Meal Planning

5 Plant Based Meal Ideas For Macro Dieting

By Ted KallmyerUpdated August 1, 2023

Here are some plant-based meal ideas for macro dieting or counting macros as a vegetarian or vegan. Balancing macros is challenging when you eliminate animal products from your diet, as plant-based nutrition is often carb-dominant.

Luckily, because of the rising popularity of eating a plant-based diet, more and more brands are developing products with this in mind. 

One of my favorite of these foods is legume-based pasta – it tastes like traditional pasta but is much higher in protein. Learning to use such foods really helps with getting that protein in and makes macro balancing a lot easier. 

Looking for vegan or vegetarian macro meal plans? My macro solution program includes an entire plant-based edition (including meal plans).

Macro Diet Plant-Based Breakfast

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Quinoa is better than oatmeal because it is higher in plant-based protein, and it contains complete protein, which is a protein that contains all the essential amino acids needed by the human body. 

It’s super simple to make, and you can cook the quinoa ahead of time in big batches to quickly use throughout your week. I’ve been a fan of red quinoa lately but feel free to experiment with different types. 


  • 3/4 cup cooked red quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup high protein plant-based milk like the Ripple brand


Combine all the ingredients. Quinoa breakfast bowls can be served hot or cold. Heat it in the microwave for about 2 minutes if you want it hot.

Feel free to experiment with mix-ins like different kinds of fruits, seeds, and nuts. 


Calories: 453

  • Carbs: 62.5 grams (*about 44.5 net carbs)
  • Fat: 15.2 grams
  • Protein: 17.9 grams
  • Fiber: 25.7 grams*

Vegan Macro-based Lunch Ideas

black beans and rice vegan

Black Beans & Wild Rice

This is a staple of vegetarian cooking. This meal offers complete protein and healthy carbs and satisfies you. 

Many cultures make this dish with different seasonings, but this one is Brazilian-inspired. 

Ingredients (makes two servings)

  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Cook the rice as directed to make 2 cups of cooked wild rice (You can use ready-rice too). Combine all the other ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer until the onion and pepper are soft (about 10 minutes). Serve half the black bean mixture over 1 cup of rice. 


Calories: 400

  • Carbs: 76.5 grams (*about 64 g net carbs)
  • Fat: 1.5 grams
  • Protein: 18.3 grams
  • Fiber: 17.1 grams*

Bean Salad with Whole Grain Crackers

Here’s another easy protein-packed vegan lunch idea that’s easy to make and delicious. 

Try eating it on a bed of spring greens, or use gluten-free crackers instead. 

Ingredients (makes 5 servings)

  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 can of red beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 can of green beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons agave
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 


Drain and rinse all the beans and place them in a mixing bowl. Dice and add the onion and pepper. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Serve each serving with 4 whole-grain crackers like the Milton brand.

Macros: (per serving w/crackers)

Calories: 389

  • Carbs: 65 grams (*about 55 g net carbs)
  • Fat: 10.6 grams
  • Protein: 14 grams
  • Fiber: 14 grams*

Plant-Based Dinner Ideas for Macro Counters

Legume Pasta with Vegan Marinara Sauce

legume pasta and red sauce plant-based

This super quick meal uses that pasta that I talked about earlier and offers a dinner rich in plant-based protein in about 15 minutes. 


  • 3 ounces (dry weight) legume pasta.  (I like the ZENB brand)
  • 3/4 cup vegan marinara (red sauce). (I like the ZENB brand here, too, because they use whole vegetables and add other vegetables to their sauce instead of just tomatoes. )
  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan (the VioLife brand was used for macro calculations)


Cook the pasta as directed for about 8 minutes. While that’s cooking, heat the sauce and grate the cheese. Drain the pasta, top it with the sauce, and add the grated vegan parmesan.


Calories: 575

  • Carbs: 78.5 grams (*about 70 g net carbs)
  • Fat: 22.2 grams
  • Protein: 21 grams
  • Fiber: 10.5 grams*

Seitan Red Curry with Wild Rice

Seitan is made from concentrated wheat protein and is a great way to boost the protein of plant-based meals. Combining it with rice delivers all the amino acids that your body needs.

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 4 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 2 red bell peppers sliced
  • 1 medium onion sliced.
  • 1 can bamboo shoots
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste (or to taste)
  • 8 ounces of sliced white mushrooms
  • 16 ounces prepared seitan
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce


Cook the wild rice as directed to make two cups of cooked rice. In a large pot, cook the coconut oil, peppers, and onion on medium heat until the veggies are softened.

Add the curry paste, seitan, and mushrooms and cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in the fish sauce and serve over the wild rice. 

Feel free to experiment with your own vegetable mix-ins. 

Macros: (per serving) 

Calories: 460

  • Carbs: 54.5 grams (*about 48 g net carbs)
  • Fat: 10 grams
  • Protein: 39.2 grams
  • Fiber: 8.9 grams*

It can be hard to develop plant-based meal ideas – especially if you’re new to this way of eating or counting macros.

These vegan meals will help you get started and give you more delicious and healthy recipe ideas to have in your arsenal. 

Looking for vegan or vegetarian macro meal plans? My macro solution program comes with an entire plant-based edition (including meal plans).

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