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Dairy Free Lunches: How To Make Wraps & Bowls (2023)

Repetitive meals get old fast in our household, so getting creative with dairy free lunches can create variety with what is on hand instead of making multiple meals.

There are three main components to dairy free wraps, bowls, and sandwiches. First a staple, which is usually a protein or the starting point, such as a sweet potato, fresh tomato, chicken salad, etc. Next, decide what filler(s) sound good with the first ingredient. This is usually a vegetable, fruit, beans, or rice. Finally, add any sauce or seasonings.

Choose your ingredients by what’s on hand, what’s easiest to make, or what sounds the tastiest. 

That being said, here is a list of ingredients for dairy free wrap or bowl ideas in no particular order. Get a couple of ingredients every shopping trip, and make a list on the refrigerator of your favorite wraps and sandwiches until you have an 8-week rotation, or enough so you don’t get tired of them. 

Sample Wrap and Bowl Recipes

DF frozen chicken strips, lettuce, honey mustard

Grilled chicken, tomato or pico de gallo, guacamole or avocado, everything bagel seasoning (alternate with garlic seasoning) (for a bowl, add rice)

Chicken, rice, pico de gallo, salsa, optional: guacamole, lime basil 

Chicken, rice, asparagus, different seasonings and sauces (garlic powder one day, bbq sauce another, and teriyaki another)

Chicken, broccoli, and honey mustard

Baked chicken (either marinated or seasoned), sweet potato, leafy greens, and everything bagel seasoning

Teriyaki chicken, sweet potato, and rice or pasta

Teriyaki chicken, rice or pasta, broccoli, and sesame seeds

Pulled chicken, rice, and beans

Canned chicken shredded and seasoned with fajita seasoning, mayonnaise, slice of bacon, green onions, or favorite peppers (basically chicken salad made with fajita seasoning)

Chicken salad, slices of bacon, cucumber slices, and Dijon mustard

Taco meat, rice, refried beans, optional: corn, diced tomatoes

Taco meat, corn, tomatoes or salsa, leafy greens, optional: guacamole, avocado, or hummus for creamy texture

Roast beef, mustard, onion/green onion, pickle wedge on the side

Steak, sauteed peppers and onions, and rice (optional: sauteed mushrooms or refried beans)

Pulled pork, bbq sauce, sauteed peppers, and sauteed onions

Ham and fried rice made with mixed vegetables (optional: season with favorite sauce)

Ham, great northern beans, Basmati rice (mixed vegetables optional)

Egg salad, tomato or cucumber slices, spinach, dijon mustard

Roasted sweet potato, black beans, optional: bacon, rice, onion, everything bagel seasoning, or garlic salt

Refried beans, Basmati rice, salt, and pepper (optional: corn)

Lunch meat, cucumber or pickle (or alternate), green onion, honey mustard

Writing this article made me hungry, so naturally I made myself a wrap. I microwaved some diary free frozen chicken nuggets and a slice of leftover bacon. Microwaved two tortillas for 10 seconds (damp paper towel in-between if you don’t like sticking). Cut the top of a green onion from my windowsill, and added mayonnaise and dill relish.

I had extra nuggets so I ate them with bbq sauce. It wasn’t spectacular, but it was easy and inexpensive, which is what I was going for. I absolutely ate some tortilla chips and guacamole to top it off. 

You’ll be throwing random things together in no time. These don’t have to be planned, but planning and preparing them ahead of a work week/morning will help the prep go smoother.

Meal Prep Dairy Free Wraps and Bowls

Meal-prep-dairy-dree-wraps-and-bowls

There are a few options if you’re meal prepping wraps, one option is to assemble them at night or in the morning and eat them cold. I wouldn’t personally make them far in advance if it’s not necessary because the wrap will get soggy. How soggy it gets will depend on what you’re making. 

If part needs to be heated, assemble the cold ingredients, then microwave the other half at lunchtime. If frozen, experiment with heating for 30 to 60 second intervals, then flip and microwave for 30-60 more. Wrapping the wrap(s) in a wet paper towel would also help with sticking, but flipping the wrap/burrito should do the trick. 

When heating dairy free lunches from frozen, experiment with full power vs. half power. Some frozen dinners will have you heat 1-2 minutes, then stir (when possible) and heat on 50% power for another minute, then let it sit. This will allow the food to heal all the way through.

Another option for eating either all hot or all cold is to throw it all in a bowl – mixed or not – and eat as is, with tortilla chips or crackers.

Dairy Free Staples (Starting Ingredient)

dairy-free-staples-starting-ingredients

Staples for dairy free wraps and bowls are the main courses for the week. This is the focus ingredient and is typically the protein. This section is also loosely categorized as protein, but protein can also be found in the fillers section as plant-based protein.

The staples are the focal point for meal-prepping and typically take the longest to make. There are fast options, like a rotisserie chicken, frozen baked chicken, or just buying meat from a restaurant.

Bonus points for using leftovers as your starting point, or making enough to freeze.

Starting Ingredients for DF Wraps and Bowls in no particular order:

Chicken chunks

Shredded chicken

Grilled/baked/fried chicken

DF frozen chicken tenders/nuggets/popcorn chicken

Chicken salad

Fajita Chicken

Turkey

Eggs

Egg salad

Hamburger patty (cut in half for wraps)

Taco meat 

Roast Beef (chuck roast, not the Arby’s kind)

Pulled pork

Bacon

Canned tuna

Tuna salad

Fried seafood

Lunch meat

Pepperoni

Salami

Fillers for Wraps and Bowls

Fillers for dairy free wraps and bowls are mostly your rice, pasta, beans, and vegetables. Fruit is used sometimes, but not often. If you’d like to experiment with using fruit, it’s probably best with a base like chicken salad, leafy greens, or white rice.

If rice is something you would like to use often, I encourage you to try different kinds of rice. I recently tried Basmati rice, and was surprised at how much flavor it has. I’ve been eating it nonstop on beef and bean burritos. When I run out of taco meat, I mix together leftover Basmati rice and refried beans, and am repeatedly surprised at the fact that I could make a meal just out of that.

Fillers for DF Wraps and Bowls in no particular order:

Rice

Rice cooked in chicken broth

Basmati rice, jasmine rice, or other rice with more flavor

Pasta

Tomatoes

Pico de gallo – try some premade from the produce section in stores or try making it at home

Rotel tomatoes

Avocado

Guacamole – can also be found premade in the produce section

Hummus – can be purchased premade

Beans

Refried beans

Lentils

Roasted sweet potatoes

Cucumber

Broccoli

Pickles in any form

Bell pepper

Jalapenos

Salsa

Onion

Green onion

Spinach

Lettuce

Kale

Bag salad

Shredded carrots

Corn

Broccoli

Peas

Diced celery

Diced strawberries

Apples – thin sliced

Dried berries

Sunflower seeds

Dairy Free Sauces

dairy-free-sauces

Sauces make the dairy free lunches. They add so much flavor, and can make each lunch different enough to get through the week with a few of the same meal. In time, you may branch out and make your own dairy free sauces and dressings.

However, if keeping it simple for now is what will make or break the changes to your diet, then find some premade sauces you like and start there. The more complex things will come in time.

Dijon mustard

Honey mustard

Bbq sauce

Buffalo Wild Wing’s honey bbq

Mayonnaise

Tobasco

Siracha

Pesto

Chick-fil-a dipping sauce

Yum yum sauce

Teriyaki

General Tso’s

Roasted garlic sauce / garlic sauce

Garlic mayonnaise

Tomato sauce

Seasonings

seasonings

Seasonings are another tool that can take dairy free wraps and bowls to the next level. From staples, to trends, learning to use seasonings to level up your dairy free lunches is worth the time.

However, seasonings can be intimidating to those learning to cook, so it’s okay if you take it slow. If you’re just getting started, the staples like salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder will be easy to use and hard to mess up. Everything bagel seasoning goes great anything avocado, and taco seasoning will have the directions right on the box.

Salt

Pepper

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Seasoned salt

Garlic salt

Nutritional yeast

Everything bagel seasoning

Sesame seeds

Chili powder

Fajita seasoning

Taco seasoning

Chives 

Basil, lemon basil, lime basil

Other Weird Fun Lunches

Other-weird-fun-dairy-free-lunches

Recently, I saw a post on social media that suggested any leftovers can be turned into a burrito. In this case, it was for convenience on the job: grabbing a burrito is easier – and possibly less messy – than eating with a fork. They needed a quick meal, so they made their leftover spaghetti into burritos, and took it for lunch.

In the spirit of trying quirky new things, here is a list of other weird dairy free lunch ideas:

Tater tots and main dish

Grilled Sloppy Joe burrito

Sheet pan chicken and vegetables

Straw stack burrito (cooked ground beef with pork and beans added, then made like a taco salad, eaten with mayonnaise and pickle relish)

Spaghetti

Leftover Chinese

Leftovers in general

Mo’s Scale

Mos-hardness-scale-for-recipes

Dairy free wraps and bowls are rated at a 4/20. They are easy to throw together, but the ingredients may take some prep to get them started. That being said, there are workarounds such as frozen ingredients like chicken tenders and premade ingredients like a rotisserie chicken or leftovers.

One important note is to know that you’ll have to experiment with using and heating tortillas. Burritos have a lot of moisture when assembled ahead of time, and may need to be eaten with a fork if they get too soft or are overstuffed.

I have a habit of over-stuffing them, which causes the heated tortilla to be thin when heated. This isn’t a problem to me, because it allows me to contain a meal’s portion of the food. Putting less per burrito should help it hold together, but be mindful of realistic portions. There’s nothing wrong with eating two burritos for lunch. Or you make them small and plan on an additional side.

FAQ’s

What can I eat for lunch if I am lactose intolerant?

If you’re looking for dairy free lunches for lactose intolerance, try meal prepping wraps and bowls. These are typically made with a staple (protein or other main ingredient), filler (rice, beans, leafy greens, or other vegetables), and sauces or seasonings. A few starting ideas are beef and bean burritos, Teriyaki chicken, rice broccoli, and sesame seeds, and chicken salad, slices of bacon, cucumber slices, and Dijon mustard.

Are tortillas dairy free?

Tortillas are typically dairy free, and safe to eat on a dairy free diet. However, it’s a good practice to check the label before eating because dairy can be added to unexpected products. Tortilla chips are also typically dairy free, but the more processed the chip, the more likely they are to have dairy ingredients in them.

How to make dairy free lunches for work?

Meal prep wraps and bowls for an easy dairy free lunch that you can take to work. Meal prep can be done for one week’s worth of food, or a month’s worth if you make meals you can freeze. With wraps and bowls, you can have variety with the same ingredients, such as cooking meat with different marinades,using a variety of filler ingredients, and seasoning with different spices, or alternating with different sauces.

Conclusion for “Dairy Free Lunches: Wraps & Bowls”

conclusion-for-dairy-free-lunches-wraps-bowls

When it comes to delightful and nutritious dairy free lunches, wraps and bowls prove to be a versatile option. They offer many flavors, catering to the needs of those seeking variety in their lunches without compromising on taste. Some fillers will be best as wraps, others best left as bowls, and many will thrive as either.

No matter the reason you’re dairy free, these easy lunches will be an easy, diverse meal prep that is filling. Whether your main flavor comes from the staple, filler, sauce, or seasoning, it’s a great dairy free lunch idea that can be personalized throughout the week.

If you liked the article “Dairy Free Lunches: Wraps and Bowls,” check out more posts by Base Recipes: 4 Ingredient Sloppy Joes and Nutrients to Replace When Going Dairy Free.

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