In the 2nd edition of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook, I promised to share some meal plans online, and this is the first one! Go Dairy Free is actually a very family-friendly book all the way through. The recipes were taste-tested by picky tots, too. But this meal plan boasts very easy, make ahead recipes that have extra-comforting appeal.
All of the recipes in Go Dairy Free are optionally plant-based, so this easy family-friendly meal plan can be vegan or omnivorous. It’s also optionally gluten free. And I’ve created Go Dairy Free Pantry Stocking Printables to help ensure you are well prepared.
I’ve also included recipe tips following the dairy-free meal plan printable below. Most of the recipes can be made ahead (all or partially), and many can be adapted for more protein or special diet needs.
Go Dairy Free Meal Plan: Easy Family-Friendly
This easy family-friendly Go Dairy Free meal plan serves four people. You can double or halve the recipes and ingredients needed for larger or smaller households, respectively. Just click the link above or image below for the printable version!
Breakfast Recipe Tips
Baked French Toast Sticks
- Make Ahead Tip: The sticks can be flash frozen, and popped in the toaster to reheat on busy mornings. So I recommend making a double batch on Sunday, and freezing half for Wednesday morning. The dip will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for the week.
- Bread Tip: You can use your favorite dairy-free store-bought variety (gluten-free, if needed), or bake the Whole Grain Sandwich Bread (p 256) recipe in Go Dairy Free. It’s relatively easy and fun to bake!
Gingersnap Super Smoothie
- Protein Tip: For even more staying power, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite vanilla protein powder.
Easy Everyday Blender Waffles
- Make Ahead Tip: The waffles can be flash frozen, and popped in the toaster to reheat on busy mornings. So I recommend making a double batch on Tuesday, and freezing half for Friday morning.
- Serving Tip: Make a double (or quadruple!) batch of the Nutty Maple-Cinnamon Dip from the Baked French Toast Sticks recipe and drizzle it on these waffles for a touch of extra nutrition and indulgence.
Wild Blue Smoothie
- Protein Tip: For breakfast, I like to enjoy the banana-free version or add 1 to 2 tablespoons of nut butter, seed butter, or protein powder.
Dukkah Avocado Toast
- Make Ahead Tip: The dukkah will keep for quite a while. However, I do like to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for optimal freshness.
- Protein Tip: You can also top the toast with cooked flaked salmon, a poached or over-easy egg, or cooked chickpeas (optionally roasted), for vegan.
Lunch Recipe Tips
- Protein Tip: This “Snack” includes “Make it a Meal” tips for a fun lunch or dinner option.
- Serving Tip: This recipe is also listed in the “Snack” chapter, but it’s naturally rich in plant-based protein and makes a tasty lunch. To round out the meal, serve it with vegetable sticks (like carrots, celery, and bell pepper) and Five-Star Ranch Dip.
Greek Pasta Salad
- Make Ahead Tip: Pasta salad improves in flavor as it chills, so this is the perfect recipe to make the night before and enjoy for a couple of meals.
Mexican Bean Soup
- Flavor Tip: This hearty bowl has a chili meets soup vibe. It’s got a little kick, but you can increase or decrease the heat based on the most timid taste buds in your household.
- Serving Tip: There are three different sour cream recipes in Go Dairy Free to choose from. You can make any of them ahead, or simply top this soup with crushed tortilla chips.
Spaghetti X’s & O’s
- Make Ahead Tip: Since the sauce is prepared separately, you can make it ahead. Then you just prepare the pasta, add the sauce and heat for a few few minutes to serve.
- Protein Tip: I like to add mini meatballs to this. To make them, mix ground beef, ground turkey, or vegan ground round with salt and pepper and roll the mixture into little balls. Saute them in a little oil over medium heat until cooked through and add them to this family-friendly spaghetti dish before serving.
Dinner Recipe Tips
Shells ‘n Butternut Bake
- Make Ahead Tip: The sauce can be made ahead so you can just stir, sprinkle, and bake before dinner.
Power Stir Fry
- Ingredient Tip: This flavorful dish contains foods that are high in minerals, like calcium, and naturally protein-rich plant-based ingredients. However, you can swap in other vegetables or proteins based on your family’s cravings.
Veggie Tostadas with Avocado Crema
- Make Ahead Tip: The vegetables and protein can quickly be cooked and stored up to two days in the refrigerator. However, I prefer to make the tostadas and crema fresh – they are both quick to prepare.
Grilled Cheeze Sandwiches with Pizza Dip
- Make Ahead Tip: The “cheese” is whipped up from my Powdered Cheeze Mix recipe, which can be made ahead and stored for several months. The Pizza Dip can be prepared a day or two ahead and simply heated before serving. However, it might thicken as it chills.
Tofu Saag Paneer
- Serving Tip: We serve this dish over rice, but a tasty way to add nutrition is to stir some cooked quinoa or cooked cauliflower “rice” into the rice. And I recommend checking out my Guide to Perfect Rice.
Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza
- Prep Tip: Go Dairy Free includes three pizza crust recipes (No-Rise, Ancient Grain, and Gluten-Free), and this recipe includes homemade sauce. They are all relatively easy to make. But you can shortcut the recipe with dairy-free prepared pizza dough and pizza sauce, if desired. The cheesy sauce takes minutes to whip up.
Build Your Own Taco Bar
- Ingredient Tip: This recipe includes easy homemade taco seasoning without fillers, guacamole, and your choice of simple dairy-free sour cream recipes that can easily be made ahead. But you can swap in some dairy-free conveniences if you are short on time!
Stock up and prepare these easy family-friendly noshes at the beginning of the week for anytime snacking.
- Fresh fruit (in season and house favorites)
- Lightly steamed vegetables (like cauliflower, carrots, or broccoli) with Pizza Dip
- Fresh carrot, celery, and bell pepper sticks with Five-Star Ranch Dip
- Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars
- Easy Cheesy Crackers
These quick, comforting desserts can be whipped up on a moment’s notice.
- Never Enough Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Mug Cakes with Single-Serve Frosting
- Mango-Orange Sherbet Bars
Pingback: Go Dairy Free Meal Plan: Top Allergy-Friendly Version (Printable!)
This is great! I’m always looking for new family- friendly recipes to try.
This is such a wonderful resource Alisa! And I love that you also included recipe tips – so helpful!
So many amazing recipes and so helpful. I wish I meal planned more but I just don’t. Keeping this one though for those times I really want to give it a chance.
Meal planning is definitely tough. I struggle with it often, too, as my husband often doesn’t “feel” like what’s planned. But they help me a lot when in a cooking rut.
What. a great resource! I will. surely share with my clients who are dairy free, thanks!
That’s awesome. Thanks Liz!
I just love that there are so many options for this meal plan! It’s perfect for my family who has two very different eating styles!
Thanks Emily – I’m all about options 🙂