12 Vegan Recipes High in Iron (With Vitamin C)


Iron is one of the tougher nutrients to get for vegans.

That’s why I’ve put together this list of tasty vegan recipes that have a ton of iron.

As an added bonus, all of these contain vitamin C, which greatly improves the absorption rate of iron.

Don’t limit yourself just to these recipes. Find any recipe that has one or two or the best vegan sources of iron, and combine it with a good vitamin C source.

If you can’t find a good vitamin C source on a regular basis, you can always just have a supplement alongside the meal.

You’ll notice that the main ingredients of these recipes come from those lists. They mostly include:

  • Sesame seeds
  • Oats
  • Cashews
  • Lentils
  • Hemp seeds
  • Kidney beans
  • Amaranth
  • Chickpeas
  • Navy Beans
  • Tofu

Leafy greens like spinach and kale get bonus points because they have a decent amount of iron, but are also low in calories, and have a good amount of vitamin C.

With all that background information out of the way, let’s look at the recipes I found.

1. Seared Tofu Buddha Bowl with Tahini Dressing

iron buddha bowl

Buddha bowls are extremely versatile, and typically contain a ton of iron-packed ingredients.

This specific recipe includes tofu and tahini (from sesame seeds) for iron, and then it has kale and lemon juice for vitamin C.

You can always add more beans if you want even more iron.

2. Spinach, Beet, and Lentil Salad

lentil tahini salad

This salad is packed with iron.

It includes tahini, lentils, walnuts, and spinach, which are all good sources of iron individually.

The vitamin C comes mainly from the spinach, but a bit from the lemon juice as well. I recommend piling on the spinach here to get the most from all that iron.

3. Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bowls

strawberry oatmeal

Oats are an awesome source of iron, but not many good vitamin C sources pair well with it.

Strawberries and oats are my favorite combination when it comes to getting more iron, as strawberries are one of the best sources of vitamin C.

You can top your oatmeal with flax or hemp seeds to up the iron content further.

4. Strawberry Baked Oatmeal

strawberry baked oatmeal

This is a nice alternative to standard oatmeal if you prefer it baked, or need to prepare it ahead of time.

Again it has oats and flax for iron, with strawberries providing a large amount of vitamin C.

One extra that it has is cashew butter, which is another amazing vegan source of iron.

5. Hemp and Cauliflower Porridge

hemp porridge

This is a very healthy recipe with lots of iron.

It has hemp seeds, flax, and you can sub the almond butter for cashew butter for a large serving of iron.

The vitamin C comes from the cauliflower. It might seem like an odd combination, but it works.

6. Cashew ‘Ricotta’ and Spinach Stuffed Shells

cashew ricotta stuffed shells

I’ve made this recipe a few times. It’s delicious, but takes a while to make (just a warning).

The iron comes from the cashews, while the vitamin C comes from spinach and lemon juice.

Of all the best vegan substitutes for recipes with heavy cream, I think the cashew-based ones are the best tasting.

7. Vegan Pineapple Cashew Stir Fry

pineapple cashew stirfry

This recipe is perhaps the best overall here.

It has multiple iron sources in quinoa, peas, and cashews.

It also has multiple great vitamin C sources in peas, red pepper, and pineapple. Even the lime juice adds a bit extra.

8. BBQ Lentil Farro Cauliflower Bake

lentil cauliflower bake

This recipe focuses on lentils for iron, I’d recommend adding more than the recipe suggests.

It gets both iron and vitamin C from spinach, while getting even more vitamin C from cauliflower.

9. Lentil, Kale & Quinoa Stew (Vegan)

lentil kale stew

This is a simple stew to make that incorporates red lentils and quinoa for iron sources.

The kale provides both a good amount of vitamin C, plus some iron. I suggest adding extra kale.

10. Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

lentil shepherd pie

I debated on whether or not to include this recipe.

It’s tasty and has a decent amount of iron, but not quite as much as most of the others here.

The lentils do provide a good amount of iron, and potatoes have an okay amount of vitamin C, but ideally you’d have more.

When I make this, I add peas to the bottom layer, which adds both iron and more vitamin C to the recipe.

11. Smoked Chickpea Kale Stir Fry

chickpea kale stirfry

This stir fry gets its iron from chickpeas, quinoa, and mushrooms, while getting its vitamin C from the kale.

If you really want to maximize absorption, add another vitamin C source like bell peppers or brussel sprouts.

12. Chickpea Spinach Curry

chickpea spinach curry

Finally, the title of this recipe tells you about all you need to know about it.

It has a good amount of iron from both the chickpeas and spinach, while the spinach also provides vitamin C.

If you eat any of these on a regular basis, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be deficient in iron unless you have an actual disease that needs medical attention.

If you are still having issues getting enough iron, consider supplementing instead. Here’s a review of the best vegan iron supplements.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. I've spent over 6 years as a freelance nutrition writer and researcher. During this time, I've tested over 50 vegan protein powders, and over 100 other types of vegan supplements.

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