30-Day Plant-Based Meal Plan For Beginners

Take the 30-day plant-based diet challenge with us!

These mango and black bean tacos may be free of gluten, but they're certainly not lacking in flavor!

Are you interested in moving to a whole-food, plant-based diet? Whether you’re looking to prevent chronic conditions like heart disease or type-2 diabetes, or you’re looking to do something positive for the planet, getting started might seem challenging. Never fear, we have the perfect guide for you! Our 30-day plant-based meal plan for beginners will walk you through everything you need to know to start on your plant-based journey.

To make things easy to follow, we’ve broken it down into meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We also included some snacks and desserts, because we know the value of having those in your life! All you’ll need to do is pick and choose your favorites. Before you know it, you’ll be done with your first 30-days and you’ll be a pro.

Read how a SkinnyMs. recipe creator, Eric O’Grey, lost 150 pounds and reversed his Type-2 Diabetes with a plant-based diet. By the way, Eric’s wife, Jaye, lost 75 pounds.

What is a Plant-Based Diet?

A plant-based diet has more of a focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods. In a nutshell, here just some of the foods included:

  • Legumes and other plant-based proteins (like soybeans and seitan)
  • Nuts and seeds, including nut milk, chia seeds, flax seeds
  • Good fats, like avocados
  • Greens – and lots of them!
  • All fruits and vegetables
  • Naturally occurring starches, like potatoes
  • Whole grains, like oats, brown rice, and quinoa
  • Maple syrup, coconut sugar, and other unrefined sugars (avoid artificial sweeteners)
  • Coffee is included

Unlike other types of diets, you can enjoy a variety of foods, and you can even treat yourself to some dark chocolate! Now that you know what types of foods we’re focusing on, let’s take a look at the meal plans. Feel free to mix and match – some of the lunches would be great for dinner, and vice versa.

Breakfast

Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

White Bean Avocado Toast

Peach Pie Breakfast Parfait

Vegan Mango-Almond Milkshake

Peanut Butter Mocha Espresso Shake

Banana Smash Oatmeal

Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars

Lunch

Spicy Kale with Chickpeas and Maple Dijon Dressing

Mango and Black Bean Tacos

Spicy Kale Salad

Herbed Wild Rice Stuffed Potatoes

Butternut Squash and Cranberry Quinoa Salad

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Avocado Hummus Bowl

Fusion Lunch Burritos

6 Plant-Based Salad Dressing Recipes (featured image at the top)

Dinner & Sides

Plant Based Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

Plant-Based Slow Cooker Chile

Maple Glazed Tempeh with Quinoa and Kale

Easy Lentil Vegetable Loaf

Broccoli and Mushroom Stir Fry

Slow-Cooker White Bean Stew

Plant-Based “Ground Beef” Recipe

Quick & Easy Black Bean and Lentil Soup

Greek Lentil Soup

Spicy Grilled Tofu with Szechuan Vegetables

Quinoa Lentil Burgers

Snacks

Easy Stuffed Mushrooms

Plant-Based Cashew Flat Bread

Cilantro Lime Three Bean Salad

Chai-Spiced Candied Nuts

Avocado Wontons

Sunflower Lentil Dip with Fresh Vegetables

Quinoa Meatless Meatballs

Spicy Mango Salsa

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Desserts

Banana Pudding Ice Cream

Avocado Vegan Fudge Brownie

No-Bake Chocolate Covered Cookie Dough Bars

Caramel Apple Parfait

Carrot-Spiced Oatmeal Cookies

Peppermint Fudge

Vegan Chocolate Banana Nut Bread

Raw Vegan Lemon Cranberry Cheesecake

Coconut Mango Ice Cream

Skinny Strawberry Banana Bread

Oil-Free Chocolate Muffins

We love plant-based foods, so our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts are chock full of great recipes! Don’t forget to follow us on social media to get some great plant-based ideas and inspiration.

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Chef Lindsay

Lindsay D. Mattison is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer. After graduating from Cascade Culinary School, Lindsay worked as the executive chef of a farm-to-table restaurant in Bend, Oregon. She is passionate about using local, organic ingredients and loves teaching home cooks how to incorporate seasonal food into their diet. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to create beautiful meals for her family. She lives with her husband in Colorado, where she enjoys the trials and errors of gardening.

More by Lindsay D.

38 Comments

  1. I cannot wait to get started on this plan. As a new meatless eater, I have had issues with meal planning. Thank you so much for the layout, recipes and overall plan. This will help me financially as well as holistically.

  2. I’m looking to start Plant free diet. Are there more things to eat that don’t need so much prep and cooking especially breakfast and lunch when working?

    1. Hi Wendy! Congratulations on starting the plant-based meal plan! Here are a couple of suggestions that might be helpful. Try overnight oats such as these for a quick breakfast. They can be assembled the night before (or several days ahead of time). Then just grab them for an easy breakfast on the go. Substitute any cows milk for a plant-based milk such as coconut, rice, soy, almond, or cashew milk. If you prefer smoothies, they can also be made 2-3 days ahead of time. On the day you’re ready to drink one, simply put back in blender or nutri-bullet to refresh. If consuming more than 2-3 days after the smoothies are made, you can always freeze them. Just remember to remove from freezer to thaw a couple of days before you’re ready to drink them.

      Ready-made legumes, rice, quinoa or other grains, can be purchased to save prep time, then used with veggies in tasty bowls and salads. Hope this is helpful! Have a great day!

    1. Whitney, The recipe list has links to suggested recipes. Feel free to choose from any of the suggested recipes.

  3. Been on 4 legged meatless journey for 7 weeks, eating seafood and eggs for protein. Easier than I thought to do, but want to try to limit those, these recipes sound great and cannot wait to try them to change up this journey.

  4. I’m a poor planner and following your plan makes me feel like I’m off to a realistic start.
    Are whole grain breads allowed?
    Thanks for all the information you are providing.
    My best to you and followers!

  5. I could weep. I live alone, hate to cook, and all the plant based menus (which medically I am supposed to follow) seem long, difficult, hard to do, and not sensible for one living alone. I have to often throw out fresh foods as I do not get to them before they rot. I have tried often to try to do this type of food preparation and have failed miserably every time. It doesn’t fit in with my wants and lifestyle. It all just seems impossible.

    1. Hi Kay,
      My advice to you would be to start way smaller than a 30-day plan. We have SO MANY vegetarian recipes and vegan recipes to choose from. One thing that may help you is to choose just a 1-2 recipes a week to try. That way, you won’t get overwhelmed by all of the ingredients. Why don’t you scroll through our plant-based recipes (which I’ve linked above) and find a couple that look good to you! As you try more and more recipes, I think you may be able to find ones that you actually enjoy preparing and eating! Food preparation will get easier and I think you’ll be surprised how much flavor these dishes can have! I hope that helps! 🙂

  6. Starting on my whole food plant based diet. I have been drinking milk for ever and today I started drinking almond milk. Hoping for the best in my new adventure on better nutrition!

  7. Hi, I am currently thinking of trying a plant based diet but I am worried about gaining weight. I have been on low carb for years and it seems to work well for me. How can I avoid weight gain?

    1. Kathleen, If you switch to a true plant-based eating plan, it’s doubtful you will gain weight. This would be a big switch from low-carb. By going 100% plant-based, your carb levels will increase significantly. Check out this post by Eric O’Grey, it’s very insightful for someone considering the switch.

  8. I’m type 1 diabetic and commonly low on calcium and iron. I really want to eat plant based. Do you have recommendations?

  9. I have traded wheat read for sprouted breads. None of your recipes talks about these breads. I have osteoarthritis and started getting serious about plant based /anti inflammatory diets.

  10. This sounds awesome, I recently took a break from red meat for six months and felt great. this plant base diet is the direction I would to go. I am a type two diabetic not overweight and work out on a regular basis.

  11. Is Oatmeal milk okay rather than almond milk not one of my favor
    Is there a suggestion on a plant coffee creamer cannot get away from half n half
    I have been on plant food due I had a Stomach sleeve operation after that I could not eat any type of meat which I do not miss replaced with beans and plant food it going on 2 years lost 70 lbs

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