10 Vegan High Protein Alternatives for Meat
If you are looking for easy, delicious and protein-rich recipes you have come to the right place.
Meeting at least the minimum intake of protein becomes difficult for many non-meat eaters. According to studies, an average person’s protein consumption should be between 1.2 and 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day or 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight. Also for those who workout protein is very important for muscle building.
It is a common conception that meat is the only high source of protein out there. However, people who adequately eat grains, beans, lentils or leafy vegetables can not only reach their daily protein requirements but also get a lot of vitamins, antioxidants, fibers, etc. Folks who don’t prefer processed protein powders available in the market or don’t eat meat, we have compiled a list of 10 vegan high protein alternatives for meat.
1. Vegan Green Peas Fritters
Vegan green pea fritters made from a less appreciated source of protein, peas, are an excellent substitute for meat. They are versatile enough to be used in veg burgers, wraps, salads, etc. It’s a gluten-free, high protein and fiber recipe.
Made of chickpea flour, carrots, potatoes, peas and onions, these vegan green pea fritters are hassle free to make. They can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 days.
- Preheat the oven at 350⁰F (If baking). Add 1 ¼ tbsp olive oil in a pan. Then add 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 finely chopped onion, 1 carrot finely chopped, 2 cups of fresh peas and 2 mashed potatoes.
- Season them with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add ½ tsp of paprika powder. Once the vegetables are nice and soft transfer them to a bowl. Add about 1 1/2 cups of chickpea floor to it. Mix it together with water till the mixture is moist enough to shape them. Season again as needed.
- Make small flat rounds and place them on a greased oven tray. Brush some olive oil on top and bake for about 17- 18 minutes till both sides are golden. Or you can place a non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoon of preferred oil to it and place the fritters in them. Once the bottom side turns golden flip them over to repeat the same. Add oil if required.
- Serve hot with soy yogurt.Protein Content: 22g approx. (Serving of 4)
2. Homemade Peanut Butter Protein Balls
No bake supper easy homemade peanut butter protein balls are perfect healthy snack or post workout bites. You can make them in less than 10 minutes. With fibers, healthy fats and lots of protein, they are a good source of energy as well. They can be stored in the refrigerator for a week as well. You just need homemade peanut butter (or a peanut butter that contains only peanuts and salt), oats, dark chocolate chips, hemp seeds and shredded coconut flakes (optional).
- To make homemade peanut butter take raw peanuts, how much ever you like, in a pan and roast them on medium-high flame. Keep stirring them so that they don’t burn.
- Once all peanuts are evenly roasted put them in a food processor and turn it on. After a few minutes, you will have grainy powdered peanuts, keep grinding them. Later you will notice the powder starts getting buttery. Grind a bit more and you will have your very own peanut butter. Add salt to taste. (Remember texture of homemade peanut butter is different than the store bought one).
- Now add ¾ cup of your homemade peanut butter, 1 cup oats, ½ cup dark chocolate chips, ½ cup grounded hemp seeds and 2 tbsp of cane sugar (or honey). Mix it well and add little water, just enough to bind them together.
- Make small balls and eat them right away or refrigerate for a week and then enjoy!
Protein content: 47.03g approx. (Serving of 5-6)
3. Sesame Garlic Protein Noodles
Sesame Garlic Noodles is a protein rich recipe. Where is the protein here you ask? It’s in the noodles because this recipe is made using chickpeas noodles. Chickpeas don’t have its own taste as such; hence it is like using regular noodles.
The pasta is cooked in about 10 minutes and in during that period vegetables are sauteed and sauce is done taking only 20 minutes of your time.
- Boil water and cook chickpeas spaghetti, follow the instructions on the box.
- Add ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce, 2 tbsp of brown sugar, 1 tbsp of chili-garlic sauce, 1 tbsp of hoisin sauce and 4 minced cloves of garlic in a bowl and whisk them well.
- Place a skillet on medium-high flame. Add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Now add chopped pieces of 1 bell pepper and 1 onion and stir frequently. Once they become tender and fragrant add 1 broccoli to it and stir fry till it becomes light green.
- Add the cooked spaghetti and sauce to the skillet. Gently mix everything together and let it simmer till the sauce thickness. Then turn off the heat and serve it hot garnishing it with finely chopped green onions and toasted sesame seed.
Protein content: 17g per serving (one-fourth of the recipe)
Recipe inspiration: https://yupitsvegan.com/garlic-sesame-noodles/
4. High Protein Lasagna soup
High protein lasagne soup is nutrition and satisfaction in a bowl. Best when you have little time on your hands and want something flavourful yet healthy to please both your taste buds and your body. It’s a nice comforting meal.
The green lentil lasagna sheets are made from lentil, pea and brown rice. Minced Portabella mushrooms, fresh veggies and vegan cheese finish this dish.
- Clean and chop 8 cup portabella mushrooms with removed gills or tumble them a little in a food processor. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pot on medium-high heat. Add chopped mushrooms to it.
- Add 3 ½ cup of chopped tomatoes, 2 minced garlic cloves and 1/3 cup of chopped basil. Let it cook for about 5 minutes and then add 3 ½ cup of minced tomatoes, 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast, 1 tbsp of onion powder and 1 tbsp dry thyme, ½ teaspoon salt to taste and 1-2 cups of water.
- Once the water starts boiling, add the lasagna sheets. Cover it and let it cook for about 20 minutes. Serve hot and top it off with vegan mozzarella cheese.
Protein content: 8.5g approx. (Serving of 6)
Recipe inspiration: https://mayihavethatrecipe.com/high-protein-vegan-lasagna-soup/
5. Vegan Mexican Lentil Soup
Lentils are a rich source of proteins, 18 grams per cup. With a variety of them available you can make tons of recipes using lentils of your choice. There are different types of lentil soups out there, Middle Eastern, European, Asian, Mexican and so on. The base ingredients remain almost the same though.
Red lentils cook quickly and are perfect for making soups due to their texture. Leftovers are good for the next day as well. The goodness of onions, carrots, bell pepper and celery; spicy tanginess of paprika, a bit of hot sauce and tomatoes in the soup is a mouthful of a cultural blast.
- In a saucepan on medium heat add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add 2 dried bay leaves and stir until it starts getting brownish and you get the aroma of bay leaves. Add 1 onion, 1 carrot, 2 bell peppers and 2 celery stalks, all finely chopped. Saute until beginning to soften.
- Add 2 minced garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ¼ tsp paprika powder and 1 tsp oregano. Mix well and saute for one minuter.
- Add 2 cups of diced tomatoes, 2 cups of green lentils thoroughly washed, 8 cups of vegetable broth and ½ tsp salt to taste. Mix well and partially cover the pan. Let it simmer for about 40 minutes till lentil is soft and cooked.
- Squeeze a bit of lemon juice, adjust the seasoning and serve hot. You can garnish it with cilantro or avocado.
Protein content: 9g per serving (one-sixth of the recipe)
Recipe inspiration: https://www.yummymummykitchen.com/2016/12/mexican-lentil-soup.html
6. Vegan Chilli
Vegan Chilli is a hearty and comfortable dish. Rich in plant protein, you won’t notice the missing meat. A yummy one-pot recipe! This vegan chili is worth trying out.
The goodness of beans, red sweet potatoes and a kick of spices can be enjoyed with rice, baked potatoes or corn chips. You can garnish with your favorite toppings like vegan cheese, salsa, red onions or coriander.
- Blend 1 can of beans of your choice, ½ cup vegetable broth and 1 ½ cup of diced tomatoes in food processor.
- On a heavy bottomed pan add 2 tbsp of olive oil and keep it on medium heat. Add 1 finely chopped onion, carrot, red bell pepper and celery. Stir till beginning to soften. Add 1 tsp cumin powder, 2 minced garlic cloves, ½ tbsp smoked paprika powder and ¼ tbsp chipotle chili powder (adjust them according to your liking). Saute them till it becomes aromatic.
- Add above ingredients, blended beans and 1 can of beans in a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook on high heat for 2 hours.
- Then add 2 cups of medium size diced sweet potatoes and cook again on high heat for 2 hours.
Protein content: 86g approx. (Serving of 4-6)
Recipe inspiration: https://drizzleanddip.com/2017/07/17/vegan-chili-with-sweet-potato/
7. Vegan Coconut Lentil Curry
Packed with Indian flavors this vegan coconut lentil curry gives a nice twist to everyday meals. A perfect blend of spices and coconut milk makes you enjoy the curry without getting heartburn.
This one-pot recipe makes a pleasing leftover for your next day meals. Though the total time you will need is about 50-55 minutes, you just have to toss the ingredients in the pot and let it cook.
- Place a saucepan or soup pot on medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp of coconut oil to it. Add 3-4 minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp garlic paste, 1 finely chopped onion and 2-3 diced tomatoes. Mix it well.
- Once the onions and tomatoes are soft enough add 1 tsp of turmeric, 1 ¼ tsp of cayenne powder, 1 tsp of cumin powder and 1 tsp of coriander powder.
- Now add 1 cup of red lentils or brown lentils thoroughly washed to the pot. Stir the mixture and then add about 1 cup of water. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 30-35 minutes on low heat, till the lentils are soft.
- Lastly, add about 1 cup of coconut milk, you can add coconut milk more if you like but then reduce the amount of water you add before accordingly. Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice, let it simmer for a minute and then serve.
Protein content: 22.6g approx. (Serving of 4-5)
8. Mexican Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
Mexican Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Pepper recipe is a mouthful to say and a mouthful to eat. Delicious Mexican flavors, hearty stuffing and sweetness of pepper appeals to meat lovers as well.
A perfect breakfast, lunch, dinner or even leftover meal; you can even include these stuffed bell peppers in your next party. It’s easy and made with ingredients lying around in your kitchen.
- Add 1 cup of thoroughly rinsed and drained quinoa to 1 ¼ cup of water in a saucepan. As it starts to boil, reduce the heat and close the lid till quinoa has absorbed all the water.
- In the meantime preheat the oven to 350⁰F. Coat 4 large bell peppers, cut into halves, slightly with refined coconut oil or avocado oil, any natural high heat oil and place them on a greased oven tray.
- In a bowl mix together cooked quinoa, ½ cup salsa, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, 2 tsp cumin powder, 1 ½ tsp garlic powder, 1 ½ tsp chili powder, 1 ¾ cup of black beans and 1 cup of corns. Add salt to taste.
- Completely stuff the bell peppers with this filling, sprinkle vegan mozzarella cheese and cover them with foil.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake it for another 15-20 minutes till the bell peppers turn almost brownish. For soft peppers make it 5-10 minutes.
- Serve with additional salsa, or avocado, or hot sauce.
Protein content: 14.4g approx. per serving (one-fourth of the recipe)
Recipe inspiration: https://minimalistbaker.com/spanish-quinoa-stuffed-peppers/
9. Chickpea, Mango and Curried Cauliflower Salad
Chickpea, mango and curried cauliflower salad is a pleasant twist to our regular salads. Packed with warm Middle Eastern flavors and tons of protein, thanks to chickpeas, this salad is a perfect appetizer or dinner choice.
Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe, this recipe of curried chickpeas and cauliflower with the sweetness of yellow onions and mangoes and a bite of jalapenos is light and refreshing.
- First, take 1 cup of chickpeas in a bowl and add almost twice as much water to them. Cover the bowl and let it sit overnight. Before using simmer them on medium-low heat till they become soft.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of curry powder, ground mustard, sugar and coriander powder, respectively in a small bowl. Add ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder and ground cumin to the mixture.
- Add 1 ½ tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add in 1 finely chopped yellow onion to it and saute it till the onions begin to soften. Add the earlier spice mix and let the onions cook on medium-low heat till they become translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Now add the onions to the bowl of soaked chickpeas and return the skillet on medium heat. Then add a small cauliflower, cut into small florets (It is first blanched in boiling water with ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder for about a minute or two and then strained) to the hot skillet. Add oil if required and let the cauliflower cook in the leftover spice mix till it is soft.
- Add in the cooked cauliflower the onions and chickpeas bowl and let it sit for about 20 minutes, at room temperature.
- Later, add 2 diced mangoes, 1 steamed and finely chopped jalapeno, 1 cup finely chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 cup of baby spinach, 2 cups of arugula and salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss the mixture together and adjust seasoning accordingly.
Protein content: 44g approx. (Serving of 4)
10. Creamy Asparagus and Pea Soup
Peas are a rich source of protein and low in fat; where asparagus is high in antioxidants. This creamy asparagus and pea soup is like spring, soothing with refreshing green color and comforting.
Almond milk makes this soup creamy while shallots give them a rich flavor. You can add nutritional yeast to make it cheesy or some lemon juice to give a zing. Garnish the soup with garlic croutons (optional) and enjoy spring in a bowl!
- Preheat the oven at 400⁰F. Place 12 ounces of trimmed asparagus on a baking tray and season them lightly with preferred oil, salt and pepper. Toss them well together and roast for 15 minutes. Keep it aside. If making garlic croutons set the temperature at 325⁰F.
- Add 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan on medium-low heat. Add 4 minced garlic cloves and 1 finely chopped shallot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir them till beginning to translucent and fragrant.
- Add 2 cups of frozen or fresh peas (make sure the frozen peas are at room temperature and devoid of excess moisture), 1 ½ cups of vegetable broth and 1 ½ cup of unsweetened almond milk to the saucepan. Again add little salt and pepper to taste.
- Switch the saucepan contents to a blender along with the roasted asparagus. Blend till it’s creamy and bring it to simmer in the saucepan on medium-high heat.
- While the soup simmers, in a bowl add ¼ cup of olive oil, ¼ teaspoon each of salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano and dried basil. Mix it well and add them to a large bowl containing 2 cups of bread crumbs. Spread the mixture on a baking tray and bake it till it becomes golden, 15-20 minutes. Toss the crumbs in between, after about 10 minutes to evenly roast them.
- Serve it with garlic croutons or vegan parmesan cheese.
Protein content: 9.2g per serving (one-fourth of the recipe)
Recipe inspiration: https://minimalistbaker.com/creamy-asparagus-and-pea-soup/
Nutrients Source USDA
These were the high protein vegan alternatives for meat. Some delicious and extremely nutritious recipes which will make your life healthier and easier. We hope you enjoyed reading them and will enjoy preparing them well! Let us know in comments what do you think of these recipes.