4 Plant-Based, Protein-Rich Lunch Recipes That Require (Practically) Zero Prep

On lazy days, placing a delivery order is a no-brainerโ€”no dishes, no cooking, no problem. But when the hefty surcharges start to rack up, finding ways to get lunch on the table fast (without breaking the bank) is a must.

Thatโ€™s when I turn to some of my favorite food bloggers who have artfully crafted tons of plant-based, protein-rich lunch recipesโ€”hello, walnut โ€œchorizoโ€ nachos and better-than-the-deli โ€œtunaโ€ saladโ€”that require virtually zero prep work. Indeed, lazy lunch dreams really do come true.

Ahead, a few of our favorite quick high-protein lunch recipes that give a whole new definition to the term “quickie.” Yep, theyโ€™re ready in 15 minutes or less.

4 quick high-protein lunch recipes (with minimal prep work involved)

Photo: Feast at Home

1. Hearts of Palm โ€œTunaโ€ Salad

Sure, the local bagel shop has some of the best tuna salad youโ€™ve ever triedโ€”but is it plant-based? In most cases, no. This is oneโ€”of the manyโ€”reasons why we canโ€™t stop drooling over Feast at Homeโ€™s easy heart of palm vegan โ€œtunaโ€ salad recipe. It features a few delicious ingredientsโ€”think the usual tuna salad suspects like tons of dill, mayo, and red onions. But instead of canned fish, the star ingredient of this โ€œtunaโ€ salad is hearts of palms that make this recipe extra crunchy.

Best part? You can serve this โ€œtunaโ€ salad in tons of different waysโ€”in a wrap, on a bowl, on its own, or even in a melt, you name it. Of course, if youโ€™re looking for a little extra dose of protein you can always add in a few handfuls of chickpeas to up the ante. For context, one cup of chickpeas contains a whopping 14 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber. Keep in mind that dietitians suggest getting roughly 30 grams of protein and six grams of fiber per meal; and these quick high-protein lunch recipes can help you do that.

Get the recipe: Hearts of Palm Tuna Salad

nachos quick high-protein lunch
Photo: Feast at Home

2. Walnut โ€œChorizoโ€ Nachos

This is certainly nacho (ha!) average lunch. On the contrary, itโ€™s Feast at Homeโ€™s out-of-this-world-good walnut โ€œchorizoโ€ nachos that are high in protein and loaded with fun (aka, tons of delicious toppings). The keyโ€”and the tons of proteinโ€”lies in the homemade walnut โ€œchorizoโ€ (a heart health superstar) thatโ€™s flavored with tons of anti-inflammatory spices like paprika, cumin, and chili powder, and takes just a few minutes to make thanks to your trusty food processor.

Once thatโ€™s ready, all you have to do is load it on top of your favorite tortilla chips (mine are Sieteโ€™s nixtamalized corn tortilla chips), along with the toppings of your choice, like vegan cheese, beans, tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro. Throw it in the oven to get nice and melty, and lunch is ready to be served. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. And as far as nutrition goes, these vegan nachos contain nearly 10 grams of protein and nine grams of fiber per one-and-a-half-cup serving.

Get the recipe: Vegan Nachos

quick high-protein lunch buffalo cauliflower
Photo: Wholesome Yum

3. Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower โ€œWingsโ€

In the mood for a good olโ€™ American classic? These four-ingredient air fryer buffalo cauliflower โ€œwingsโ€ by Wholesome Yum are exactly what youโ€™re looking for. A take on game-day wings, these ready-in-10 cauliflower bites are spicy, tangy, and oh-so-crispy. For a boost of protein, pair them with a vegetarian-friendly cottage cheese dipping sauce, like this one by Detoxinista. After all, cottage cheese is packed with more than 11 grams of protein per 100-gram serving.

Get the recipe: Buffalo Cauliflower

bbq jackfruit sandwiches quick high-protein lunch
Photo: Love and Lemons

4. BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich

BBQ on your mind? Say no more. These BBQ jackfruit sandwiches are a vegan take on a pulled pork sandwich that are the perfect lunch for a busy day. Although this recipe by Love and Lemons calls for homemade barbecue sauce, spare yourself the extra prep time by using your favorite vegan BBQ sauce instead. Then, all you have to do is cook the shredded jackfruitโ€”that mimics the texture of pulled porkโ€”in the sweet and tangy barbecue sauce of your choice to soak up all of the flavors. Once itโ€™s ready, assemble the sliders by layering sandwich buns with your โ€œbarbecuedโ€ jackfruit, more BBQ sauce (one can never have too much of it, am I right?), and a quick homemade cabbage slaw. Swoon.

Get the recipe: BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich

Shall we tackle dinner next? This vegan *beet* bourguignon is calling your name:


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