28 Day Vegetarian Meal Plan

Looking for a vegetarian weekly meal plan? Here’s a 28 day vegetarian meal plan with planning ideas and a meal planning calendar with food to cook.

Are you overwhelmed by what healthy food to cook but don’t know where to start? Alex and I were there too! But over the last 10 years, we’ve invested a huge amount of time and energy into a system of eating healthy that actually works. Since then, we’ve written the cookbook Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018 and best vegetarian cookbooks. We’ve cooked everywhere from our home kitchen to the TODAY Show with the message that healthy eating can be “pretty simple”. Eating healthy is all about finding a sustainable practice. The goal of this vegetarian weekly meal plan is to help you find a handful of favorite healthy vegetarian recipes that you can make again and again! If you’d like, subscribe to our newsletter for new weekly recipes.

Related: 28 Day Healthy Meal Plan28 Day Vegan Meal Plan | Plant Based Diet Meal Plan

Is this vegetarian meal plan right for you?

This vegetarian meal plan is right for you if you eat vegetarian! The recipes in this vegetarian meal plan include vegetarian and vegan recipes. For a fully vegan meal plan, head to 28 Day Vegan Meal Plan or Plant Based Diet Meal Plan. If you also eat fish, go to our 28 Day Healthy Meal Plan.

If you have a very specific diet or health condition, consult a medical professional to understand whether these recipes are right for you.

The problem with meal planning calendars

For Alex and me, one problem with meal planning calendars and weekly meal plans is that they offer no flexibility. Most meal plans we’ve found call for cooking something new every day of the week. They’re overwhelming with the amount of food prep that they call for! They also don’t account for your schedule: what if Monday nights I have a weekly meeting where I eat dinner? Or this Friday night I’m going out with friends?

Here’s what makes our vegetarian meal plan different:

  • Spotlight dinner ideas. For us, dinner is our main meal where we cook and get the majority of our nutrients for the day. Our approach is to go big on dinner, and then do super simple things for breakfast and lunch. That’s what works for us! At the bottom of the meal plan you’ll find lists of healthy breakfast ideas, snack ideas, and lunch ideas. You can use these, or find others that fit your tastes.
  • Pick 3. Each week, we offer 3 healthy dinner ideas. You can make them on any day that week! This encourages you to customize the ideas based on your schedule and particular tastes. It also encourages eating up leftovers.
  • Repeats. Since we only offer 3 dinner ideas, this also encourages you to make dinner ideas you liked from previous weeks.

What if this meal plan doesn’t work for me?

It’s possible this meal plan might not work for you–and that’s ok! This meal plan might provide too much flexibility for you and not motivate you to make the recipes. Or, you might not like the style of these recipes. (If you eat a fully vegan diet, you’ll want to use our 28 Day Vegan Meal Plan). We know this meal plan is not for everyone, but this is an outline of how Alex and I cook on a weekly basis.

Related: Looking for workout plans too? Try our 28 Day Home Workout Plan.

Download: Vegetarian meal plan spreadsheet

To make our Vegetarian Meal Plan tangible, we’ve created a downloadable meal planning calendar for you! It’s our Vegetarian Meal Plan spreadsheet, where you can copy in your meal planning ideas for each week. Simply download the spreadsheet and then copy in the links to the recipes for each week below. Here’s the download!

Vegetarian Meal Plan

Before you start: here’s how to use our Vegetarian Meal Plan!

  • Pick at least 3 dinner ideas. Confession: Alex and I don’t cook every night! We make enough for leftovers and eat them throughout the week too, sometimes repurposing them in new ways. For this meal plan, pick 3 days that you want to cook dinners. Fill in the other days with eating leftovers, doing “clean out the fridge” meals without recipes, and allow for meals out. If you end up needing more healthy dinner ideas for that week, skip ahead to the next week and try one. (Or, pick one of our other Dinner Recipes!)
  • Fill in breakfast, lunch, and snacks ideas. We focus on dinner as the main daily meal, so we keep breakfast, lunches, and snacks SUPER simple. If possible, we love things that don’t use recipes (like English muffins with peanut butter, yogurt with fruit). That way, we save our cooking energy for dinner.
  • Copy the links into your Vegetarian Meal Plan spreadsheet. Using a spreadsheet makes things much more tangible than just using a list! Once you’ve taken stock of what your week holds and what nights you’ll have time to cook, fill in your dinner ideas accordingly. We suggest filling out the meal plan on the weekend (Sundays seem to be good for many people).
  • Read the meal prep planning notes. Below each week of healthy dinner ideas, we’ve included some meal prep planning notes to help with ways to make ahead or prep in advance.

28 Day Vegetarian Meal Plan | Vegetarian weekly meal plan | Meal planning ideas | Meal prep plans | Meal planning calendar

Chipotle Black Bean Tortilla Soup

Healthy Dinner Ideas Week 1

*Pick at least 3 dinners to cook at home and copy them into your Vegetarian Meal Plan spreadsheet on the days for Week 1! On days you’re not cooking, use up leftovers or do “clean out the fridge” meals, and allow for meals out.

  1. 15 Minute Gnocchi with Romesco (15 minutes)
  2. Thai Curry Naan Pizza (25 minutes)
  3. Veggie Burrito Bowl with Cauliflower Rice (40 minutes*)
  4. Chipotle Black Bean Tortilla Soup (35 minutes)
  5. Leftovers from above*

*Meal Prep Plan Notes

  • For the Gnocchi, the Romesco sauce can be prepared in advance. You also may want to serve with a green salad; the vinaigrette is perfect to mix up in advance. Make sure to bring it to room temperature before serving.
  • For the Pizza, you can mix up the sauce in advance. If desired you could also slice the veggies in advance and refrigerate until serving.
  • The Tortilla Soup takes about 20 minutes of hands on time. If desired, you can make the tortilla strips in advance or use crushed tortilla chips (just find chips that are minimally processed, with a few ingredients like corn, oil and salt). You can make the entire soup in advance and refrigerate: the flavor gets better over time!
  • The Veggie Burrito bowl has a few components that are easy to make ahead: the peppers and onions can be sliced and cooked in advance. For the sweet potatoes, you could also bake in advance and reheat. If you can’t find cauliflower rice frozen, you can make it from raw cauliflower: you could also cook that in advance and reheat. The eggs are best to make the day of. While it takes a while to prepare the components, this meal is SO delicious and great for leftovers!

Chickpea Couscous Bowls with Tahini Sauce | 28 Day Vegetarian Meal Plan | Vegetarian weekly meal plan | Meal planning ideas | Meal prep plans | Meal planning calendar

Chickpea Couscous Bowls with Tahini Sauce

Healthy Dinner Ideas Week 2

*Pick at least 3 dinners to cook at home and copy them into your Vegetarian Meal Plan spreadsheet on the days for Week 2! On days you’re not cooking, use up leftovers or do “clean out the fridge” meals, and allow for meals out.

  1. Coconut Lentil Curry with Greens (30 minutes)
  2. Chickpea Couscous Bowls with Tahini Sauce (30 minutes)
  3. Thai Sweet Potatoes with Peanut Drizzle (35 minutes)
  4. Make again! 1 or 2 favorite dinner ideas from Week 1
  5. Leftovers from above*

Meal Plan Prep Notes

  • For the Curry, you can make the lentils in advance, then saute the greens and add the sauce the day of serving. If serving with rice, you can make the rice in advance and reheat. Tip: To reheat the rice: place the rice in a saucepan with a splash of water and use a fork to break up any clumps. Heat over low heat until warmed through and moist. You can also serve with quinoa cooked on the stovetop or cooked in an Instant Pot. You can make the quinoa in advance or the day of; it takes about 25 minutes overall and requires no special reheating instructions.
  • The Couscous Bowls, make the lemon tahini sauce in advance and refrigerate until serving: make sure to bring it to room temperature before serving. You could also make the couscous in advance, but since it takes only 5 minutes, it’s not a large time saver.
  • For the Thai Sweet Potatoes, you can make the peanut sauce in advance. You could also slice the veggies for the slaw in advance and then mix it with the lime and seasoning prior to serving. If desired you can cook the sweet potatoes in advance and reheat: you can bake them or use an Instant Pot and the cook time is around 35 minutes.

Refried Bean Tacos | 28 Day Vegetarian Meal Plan | Vegetarian weekly meal plan | Meal planning ideas | Meal prep plans | Meal planning calendar

Refried Bean Tacos with Chipotle Tahini Sauce

Healthy Dinner Ideas Week 3

*Pick at least 3 dinners to cook at home and copy them into your Vegetarian Meal Plan spreadsheet on the days for Week 1! On days you’re not cooking, use up leftovers or do “clean out the fridge” meals, and allow for meals out.

  1. Refried Bean Tacos with Chipotle Tahini Sauce (30 minutes)
  2. Tuscan Soup with White Beans (30 minutes) + Salad with Super Simple Salad Dressing or Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
  3. Moroccan Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew (45 minutes)
  4. Make again! 1 or 2 favorite dinner ideas from Week 1 or 2
  5. Leftovers from above*

Meal Plan Prep Notes

  • For the Tacos, make the Chipotle Tahini Sauce in advance; refrigerate and then bring to room temperature prior to serving. If desired, you can slice the veggies in advance and refrigerate until serving (up to 1 day in advance). You can make the black beans in advance and reheat, but they’re simple enough to cook the day of. For a filling side, serve with rice (or to look fancy, turmeric rice).
  • For the Soup, you can slice the fennel and chard in advance and refrigerate until making the soup; in this case we’d make the soup within a day or two of cutting the vegetables. While the soup simmers, you can whisk up the dressing for the salad. We like using boxed salad greens for easy prep.
  • For the Stew, you can cut the veggies in advance and refrigerate until serving. You could also measure out the spices and mix them together in a container. See the rice and quinoa instructions in Week 2.

28 Day Vegetarian Meal Plan | Vegetarian weekly meal plan | Meal planning ideas | Meal prep plans | Meal planning calendar

Veggie Packed Quinoa Fried Rice 

Healthy Dinner Ideas Week 4

*Pick at least 3 dinners to cook at home and copy them into your Vegetarian Meal Plan spreadsheet on the days for Week 1! On days you’re not cooking, use up leftovers or do “clean out the fridge” meals, and allow for meals out.

  1. Greek Quesadillas (15 minutes)
  2. Cauliflower and Tomato Coconut Curry (35 minutes, plus rice)
  3. Veggie Packed Quinoa Fried Rice (35 minutes)
  4. Make again! 1 or 2 favorite dinner ideas from Week 1, 2 or 3
  5. Leftovers from above*

Meal Plan Prep Notes

  • The Quesadillas require no advanced prep at all!
  • For the Curry, you could chop the vegetables in advance and refrigerate until serving: in that case make the curry within about a day or two. Follow the rice and quinoa prep instructions from Week 3.
  • For the quinoa fried rice, it’s easiest to make the quinoa in advance and refrigerate until serving. We prefer to slice our veggies right before making the fried rice, but you could also slice and refrigerate until serving (1 day in advance).

Gluten free muffins | 28 Day Vegetarian Meal Plan | Vegetarian weekly meal plan | Meal planning ideas | Meal prep plans | Meal planning calendar

Apple Gluten Free Oatmeal Muffins

Healthy Breakfast Ideas Weeks 1-4

Alex and I do really, really simple breakfasts that don’t require a recipe so we don’t have to think too hard in the morning. This frees us up to spend most of our creative energy on dinner. Pick any of these to eat throughout the week and copy them into your Vegetarian Meal Plan spreadsheet. We’ve offered quite a bit of options to account for your breakfast tastes and style. Do repeats as much as you’d like!

Healthy Snack Ideas Weeks 1-4

Pick any of these to eat throughout the week and copy them into your Vegetarian Meal Plan spreadsheet.

Vegan Italian pasta salad | 28 Day Vegetarian Meal Plan | Vegetarian weekly meal plan | Meal planning ideas | Meal prep plans | Meal planning calendar

Vegan Italian Pasta Salad

Healthy Lunch Ideas Weeks 1-4

Lunches can be hard, especially if you’re eating at your desk! Again, Alex and my philosophy for lunches are to keep them super, super simple, without a recipe if possible. Pick any of these to eat throughout the week and copy them into your Vegetarian Meal Plan spreadsheet.

Did you like this vegetarian meal plan?

We’d love to hear your feedback on this vegetarian meal plan: let us know in the comments below (or click the heart below). And let us know if you have any questions!

If you enjoyed the recipes in this plan, you might enjoy our vegetarian cookbook Pretty Simple Cooking!

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

7 Comments

  • Reply
    JAMIE
    January 3, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    SO HAPPY TO SEE THIS! THANK YOU FOR PUTTING IT TOGETHER. I LOVE THE FLEXIBILITY AND THE SIMPLE APPROACH ON THE RECIPES. CAN’T WAIT TO TRY IT OUT! MY FRIEND IS NEWLY TRYING TO GO MEATLESS FOR SEVERAL MEALS A WEEK, SO I’M SHARING THIS WITH HER TO HELP WITH HER TRANSITION.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      January 4, 2019 at 1:27 pm

      You are so welcome! We’re so glad this is helpful and we look forward to hearing if you cook from it!

  • Reply
    Sue
    January 6, 2019 at 11:46 am

    Thank you! This is just the kind of meal plan I need!!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      January 6, 2019 at 11:47 am

      We are so, so glad to hear it! Thank you so much for checking it out!

  • Reply
    Carly
    January 15, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Stumbled onto this today and I am SO HAPPY. This is exactly what I needed; I have been “meal planning” about 3-4 meals a week for the last couple years but it takes a lot of time and lately I feel like I am in a rut.

    These meals look right up my alley! Quick, tasty and simple. I can’t wait to try them. I will be returning often for more snack ideas and recipes.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      January 15, 2019 at 9:21 pm

      Oh thank you for this very kind comment! We are so glad these recipes look up your alley. Please let us know which you try and what you think. Thank you so much for trying them out!

  • Reply
    camila
    May 7, 2019 at 11:45 am

    I am a new vegetarian and this helped a lot. Thank you!

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