Delicious 5-Day Pescatarian Diet Meal Plan — Easy Recipes Included!
Whatever the reason for following a pescatarian diet — environmental, ethical, or health — like any diet, a little planning and preparation can go a long way toward ensuring your success. Pescatarian meal prep is easier than you might think and we’ve provided a five-day meal plan along with a few recipes to get you started on your way.
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Benefits of a Pescatarian Diet
To set the stage, a pescatarian diet is similar to a vegetarian diet but it includes eating fish or shellfish a few times a week. Some pescatarians eat eggs and dairy while others do not. So if done right, i.e., the diet focuses on eating whole foods and limits ultra-processed foods high in saturated fat and added sugar, it absolutely is a healthy way of eating.
Seafood is a nutritious choice for a few reasons:
- It’s relatively low in calories and high in protein. For example:
- It’s a healthier replacement for some meats that can be high in saturated fat.
- Some fish, especially fattier fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, black cod, and herring, are good sources of omega-3s, which may support heart, brain, and eye health. The FDA has also determined that supportive but inconclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Is It Safe To Eat Fish Every Day?
The not so short answer is, it depends on the type of fish you’re eating, the way it’s cooked or prepared, and your stage of life.
The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend eating eight or more ounces of seafood per week, but they also suggest choosing a variety of seafood that is relatively low in mercury for those who regularly eat more than the recommended eight ounces. (The Food and Drug Administration offers a simple chart outlining the best low-mercury options.) Additionally, eating fish or shellfish that is battered, fried, or heavily processed isn’t healthy either.
The American Heart Association also warns that PCBs, dioxins, and other environmental contaminants can be found in fish — higher levels are typically found in older and larger marine mammals. Additionally, the risk-benefit reward can vary depending on your life stage, e.g., pregnant, breastfeeding, children, etc.
To reiterate, being pescatarian doesn’t mean eating seafood every day. A pescatarian diet is plant-based and includes eating some fish or shellfish a few times a week.
Pescatarian Meal Plan
This pescatarian meal plan provides you with 1,400–1,599 calories per day. If you eat more than that, you can still use these menus — just add a few more servings of fruits and veggies, protein, fats, or other carbs, depending on what calorie range you need to reach. If you eat fewer calories than what is outlined, consider removing the morning snack.
Check out the overview of meals first, and then find all the details for the recipes, preparation tips, and a complete grocery list below.
Pescatarian Meal Plan (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
Breakfast: Protein Oatmeal with Fruit
Snack: Kale Chips
Lunch: Shrimp Salad with Kale and Spinach
Snack: Grapes and Almonds
Dinner: Tempeh Tacos
Pescatarian Meal Plan (Tuesday, Thursday)
Breakfast: Crunchy Cacao Greek Yogurt Bowl
Snack: Cucumber and Edamame
Lunch: Spicy Seared Tofu with Fried Rice
Snack: Deviled Egg with Hummus
Dinner: Sheet Pan Salmon with Potatoes and Green Beans
Pescatarian Meal Plan Recipes (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
Protein Oatmeal with Fruit
- 1 cup cooked oatmeal (prepared with water)
- 1 Tbsp. nut butter, all natural
- ½ scoop protein powder
- 1 cup fresh berries, 1 small chopped apple, or ½ large banana, mashed, stirred into oatmeal
- 3 cups kale
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- Preferred spices (garlic powder, paprika)
Kale Chip preparation tips:
1. Toss all ingredients together; place on sheet pan.
2. Bake for 10 min. at 350 F.
Shrimp Salad with Kale and Spinach
- 1½ cups kale
- 1½ cups baby spinach
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes
- ⅔ cup cooked lentils
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1½ Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Grapes and Almonds
- 10 grapes
- 10 almonds, unsalted
- 4 oz. tempeh cooked with Mexican spice blend
- 2 Tbsp. black beans
- 2 corn tortillas (6-inch)
- 3 Tbsp. Greek yogurt (plain, 2%)
- ¼ cup fresh salsa
- Cilantro or parsley (for garnish)
Pescatarian Meal Plan Recipes (Tuesday, Thursday)
Crunchy Cacao Greek Yogurt Bowl
- ¾ cup Greek yogurt (plain, 2%)
- ¼ cup low-fat granola (without raisins)
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1 Tbsp. pepitas, unsalted
- 1 tsp. cacao nibs
Cucumber and Edamame
- ¼ cup organic edamame, shelled
- 1 cup cucumber slices, quartered
- 2 tsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- Garnish with a pinch of black sesame seeds or red chili flakes (if desired)
Spicy Seared Tofu with Fried Rice
- 2 tsp. reduced-sodium tamari soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sriracha
- 6 oz. firm tofu, patted dry
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- ½ cup egg whites
- ½ cup cooked brown rice
- 1 cup frozen Asian mixed vegetables, thawed
Spicy Seared Tofu with Fried Rice preparation tips:
1. Mix tamari with sriracha. Brush on tofu.
2. Brown tofu in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Set aside.
3. Heat oil in a medium pan and add egg whites. Cook until just starting to set. Add rice and vegetables and cook until vegetables are heated through and egg whites are set.
4. Plate rice and top with cooked tofu.
Deviled Eggs with Hummus
- 1 hard-boiled egg (with yolk)
- 1 Tbsp. hummus
- Paprika (or chives) (for garnish; optional)
Deviled Eggs with Hummus preparation tips:
1. Mix the yolk with hummus.
2. Garnish with paprika or chives (if desired).
Sheet Pan Salmon with Potatoes and Green Beans
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 5 oz. raw wild salmon
- 1¾ cups raw green beans
- 2 tsp. fresh dill
- ½ lemon, sliced
- ¾ medium potato, cut into ½-inch cubes
- ½ tsp. olive oil
- Preferred spices
Sheet Pan Salmon with Potatoes and Green Beans preparation tips:
1. Coat sheet pan with cooking spray.
2. Place salmon and green beans on pan (leave room for potato cubes), coat with spray, and top with dill and lemon slices.
3. Toss potatoes with oil and spices; place on sheet. Roast 15 minutes at 400° F.
Will I Lose Weight Eating Pescatarian?
It’s absolutely possible, just as it’s possible to lose weight on a vegetarian diet, low-fat diet, or low-carb diet, etc. It really comes down to the balance between the amount of calories you’re taking in and the total energy you’re expending.
Fish and shellfish are definitely a great addition to a healthy weight-loss plan. Seafood in general is a healthy protein source that is typically low in calories and fat. Some fish are considered “fatty fish” but they contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Photography by Anguel Dimov, AB Creative