40 High-Protein Vegan Recipes That Are Satisfying and Totally Plant-Based

·12 min read

You’ve committed to upping your protein intake—it’s essential to muscle-building and hormone production, plus you could use the energy boost. But you don’t eat meat, dairy, eggs or any other animal products. Is it possible to follow a vegan diet and still pack your meals with protein? Yep, with tofu, quinoa, beans, nut butters and nut milks (and even some fruits, vegetables and grains), there are plenty of vegan and plant-based meals to choose from. From braised chickpeas to mac and cheese (really!), these 40 high-protein vegan recipes are sure to keep you satisfied.

Psst: Wondering how much protein you actually need? According to Harvard Medical School, the recommended daily allowance for a sedentary adult is 0.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight—but that doesn’t account for activity level. You can use this handy calculator from the USDA to figure out your own daily recommended intake.

RELATED: 19 High-Protein Vegan Breakfasts that Are Plant-Based and Totally Satisfying

Easy High-Protein Vegan Recipes

1. Marinated White Bean and Tomato Salad (14g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 5 minutes

  • Why We Love It: make ahead, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, gluten free

This marinated white bean and tomato salad fits our ideal for a side dish: It’s less than ten ingredients, can be made in advance and doubled for a crowd, plus, it’s gluten free. You could even serve it as a main course alongside a green salad or toasted bread.

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2. Chickpeas with Braised Summer Vegetables and Basil (14g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, one pan, gluten free

Chickpeas aren’t just for hummus. Here, they’re cooked low and slow with rich tomato sauce for a dish that’s both comforting and light.

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3. Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato, Basil and Balsamic Bucatini (12g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, <10 ingredients

Here’s proof that you don’t need a bunch of cheese, butter and cream to make a decadent pasta dish. The secret ingredient is balsamic vinegar, which adds tangy depth of flavor.

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4. Creamy Vegan Pasta with Swiss Chard and Tomatoes (18g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Thanks to non-dairy sour cream, it practically melts in your mouth. Bonus: The Swiss chard is packed with vitamins C, A, K and B6, magnesium, iron and potassium.

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5. Easy Vegan Pesto-Parmesan Spaghetti with Zucchini (19g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: gluten free, low sugar, ready in <30 minutes

A plant-based dinner that’s ready to eat in 30 minutes? This is exactly what we’ve been looking for. Wait until you try the nut Parmesan, which is made from a blend of hazelnuts and almond flour.

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6. Pasta alla Norma with Eggplant, Basil & Pecorino (26g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Skip the pecorino and revel in the heaping plate of vegan pasta that’s waiting for you. With its tender vegetables and rich sauce, it’s the next best thing to a sunny Italian getaway.

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7. Slow Cooker Pasta e Fagioli Soup (21g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 7 hours, 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: slow cooker recipe, <500 calories, beginner-friendly

Lose the Parmesan and you’re good to go—you won’t even miss it. The aromatics will give this slow cooker soup flavor without any effort (or dairy).

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8. Tomato and White Bean Stew on Toast (22g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

Make this quick dish vegan-friendly by swapping the butter for olive oil. Oh, and it reheats beautifully for leftovers.

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9. Creamy Sweet Corn Pappardelle (20g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, beginner-friendly

The sweet, juicy corn kernels paired with the “milk” from the cobs become a perfect cream sauce without using actual cream. You’re going to want seconds.

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High-Protein Vegan Recipes with >20g per serving

10. Homestyle Rice and Beans (20g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, low sugar

You can’t beat a classic. Fun fact, combining rice and beans in one dish isn’t just delicious; it also creates a complete protein sans meat.

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11. Ginger Jasmine Rice (15g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, <10 ingredients

Scoop the rice into bowls, set out an array of toppings (like kimchi, avocado, furikake and chile oil) and watch the crowd go wild.

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12. Rainbow Collard Wraps with Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce (15g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, gluten free

This beats a peanut butter sandwich any day. You can even make them up to two days in advance and the hardy greens won’t get soggy in the fridge.

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13. Vegan Arancini (16g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes (+ chilling time)

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, low sugar

We’ll be serving these at all our future cocktail parties (and no one will know they’re vegan). A fresh tomato dipping sauce will complete the appetizer.

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14. Vegan Chop Salad (13g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: make ahead, beginner-friendly

Hot tip: The dressing, squash and beets can all be made days in advance and kept in the fridge until assembly (and, in our opinion, taste better that way). Plus, you can swap in whatever leftover vegetables you have on hand—roasted sweet potatoes or carrots instead of squash, pickled jicama instead of beets and black beans instead of chickpeas would all be delicious.

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15. Avocado and Black Bean Pasta Salad (18g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, ready in <30 minutes, low sugar

Pasta and avocado are an unlikely pairing, but the creamy and chewy textures are delightful together.

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16. Jackfruit Tacos with Grilled Pineapple (19g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes

  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, beginner-friendly

When tofu and black beans need a break, try jackfruit as your next taco filling. When cooked with spices, it tastes exactly like pulled pork.

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17. Vegan Sriracha ‘Meatballs’ with Noodles and Grilled Vegetables (18g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: gluten free, special occasion–worthy

The meatballs are so moist and flavorful, you’ll hardly believe they’re made from tofu. You can use any vegetables, as long as they’re similar sizes for even cooking.

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18. Instant Pot Vegan Pho (17g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: Instant Pot recipe, special occasion–worthy

Pho broth is traditionally simmered for hours, but thanks to your trusty Instant Pot, it can be ready in less than 30 minutes. All that’s left is assembly.

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19. Julia Turshen’s Stewed Chickpeas with Peppers and Zucchini (18g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: one pan, beginner-friendly

To make it vegan, use plant-based mayo in the creamy lemon sauce. You can serve this stew over any grain, but quinoa would give it an extra boost of plant-based protein.

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20. Chickpea and Vegetable Coconut Curry (26g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, one pan, beginner-friendly

Behold your new go-to dish when you’re craving takeout. The vegetables can be swapped with whatever’s sneaking around in your fridge.

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21. Vegan Fiesta Taco Bowl (28g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, make ahead

Proof that a vegan salad doesn’t have to be a sad, sparse bowl of lettuce. Bring on the smoky seitan crumble and plant-based sour cream.

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22. Instant Pot Vegan Farro Risotto (27g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: Instant Pot recipe, special occasion–worthy

Most risotto recipes involve a lot of butter and Parm, but this one gets its creaminess from white bean puree. Plus, the Instant Pot does all of the cooking and you don’t even have to stir.

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23. Vegan Kentucky Fried Chick’n (36g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, special occasion–worthy

It’s pretty damn hard to tell that these tender, crispy nuggets aren’t made with meat. (Thanks again, tofu and seitan.)

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24. Crispy Tofu Steaks with Broccoli Rabe and Romesco (26g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: low sugar, <500 calories, beginner-friendly

Tofu comes in all different styles and textures, but our favorite way to eat it is crispy—with romesco and lots of flaky salt, of course.

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25. Donna Hay’s Best Veggie Burgers (28g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, beginner-friendly

Many homemade veggie burgers require a food processor and a bunch of random ingredients. This one is different—and so delicious.

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26. Instant Pot Vegetable Lasagna with Vegan Basil Ricotta (26g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes

  • Why We Love It: Instant Pot recipe, special occasion–worthy, <500 calories

You don’t even have to turn on the stove to make it. (And don’t get us started on the vegan ricotta.)

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27. Tempeh Bacon Bagels (30g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <15 minutes, <10 ingredients

Bye, bacon, egg and cheese. These breakfast sandwiches get their protein from tempeh, a plant-based protein source made from fermented soybean. It’s glazed in a smoky-sweet sauce for a bacon-y effect.

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28. Split Pea Soup with Balsamic Vinegar (22g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour

  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, crowd-pleaser, make ahead

To make this protein-packed soup totally plant-based, simply skip the anchovies and swap the sour cream for a dairy-free version.

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29. Vegan Butternut Mac and ‘Cheese’ with Smoky Shiitake ‘Bacon’ (21g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, low sugar

Something about the sweet, salty, rich flavor of butternut squash lends itself perfectly to a vegan “cheese” sauce. Add homemade smoky shiitake mushroom “bacon” and you’ll achieve next-level deliciousness.

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30. Scrambled Tofu (21g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes

  • Why We Love It: ready in <15 minutes, one pan, <10 ingredients

Speaking of tofu, this scrambled version is tasty, filling and infinitely customizable. Even better, you don’t have to press it before cooking.

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31. Cheesy Raw Vegan Zucchini Lasagna (21g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: no cook, special occasion–worthy

Since there are no noodles, this one also happens to be gluten free. Each of the components can be made ahead and held in the fridge if you want to save some time.

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High-Protein Vegan Recipes with <500 Calories

32. Fall Roasted Vegetable and Lentil Salad with Pine Nut Cream (13g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes

  • Why We Love It: low sugar, <500 calories

This hearty salad can be served on its own as a main course or as a side. We recommend doubling the pine nut cream, since it will keep in the fridge and can jazz up other salads or crudités.

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33. Vegan Lentil-Mushroom Burgers (16g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, low sugar, <500 calories

This vegan burger is positively juicy, thanks to balsamic vinegar and portobello mushrooms.

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34. Radicchio, Lentil and Apple Salad with Vegan Cashew Dressing (15g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes (+ soaking time)

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, low sugar, <500 calories

TBH, a creamy salad dressing is far superior to all others. Lucky for you, making a plant-based version is as easy as pie cashews.

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35. Vegan Quinoa Breakfast Frittata (16g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, low sugar, <500 calories

When you have chickpea flour, eggs need not apply. Plus, the protein from the quinoa and the iron in the greens provide an extra nutritional boost to start the day.

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36. Vegan Keto Coconut Curry (18g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes

  • Why We Love It: keto, low sugar, <500 calories

Who says vegans can’t go keto? (And even if you’re not keto, it’s slurp-ably good.)

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37. Vegan Chili ‘Cheese’ Dip (15g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <500 calories, low sugar

Gooey, velvety cheese dip is officially back on your meal plan, thanks to an ingenious combination of potatoes, cashews and a ton of spices. Pass the chips.

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38. Creamy Vegan Lentil and Roasted Vegetable Bake (19g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 25 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, low sugar, <500 calories

For being plant-based, this casserole is surprisingly indulgent (and delightfully hearty). You wouldn’t know it, but it also happens to be less than 500 calories per serving.

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39. Roasted Squash Salad with White Beans, Breadcrumbs and Preserved Lemon (14g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour (+ soaking time)

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <500 calories, low sugar

This salad is all about the combination of different textures and flavors: buttery, crispy, tart, sweet and herbaceous. Surprisingly, it’s easy to assemble once you soak the beans.

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40. Miso-Tahini-Glazed Roasted Eggplant with Farro (13g protein)

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes

  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, make ahead

Even so-called eggplant haters will fall for this silky, tender version of the vegetable. The miso-tahini glaze is punchy, acidic, sweet and savory, adding layers of flavor to this meal.

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RELATED: 32 Vegan Pasta Recipes That Still Taste Decadent