This post may contain affiliate links. Please click here to read my full disclosure policy.
If you’ve ever asked yourself how a vegetarian keto diet could work out, you’re not alone. More than a few folks are asking about the keto diet for vegetarians!
Wouldn’t that be a recipe for disaster? Or starvation?
Not at all! The truth is, there are plenty of options for vegetarians on the keto diet! Today I’m going to walk you through exactly how a keto diet for vegetarians works, what you can eat(& what you can’t) and give you a week’s worth of delicious recipes to start! But first, let’s start with a little keto background.
Once upon a time I was massive. As in, unrecognizable. Somewhere around 100 pounds heavier than I am right now. After a series of unfortunate events, including being called fat by one of my daughter’s friends and realizing I was becoming a shut-in due to my weight & a heavy cloud of depression, I decided to start this life-changing diet that I didn’t think would work. It was called the keto diet. I liked it because I loved food & I refused to starve myself. I have never been happier about being wrong in my life. The diet worked. I saw results immediately, and once I gained momentum there was no stopping me. I’m telling you this because you need to know I’m not some skinny girl who lost 2 pounds and now thinks she’s a weight loss guru. I’ve been fat. I’ve been skinny. Now I’m healthy. Healthy is better. If you want to lose weight, no matter how much-a little or a lot-I’m here to help you do that. Ok, so where was I?
That’s right. Keto.
When you’re on the keto diet the goal is to cut your carb intake dramatically. We aren’t cutting carbs to punish ourselves. We cut carbs because our body naturally burns carbs first. When it doesn’t have the carbs to burn, it goes straight into burning fat, and that’s how you lose weight. It’s a thing known as ketosis. Ketosis is a natural metabolic state, and once you’re in it, you are in fat burning mode.
You need to limit your carbohydrate intake to 20-50 grams of carbs per day. You may be thinking, “That’s an awfully wide range there, Heather.” And you’re right. It is a wide range because that’s an estimation. So what are you supposed to do? Average it out & hope for the best?
Use this Free Keto Calculator to find out exactly what your number is. I’ll wait right here while you do it!
Vegetarian Keto Diet
On a vegetarian ketogenic diet the majority of your foods will come from healthy sources of plant based fats, high fiber proteins, and non-starchy vegetables. Like the OG keto diet, you’ll stay far away from refined carbohydrates, sugars, and grains.
Vegetarian Keto Diet Rules
- No meat! Other animal products like eggs & dairy are allowed (If you are on a strict Vegan diet this is not the case & you will be omitting ALL dairy, honey, eggs, & animal products)
- Eat low carb vegetables with every meal (if at all possible)
- Limit your carbohydrate intake to 35 grams or less per day
- Supplement your diet with vitamins for the nutrients you may be missing (Vitamins B12 & B6, D3, Iron, Zinc)
Low Carb Vegetables | Vegetarian Keto Diet
There are plenty of low carb veggies to choose from on the keto diet! Eating these veggies that are filled with fiber will make you feel full during & after meals and provide the nutrition you need.
- Collard Greens
- Swiss Chard
- Green Beans
- Bell Peppers
Low Carb Fruits | Vegetarian Keto Diet
I know you’ve heard fruit is the devil, and yes most fruit is too high in sugar for the keto diet, but some berries are OK to eat in small amounts!
Protein Sources | Vegetarian Keto Diet
- Eggs & Dairy (If You’re Not Vegan)
- Nuts [Brazil Nuts~Pecans~Macadamias~Walnuts~Hazelnuts~Pine Nuts~Almonds~Unsweetened Coconuts~Nut Butters]
- Seeds [Chia & Flax Seeds]
Healthy Oils | Vegetarian Keto Diet
- Olive Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Coconut Oil
- MCT Oil
- Macadamia Oil
- Flaxseed Oil
Foods To Avoid | Vegetarian Keto Diet
Grains: Bread, pasta, cereal, cakes, pastries, rice, wheat, oats, barley, rye, corn, beer, and quinoa
Sugar: Sodas, juice, sports drinks, chocolate, ice cream, cookies or candy
Fruit: Large fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas are extremely high in sugar and are not allowed on the keto diet.
Starch: Potatoes and yams as well as muesli and oats
Milk: Both Full & low-fat milk are not allowed as they are high in carbs
The Keto Flu
What? There’s a flu?
Well, yes. And no. Here’s the deal. The phenomenon known as the keto “flu” happens to beginners (Welcome!) when they’re not taking in enough sodium or electrolytes. Some of the common symptoms are:
- Muscle aches & pains
- Brain fog
- Lack of focus/concentration
A few words before you say screw it & go to Taco Bell.
You won’t get all of these symptoms at once-if you get any of them at all. (I didn’t, but every person is a special snowflake.) Let’s just say you’re an average person. We both know you’re better than that, but for the sake of this convo, let’s just pretend.
For the average person, the keto flu strikes around day 2 of carb restriction and lasts about a week. The worst case I’ve heard about lasted for a month, but this is extremely out of the ordinary!
How does one avoid the keto flu?
Drink more H2O! Seriously, hydration is the #1 way to avoid the keto flu! If you’re a woman, and I’d pretty much bet my life you are, you should be drinking at least 3 liters of water every day. I won’t bore you with all the statistics, but all it takes is a slight decrease in water intake to impair cognitive function & make you feel like total garbage.
Replace Electrolytes! You’re going to need a sodium & potassium supplement. Your levels of insulin will decrease on the keto diet, which means your kidneys will be releasing more sodium. When you pair that with the fact that keto limits foods that are rich in potassium you get an electrolyte imbalance that can cause flu-like symptoms. Fight it by taking supplements or by making sure you are eating enough leafy green veggies and avocados.
TWO WAYS LOSE WEIGHT FAST
1. If you want to take control and do all it yourself, I’ve put together this 30-day meal plan that includes vegetarian keto diet recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
2. But if you’re already too busy for words and you struggle with meal planning and you are overwhelmed with information, Tastaholics will do all the work for you and deliver fabulous weekly keto meal plans to your inbox along with a shopping list for the week’s food! It’s fabulous!
Ready to eat? I figured! Here are some of the most delicious & creative vegetarian keto recipes to kick off your diet!
Vegetarian Keto Diet Recipes Breakfast
Easy Shakshuka ~ Tastaholics
Healthy Fluffy Low Carb Vanilla Waffles [VEGAN] ~ The Big Man’s World
Vegan Bulletproof Coffee ~ Create Mindfully
Keto Overnight “Oats” ~ Healthful Pursuit
Vegan [Eggplant] Bacon ~ PopSugar Fitness
Low Carb Vegan Coffeecake Muffins ~ Meat Free Keto
Simple Tofu Scramble ~ V Nutrition
Healthy Low Carb Apple Pie Muffins ~ The Big Man’s World
My Favorite Breakfast Frittata ~ Eat Yourself Skinny
Low Carb Egg Breakfast Muffins (Vegetarian) ~ Hurry The Food Up
Baby Kale, Mozzerella, And Egg Bake Recipe ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Chia Pudding [5 VARIATIONS] ~ Wellness Mama
Cinnamon French Tofu Sticks ~ VegAnnie
Cheesy Egg Muffins ~ Nom Nom Paleo
Healthy Fluffy Low Carb Pancakes [VEGAN OPTION] ~ The Big Man’s World
Low Carb Blueberry Pancakes ~ Tastaholics
Very-Veggie Cauliflower Hash Brown Breakfast Bowl ~ Iowa Girl Eats
Omega-3 Keto Porridge ~ The Castaway Kitchen
Breakfast Kale Salad ~ Glue & Glitter
Cheesy Spinach & Mushroom Breakfast Casserole ~ What A Girl Eats
Green Low Carb Breakfast Smoothie ~ Tastaholics
Overnight Breakfast Casserole With Bacon & Sweet Potato ~ Sweet Peas and Saffron
Low Carb Cream Cheese Pancakes ~ Hurry The Food Up
Coconut Low Carb Porridge ~ Low Carb Yum
Breakfast Keto Smoothie ~ Broke Foodies
Spiced Sweet Potato Egg Bake ~ Eat Drink Paleo
Low Carb Cinnamon Roll Muffins ~ The Big Man’s World
Vegetarian Mushroom Breakfast Casserole ~ Plaid & Paleo
Keto Low Carb Blueberry Muffins With Almond Flour ~ Wholesome Yum
Vegan Keto Peanut Butter Donuts ~ Meat Free Keto
Vegetarian Keto Diet Recipes Lunch
Caprese Salad ~ Tastaholics
Vegan Keto Bento Box ~ Julie’s Lifestyle
Rainbow Cauliflower Crust Pizza ~ Gimme Delicious
Low Carb Margherita Pizza With Portobello Mushroom Crust ~ 80 Twenty Nutrition
Cauliflower Crust Grilled Cheese ~ The Iron You
Guacamole Salad In A Jar ~ PopSugar
Mediterranean Roasted Cauliflower Salad ~ Sugar Free Mom
Spicy Tomato Basil Soup ~ Tastaholics
Chopped Thai Salad With Coconut Curry Dressing ~ The Wicked Noodle
Butternut Squash Bisque ~ Civilized Caveman
Low Carb Vegan Bibimbap ~ Low Carb Vegan
Low Carb Pizza With Kale Pesto ~ Contentedness Cooking
Marinated Eggplant & Tomatoes ~ i Food Blogger
Portobello Mushroom Bacon [Vegan Bacon] ~ Veganosity
Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Soup ~ Delightful Mom Food
Charred Veggie & Hot Goat Cheese Salad ~ ruled.me
Low Carb Zucchini Fritters ~ Low Carb Maven
High Protein Salad In A Jar ~ The Flexitarian
Spicy Southwestern Vegetarian Burger ~ SkinnyMs
Low Carb Cauliflower Pizza ~ Wholesome Yum
Spinach Artichoke Squares ~ From A Chef’s Kitchen
Supreme Green Bean Casserole ~ Low Carb Maven
Low Carb Gnocchi ~ Tastaholics
Epic Low Carb Mash ~ Potluck At Oh My Veggies
Grilled Lemon Garlic Zucchini ~ Damn Delicious
Vegetarian Keto Club Salad ~ Ruled.Me
Ginger Sesame Walnut & Hemp Seed Lettuce Wraps ~ Create Mindfully
Eggplant Pizza Bites [LOW CARB GF DF] ~ Avocado Pesto
Vegetarian Greek Collard Wraps ~ Ruled.Me
Vegetarian Keto Diet Recipes Dinner
Creamy Kale & Pesto Stuffed Peppers ~ Inspector Gorgeous
Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Casserole ~ Peas and Crayons
Cauliflower Noodle Lasagna ~ The Iron You
One Pot Zucchini Pasta ~ Making Thyme For Good Health
Crockpot Low Carb Lasagna ~ Well Plated
Skinny Southwestern Crustless Quiche Recipe [Vegetarian] ~ Cookin Canuck
Chili Cauliflower Rice Bowl ~ Healthy Nibbles and Bits
Roasted Garlic & Red Pepper Zoodles ~ Running On Real Food
Vegan Keto Walnut Chili ~ Abbey’s Kitchen
Zucchini Noodles With Avocado Sauce ~ Simple Vegan Blog
Low Carb Mexican Cauliflower Rice ~ My Food Story
Egg Roll In A Bowl ~ DETOXINSTA
Vegan Low Carb Cauliflower Nuggets ~ Meat Free Keto
Keto Creamy Avocado Pasta With Shirataki ~ Happy Keto
Crispy Peanut Tofu & Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry ~ The Minimalist Baker
Veggie Noodle Pad Thai [ONE SKILLET MEAL]~ The Castaway Kitchen
Vegan Keto Carbonara ~ Meat Free Keto
Creamy Caprese Cauliflower Casserole ~ The Iron You
Parmesan Cauliflower Steak ~ Hey Keto Mama
Low Carb Mushroom Risotto With Cauliflower Rice ~ Peace, Love & Low Carb
Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Peppers ~ Delish
Keto Tabouleh ~ Healthful Pursuit
Super Skinny Creamy Spinach Pasta Primavera [SHIRATAKI NOODLES]~ Home Sweet Jones
Low Carb Spanakopita Cottage Cheese & Egg Casserole ~ Mom Foodie
Cabbage Lasagna ~ Low Carb Yum
Spaghetti Sauce Alfredo With Pancetta & Peas ~ Peace, Love & Low Carb
LCHF Spinach & Feta Pie [CROCKPOT RECIPE] ~ Ditch The Carbs
Grilled Zucchini Pizza Slices ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Vegan Quiche (Gluten Free Low Carb Low Fat) ~ VegAnnie
Black Garlic Shirataki Noodles With King Oyster Mushrooms ~ Pups With Chopsticks
You May Also Want To Read These Keto Posts!
Don’t forget to Pin!
For even more delicious ketogenic recipes & weight loss tips, follow my Health board on Pinterest!