Recipe Tips

31 Vegetarian Low Calorie Lunches (less than 500kcals!)

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Thinking of tasty, hassle free lunch ideas is tricky at the best of times, but especially when you are calorie conscious.

31 Vegetarian Low Calorie Lunches (less than 500kcals!)

If you’re trying to lose weight, or trying to eat more healthily, these vegetarian low calorie lunch ideas will help you stay on track.

We’ve rounded up a varied and exciting selection of vegetarian low calorie lunch recipes to satisfy your lunchtime cravings.

If you’re building muscle, we’ve got high protein low calorie recipes for weight loss like this tofu omelette.

Or, we’ve got plenty of low calorie lunch ideas for work, for a lunch that you won’t be tempted to ditch in favour of the deli.

What makes a great vegetarian low calorie lunch?

There are a few criteria that every vegetarian low calorie lunch included here needs to meet: first, every recipe is between 250-500 kcal per serving.

This is a lot of range, but most recipes are around 400 calories a lunch.

Second, all of these low calorie vegetarian recipes have at least 15g of protein, and no more than 10g of saturated fat per serving.

Why these criteria? Well, keeping lunch’s calorie quota under 500 calories makes every lunch included here a great low calorie vegetarian recipe for weight loss.

This also frees up calories, if you’re counting, for other meals like breakfast, where getting plenty of calories to start the day satiated and may help burn more calories throughout the day.

Eating fewer calories has been shown to aid weight loss by forcing the body to burn its reserves of fat. This in turn leads to other health benefits like a decreased risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and a longer lifespan!

We’ve also made sure that these vegetarian lunch recipes, despite being low in calories, are nutritionally balanced.

This means that it’s possible to maintain a calorie deficit while also getting the necessary amounts of protein and fibre to stay healthy.

Bonus: omelette upgrade, low fat

Looking to up your protein intake? Try this high protein, low fat silken tofu omelette with eggs – the perfect healthy breakfast and lunch!

Bonus: low carb, plenty of veg

Low Carb High Taste Zoodles. Italian style spiralized zucchini noodles ready in just 15 minutes, excellent for a quick lunch or dinner.

Bonus: super filling, nutritious, high protein

Looking to up your salad game? Try this healthy egg salad recipe with quinoa and beets – the perfect weight loss lunch!

Bonus: lunch or breakfast, plenty of iron

This spinach and chickpea bake is easy, delicious and super healthy – a breakfast your body will thank you for!

Bonus: sandwich upgrade, high in protein

Need a tasty sandwich that’s healthy too? Try our vegetarian banh mi, a light and healthy take on the Vietnamese classic!

Bonus: meal prep friendly, tasty seasoning

Looking for a light lunch or snack? Try our vegan lettuce wraps, inspired by Korean ssam & filled with crispy tofu!

Bonus: super simple, twist on a classic

Vegetarian Baked Beans. Thick and full flavoured with a moreish tang. Low in calories, ready in 15 minutes and just as good as the ‘original’ from Heinz!

Bonus: gluten free, creamy

Fresh, easy and delicious vegetarian wedge salad with creamy cashew dressing makes a perfect high protein lunch in a jar.

Bonus: plenty of fibre, one pot wonder

Looking for a light but filling soup to warm your belly this winter? Try our beetroot soup, topped with crunchy chickpeas!

Bonus: sweet lunch, full of fruit

Win over the crowd at your next brunch without hurting your waistline with these raspberry low calorie pancakes!

Bonus: zesty, high protein

After something different for lunch? Try this avocado and citrus salad with feta – it’s sweet, sour & packs a punch!


  • ½ avocado
  • 1 ½ orange (divided)
  • 1 red grapefruit
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup basil, fresh (torn)
  • ¼ tsp ginger, fresh (grated)
  • 2 oz low fat feta cheese (crumbled)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 3 oz wholegrain bread (about 2 big slices, toasted)
  • Flaky salt or sea salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

  • Slice the avocado. Peel 1 ½ orange and 1 grapefruit and cut them into round slices or wedges.

    ½ avocado, 1 ½ orange, 1 red grapefruit

  • In a small bowl add the juice of ½ an orange, the honey, the grated ginger and the table salt. Mix until incorporated.

    1 ½ orange, 1 tbsp honey, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp ginger, fresh

  • In a salad bowl add the spinach, citrus fruits, avocado, torn basil leaves, and crumbled low fat feta cheese. Drizzle over the vinaigrette and fold everything over. Sprinkle generously some flaky salt and black pepper over the salad and serve with toast

    ½ avocado, 1 ½ orange, 1 red grapefruit, ¼ cup basil, fresh, 2 oz low fat feta cheese, 2 cups baby spinach, 3 oz wholegrain bread, Black pepper to taste, Flaky salt or sea salt to taste

Nutrition Facts

31 Vegetarian Low Calorie Lunches (less than 500kcals!)

Amount per Serving

% Daily Value*

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Bonus: loads of veg, minimal prep

Make the most out of your veg with this Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup – tasty, easy, healthy, full of vitamins and only five mins to prep!

Protein: 17g
Calories: 296kcal
Ready in: 25 minutes
Recipe by: VeganPunks
Bonus: high protein, super speedy

Quorn Fajitas is an instant winning dinner that’s ready in under 30 minutes and only needs one pot. Top with additional extras like guacamole, salsa, refried beans and even jalapenos to level them up!

Protein: 18g Calories: 374kcal Ready in: 15 minutes
Recipe by: WholefoodSoulfoodKitchen
Bonus: vegan, gluten free

This vegan 15-minute broccoli & pea soup contains 4 different kinds of veggies and is oil-free as well as dairy- free! The best thing about this soup is that it only requires 5 minutes of prep time!

Protein: 36g
Calories: 380kcal
Ready in: 35 minutes
Recipe by: CleanPlateMama
Bonus: grain free, paleo friendly

These spaghetti squash spaghetti bowls are a fun twist on regular pasta night! They are a great way to increase your veggie intake and they make for a quick, healthy weeknight meal.

Protein: 14g
Calories: 400kcal
Ready in: 30 minutes
Recipe by: IHeartUmami
Bonus: authentic Japanese lunch, low carb

Omurice (Japanese rice omelette) made with shirataki rice tastes buttery, sweet, and savory and low carb! This dish is super fast to make and buttery delicious!

Protein: 17g
Calories: 451kcal
Ready in: 30 minutes
Recipe by: WholefoodSoulfoodKitchen
Bonus: homemade soup, vegan

This vegan mushroom soup is healthy comfort food at its best! It’s creamless, low in fat and includes a big variety of plants, making this a light yet filling and nutritious soup. Perfect for these chilly winter nights!

Protein: 8g
Calories: 278kcal
Ready in: 10 minutes
Recipe by: VeggiesDontBite
Bonus: main or side, zesty

This lemon kale salad is not your average boring salad. It’s filled with amazing flavors and textures, and absolutely delicious!

Protein: 8g
Calories: 484kcal
Ready in: 20 minutes
Recipe by: OurHappyMess
Bonus: meal prep friendly, vegan

These vegan tofu tortilla wraps make the perfect quick, healthy lunch.

Protein: 14g
Calories: 443kcal
Ready in: 30 minutes
Recipe by: ThisThatMore
Bonus: minimal prep, perfectly balanced flavours

Mango Quinoa Salad is a refreshing, sweet & spicy Quinoa salad that you can enjoy any day of the week. It is super healthy too!

Protein: 14g
Calories: 134kcal
Ready in: 15 minutes
Recipe by: NobleVeggies
Bonus: double up for sufficient calories, super speedy

This High Protein Bean Salad is unanimous at home, everyone is happy when they see this beautiful colorfulful salad arriving on the table.

Protein: 24g
Calories: 352kcal
Ready in: 15 minutes
Recipe by: MelissaTraub
Bonus: gluten free, vegan

This healthy pasta is an easy meal with tasty tempeh and garlic. Quick for a weeknight and high in protein and fiber. Among the simplest of vegan meals, this pasta uses fresh cherry tomatoes and is also gluten free.

Protein: 18g
Calories: 411kcal
Ready in: 15 minutes
Recipe by: VeganPunks
Bonus: vegan, salad upgrade

Vegan Gado Gado is a delicious, fragrant and spicy Indonesian salad, ready in under 15 minutes! One of the best low calorie meals for the whole family at lunch time or in a jiffy on late nights.

Protein: 13g
Calories: 295kcal
Ready in: 15 minutes
Recipe by: PicnicLifestyle
Bonus: meal prep friendly, loads of veg

Tossed with fresh herbs and summer vegetables, finished with a light lemon dressing, this Mediterranean inspired Couscous Salad with Tofu is an easy and tasty salad with so many possible variations. It’s also a great make-ahead salad perfect for meal prep and picnics.

Protein: 4g
Calories: 142kcal
Ready in: 55 minutes
Recipe by: JarOfLemons
Bonus:  double serving for sufficient calories, one pot wonder

This Vegetarian Borscht Recipe is simple, versatile, and easy enough for a delicious weeknight dinner! Made from beets and red cabbage, it’s packed with nutrients and delicious flavors. Make this one-pot soup for a cozy favorite any day of the week! This is a delicious low calorie vegetarian lunch recipe that makes a change from tomato soup.

Protein: 6g
Calories: 334kcal
Ready in: 10 minutes
Recipe by: JarOfLemons
Bonus: vegan, gluten free

Springtime Avocado Strawberry Spinach Salad made with fresh spinach, sliced sweet strawberries, creamy avocado, crunchy walnuts, topped with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned to taste. It’s so yummy and perfect for a nutritious and beautiful lunch or side salad!

Protein: 23g
Calories: 474kcal
Ready in:  1 hour 40 minutes
Recipe by: SomebodyFeedSeb
Bonus: comfort food, high in protein

One of the Somebody Feed Seb’s favourite vegetarian meals – a Vegetable Lasagne with Courgette & Aubergine! Creamy, made with four types of cheese and a bunch of veggies, this is a filling and extremely decadent lasagna! We promise you one thing – you will not miss the meat in this delicious bake! The meaty aubergine, the freshness of the herbs and the various textures of parmesan, cheddar and mozzarella will not leave you wanting anything more!

Protein: 24g
Calories: 402kcal
Ready in: 30 minutes
Recipe by: MyPlantifulKitchen
Bonus: gluten free, vegan

This vegan yakisoba, or Japanese stir-fried noodles, is paired with crispy tofu cubes! Incredibly flavorful and hearty, this gluten-free yakisoba is packed with colorful veggies. Fuss-free and ready in 30 minutes by throwing these nutritious ingredients in a pan and seasoning with soy sauce.

Protein: 18g
Calories: 492kcal
Ready in:  35 minutes
Recipe by: HealthMyLifestyle
Bonus: vegan twist on a classic, one pot wonder

This Spanish Vegan Paella recipe is so easy to make and full of flavor! It’s topped with artichokes and European olives that are bursting with flavor and can be made in one pan for easy kitchen cleanup! This vegetarian lunch option is a good reason to never eat seafood again!

Protein:  7g
Calories: 318kcal
Ready in:  20 minutes
Recipe by: IFoodReal
Bonus:  great on a budget, packed with veg

With a combination of inexpensive cabbage, carrots, and noodles, this Cabbage Stir Fry is a main course that’s easy on the wallet, ready in 20 minutes, and packed with nutrients!

Protein:  7g
Calories:  143kcal
Ready in:  55 minutes
Recipe by: GFreeFoodie
Bonus: double up for sufficient calories, gluten free

Make this delicious Roasted Corn Stuffed Poblano Peppers recipe with your favorite dairy-free cheese or regular cheddar. Use red pepper or green bell pepper and follow the step by step guide for a delicious vegetarian dish in under an hour. It’s full of flavor!

Vegetarian Low Calorie Lunch FAQs

Hungry for answers as well as lunch? Check out our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about vegetarian low calorie lunches!

Do vegetarian meals have less calories?

The number of calories you should consume in a day really depends on what type of diet you follow, your health needs and how active you are.

As a general rule, research has found that vegans and vegetarians eat fewer calories compared to those who eat meat.

Plus, there is evidence that eating too much red meat can age your body – all the more reason to skip the meat at mealtime!

However, it is important to eat balanced meals that contain a healthy number of calories to meet your nutritional needs.

We’ve made sure that the calories in these recipes are working hard for you – high in protein and fibre, and low in saturated fat and sugar.

What meals are good for weight loss vegetarian?

The best meals for vegetarian weight loss are ones that are high in protein and low in saturated fats and added sugars. The protein will help you gain muscle and keep you feeling full until dinner.

This egg salad has 24g of protein and takes just twenty minutes to prep!

Once you’ve exhausted this list for options, check out these high protein lunch ideas.

Or, even better, let us plan your every meal with our weight loss meal plan, leaving you to enjoy the food!

What should a vegetarian order for lunch?

If you’re looking to replicate restaurant quality vegetarian lunches from home, try these raspberry pancakes or this spinach and chickpea bake.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to incorporate some vegan recipes into your meal planning, we’ve got you covered with vegan fajitas and vegan lettuce wraps.

Which of these vegetarian low calorie lunches did you enjoy? Let us know your favourite easy vegetarian recipes for lunches in the comments.


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