ideas include:
- Soup and a piece of fruit
- Veggie burger with a side of steamed broccoli
- Hummus and veggie wrap
- Black bean burrito bowl with rice and salsa
- Stir fry over rice noodles with tofu
Any tips for keeping it low cal?
Here are some helpful tips:
• Focus on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes which are naturally low in calories but high in nutrients.
• Watch your portion sizes and avoid going back for seconds.
• Bulk up your meals with extra veggies and leafy greens. They fill you up without a lot of calories.
• Choose a healthy fat like olive oil or avocado instead of cheese, mayonnaise or creamy sauces.
• Season your food with spices, citrus juice, or vinegar instead of high calorie condiments.
What about protein?
Great question. Excellent vegan sources of protein include:
- Tofu (1/2 cup has about 20 grams of protein)
- Lentils (1 cup cooked has 18 grams)
- Chickpeas (1 cup has 15 grams)
- Nut butters like peanut butter or almond butter (2 tablespoons has 8 grams)
- Seitan (3 ounces has 31 grams)
- Plant-based protein powders (1 scoop can have 20-30 grams)
Any other tips?
Here are a few final tips:
• Meal prep on the weekends to make lunches easier during the week.
• Keep healthy snacks on hand like fruit, nuts and granola bars in case you get hungry.
• Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water which can help you feel full.
• Don’t feel deprived. Have a small treat occasionally like dark chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth.
• Try new recipes to keep things interesting. There are so many delicious vegan options!
Hope this helps answer some of your questions about low calorie vegan lunches. Let me know if you have any other questions!