21 Plant-Based High-Protein Meals Without Meat

Amanda M. Rye

Whether you’re fully vegetarian or just trying add more meat-free options into your recipe rotation, these will help.

Whether you’re fully vegetarian or just trying add more meat-free options into your recipe rotation, we’ve got you covered with these plant-based meals — all of which are high in protein. 🌱


Many plants — and cheese and eggs — have plenty of protein, so you can take on Meatless Mondays (or go vegetarian) without worry. From a protein-packed take on cheesy mac n’ cheese to a sweet but hearty grab-and-go breakfast, this list is full of plant-based meals that pack a protein wallop and taste incredible.


Plant-based eating shouldn’t be boring, and this dish proves it. The recipe is surprisingly easy — three steps and less than 30 minutes — and relies on peanut butter, veggies, and sesame seeds for its protein. To make your prep work easier, use a pre-cut coleslaw mix of carrots and cabbage.

Recipe: Sesame Peanut Noodles


When most people think of salad, they think of a meal that’s light, healthy, and frankly, not very filling. That’s not the case with this quinoa-based edition that uses avocado, spinach, and a homemade dressing to deliver a midday meal that will keep you going until dinner.

Recipe: Avocado Quinoa Power Salad

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Say goodbye to dry, overly dense lasagna with this extra saucy take on the staple. For an extra dose of protein, add in plant-based meat crumbles, like this version from Beyond Meat.

Recipe: Lasagna Soup

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It only takes 30 minutes to cook up this pot of rainy day goodness — plus it’s packed with protein. The fiber-rich sweet potatoes will fill you up and the spinach and chickpeas will keep you full.

Recipe: Chickpea Sweet Potato Stew

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Just because you’re eating plant-based dishes doesn’t mean you have to skimp on cheese. This gooey one-pot dish has black beans, brown rice, and plenty of cheesy goodness. Tip: If you really want that enchilada flavor, swap the tomato sauce for enchilada sauce.

Recipe: One-Pot Enchilada Rice

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Breakfast just got a whole lot easier! This recipe only calls for three ingredients — oats, banana, and milk — and delivers an impressive 18 grams of protein. No joke. If you like your smoothies extra cold, freeze the bananas the night before.

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Banana Oat Smoothie

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Fact: You don’t need chicken, beef, or even fish to create a taco masterpiece. And this version — which uses chickpeas — provides super crave-worthy flavor thanks to its coating of soy sauce, chipotle peppers, and garlic.

Recipe: Chipotle Chickpea Tacos

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You only need one large pot to make this meat-free bolognese. The lentils give the sauce a meatiness protein boost, while the mix of broth, spices, and herbs will make you feel like a real chef. (Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!)

Recipe: One-Pot Lentil Bolognese

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This recipe is proof that it only takes a few (usually colorful) substitutes to make your favorite dish meat-free. Swap the meat for peas, carrots, bell pepper, broccoli, and corn — or whatever other veggies you fancy.

Recipe: Veggie Fried Rice

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The wonderful thing about Indian food is that in most cases, it’s naturally meat free. This curry is no exception. It calls for two cans of chickpeas (resulting in 11 grams of protein per serving) and plenty of Indian food flavor basics: garlic, ginger, turmeric, and a dash of lemon.

Recipe: Easy Chickpea Curry (Chana Masala)

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If you’re a sweet breakfast person, but want something with a little more protein, this spin on overnight oats may be just what you need. The six-ingredient recipe takes less than 30 minutes, but you’ll want to make it in advance so it has time to cool and set (ideally the night before). For even more protein, add chia seeds or crushed walnuts to the mix.

Recipe: Strawberry Chocolate Overnight Oats

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If you’ve been vegetarian for a few years, chances are there are a few meaty flavors you miss. This recipe uses buffalo sauce (mmm, RIP buffalo wings) to give the chickpeas that tangy zest — and smothers everything with a homemade hummus-based sauce. Yum.

Recipe: Buffalo Chickpea Wraps

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If you’re trying to cut down on (or avoid) meat, beans will naturally become your go-to ingredient. This recipe — which is perfect for lunch or a potluck — mixes three types of beans with tons of veggies and a homemade dressing. The end result has 23 grams of protein per serving. You’re welcome.

Recipe: Three Bean Salad

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Pad Thai’s less popular (and arguably more delicious) cousin gets a makeover in this plant-based recipe that uses fried tofu in place of meat. The result is everything you’d expect — a hearty, saucy noodle dish you can make at home in under 30 minutes.

Recipe: Vegetarian Pad See Ew

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What is it about burgers we love so much? This spin on the classic uses black beans, shredded carrots, oats, and plenty of onion (plus a host of spices) to create a veggie version that doesn’t skimp on protein. The recipe only takes 15 minutes to make, but after you make the patties, you’ll want to stick them in the freezer for 30 minutes to set.

Recipe: Black Bean Burgers

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If you’re craving a chicken salad sandwich but want to skip the chicken, look no further. This chickpea-based recipe has all the chicken salad ingredients (minus the chicken) and an impressive 13 grams of protein per serving. For extra goodness, add avocado or swap out mayo for hummus.

Recipe: Chickpea Salad Sandwich


You want protein? Here’s your protein — all 36 grams of it (per serving). Not only is this meal delicious, healthy, and balanced, but it’s also versatile. You can swap the chickpeas for beans or add in tomatoes and cabbage.

Recipe: Protein-Packed Veggie Bowl

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It’s wild how adding a couple ingredients to a basic recipe can make such a difference. In this case, mushrooms and spinach make the traditional quesadilla even better.

Recipe: Spinach & Mushroom Quesadilla

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Green mac ‘n’ cheese? Yes, and proud of it. This meal has all the mac goodness (two melted cheese over noodles) with a much-needed dose of nutrients. The recipe calls for a whopping four cups of fresh spinach — but the end result absolutely still holds up on flavor and satisfaction.

Recipe: Green Mac ‘n’ Cheese

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