What Can You Eat on a Vegetarian Keto Diet?

The ketogenic or "keto" diet has become incredibly popular for its proven weight loss and health benefits. 

Traditionally very low in carbs and high in fat, many think the keto diet is restrictive or requires eating lots of meat. 

However, there are plenty of delicious plant-based options for vegetarians interested in reaping the rewards of ketosis. In fact, with a little creativity and planning, following a vegetarian keto diet can be satisfying, nutritious and sustainable long-term. 

This article will explore 18 nutritious and tasty vegetarian foods that you can enjoy on a keto diet to help you meet your macros and stay in ketosis. 

What Can You Eat on a Vegetarian Keto Diet?

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens like spinach, kale, lettuce and arugula are staples on a vegetarian keto diet. Extremely low in carbs and calories, they are packed with nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium and potassium. 

Load up your plate with nutrient-dense leafy greens at every meal. Toss them into omelets, blend into smoothies or serve them wilted with olive oil as a side dish.


Avocados are an excellent high-fat plant-based food perfect for the vegetarian keto diet. With only 2 net grams of carbs and 15 grams of filling healthy fats per serving, avocados help increase satiety and control appetite. 

Add them to smoothies, make guacamole, or simply enjoy half an avocado sprinkled with sea salt and pepper as a snack. Just be mindful of portion sizes, as calories can add up quickly. 

Tofu and Tempeh

Tofu and tempeh are versatile meat substitutes that can be prepared in many vegetarian keto-friendly ways. Tofu is made from soybeans and contains 6 grams of protein per serving. 

Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and packs 15 grams of protein per serving. Both are low in carbs and can be crumbled up in stir fries, scrambled like eggs or marinated and baked. 

They make excellent high-protein additions to salads and bowls. Go for organic, non-GMO varieties whenever possible.

Nut and Seed Butters

Nut and seed butters like almond butter, peanut butter and tahini are very low in carbs and high in filling fats like monounsaturated fat. 

They are great options to add to smoothies, pair with low-carb veggies, or spread on keto-friendly bread or wraps. 

Just watch your portions, as they are calorie-dense. Stick to 1-2 tablespoons per serving and choose natural varieties without added sugars.

Full-Fat Cheese (105 words)

Cheese lovers rejoice! Full-fat cheeses like cheddar, mozzarella, feta and Parmesan are fully allowed on the vegetarian keto diet. 

In fact, their high fat content helps vegetarians meet the high fat goals of keto. Melt over low-carb veggies, add to omelets or salads or enjoy a veggie and cheese platter for a quick snack. Just opt for the full-fat, low-carb varieties and stick to a 1-2 ounce serving.


The sweet, antioxidant-rich foods you can enjoy on keto are limited, but the good news is berries are a tasty option. 

Berries like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries contain about 3-5 net grams of carbs per serving. In moderation, they can be a nice sweet addition to smoothies, chia puddings, keto oatmeal or desserts. Since carbs add up quickly, stick to 1/4-1/2 cup per day.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts and macadamia nuts can be incorporated into a vegetarian keto diet in moderation. 

They are naturally low in carbs, but high in fat and calories. Sprinkle them on salads or yogurt, add them to homemade granola or enjoy a small handful as a snack. 

Limit your daily portions to 1-2 ounces to keep calories under control. Similarly, seeds like pumpkin, chia, flax and hemp are wonderful crunchy, nutritious keto-friendly additions. 


Coconut products like shredded coconut, coconut oil and coconut butter are prized in vegetarian keto diets for their high fat content. 

Use coconut oil for cooking, add coconut butter or shredded coconut to smoothies, or make homemade fat bombs with coconut butter. 

Just watch your portions, as coconut is high in calories. Stick to a serving of 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil or coconut butter each day.

Olive Oil

Olive oil and other healthy oils like avocado oil are important for getting enough fat on a vegetarian keto diet. Drizzle olive oil over salads and veggies, use it to cook eggs or light sauté greens and mushrooms. 

Swap vegetable oil for olive oil whenever possible. Just make sure to measure carefully, as all oils are calorie-dense.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a vegan, gluten-free superfood that can be used to add nutty, savory flavor to dishes. With only 1 gram net carb per serving, it's a great way to add richness and depth without the carbs. 

Sprinkle on steamed veggies, add to soups and sauces, or use in place of cheese when a recipe calls for a Parmesan-like flavor.

Shirataki Noodles

A unique vegetarian keto-approved swap for higher carb traditional noodles is shirataki noodles. These translucent noodles are made from glucomannan fiber from the konjac plant. Each serving has only 1 gram net carb, 0 calories and 5 grams fiber. 

Rinse well, pat dry, and add to stir fries and Asian dishes in place of rice noodles. The texture takes some getting used to but they work well combined with flavorful sauces.


Low-carb veggies are a cornerstone of the vegetarian ketogenic diet. Focus on above-ground, low-starch veggies which tend to be lower in carbs. 

Great options include zucchini, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, celery, eggplant, kale, cucumbers, peppers, mushrooms and cabbage. Stick to a serving of 1-2 cups per meal. Roast, steam, sauté or eat them raw with healthy dips like guacamole. Spiralize into veggie noodles or add to salads. 

Be creative and use veggies as veggie bowls and wraps in place of carbs. 


Following a vegetarian keto diet opens up a delicious world of plant-based possibilities while still enjoying the weight loss and health benefits of ketosis. 

As shown, nutrient-dense foods like leafy greens, avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds, full-fat cheese and low-carb vegetables can all be regularly enjoyed. 

Berries, shirataki noodles and coconut can be incorporated more sparingly to mix things up. With proper planning and portion control, the vegetarian ketogenic diet can be varied, tasty and sustainable.

 Focus on whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible and experiment to find new favorite preparations. 

Use healthy fats to add flavor and richness. Drink plenty of water and supplement with electrolytes if needed. 

Finally, don't be too hard on yourself - this way of eating takes an adjustment. Find recipes that excite you and focus on all the delicious whole foods you can eat.