16 Simple Lent Lunch Ideas

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Easy Lent lunch ideas the whole family can eat while observing the rules of Lenten fasting. Pack these healthy meals to take to school or work or enjoy at home.

A photo collage shows a variety of meatless soups, sandwiches, and snacks for Lent.

For our family, eating lunch on Fridays in Lent seems to be the biggest struggle.

When we're at home for breakfast or dinner, I have a meatless meal ready to go.

But out in the world at lunchtime? It is so much easier to forget that it is Friday, especially if you're dining with friends or co-workers who are not Catholic.

If you're looking for clarification on what you're allowed to eat for lunch during Lent and want some fresh inspiration for Lent-friendly lunch recipes, I've gathered together everything you need.

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Lent Rules for Lunch

On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, fasting rules allow Catholics to eat only one full meal and two smaller meals which, combined, would not equal a single normal meal.

In practice, this generally looks like a normal evening dinner with your family but then breakfast and lunch should be very light and give you just enough fuel to get through your day.

The fasting requirements apply to those ages 18 - 59 so your teens and kids do not need to follow the observance of those smaller meals.

However, as a family we've decided that there's nothing wrong with our kids participating in abstaining from meat on Fridays right from the get go.

There are so many fantastic dinner ideas for Lent your kid can still enjoy even without meat.

Fast or Eat a Very Simple Lunch

At my Catholic high school, we frequently were asked to eat a very basic lunch on Fridays in Lent even though we were not in the age range for required participation.

The money we saved from the more expensive lunches was collected to donate to the food bank.

This is the kind of Lenten sacrifice that truly makes a difference.

Lunch was often just a small bowl of plain white rice with a little pat of butter. You could also try a simple protein smoothie with fruit and yogurt.

Instant Pot Jasmine Rice
Learn to make perfect jasmine rice in your Instant Pot in just 3 minutes. It is the perfect side dish for saucy chicken and beef dinner recipes, stirring into soups for a gluten-free option instead of noodles, or using as the base for homemade fried rice.
5 from 3 votes
Instant Pot is filled with cooked white jasmine rice.

Lenten Snack Plates

Another simple way to give your body some fuel while also trying to observe a Lenten fast would be to keep a batch of hard boiled eggs in the fridge or a batch of my peanut butter apple dip that you could make a small snack plate with some fresh fruit and a small serving of pretzels.

Hard Boiled Eggs
Make perfect hard boiled eggs for Easter egg dying or turning into deviled eggs or egg salad. Light and fluffy yolks and tender, well shaped egg whites for any dish.
5 from 1 vote
A platter of hard boiled eggs have been sliced open so you can see the perfectly cooked yolks.
Creamy Peanut Butter Apple Dip
This fluffy and creamy peanut butter dip is the perfect after school snack with fresh crispy apples and salty pretzels.
5 from 1 vote
A serving bowl has creamy peanut butter apple dip and is topped with salted peanuts. There are green apple slices in the dip and on the plate with pretzels.

Meatless Soups

Soup is one of the easiest lunch ideas for Lent because so many recipes are naturally meat-free.

Try a vegetarian soup like my tomato bisque or the light and healthy tortellini soup made with cheese tortellini.

Tomato Bisque Soup
Creamy tomato bisque soup is filled with softened vegetables for extra flavor and pureed for an elegant but easy soup to serve as a dinner entree for 8 or appetizer for 16.
5 from 1 vote
A white soup bowl filled with tomato bisque has brown bread croutons floating on top.
Weight Watchers Tortellini Soup
This light and healthy tortellini soup features plenty of fresh veggies and is only 4 WW points per serving.
4.43 from 14 votes
A light and healthy tortellini soup has spinach and carrots floating in the broth.

You could make a big batch of sweet and sour cabbage soup on a Sunday and heat it up for lunches all week long.

Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup
This easy sweet and sour cabbage soup is a delicious meatless soup made with tons of fresh veggies and a rich and unique beef and tomato based broth. Sweetened with brown sugar and maple syrup and balanced with lots of fresh lemon juice for a fantastic sweet and sour flavor you'll love. Serve with warm, fresh bread for a healthy dinner and freeze the leftovers for a quick meal another time.
5 from 45 votes
A white bowl of cabbage soup with a spoon on the side.

The best news is that soups made from chicken broth or beef broth are not forbidden during Lent. You simply have to choose soups that don't have solid portions of meat in the mix like shredded chicken or ground meats.

Meatless Salads

There are plenty of Lent-friendly meatless salads that have extra bulk from chopped nuts or crumbled cheese.

My crispy wild rice salad uses leftover cooked rice and tasty sweet roasted carrots in the mix, too.

Crispy Rice Salad
Next time you make rice for dinner, double the recipe for leftovers so you can make this delicious and simple salad for another meal.
5 from 2 votes
A serving of crispy rice salad shows green lettuce, roasted carrots, fried wild rice in a white bowl.

If you make a batch of pasta salad like my lemon orzo salad or a big batch of this sunny citrus salad. Then you could serve it with cooked shrimp or air-fryer salmon instead of chicken.

Lemon Orzo Salad with Tomatoes & Dill
This simple Greek orzo pasta salad made with fresh tomatoes and feta is bright and zesty from the fresh squeezed lemon juice. Serve it warm or chilled with shrimp or chicken.
5 from 2 votes
A white bowl is filled with the lemon orzo pasta salad. Tomatoes and dill are sprinkled throughout.
Sunny Citrus Salad
This sunny and fresh citrus salad is the perfect side dish for salmon or your favorite fish. A great healthy family dinner idea.
4.50 from 2 votes
A platter of sliced oranges with crumbled cheese, chopped pistachios, and seasonings.
Air Fryer Salmon
Learn how to cook salmon in an air fryer for an easy and healthy weeknight dinner. Add fresh green beans and you'll have a one pot recipe you turn to again and again.
5 from 2 votes
Two salmon filets are surrounded by fresh green beans in an air fryer basket.

Meatless Sandwiches

If you're in a deli meat sandwich rut, you may be feeling stumped on planning your Lent lunch selections.

Egg salad sandwiches are a classic lunch during Lent, as are grilled cheese sandwiches.

Deviled Egg Salad
Classic egg salad combines all the best flavors from deviled eggs into a delicious sandwich spread. You could also serve a scoop over a bed of salad greens.
5 from 40 votes
An egg salad sandwich sits on a blue plate.

Not in the mood for a grilled cheese? A plain cheese quesadilla with salsa would be an excellent alternative.

How to Cook Quesadillas Family-Style
Learn how to make a big batch of quesadillas for family dinner or for prepping for the freezer.
5 from 1 vote
A baking tray filled with baked quesadillas.

For a special lunch, you could also make my favorite cheesy crab melts and serve them with a light green salad on the side.

Easy Crab Melts
This rich and delicious crab melt recipe makes a perfect party appetizer or simple dinner entree. Sweet lump crab meat is mixed together with savory cheeses and melted on fresh ciabatta bread.
4.99 from 55 votes
A platter of cheesy crab melts have green onions sprinkled over the top.
A photo collage with 4 easy meatless lunch ideas for Lent.

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