Return to top
featured in… The Huffington Post CookingLight Reader's Digest Women's Health BuzzFeed Glamour Whole Foods Oprah Winfrey Network CNN Food Network Healthline Shape

Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

20 High Protein Vegetarian Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure.

These 20 high protein vegetarian recipes will keep you full and satisfied! Plus they’re packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Whether you’re looking for a high protein breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you’re sure to find a mouth-watering meal you’ll want to make ASAP!

high protein vegetarian recipes collage: dal makhani, tofu skewers, lentil loaf, tofu scrambple, pav bhaji, chili stuffed peppers

One of the most frequent questions I get when I tell people I’m vegetarian is: But then where do you get your protein?”

It’s common knowledge that meat is a great source of protein, but you don’t actually need to eat meat to get enough protein

Somehow, being vegetarian has become synonymous with just eating leaves (which do have protein btw) — but it’s a myth that vegetarians don’t get enough protein.

Additionally, vegetarian sources of protein can be healthier for you in that they’re lower in bad fats and cholesterol.

When you’re looking for a high protein meal, you want it to fill you up, give you energy, and help build muscle. These recipes are simple, super filling, and use pantry ingredients!

Vegetarian meal prep containers with eggs and pasta with green pesto sauce and vegetables

Why Is Protein Important To Include In Your Diet?

  • It helps promote cell growth and repair. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein.
  • You need it to make enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals.
  • It is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
  • It takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, helping you feel fuller longer and on fewer calories (a plus for anyone trying to lose weight).

You’d be surprised how much protein vegan and veggie friendly sources have: 5g of protein for 1 cup of spinach anyone?

There are 50 sources of plant-based protein, and that’s not even counting vegetarian-friendly protein sources like dairy and eggs!

Tofu and Garbanzo Beans

What Are The Highest Plant-Based Protein Sources?

Tofu, tempeh, and edamame are all sources of soy protein. Firm tofu contains 10g of protein per 1/2 cup. Edamame or soy beans have 8.5 g of protein per 1/2 cup. Tempeh has the highest amount of protein per 1/2 cup at 15 grams.

Lentils, chickpeas, and beans are legumes. In addition, they are high in fiber, iron, and potassium. Cooked lentils have 8.8 grams of protein per 1/2 cup. Chickpeas contain 7.25 grams of protein per 1/2 cup. Legume based pasta can have up to 15-20 grams of protein per serving!

Peanuts, almonds, and nuts are high in protein and healthy fats. I recommend a 1/4 cup serving of nuts (max) a day because they are high in calories. A 1/4 cup of peanuts contain 10 grams of protein, a 1/4 cup of almonds contain 8 grams of protein.

Quinoa is a high protein grain that is a complete protein. When cooked, quinoa has 8 grams of protein per cup. Quinoa is also a good source of magnesium, iron, fiber, and manganese.

Chia, hemp, and flax seeds are not only good sources of protein, but also fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Seeds are also a complete source of protein like quinoa. Chia seeds have 2 grams of protein per tablespoon. Hemp seeds have 5 grams of protein per tablespoon. Flax seeds have 2 grams of protein per tablespoon.

High Protein Green Vegetables - used in high protein vegetarian recipes

What Vegetables Are High In Protein?

Vegetables are also good sources of protein. Some vegetables have higher amount of proteins than other. These are the veggies with the highest protein content:

Green Peas are one of the vegetables with the highest amount of protein. One cup of peas has 9 grams of protein. Throw them on your salads, in your soups, on your pasta. They bring a bright fresh flavor to your recipes and will fill you up too!

Brussels Sprouts have about 6 grams of protein per cup. Enjoy them boiled, or roasted!

Potatoes have protein too! One medium baked potato has 4.5 grams of protein.

Asparagus has 4 grams of protein per cup. Steam or grill your spears for a delicious side dish!

Broccoli is a nutrient rich vegetable that contains fiber, vitamins K and C, and many more vitamins and minerals. It’s also high in protein, with 4 grams of protein per stalk. Add broccoli to soups, as a side dish, in casseroles, and more!

Avocado are an excellent source of healthy fats, but they also are a good source of protein. One avocado has 4 grams of protein. Enjoy your avocado diced on salads, as a dip with guacamole, or in your morning smoothie!

Whole Grain Bread

What Grains Are High In Protein?

Whole wheat pasta, sprouted wheat bread, and whole grain bread have 8-10 grams of protein per serving. Pair with high protein vegetables and legumes for a protein packed meal.

Wild rice has 6 grams of protein in one cup, and brown rice has 5 grams of protein per cup. Pair with a veggie stir-fry and tofu.

Couscous has 6 grams of protein per cup. Top with this Italian ratatouille.

Oats have 6 grams of protein per cup. Enjoy them in your morning oatmeal, make pancakes from oat flour, or put in your smoothie.

High Protein Vegetarian Breakfast Recipes

If you’re looking for a high protein vegetarian breakfast to get your day started, you won’t want to miss these! Oats and smoothies are two options that will fill you up and provide you with much needed protein in the morning. Especially when you add some high protein ingredients like nut butter, seeds, or protein powder.

Peanut butter overnight oats in a mason jar with strawberries and bananas.
Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats
This peanut butter banana overnight oats recipe is a game-changer for your busy mornings. A perfect blend of wholesome ingredients like steel cut oats, Greek yogurt, and flax seeds make a nutritious breakfast that's ready when you are. The combination of creamy peanut butter and ripe banana is so delicious, and it will keep you full and satisfied!
View this recipe
Blueberry pineapple smoothie in two glasses with a straw against a grey background.
Blueberry Pineapple Smoothie
This blueberry pineapple smoothie is full of healthy benefits and is ready in just 5 minutes! It packs an antioxidant punch from the frozen wild blueberries and spinach, has natural sweetness from the bananas and pineapple, and added protein from some plain Greek yogurt. This delicious smoothie is super easy, satisfying, and kid-friendly too!
View this recipe
Healthy Pancakes stacked on a white plate with oatmeal and bananas and nuts and syrup
Healthy Pancakes with Oats and Sprouted Wheat
These healthy pancakes made with oats and sprouted wheat are light, fluffy, slightly sweet, and so good for you! The combination of the two whole grain flours helps keep you full much longer than white flour thanks to their fiber and protein. Kid-friendly and parent-approved!
View this recipe
tofu scramble recipe topped with tomatoes, salsa, green onions in a blue bowl
Southwestern Tofu Scramble
This incredible Tofu Scramble is loaded with lots of healthy veggies, beans, warm spices, and cheese. It's the perfect 30-minute breakfast, brunch or dinner idea that the whole family will love. If you're looking for a vegan friendly alternative to scrambled eggs, this easy tofu scramble is for you! 
View this recipe
pumpkin yogurt parfaits, with layers of pumpkin puree and yogurt, topped with granola in a glass cup
Pumpkin Greek Yogurt Parfait Recipe
These Pumpkin Yogurt Parfaits are incredible, and are just what you need this fall. Old fashioned oats, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, vanilla, pumpkin puree, and honey give you a perfect breakfast, snack or dessert!
View this recipe
Strawberries and cream oatmeal, served in a white bowl with a spoon.
Strawberries And Cream Oatmeal
Strawberries and cream oatmeal is a brilliant way to start the day! This healthy and satisfying breakfast is filled with rolled oats, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, coconut sugar, milk, and naturally sweet strawberries. It's hearty, vegan-friendly, ready in just 20 minutes, and sugar-free!
View this recipe
Healthy pumpkin smoothie served in a tall glass with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice on top.
Healthy Pumpkin Smoothie
This creamy, healthy pumpkin smoothie is packed with protein, real pumpkin puree, and cozy warm spices – and tastes just like a pumpkin pie! It's the best way to enjoy anything pumpkin and will quickly become one of your favorite pumpkin recipes. Great for fall, or all year round too!
View this recipe

High Protein Vegetarian Lunch and Dinner Recipes

Looking to add more plant protein to your dinners and lunches? Try adding some of the high protein ingredients mentioned above such as beans, lentils, tofu, and tempeh.

Then mix in some of your favorite high protein veggies like broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, or green peas.

You can add more protein to your meals by using whole wheat, lentil, or chickpea pasta. Serve your vegetables with quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, or couscous.

Red lentil pasta served on a white plate with superfood marinara sauce.
Red Lentil Pasta Recipe
This lentil pasta recipe is the ultimate easy vegetarian meal that is filled with protein and ready within minutes! Red marinara sauce is mixed with tender nutritious vegetables and superfoods for a wholesome balanced meal that is bold in flavor.
View this recipe
Chipotle copycat sofritas in a cast iron skillet topped with cilantro and lime wedges.
Sofritas (Chipotle Copycat Recipe!)
These Chipotle copycat Sofritas are a healthy, vegan-friendly protein alternative with tons of flavor. They’re low sugar, low sodium, spicy, and great for adding to tacos or veggie bowls! 
View this recipe
Mexican Pizza Taco Bell Recipe
This vegetarian copycat Mexican Pizza Taco Bell recipe is a real treat, and you wouldn't guess that it's healthy! Low in calories, made with whole foods, and ready in less than 30 minutes!
View this recipe
Instant pot dal makhani, served in a white bowl, garnished with cashew cream and fresh herbs.
Instant Pot Dal Makhani
This Instant Pot dal makhani has the most smooth and creamy texture without using any dairy products! This vegan dal features hearty lentils, kidney beans, fresh spinach, and warm spices for a healthy, decadent dish that’s super satisfying and family-friendly. It's also naturally gluten-free and dairy-free too!
View this recipe
vegetarian burrito bowl with black beans, tortilla chips, corn, cheese and lime
Veggie Burrito Bowl (Chipotle Copycat!)
This healthy and easy Vegetarian Burrito Bowl with black beans is packed with goodness and awesome flavors! Inspired by Chipotle's veggie bowl, it’s loaded with jalapeno peppers, black beans, onions, peppers, warm spices, hearty brown rice, sweet corn, and a secret ingredient that makes it extra filling and satisfying!
View this recipe
black bean casserole with quinoa and cheese, in a white baking dish
Black Bean Casserole with Quinoa
A lightened-up, healthy black bean casserole that you can enjoy completely guilt-free. Reminiscent of enchiladas, slightly spicy and super satisfying, full of black beans, veggies, quinoa, and cheesy goodness.
View this recipe
Vegan quinoa patties, stacked on a white plate, served with dipping sauce.
Vegan Quinoa Patties
Vegan quinoa patties are easy to make and ready in just 45 minutes! With a crispy texture and bold flavor, they make a healthy snack or perfect addition to so many delicious recipes. You can easily modify them to be gluten-free too!
View this recipe
tofu skewers on a blue plate
Tofu Skewers with Ginger Soy Marinade
These healthy Tofu Skewers are an easy meal that can be made in under 30 minutes! Each kabob has tofu, peaches, onions, zucchini, and a sweet and salty ginger soy marinade that pulls all the flavors together!
View this recipe
Vegan meatloaf with tomato glaze, sliced and served on a white plate.
Vegan Meatloaf
This classic vegan meatloaf, loaded with walnuts, lentils, carrots, shallots, and savory spices for a blend of flavors that’s sure to impress. Topped with a slightly sweet tomato glaze, it’s the perfect vegan or vegetarian entree. The leftovers make great lunches too!
View this recipe
Pav Bhaji (or Indian Spiced Vegetarian Sloppy Joes) served on a wooden cutting board with a wheat bun
Pav Bhaji (or Indian Spiced Vegetarian Sloppy Joes)
This Pav Bhaji is the perfect Indian inspired street food, but it has a healthy and nutritional twist that is insanely good. Munching on this Indian spiced vegetarian sloppy joe style sandwich will keep the entire family happy and makes for an easy dinner idea. 
View this recipe
avocado quesadillas with poblanos mangos and black beans stacked on a wooden cutting board
Grilled Quesadillas with Poblanos, Mangos, and Black Beans
Easy, crispy, satisfying Grilled Quesadillas are filled with creamy avocados, protein-packed black beans, gooey cheese, spicy poblanos, and sweet mango. Ready in 30 minutes and the perfect weeknight meal!
View this recipe
Easy sweet potato dahl served in a bowl, garnished with cilantro.
Sweet Potato Dahl
Ready in just one hour, sweet potato dahl is a fast and easy one-pot meal perfect for lunch or dinner! This dahl is made with with warm Indian spices, kale, sweet potatoes, and yellow split peas. It also happens to be vegan, gluten-free, and full of delicious flavors!
View this recipe
chili stuffed peppers with black beans and mushrooms, served on a white plate
Chili Stuffed Peppers with Black Beans and Mushrooms
These chili stuffed peppers are packed with fire-roasted tomatoes, black beans, mushrooms, jalapeño peppers, and the perfect amount of cheese in every bite. They’re a healthy, satisfying, totally delicious and easy weeknight meal!
View this recipe

I hope you have found some high protein vegetarian recipes you’d like to try!

Check Out These Other Healthy Vegetarian Resources And Recipes!

FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

28 responses to “20 High Protein Vegetarian Recipes”

  1. Found these recipes very helpful! I’m a very picky eater and found more than a few of these suited for me. They were very tasty and helped me increase my protein intake. Turned veggie a few months ago and have eaten very little protein before finding this site. Awesome food, thank you!5 stars

  2. I was looking for alternate vegetarian diet options to replace my Non-vegetarian diet which i want to get rid off. Thanks a lot for this share.5 stars

  3. I am a new vegetarian. I have not eaten any kind of meat for two months. I am still eating dairy but only from approved farm dairy farms. I do not like most vegetarian type foods. Tofu, a lot of the beans, other such things. I am wondering where I can get protein from? I am allergic to tree nuts. I currently am eating pumpkin seeds Sunflower seeds peanuts and dried cranberry mix. I am overweight by about 30 pounds. Can you give me some ideas on some foods that I can eat since I’m so picky and finicky?

    • Hi Lisa! If you don’t like tofu beans or lentils, that limits a lot of your vegetarian protein sources. Here are the protein sources that are left: eggs, cheese, milk, yogurt, greek yogurt (which is a great source of protein), chia seeds and flax seeds (both can be ground up and added into oatmeal or smoothies easily), peanut powder, whey protein powders, sprouted wheat breads like Ezekiel have a ton of protein, and then everything else you listed – pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sunflower seed butter, peanuts, peanut butter. Some vegetables are really high in protein — like cauliflower, broccoli, green peas, asparagus, okra, etc. so I’d definitely recommend increasing your vegetable intake. Cranberry mix doesn’t have protein and it has tons of sugar so I wouldn’t recommend that. If you’d like more detailed recommendations and help with losing weight I’d be happy to work with you in my 1:1 coaching program since that will take a lot more personalization to fit exactly what you need! 🙂 Hope that helps!

  4. Hi Anjali!
    I have a question about becoming vegetarian. I’m personally someone who can’t eat fruits (except for bananas) due to their texture and can’t eat vegetables because of their texture and flavor. I have even tried them when cooked and other things. Is it possible for me to be able to become a vegetarian without eating these things? I do like most other foods its just those I can’t seem to eat, i’ve tried over the years to eat fruits and vegetables and it has not yet been successful. I’m already a naturally small person that has a hard time maintaining weight and I eat a lot to help keep up my weight and I don’t want to put my body under a ton of stress if this is something it can’t handle. Any advice to help gain weight and possibly be vegetarian and to help curb the potential crave for meat?

    • Hi Nikohl! Thanks for reaching out! To your question – yes, you can technically be a vegetarian without eating fruits or vegetables (beans, dairy, grains, eggs, etc. are all vegetarian friendly). However, I wouldn’t recommend any diet – vegetarian or not – that doesn’t have any fruits or vegetables included in it. Have you tried adding fruits and veggies to smoothies? Then you’d be masking the taste and texture with the flavors in the smoothie. Also, have you talked to your doctor about this issue? It sounds like you might have a sensory issue when it comes to fruits and vegetables – since sensory issues are usually around texture and flavor. I’d recommend talking to your doctor about this issue and seeing if you can have a consultation with an OT to figure out how you might be able to better incorporate fruits & veggies into your diet. Hope this helps, I’m also happy to work with you 1:1 through my coaching program if you’re interested!

  5. I’m a taking vegetarian diet from last 10 years but I don’t think being vegetarian is about eating leaves. It’s a myth. I’ve planned my diet and taking accordingly. My weight is 75kg. It’s just about what you are eating. I’ve my few friends who are eating non-vegetarian diet but they are skinny. Nice Infographics.

  6. Thank you so much! I’m an extremely picky vegetarian & I’ve always been on the skinny side. Things are getting worse so I’m on the hunt for sources of protein & this really cheered me up. Thank you so very much ♡

    • Hi Kaitlyn! I’m so glad this post was helpful to you! Let me know if you have any questions as you try to find protein sources that work well for you too! 🙂

  7. Hi Anjali:

    Need some clarification or fact checking and than recommendations.

    Is it a fact that if an individual exercises 4 times a week (moderate to heavy) they require 1.2 gms of protein per pound? So if you weight 160lbs you need 192 gms of protein.

    If so how does one acquire that much protein if you are indian vegeterian?
    I have been tracking my protein consumption and even with whey protein shakes it takes a lot of effort to get to 100gms of protein, forget 192gms.
    My typical diet is 2 eggs in morning, 3 fulka roti, subji, dal and small bowl of rice for lunch, protein shake and dinner consisting of bhakri-shaak (handful almonds throughout the day)

    Thanks for you help in advance,

    • Hi Neeraj! Thanks for reaching out! To your question – that’s incorrect. The average man who works out 3-5 days per week needs 0.45g per pound, and highly trained athletes (training hard for hours 7 days a week) need 0.77g protein per pound of body weight. So for you, that means you need 0.45g per pound, so if you weigh 160lbs you need 72g protein per day. That should be fairly easy to get through a vegetarian Indian diet. I’d add in 1 cup of Greek yogurt per day (that’s about 20g protein), 1 serving of part-skim cheese (about 8g), 1 serving of brown rice/pea/or whey protein (15g), and then I’d switch your 2 eggs for 4 egg whites + 1 yolk – that would be about 15g protein. That’s 58g protein right there, and then if you just eat your normal diet (making sure you eat dal at both lunch and dinner) you’ll get ~72g protein each day. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Thanks, Anjali.

        Yes I was a bit confused with so much information/ misinformation out on the web.

        The fact was that I used to be completely drained (of energy) after my workouts (about 1hr to 1.5hrs/ day) that I started looking into my nutrition. Started taking the whey protein and it seems to make it better but still feel like I lack energy (workout days vs. non workout days).

        From your reply it seems I am ok with respect to nutrition. So I need to look elsewhere as why I get so drained (maybe age related, I’m 43 now)


      • Hi Neeraj! No problem! Glad it was helpful. Regarding why you get so drained post-workout, it could be because you aren’t eating enough carbs or protein pre-workout (do you have a pre-workout snack)? And also, do you workout at the same time every day (and not at the end of the day)? As long as you’re eating a small snack pre-workout (like banana with peanut butter), and eating a regular balanced meal post workout (so your workouts are in between meals) – you should be able to regain some of the energy lost during your workout. Hope that helps!

  8. In truth, most vegetarians don’t get enough protein, since they rely heavily on bread and fruits. But that’s not hard to fix by adding in more nuts and legumes. Great infographic.

  9. Hi Anjali,
    Last year July I had my second child and since then I have been experiencing intolerance to eggs. I was wondering about other sources of protein and your list answers that. Thank you very much for sharing. I would like to get some information on what are the ideal portion sizes for kids and grownups. I see lot of baking recipes have egg in them and what can I use instead of egg from the list you provided as an alternative in baking. Thanks!

    • Hi Rekha, my son has a life threatening severe egg allergy. I do most of my baking of muffins, etc where i substitute apple cider vinegar for egg. You can google it, it is widely used. Also for a binder, I use 1 tbsp of flax meal dissolved in 3 tbsp water to substitute for 1 egg in any recipe. Works great for pancakes, etc. I’m not anjali, but just saw your comment and thought i’d share:) I’m sorry about the egg intolerance. It really sucks! We are currently doing oral immunotherapy to hopefully desensitize him.

      • Thanks Nina for the response and I would try your suggestions. I am sorry to hear bout your sons egg allergies and I heard the desensitization therapy takes a long time close to two years. But I really wish that it helps him.

      • Thank you so much Nina (and I hope the desensitization therapy works for you guys)! And Rekha — so sorry to hear about your egg intolerance! But I’d echo what Nina said actually, “flax eggs” (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water = 1 egg) are great. Some other egg substitutes: silken tofu (1/4 cup pureed tofu = 1 egg), Baking Soda + Vinegar (1 tsp of baking soda + with 1 tbsp of white vinegar = 1 egg), Banana (1/2 mashed banana = 1 egg), and lastly: 2 tbsp water + 1 tsp oil + 2 tsp baking powder = 1 egg. Hope that helps!

  10. Anjali, this is freaking awesome! I joined a weight loss challenge group a while back, and many of the vegetarians are looking for protein sources, so i’ve shared this link with them. The recommended diet they tell you to follow doesn’t include a lot of vegetarian ideas for these friends, so thank you for doing this!

    • Yay!! So glad you found this post helpful, and thanks so much for sharing it!! It’s amazing how many vegetarian protein sources there are out there (and it’s so nice how so many veggies also have protein) — it’s definitely easy to get the protein you need from plant-based sources 🙂 Thanks and good luck with your weight loss challenge!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to newsletter

Copyright 2024 The Picky Eater®, LLC. All rights reserved.