4 plant-based menu planning tips

Increasing your operation’s offering of plant-based menu items makes good business sense – it leads to more inclusive menus (more people can enjoy a plant-based dish than a vegetarian or meat-based dish) and can complement corporate social responsibility goals by reflecting a commitment to protecting animal welfare, the planet and public health.

Below are 4 tips for featuring plant-based dishes:


Start by examining your current menu.

Are there any options that can easily be modified to be fully plant-based (containing no animal products)?


The key to a great plant-based dish is flavour and familiarity.

Many of us are already consuming plant-based meals without even realizing it! Global cuisines from Indian, to Chinese, to Mexican, to Italian feature flavour-packed plant-based recipes. Consider offering familiar dishes, such as pasta primavera, black bean burritos, stir fries, chili and coconut milk curry. Other popular dishes can often be made fully plant-based with just minor tweaks to the recipe.


Tap into current food trends.

Eg. “The Bowl” – a grain, legume, vegetables and a flavourful sauce. That’s all you need to make a filling and delicious dish, and the options are endless (eg. Thai soba noodle bowl with peanut sauce, Mexican sweet potato bowl with a cashew lime cream, Crispy chickpea bowl with lemon tahini dressing, sushi bowl, falafel bowl, etc.)


Explore cooking techniques.

Explore how cooking techniques that are often applied to meat-based dishes can be utilized in making a plant-based dish. For example, marinating, searing, grilling, BBQ and smoking.