These vegetarian meal prep recipes are made with gluten free, budget-friendly ingredients for healthy meals that are full of flavor and plant-based protein to make it easy to create a vegetarian weekly meal plan everyone will love. We’ve got you covered with breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and more! Add them all to your weekly meal prep, or pick a few of your favorites to try throughout the week.
The One Thing We Could All Use A Little More Of
Whether you follow a vegetarian diet, participate in meatless Mondays, or are just trying to get nourishing meals on the table, I think one thing we can all agree on is that we could all use more veggies in our life, not to mention meal prep! 😂 . Am I right? After all, not only are they so good for you, but they’re also pretty dang tasty, too! Plus, they’re super budget-friendly and can provide high-quality sources of protein, but we’ll get into that later.
For now, all I’m really trying to say is that I’ve come up with a complete vegetarian meal plan filled with family-friendly 30-minute meals to fit all your needs. Whether you’re looking for a quick breakfast, easy dinner, or on-the-go lunch, I’ve got you covered! Don’t worry, though. Contrary to popular belief, these meals are more than just “rabbit food.” In fact, they’re so deliciously filling you won’t even realize there’s no meat!
What Is Vegetarianism?
Okay, before we get any further, let’s first break down what exactly vegetarianism means. According to Merriam-Webster, a vegetarian is defined as being, “a person who does not eat meat: someone whose diet consists wholly of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and sometimes eggs or dairy.” (Source) Simply put, vegetarianism is the practice of not eating meat. However, following a vegetarian diet often looks different from person to person depending on what type of vegetarianism they prescribe to.
Types of Vegetarianism
As stated, vegetarianism is a way of eating that excludes meat from one’s diet. However, what is and is not consumed differs from person to person. To help break down the specifics, there are 5 different types of vegetarianism to which people typically adhere including:
- Vegetarian: a traditional vegetarian diet avoids foods that are a product or byproduct of an animal including meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, gelatin, and even rennet
- Lacto-Vegetarian: excludes meat, seafood, poultry, and eggs but includes dairy products such as cheese, milk, yogurt, and butter
- Ovo-Vegetarian: excludes meat, seafood, poultry, and dairy products but includes eggs
- Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian: excludes meat, seafood, and poultry but allows dairy products and eggs
- Pescatarian: excludes meat, poultry, dairy products, and eggs but allows fish
- Vegan: excludes meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, any foods containing them, and any foods made with animal-derived foods such as honey
Note: The Flexitarian diet is sometimes considered a 7th form of vegetarianism. It’s a primarily plant-based way of eating. However, those who follow it consume meat, seafood, poultry, dairy, and eggs on occasion.
Grocery List Staples for Vegetarian Meal Prep
The key to properly implementing a vegetarian diet is to incorporate a wide variety of foods into your meals to provide an abundance of vitamins and minerals and ensure you’re getting sources of complete protein. To make this easy, there are a few vegetarian staples I keep on hand including:
- Hemp Seeds
- Nut or Seed Butter
- Nutritional Yeast
Tips for Reaching Your Protein Goals with a Vegetarian Meal Plan
Now that you have my general list of ingredient staples, let’s dig a little deeper into protein. A common misconception surrounding vegetarian meal prep ideas is that it’s hard or impossible to meet daily protein requirements, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! It just takes a bit of planning ahead of time. For instance, a few of my favorite plant-based protein sources are listed below! Take a look to find your favorite and learn why you should include them in your vegetarian meal prep.
Do Eggs Count as Meat or Dairy?
More often than not, there seems to be some confusion regarding eggs and how they fit into a vegetarian diet. Due to the fact that they are sold in the dairy section of most grocery stores, some people believe they are classified as dairy products. By definition, dairy products are those made from the milk of a mammal. This includes items like cheese, milk, and even ice cream. Therefore, eggs cannot be classified as dairy.
That said, according to the USDA, eggs are considered to be a protein source but are not meat. They state, “All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the Proteins Food Group.” (Source)
Vegetarian Meal Prep Ideas for the Week + Grocery List
Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s dig into the best vegetarian meal prep recipes even the meat-eaters in your life will love!
These breakfast ideas are perfect for grab-n-go options, sit-down meals, and everything in between!
Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Breakfast Bites – These bites are high in protein, super easy to make, and require no baking! They’re ready in 12 minutes for a sweet breakfast you and the kids will love.
Paleo No Sugar Added Breakfast Muffins – Gluten free, dairy free, and delicious, these muffins have all the sweet flavor you look for in a muffin with none of the added sugar!
Noatmeal (3 Ways!) – Made with three flavor options, this noatmeal recipe is a warm, grain-free breakfast ready in 20 minutes!
Gluten Free Sweet Potato Waffles (Vegan Option) – Mad with whole food ingredients, these waffles are loaded with nutrients and can be made sweet or savory to satisfy all your tastebuds’ needs!
Whether you’re looking for a quick packed lunch, filing salad, or comfort food meal, these recipes have you covered.
5-Ingredient Coconut Flour Tortila Wraps with hummus and all the veggies! – A great low carb alternative, these tortillas are egg free, gluten free, vegan, and make for the perfect lunch when stuffed with hummus and all your favorite veggies!
Gluten Free Gnocchi Pesto Pasta Salad – This recipe takes your typical pasta salad up a notch with gluten free gnocchi, blistered veggies, and flavorful pesto!
Mason Jar Salad Recipes (3 Ways, Vegetarian Option!) – Perfect for packed lunches, these salads are full of flavor and loaded with nutrients to keep you full.
These dinner recipes include a vegetarian take on classic meals everyone will look forward to eating.
Easy Broccoli and Cheese Casserole (Dairy Free Option) – A wholesome comfort food recipe, this casserole secretly sneaks in veggies for a nourishing meal your kids will be excited to eat.
Easy Egg Lasagna (Keto) – Filling, versatile, and freezer-friendly, this egg lasagna is made with just a handful of ingredients and is super filling!
Freezable Vegan Veggie Burger Recipe (Soy Free) – Packed with vegetables, herbs, and spices, these veggie burgers are full of flavor for a kid-friendly meal!
Bonus! 30-Minute Vegetarian Meals
In a pinch for time but don’t want to opt for take out? No problem! Take a look at these bonus recipes that are ready in 30 minutes or less and taste like you spent hours in the kitchen.
Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash Pasta – Nutritious, low carb, and Paleo-friendly, this spaghetti squash pasta can be paired with all your favorite sauces!
Paleo Breakfast Egg Wraps – Super customizable and rich in protein and healthy fats, these egg wraps are a fun addition to any breakfast lineup!
Vegetarian Meal Prep Grocery List
To make grocery shopping a breeze, we’ve gone ahead and compiled a complete grocery list of everything you’ll need! Download the list below, and get started meal prepping with ease!
What are your favorite vegetarian meal prep recipes? Let me know in the comments below!