A lot of people think that going low carb or keto means all you can eat is meat and fat. And while they are part of a low carb ketogenic diet, they’re not the only things you can eat—there’s still quite a variety for herbivores and omnivores to choose from. Check out this list of 21+ keto vegetarian recipes. If you’ve just made the switch to the ketogenic diet and you’re a little stuck, or you just want to spice things up and participate in Meatless Monday, don’t push the panic button yet!
Below, we’re giving you 20 of our favorite vegetarian keto recipes—completely meat-free!
Can vegetarians do the keto diet?
It’s a simple answer: 100% yes. While typically we associate low carb and keto with meat and fat, there are loads of other fat and protein sources that can work just as well for vegans and vegetarians; vegan keto is a bit more challenging, but it’s still doable.
Because vegetarian diets are generally higher in carbohydrates thanks to loading up on beans and legumes, whole grains, starchy and non-starchy vegetables, and the like, it takes a bit more planning to ensure you’re keeping your net-carb count intact and you’re staying keto.
However, the one area you need to give a little love to is hitting all of your nutrient requirements. Specific nutrients that are concentrated in animal-based products may be on the low side if you’re eating a vegetarian diet, but that’s also partially dependent on the type of vegetarian diet you follow. Generally speaking, the more restrictive the vegetarian diet is (i.e. vegan), the higher the risk of nutrient deficiencies.
Types of vegetarian diets
There’s not just one way to be a vegetarian—there’s actually 6:
- Vegan – consumes no animal products of any kind (eggs, dairy, fish oils, animal-derived or animal by-products); most vegans will also abstain from eating things like honey, gelatin, and
- Lacto-ovo vegetarian – avoids meat but will consume dairy and eggs
- Lacto-vegetarian – avoids meat and eggs but includes dairy products
- Ovo-vegetarian – avoids meat and dairy products but will consume eggs
- Vegetarian – abstains from meat but includes both dairy and eggs; very similar to a lacto-ovo vegetarian but may also choose to include certain animal by-products like honey, gelatin, and collagen; a vegetarian simply does not eat meat
- Pescatarian – eats fish and seafood, dairy, and eggs but avoids poultry and red meat; this option is considered semi-vegetarian
Which type of vegetarian is best for keto?
There’s no simple answer for this one—the best style of vegetarian eating for keto boils down to what works best with your body and your food and lifestyle preferences.
However, with that said, the more inclusive and liberal your vegetarian diet is, the more options you have for keto, which sometimes can make mealtimes easier and more enjoyable (although completely meat-free vegetarian meals are just as delicious!).
The one thing to be mindful on when following a vegetarian diet that excludes most animal products (eggs and/or dairy) is that plant-based proteins generally don’t supply a complete source of protein. Complete proteins contain all 9 essential amino acids required to synthesize functional proteins, whereas incomplete proteins do not; they are lacking in one or more of the essential amino acids, or do not contain them in high enough quantities.
Vegans and vegetarians rely on combining beans and legumes, grains, and seeds to meet their amino acid requirements, but the problem is that when you’re trying to keep net-carbs low, they generally don’t fit within a low carb or keto diet.
20+ Best Vegetarian Keto Recipes
Whether you follow a vegetarian diet or not, there are loads of delicious keto vegetarian recipes for you to choose from. Here are 20+ of our top picks for vegetarian keto recipes!
7 keto vegetarian recipes for breakfast
1. Keto Pancakes – 1g net carbs
If you’re new to the keto pancake game, you’re about to have your life changed. We took a classic low carb protein pancake recipe and pumped up the fat to give you the perfect keto pancake. They’re crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Pair it with a dab of butter and some sugar-free maple syrup for the perfect protein-packed low carb vegetarian breakfast.
2. Vegan Protein Breakfast Bowl – 4.5g net carbs
Looking for an easy and delicious breakfast that’s high in protein? It’s filled with nuts, nibs, and hemp hearts all piled on top of a delicious, chocolate, protein packed mousse. It’s the perfect low carb keto breakfast for on-the-go, post-workout, or just a lazy Sunday.
3. Low-Carb Waffles – 3g net carbs
Moist, rich, and totally delicious—what more could you ask for? Waffles are a breakfast staple and we’re making them totally low carb keto-compliant. Top with sugar-free syrup or enjoy with butter, they’re a healthy breakfast or a sinful keto treat.
4. Masala Baked Indian Eggs – 6g net carbs
Whether you’re a meat eater or not, you’re going to love this take on a classic egg dish. It’s a rich medley of spices combined with perfectly cooked eggs on a spicy bed of tomatoes and onions that’s dairy-free and gluten-free. Want something to sop up all that yummy sauce? Pair it with our easy low-carb naan.
5. Cauliflower Hash Browns – 3.2g net carbs
Who says you can have hash browns for Sunday brunch? Not us! They’re the perfect combination of crispy and cheesy, and pair perfectly beside a couple of fried eggs. They might just become your new favorite keto breakfast staple!
6. Keto Overnight Hemp Oats – 3g net carbs
The great thing about oatmeal is how versatile and simple it is. But generally, it’s not low carb keto-friendly–but now it is. Craving pumpkin pie? You got it! Need more protein? We’ve got you covered. Overnight oats are super easy to make and are the perfect easy keto breakfast when you have a busy morning ahead. We dare you to pick a favorite flavor combo!
7. Classic French Omelette – 2g net carbs
If you’ve never tried making an omelette the French way, you’re in for a treat. Using just 5 simple ingredients, you get the perfect combination of a smooth outer skin, with a soft, incredibly buttery center. For an easy keto breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you’ll never go back to your old omelette ways.
8 keto vegetarian recipes for lunch & dinner
8. Keto Egg Salad (curry or spicy) – 2g net carbs
Egg salad is all about the add-ins and flavor. Whether you prefer spices and crunch or simple and spicy, we’ve got you covered. This healthy egg salad is the perfect easy keto lunch. Pair it with out foolproof keto crackers for a great dipping vessel!
9. Cauliflower Fried Rice – 7.75g net carbs
Say goodbye to Chinese takeout! This keto cauliflower fried rice will blow even the best fried rice recipes out of the water. It’s quick and simple, loaded with nutrients, and best of all, you don’t need to wait an hour to get it!
10. Curry Tofu Nuggets – 2.5g net carbs
Bite-sized breaded goodness without the meat? It can’t be! But it can. These curry tofu nuggets are a perfect replacement for your McDonald’s fav. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal or a party app, these nuggets are a shoe-in that everyone will love.
We all know pasta is a hard no on keto, but what if it didn’t have to be? This keto pasta is equally as delicious and filling as traditional wheat-based versions, but is gluten-free and contains a fraction of the carbs. Meat-free or not, there are so many flavor combinations and sauces you can use to spice this dinner up!
12. Low-Carb Eggplant Manicotti – 6g net carbs
Italian dinner night is back with this delicious and low carb keto eggplant manicotti! It transforms the high-carb classic to a keto-friendly gluten-free version that’s just as rich and delicious. Coming together in just 30 minutes, it’s the perfect vegetarian keto dinner recipe to make tonight!
13. Low-Carb Bagels – 1.8g net carbs
Craving a freshly baked bagel but can’t afford to splurge on the carbs? We’ve got you. Throw on an egg and cheese or slap on some peanut butter and you’ve got a crazy delicious low-carb meal. With bagels back on the menu, breakfast time, snack time, and sandwich time will never be the same!
14. Keto Chaffles – 1g of net carbs
You’ve probably never heard of ‘chaffle’ before, but it’s about to change your life. The delicious and crave-worthy combination of cheese and waffles will knock your socks off (and everyone else that tries it). Use it as sandwich bread, a hamburger bun, or sub it for pizza crust! Make it sweet or make it savory—the possibilities are endless.
15. Broccoli cheddar soup – 4g net carbs
Soup is always a favorite. It’s warm, comforting, and a staple on a cold winter night. This soup is as simple as it sounds and shines the light on the two main stars—broccoli and cheese. It comes together in less than 30 minutes and is completely freezer-friendly (but we get the hunch there won’t be any leftovers).
7 keto vegetarian recipes for snacks & sweets
16. Easy Cauliflower Hummus – 4g net carbs
Whether you’re dipping low-carb crackers or raw veggie sticks, this cauliflower hummus is sure to be a hit. It subs cauliflower for the traditional high-carb chickpea base to give you a creamy and delicious dairy-free keto dip. It’s the perfect snack that packs a major flavor punch.
17. Air Fryer Avocado Fries – 3g net carbs
With potatoes out of the question, there’s a better and even more delicious replacement. Avocado fries are the perfect side dish or appetizer to whip up for family and friends. They’re perfectly crisp and hit the spot when you’ve got a salty craving!
18. Avocado Devilled Eggs – 1g net carbs
Devilled eggs are the perfect appetizer or quick snack. They’re super simple to make, full of flavor, loaded with protein, and regardless of what you put in, you really can’t go wrong! But the combination of egg, avocado, cayenne, and a hint of lime puts a Mexican flare on a classic party staple.
19. Easy Keto Energy Balls – 0.5g net carbs
Energy balls are the perfect grab-and-go snack or a quick munchie when a craving hits. These keto energy balls come together in less than 30 minutes and are packed with protein and fat to keep you full. They’re chewy, sweet, and the perfect snack or quick breakfast.
20. Keto Tiramisu – 5g net carbs
Who doesn’t love the coffee and chocolate combo? The traditional Italian tiramisu is rich and delicious, but also loaded with carbs. This version uses homemade lady fingers, coffee, and a touch of rum to make a deliciously sinful (but healthy) keto treat.
21. Dark Chocolate Pecan Tart – 4g net carbs
If you want a healthy yet sinful dessert that’s not going to kill your carb count, this is it. It’s creamy, crunchy, rich, and beyond delicious. With a rich and dense chocolate filling and a crunch from pecans, it’s sure to be a favorite at all your dinner parties!
22. Keto Fat Bombs – 0.7g net carbs
Fat bombs are a staple for keto-ers. With just 4 ingredients, they’re as simple as they are delicious. Whether you need a small snack or something to take on the road, they’re the perfect option. This recipe is a protein-rich fat bomb, but you can also spice things up and try these cookie dough fat bombs! Any which way, you’re definitely going to love them.
Whatever vegetarian eating style you follow, there are loads of delicious keto vegetarian recipes to try that don’t include meat. From bowls and bakes, to crackers and cakes, we’re constantly testing recipes and looking for new ways to add a vegetarian flare to favorite keto recipes. After all, who says meat-eaters get to have all the fun?
Do you follow a vegetarian keto diet? If so, drop a comment and let us know your favorite easy keto vegetarian recipe!
Matt is a former college basketball player turned computer engineer who discovered his passion for health and nutrition after cutting sugar from his diet in 2016. That year he founded KetoConnect with Megha in order to share their ketogenic lifestyle through recipes, videos, and educational content. Matt is always seeking to grow and try new things, a passion he shares with his wife and two amazing sons.