There are three macronutrients that are essential for a balanced healthy diet: carbohydrate, fat, and protein. While all three macronutrients provide energy for our bodies (along with a whole host of other health benefits), protein, especially complete proteins with all nine essential amino acids, is one of the hardest to get enough of on a vegan diet.

We already know protein is a macronutrient, but protein is also used for fuel and “is essential to building muscle mass.” Looking at the chemical structure, protein is “composed of amino acids, which are organic compounds made of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen or sulfur.”

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Luckily, there are a host of ways to get your bang for your buck when it comes to making whole foods-based protein-rich meals each and every day!

First off, it’s good to know which plant-based foods have the highest protein content including seitan, quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, green peas, beans (especially navy beans), spelt, amaranth, spirulina, oats, chia seeds (a complete protein!), and soy products such as tempeh, tofu, and soy milk. After that, it’s all about creativity and experimentation!

In order to get you started, here are 15 protein-rich recipes from the Food Monster App!

1. Chicken-Style SeitanChicken-Style Seitan

Source: Chicken-Style Seitan

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Seitan is the perfect meatless recipe ingredient and is a staple in a vegan kitchen! This Chicken-Style Seitan recipe by Lindsay Clarke is a great option for seitan newbies!

2. Freezer-Friendly Breakfast BurritosFreezer-Friendly Breakfast Burritos

Source: Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Burritos

This Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Burritos recipe by Linda Soper-Kolton and Sara Boan is brimming with nutrients including protein-rich tofu and black beans. These make great healthy on-the-go meals!

3. Quinoa Lentil Meatballs

Source: Quinoa Lentil Meatballs

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Hankering for some traditional spaghetti and meatballs? Try this Quinoa Lentil Meatballs recipe by Kristen Genton, which is chock full of protein-rich lentils and quinoa. Pair these meatballs with spaghetti squash for the ultimate vegan dinner!

4. 20-Minute Spinach and Chickpea Curry20-Minute Spinach and Chickpea Curry

Source: 20-Minute Spinach and Chickpea Curry

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If you’ve only got 20 minutes and you’re looking to get your daily dose of protein, then this is the recipe for you! This 20-Minute Spinach and Chickpea Curry recipe by Dana Sandonato is nutrient-dense — with spinach, coconut oil, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and turmeric — and also brimming with protein-rich chickpeas.

5. Whole Wheat Spelt BreadWhole Wheat Spelt Bread

Source: Whole Wheat Spelt Bread

This Whole Wheat Spelt Bread recipe by Petra Vogel is a great substitute for traditional whole wheat bread. Rich in protein from spelt flour, yet still providing that fluffy bread texture, try this on your next lunch sandwich.

6. Cherry Hemp Oat Bars

Source: Cherry Hemp Oat Bars

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This Cherry Hemp Oat Bars recipe by Taryn Fitz-Gerald is wonderful for both adults and kids! These bars back a protein one-two punch with both chia seeds — a complete protein with all nine amino acids — and protein-rich oats, which also happens to be rich in fiber for improved digestive health.  

7. Asparagus and Pea SoupAsparagus and Pea Soup

Source: Asparagus and Pea Soup

The summer is coming to an end and now is the time to begin planning your favorite cold-weather soups! Consider adding this Asparagus and Pea Soup recipe by Harriet Emily to your menu for a dose of protein and a warm comforting texture.

8. Raw Cauliflower ‘Popcorn’ Raw Cauliflower 'Popcorn'

Source: Raw Cauliflower ‘Popcorn’

Spirulina is one of the more recent foods to crop up in the health world. Sourced from algae, spirulina is a superfood that is rich in nutrients including protein! This Raw Cauliflower ‘Popcorn’ recipe by Jodi Burke is an easy way to introduce your family to spirulina, while also getting a daily dose of cruciferous veggie.

9. Navy Bean Soup with Crispy KaleNavy Bean Soup with Crispy Kale

Source: Navy Bean Soup with Crispy Kale

This Navy Bean Soup with Crispy Kale recipe by Lisa Dawn Angerame is another warming, nutrient-dense, and protein-rich recipe to put in your back pocket for this winter!

10. Maple Maca Amaranth PorridgeMaple Maca Amaranth Porridge

Source: Maple Maca Amaranth Porridge

Looking for something new for breakfast? Try this super creative and unique Maple Maca Amaranth Porridge recipe by Claire Ragozzino. It’s slightly sweetened with maple, antioxidant powered with maca, and incredibly satisfying with a base of protein-rich and gluten-free amaranth.

11. Homemade Soy Milk

Homemade Soy Milk

Source: Homemade Soy Milk

For those wary of store-bought soy milk, try your hand at this Homemade Soy Milk recipe by Faith VanderMolen. With a super simple and easy to follow recipe, you’ll be able to control exactly what goes into your protein-rich soy milk.

12. Peanut Butter Overnight OatsPeanut Butter Overnight Oats

Source: Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Peanut butter is rich in healthy fats and oats are rich in protein, making this Peanut Butter Overnight Oats recipe by Hayley Canning not only incredibly delicious but also incredibly nourishing and satisfying. It’s a great way to start your day!

13. Protein Quinoa BowlProtein Quinoa Bowl

Source: Protein Quinoa Bowl

Never discount the power of quinoa! This gluten-free pseudocereal is brimming with nutrients, especially fiber and protein! This Protein Quinoa Bowl recipe by Caroline Doucet is the perfect quick prep meal that is both nutritious and delicious.

14. Peach, Raspberry, and Coconut Yogurt Chia PuddingPeach, Raspberry, and Coconut Yogurt Chia Pudding

Source: Peach, Raspberry, and Coconut Yogurt Chia Pudding

Chia pudding is one of those wonderful vegan treats that even non-vegans enjoy! This Peach, Raspberry, and Coconut Yogurt Chia Pudding recipe by Hayley Canning provides a healthy dose of protein alongside healthy fat-filled coconut yogurt and naturally sweetened with peaches and raspberry.

15. Tempeh Cubano SandwichTempeh Cubano Sandwich

Source: Tempeh Cubano Sandwich

Want to spice up your lunch sandwich? This Tempeh Cubano Sandwich recipe by Molly Patrick is based around tempeh, a protein-rich plant-based meat substitute that will fulfill your satiety.

We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

For more Vegan Food, Health, Recipe, Animal, and Life content published daily, don’t forget to subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter!

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