21 High Protein Vegetarian Meals
Published Aug 20, 2021, Updated Oct 03, 2023
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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!
How to Make a Protein Shake
Protein Overnight Oats
Egg and Oat Combo Bowl
Egg, Spinach and Feta Breakfast Wrap
Protein Powder Oatmeal
Baked Egg Muffins
Vegetarian Main Dishes With Over 20g of Protein
All of the recipes below have over 20 grams of protein per serving. Every meal is vegetarian and many are vegan as well!
Tofu Sheet Pan Meal
Garlic Teriyaki Tempeh and Broccoli
Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup
Protein Packed Healthy Mac and Cheese
Falafel Bowls (Homemade Cava Bowls)
Tempeh Tikka Masala
Maple Balsamic Tempeh Bowls
Blackened Tempeh Salad
Tempeh Taco Salad Meal Prep Bowls
Lemon Garlic Tempeh
Skinny Tofu Zucchini Lasagna
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Tofu Sheet Pan Meal + 21 High Protein Vegetarian Meals
- 1 lb extra-firm tofu, pressed, drained and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 2 Tablespoons liquid aminos, coconut aminos or low-sodium tamari
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 medium butternut squash, about 6 cups peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium/large red onion, roughly chopped
- 2 Tablespoons olive or avocado oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- tahini sauce
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Add chopped tofu, aminos, maple syrup, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Toss and let marinate for at least 30 minutes. Prep tahini sauce while tofu is marinating.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Add chopped butternut squash, chickpeas, and onion to a large sheet pan. Drizzle on the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Add tofu to the pan and toss once more.
- Place sheet pan in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, toss ingredients and place back in the oven for 40 minutes or until chickpeas are crisp, tofu is golden and butternut squash is fork-tender.
- Portion butternut squash, chickpea, tofu mixture onto plates, garnish with cilantro and drizzle with tahini sauce. Serve with extra tahini sauce.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.