My biggest issues with “high protein” recipes in general is that they say that they’re high in protein, but in reality barely have any.
Here, you can sort my collection of over 100 high protein meals by any macro-nutrient, or protein percent, which tells you what percentage of calories come from protein in a serving. Hopefully it will help you get enough protein on a vegan diet.
The nutritional data is per serving. All the data comes from MyFitnessPal’s nutritional facts generator.
Finally, if you need help finding a good protein powder for some of these recipes, take a look at my guide to the best tasting vegan protein powders. And if you don’t care about the macros specifically, you might prefer my collection of 100 vegan seitan recipes.
Using the High Protein Vegan Meal Filters
A vegan diet can take many forms. To accommodate as many people as possible, I created a set of filters and features to help narrow down the recipes to just those that you care about.
Most of the filters intuitive, but here’s more detailed explanations of all of them:
- Meal types – Sometimes you want to make a snack, other times you want a full meal. You can toggle these buttons to show or hide recipes of a certain meal type.
- Meal – This tag was assigned to recipes that could be eaten as a standalone meal. These are usually healthy recipes that are pretty filling, hearty, and include a variety of ingredients.
- Snack – This tag was assigned to small recipes, particularly those that were more of a dessert than a meal. These are mostly quick vegan protein meals when you don’t have much time to cook.
- Side dish – I considered recipes that were close to meals, but either smaller or kind of “plain” to be side dishes. You’d typically want to pair them with something else, even though they could be eaten alone. This is usually soups, salads, and food like that.
- Only show recipes that include – Clicking on the input will reveal a drop down list. You can type in the field to reduce the list to those that contain what you typed in. Choosing an ingredient will make the page only show recipes that have that ingredient. If you select more than one, all recipes shown will contain all of them.
- Do NOT show recipes that include – You might not like certain ingredients, or might be allergic to them. Again, clicking on the input field will reveal options for filtering out certain types of ingredients. For example, if you are on a soy-free vegan diet, click the “soy” option here.
- Minimum protein percent to show – The protein percent (or content) represents what percent of calories come from protein. The values range from around 14 to just over 50 percent. Sliding this scale will hide any recipes that have a protein percent under your selected value.
- Scale to 100 calories – To more fairly compare the nutrients of each recipe, check this box. It will set the calories per serving to 100 for all recipes, and scale the rest of the data up or down accordingly.
- Sorting – You can sort the vegan protein dishes by macronutrient (fat, carb, protein). For example, if you wanted high protein low carb vegan recipes, sort by carbs. How to sort will depend on your screen size.
- On desktop or tablet – If you’re on desktop or tablet, you’ll see the data as a traditional table above. You can sort by clicking on the column title at the top of the table. Clicking again will reverse the sort direction.
- On mobile – Just above the table, there is a section for sorting on mobile screens. You can select the column to sort by, and then click the arrow button beside it to toggle the direction of the sort.
I built the interface this way to make the database a lot more useful to different sorts of people.
For example, if you want to find protein packed vegan meals for athletes or bodybuilding, you should sort by protein content (the default) and prioritize recipes with as much protein as possible.
Specific Lists of Protein Rich Vegan Recipes
If that’s a little much for you and you’re just looking for specific types of high protein recipes, I also created simplified list posts that you may prefer.
- 10 High Protein Low-Carb Vegan Recipes That You’ll Love
- 5 High Protein Vegan Recipes With Low Calories
- 5 High Protein Vegan Soup Recipes
- 7 High Protein Vegan Recipes With No Soy
- Best Vegan Protein Bar Recipes With Macros
You can also consider prioritizing recipes that include vegan protein powder, since those tend to be foods that you could take on the go.
Even then, your preferences may depend on your goals. If you start a bulking phase, you could sort by raw protein grams or calories. On the other hand, you would probably sort by calories for weight loss, but from low to high.
Finding High Protein Vegan Recipes for Work or Meal Prep
The most helpful thing I could include for people who need to meal prep for work or any other reason is to include the serving size.
The serving size tells you how many servings the base recipe will give you. Of course you could double or triple it, but that doesn’t always work out so great.
Unfortunately I couldn’t think of a better way to help filter for this, so you’ll still need to look through the results and figure out if they fit your meal prep approach or not.
How to Make the Protein Content of These Recipes Higher
At first glance at some of these recipes, you might see a protein percent of 15 or 20 and think, “that’s okay, but it’s not great…”.
And I completely understand, because that’s exactly what I thought sometimes while collecting these recipes.
The important thing to keep in mind is that these stats, like the protein percent, is for the exact recipe itself.
I don’t know about you, but I rarely follow recipes exactly.
I typically will the first time to try it out, and then start to make adjustments if I like it.
There’s 2 main ways to do this.
Option #1- Change the Amounts of Ingredients
The simplest way to increase the protein percentage of any recipe is to simply use more of the ingredients that are bringing protein to the table, or less of any carb/fat-heavy ingredients.
For example, if I sort by lowest protein percent, I find Banana Hemp Granola at the bottom.
It has 51 grams of carbs, 15 grams of protein, and 17 grams of fat.
If you doubled the amount of hemp hearts, you nearly double the amount of protein. Same goes for peanut butter.
If you cut out 1/3rd of the oats, you reduce the carbs significantly. Or, cut out the applesauce or bananas.
I find that you can tweak every ingredient a bit and still end up with the same general taste, but much improved macros in most cases.
Make small changes each time you make something that you like and see how it affects the taste.
Option #2 – Use High Protein Substitutions
An alternative is to swap out an ingredient with poor protein content with one that is packed with protein.
For example, let’s compare pea pasta to normal wheat pasta:
|Wheat Pasta||Pea Pasta|
The taste is comparable for the most part, but the protein percent is ~9% higher in the pea pasta.
I get a big box from Costco for a reasonable amount once in a while, and regularly sub it in for wheat noodles.
There are also other pastas made from various types of legumes that have similar protein contents.
Other substitutions you could make are:
- Baked tofu for croutons
- Protein powder for flour (not the whole thing, but small amounts is usually fine)
- Hemp seeds for any other type of seed
- Kidney beans for other beans (kidney beans have the best protein percent)
- Almond butter for peanut butter
- Use a vegan soy milk and tofu substitute for heavy cream
Popular Ingredients in High Protein Vegan Recipes
Finally, if you’ve seen as many high protein vegan recipes as I have when creating this page, you’ll start to notice some patterns.
Keeping these ingredients in mind will help you come up with clever substitutions and recognize recipes elsewhere that are high in protein. It will help a lot in meal prep.
Certain ingredients pop up over and over:
- Soy – Whether as tofu, tempeh, or edamame, soy has a great protein content. Side note: Tofu is a complete protein.
- Legumes (Beans, Peas, and Lentils) – All legumes have a reasonable amount of protein in them and can form the basis for cheap high protein vegan meals. Kidney beans have the most protein, chickpeas have the least, and the rest are similar in the middle. Per calorie, they have much more protein than nuts (see legumes vs nuts).
- Seeds – Hemp seeds are a great way to add protein and healthy fats to a recipe. Flaxseeds have a very balanced nutritional profile, which includes a decent amount of protein. Seeds are also arguably the best vegan source of calcium.
- Protein powder – Super convenient and versatile, it’s an easy way to add protein to things like smoothies or baked goods. Chickpea flour is similar and can be used in place of wheat flour in many cases.
- Seitan – You can make your own from wheat protein, and it’s usually the main ingredient in “vegan meat”. It’s cheap, protein rich, and has a great macronutrient profile. It’s not quite a complete protein, being relatively low in lysine. But as long as you have other protein sources, that doesn’t matter. For some though, seitan is a common cause of vegan stomach problems. Test it out and see for yourself.