Vegetarian Lunch

Collection of Indian vegetarian lunch ideas and recipes – What’s for lunch is a common everyday question in every household. Though the question looks simple, the answer is not. 

Everyone struggles to decide on what to cook for lunch. And if you have a family with kids and elderly adults, it will become more difficult as you have to please different age groups.

In this post, I will share with you Indian vegetarian lunch ideas that are healthy and simple enough so that you can cook these meals every day. I will also share with you the tips on meal planning and food reuse to avoid wastage.


It requires time and patience to cook and plan everyday meals. Though elaborate cooking is not possible for everyone and every day, we shouldn’t ignore making nutritious and fresh lunch as a healthy diet is a key to overall wellness. 

I believe that Healthy and clean eating should become part of our routine and not a 7-day challenge or 21-day challenge. So with the proper planning, you can cook all the meals every day at home and that too without spending the whole day in the kitchen.

Also, proper planning makes lunch prep easy and less stressful.


  1. If possible, plan all your meals for the whole week or at least for a day. You are half successful if you know what to cook ahead. 
  2. Soak the grain and legumes accordingly. If you plan for the whole week, you can soak beans on weekend and store the soaked beans in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
  3. Though you need not soak grains like rice and millet, soaking them will remove the anti-nutrients and also reduces cooking time.
  4. Make sprouts from green mung beans, moth beans, black chickpeas on the weekend and you can use them throughout the week.
  5. Try to buy veggies and fruits ahead of time, mostly on weekends. 


  1. Grains: The typical South Indian in me asks for rice 🙂 So we eat rice for at least one meal and that will be mostly our lunch. You could have whole wheat roti, millet roti, cooked millet, cooked quinoa as a replacement for rice. Try to include all kinds of grains like rice (brown rice, red rice, black rice, etc.,) wheat, millet, quinoa, etc.,
  2. Pulses: Pulses are a great source of protein for vegetarians. So try to include at least 10 types of beans and lentils every month. Common pulse used in Indian cooking are pigeon peas (toor dal), red lentils (masoor dal), split green gram (mung dal), split Bengal gram (chana dal), red kidney beans (rajma), black chickpeas, while chickpeas (Kabuli chana), black-eyed peas( lobia), horse gram(kulith), brown lentils (whole masoor dal)
  3. Vegetables: Fresh vegetables and greens are good sources of vitamins and minerals. So I try to include them in all meals. Check all the below lunch ideas and you will find different ways to include vegetables in your lunch meal.
  4. Nuts and seeds: Generally people ignore this food group but nuts and seeds are nutritional powerhouses. Small quantities of nuts and seeds in our daily meal will provide us essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. I usually make various chutneys with vegetables and seeds to include the goodness of both of these.


  1. You can always have your curry or dal or chutney for dinner. On busy days, cook more portions of these items and your dinner will be sorted out. If you do not want to eat rice for dinner, you can have the leftover curry or dal with either roti or dosa or idly.
  2. If you have some leftover beans curry or dal or Pongal, add whole wheat flour to it. Add spices accordingly and make roti out of them. You do not need any other side dish for this.
  3. Leftover rice or millet or quinoa can be used to make various dishes. I have few recipes with cooked millet, you can make these with leftover rice or leftover quinoa also. Check millet capsicum rice recipe, millet gongura rice recipe, millet lemon rice recipe.
  4. Leftover rasam can be used for making the roti dough instead of water. 
  5. I usually prepare chutneys for breakfast and reuse them for lunch.
  6. And if you do not get bored with eating the same food for dinner also, just reheat everything on the stove, cook fresh rice or roti and enjoy your dinner! This is far better than any outside food.


Here I am sharing with you the different healthy lunch ideas. At home, we cook elaborate meals only for festivals or special occasions, so most of these are simple everyday meals that are balanced with all food groups.

I don’t have all the recipes on the blog yet and I have provided you the recipe links that are on the blog already. And comment below if you want me to share any of the recipes from these ideas.

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