17 Vegan Bento Box Ideas: Delicious and Easy Meal Prep

If you’re like me, always on the lookout for healthy, delicious, and convenient meal options, vegan bento boxes might just be your new favorite thing. These handy meal kits are perfect for those who need quick and nutritious lunches for work or school.

A colorful array of 17 different vegan bento box ideas, each neatly arranged with a variety of plant-based ingredients and vibrant colors

What makes vegan bento boxes great is their versatility and the endless variety of flavors you can pack into one box. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or just trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, these bento box ideas will inspire you to get creative with your lunch prep.

1. Tofu Sushi Rolls

Making tofu sushi rolls is one of my favorite vegan bento box ideas. They are easy to prepare and packed with flavor.

First, I start by cooking the tofu. I microwave it on high for about two minutes to remove excess liquid. Then, I drain and pat it dry.

Next, I cut the tofu into long strips. I mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, maple syrup, Sriracha, and grated ginger in a bowl. I marinate the tofu strips in this mixture.

While the tofu marinates, I prepare the sushi rice. I cook the rice until it’s sticky, then let it cool down. I spread the rice thinly on a sheet of nori.

I place the marinated tofu, along with some veggies like cucumber and avocado, on top of the rice. Then, I carefully roll the sushi using a bamboo mat.

Finally, I cut the roll into bite-sized pieces and pack them into my bento box. These tofu sushi rolls are perfect for lunch and are always a hit.

For more detailed steps, check out this recipe for vegan sushi with tofu.

2. Quinoa Salad with Avocado

A colorful bento box filled with quinoa salad and sliced avocado, surrounded by vibrant vegetables and fruits

I love making a quinoa salad with avocado for my bento box. It’s simple yet packed with flavor and nutrients. Quinoa is a great base since it’s high in protein.

First, I cook the quinoa. It takes about 10 minutes until the water is absorbed. I let it cool while I prepare the vegetables. I chop tomatoes, cucumbers, and spinach.

Then, it’s avocado time. I slice the avocado and add it to the cooled quinoa along with the veggies. For extra flavor, I mix in some olive oil, Dijon mustard, and a splash of vinegar.

This salad is good cold, so I chill it for a bit before packing it in my bento box. Sometimes, I also add some nuts or seeds for a crunch. This dish always feels fresh and filling. It’s perfect for lunch at work or school.

For more details, check out this vegan avocado quinoa power salad.

Enjoying this salad during lunch gives me a boost of energy for the rest of the day. It’s one of my favorite bento box ideas.

3. Chickpea Smash Sandwich

I love making a chickpea smash sandwich for lunch. It’s simple and tasty. I start by mashing chickpeas with a fork. I like to leave a few chunks for texture.

Then, I mix in some chopped celery and red onion. For flavor, I add a bit of vegan mayo, dijon mustard, and a pinch of garlic powder.

Sometimes, I also add some dill pickles or relish to give it a tangy twist. It’s amazing how these small additions can make the sandwich pop.

After mixing everything together, I spread the chickpea mixture on whole grain bread. I top it with some fresh greens and another slice of bread.

The result is a crunchy, satisfying sandwich that’s perfect for a bento box. You can also check out another recipe for a smashed chickpea sandwich for more ideas.

4. Tempeh Stir Fry

Tempeh stir fry is one of my favorite additions to a vegan bento box. It’s easy to make and packed with flavor. I start by heating some oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Then, I add the tempeh and cook until it’s golden brown on all sides.

For extra flavor, I like to marinate the tempeh in a simple sauce made from soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. After browning, I set the tempeh aside and use the same pan to cook the veggies. A mix of green beans, carrots, and bell peppers works great.

I add a bit more oil to the pan if needed, then toss in the veggies. I cook them until they’re just tender but still crisp. Finally, I add the tempeh back to the pan with a bit more sauce. Everything gets a quick stir to combine.

This dish fits perfectly in a bento box along with some rice or quinoa. It’s a nutritious and tasty option that keeps well for lunch. For the full recipe and instructions, check out this tempeh stir fry guide on Minimalist Baker.

5. Edamame and Carrot Salad

A colorful bento box filled with edamame and carrot salad, neatly arranged with vibrant, fresh ingredients

I love adding a colorful and crunchy Edamame and Carrot Salad to my bento box. It’s so simple to prepare.

First, I peel the carrots and julienne them into thin strips. Then, I prepare the edamame by either thawing or cooking it. Combining fresh ingredients makes this salad not only tasty but also healthy.

I mix the carrots and edamame with some red cabbage for extra crunch. To add a rich flavor, I toss everything in a ginger-soy dressing. A sprinkle of sesame seeds on top gives a nice touch.

This salad is full of vitamins A, C, and K, making it a nutritious choice for anyone. The vibrant colors add a lively splash to my bento box, turning it into a delightful meal.

For more details, check out this Edamame and Carrot Salad. It’s one of my favorites for a reason!

6. Vegan Spring Rolls

A table set with vibrant vegan spring rolls and 17 bento boxes. Vibrant colors and fresh ingredients are showcased

I love making vegan spring rolls for my bento box. They are light, fresh, and packed with veggies. Plus, they are fun to assemble and eat!

To start, I use spring roll paper, which I place on a slightly damp, flat surface. This makes it easier to roll without tearing.

I then add a few leaves of spinach. The leaves are placed in the lower third of the paper. A small amount of vermicelli noodles goes on top.

For the filling, I use shredded carrots, thinly sliced bell peppers, and cucumber sticks. Fresh herbs like mint or cilantro add a burst of flavor.

Rolling the spring rolls can be tricky, but with practice, it becomes easy. I fold the sides in first, then roll from the bottom, keeping the filling tight.

Dipping sauces make these spring rolls even better. I sometimes make a simple peanut sauce or use a store-bought chili sauce. Either way, it adds a delicious touch.

These vegan spring rolls are great as a main dish or a side. They are versatile and can be customized with your favorite veggies. Plus, they fit perfectly in my bento box! For more detailed steps, you can check out this guide.

7. Hummus and Veggie Wrap

I love making hummus and veggie wraps for my bento box.

First, I spread a generous layer of hummus on a whole grain tortilla. The hummus adds a creamy texture and extra protein.

Next, I layer in fresh veggies. I usually include sliced bell peppers, cucumbers, shredded carrots, and spinach. These vegetables add crunch and a lot of color.

Sometimes, I add a sprinkle of sunflower seeds for a bit of extra crunch.

Finally, I roll up the tortilla tightly and slice it into pinwheels. These little rolls fit perfectly in my bento box and are easy to eat.

This wrap is great because it’s simple to make, very tasty, and healthy too.

8. Miso Soup

A wooden bento box filled with vibrant, colorful vegan dishes, including a steaming bowl of miso soup surrounded by an array of fresh ingredients and condiments

Miso soup is a comforting and healthy addition to any bento box. It’s packed with flavor and easy to make. I love adding tofu and greens for extra nutrients.

To start, I rehydrate some dried wakame seaweed. It only takes 5 minutes in water. While waiting, I prepare green onions by slicing them into small pieces.

Next, I make the broth using water and miso paste. You can choose any greens you like, but I usually add chard or spinach. For tofu, silken works best for that smooth texture. Add the greens and tofu to the broth and let them cook for about 5 minutes.

Once the greens are tender, I turn off the heat and stir in the miso mixture. Sometimes, I also add a bit of nori for extra flavor. If needed, a pinch of sea salt can enhance the taste.

Finally, I ladle the soup into a small container that fits in my bento box. Miso soup keeps well and is perfect for enjoying warm or at room temperature. This simple, delicious soup makes my vegan bento boxes feel complete.

9. Vegetable Dumplings

I love making vegetable dumplings for my bento box. They’re packed with flavor and are super fun to eat. To start, I heat some sesame oil in a pan over medium heat. Then, I add chopped vegetables like cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms. I also toss in some tofu for extra protein.

Next, I add soy sauce and ginger powder to the mixture, stirring everything until the tofu is slightly browned and the veggies are tender.

Once everything is cooked, I take dumpling wrappers and fill them with the veggie mixture. Pinching the edges together seals the dumplings.

To cook them, I heat a bit of oil in a pan and fry the dumplings for a couple of minutes until the bottoms are browned. Then, I add a splash of water and cover the pan to steam the dumplings until the water evaporates.

Vegetable dumplings are perfect for my bento box. They are delicious hot or cold and pair well with a simple dipping sauce made from soy sauce and vinegar. Plus, making them is a great way to use up any leftover veggies I have in the fridge.

10. Roasted Pepper and Basil Pasta

I love making Roasted Pepper and Basil Pasta for my bento box. It’s simple and packed with flavor. First, I roast red peppers until they’re charred and soft. Afterward, I blend them with some sautéed garlic and a bit of olive oil.

A key part is the pasta. I usually cook it until it’s al dente. Then, I mix it with the roasted red pepper sauce. Adding fresh basil gives it a nice, fresh taste.

Sometimes, I include grilled veggies like broccoli or yellow peppers for more texture and nutrients. This makes the pasta not just tasty but also colorful. It’s easy to prepare and stays good in the fridge, too.

For added protein, I sometimes toss in some marinated tofu or a handful of chickpeas. This transforms the dish into a well-rounded meal that keeps me full.

Packing this pasta into my bento box guarantees a delicious lunch. It keeps well and tastes good even when it’s cold. I always look forward to enjoying this meal midday. Check out a similar recipe at Minimalist Baker if you want detailed steps.

11. Lentil and Spinach Curry

A colorful bento box filled with lentil and spinach curry, surrounded by 16 other vegan meal ideas

Lentil and spinach curry is a tasty and filling option for a vegan bento box. I love how the lentils add a hearty texture while the spinach brings in some fresh greens.

To make the curry, start by cooking diced onion, garlic, and ginger in a bit of oil until they soften. Then, I add spices like curry powder, turmeric, and garam masala for a warm, flavorful base.

Next, I toss in chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, and coconut milk. This makes the curry rich and creamy. I let it simmer for about 15 minutes to blend the flavors well.

Then come the lentils and spinach. The lentils are cooked until just tender, and the spinach wilts into the curry perfectly. The combination of these two ingredients is so satisfying.

I pack this curry with a side of rice or naan in my bento box. It’s a comforting meal that’s simple to reheat and enjoy at lunchtime.

Check out this lentil and spinach curry recipe for detailed instructions and tips. It’s a favorite in my meal prep routine!

12. Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Grilled Portobello mushrooms arranged in a bento box, surrounded by colorful and vibrant vegan side dishes

I love adding grilled portobello mushrooms to my bento boxes. They are hearty, flavorful, and pack a punch of umami.

To start, I clean the portobello mushrooms with a damp towel and remove the stems. Then, I pierce them with a fork to help the marinade soak in.

For the marinade, I combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, salt, and a touch of Sriracha.

I place the mushrooms in a shallow dish and brush the marinade on both sides. Sometimes, I spoon it on to make sure they are well coated.

I preheat my grill or skillet to medium-high heat. Then, I cook the mushrooms for about 4-5 minutes on each side until they are golden brown.

These grilled portobello mushrooms are perfect in a bento box. I pair them with some crisp lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and a side of rice or quinoa.

The mushrooms are not only tasty but also a great meat alternative. Plus, they hold up well in a bento box, making them easy to prepare ahead of time.

13. Sesame Ginger Noodles

A colorful bento box filled with sesame ginger noodles and 16 other vegan dishes, arranged neatly with vibrant ingredients and chopsticks

When I’m looking for a tasty vegan bento box idea, I love making sesame ginger noodles. It’s a simple and satisfying dish.

To start, I cook my favorite noodles. Rice noodles work great for this recipe.

Once the noodles are cooked, I prepare the ginger sesame sauce. I combine soy sauce, sesame oil, fresh ginger, and a bit of maple syrup.

I mix everything together until the sauce is smooth. Then, I toss the noodles in the sauce until they’re well-coated.

I like to add some crispy tofu to my bento box with these noodles. You can make it by pressing the tofu to remove excess water, then baking it until it’s nice and crispy.

Finally, I add some veggies for crunch. Thinly sliced bell peppers, carrots, and cucumber are perfect.

All these components go into my bento box, making a delicious and balanced lunch. The flavor of the sesame ginger noodles really shines, and it pairs well with the crispy tofu and fresh vegetables.

If you want to try this recipe, you can find more detailed instructions here. Happy cooking!

14. Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed bell peppers are one of my favorite vegan bento box ideas. They’re colorful, tasty, and packed with nutrients.

I like to fill my bell peppers with a mix of quinoa, black beans, corn, and diced tomatoes. The combination makes for a filling and delicious lunch.

You can also add some avocado slices or a sprinkle of vegan cheese on top.

Another great option is to stuff the peppers with a savory mix of brown rice, lentils, and chopped vegetables like carrots and zucchini.

It’s easy to customize the stuffing to suit your taste.

When I prepare stuffed bell peppers, I usually make a batch for the week. They keep well in the fridge and can be enjoyed cold or reheated.

For an added kick, sometimes I drizzle a bit of hot sauce or add a scoop of salsa.

Pairing these stuffed peppers with a side of fresh fruit or a handful of nuts completes the meal nicely.

For more inspiration, check out this no cook vegan bento snack box recipe.

15. Vegetarian Paella

A colorful spread of vegetarian paella and 17 vegan bento boxes arranged on a wooden table. Vibrant vegetables, flavorful rice, and assorted plant-based dishes create an inviting and appetizing scene

Vegetarian Paella makes for a fantastic vegan bento box addition. I love how colorful and rich this dish looks.

To start, I heat olive oil in a large skillet. I add chopped onion, red bell pepper, and garlic. Sautéing them for about 5 minutes makes the kitchen smell amazing.

Next, I stir in some chopped tomatoes and spices. Let them cook until the tomatoes soften. This step is essential for deep flavor.

I add short-grain rice to the mix and toast it lightly for 1-2 minutes. This helps the rice absorb flavors better.

Slowly, I pour in some vegetable broth. Important tip: I don’t stir the mixture once the broth is added. Instead, I allow it to simmer.

Cooking this for 15-18 minutes until the rice is al dente is crucial. To make it even better, I top it with artichokes and let it cook for a few more minutes.

Packed into a bento box, this vegetarian paella is not only delicious but also visually appealing. For more detailed instructions, check out this vegetarian paella recipe. I guarantee it’ll brighten up your lunch break.

16. Coconut Rice with Mango

A colorful bento box filled with coconut rice and mango, surrounded by 16 other vegan meal options

Coconut rice with mango makes for a delicious and refreshing bento box option. It’s a great mix of creamy and sweet flavors.

I start by cooking the rice in coconut milk instead of water. This gives the rice a rich, tropical taste. It’s important to use full-fat coconut milk for the best flavor.

Once the rice is cooked, I let it cool completely. This helps the texture stay firm and makes it easier to pack into the bento box.

For the mango part, I like to use ripe, juicy mangoes. I peel and cut them into bite-sized cubes. This makes it easy to eat on the go.

I also add a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes on top of the rice. This adds a nice crunch and extra coconut flavor.

Packing the bento box is easy. I keep the rice and mango in separate compartments to keep everything fresh. Simple, delicious, and perfect for a sunny lunchtime treat.

The combination of coconut and mango always brings a bit of tropical sunshine to my day. Give it a try and see how much you enjoy it too.

17. Japanese Vegetable Tempura

One of my favorite bento treats is Japanese Vegetable Tempura. This dish combines crispy, golden-fried vegetables with a light batter.

To start, I mix flour, egg, and ice-cold water to create the perfect batter. I make sure to slice the vegetables thinly. Sweet potatoes, kabocha squash, and lotus root work great.

I then heat vegetable oil in a pot to around 350 degrees F. Each veggie slice gets dipped in the batter and fried until it’s crispy and golden brown. It only takes a few minutes for each piece.

For a delicious dipping sauce, I mix soy sauce, mirin, and dashi. This sauce adds a savory touch that pairs perfectly with the tempura’s crunch.

Including this in my bento box adds a fun, tasty, and crunchy element that I absolutely love. Check out this delightful tempura recipe on Wallflour Girl for more details.

Benefits of Vegan Bento Boxes

Vegan bento boxes come with several benefits. They offer a nutritious meal packed with plant-based ingredients and help reduce our impact on the environment. Here’s a closer look at these advantages.

Nutritional Advantages

Eating vegan bento boxes means you get a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts. This mix ensures you consume a range of vitamins and minerals. For example, a bento box with kale, brown rice, and chickpeas provides a good amount of fiber and protein.

Plant-based meals can also be lower in saturated fats. This helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Including items like tofu or tempeh gives an extra protein boost. Having a mix of fresh and cooked items adds both crunch and flavor to your meal.

Environmental Impact

Switching to vegan bento boxes can help lower your carbon footprint. Producing plant-based foods generally requires less water and energy compared to animal products. For instance, a bento box with roasted sweet potatoes and black beans can be both tasty and eco-friendly.

Using seasonal and local produce in your bento box can make a difference too. This reduces the need for long-haul transportation, which can lower greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, vegan foods often come with less packaging waste, especially when you buy fresh produce and bulk items. This helps in reducing plastic waste in landfills.

By choosing vegan bento boxes, not only do you enjoy healthy meals, but you also contribute positively to the environment.

Essential Ingredients for Vegan Bento Boxes

A colorful array of fresh vegetables, tofu, rice, and fruits arranged neatly in compartmentalized containers, showcasing 17 creative vegan bento box ideas

When I make a vegan bento box, I want it to be balanced, delicious, and nutritious. That’s why I include key ingredients that provide protein, whole grains, and fresh vegetables. These basics ensure every meal is satisfying and healthy.

Protein Sources

For protein, I look at options like tofu, tempeh, and chickpeas. Tofu can be marinated and grilled for extra flavor, while tempeh offers a nutty taste and firm texture. I also love adding chickpeas, which can be roasted for a crunchy snack or mashed into a creamy spread.

Other great choices are edamame and black beans. Edamame is easy and quick to prepare. Black beans provide a lot of protein and fiber.

Sometimes, I use vegan meat substitutes like seitan or plant-based sausages. These are perfect if I’m in the mood for something different. They add variety and ensure I’m getting enough protein.

Whole Grains

I often include whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, or barley in my bento boxes. Brown rice is a staple because it’s filling and versatile. Quinoa is another favorite. It’s high in protein and cooks quickly.

Barley adds a nice, chewy texture to salads or grain bowls. I also enjoy using farro, which has a nutty flavor and is great in cold dishes. Buckwheat is another option that works well in both warm and cold meals.

Sometimes, I mix grains to add different textures and flavors. For example, brown rice and quinoa together make a great base for a bento box. These grains also pair well with fresh vegetables and protein sources.

Fresh Vegetables

Fresh vegetables are a must for any vegan bento box. I always include a variety of colors and types. Carrots and bell peppers add crunch and are easy to snack on. Cherry tomatoes and cucumbers are refreshing and light.

Leafy greens like spinach or kale provide vitamins and minerals. I also love including roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes or cauliflower. These vegetables add warmth and depth to the bento box.

For something different, I may add pickled veggies like radishes or carrots. These add a tangy flavor and help balance the meal. Fresh herbs like cilantro or basil can also elevate the taste of the vegetables.

Tips for Building a Balanced Vegan Bento Box

A colorful array of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and plant-based proteins arranged neatly in a compartmentalized bento box. Vibrant colors and varied textures create a visually appealing and balanced vegan meal

When creating a vegan bento box, it’s crucial to balance portions and add a variety of colors and textures. This ensures nutritional value and makes meals enjoyable.

Portion Control

I always start by dividing my bento box into sections for proteins, grains, vegetables, and fruits. Proteins like marinated tofu or chickpea burgers should make up about a quarter of the bento. Grains such as brown rice or quinoa also take about a quarter. Vegetables should take up the largest section, around half of the box, to boost vitamin content. Adding a small portion of fruits like berries completes the meal.

It’s helpful to use dividers or silicone cups to keep the portions separate. This not only helps with portion control but also keeps different foods from mixing. Using a variety of shapes and sizes for these containers makes the box visually appealing.

Color and Texture Variety

A visually appealing bento box is more likely to be exciting to eat. I like to include a range of colors from different foods. For instance, vibrant greens from snap peas, reds from cherry tomatoes, and yellows from corn.

Texture is just as important. I mix crunchy vegetables like carrots with soft items like cooked sweet potatoes. Adding a dips section can introduce a creamy texture, such as hummus for dipping veggies.

I also find it fun to experiment with different shapes. For example, cut cucumbers into stars or make fun shapes with a vegetable cutter. This keeps mealtime interesting and enjoyable.

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