Healthy vegetarian lunch ideas for weight loss – as with all weight loss tips, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of eating tasteless food and wasting your calorie allowance on snacks that are no help at all. It’s all very well dieting and exercising to shed those extra kilos but if you’re not careful you could find yourself feeling low in energy and lacking in vitamins and minerals.
What are healthy vegetarian lunch ideas for weight loss?
What meals spring to your mind when thinking about vegetarian lunches? Salads or sandwiches? Most probably, salads if you’re considering weight loss.
Dull salads aren’t cool. But a vegetarian ramen noodle salad or high fibre avocado citrus salad with feta suddenly sounds very tempting.
Of course, this list of healthy vegetarian lunch ideas for weight loss doesn’t only include salads.
It has some exciting soups, sandwiches, veggie wraps, pitas, and even one pizza recipe!
What makes these lunch ideas for weight loss healthy?
Each recipe has been thoroughly selected for this compilation and meets the following criteria:
max 25g fat per servingmore than 15g proteinmax 10g saturated fatless than 600 kcalsat least 5g fibre
These quick vegetarian lunch ideas focus on good protein sources like legumes, eggs, dairy, nutritional yeast, nuts and grains. They can help you to feel full longer and maintain muscle mass.
Fibre foods provide similar benefits by making you satiated. They’re different grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, oats, nuts and seeds.
A healthy diet for weight loss should be rich in whole and nutritious foods. That’s why we’ve excluded recipes with more than 10g saturated fat and 25g overall fat.
Some people may think fat is their worst enemy when it comes to weight loss but it’s actually acceptable (and important) as long as you keep the balance among macronutrients.
These healthy vegetarian lunch recipes contain some good-for-weight-loss fatty foods, like avocado, nuts, eggs and extra virgin olive oil.
And finally, calories! Keep in mind your daily calorie intake – check out this article on recommended calorie intake or use a calorie calculator, if you want.
If you need to save time and stress, we can do the meal planning for you. Check out our vegetarian weight loss weekly meal plan program with delicious and easy recipes optimized for weight loss.
Why do we talk about weight loss so much?
There are some convincing reasons why losing weight is great other than looking good and following trends.
Your body will say a huge thank you. If you lose weight then it’s likely you’ll get better sleep, improve your immune system and even reduce joint pain.
No worries if weight loss is not your goal at the moment. We only encourage you to be healthy!
Anyway, here are 30 beautiful and healthy vegetarian lunches that won’t hurt your waist and hips.
Vegetarian weight loss meal plan
A white plate of couscous and pear salad with goats cheese, with a black fork on a napkin behind it
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Couscous & Pear Salad with Goat’s Cheese
Ready in:22 minutes
Bonus: surprisingly simple and super delicious
438 calories per serving
After a salad recipe that actually fills you up? Try our Couscous & Pear Salad! It’s high protein, high fibre & low fat!
Lemon and Dill Chickpea Sandwich
Ready in: 10 minutes
332 calories per serving
An easy and delicious plant-based sandwich to brighten up your weekday lunches. The flavorful, protein-rich chickpea filling is studded with fresh dill, lemon, and crisp celery.
High Fibre Avocado Citrus Salad with Feta
Ready in:10 minutes
384 calories per serving
After something different for lunch? Try this avocado and citrus salad with feta – it’s sweet, sour & packs a punch!
Broccoli and Pea Soup
Ready in: 15 minutes
Bonus: easy, creamy and freezer friendly
374 calories per serving
This vegan 15-minute broccoli & pea soup contains 4 different kinds of veggies and is oil-free as well as dairy-free. The great thing about this soup is that it only requires 5 minutes of prep time!
Tangy Veggie Wrap
Ready in:25 minutes
339 calories per serving
A refreshing and tangy summer veggie wrap that’s easy to make and perfect for on the go – ideal for bbqs, picnics or wherever it’s needed!
Chickpea Avocado Salad
Ready in:5 minutes
Bonus: filling and contributes to muscle maintenance
458 calories per serving
A chickpea avocado salad!? That’s elite level health right there. From just one serving you get a great amount of protein and fiber, around 20g of each!
Southwest Quinoa Taco Salad
Ready in: 20 minutes
Bonus: flavourful and versatile
472 calories per serving
An easy 20 minute quinoa salad with taco seasonings. Perfect for healthy meal prep and can be enjoyed hot or cold.
The Ultimate Avocado Sandwich
Ready in:5 minutes
Bonus: juicy and nutritious
432 calories per serving
The Ultimate Avocado Sandwich. A healthy and nutritious sandwich filled with avocado, cheese, tomatoes and rocket for a juicy and unbeatable taste!
Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for Weight Loss
Looking to stay fit? What you put into your body is equally as important as how you take care of your body on the physical level. The good news: Tons of ingredients and food options can help you lose weight, increase metabolism, and stay satisfied throughout the day. And all of them can be meat-free. Curious about where to start? We’d suggest trying these healthy vegetarian recipes for weight loss-they’re packed with some of the most beneficial ingredients out, and they’re delicious. Just remember that portion control is key, because too much of a good thing is still too much!
Peanut Butter Noodles
Peanut butter is high in healthy monounsaturated fats, making it a solid part of any weight-loss recipe. Ginger may be able to reduce feelings of hunger and rev up metabolism, too.
1/4 cup peanut butter1 tablespoon soy sauce1 tablespoon agave or sweetener of choice2 tablespoons water1 clove garlic, minced1 teaspoon minced ginger1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)1 teaspoon sesame oil1/2 teaspoon sriracha (or other red chili sauce)4 oz soba noodles3/4 cup julienned cucumber1 scallion, diced1/4 cup peanuts, for garnish (optional)1/2 scallion, diced, for garnish (optional)
Combine first nine ingredients (peanut butter through sriracha) to form a sauce, mixing well until thoroughly blended and smooth. Cook soba noodles according to package directions and cover in cold water as soon as removed from heat. Once cool (about 20 to 30 seconds), drain noodles, and toss with sauce, scallions, and cucumber. Top with peanuts and additional scallions, if desired.
Research finds that cinnamon can keep blood sugar steady-something that’s key for healthy weight loss. It may prevent that typical post-meal sugar spike and subsequent crash that can lead to cravings. As for almonds? They have healthy, filling, good-for-you fat that, in moderation, helps keep any of your health goals on track.
1/2 apple, chopped1 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for baking apples1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk1/2 cup rolled oats1 dash salt (optional)1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted slivered almonds1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
Preheat oven to 350øF. Place apple on a baking sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon as desired. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until soft. Meanwhile, in a small pot, bring almond milk to a boil. Stir in oats, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt, lowering heat to medium-low. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cut apple into bite-size pieces. Once oats have reached desired consistency, stir in baked apples, almonds, and maple syrup.
High-protein quinoa (the 1/4 cup in a serving of this dinner packs 6 grams) keeps you satisfied for hours. Chickpeas work to keep you full, too. Some research finds that plant-based protein sources (like beans and peas) are more filling than their meaty counterparts.
2 cups vegetable broth1/4 medium onion, diced1 clove garlic, minced1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed1/2 cup dry quinoa1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained1/4 cup dried cranberries1/4 cup almonds1 teaspoon ground cinnamonSalt and pepper to tasteFresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
Pour about 1/2 inch vegetable broth into a pot and continue adding broth as needed while cooking vegetables. Add onion and saut‚ for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and sweet potato and saut‚ for another 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in quinoa and stir to lightly toast. Add remaining vegetable broth, dried cranberries, and chickpeas and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes until potatoes are tender and all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in almonds, salt, pepper, and parsley.
Garlic Asparagus and Pasta with Lemon Cream
On top of being part of a healthy vegetarian recipe for weight loss, squash in this dish has anti-cancer effects. That’s a good reason to enjoy it any day.
8 oz dried mafalda or rotini pasta2 cups asparagus spears cut into 2-inch pieces8 baby sunburst squash and/or pattypan squash, halved (4 oz)2 cloves garlic, minced1 tablespoon margarine or butter1/2 cup whipping cream2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Return pasta to saucepan. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook asparagus, squash, and garlic in hot margarine for 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to pasta. Combine whipping cream and lemon peel in skillet. Bring to boiling. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 1/3 cup. To serve, pour cream mixture over pasta mixture; toss gently to coat.
Souffl‚ Omelet with Zucchini, Artichoke, and Cheddar
Eggs, vegetables, and cheese all contain filling protein to keep energy levels high and cravings at bay. This healthy vegetarian recipe for weight loss clocks in with 30 grams of protein, too. (More: 10 High-Protein Breakfast Ideas That Aren’t Eggs)
1 tablespoon olive oil8 oz zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered1 cup chopped tomato12 large egg whites4 large eggs, lightly beaten1/4 teaspoon salt1/8 teaspoon black pepper1 1/3 cups shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, artichoke, and tomato. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Set aside. Beat egg whites with a hand mixer until they form soft peaks. Add whole eggs, salt, and pepper; stir. Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add the egg mixture. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom. Using a spatula, slide omelet onto a plate. Return to pan with cooked side facing up; cook 10 to 12 minutes, until golden. Place vegetable mixture and cheese on half the egg and fold it over to enclose the filling. Press down lightly with spatula until it holds the shape and the cheese melts.
Farfalle with Watercress, Cherry Tomatoes, and Feta
Watercress doesn’t get enough credit considering its many health benefits (plus, did you know you can grill it?). This green vegetable is rich in phytochemicals that can fight cancer and heart disease.
8 oz farfalle pasta1 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved3 cups watercress leaves (from 2 small bunches)1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions. Place cheese in a large bowl; top with watercress. Before draining pasta, take 1/4 cup cooking water from pot and pour over watercress. (Watercress will wilt slightly and cheese will get soft.) Place tomatoes in a colander. Drain pasta over tomatoes for a super-quick blanch. Toss with watercress and cheese; sprinkle with pepper and serve.
Best Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for Weight Loss
Being a vegetarian doesn’t mean just eating pasta and veggies for every meal. Whether you’re looking to diversify your breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts or even snacks, we’ve got you covered with healthy vegetarian recipes.
You’ll be shocked to see how many ways you can mix up your meals, even as a vegetarian. Most importantly, though, these recipes will leave your stomach full, which can sometimes be a challenge with a vegetarian diet. With so many options, you’re bound to find the perfect recipes for any vegetarian meal in your future.
Shakshuka, a North African and Levantine dish of eggs poached in a garlicky tomato and pepper sauce (you might know its Italian relative, Eggs in Purgatory), is a deeply flavorful weekend breakfast that just so happens to be paleo. Made with fresh or canned tomatoes, the sauce starts with saut‚ed bell peppers, onion, and garlic.
Mac and Cheese
Over the years, we’ve tested dozens of iterations of the classic-spiked with chiles, topped with bacon, toned down with non-fat cheese. However, we keep returning to this formula: a b‚chamel base, laced with extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, and finished with a bit of yogurt to give the sauce that perfect texture. Are there more decadent bowls of mac? Absolutely-but not for under 400 calories.
Black bean omelet
Why shell out your hard-earned dollars for an overpriced gut bomb when you can make something better, healthier, and cheaper at home in 10 minutes flat? And nowhere is that question more relevant than with omelets.
Oatmeal with peanut butter and banana recipe
We love this oatmeal with peanut butter and banana recipe for its good-for-you ingredients. It makes a healthy morning meal you can have ready in minutes.
Healthy french toast with strawberries
Done correctly, stuffing can actually be a nutritional boon: In this recipe, it adds a dose of low-cal protein, fiber, and all the energy-boosting vitamins from fresh strawberries and honey. Plus, it’s simple enough to pull off, even on a weekday morning.