Trying to incorporate more protein into your diet as a vegetarian? Get inspired by these high protein vegetarian meals! Each lunch + dinner recipe offers over 20 grams of plant-based protein per serving.
Whether you follow a plant-based or vegetarian diet or just want to add in some meatless meals into your week, I wanted to share some high-protein recipes for you! These balanced recipes will help you meet your daily protein goal and keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Why Is Protein Important?
Protein is important for everyone, no matter what diet you follow! It’s highlighted for vegans and vegetarians because animal protein is considered “complete protein” (meaning it has all essential amino acids) and few plant-based sources are complete proteins.
Make sure you’re getting a variety of protein sources in your diet each day. Protein is necessary to maintain and repair tissues. It’s important for many body functions and can help with weight maintenance.
How Can I Eat More Protein as a Vegetarian?
There are plenty of ways to get more protein in as a vegetarian or vegan! Here are some great plant-based sources of protein.
Tempeh – tempeh is less processed and higher in protein than tofu but the flavor is stronger and a little less versatile than tofu. 1 cup of tempeh has 31 grams of protein. Check out my tempeh recipes for inspiration.
Tofu – tofu is smoother and creamier when compared to tempeh. It can be sliced, cubed, crumbled or pureed in recipes. It’s a bit more processed, but easy to digest, low in calories and high in protein. 1 cup of tofu has 20 grams of protein. Check out my tofu recipes here.
Beans – beans are such an awesome plant-based protein source and they’re rich in fiber too! 1 cup of chickpeas has 39 grams of protein, 1 cup of kidney beans has 43 grams of protein, 1 cup of black beans has about 15 grams of protein, and 1 cup of pinto beans has 41 grams of protein. I have a ton of bean recipes to choose from.
Lentils – lentils are packed with protein as well and there a quite a few varieties to choose from! 1 cup of lentils has about 18 grams of protein. Try my mediterranean lentil salad.
Eggs – eggs are my go-to protein source when I can’t think of anything else. Throw an egg on it and it’s a complete meal in my book. 1 egg has 6 grams of protein.
Nuts – nuts (or nut butters) are a great way to add protein and healthy fats to your diet! Curious to know which nuts have the highest protein? Peanuts are the highest! Here’s the breakdown. 1 cup of peanuts has 38 grams of protein, 1 cup of almonds has 30 grams of protein, 1 cup of pistachios has 25 grams of protein, 1 cup of cashews has 24 grams of protein and 1 cup of walnuts has 15 grams of protein.
Seeds – can’t forget about seeds! Like nuts, seeds tend to be relatively high in protein as well. Hemp seeds (also called hemp hearts) are a complete protein and 1 cup boosts a whopping 53 grams of protein! Other seeds to add into your diet for extra protein include chia seeds with 4 grams of protein per tablespoon, flax seeds with 1.9 grams of protein per tablespoon, and sunflower seeds with 2 grams of protein per tablespoon.
Protein powder – protein powder is such an easy way to add a boost of protein to meals and snacks. I don’t recommend relying solely on protein powder, but I think it’s a great option to fill in the gaps! Check out my post all about protein powder for the full details on what protein powders I use and love.
High Protein Vegetarian Breakfast Recipes
Start your day with these high protein vegetarian meals and you’ll stay energized all morning long!
These tempeh taco salad meal prep bowls are an easy on-the-go option for lunch or quick dinner. The combo of protein-packed tempeh taco meat, black beans and veggies makes for a delicious and satisfying plant-based meal. Vegan and gluten-free.