You probably already know that vegetarian meal prep can enhance weight loss and help you maintain a healthy weight for life. But finding nutritious vegetarian recipes that taste delicious and work well with meal prep can be more of a challenge. Knowing more about meal prep for vegetarians and having the right recipes on hand is the key to weight loss success!

Benefits and Challenges of Vegetarian Dieting

Vegetarian dieting is associated with various health and wellness benefits. It can aid in weight loss and is linked with lower body mass indexes, according to numerous studies.

A lower BMI means a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and many other long-term diseases that make up the leading causes of death in the United States.

Finding delicious recipes can be a challenge for meal prep for vegetarians, but with the right meal prepping tips and mouth watering recipes in hand, eliminating meat to drop weight is a piece of cake.

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Vegetarian Meal Prepping Tips

Regardless of which healthy diet for women you’re following, a few simple tips makes meal prepping a breeze!

#1 Schedule Time to Prepare Meals

schedule vegetarian meal prepOnce you find vegetarian recipes you’d like to use, purchase the ingredients required and schedule in some time to prep your meals for the week ahead (or months ahead if you’re freezing the meals).

Cook on the weekends or at night when you have a few extra minutes.

Allow enough time for meal prep so cooking is an enjoyable experience, not added stress in your life.

#2 Know When to Refrigerate/Freeze Foods

Before packing your meals, let them cool thoroughly to prevent condensation that can develop in storage containers. However, don’t let the food sit out in room temperature too long.

If it's left in room temperature for more than 2 hours (or 1 hour if the air temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit) it may not be safe to eat because of potential foodborne illnesses.

#3 Choose Safe Storage Containers

meal prepSafe storage containers for meal prep for vegetarians include aluminum foil and plastic, glass, zip lock, or other airtight containers.

But according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, certain plastics that contain number codes 3, 6, or 7, aren't the safest choice as they might contain bisphenol-A (BPA), polystyrene, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Instead, choose plastics with number codes 1, 2, 4, or 5 listed on the bottom of the container. Never reheat foods in plastic containers, however.

#4 Know How Long to Keep Leftovers

refrigerator vegetarian meal prep After thoroughly cooling foods and putting them in storage containers, place prepped vegetarian meals in the refrigerator or freezer.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines, use cooked leftovers within 3-4 days and eat most frozen leftover meals within 2-3 months.

Your refrigerator should be kept at 40 degrees F and your freezer should be a temperature of 0 degrees F or below.

Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator before cooking them, and reheat leftovers to 165 degree F to avoid foodborne illness.

Meal Prep for Vegetarians: 10 Mouth Watering Recipes!

Having a few delicious vegetarian recipes on hand makes vegetarian meal prep a breeze! The recipes below are healthy and mouth-watering, so your entire family will love them.

#1 Low-Calorie VEGAN Grilled Tofu Skewers

This nutritious, vegan grilled tofu skewers recipe is simple to prepare and contains just 118 calorie per serving. Ingredients in it include tofu, zucchini, red and yellow bell peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, olive oil, soy sauce (use reduced-sodium soy sauce for a healthier option) barbecue sauce, and sesame seeds.

Simply marinate the tofu, place it with the veggies on skewers, grill the skewers for several minutes on each side, and season them with salt, pepper, barbecue sauce, and sesame seeds. Let the skewers cool and place them in an airtight containers in the refrigerator until you’re ready to reheat and enjoy them!

Nutrition Facts

Calories per serving: 118

Total fat: 5 grams

Carbohydrates: 10 grams

Fiber: 2 grams

Protein: 11 grams

#2 Mushroom Veggie Burgers

vegan burgerInstead of traditional burgers that can pack on extra pounds when eaten in excess, try this mouth watering mushroom veggie burger recipe instead!

It’s loaded with protein and healthy fats and provides just 255 calories per serving. The ingredients include fresh mushrooms, onions, garlic, salt, rolled oats, olive oil, bread crumbs, eggs, parmesan cheese, and seasonings.

To prepare this savory vegetarian recipe simply sauté the mushrooms, onions, and garlic in olive oil according to recipes instructions, chop up the mushrooms, and combine them with the remaining ingredients. Form the mixture into patties and pan fry them in olive oil for about 5-6 minutes. Serve the mushroom burgers over whole-grain buns or a bed of leafy greens.

If you’re prepping vegetarian meals for later in the week, let the burgers cool and place them in airtight containers before refrigerating or freezing them!

Nutrition Facts

Calories per serving: 255

Total fat: 14 grams

Carbohydrates: 23 grams

Fiber: 3 grams

Protein: 11 grams

#3 VEGAN Zesty Quinoa Salad

Try this zesty vegan quinoa salad recipe that’s loaded with satiating protein and fiber. It’s perfect for when you’re trying to achieve or maintain a healthy without the extra calories. Ingredients in the recipe include quinoa, olive oil, limes, water, cherry tomatoes, black beans, onions, and seasonings.

To prepare the dish, cook the quinoa according to recipe instructions, and add in the remaining ingredients and seasonings. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator in an airtight container until you’re ready to enjoy it!

Nutrition Facts

Calories per serving: 270

Total fat: 12 grams

Carbohydrates: 34 grams

Fiber: 8 grams

Protein: 9 grams

#4 Low-Calorie Zucchini Patties

zucchini patties This simple low-calorie zucchini patty recipe contains just 245 calories per serving and is an excellent source of protein and other essential nutrients. Ingredients in it include zucchini, eggs, onion, flour, vegetable oil, cheese, and salt to taste.

The recipe instructions are simple. Just combine all ingredients together and pan-fry the mixture in oil in a skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side until the patties are golden brown. Let them cool and eat the patties right away or refrigerate or freeze them for later in the week!

Nutrition Facts

Calories per serving: 245

Total fat: 15 grams

Carbohydrates: 16 grams

Fiber: 1 gram

Protein: 13 grams

#5 Low-Calorie VEGAN Chili

chilliChili and other soups are excellent for meal prep for vegetarians because they are easy to refrigerate or freeze.

This vegan chili recipe is low-calorie, containing just 131 calories per cup! It's sure to be a hit with your entire family.

Ingredients include zucchini, onion, green and red peppers, olive oil, cloves, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, black and pinto beans, jalapeno peppers, and seasonings.

Make sure to use vegan sugar to keep the recipe entirely plant-based.

All you have to do is sauté the zucchini, onions, peppers, and garlic in oil, add in the remaining ingredients according to recipe instructions, and boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Enjoy your chili or cool and portion it into storage containers to eat later in the week!

Nutrition Facts

Calories per serving: 131

Total fat: 4 grams

Carbohydrates: 18 grams

Fiber: 6 grams

Protein: 5 grams

#6 Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

sloppy joeThis vegetarian sloppy joe recipe makes a perfect protein-rich entrée without the meat when you’re trying to achieve or maintain a healthy weight.

Ingredients in it include onion, vegetarian meat crumbles, butter, flour, ketchup, tomato sauce, pepper, and whole-grain hamburger buns.

When preparing this dish, sauté the meatless crumbles with butter and onion over medium-high heat, sprinkle flour over the mixture, stir in tomato sauce and ketchup, bring the mixture to a boil, and cook it an additional 1-2 minutes until it becomes thick.

Serve the sloppy joe mixture over whole-grain hamburger buns if you’d like or place it in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer until you’re ready for it!

Nutrition Facts

Calories per serving: 273

Total fat: 6 grams

Carbohydrates: 39 grams

Fiber: 5 grams

Protein: 15 grams

#7 Low-Calorie Veggie Stuffed Omelet

If you’re seeking a low-calorie breakfast idea that tastes delicious, consider this veggie stuffed omelet recipe containing just 140 calories per serving. It’s simple to make and includes the following ingredients: olive oil, eggs, red bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, water, reduced-fat cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

Simply sauté the vegetables in olive oil over medium-high heat for several minutes according to recipe instructions. Whisk the eggs and seasonings in a bowl until well-blended, cooked the egg mixture over medium-high heat until it sets, and place the veggie mixture and cheese in the center of the omelet. Fold it over and cooked the omelet until it's slightly brown.

Make extra omelets to prep for breakfasts later in the week. Place each portion in an airtight container in the refrigerator after the omelets cool.

Nutrition Facts

Calories per serving: 140

Total fat: 5 grams

Carbohydrates: 6 grams

Fiber: 2 grams

Protein: 16 grams

#8 Healthy VEGAN Banana Cookies

Cookies aren't loaded with extra calories and refined sugar when you choose the right recipes. This vegan banana cookie recipe contains natural sugar from fruit and provides just 56 calories per cookie. Choose it for between-meal snacks or as part of a nutritious, energy-boosting breakfast. Ingredients include bananas, rolled oats, dates, vanilla, and vegetable oil. To boost the protein content of the cookies, replace some of the oil with peanut butter or add plant protein powder to the recipe!

Simply mash the bananas, combine all of the ingredients according to recipe instructions, form the mixture into balls, and bake the cookies at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes. After they cool, seal the cookies in an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze them until you’re ready to enjoy the recipe!

Nutrition Facts

Calories per serving: 56

Total fat: 2 grams

Carbohydrates: 8 grams

Fiber: 1 gram

Protein: 1 gram

#9 Low-Calorie VEGAN Meatless Lentil Soup

lentil soupThis low-calorie vegan meatless lentil soup recipe will fill you up without the extra calories, as it’s loaded with satiating fiber but providers just 245 calories per serving! Ingredients in it include carrots, celery, onions, water, red potatoes, lentils, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.

The instructions are simple: just cook the carrots, onion, and celery over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients according to recipe instructions, bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 30-35 minutes until the lentils are tender. If you’re prepping foods for later in the week, cool the soup and portion it into airtight containers for the refrigerator or freezer.

Nutrition Facts

Calories per serving: 245

Total fat: 1 gram

Carbohydrates: 44 grams

Fiber: 19 grams

Protein: 16 grams

#10 Low-Calorie Tofu Spinach Lasagna

vegan lasagna vegetarian meal prep Low-calorie tofu spinach lasagna is an excellent alternative to traditional lasagna and it's loaded with flavor. Ingredients include lasagna noodles (choose whole-grain noodles), onions, cloves, olive oil, mushrooms, tofu, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, parsley, spinach, spaghetti sauce, and salt.

Cook the noodles according to recipe instructions and saute the onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Blend tofu and ricotta cheese together and add in spinach, seasonings, and the sauteed veggies.

Arrange the ingredients in a 13×9 baking dish by layering noodles, the ricotta mixture, and spaghetti sauce. Top it with cheese and bake the lasagna at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes. Let it cool and place each portion in an airtight container. Refrigerate or freeze the lasagna so you can enjoy it later in the week!

Nutrition Facts

Calories per serving: 227

Total fat: 8 grams

Carbohydrates: 25 grams

Fiber: 3 grams

Protein: 15 grams

How to Lose Weight with Meal Prep for Vegetarians

Switching from a standard American diet to a vegetarian diet lowers disease risks, helps you achieve or maintain a healthy weight, and can improve overall health and wellness. Prepping meals ahead of time helps control calories without the muss and fuss of cooking every day. Knowing how to plan healthy meals and menus is the key to success.

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If weight loss is your goal, the Fit Mother Project can help! The program has helped thousands of women lose weight and keep it off by eating healthier, receiving motivational support, enjoying nutritious recipes, and gaining access to fat-burning workouts.

Sign up for the Fit Mother Project or try the fit mom 3-day weight loss jump start kit for FREE today! You’ll receive a free meal plan, free fat-burning workout, email coaching support from health experts, and much more. Give it a try and watch the weight melt off!

Erin Coleman
Writer, The Fit Mother Project

A 15-year freelance writing veteran, Erin is registered dietitian and health educator who is passionate about health, fitness and disease prevention. Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife and mom of two beautiful children.

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