The words ‘keto’ and ‘vegetarian’ are words that are seldom heard uttered in the same sentence. After all, the ketogenic diet is most widely understood as being a lifestyle in which plenty of meat makes up the bulk of the diet’s somewhat limited menu.
So, it might surprise you to know that it is actually possible to follow a vegetarien variation of the ketogenic diet!
But first, I have a confession to make. In this article I will be including eggs and dairy as part of the vegetarian keto guide. For most vegetarians, this is ok, however I have met some vegetarian folks who won’t eat eggs, and others who won’t eat dairy.
Obviously this is all personal preference, but for the purposes of this guide we’ve included but since the keto diet is a high fat, moderate protein, low-carbohydrate diet, eggs and dairy products provide some much needed protein.
Here is a sample daily ketogenic diet plan for vegetarians. We’ve included full recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack – and all of the recipes can be easily switched up, adapted and changed for variety. So, there’s plenty of veggie-friendly foods for you to choose from.
A Sample Vegetarian Keto Diet Shopping List
- Egg whites (most brands are freezer-friendly, so stock up!)
- Mature white cheddar
- Feta cheese
- Whey protein powder (try to go for vanilla, as this is a great ‘neutral’ flavour that you can incorporate into baking)
- Salad veggies (such as rocket, spinach, kale, iceberg lettuce)
- Healthy oils (coconut, olive oil and unsalted, grass-fed butter)
- Nuts, seeds and nut butters (opt for the natural, no-added-sugar varieties)
Breakfast: Veggie Keto Omelette
This is a great way to start your day, with plenty of healthy fat, a dose of protein and a smidge of carbohydrate (courtesy of the tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms).
- 2 free range eggs, beaten
- 1 tablespoon of heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 or 5 button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 handful of baby spinach leaves
- 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup of grated white cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Begin by whisking the eggs, adding a tablespoon of heavy cream. Whisk until the eggs are beginning to froth.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan or skillet on a medium heat until hot but not smoking
- Mike the spinach, chopped tomatoes and mushrooms in with the egg mixture, and then pour into the pan, immediately turning the heat down to low
- Cook the omelette, using a spatula to keep the edges from catching at the edge of the pan
- Once the eggs are just starting to firm up, sprinkle on the cheddar cheese
- Cook for a further one or two minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted
- Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
Lunch: Cheese Stuffed Avocado
Avocados are loaded with vitamins, fiber and healthy fats – and have actually been reported to lower cholesterol levels! Plus, they’re incredibly filling, so we recommend making them a key part of your vegetarian ketogenic diet. Try these cheese stuffed avocados by following this recipe, but feel free to switch it up with different types of fillings for more variety.
- 1 ripe avocado, halved and stone removed
- Half a cup of feta cheese
- Half a cup of cream cheese
- Smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon of chopped tarragon
- 1 tablespoon of chopped basil
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- Halve the avocado, and remove the stone
- With a spoon, scrape out some of the avocado flesh from the centre of each half to make room for the cheese filling (you can keep the avocado flesh to make guacamole for a delicious keto-friendly vegetarian snack, or just eat it on the spot!)
- In a small bowl, combine the cheese by whisking together with a fork, or you could use a food processor
- Mix in the tarragon, basil, chives and minced garlic
- Load the mixture into the avocado halves and place under a hot grill for 5 to 10 minutes
- Remove from the grill, sprinkle with paprika and serve
Dinner: Cheesy Egg Muffins with Coconut-Oil Roasted Veggies
These cheesy egg muffins are perfect for dinner time because they’re so filling. We’ve made ours spicy by adding chilli and cayenne pepper, but if you don’t like heat then feel free to leave out the spices – or opt for something mild like garlic salt and paprika if you don’t want to compromise on flavor.
- 3 eggs
- 1 ball of mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated white cheddar
- Grass fed butter for greasing muffin tins
- 1 handful of baby spinach leaves
- Half a sweet red pepper, chopped into small chunks
- 1 chilli, chopped
- Cayenne pepper
- Coconut oil, plus a selection of your favourite keto-friendly veggies for roasting
- Preheat the oven to 175 C (or 350 F)
- Chop your veggies for roasting and toss them with one or two tablespoons of coconut oil, salt nd pepper
- Place the veggies in the oven before prepping the egg muffins
- Beat the eggs and add the chopped chilli, pepper, spinach and cayenne pepper
- Grease a muffin tin using grass fed butter, and pour in the egg mixture (this recipe makes about 4 muffins)
- Tear the mozzarella and add a blob off the cheese to the centre of each muffin
- Bake the muffins in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes
- Add the grated cheddar cheese and bake for a further 5 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling
- Remove everything from the oven, plate up and serve
Snack: Veggie Protein Pancakes
This delicious, keto-friendly vegetarian snack can be enjoyed any time of day (and not just for breakfast). To add a little variety to the dish, drizzle the pancakes with a spoon or two of Walden Farms sugar-free syrup.
- One scoop of whey protein (vanilla)
- 3 tablespoons of heavy cream
- Handful of Spinach leaves
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon of sweetener
- Blend together the peanut butter, whey protein powder, cream, spinach and sweetener
- Add a little water to loosen the mixture if needed (it should be the consistency of yoghurt)
- Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan
- Pour in the pancake batter, frying the pancake on each side until cooked through
- Repeat this process until you’ve used up all the batter, adding coconut oil for frying as needed
- Plate up the pancakes and serve with a dollop of whipped cream, and a drizzle of Walden Farms Pancake Syrup
So there we have it! A full day of keto-friendly meals, and no meat in sight. This is just a sample one-day menu, so feel free to adapt these meals for more variety. If you have a vegetarian keto meal idea or recipe you’d like to share then please leave a comment below!