Pre-diabetes increases the risk of diabetes and CVD. Several studies have investigated the relationship between food intake and pre-diabetes morbidity, but the dietary patterns of pre-diabetes subjects were not taken into consideration. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between dietary patterns and pre-diabetes. In this regard, 150 pre-diabetic subjects and 150 healthy controls, who attended the diabetes screening centre in Shahreza, Iran, were matched for age group and sex. The weight, height, waist circumference, physical activity, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, and blood glucose levels of all participants were measured. Dietary information was collected using a semi-quantitative FFQ. Using factor analysis, two dietary patterns were identified: the vegetables, fruits and legumes (VFL) dietary pattern and the sweet, solid fat, meat and mayonnaise (SSMM) dietary pattern. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between pre-diabetes and dietary patterns. After adjusting for age, education, physical activity, BMI and energy intake, the VFL dietary pattern was found to be negatively associated with lower pre-diabetes (OR 0·16; 95 % CI 0·10, 0·26). Furthermore, the SSMM dietary pattern was positively associated with pre-diabetes (OR 5·45; 95 % CI 3·22, 9·23). In conclusion, the VFL dietary pattern is inversely related to pre-diabetes, whereas the SSMM dietary pattern is associated with increased risk of pre-diabetes.