Plant-based meal planners are a savvy way to plan vegan meals ahead of time and avoid the back-and-forth that goes along with the question, “What do you want for dinner?”
Whether you’re a new vegan or simply looking to introduce some plant-based proteins into your rotation, it can be overwhelming to come up with three meatless meal ideas per day.
Switching to a new way of eating is challenging enough without having to figure out what to eat at each meal. That’s when using a plant-based meal planner comes in handy.
With a vegan meal planner, the mental labor is done for you. Not only does a plant-based meal planner predetermine your weekly menu, but it also makes grocery shopping much more manageable. Many vegan meal planner apps even account for your dietary preferences, allergies, and time constraints.
Here are some of the best plant-based meal planners to help simplify shopping for groceries, choosing new recipes, and preparing meals.
In this post:
1. Forks Over Knives Meal Planner
Price: $19.99 per month or $119.99 per year.
How to access: iOS app, Android app, web-based app, printable PDF download
Customizable by allergies? Yes, accommodate gluten, soy, and nut intolerances.
The Forks Over Knives Meal Planner offers personalized weekly meal plans backed by nutritionists and professional chefs. New plant-based recipes are routinely added to the collection of more than 1,000 vegan-friendly recipes.
This plant-based meal planner is perfect for people with a busy schedule. Recipes take no longer than 35 minutes to prepare, so dinner can be ready in a hurry.
A new meal plan is designed by Forks Over Knives Meal Planner chefs and released each week. Got a picky eater in the family? What about allergies? Customize the menu to the people in your household and their preferences, so meals are always a hit.
Once you confirm your weekly meal plan, you’ll receive a smart grocery list that contains only the ingredients you’ll need for the week. No more overspending at the grocery store, forgetting to pick up essential ingredients or drawing a blank on what food items you need when you get to the store.
Sign up for a free 2-week trial of the Forks Meal Planner to give it a try. Join the monthly plan for $19.99 a month and cancel anytime. For an even better deal, lock in $9.99 a month pricing when you sign up for the Forks Over Knives Meal Planner annual option that goes for $119.99 once per year.
- Access the app from any iOS or Android device
- No credit card required to start
- 1,000+ vegan recipes
- Low sodium, oil-free recipes may be more nutritious but can taste bland
2. Clean Food Dirty Girl Meal Planner
Price: $25 per month, $60 per quarter, or $216 per year
How to access: Web-based app, printable PDF download
Customizable by allergies? No, but common allergies are clearly labeled and can usually be omitted or substituted.
If you’re looking for a nutritionally balanced vegan meal planner, consider the Clean Food Dirty Girl Meal Planner. Each weekly meal plan is centered around whole foods, so meals are vibrant, healthy, and diverse.
One advantage of this plant-based meal planner is the wide range of foods incorporated into the recipes. This offers a variety of nutrients from different vegetables, grains, legumes, and so on. Plus, no one likes a repetitive menu, so you’re less likely to get bored with eating the same thing over and over again.
People on a time crunch will also enjoy this meal plan. It offers instructions on making recipes using your Instant Pot, which is a huge time saver. Some recipes can also be prepped ahead of time, so you can prep a week’s worth of meals in just 2-4 hours.
While this meal plan is free of allergens like dairy, eggs, and fish since it’s entirely vegan, those with nut and seed allergies may need to get extra creative. Nuts and seeds are used every week on this meal plan. Gluten and soy are used occasionally. Since the weekly meal plans aren’t customizable, it is up to you to find substitutions for those ingredients.
Ready to join? Clean Food Dirty Girl offers three different payment structures: $25 per month with no obligation to continue your membership, $60 charged every 3 months for a quarterly subscription, or $216 charged annually for a 12-month subscription.
- New exclusive recipes released each week
- Designed to reduce food waste
- Based on a whole foods plant-based diet
- Not customizable by allergies
- More expensive than most other planners
3. Rich Roll’s Plantpower Meal Planner
Price: $39 per quarter or $99 per year
How to access: Web-based app
Customizable by allergies? Yes, can filter out 700+ foods.
Founded by a professional athlete Rich Roll and vegan chef Julie Piatt, the Plantpower Meal Planner is every vegan sportsperson’s dream. It contains a meal plan specifically designed for athletes.
There’s a misconception that high-protein meals for athletes must include some variation of grilled chicken, brown rice, and broccoli. With thousands of plant-based recipes centered around vegan protein sources, the standard athlete’s diet has gone from boring to bold.
This meal planner is even perfect for beginners who need a little hand-holding. A team of Food Coaches is available seven days a week to support you on your journey to adopting a protein-rich yet plant-based diet.
It’s also fully customizable to filter out ingredients you’re allergic to or simply don’t like. Each recipe comes with a nutrition analysis, so keeping track of your protein is easy. When you’re done customizing your menu, print out a time-saving grocery list or connect to a grocery delivery service available in select locations.
Despite having many premium features, the Plantpower Meal Planner is reasonably priced. The pricing is simple: $39 per quarter or $99 per year. When you sign up for a year, that’s just $1.90 per week!
- Contains a specific meal plan for athletes
- Affordable pricing
- Powered by Lighter, so many recipes are not exclusive
- Must commit to 3 or 12 months at a time
4. PlateJoy Meal Planner
Price: $69 per 6 months or $99 per year
How to access: iOS app, Android app, website
Customizable by allergies? Yes, ingredients can be excluded due to allergies or preference.
Some vegan meal planners can’t be tailored to your preferences. That can work just fine if you want to step outside your comfort zone and let someone else decide your weekly menu.
Vegan meal planner apps like PlateJoy create plant-based meal plans that are entirely unique to you. PlateJoy uses 50 data points to create your custom meal plan, accounting for your tastes, dietary preferences, and health goals. The app matches you to wholesome vegan recipes you’re likely to enjoy, saving on time and reducing the chances of disliking the meal.
One unique feature of this vegan meal planner app is its ability to remember what’s in your pantry each week, minimizing food waste. When you receive your weekly smart grocery list, it automatically accounts for ingredients you’ve previously purchased.
Familiarizing yourself with the app is easy. If you’re a visual learner, PlateJoy has a library of video tutorials to help you get the most out of your meal planner app.
When you join PlateJoy, you’ll receive a complimentary 10-day trial. After the free trial period, join the 6-month plan for $69 or the 12-month plan for $99. This comes to less than $12 per month and $9 per month, respectively.
- Meal plan is customized to your lifestyle and preferences
- Access the app from any iOS or Android device
- Weekly smart grocery list remembers what’s in your pantry
- Must commit to 6 or 12 months at a time
- Vegan option can’t be combined with other dietary preferences
5. Plant-Based on a Budget Meal Plans
Price: $0-30 per meal plan
How to access: Website, printable PDF download
Customizable by allergies? No, but allergens can usually be omitted or substituted.
If you’ve ever searched for budget-friendly vegan recipes online, you’ve likely come across Plant-Based on a Budget. The vast library of recipes revolves around vegan food that is affordable, nutrient-dense, and quick and easy to prepare.
If you want to test the waters before committing to a paid vegan meal planner, Plant-Based on a Budget Free Meal Plans is an excellent beginner option. Simply download the free printable PDFs to get instant access to weekly grocery lists, menus, and recipes.
When you’re ready to commit, the paid Plant-Based on a Budget Meal Plans range from $5 to $30, including premium recipes and access to the exclusive Facebook community.
What sets this vegan meal planner apart is that it is a one-time purchase. This makes it a more affordable option than a monthly, quarterly, or annual subscription like some other vegan meal planners. When you’ve finished the meal plan, you can repeat it as many times as you’d like or purchase a new plan.
The Plant-Based on a Budget meal plans don’t come with a nifty app and aren’t as customizable. However, founders Toni and Michelle will show you how to stick to a tight food budget without sacrificing taste or nutrition.
- Free and budget-friendly options available
- Beginner-friendly recipes
- No monthly commitment or subscription
- No smartphone features or app
- Not customizable by allergies
- Recipes only serve one person at a time
Which Plant-Based Meal Planner is Right For You?
A plant-based meal planner can help you save time and money when it comes to vegan grocery shopping and cooking. It’s also a shortcut to finding recipes that meet your needs.
If having access to a vegan meal planner app is crucial to you, check out PlateJoy or the Forks Meal Planner. You can plan your weekly menu in minutes straight from your smartphone.
For the biggest library of high-protein vegan recipes, the Plantpower Meal Planner is likely the best option. It offers thousands of recipes to choose from and the option to select the plan for athletes.
If you’re testing the waters and want to incorporate a few plant-based meals a week (or more often), you should start with the free or affordable Plant-Based on a Budget Meal Plans.
Health-conscious vegans will likely gravitate towards the Clean Food Dirty Girl Meal Planner since the foundation is a whole foods plant-based diet.
Still deciding? Try some of these high-protein vegan recipes in the meantime.