Sample Meal Plan For Vegetarian


Sample Meal Plan For Vegetarian can be hard to come by. So many different restrictions for a diet that has so many benefits, but also comes with so many challenges. This vegetarian meal plan is 4-weeks of delicious and healthy meals that will keep your taste buds guessing while providing everything your body needs to stay fit and healthy!

The Vegetarian Diet: A Beginner’s Guide and Meal Plan

The vegetarian diet has gained widespread popularity in recent years.

Some studies estimate that vegetarians account for up to 18% of the global population

Apart from the ethical and environmental benefits of cutting meat from your diet, a well-planned vegetarian diet may also reduce your risk of chronic disease, support weight loss and improve the quality of your diet.

This article provides a beginner’s guide to the vegetarian diet, including a sample meal plan for one week.

What Is a Vegetarian Diet?

The vegetarian diet involves abstaining from eating meat, fish and poultry.

People often adopt a vegetarian diet for religious or personal reasons, as well as ethical issues, such as animal rights.

Others decide to become vegetarian for environmental reasons, as livestock production increases greenhouse gas emissions, contributes to climate change and requires large amounts of water, energy and natural resources

There are several forms of vegetarianism, each of which differs in their restrictions.

The most common types include:

  • Lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet: Eliminates meat, fish and poultry but allows eggs and dairy products.
  • Lacto-vegetarian diet: Eliminates meat, fish, poultry and eggs but allows dairy products.
  • Ovo-vegetarian diet: Eliminates meat, fish, poultry and dairy products but allows eggs.
  • Pescetarian diet: Eliminates meat and poultry but allows fish and sometimes eggs and dairy products.
  • Vegan diet: Eliminates meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products, as well as other animal-derived products, such as honey.
  • Flexitarian diet: A mostly vegetarian diet that incorporates occasional meat, fish or poultry.


Most people who follow a vegetarian diet don’t eat meat, fish or poultry. Other variations involve the inclusion or exclusion of eggs, dairy and other animal products.

Health Benefits

Vegetarian diets are associated with a number of health benefits.

In fact, studies show that vegetarians tend to have better diet quality than meat-eaters and a higher intake of important nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E and magnesium

A vegetarian diet may provide several other health boosts as well.

May Enhance Weight Loss

Switching to a vegetarian diet can be an effective strategy if you’re looking to lose weight.

In fact, one review of 12 studies noted that vegetarians, on average, experienced 4.5 more pounds (2 kg) of weight loss over 18 weeks than non-vegetarians

Similarly, a six-month study in 74 people with type 2 diabetes demonstrated that vegetarian diets were nearly twice as effective at reducing body weight than low-calorie diets

Plus, a study in nearly 61,000 adults showed that vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than omnivores — BMI being a measurement of body fat based on height and weight

May Reduce Cancer Risk

Some research suggests that a vegetarian diet may be linked to a lower risk of cancer — including those of the breast, colon, rectum and stomach

However, current research is limited to observational studies, which cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Keep in mind that some studies have turned up inconsistent findings

Therefore, more research is needed to understand how vegetarianism may impact cancer risk.

May Stabilize Blood Sugar

Several studies indicate that vegetarian diets may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

For instance, one review of six studies linked vegetarianism to improved blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes

Vegetarian diets may also prevent diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar levels in the long term.

According to one study in 2,918 people, switching from a non-vegetarian to a vegetarian diet was associated with a 53% reduced risk of diabetes over an average of five years

Promotes Heart Health

Vegetarian diets reduce several heart disease risk factors to help keep your heart healthy and strong.

One study in 76 people tied vegetarian diets to lower levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol — all of which are risk factors for heart disease when elevated

Similarly, another recent study in 118 people found that a low-calorie vegetarian diet was more effective at reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol than a Mediterranean diet

Other research indicates that vegetarianism may be associated with lower blood pressure levels. High blood pressure is another key risk factor for heart disease

Giant Couscous, Goat’s Cheese & Fig Salad

green chef couscous dish meal

The best salads are always filled with texture, that’s why we love Green Chef’s Giant Couscous, Goat’s Cheese and Fig Salad.

Fresh but surprisingly filling, this playful recipe is bursting with flavour; sweet figs, creamy goat’s cheese, lemon-marinated courgette ribbons, peppery rocket, chewy giant couscous and crunchy walnuts.


Not only do vegetarians tend to have a higher intake of several key nutrients, but vegetarianism has been associated with weight loss, reduced cancer risk, improved blood sugar and better heart health.

Potential Downsides

A well-rounded vegetarian diet can be healthy and nutritious.

However, it may also increase your risk of certain nutritional deficiencies.

Meat, poultry and fish supply a good amount of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as micronutrients like zinc, selenium, iron and vitamin B12

Other animal products like dairy and eggs also contain plenty of calcium, vitamin D and B vitamins

When cutting meat or other animal products from your diet, it’s important to ensure you’re getting these essential nutrients from other sources.

Studies show that vegetarians are at a higher risk of protein, calcium, iron, iodine and vitamin B12 deficiencies.

A nutritional deficiency in these key micronutrients can lead to symptoms like fatigue, weakness, anemia, bone loss and thyroid issues

Including a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein sources and fortified foods is an easy way to ensure you’re getting appropriate nutrition.

Multivitamins and supplements are another option to quickly bump up your intake and compensate for potential deficiencies.


Cutting out meat and animal-based products can increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies. A well-balanced diet — possibly alongside supplements — can help prevent deficiencies.

Foods to Eat

A vegetarian diet should include a diverse mix of fruits, vegetables, grains, healthy fats and proteins.

To replace the protein provided by meat in your diet, include a variety of protein-rich plant foods like nuts, seeds, legumes, tempeh, tofu and seitan.

If you follow a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, eggs and dairy can also boost your protein intake.

Eating nutrient-dense whole foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains will supply a range of important vitamins and minerals to fill in any nutritional gaps in your diet.

A few healthy foods to eat on a vegetarian diet are:

  • Fruits: Apples, bananas, berries, oranges, melons, pears, peaches
  • Vegetables: Leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots
  • Grains: Quinoa, barley, buckwheat, rice, oats
  • Legumes: Lentils, beans, peas, chickpeas.
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, cashews, chestnuts
  • Seeds: Flaxseeds, chia and hemp seeds
  • Healthy fats: Olive oil, avocados
  • Proteins: Tempeh, tofu, seitan, natto, nutritional yeast, spirulina, eggs, dairy products


A healthy vegetarian diet includes a variety of nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, healthy fats and plant-based proteins.

Foods to Avoid

There are many variations of vegetarianism, each with different restrictions.

Lacto-ovo vegetarianism, the most common type of vegetarian diet, involves eliminating all meat, poultry and fish.

Other types of vegetarians may also avoid foods like eggs and dairy.

A vegan diet is the most restrictive form of vegetarianism because it bars meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy and any other animal products.

Depending on your needs and preferences, you may have to avoid the following foods on a vegetarian diet:

  • Meat: Beef, veal and pork
  • Poultry: Chicken and turkey
  • Fish and shellfish: This restriction does not apply to pescetarians.
  • Meat-based ingredients: Gelatin, lard, carmine, isinglass, oleic acid and suet
  • Eggs: This restriction applies to vegans and lacto-vegetarians.
  • Dairy products: This restriction on milk, yogurt and cheese applies to vegans and ovo-vegetarians.
  • Other animal products: Vegans may choose to avoid honey, beeswax and pollen.


Most vegetarians avoid meat, poultry and fish. Certain variations of vegetarianism may also restrict eggs, dairy and other animal products.

Sample Meal Plan

To help get you started, here’s a one-week sample meal plan for a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet.


  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with fruit and flaxseeds
  • Lunch: Grilled veggie and hummus wrap with sweet potato fries
  • Dinner: Tofu banh mi sandwich with pickled slaw


  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with tomatoes, garlic and mushrooms
  • Lunch: Zucchini boats stuffed with veggies and feta with tomato soup
  • Dinner: Chickpea curry with basmati rice


  • Breakfast: Greek yogurt with chia seeds and berries
  • Lunch: Farro salad with tomatoes, cucumber and feta with spiced lentil soup
  • Dinner: Eggplant parmesan with a side salad


  • Breakfast: Tofu scramble with sauteed peppers, onions and spinach
  • Lunch: Burrito bowl with brown rice, beans, avocado, salsa and veggies
  • Dinner: Vegetable paella with a side salad


  • Breakfast: Whole-wheat toast with avocado and nutritional yeast
  • Lunch: Marinated tofu pita pocket with Greek salad
  • Dinner: Quinoa-black-bean meatballs with zucchini noodles


  • Breakfast: Smoothie of kale, berries, bananas, nut butter and almond milk
  • Lunch: Red lentil veggie burger with avocado salad
  • Dinner: Flatbread with grilled garden vegetables and pesto


  • Breakfast: Kale and sweet potato hash
  • Lunch: Bell peppers stuffed with tempeh with zucchini fritters
  • Dinner: Black bean tacos with cauliflower rice


Above is a sample menu of what one week on a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet may look like. This plan can be adjusted for other styles of vegetarianism as well.

7-Day Vegan Weight Loss Meal Plan & Recipe Prep

Grain Bowl with Peanut Sauce

At Verywell, we believe there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a healthy lifestyle. Successful eating plans need to be individualized and consider the whole person. Before starting a new diet plan, consult with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian, especially if you have an underlying health condition.

Following a weight loss diet is not easy, but doing so while living a vegan lifestyle takes it to a different level. Taking time to plan out your meals for the week can help you ensure you’re meeting your daily nutrient needs and getting a variety of foods and flavors. Finding ways to incorporate a balance of nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and dietary fats) is essential when sticking to a vegan weight loss meal plan to keep you energized and satisfied.

Meal planning can help keep you on track, regardless of your nutrition goal. Prepping and planning don’t have to be time-intensive and complicated. A few simple steps, including basic meal constructs, making a shopping list, shopping strategically, and methodically preparing food ahead of time, make meal planning a helpful tool to keep you energized, meet your nutrition goals, reduce food waste, and save money.

Why Nutrition is Important for a Vegan Weight Loss Diet

The vegan diet itself is not a weight loss diet. Cutting out meat, eggs, seafood, and dairy is not the answer to losing body fat. However, if you have a weight loss goal but also ethically prefer to follow a plant-based vegan lifestyle, you can lose weight with some planning and preparation.

Research published in the journal Nutrition found that compared to other eating patterns, vegan diets can be very effective for weight loss and also for improving other aspects of your health.1

The key is to create a calorie deficit while meeting your nutrient needs. To lose weight, it is generally thought that you need to create a calorie deficit of between 250 and 500 calories per day. This can be accomplished using exercise, diet, or a combination of both.2

The vegan weight loss diet can be challenging because high protein foods like those from animal proteins tend to be more satisfying and satiating than carbohydrates. Cutting out those foods, or swapping in some highly processed alternatives, could mean a less satisfying diet. If you feel hungry, restricted, or deprived, you’re more likely to sway from the plan which may delay you from reaching your goal.3

One way to improve your chances of enjoying your food and preventing hunger pangs shortly after eating is to find the right balance of fats, fiber, protein, and nutrients for you. Following a vegan weight loss meal plan like the one provided can help you do just that.

7-Day Sample Menu

This one-week meal plan was designed for a person who needs about 2,000 calories per day and has no dietary restrictions. Your daily calorie goal may vary. Learn what it is below, then make tweaks to the plan to fit your specific needs. Consider working with a registered dietitian or speaking with a healthcare provider to assess and plan for your dietary needs more accurately.

Learn How Many Calories You Burn Daily

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This vegan weight loss meal plan includes 3 meals and 2 snacks per day. The daily calorie goals are between 1,500-1,750 calories per day, compensating for the 250-500 calorie deficit required for weight loss. The meal plan will focus on incorporating as much plant-based protein as possible without going over calorie limits. Feel free to make food swaps where necessary as long as they provide equivalent nutritional values.

When following a vegan lifestyle you’re at risk of deficiencies in vitamin B12, iron, calcium, iodine, niacin (vitamin B3), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and quality protein.4 For that reason, this meal plan aims to help you create a meal plan that mitigates the risk of deficiency.

Day 1


  • 2 slices wheat toast
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds

Macronutrients: approximately 400 calories, 16 grams protein, 34 grams carbohydrates, and 24 grams fat


  • 1 cup salted and prepared edamame, in the pod
  • 1 cup sliced carrots

Macronutrients: approximately 238 calories, 20 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, and 8 grams fat


  • 1 whole wheat pita
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 2 lettuce leaves
  • 2 slices red onion

Macronutrients: approximately 392 calories, 18 grams protein, 57 grams carbohydrates, and 14 grams fat


  • 3 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1 ounce raisins
  • 1 ounce almonds

Macronutrients: approximately 346 calories, 9 grams protein, 47 grams carbohydrates, and 16 grams fat


  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds

Macronutrients: approximately 339 calories, 7 grams protein, 45 grams carbohydrates, and 13 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,714 calories, 80 grams protein, 208 grams carbohydrates, and 76 grams fat

Note that beverages are not included in this meal plan. Individual fluid needs vary based on age, sex, activity level, and medical history. For optimal hydration, experts generally recommend drinking approximately 9 cups of water per day for women and 13 cups of water per day for men.5 When adding beverages to your meal plan, consider their calorie count. Aim to reduce or eliminate consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and opt for water when possible.

Day 2


  • Smoothie: 1 scoop plant-based protein powder, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 frozen medium banana, 1 tablespoon flax seeds, ice (optional)

Macronutrients: approximately 296 calories, 33 grams protein, 8 grams carbohydrates, and 39 grams fat


  • 20 roasted plantain chips
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, in the shell

Macronutrients: approximately 227 calories, 3 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrates, and 15 grams fat


  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup shelled edamame
  • 2 cups spring mix lettuce
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped

Macronutrients: approximately 305 calories, 13 grams protein, 46 grams carbohydrates, and 8 grams fat


  • 1 slice wheat bread
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1/2 banana, sliced

Macronutrients: approximately 385 calories, 15 grams protein, 36 grams carbohydrates, and 23 grams fat


  • 1 cup cooked whole wheat noodles
  • 1 tablespoon vegan pesto
  • 1/4 cup peas

Macronutrients: approximately 354 calories, 13 grams protein, 56 grams carbohydrates, and 11 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,567 calories, 79 grams protein, 198 grams carbohydrates, and 66 grams fat

Day 3


  • Overnight Chia Oats: combine 1/2 cup dry oats, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 2 tablespoons chia seeds, a dash of salt, and a dash of cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Top with 1 ounce slivered almonds.

Macronutrients: approximately 470 calories, 16 grams protein, 45 grams carbohydrates, and 27 grams fat


  • 1/4 cup pistchios, in the shell

Macronutrients: approximately 160 calories, 6 grams protein, 8 grams carbohydrates, and 13 grams fat


  • Black Bean Quesadilla: 1 (6-7 inch) flour tortilla, 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese, 1/4 cup black beans; heat on a skillet at medium heat, flip halfway and cook until quesadilla is warmed through. Serve with 2 tablespoons salsa.

Macronutrients: approximately 297 calories, 14 grams protein, 40 grams carbohydrates, and 10 grams fat


  • 1/2 cup guacamole
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced

Macronutrients: approximately 208 calories, 3 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrates, and 16 grams fat


  • Vegan Poke Bowl: 3/4 cup cooked white rice, 1/2 cup shelled edamame, 1/2 cup diced cucumber, 1/2 cup sliced carrots, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, 1/4 avocado diced, 1 tablespoon sriracha (optional)

Macronutrients: approximately 418 calories, 15 grams protein, 57 grams carbohydrates, and 16 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,553 calories, 54 grams protein, 167 grams carbohydrates, and 82 grams fat

Day 4


  • 1 (6-7 inch) wheat tortilla
  • 2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup raspberries

Macronutrients: approximately 396 calories, 14 grams protein, 51 grams carbohydrates, and 23 grams fat


  • 20 roasted plantain chips
  • 1 cup grapes

Macronutrients: approximately 244 calories, 1 grams protein, 46 grams carbohydrates, and 7 grams fat


  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup diced avocado
  • 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons diced tomato
  • 2 tablespoons diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Macronutrients: approximately 416 calories, 21 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrates, and 22 grams fat


  • 1 scoop plant-based protein powder mixed in coffee or water
  • 1-ounce cashews

Macronutrients: approximately 273 calories, 24 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrates, and 15 grams fat


  • 6 ounces grilled firm tofu, seasoned to your liking
  • 1 small baked sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli

Macronutrients: approximately 355 calories, 23 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrates, and 20 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,684 calories, 83 grams protein, 184 grams carbohydrates, and 87 grams fat

Day 5


  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup diced mangos
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons hemp seeds

Macronutrients: approximately 355 calories, 15 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrates, and 17 grams fat


  • 1 serving Peanut Butter Cup Chia Pudding (swap out the honey for maple syrup and use unsweetened almond milk)

Macronutrients: approximately 333 calories, 12 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrates, and 22 grams fat


  • 2 cups lentil soup

Macronutrients: approximately 278 calories, 19 grams protein, 40 grams carbohydrates, and 5 grams fat


  • 1/4 cup roasted chickpeas
  • 1 cup grapes

Macronutrients: approximately 314 calories, 10 grams protein, 56 grams carbohydrates, and 7 grams fat


  • 2 (4-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 cup pinto beans
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Macronutrients: approximately 443 calories, 19 grams protein, 73 grams carbohydrates, and 10 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,722 calories, 75 grams protein, 238 grams carbohydrates, and 62 grams fat

Day 6


  • 1 slice toasted wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/2 medium banana, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds

Macronutrients: approximately 285 calories, 11 grams protein, 32 grams carbohydrates, and 14 grams fat


  • 1 ounce almonds
  • 1 ounce raisins

Macronutrients: approximately 254 calories, 6 grams protein, 28 grams carbohydrates, and 15 grams fat


  • 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup diced bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Macronutrients: approximately 425 calories, 16 grams protein, 53 grams carbohydrates, and 18 grams fat


  • 1 scoop plant-based protein powder mixed in coffee or water

Macronutrients: approximately 110 calories, 20 grams protein, 6 grams carbohydrates, and 1 gram fat


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup chopped kale
  • 1/4 cup baked sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced avocado
  • 1/4 cup sliced canned beets
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Macronutrients: approximately 636 calories, 18 grams protein, 65 grams carbohydrates, and 37 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,710 calories, 72 grams protein, 185 grams carbohydrates, and 86 grams fat

Day 7


  • Smoothie: 4 ounces firm tofu, 1 cup frozen mango, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 tablespoon hemp seeds, ice (optional)

Macronutrients: approximately 278 calories, 17 grams protein, 28 grams carbohydrates, and 14 grams fat


  • 1-ounce cashews
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries

Macronutrients: approximately 237 calories, 5 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, and 14 grams fat


  • 1 (6-7 inch) flour tortilla
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1/4 cup avocado, mashed
  • 2 slices tomato

Macronutrients: approximately 389 calories, 14 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrates, and 21 grams fat


  • 1 medium apple
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter

Macronutrients: approximately 310 calories, 7 grams protein, 37 grams carbohydrates, and 18 grams fat


  • 1 cup cooked wheat noodles
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 cups spinach (wilt into the sauce)
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli
  • 1/4 cup shredded vegan cheese

Macronutrients: approximately 444 calories, 27 grams protein, 81 grams carbohydrates, and 7 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,659 calories, 70 grams protein, 215 grams carbohydrates, and 73 grams fat

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