Best Meal Replacement Shakes Vegetarian Breakdown

By Amber SmithAug 15, 2023 5:00 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Meal replacement shakes are the ideal supplements to add to a healthy diet to ensure that you get enough calories and all the essential nutrients that your body needs in order to stay healthy and help you achieve your goals, no matter where you are, how busy you may be, or what sorts of food you may prefer to eat.

A very quick, easy, convenient solution to all of your dietary needs, there are suitable options to suit almost any goal or taste. However, as many popular meal replacement shakes rely on using things like collagen, it can sometimes be challenging for people on vegetarian or vegan diets to find the right one for them to use.

Given the fact that people who are on a vegetarian or vegan diet are some of the biggest beneficiaries of meal replacements, this might sound like a big issue. Fear not though, as our guide to the best vegetarian meal shake choices on the market today will ensure that you can find the perfect meal replacement for you.

The 6 Best Vegetarian & Vegan Meal Replacement Shakes

Best Vegetarian Meal Replacement Shake Overall – Rootana

Best Vegetarian Meal Shake for Weight Loss – Instant Knockout Complete

Best Budget Meal Replacement Shake - Garden of Life

Best Whey Protein Meal Replacement Shake - Ample

Best Superfood Meal Shake - Ka’chava

Best Gluten Free For Weight Loss - PhenQ

Rootana - The Best Vegan Meal Replacement Shake Overall

The Rootana complete nutrition real food shake is a vegan meal replacement shake packed with a range 27 vitamins and minerals and various antioxidants. It is made using only extensively researched and proven plant based ingredients and contains absolutely no artificial flavors, colours, sweeteners, or preservatives.

Each serving delivers a carefully designed nutrient balance of 400 calories, 44 grams of carbs, 20 grams of protein, 16 grams of fat, and 7 grams of fibre. This allows it to both completely replace whole meals, be a healthy snack, or help you to achieve a variety of goals, such as to maintain or lose weight or build muscle.

Rootana is powered by pea protein isolate, which contains all of the essential amino acids, as well as other plant based protein sources like golden milled flaxseed, oat flour, and sunflower seed oil. These also deliver a range of other nutrients like complex carbohydrates, fibre, and Omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids (1).

You then also have coconut sugar and sunflower lecithin, which will give you energy and add more healthy fats to the recipe, while naturally sweetening and stabilising the shake, without spiking your blood sugar (2).

Between them, this diverse selection of ingredients allows Rootana to provide an amazing range of benefits that is so extensive that we can only list the top few or we would be here all day.

It can help prevent bloating, keep you feeling full, strong, supple, and healthy, support your joints, help you to combat illnesses and diseases, boost recovery and energy levels, reduce cholesterol, inflammation, and the risk of heart disease, slow the signs of aging, regulate blood sugar, and boost your mental functions.

It is also available in a range of three delicious flavors that includes cacao, original, and vanilla, able to be quickly and easily mixed in as little as 10 seconds, and boasts an extremely reasonable price tag.

In fact, Rootana has taken steps to ensure that virtually everyone can use it, from elite sports men and women to your average person on a vegan diet. That is why we find it is easy to rate it as the very best vegan meal replacement shake on the market today.


  • Contains a great range of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals

  • Does not contain any artificial sweeteners, preservatives, flavours, or colours

  • Features 400 calories and a great nutritional profile in every serving

  • Offers an incredible variety of both mental and physical health benefits

  • Very quick, easy, and convenient to mix and use

  • Reasonably priced and provides very good value, especially given how good it is


  • Its plant based protein content is a little lower than some other vegan meal replacement shakes

  • Only available directly from the official Rootana website

Check Rootana Deals

Instant Knockout Complete - The Best Vegan Meal Replacement Shake To Lose Weight

Instant Knockout Complete combines the effects of a plant based meal replacement shake and a vegan protein powder in a single, quick and easy to use supplement, that has been specifically made with athletes in mind.

Advertised as a meal replacement shake to help you lose weight and build muscle, it is an ideal choice for people who compete in sports like bodybuilding and mixed martial arts, where being able to drop fat and weight while building and maintaining lean muscle mass in the build up to a fight or competition is vital.

At 35 grams of plant protein a serving, it can compare favourably to many of the top whey protein shakes on the market. The plant based protein powders they use are pea protein powder, organic brown rice protein, chia seed protein powder, and soy protein isolate.

Between them, these vegan protein powders feature all of the essential amino acids that the body needs in order to build muscle and help it recover after a workout (3)(4).

The Instant Knockout Complete meal replacement formula then also has oat flour, golden flax seeds, MCTs (medium chain triglycerides), pea starch, rice hull concentrate, and plenty of fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

At 35 grams of carbs, 13 grams of fibre, and 13 grams of fat per serving, the formula is perfectly balanced to help fuel your muscles and have enough energy to power through tough workouts, before replenishing your glycogen stores to help you recover, all while keeping your body, heart, and mind totally healthy (5).

With Instant Knockout Complete containing 400 calories per serving, it is even perfectly capable or replacing whole meals if you are busy or on the go, as it is more than sufficient to fill you up.

When you then factor in that it also has a delicious vanilla flavour, it becomes clear that Instant Knockout Complete meal replacement is easily a top vegan meal replacement shake for almost anyone who is looking for a powder that can replace whole meals, help you lose weight, and double as a protein shake all at once.


  • Combines the effects of protein shakes and meal replacement shakes in one product

  • Features 400 calories and 35 grams of protein in every serving

  • Its plant based proteins come from complete protein sources boasting all nine essential amino acids

  • Can help you lose weight, burn fat, and build muscle simultaneously

  • Fuels your body during your workout, then promotes recovery, growth and enhanced performance

  • Full of all the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals required to be able to replace whole meals

  • Great tasting and naturally flavoured and sweetened


  • Can only be bought in one flavour and on the official Instant Knockout website

  • Quite expensive

Check Instant Knockout Complete Deals

Garden Of Life Raw Organic Meal Replacement Shake - The Best Vegan Meal Replacement Shake On A Budget

Garden Of Life Raw Organic Meal Replacement Shake uses nothing but organic ingredients and raw whole foods, and includes 44 superfoods, such as fruits, greens, and vegetables, 21 whole food vitamins and minerals, and 1.5 billion CFU of live probiotics and digestive enzymes (6).

It delivers 20 grams of plant based protein in every serving, which includes brown rice protein, yellow pea protein, and pumpkin seed protein, as well as protein extracted from foods like adzuki beans, amaranth, millet, buckwheat, organic chia seeds, flax seeds, garbanzo beans, lentils, quinoa, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds.

The brown rice protein and organic pea protein are especially useful, as they are widely considered to be the top alternatives to whey protein on the market, as they contain a complete amino acid profile.

You then also have ingredients like tapioca, alfalfa grass, spirulina, oat grass, barley grass, wheat grass, fruits, vegetables, and various fibres, digestive enzymes, probiotics, and all the essential vitamins and minerals you body could need.

This gives it the ability to optimise your digestion and gut health and prevent stomach issues like bloating.

A unique feature of the Garden Of Life Raw Organic Meal Replacement Shake is that it contains only 130 calories per serving, which will be a selling point for some people while causing other people to avoid it.

While having so few calories makes it a good option for people who want to use it as a greens powder and boost their health without getting bloated or gaining weight, it will not provide anywhere near the same level of appetite suppression as a normal meal replacement shake or be able to replace a balanced meal.

That said, the Garden Of Life meal replacement shake does use only raw, organic, kosher, healthy ingredients and has a very reasonable price tag.

So while it may not be the best vegan meal replacement shake for everyone, it can still be a great pick for those who simply want a low calorie meal replacement they can use as a quick snack to keep them healthy while they are busy or out and about, so they can focus on eating fewer calories and not gaining weight.


  • Features nothing but raw, organic, kosher, plant based ingredients

  • Containing a very low number of calories makes it an ideal snack for people on a strict weight loss diet

  • Includes an incredibly diverse range of plant based proteins

  • Boasts a very reasonable price tag


  • The number of calories per serving is way too low to fully suppress your appetite or replace a healthy meal

Ka'Chava - The Best Vegan Meal Replacement Shake For A Gluten Free Diet

Ka'Chava is a gluten free plant based protein shake, meal replacement, and greens powder all rolled up in a single supplement (7). Its formula uses nothing but 100 percent natural, vegan ingredients and contains at least 85 different superfoods, every one of which has been clinically proven to beneficial to your health.

It features pea protein, as well as plant based proteins obtained from things such as amaranth, brown rice, sacha inchi, and quinoa. It is then also packed with numerous beneficial greens, vegetables, berries, fruits, spices, antioxidants, digestive enzymes, fibres, adaptogens, and essential vitamins and minerals.

Its incredibly diverse range of ingredients lets Ka'Chava offer a huge range of different health benefits.

While it is advertised as a gluten free plant based meal replacement shake, it even manages to do all of this while being totally dairy free, soy free, GMO free, and free from any artificial sweeteners, colours, flavours, or preservatives as well.

Ka'Chava also comes in a range of flavours that is almost as diverse as its ingredients list, as you have 5 options including chocolate, chai, coconut acai, matcha, and vanilla to choose from. This means there will be something perfectly suited to you, no matter your personal taste.

With 25 grams of plant based protein, 24 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fat, and 6 grams of fibre in a serving, it also has plenty of the essential nutrients that your body needs for it to be able to replace meals.

Again though, its calorie content could be what makes or breaks Ka'Chava for a potential customer, as could its fairly high price tag.

While 250 calories per serving means it can be used as a healthy snack to keep hunger at bay until your next meal, it will likely be too low for people seeking vegan meal replacement shakes that will completely suppress their appetite or replace whole meals.


  • Uses a very potent and varied blend of vegan protein powders

  • Boasts a complete amino acid profile and contains numerous antioxidants, adaptogens, digestive enzymes, fibres, and essential vitamins and minerals

  • Can be used as a healthy snack to keep hunger at bay and aid your weight loss goals, while providing various other mental and physical health benefits

  • Comes in a choice of 5 different flavours

  • Dairy free, gluten free, soy free, and contains no artificial sweeteners or additives


  • One of the more expensive meal replacement shakes currently on the market

  • Does not contain enough calories to totally suppress your appetite or replace whole meals

  • Only available directly from the official Ka'Chava website

Ample Meal Shake - The Best Vegetarian Meal Replacement Shake With Whey Protein

While we have so far only looked at vegan meal replacement shakes, being a vegetarian means you have a larger number of options available. One such product is the Ample Meal Shake, which is a great meal replacement alternative to protein shakes as it contains a selection of more traditional protein sources.

It utilises whey protein powder and egg white protein powder, which are considered by most to be the best sources of protein you will find as they feature significant doses of all nine of the essential amino acids (8). This makes it a particularly good choice for vegetarians you are prioritising muscle growth or repair.

The Ample Meal Shake formula then also features coconut oil, high oleic sunflower oil, soluble tapioca fiber, macadamia nut oil, organic cocoa, sunflower lecithin, dried honey, organic psyllium husk, sea salt, organic guar gum, and natural flavours and sweeteners such as monk fruit extract and stevia extract.

Finally, it is fortified with essential vitamins and minerals and a Probiotic Blend that contains lactobacillus acidophilus, lacticaseibacillus paracasei, bifidobacterium lactis, bifidobacterium infantis, lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus, and bacillus coagulans, which between them allow it to offer an incredible range of benefits.

This all amounts to 200 calories, 14 grams of fat, 13 grams of protein, and 6 grams of carbs per scoop, and is the same in all of the berry, chocolate, and vanilla flavours. Most of these numbers look good, although that fat content is a little high in comparison to the rest of the nutrients.

That means, when you use a two scoop serving, which is required to get a decent intake of calories, carbs, and protein, it could make you feel a bit bloated. Not only that, but having to use two scoops in every shake will also start to get very expensive very quickly and negate the inferred value it looks like you will get.

However, if your priority is finding vegetarian meal replacement shakes to help you build muscle that contain whey and egg instead of vegan protein sources and are not too worried about the price, then the Ample Meal Shake can still be a very good option for you to try.


  • Combines meal replacements and protein shakes, so is ideal for people who want to build muscle

  • Contains the best known sources of protein, whey and egg

  • Fortified with various probiotics and essential vitamins and minerals

  • Available in a choice of three flavours


  • Using whey and egg instead of plant protein sources makes it unsuitable for vegans

  • Gets quite expensive when using the two scoop serving, which is required for it to be effective

  • The high fat content can make some people feel bloated

PhenQ Complete Meal Shake - The Best Gluten Free Vegetarian Shake

The PhenQ Complete Meal Shake is a meal replacement powder designed specifically for people who want to lose weight. PhenQ say that it will boost your energy levels and help you control hunger and cravings, so that you can use it to replace a full meal and enjoy fast, healthy weight loss.

The PhenQ formula does not contain any GMOs and features gluten Free oat flour, whey protein concentrate from milk, Carb 10 (a type of pea starch), fat reduced cocoa powder, xanthan gum, flax seed powder, sucralose, and a number of unspecified additional flavourings.

As a result, the PhenQ Complete Meal Shake delivers 254 calories, 15.5 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbs, and 16 grams of fat in every serving. This balance is particularly beneficial for people who are following a ketogenic diet to lose weight, as it gives them a safe way to snack without falling out of ketosis.

It then also features a Vegan Vitamin Blend that contains vitamin c, niacin, vitamin e, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, vitamin b6, thiamine, vitamin a, folic acid, biotin, vitamin k, vitamin d, and vitamin B12, and a Digestive Enzyme blend that consists of amylase, protease, cellulase, lipase, and lactase.

This incredibly wide range of nutrients and essential vitamins and minerals then lets the PhenQ Complete Meal Shake offer a huge range of mental and physical health benefits beyond weight loss, such as to boost digestive health, regulate blood sugar levels, and help you enjoy optimal health overall.

Available in a range of delicious flavors that includes chocolate, strawberries and cream, and vanilla, there is even an option suitable for people of virtually all tastes, while its very reasonable price tag makes it a great way for people on a budget to be able to enjoy healthy living.

Like with the previous meal replacement shake we looked at, the amount of healthy fats it contains will be a little high for anyone not on a keto diet and could cause bloating. Being a newer product also means there are very few reviews from past customers to go on.

However, if you are shopping for meal replacement shakes to help you lose weight on a budget, this could still be a very good option to give a try.


  • One of the more reasonably priced meal replacements or protein shakes

  • Features a great range of vitamins and minerals

  • Specifically designed to aid weight loss and boost energy levels

  • An ideal snack to use on a low calorie keto diet

  • Has all the nutrients required to promote optimal health, both inside and out


  • The high fat content will be a bit too high for people who are not on a keto diet

  • Being a newer product means that there are less customer reviews available

Check PhenQ Deals

Final Thoughts On The Best Vegetarian & Vegan Meal Replacement Shakes

For people on a vegetarian diet, meal replacement products are one of the very best ways to ensure their body gets all the nutrients that it needs to stay healthy and function correctly. Especially considering that in almost 80% of cases people using meal replacement shakes are happy with the results according to the complete food survey. [9] There are a range of great vegetarian and vegan meal replacement shakes for you to pick from, but none can compete with Rootana.

From its potent range of plant based protein sources to its fabulous calorie content and nutritional profile, Rootana can help virtually everyone to achieve all of their goals. This is only furthered by its great choice of delicious flavors, an affordable price tag, and the ability to be mixed and used extremely quickly and easily.

If for any reason you feel it is not a good meal replacement shake for you, then one of the other vegetarian meal replacement products that we have listed surely will be. For everyone else though, we would highly recommend that you give Rootana a try and see all of the amazing benefits that it can offer for yourself.











More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2023 Kalmbach Media Co.