Yup, you can be a vegetarian and still do a Whole30 challenge. Find out how to plan a simple menu with veggie-friendly recipes that include breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
What is Whole30 anyway?
Whole30 is a 30-day challenge that’s similar to the Paleo diet, but with a few more restrictions. It excludes Paleo-friendly sweeteners (like honey and maple syrup), baked goods, alcohol, and most desserts.
Although the Paleo lifestyle incorporates gluten-free desserts, Whole30 believes you should hold off on them for the 30 days. The purpose is to reset how your mind thinks about sweets in the first place, so you no longer get the urges or cravings.
While the challenge is primarily short-term, some people opt to do it for longer periods of time. The benefit of this challenge is to evaluate how your body reacts to a more wholesome, cleaner-eating lifestyle (without inflammatory triggers).
How to Eat Vegetarian on a Whole30 Diet
If you’re thinking about doing a Whole30 Paleo challenge on a vegetarian diet, you’ll want to consider making some minor adjustments.
The first thing is to avoid plant-based sources of protein that you might be used to, like grains, legumes, and dairy. Although they are common staples in the vegetarian world, both Paleo and Whole30 diets exclude them from their food list.
To compensate for the exclusion of meat, it’s important to fill your plate with plenty of veggies, eggs, and (if you’re pescatarian) seafood for protein. If you’re vegan, you’ll want to sub in alternative sources of protein like:
- Nuts and seeds (like almonds, walnuts, pecans, and pumpkin seeds)
- Nut butters (like almond butter, cashew butter, and coconut butter)
- Moderate amounts of fruits (like avocados, peaches, and berries )
1. Whole30® Breakfast Chia Pudding
This simple and sweet chia pudding will fill you up and prevent pre-lunchtime snacking. Change it up each day by swapping in other favorite fruits.
Recipe: Sunkissed Kitchen | Whole30 Breakfast Chia Pudding
2. Whole30 Vegetarian Power Bowls
This one-pan recipe dresses roasted veggies in a lemon tahini dressing and tops it all with a hard-boiled egg. Prep it the night before for easy assembly in the morning!
Recipe: Well Plated by Erin | Whole30 Vegetarian Power Bowls
3. Easy Spaghetti Squash Apple Fritters
This savory-sweet fritter is crispy, light, and easy to make. Serve them with eggs and a fresh greens side salad to make it a complete meal.
Recipe: Paleo Running Momma | Easy Spaghetti Squash Apple Fritters
4. Healthy Breakfast Egg Muffins
Jumpstart your day with a recipe packed with tons of protein and veggies. Just be sure to leave out the optional cheese so it’s Whole30 compliant.
Recipe: Well Plated by Erin | Healthy Breakfast Egg Muffins
5. Green Smoothie
We can’t get enough of this superfood elixir made with leafy greens, creamy nut butter, and fiber-rich flax seeds.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Green Smoothie
6. 3-Ingredient Cloud Bread
You don’t have to give up bread on a Whole30. This simple and easy recipe requires just three ingredients and bakes up light and fluffy—perfect for sandwiches.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | 3-Ingredient Cloud Bread
7. Easy Instant Pot Pumpkin Soup
This easy, creamy soup is perfect for chilly days—and goes great with a slice of 3-ingredient cloud bread on the side!
Recipe: Tasty Thin | Easy Instant Pot Pumpkin Soup
8. Beet Noodle Arugula Salad
Beets come alive with a zesty blend of lemon, tahini, and pine nuts. Pro tip: you can also add zucchini noodles to add more color and variety.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Beet Noodle Arugula Salad
9. Whole30 Mediterranean Vegetable Soup
This veggie-rich soup is light enough for summer, but hearty enough for winter. Customize it with whatever veggies you have on-hand!
Recipe: Bites of Wellness | Whole30 Mediterranean Vegetable Soup
10. Thai Coconut Cauliflower Soup
Garlic, red pepper, and lime are the real show stoppers here—so much flavor you won’t even miss the meat.
Recipe: Sweet Lizzy | Thai Coconut Cauliflower Soup
11. Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad
Toss this light salad together in a few minutes and savor all the sweet and tangy flavors from the balsamic dressing.
Recipe: Feed Them Wisely | Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad
12. Whole30 Carrot Slaw
Slaw isn’t just a cabbage-only dish! This carrot version provides the perfect backdrop for a simple and filling lunch recipe.
Recipe: Peas and Crayons | Whole30 Carrot Slaw
13. Mushroom Risotto with Cauliflower Rice
You can cook up this fragrant, garlic-infused recipe in under 45 minutes. Make it veggie-friendly by subbing out the beef broth with vegetable stock.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Mushroom Risotto with Cauliflower Rice
14. Whole30 Zoodle Minestrone Soup
This hearty soup features six different veggies and a handful of flavor-packed spices. Make a big pot for dinner and eat leftovers all week.
Recipe: Physical Kitchness | Whole30 Zoodle Minestrone Soup
15. Whole30 Vegan Vegetarian Curry
Cauliflower, broccoli, and eggplant make up the heart of this vegan-friendly recipe. It also features anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric and tons of other fiber-rich nutrients.
Recipe: Heart Umami | Whole30 Vegan Vegetarian Curry
16. Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh
This zesty recipe is a yummy alternative to rice or slaw and is uber easy to prep.
Recipe: Wholesomelicious | Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh
17. Tomato Mushroom Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti night doesn’t go away on Whole30—it gets better! This vegetarian dish has all the classic pasta flavor with none of the gluten.
Recipe: What a Girl Eats | Tomato Mushroom Spaghetti Squash