It’s been shown that having a good meal prep routine can often be the way to maintain a healthy diet. This is because it is much easier to plan nutritious meals when you plan in advance, giving yourself time to find proper ingredients and recipes. It is also very easy to forget how to cook nutritious meals or stay on top of your diet when you’re hungry, making using vegan meal prep ideas a wonderful way to hold yourself accountable for your diet.
On top of these dietary benefits, it just makes your life more convenient. You don’t have to go to a café or deli for meals, allowing you to save the time and money you would normally spend on meals prepared by other people!
Despite all of these positives associated with meal prepping, though, many people find it very difficult to begin. The act of changing your life in a radical way to benefit yourself in the long run can feel a bit tedious.
Because meal prepping seems like a difficult task for traditional diets, many people wouldn’t even think that it’s possible to be vegan (or other nontraditional diets) and meal prep. Well, people might think it’s possible, but simply not cost effective!
In reality, though, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many different meal prep ideas you can use that are both affordable and vegan. To help you navigate which meals prep ideas are cheap and vegan, we’ve made this list of 21 Budget Friendly Vegan Lunch Meal Prep Ideas:
Vegan Lunch Meal Prep Ideas
1. Veggie Wraps
Who knew that collard greens could be incredibly helpful for giving you a nice, healthier alternative to your sandwich craving? This recipe from Tasteful Venture is incredibly delicious and allows you to get all of your nutrients in while maintaining your vegan diet!
2. Oatmeal Fruit Jars
If you’re somebody who wants to incorporate some healthy meal prep into your daily breakfasts, you’ll love this recipe for oatmeal fruit jars. They’re easy to make, very nutritious, and you can make as many as you want with little materials! Another benefit to these jars is that the recipe itself is very flexible, allowing you to substitute any ingredients you’d like to include whichever type of fruit you’re interested on any given week!
3. Peanut Butter Protein Bars
This recipe isn’t the quickest to make, but it is very rewarding if you’re looking for some delicious vegan snacks to make. If you’re not interested in peanut butter or chocolate, this likely isn’t the recipe for you, but anybody else will love it. This is great for any midday pick-me-up you might need!
4. Tofu Breakfast Tacos
One of the things that many people miss most when going vegan is the comfort that certain breakfast meats can bring. On a cold winter morning, there’s nothing better than a warm breakfast taco or burrito, making this recipe a must for any vegans who want to re-capture that feeling. Of course, this recipe replaces eggs with scrambled tofu, allowing you to mix and match any vegetables or other ingredients you’d like!
5. Tomato Risotto
Having a nice pasta-based dish is a perfect lunch solution to anybody looking to eat something filling, making it a great option for a vegan meal prep idea. You can also mix and match the vegetables in this recipe, continuing to change it each time you make it to get a good amount of variety in.
6. Spaghetti Squash Bake
Just because you’re vegan, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a quiche-type meal! This is why we love this Spaghetti Squash Bake, a recipe that allows you to turn the flexibility of a spaghetti squash to make a really nice bake that can just as easily be breakfast as it can lunch and dinner!
7. Tortilla Soup
On cold, rainy days, sometimes having the right type of soup can be all you need to keep your spirits high. If your workplace has a microwave, we highly recommend incorporating this meal prep idea into your lexicon so you can never feel chilly at work again!
8. Chickpea Bowls with Vegetables
Sometimes it can be most efficient to have a meal that tastes just as good warm as it does cold. This is why we recommend these chickpea bowls, meals that will feel great no matter what you pair them with! Feel free to swap out the vegetables for other ideas you might have as well!
This is out other great idea for anybody who is interested in having a snack to keep them going in the middle of their day. Granola goes well no matter what time of day it is, allowing you to carry it with you as a snack on your commute or eat it during the final hour of your work day!
10. Sweet Potato Bowls
It’s no secret that some of the best meal prep recipes are the ones that can satisfy the requirements for multiple meals. This is why we love these sweet potato bowls—they’re perfect for both lunch and dinner! If you want to make them even more impressive, consider adding some garnish or additional spices.
11. Tabouli Salad
Salads are one of the key power meals that are likely already a part of your diet if you’re vegan. However, have you ever had a tabouli salad with kale? This recipe is incredibly delicious and a great way to get you started!
12. Mushroom Spinach Pasta
Sometimes meals taste better as leftovers than when they were initially made. Some of the spices settle, the heat is turned down, and the vegetables begin to blend together better. This is definitely one of the benefits of meal prepping pasta, as there are so many wonderful vegan recipes to choose from that can give you plenty of variety! We love this mushroom spinach pasta for the same reason and you likely will too.
13. Sweet Potato and Chickpea Salad
We wouldn’t be able to get through this list without providing you with a few great salad options, right? This is why we recommend this sweet potato and chickpea salad for anyone looking to spice up their lunch at work.
14. Tofu Scramble
Remember when we included those tofu breakfast tacos at the beginning of this list? This is the dinner equivalent of that recipe. A tofu scramble goes well with nearly anything, so get creative! We recommend beginning with this recipe and then adjusting or replacing any ingredients as you see fit! You’ll be surprised at how delicious it can be.
15. Lo Mein
Ever want to have Chinese food without having to spend your budget at the local Chinese food shop? This lo mein recipe is a great way around this, allowing you to incorporate your favorite vegan flavors into one of your favorite dishes. It’s also very easy to make a lot of lo mein, making this recipe incredibly flexible to last you even more than a week if you’d like!
16. Stuffed Peppers
You really can’t go wrong with a good stuffed pepper! Not only are these filling, but they’re also very flexible—just put whichever ingredients you’d like in them and you’re good to go! This is also one of the great meal prep ideas that is truly flexible.
17. Lentil Chili
This is another rainy day recipe that is perfect for vegans looking to get some of the spice they miss from meat-based chili. This chili is based off of lentils to fill you up easily, also allowing you to combine your favorite vegetables with it!
18. Plantain and Vegan Bowl
This recipe is one of the most unique vegan meal prep ideas. Plantains are delicious and incredibly healthy for you—when mixed with other vegetables, they’re out of this world!
19. Southwest Salad
If you want a salad that has a little more of a kick than other options, check out this southwest salad recipe. It has couscous, spices…what more could you ask for?
20. Peanut Butter Balls
Effective snacks are the ones that keep you energized when you need it most. That’s why these peanut butter ballsare the perfect solution for losing energy during a long stretch of work. Definitely one of the most protein-filled meal prep ideas on this list.
21. No Cook Snack Boxes
At the end of the day, sometimes meal prepping is even too much to keep track of. This is why we recommend these no cook snack boxes for anybody who wants to put together meals, but can’t always cook them in advance. They’re incredibly easy to make and are also very affordable!
As you can see from our list, there are many different meal prep ideas that you can incorporate into your routine that are incredibly affordable and vegan. Once you do so, you’ll find that not only will you live a healthier life, but a happier one as well! Through meal prepping more effectively, you will not only be able to increase your overall nutrition, but also give your workdays more positivity overall! If you need even more vegan meal prep ideas, we’ve also got you covered.