Going dairy-free is not only about avoiding food items that include dairy contents in them, but it is about changing lifestyle. Whether you have dairy allergies or are planning to start with a dairy-free lifestyle the most challenging part of going dairy-free is to come up with dairy-free meals that are not boring and at the same time are not deficient in nutrients.

So the first step going with dairy-free meals is to understand that there are a variety of food items that are great substitutes for dairy items and therefore you should not be worried about what you can’t have instead focus attention on learning easy dairy-free meals that you and your family can enjoy.

Basics of Dairy Free Meals

While for some it can be quite a difficult change in lifestyle to cut out milk and dairy products and it may seem like an impossible thing, but with easy and delicious dairy substitutions and handy dairy-free meal ideas, you won’t even feel the change much.

And for those who have dairy allergies and dietary concerns, easy dairy-free meal ideas at hand are a great way to continue living a healthy lifestyle without being much worried about what to eat and cook.

But, before going into the dairy-free meals you can easily prepare to satisfy your taste buds while being on a dairy-free lifestyle, its essential to understand the basics of going dairy free. The first step to prepare easy dairy-free meals is to determine which foods have milk or dairy contents and which food are good for dairy-free meals. The most common ones are milk, cream, cheese, and yogurt.

However, there are many other foods that you might think are dairy free but actually, are not and may contain dairy components hidden. These foods include cereals, artificial sweeteners, peanut butter, soy cheese, potato chips, etc. which contain dairy components like lactose, whey or casein which makes them not an ideal choice for dairy-free meals.

Other food items like non-dairy creamers could often be quite misleading too as they do contain casein. Similarly, canned products sometimes also include whey; therefore, it is essential to read the food label before making any food product purchase.

List of Dairy Products to Avoid

To make it easier for you to avoid dairy products and easily make dairy free meals for the family, here is a list of dairy products to avoid.

  • Butter, butter fat, butter oil, butter acid, butter esters
  • Buttermilk
  • Casein, casein hydrolysate, rennet casein and caseinates (in all forms)
  • Cheese (all animal milk-based cheeses)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Heavy Cream
  • Curds
  • Custard and pudding
  • Diacetyl
  • Half-and-half
  • Lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate, and lactoferrin
  • Lactose, lactulose, and tagatose
  • Milk (in all forms including condensed, derivative, dry, evaporated, goat’s milk and milk from other animals, low-fat, malted, milk fat, non-fat, powder, protein, skimmed, solids, whole)
  • Milk-based protein powders
  • Sour cream, sour cream solids, and sour milk solids
  • Whey (in all forms)
  • Yogurt (in all forms)

Now that you know about the dairy products to avoid, let's get you started to preparing delicious dairy free meals.

Dairy Free Meal Ideas

While it can be difficult for people with dairy allergies or dairy-free lifestyle to find dishes that are safe to eat at family gatherings, parties, or restaurants, but it is not impossible. Cooking without dairy products, milk, butter, cream, and cheese may seem challenging, tough or a little overwhelming, but don’t worry we are sharing easy dairy-free meal ideas that you and your family can enjoy without missing out anything.

These dairy-free meal ideas include everything from breakfast to lunch, dinner, and even desserts. The recipes are delicious, dairy free, and would make you and your family happy for sure.

Dairy Free Breakfast Ideas

Overnight Oats

This easy dairy free breakfast is a winner. It is not only easy to prepare, but as it’s a make-ahead breakfast, it saves times, you can easily prepare it in a few minutes, and it is packed with all the nutrition you need. What makes is dairy free and delicious is using vanilla soymilk, or you can use almond milk, coconut milk, or any dairy-free milk of choice. Add in your favorite fruits, and you have your easy dairy free breakfast ready.

Avocado Toast

This classic breakfast is ideal as a dairy-free breakfast. Again, simple ingredients, dairy free bread, avocado, fresh lemon squeezed, salt, pepper, some chili flakes and a bit of olive oil is all you need to enjoy this dairy free breakfast classic. To make it more delicious, add some boiled egg on the top or some roasted tomatoes.

Frittata with Spinach and Tomatoes

Who doesn’t love a little egg bake to start the day? Yes, you can enjoy frittata as a dairy-free breakfast by substituting dairy components with coconut milk and adding fresh vegetables and clean meat cuts for added flavor and deliciousness.

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Whole Grain Banana Pancakes

Enjoy pancakes totally dairy free made out of bananas, oat flour making them whole grain and delicious. Substitute butter with coconut oil or dairy-free butter and enjoy easy and delicious dairy-free breakfast with the family.

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Vanilla Milkshake Smoothie

If you’re into breakfast milkshakes and smoothies, there are many options when you’re going dairy free. Enjoy easy smoothies made with only four ingredients that taste delicious just like a smoothie but are dairy-free. Use your favorite dairy-free milk, frozen banana, vanilla beans, and honey for an added taste, add a scoop of dairy-free ice cream.

Recipe link

Dairy Free Lunch or Dinner Ideas

Rotisserie Chicken

A favorite lunch or dinner meal can be prepared with rotisserie chicken. A few dairy-free sauces can change the flavors, and you can have a new meal every day for lunch or dinner. Add some stir-fried vegetables or pasta to go with it, and you can enjoy many different meals.
Add some sauces like lemon hummus, roasted red pepper sauce, tomato sauce or red lentil dal and enjoy rotisseries chicken in different ways.

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Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese

Make the family favorite spaghetti Bolognese vegan and dairy free. Use soya mince as a substitute of meat if you prefer, skip the cheese and use gluten-free spaghetti. Perk it up with balsamic vinegar, rich tomato base, and fresh herbs and enjoy a hearty dairy-free meal with the family.

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Skillet Chicken Fajitas

A delicious meal with chicken, bell peppers, salsa, and dairy free guacamole on the side. Serve these up in lettuce wraps or corn tortillas and enjoy a delicious and easy dairy free meal.

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Dairy Free Dessert Ideas

Cinnamon Rolls

Delicious cinnamon rolls made dairy free with lots of flavor from cinnamon and vanilla, making them an ideal dairy-free dessert.

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Banoffee Pie

A dairy-free dessert cannot get any more delicious than this banoffee pie. The crust is made out of oats, almond and coconut oil, making it completely dairy free.

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Strawberry Shortcake

Serve a delicious cake to family or at a party that is not only dairy free but also gluten-free and vegan.

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There are so many other dairy-free meal ideas and recipes that are easy to make and family-friendly too. It can be a little scary going dairy free, but with so many substitutes and delicious recipes up your sleeves, you can enjoy a dairy free lifestyle with ease.