Meal Planning for Vegetarians

meal planning for vegetarians, christine luken

Meal planning for vegetarians can be complicated for two reasons: 1.) It seems like much of meal planning revolves around the main protein dish. 2.) You may be the only vegetarian in your family of carnivores.

I admit there was an adjustment period when I made the decision to eat mostly vegetarian for my meals. My husband still eats chicken and beef so I had to make changes to the way I did my meal planning.  I thought it would be helpful to include some considerations and meal planning tips for vegetarians, in case there is one in your household.


Meal Planning for Vegetarians:

Cook large batches of quinoa, brown rice, and other grain blends once a week. I will cook a large pot of grains with a vegetarian bouillon cube and some herbs. Freeze leftovers or store in the fridge. This makes it east to throw together grain and veggie bowls or add some to a salad.

When you get home from the grocery store, spend a little time washing, cutting, and prepping your fruit and veggies. This will save you time when you want to make a quick stir fry, salad, or Buddha bowl.

Find some meatless meals that you whole family enjoys, such as Easy Black Bean Soup, Quinoa Chili, and pasta with marinara and veggies. I’ve got tons of vegetarian recipes pinned HERE.


Make the vegetarian version of whatever your family is eating. Examples from my household:


  • When I grill a beef burger or pork sausage for my husband, I’ll grill a black bean burger or vegan sausage for myself. All of side dishes will be the same.

  • I’ll make big salads and make the base of greens and veggies the same, customizing my husband’s with grilled chicken and bacon bits, and mine with garbanzo beans and extra vegetable.

  • I’ll bake potatoes and steam broccoli and other vegetables. My hubby and I can choose from a variety of toppings: diced chicken, chili, cheese, veggies, etc.

  • When I cook steak for Nick, I make myself mushrooms in wine sauce. Here is the easy recipe: Slice or quarter a package of portobello mushrooms. Combine 1/3 cup of red wine with 1 Tbs of olive oil and 1 tsp of Tuscan seasoning. Marinade mushrooms in wine sauce for 15 minutes. You can either saute them in a skillet over medium heat or thread the mushrooms on a skewer and grill them. I like the mushrooms served with wild rice so that it absorbs all of the yummy wine sauce.

Meal planning for vegetarians doesn’t have to be difficult, even if you live in a house full of “meat-atarians!”   Do you have any tips to share? If so, please post them below!