23 High Protein Vegetarian & Vegan Meal Ideas to Fill you Up
Whether you’re living a vegetarian lifestyle or simply want meatless options, getting the protein you need is an important factor for your best nutrition. You can’t go wrong with healthy meal ideas and these recipes can help you bust out of your rut when it comes to vegetarian meals without skimping on the protein.
Eating healthfully doesn’t have to be boring though. Yes, even when you’re not eating meat. Get the high protein you need as deliciously as possible with these tasty high protein vegan meal recipes and vegetarian options too!
Braised Lentils and Vegetables
For a hearty high protein vegetarian meal, look no further than braised lentils and vegetables. Brimming with savory vegetables like celery, onions, leeks, mushrooms, and carrots, a vegetable stock brings it all together along with lentils. Feel free to add in any other veggies you like and make it more your own. It’s perfect for dinner or a leftover lunch that will keep you feeling pleasantly full and energized all afternoon.
Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets
Why do chicken nuggets get all the hype? Another high protein vegetarian meal option to enjoy is these crispy, baked-in-the-oven tofu nuggets. They have just a little bit of spice but you can tamper that down to your tastes or for any children.
Tofu nuggets are super-simple to make and come out with a soft center that’s beyond amazing. And since tofu is so nutritious, you can feel good about gobbling down these nuggets for snacks, serve them as an appetizer, or make them the main dish flanked by other high protein vegan recipes.
Sheet Pan Garlic Tofu
Another tofu recipe perfect for high protein meals, this sheet pan garlic tofu comes with chickpeas and is pure garlicky goodness! But the real star of this show is the creamy tahini sauce. Yum! Easy to make even during your busiest moments, you’ve got no excuse for eating healthy vegetarian meals with a recipe like this!
Tofu Spring Rolls
Take your taste buds on a journey with another one of those high protein vegan recipes. These tofu spring rolls are light and refreshing, perfect for hot weather. Keep the tofu plain or take the time to use garlic and soy sauce to marinate it for an even more delightful flavor. Crunchy vegetables contrast with the softness of the tofu plus a bounty of fresh herbs like cilantro and mint give it that authentic Asian flair. One thing’s for sure…with the ginger peanut sauce, you will eat every last bite!
Peanut Soba Noodles with Roasted Broccoli
Vegetarian meals that taste indulgent are among the best options. Add to it plenty of protein and you will feel properly full when you clean your plate. With peanut soba noodles and roasted broccoli, it’s a match made in flavor heaven. Shaved carrots and a sublime peanut-based sauce make give it the perfect finish. And if you swap out the honey for maple syrup in the sauce, you can make this one of your high protein vegetarian recipes!
Sweet Corn and Kale Zucchini Fritters
What’s the best part of summer after swimming and backyard barbecues? Summer veggies, of course! These sweet corn and kale zucchini fritters are healthy and tasty, made with your summer bounty and no oil or deep frying. Pick a dip you love and dunk them in. They’re like savory pancakes, made with just chickpea flour, sweet corn, kale, zucchini, and scallions. The recipe calls for ground flax instead of egg for a vegan-friendly meal, though if you only want to keep it as a vegetarian meal, you can use the egg.
Mexican Zucchini Burrito Boats
Give taco night a healthy vegetarian makeover! These Mexican zucchini burrito boats are a wonderful high-protein meal that everyone will love. Stuff them with beans, corn, bell peppers, jalapeno, red onions, and cheddar cheese. It’s a purely meatless meal and great for gluten-free eaters too. Want it to be vegan? Omit the cheese or use a dairy-free variety!
Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
There’s something about coconut curry that is so satisfying. It’s indulgent, flavorful, and hits all the right notes on your palate. This high protein vegan recipe turns lentils tender by simmering them in a rich, creamy curry-based broth. One pot and you’ve got yourself an amazing meal that keeps you feeling full to power through your busy life!
BBQ Tempeh Tacos
Tired of tofu for your vegetarian meals? This BBQ tempeh taco recipe is sure to please vegetarians and vegans alike while including high protein to fulfill your needs. It includes a vegan ranch dressing to make that crispy tempeh really burst with flavor. You also have avocado salsa and homemade slaw. With so many textures and flavors coming together at once, you won’t have FOMO about taco night anymore!
Vegan ‘Meatballs’ and Polenta
You don’t need meat to make meatballs! This vegan version uses chickpeas and quinoa to replicate the flavors you love before going meatless. It combines spicy, sweet, and savory flavors in one and lends a tender and juicy texture just like an actual meatball. The creamy polenta uses all vegan ingredients too that work so well together, you won’t believe it’s meatless unless you’re the one making it!
Tired of eggs the same way all the time? Step it up with shakshuka! This Middle Eastern dish is perfect any time of day. Featuring saucy eggs that simmer up in tomato sauce flavored with garlic, cumin, paprika, and bell pepper, it’s finished off with feta cheese and spinach leaves for a pretty garnish. Instead of the chicken sausage the recipe indicates, you can use chickpeas for a high protein punch that works for vegetarians.
Creamy Spinach Mushroom Bake
Need some comfort food? Walk into the loving arms of this creamy spinach mushroom bake. With pasta to fill you up, spinach, mushrooms, and cheesy, creamy sauce envelop you with the homemade taste and richness you need, all with plenty of protein and no meat. To make it even higher protein, choose a whole grain or legume pasta as your pasta base.
Greek Yogurt Pasta
Lentils, chickpeas, and pasta come together in an unexpected way to make this divine high protein vegetarian meal. The lemon-garlic Greek yogurt sauce is like a dream come true. Creamy in texture with a bit of tang to it, thanks to this yogurt base, you get plenty of protein without sacrificing great taste!
Vegetarian Mapo Tofu
Perhaps you’ve seen mapo tofu on the menu at your local Chinese restaurant and thought this would be ideal for your vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Not so fast! Authentic mapo tofu includes ground pork which is quite disappointing when you need meatless meals.
But this recipe shows you how to make it yourself, all full of flavors and spices of gochugaru, Korean chili pepper flakes. There’s also black bean paste, and the essential component to making the flavor traditional – Sichuan peppercorns which give it almost a lemony spice. There’s no meat in this mapo tofu recipe so make your favorite rice and pour it on top!
Walnut Chorizo Tacos With Pineapple Salsa
Who needs chorizo when you can use high-protein walnuts to mimic the texture and flavor? Of all the high protein vegan recipes out there, you don’t want to miss this one. All the spices come together to make this one a keeper. Stuff it into tacos with your favorite crispy vegetables, make it into a bowl, or turn it into a wrap. And whatever you do, don’t forget the pineapple salsa!
With quinoa and 3 different kinds of beans, this three-bean chili is a vegetarian’s dream come true. You’ll use pinto, black, and kidney beans plus add Greek yogurt and crispy pepitas to add a contrast of textures to really make your chili one that could turn any meat-eater meatless in just one bite.
Spicy Chickpea Gyros
Instead of eating gyros filled with meat, make them with chickpeas instead for a high protein vegetarian meal that will whisk you away to the land of Greece. Using paprika, chili powder, and cayenne pepper make them really have some zing while fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and onions round out the pita. Just don’t forget that tzatziki sauce to finish it off!
Spinach and Feta Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
For another Mediterranean-inspired meal, turn to sweet potatoes. They’re hearty and full of flavor, stuffed with 7 other ingredients including spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, chickpeas for high protein, and feta cheese. It’s so good, you’ll be working this vegetarian meal into your rotation weekly.
How about homemade gnocchi? Please guests or make a romantic vegetarian meal for two with this wonderful recipe. It uses ricotta and flour to make the gnocchi come together quickly, which gives it far more protein than making it the more traditional way with mashed potatoes. And that flavor, oh boy! You’re in for a treat!
Buffalo Tempeh Bowls
Who needs buffalo wings or chicken tenders when you can get the same flavor and texture through high protein tempeh? Enjoy this salad that pleases on so many levels. It’s spicy and smoky, crunchy and tender, all at the same time. If you’ve recently gone meatless or are trying to change your lifestyle and miss buffalo chicken, using tempeh in this vegetarian recipe ensures you won’t miss it anymore.
Vegetarian Pot Pie
Of course, chicken pot pie is off the table for vegetarians and vegans alike. But what if you made it using vegetarian ingredients? That’s why this recipe is so good. It uses mushrooms and beans, giving it a high protein content as well as rich flavor and texture. And honestly, it might just taste better than the original meat-filled versions.
Cheese and Caramelized Onion Quiche
Another egg-based recipe vegetarians will love, this cheese and caramelized onion quiche packs on that high protein in the most delicious of ways. Feel free to add in other veggies as you wish, though watch out for those that contain more water. If using spinach, thaw out the frozen chopped kind and squeeze all the water out of it first or it will change the texture.
Cucumber Soba Noodles
Take inspiration from Korean meals to make this cucumber soba noodle dish. Soba noodles are high protein in content with about 5 grams per serving. You’ll get the protein you need in this meal for sure! The chili sauce and hard-boiled egg can be made in advance so that all you need to do is get the noodles ready when you’re ready for your next meal.
Now that you have 23 vegetarian and vegan meals all with high protein, you can get cooking. Make one each day or rotate them in once a week for your meatless days without missing the protein you need to thrive in your best health!
About the Author
Camellia Jones is an editor at Twigs Cafe. She rounds up all the delicious food from the web for specific diets. She likes to spend the rest of her time with her children.