I'm a Dietitian & These Are My Favorite High-Protein Vegetarian Recipes
Reviewed by Dietitian Maria Laura Haddad-Garcia
Protein is a trending nutrient, and this is for a good reason. Meeting your protein needs consistently can lead to a slew of benefits like healthy digestion, improved muscle function, better bone density, healthier skin and more. Variety is best when it comes to protein sources in your eating pattern. And a high-protein meal doesn't have to include meat, which typically comes at a higher price point. Eating plant-based can help your wallet and health, even if it's just a few times a week. These vegetarian recipes boast at least 15 grams of protein per serving, thanks to ingredients like beans, eggs, cheese and whole grains. Not only are these recipes filling, thanks to their protein content, but they're also delicious and versatile. I like to make a big batch of our Easy Vegetarian Chili to eat as-is or over-baked potatoes—plus, it freezes pretty well. And our Smothered Black Soybean Burgers and Creamy Mushroom & Spinach Pasta are so flavorful and hearty that I hardly notice they don't have any meat. Try these recipes, and for more budget- and beginner-friendly cooking tips and tricks, check out Thrifty.
Frittata with Asparagus, Leek & Ricotta
Serve this spring-vegetable-loaded frittata with an arugula salad and a hunk of crusty bread. Tip: This recipe cooks quickly, so be sure to have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go.
Easy Vegetarian Chili
Canned beans and tomatoes make this quick vegetarian chili recipe ready to go in just 30 minutes. Serve over rice or couscous, or with tortilla chips for added crunch, and add extra toppings as you see fit--sliced scallions, chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado and sliced jalapeños are all tasty choices.
Black Bean Fajita Skillet
You can often find presliced and ready-to-cook fresh vegetables in your grocer's produce section. Use these to your advantage to cut down on dinnertime prep. Here, presliced fajita vegetables are sautéed with canned black beans and Southwest seasoning for a quick and easy Tex Mex-inspired meal. Plus, this recipe requires just three ingredients, not including basics like salt, pepper and oil. You can easily take your bowl up a notch by adding some cheese, sour cream or another tasty topping.
Chickpea Salad Sandwich
This vegan chickpea salad sandwich is lemony, bright and surprisingly delicious. It's got all the flavors of a classic tuna salad sandwich—dill, lemon and a bit of garlic—but with chickpeas instead to add a vegan source of protein and a healthy boost of fiber. Celery brings a nice crunch.
Smothered Black Soybean Burgers
These flavor-packed burgers get tang from kimchi, umami from soy or fish sauce and heat from gochugaru. Topped with caramelized onions and slaw, they're super-satisfying.
Vegan Shepherd's Pie
Lentils take the place of ground meat and vegan butter adds creaminess to the mashed potatoes in this easy vegan shepherd's pie recipe. If you want to cut down on the cooking time, use precooked lentils and omit most of the vegetable broth, adding some in only if the mixture seems dry.
Cheesy Marinara Beans
This ooey-gooey dish has baked-pasta vibes but features protein-packed beans instead of noodles. Look for dried corona beans, a larger, creamy white bean, at natural-foods stores or online. Cannellini are a good substitute. Serve with a green salad and toasted baguette.
Instant Pot Lentil Soup
This Instant Pot lentil soup is quick enough to prepare when you get home from work for an easy weeknight dinner. This vegetarian soup recipe is full of aromatic vegetables, brown lentils and fresh spinach. A splash of balsamic vinegar brightens the flavor, and a garnish of radish and parsley gives this comforting soup a fresh finish.
Cheesy Black Bean & Quinoa Skillet Casserole
This Southwestern-inspired one-skillet casserole is stuffed with quinoa and plenty of fresh vegetables. Sharp Cheddar cheese flavors the filling and adds a layer of ooey-gooey melted cheese on top.
Creamy Mushroom & Spinach Pasta
Make this creamy mushroom and spinach pasta for an easy, healthy dinner. Be sure to save some of the pasta-cooking water as it helps the sauce emulsify.
Black Bean-Quinoa Bowl
This black bean and quinoa bowl has many of the usual hallmarks of a taco salad, minus the fried bowl. We've loaded it up with pico de gallo, fresh cilantro and avocado plus an easy hummus dressing to drizzle on top.
3-Ingredient Bell Pepper & Cheese Egg Cups
Requiring just three main ingredients—bell peppers, eggs and shredded cheese—these portable baked eggs are simple to assemble and perfect for meal prep. Store them in the fridge for up to 4 days to reheat on demand.
Spinach & Mushroom Quiche
This healthy vegetarian quiche recipe is as simple as it gets. It's a quiche without the fussy crust! It's filled with sweet wild mushrooms and savory Gruyère cheese. Enjoy it for breakfast or brunch, or serve it with a light salad for lunch.