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As our lives become busier and busier, eating well becomes harder and harder. Preparing a healthy, nutrient-rich meal can be time- and labor-intensive, to say nothing of expensive. That’s why there’s been such a surge in popularity among meal replacement powders, shakes, and drinks. These products make it quick and easy to get the nutrients you need, and also make it easy to choose plant-based protein powder options. As you look for the best plant-based meal replacement, we’ve put together a few products to consider.
Why Choose a Plant-Based Meal Replacement Powder?
Plant-based diets can provide you with everything you need to live a healthy life and feel full during the day. Ideally, plant-based meal options will give you a rich assortment of fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and beyond. Plus, following a plant-based diet is better for the environment. In addition to things like vitamin subscription services and vegetarian meal delivery services, these powders and shakes make nutrition more convenient.
Plant-based meal replacement mixes can help ensure that you always have a filling and nutritious meal, or healthy vegetarian snack, at the ready. The best meal replacement shakes and powders are portable, take just a few seconds to prepare, and don’t require any effort at all to consume. They’re an ideal solution for anyone who wants to adopt a healthier lifestyle without breaking up their busy schedule while also doing something good for the planet.
The Top Plant-Based Meal Replacement Options for 2021
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. Learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn a commission.
- Best Overall – Kate Farms Nutrition Shake
- Best for Energy – Sunwarrior Lean Meal Illumin8
- Best for Weight Loss – Your Super Skinny Protein
- Best Protein Powder – Care/of Chocolate Plant Protein
- Best Keto Option – Bulletproof Coffee Kit
- Best for Athletes – Onnit Plant-Based Protein Powder
- Best Vegetable Powder – Nested Naturals Super Greens Powder
How We Chose the Best Meal Replacement Shakes & Powders
In seeking the best meal replacement products, we considered a number of different factors. Specifically, our criteria included:
One of the goals of any meal replacement mix is to ensure that you can get all the nutrients you need to be healthy, to have robust energy, and to feel full. We took into account each product’s basic nutritional data, including their calories, protein, fats, carbs, vitamins, and minerals per serving.
Let’s be honest: One thing that can keep people from embracing meal replacement powders and shakes is if they don’t taste good. However, the seven plant-based meal replacement options we recommend are shining examples of meal replacement products that actually taste great.
A good meal replacement mix can appeal to a wide range of dietary needs, from vegan to keto. We have paid special attention to powders and shakes that come with dietary certifications, as well as brands that use USDA-certified organic ingredients.
Naturally, when looking for the best plant-based meal replacement options, you have to think about your budget. Our list includes some options that we think offer good overall value.
7 Best Plant-Based Meal Replacement Shakes, Powders, and Drinks
Best Overall: Kate Farms Nutrition Shake
- Nutrition – 330 calories, 12g total fat, 38g carbohydrates, 18g total sugars, loads of vitamins and nutrients
- Ingredients – Organic pea protein, organic agave syrup, organic brown rice syrup solids, organic vanilla flavor, organic coconut oil, organic flaxseed oil, organic rosemary extract
- Certifications – USDA organic, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free
Why buy: Kate Farms Nutrition shakes come in three delicious flavors and are packed with vitamins and minerals and 16 grams of pea protein. On top of that, they’re made without gluten, without dairy, and without any artificial sweeteners. Yet somehow, they just taste amazing; whether you pick chocolate, vanilla, or coffee, you’ll find these shakes to be immensely satisfying.
Best for Energy: Sunwarrior Lean Meal Illumin8
- Nutrition – Around 140 calories per serving, 3g total fat, 14g total carbohydrates, no sugar
- Ingredients – Organic pea protein, organic coconut oil, organic acacia fiber, organic guar gum, organic soluble rice bran, organic chia seed, organic chocolate flavor, organic coconut flour, organic cinnamon, organic green coffee bean extract, organic stevia leaf extract, organic mushroom blend, organic whole kelp, fruit blend, vegetable blend
- Certifications – Vegan, soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, no added sugars
Why buy: These delicious smoothie and shake powders from Sunwarrior are designed to help you lose weight and stay active. They’re loaded with proteins and superfoods to provide you with a natural burst of energy from organic ingredients like pea protein, mushrooms, vegetables, and fruits. We also love that it comes in recyclable packaging.
Best for Weight Loss: Your Super Skinny Protein
- Nutrition – 50 calories, 1g fat, 1g carbohydrates, 0g sugars, iron, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B12
- Ingredients – Organic hemp protein, organic pea protein, organic moringa, organic spirulina, organic alfalfa powder
- Certifications – USDA organic, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, dairy-free
Why buy: If you’re looking for the best plant-based meal replacement powder to help you lose weight, Your Super Skinny Protein earns our highest recommendation. Use it to control your hunger and boost your post-workout recovery. Note also that it’s developed by trained nutritionists and is certified USDA organic for a nutrient-dense superfood that can help you stay fit.
Best Protein Powder: Care/of Chocolate Plant Protein
- Nutrition – 150 calories, 4g fat, 14g carbohydrates, 2g total sugars, 4mg iron, 258mg potassium
- Ingredients – Made with organic pea, hemp, and pumpkin seed protein, MCT oil, organic cocoa powder
- Certifications – Vegan, Vegetarian, non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free
Why buy: While this plant-based protein powder isn’t quite as vitamin-rich as some of the others on our list, it more than makes up for it with pure protein. It contains 18 g per serving of organic pea, hemp, and pumpkin seed protein. The creamy chocolate flavor also tastes delicious without any of the artificial sweeteners or excess sugars found in some protein powders.
Best Keto Option: Bulletproof Coffee Kit
- Nutrition – MCT oil (140 calories, 14 grams caprylic acid triglycerides), grass-fed Ghee butter (120 calories, 13 grams of fat, vitamin A)
- Ingredients – Ground coffee, grass-fed Ghee clarified butter, MCT oil
- Certifications – Keto-approved
Why buy: The Bulletproof Keto Coffee Kit comes with the ingredients you need to mix your own fat- and protein-enriched Bulletproof keto coffee. Start your morning with a drink that will fuel your workouts and increase your brain power, all through the day, with quality fats. We can also vouch for the high quality of the coffee beans.
Best for Athletes: Onnit Plant-Based Protein Powder
- Nutrition – 100 calories, 1g fat, 3g carbohydrates, 0g sugars, 44mg calcium, 5mg iron
- Ingredients – Pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, sunflower seed protein, watermelon seed protein, avocado powder
- Certifications – Vegan, soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free
Why buy: Onnit’s plant-based protein powders are rigorously tested to ensure they support athletic performance and recovery. Whether you’re trying to build muscle mass, enjoy more productive workouts, or want a plant-based meal replacement option, Onnit is a brand to know about. We love this powder because it offers so many different types of plant protein.
Best Vegetable Powder: Nested Naturals Super Greens Powder
- Nutrition – 30 calories, 0g fat, 5g carbohydrates, 2g sugars, lots of vitamins and minerals
- Ingredients – Barley grass (whole leaf) powder, alfalfa grass (whole leaf) powder, wheatgrass (whole leaf) powder, spirulina powder, chlorella (cracked cell) powder, dulse powder, spinach powder, broccoli powder, parsley powder, collard green powder, apple powder, rice bran solubles powder, jerusalem artichoke inulin powder, beetroot powder, acerola extract powder, eleuthero root powder, echinacea powder, acai juice powder, green tea extract powder, milk thistle powder, gingko leaf extract powder, luo han guo extract, raspberry powder, blueberry powder, carrot powder
- Certifications – USDA organic, vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free
Why buy: Nested Naturals Super Greens powder makes it easy for you to get optimal servings of your daily fruits and vegetables. Not only is it a nutrient-dense superfood, it also includes probiotic and digestive enzyme blends for improved immune health, increased energy, sound nutrition, and better digestive health.
Shopping for the Best Plant-Based Meal Replacement Powder or Shakes
There are plenty of options to consider as you seek the best meal replacement powders, shakes, and drinks. Make sure you read nutrition labels carefully, taking into account not just vitamin and protein levels, but also the presence of added sugars, which can sometimes compromise the health benefits of an otherwise-sound plant-based meal replacement mix. Experiment with the best times to use your meal replacement shakes and powders, whether that means early in the morning, just after a workout, or in place of your regular lunch.
Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. He covers natural health, nutrition, supplements, and clean energy. His writing has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.