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Veggie-Packed Summer Meal Planning Ideas

Summer means there is an abundance of fresh vegetables that can be taken advantage of in meal planning. For some people, this is great news. For others who might have more picky eaters to please, it can mean trying to find ways to sneak in these items. 

Hands holding a tray filled with freshly harvested vegetables, food and kitchen utensils on the background, flat lay

5 Veggie-Packed Summer Meal Planning Ideas

Be Prepared

Before diving into these meal planning ideas, let’s look at something that can help you get a jump start and not feel overwhelmed. One of the easiest ways to make sure more vegetables get into your meals is to have them ready to go. Taking the time to peel and cut your vegetables before storing them is one way to make sure they’re used. Anyone is more likely to grab for a carrot that is ready to eat than one that they have to peel and cut in advance. 

Pre-portioning these items can help too. Pair carrots, celery, or bell pepper strips with dips like hummus or tzatziki sauce for a ready-to-go snack that’s healthy and delicious. Not to mention, this is a step that kids can help with as well.

Meal Ideas that Have Plenty of Veggies

For new ideas for your meal plan that are vegetable-heavy here are a few suggestions.

Buddha Bowls  

The focus of these is the vegetables as the original buddha bowl is meant to be completely vegetarian. Which types of vegetables you use are totally up to you. This is also a great way to use some odds and ends in your refrigerator as you don’t need large quantities of any one thing. Keep some of the vegetables raw while others can be cooked. You also will want to have some sort of grain (think quinoa or rice) to include. 

What sets a buddha bowl apart is the dressing and you can use anything you’d like – even a regular store-bought salad dressing. However, making your own is super easy as well. 

Get more buddha bowl ideas

Taco Bowls

Along the same wavelength as the buddha bowl is a taco bowl – or a deconstructed taco if you want to get fancy! Just make up all the normal ingredients you would for tacos or burritos but add them to lettuce and place in a bowl. 

Drizzle everything with a southwest-style dressing, cilantro lime sauce, or your favorite salsa.


 

Roasted Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner

While turning on the oven in summer doesn’t sound super appealing, save this one for a rainy summer day when warming up the house isn’t a big deal. You can use any vegetable you have on hand to make up the base of this, and it’s really as simple as spreading it all out on the tray, coating it with dressing (or even just olive oil with some garlic, salt and pepper) and serving. 

If you’re going fully vegetarian or vegan there’s plenty of options, but you can also add some meat if that’s more your style. Get our sheet pan tips here.

Stir-fry

For those nights when you really need a quick meal that everyone will enjoy and you’ve got lots of small bits of vegetables taking up fridge space, stir fry is the perfect option. There’s no right or wrong way to make one and you can use just about any vegetable you’d like – even incorporating leftover roasted vegetables is no problem if you mix them in towards the end. 

7 Easy Stir Fry Sauces

Sandwich Wraps

Sandwiches are always an easy option for lunch meals. If you’ve got your vegetables prepped ahead as was suggested above you can very quickly put them together into a sandwich or wrap. Keep it completely vegetarian, add in some roasted chickpeas or toss in some sliced sandwich meat. Normal sandwich spreads like mayo or butter are easy to do or add in a creamed avocado, hummus, or one of these 15 other sandwich spread ideas

Conclusion

I hope these ideas help you plan a great summer’s worth of meals where vegetables are the star! Remember to keep it stress-free by using our meal planning app. It saves you time and money! 

Emily Montes

About Emily Montes

Emily Montes is the co-founder and CEO of RealPlans.com. She's also an acupuncturist and practitioner of Chinese medicine, a published author, a wife, and a mom of two. Emily hopes to make meal planning easier and inspire families to share more meals around the table.

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