Yes, High-Protein Vegan Meals Exist
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"Where do you get your protein?" It's a common question that vegans everywhere have likely heard way too many times. The truth: You can get plenty of protein (and all the essential amino acids) from plant-based sources alone—no animal products required.
Want to go full-veg or just eat more plant-based? Balance your meals with plant sources of protein such as beans, peas, lentils, tofu, and whole grains. (Or any of these healthy plant-based sources of protein.) Start with these 15 high-protein vegan meals with at least 15 grams of protein per serving.
Photo: Tara Grace / Shutterstock
Moroccan Chickpea and Sorghum Bowl
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There's nothing quite like a Buddha bowl, filled with the goodness of whole grains, pulses, and roasted vegetables. The flavors of Morocco—spice, lemons, and olives—shine through in this easy, nutritious bowl. It's perfect for meal prep too: Prepare this recipe and pack it up for four healthy, high-protein vegan meals to enjoy all week long.
Get the recipe: Moroccan Chickpea and Sorghum Bowl
Photo: Sharon Palmer, R.D.N.
Vegan Tempeh Burger
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If you've never tried tempeh before, you're missing out on one of the easiest and most nutritious vegan proteins. This fermented soybean has 16 grams of protein in just 3 ounces, and it's the perfect base for this simple and flavorful veggie burger. (Once you fall in love with tempeh, try these other genius tempeh recipes too.)
Get the recipe: Vegan Tempeh Burger
Photo: Natalie Rizzo, M.S., R.D.
Vegan Eggplant Meatballs
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Tempeh is the primary source of protein in these meatless meatballs that could easily pass for the real thing. When mixed with roasted eggplant, the tempeh makes for a tender meatball that's delicious in a pool of tomato sauce. No pasta required.
Get the recipe: Vegan Eggplant Meatballs
Photo: Katie Sullivan Morford, M.S., R.D.
Veggie Shepherd's Pie
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This plant-based take on a shepherd's pie is an easy, high-protein vegan comfort meal. Prepare the recipe as multiple individual-size pies, or make it in a casserole dish to serve the whole family at once. These savory mini stews are filled with zucchini, peas, carrots, peppers, onions, and seitan and topped with whipped potatoes that are browned to ~perfection~ in the oven. Pro tip: The next time you're making mashed potatoes, save the leftovers for this recipe and you'll have a pot pie ready in a flash.
Get the recipe: Veggie Shepherd's Pie
Photo: Sharon Palmer, R.D.N.
Southwestern Vegan Bowl
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This southwestern vegan bowl is another ideal high-protein vegan recipe to prep for a full week. Bonus: It tastes delicious hot or cold. For athletes looking to gain weight, separate this into just two servings instead of four. Or for an even higher carb/calorie option, use the bowl ingredients as taco fillings inside tortillas.
Get the recipe: Southwestern Vegan Bowl
Photo: Angie Asche, M.S., R.D.
Chickpea Curry with Tart Cherries
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Crispy Cauliflower and Chickpea Tacos
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Who doesn't love a crispy, spicy taco? These are flavorful and fast—just toss the cauliflower in a ziplock bag with olive oil and seasonings, give 'em a shake, and they're ready to bake.
Get the recipe: Crispy Cauliflower and Chickpea Tacos
Photo: Catherine Brown
Vegan "Steak" Dinner
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With a base of cauliflower-bean mash, deliciously grilled portobello mushrooms, and a red wine sauce topping, this is the ideal high-protein vegan meal substitute for "meat and potatoes" lovers. Not to mention, this dish is crazy nutritious, with 15 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein per 400-calorie serving.
Get the recipe: Vegan Steak Dinner
Photo: Kathy Siegel, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.N.
Easy Vegan Lentil Tacos
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Enjoy taco night with a high-protein plant-based twist, thanks to lentils. With 18 grams of protein per cup, plus a hefty dose of iron, lentils make the perfect faux "taco meat" filling in this recipe.
Get the recipe: Six-Ingredient Easy Lentil Tacos
Photo: Chelsey Amer, M.S., R.D.N.
Italian Lupini Bean Salad with Crushed Pistachios
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Both lupini beans and pistachios are loaded with satiating protein; in fact, pistachios are one of the highest-protein snack nuts out there. Grab a no-salt package of pistachios to reduce the sodium and pair the salad with a piece of whole-grain toast topped with avocado slivers for a satisfying, filling meal.
Get the recipe: Italian Lupini Bean Salad with Crushed Pistachios
Photo: Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D.N.
One-Pot Vegan Sicilian Couscous
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This no-fuss couscous dish is filled with chickpeas, olives, and an assortment of vegetables. Use Israeli (pearl) couscous, which is larger than regular couscous, to give it even more flavor and texture.
Get the recipe: One-Pot Sicilian Couscous
Photo: From One-Dish Vegan by Robin Robertson © 2018 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.
Vegan Tofu Udon Noodle Soup
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Filled with plant-based protein from the tofu and the udon noodles, this soup is both comforting and filling. Bright flavors of lemongrass and ginger make it better than take-out and it can be made in a matter of minutes with an Instant Pot. (Here are even more amazing vegan Instant Pot recipes.)
Get the recipe: Instant Pot Miso Ginger Udon Noodle Soup
Photo: Sarah Gold Anzlovar, M.S., R.D.N., L.D.N.
Zoodles with Garbanzo Beans and Cashew "Cream" Sauce
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This simple sauce takes only five minutes to make and is the perfect creamy addition to so many dishes—but it doesn't contain any dairy! How? Cashews and nutritional yeast (a vegan cooking game-changer) provide cheesy flavor. When poured over zoodles with garbanzo beans, this dish provides 20 grams of plant-based protein per serving, with a balance of carbohydrates and healthy fat as well.
Get the recipe: Zoodles with Garbanzo Beans and Cashew "Cream" Sauce
Photo: Alyssa Lavy, M.S., R.D., C.D.N.
Soba Noodle Bowl with Tofu
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Made from buckwheat flour, soba noodles are a good source of protein and fiber while tofu is another healthy plant-based source of protein. This flavorful dish comes together quickly, and you can enjoy leftovers cold the next day.
Get the recipe: Soba Noodle Bowl with Tofu
Photo: Gail Watson for Toby Amidor Nutrition