20 Delicious High-Protein Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes

Grain Bowl with Peanut Sauce
Enrique Díaz / 7cero / Getty Images

Because meat is not part of a vegetarian and vegan diet, many people who eat this way have concerns that they will not get enough protein. But there is no reason to worry—vegetarians and vegans can easily get enough protein in their meat-free diet, and may actually already be doing so without even trying. 

By incorporating tofu, quinoa, nuts, and beans into your vegetarian or vegan recipes you will instantly increase the protein in the dish and create a filling ​meal. From breakfast to lunch to dinner, there are a variety of recipes to keep meals interesting while leaving you feeling satisfied. 

  • 01 of 20

    Maple Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa

    Quinoa Apple Cereal
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    Breakfast is a great meal to get some protein for the day—who doesn't need a boost in the morning? This comforting warm cereal is flavored with maple and cinnamon and studded with raisins, which may remind you (or the kids) of your favorite instant oatmeal. Made with quinoa instead of oats, this breakfast has about 30 percent more protein than traditional oatmeal. A great use for leftover quinoa or quinoa flakes if you're in a rush. Feel free to add berries or other fruits if desired.

  • 02 of 20

    Vegan Tofu Scramble With Spinach

    Tofu scramble
    Sohadiszno / Getty Images

    This breakfast dish, similar to a spinach omelet, has a bit of umami (one of the taste categories described as savory), giving it an unexpected but delicious finish. Tomatoes, garlic, mushrooms, and spinach are sauteed until tender, the tofu is added, and then everything is drizzled with a bit of soy sauce and lemon juice. With 10 grams of protein in a serving of tofu, this dish is sure to give you an energy boost to start your day.

  • 03 of 20

    Vegetarian Breakfast Casserole

    Homemade Baked Egg Casserole
    bhofack2 / Getty Images

    Just because you don't eat meat doesn't mean you can't recreate a dish with the flavors of sausage. By using a vegetarian sausage substitute, you not only have a dish with the traditional sausage taste but also one that is high in protein. Plan to start the recipe the night before so the mixture of sausage, egg substitute, soy milk, sauteed onion, and soy cheese can rest and meld together.

  • 04 of 20

    Vegan Apple Pancakes

    Pancakes with maple syrup
    Dave King / Getty Images

    Not only are these pancakes flavorful and delicious, but they also have the added bonus of being healthier than traditional flapjacks! The soy milk, tofu, and pecans add protein to the recipe while the apples bring a healthy dose of fiber and vitamin C. Simply blend ingredients, pour onto a hot griddle, and enjoy.

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  • 05 of 20

    Vegetarian Protein Shake

    High Angle View Of Blueberries And Raspberries In Smoothie
    Eddy Zecchinon / EyeEm / Getty Images

    You won't find any protein powder here but you will still get a protein boost—and that is due to the white beans that are blended with the pineapple juice, fruit yogurt, strawberries, honey, ginger, and nutmeg. With the beans' mild flavor you won't even detect they are there.

  • 06 of 20

    Vegetarian Tabbouleh Salad With Edamame

    Edamame Tabbouleh
    IslandLeigh / Getty Images

    This salad is loaded with protein from the bulgar wheat, edamame, and chickpeas. The edamame adds vibrant color and a wonderful texture, and the pesto, lemon juice, and parsley bring a fresh flavor to this Mediterranean-inspired dish. Topped with tomatoes, green onion, and feta cheese, this dish is pretty to look at and satisfying to eat. Serve alongside or inside pita pockets.

  • 07 of 20

    Vegan White Bean Salad

    Bowl of white bean salad
    Evan Sklar / Getty Images

    Colorful and fresh, this bean and vegetable salad has the flavors of garlic, onion, parsley, lemon juice, and red wine vinegar, making it ideal for a summer cookout side dish. Any type of white bean will work, or you can substitute chickpeas if you like. A great alternative to the traditional three-bean salad!

  • 08 of 20

    Quinoa Salad With Pecans and Fresh Mint

    Quinoa pecan salad
    Sheri L Giblin / Getty Images

    Fluffy quinoa and crunchy pecans—two great sources of protein—work well together to create complementary texture in this brightly flavored salad. The mint and parsley bring color and freshness while the lemon juice adds a bit of zing. Perfect for lunch on a warm summer day.

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  • 09 of 20

    Vegetarian Black Bean and Hummus Wrap

    Veggie Wrap
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    You get a double dose of protein in this healthy and delicious wrap—first from the roasted red pepper hummus and then from the black beans. Vegetables such as mushrooms and corn add texture and nutrition while the poblano pepper brings a bit of smokiness to the recipe.

  • 10 of 20

    Vegan Tempeh "Chicken" Salad

    Vegetarian tempeh chicken salad
    J. Hackett

    Tempeh is a soy product that is bursting with protein at 18 grams per serving. When cooked and combined with vegan mayo, lemon juice, onion, celery, fresh parsley, and curry powder, it becomes a salad worthy to be served at a ladies luncheon. Place a scoop over a bed of lettuce, on an avocado half, or in between a crusty roll.

  • 11 of 20

    Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

    Vegetarian Chili
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    For a twist on the traditional chili, try this hearty, vegan, and gluten-free version. The sweetness of the sweet potatoes is a pleasant counterpoint to the cayenne pepper, cumin, and chili powder. The black beans add a nice texture and good dose of protein, making for a satisfying stew the whole family may love.

  • 12 of 20

    Vegetarian Lentil Soup

    Vegetarian Lentils

    The Spruce

    It is always good to have a lentil soup recipe under your belt. This healthy and flavorful version is not only vegetarian, but also low in calories, fat, and is gluten-free—so perfect for the entire family! The lentils are high in protein and make a comforting soup with a bit of heft.

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  • 13 of 20

    Vegetarian Indian Yellow Split Pea Dal

    Vegetarian Indian Yellow Split Pea Dal

    The Spruce

    In Indian cooking, dal is a recipe that includes split peas or lentils. This spiced soup features yellow split peas, which are not only high in protein but also pretty when blended into a soup. The split peas are cooked in water or broth along with turmeric and cayenne and then topped with onion sauteed in cumin and clove, making for a healthy and very flavorful dish.

  • 14 of 20

    Vegetarian Mexican Casserole

    Black Bean and Cheese Nachos in a Baking Dish
    Quentin Bacon / Getty Images

    Even if you are not a vegetarian you will want to try this tortilla pie-style dish. Seasoned black beans and cheese are layered between tortillas and then baked until gooey and hot. When topped with tomatoes, olives, avocado, and sour cream, this high-protein dish is hearty, nutritious, and satisfying enough for even the meat-eaters at the table.

  • 15 of 20

    Vegan Crockpot Spinach Lasagna

    Vegetable lasagna
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    Not only is this lasagna high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, but it also cooks in the crockpot! The tofu (silken and firm) is blended with soy milk and seasonings, creating a mixture similar to the ricotta cheese and egg combination used in traditional lasagna. Spinach is folded into the tofu mixture​ and then layered with tomato sauce and noodles in the slow cooker. Six or so hours later, vegan lasagna!

  • 16 of 20

    Vegan Sweet and Sour Tempeh

    Sweet and Sour Tempeh
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    If you have had to give up Chinese take-out since becoming a vegan, this recipe is for you! High-protein tempeh joins pineapple and bell peppers in an Asian-inspired sweet and sour sauce made of soy sauce, pineapple juice, vinegar, brown sugar, and cornstarch. All you need is some rice and a set of chopsticks.

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  • 17 of 20

    Black Bean Burgers

    Vegan Black Bean Burger

    The Spruce

    Get your burger fix with these black bean burgers packed with protein. Mashed beans are combined with sauteed onions, seasonings, crumbled fresh bread, and a little flour and then formed into patties. These may not hold well if placed on a grill (you can put a piece of foil underneath), so pan-frying is best. Place on a sesame seed roll and add your favorite toppings.

  • 18 of 20

    Easy Vegetarian "Meat" Loaf

    Veggie loaf
    wsmahar / Getty Images

    If you have a craving for comfort food, this vegetarian "meat" loaf is sure to be the cure. The lean ground beef substitute is where you'll find the protein, and when mixed with onion, garlic, bell pepper, seasonings, ketchup, dry mustard, brown sugar, as well as oatmeal and nutmeg, it may be the best "meat" loaf you've ever tasted.

  • 19 of 20

    Vegan Three-Bean Pasta With Creamy Spinach Sauce

    Penne with pesto, white beans, lemon zest and Parmesan
    Rita Maas / Getty Images

    This pasta dish is hearty, nutritious, and packs a protein punch. Navy and kidney beans along with chickpeas simmer with onion, garlic, peppers, and tomatoes, then this mixture is combined with cooked pasta. Everything is tossed in a creamy spinach sauce made with soy milk.

  • 20 of 20

    Kid-Friendly Vegan Tofu Nuggets

    Tofu Nuggets
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    Your kids may not even realize they are eating tofu—these breaded nuggets look and taste so similar to the chicken version, and when you offer with a choice of sauces, everyone may be fooled. You can fry or oven-bake these nuggets depending on how healthy you'd like to make them.​