Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
Where do you get your protein from? Plants, of course! These high protein vegan meals will leave your taste buds happy and your stomach full. Perfect for meal prep or busy weeknight dinners!
As a Registered Dietitian and long-time vegetarian, I hear it all the time – where do you get your protein from if you are not eating meat? And, I get it. Most of us grew up believing that protein was only associated with animal foods and removing that from the plate meant the protein went along with it.
Of course, we know now that this isn’t true and that choosing plant-based proteins more often is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease along with other chronic health conditions.
This topic inspired my free plant-based protein course, so people could see all the amazing ways you can get protein.
Today, I want to take things even further with this round-up of some of my favorite high protein vegan meals!
All these meals have at least 15g of protein or more, making them approximately 25-30% of your daily protein needs in one meal. As main dishes, you can cook these high protein vegan meals for lunch, dinner, or meal prep.
Keep this list handy any time you want to up your plant-based protein intake.
My love for Indian food shines through with this korma meal. A variation of the traditional dish, it’s made of a creamy, cashew-coconut sauce full of spices and vegetables. Then, that incredible sauce coats potatoes and protein-rich garbanzo beans.
This recipe has 16.5g of protein, thanks to the ground cashews and garbanzo beans. This is a great option for meal prep as it just gets tastier the longer the spices soak, and it reheats very easily!
Grab the recipe here: Easy Vegan Korma
I designed this recipe with meal prep in mind. It’s quick to make, thanks to being a sheet pan dinner, so I tend to lean on it for lunches and busy weeks. This recipe consists of whole grains, cucumber, greens, tomato, avocado, potatoes, and tofu, all coated in a dairy-free ranch.
This recipe comes packed with 15.9g of protein, or 32% of the daily recommended intake for the average women. These bowls are incredibly filling due to the potatoes, extra-firm tofu, and farro.
Grab the recipe here: Sheet Pan Ranch Bowls with Chickpeas
Simple dinners are such a blessing during busy weeks, and these lettuce wraps are one of my go-to meals. On a summer’s night when the sun has taken every last bit of energy from me, we can still eat well. Wrapped in butter lettuce, this wrap consists of coconut curry tempeh, mango, cucumbers, and a savory peanut sauce.
This recipe contains 17g of protein for ¼ of the recipe. Tempeh is a wonderful protein source for vegetarians and vegans and remains a staple in creating high protein vegan meals.
Grab the recipe here: Vegan Tempeh Lettuce Wraps
(PS– If you love tempeh as much as I do, you’re going to love my 30 Under 30 book featuring my favorite tempeh recipe ever, Caribbean Jerk Tempeh Lettuce Wraps)
Growing up, I adored sausage and pepper sandwiches. So as an adult, I sought to recreate a new version of my favorite meal in pasta form. Tossed in pasta and herbs, I combine sauteed sweet peppers and vegan sausage for an easy meal for groups or on weeknights.
For each serving of this pasta dish, you’ll get 15.9g of protein from both the sausage and the pasta. Yes, pasta contains protein! 1 cup of pasta usually contains 7g of protein, similar to the protein of an egg. I like to use Field Roast Sausages as they are seitan based, but any plant-based sausage will work in this recipe.
Grab the recipe here: Vegan Sausage Pasta with Peppers
Chili is one of the most simple high protein recipes for a vegan to master. You can easily get rid of the meat and still have a dish filled with flavor and protein. While I have quite a few plant-based chili recipes, this is the best vegan version, thanks to the rich umami flavor.
You won’t find any tofu, tempeh, squash, sweet potatoes, or lentils in this one! The protein comes from plenty of vegetables and beans. One serving of this chili has 17.4g of protein, mostly from the beans.
If there’s one food I’d like all of us to eat more of, it’s beans. Beans are rich in a number of important micronutrients, including potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, and zinc. In particular, they are among the only plant foods that provide significant amounts of the amino acid lysine, which can be limiting on an exclusively plant-based diet.
Grab the recipe here: The Best Vegan Chili
In the summer, I eat SO many veggie burgers! They are easy to bring with you to BBQs or throw on the skillet after a long day of work. These burgers come loaded with lentils and have tons of flavor. And they don’t crumble the second you take a bite!
These veggie burgers are ideal for meal prep as they freeze perfectly. Create a large batch, and then you’ll be stocked up for a whole month of summer BBQs. These burgers contain 22g of protein per serving.
Grab the recipe here: Vegan Burger with Lentils
When people think of salad, they often don’t think of high protein – but this one is all in the name! This completely vegan Caesar salad is topped with tempeh bacon, garlic chickpeas crisped to perfection, a nut parmesan, and a dairy-free Caesar dressing.
The protein intake in this one might blow you away. You can have up to 28.8g of protein per serving of this Caesar salad, not exactly rabbit food. If you love Caesar salad as much as I do, then you’ll love this one.
Grab the recipe: High Protein Vegan Caesar Salad
If you have picky eaters at home, just about everyone can get behind a quesadilla. While vegan, this is such a cheesy dish filled with plant-based protein and lots of fiber. You also don’t need many ingredients for this one, making it an easy meal to put together on busy days.
For one quesadilla, you’re looking at 14.9g of protein. For a 130 pound female, this quesadilla would account for roughly 30% of your recommended daily protein intake.
Grab the recipe here: Cheesy Vegan Quesadilla
I had to include a slow cooker meal in this list of high protein vegan meals. In the morning, throw all these ingredients into the slow cooker, and by the time you get home, dinner is ready to be served. Quickly top these lentil sloppy joes with homemade slaw, and you have the ideal combination of savory and sweet crunch.
This recipe contains 15.1g of protein, per serving. You can easily use this for meal prep as it stays good in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Grab the recipe here: Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joes
Bowls are one of the best lunches because they fill you up and won’t leave your stomach growling before it’s time for dinner. These bowls consist of roasted shawarma cauliflower, lemon potatoes, vegetables, and chickpeas, all topped with a tahini dressing.
Each shawarma bowl contains 21.8g of protein, thanks to the chickpeas, tahini dressing and potatoes. Prep these bowls ahead of time, and it will only take a few minutes to throw them together for a quick, tasty meal!
Grab the recipe here: Vegan Shawarma Bowl
I’m thrilled to tell you that you can have delicious vegan mac and cheese and get a protein-rich meal simultaneously. I make this baked casserole whenever I’m in the mood for some comfort food. Topped with breadcrumbs, it bakes until it’s golden brown and perfectly creamy.
All thanks to the almond milk and cashew sauce, you can have 15.7g of protein per serving with this mac and cheese. For an added protein boost, I’ll often make this with a chickpea-based pasta– especially for my kiddos who love mac and cheese!
Grab the recipe here: Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese
Here’s another amazing one-pan dinner that requires little prep and minimal clean-up. The meal itself is so colorful that you’ll love scooping up every bite. I use purple creamer potatoes, vegan sausages, onion, and pepper to make a quick yet tasty meal when I’m on the go.
This recipe contains 20.9g of protein which I’d absolutely consider to be a high-protein meal. I love these vegan sausage recipes for this very reason! I sometimes hear that meat-alternatives shouldn’t be consumed from some plant-based eaters because they consider them to be processed. And while some are more processed than others, the only real downside in my opinion is that they tend to be higher in salt. I also opt for brands that are lower in saturated fat, as I believe one of the large benefits in reducing meat consumption is to reduce saturated fat consumption.
Otherwise, meat alternatives can be a great addition to the diet especially considering that they are rich in protein and iron.
Grab the recipe here: Vegan Skillet Dinner
In my house, tempeh bacon has become a cornerstone recipe. Of course, I use it plenty to make a vegan variation of the classic BLT. Sandwiches are a simple meal I can throw together for lunch and pack in the morning. And you never seem to get tired of them!
A little bit of seasoning goes a long way in making this BLT that much better than the classic. With the tempeh bacon, one sandwich accounts for a whopping 29.1g of protein– pretty impressive, right?
Grab the recipe here: Tempeh Bacon BLT Sandwich
As a mom, I make plenty of nuggets – kids just adore good finger food! And, don’t get me wrong– I absolutely buy meatless nuggets from the store. A lifesaver for busy weeknights when I don’t have any energy to cook.
However, if you are looking for a homemade version then these chickpea nuggets are incredibly tasty. They appear just like nuggets and have a fairly similar chicken-like taste, thanks to the seasoning.
Each of these nuggets contains 2.2g of protein. So, if you have a serving of 7 nuggets, you’ll reach that desired high-protein intake of 15.4g.
Grab the recipe here: Vegan Chickpea Nuggets
In the winter, I love to make stew as a high protein vegan meal. This stew contains lentils, potatoes, sausages, plenty of spice, and has tons of umami flavor. You can leave it simmering on the stove all day as it warms the house with its wonderful, hearty smell.
For each serving of stew, you’ll get 16.5g of protein. Honestly, it’s the kind of recipe where you’ll be going for seconds, so you could get even more protein for one meal!
Grab the recipe here: Vegan Lentil Stew
If you love the classic chili and cornbread, then I have an inkling you’ll want to give this recipe a try. This recipe consists of three parts: creamy polenta, garlicky kale, and skillet beans. Simpler than your typical chili, this recipe can be ready in 30 minutes and doesn’t require much simmering to get lots of flavors.
The polenta in this dish fills you up, while the kale provides a ton of nutrients. The canned beans in this recipe help make this a vegan high-protein meal, containing 19.5g of protein per serving.
Grab the recipe: Chili Beans with Creamy Polenta
Many people who love butter chicken are pleasantly surprised at how similar this chickpea variation is. This dish is protein-filled, completely vegan, and gluten-free. It’s about as healthy as you can get! And that doesn’t mean it skimps out on flavor – this recipe contains plenty of spices amidst a creamy coconut milk sauce.
To make this protein-packed, I include tofu as well as chickpeas. This accounts for 18.6g of protein a serving, from both the tofu and chickpeas.
Grab the recipe here: Slow Cooker Chickpea Butter Curry
A part of me believes that small food tastes better than the bigger version just because of its cute size. These sliders prove that! To spin the veggie burger on its head, try making these black bean sliders for your next BBQ (along with these yummy BBQ sides). They come packed with quinoa, mushrooms, spices, and of course, beans.
For one slider, you’re looking at 8.1g of protein. Eat two, and you’ve surpassed that high-protein goal of 15g per meal. These burgers freeze well and can be unthawed for a quick and easy meal.
Grab the recipe here: Vegan Black Bean Burger Sliders
Here’s another quick meal for you! I tend to make this sheet pan dinner in the winter months when I want a quick but hearty meal. It contains marinated tempeh, butternut squash, shallots, and Brussel sprouts under a sweet maple glaze. Serve it with any grain of choice, and you have a filling meal with minimal work.
This recipe contains 16g of protein and better yet, it also has 12.4g of fiber, which accounts for 44% of your recommended intake. Considering that 95% of Americans don’t consume enough fiber each day, adding in meals like this more often is a good idea.
Grab the recipe here: Sheet Pan Maple Balsamic Tempeh
I’m always looking for kid-approved recipes, and this is one my kids give a big thumbs up to. That’s probably because it’s a super combination of two kid classics! I love how easy it is to hide vegetables in dishes like these. This chili mac contains a whopping 9 plants, which makes it full of fiber alongside the plant-based protein.
For one serving of chili mac, you’ll get 21.5g of protein. It contains three types of beans: pinto, kidney, and black.
Grab the recipe here: One Pot Vegan Chili Mac
Next time someone asks you where you get your protein, you can happily show them this list of wonderful plant-based protein recipes. If you try any of these high-protein vegan meals, let me know!
For more recipes, be sure to check out my free plant-based protein course.
In the 7-day course, I show you just how powerful plant-based protein can be and how much you should eat based on your lifestyle. Besides teaching you the absolute best ways to make tofu, there are 40 more protein-packed recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Ultimate Plant-Based Protein Cookbook + Course
(Includes 40+ recipes!)
FREE 7-DAY COURSE + COOKBOOK