How do you get enough protein on a vegetarian or vegan diet? That’s a common concern that many people thinking of switching to a no-meat lifestyle have.
And, they’re right to do so since many people who don’t eat meat or dairy experience deficiencies if they don’t plan their diets carefully.
The goods news is, there are tons of ways to remedy this problem. And, to help you do so, here are 16 delicious high protein vegan recipes you can enjoy on a budget.
These means not only get you to consume enough protein but also let you save money without having to tolerate bland food.
Here they are.
- 16 Cheap Dinner Ideas That are Light on Your Budget
- 15 Simple Budget Meals for Two to Help You Save Money
- 18 Cheap and Easy Grilling Recipes
- 17 Delicious Meatless Meals for Families on a Budget
This is a quick yet delicious high protein vegan meal you can enjoy for lunch or dinner. They take just 15 minutes to put together. And, they’re loaded with plant-based protein and have ample amounts of fiber because of the black beans and butternut squash.
One of the best things about tacos is that you can easily swap out some of the ingredients and add others in case the kids are picky. In fact, you can let the kids make their own tacos. I know my kids love it when we have dinners this way. It’s probably because they get a “say” in what they actually eat.
If you prefer something that’s cheap and doesn’t take a lot of work to put together, this is the perfect vegan meal. Each serving is just $1.40 making amazing if you’re on a budget.
And, you’re not short on nutrients as well. It gives you a healthy combination of protein and carbs to keep you filled for the rest of the day. The penne pasta provides the energy while the beans give you 28 grams of non-meat protein.
My kids hate brussels sprouts and I don’t blame them. I used to avoid eating them when I was younger as well.
But, one of the things I’ve realized is that if you pair foods they don’t like with foods they like, it increases the chances of them eating. This is why kids will eat almost anything on a pizza. But, if you separate the veggie toppings from the pizza, good luck.
That’s where all the cheese comes in here. I know, cheese isn’t vegan. So, the original recipe is more vegetarian than vegan because of the parmesan and goat cheese.
The good news is you can swap out the cheese for vegan cheese. This will allow you to maintain your diet if you’re strictly vegan. This does cut down the amount of protein a little bit from the 28 grams in the original recipe since vegan cheese has about 40% to 80% the amount of protein regular cheese has depending on the type of cheese and brands you choose.
Here’s another amazing taco recipe. But this time, it comes in a bowl. I love that it uses cauliflower and rice as the base. This lets you switch things up from the regular tortillas.
I love this recipe because it not only looks awesome with all the colors but likewise packs a good punch. If you have kids, you’ll check the ingredients of the cauliflower ahead of time since it has quite a bit of spice in it.
And, while those are great for flavor for you and me, I know kids aren’t the biggest fans of heat and tons of spices (at least most aren’t).
In any case, this is another protein-packed bowl that’s perfect for Meatless Mondays.
My kids are pasta lovers. But, every now and then, they enjoy switching things up with noodles, and so do I. if you feel that way too, then try this super quick soy peanut noodle recipe.
Besides just taking 15 minutes to make, it’s loaded with protein and includes a good amount of fiber as well. The recipe does say that you can add a fried egg on top of the ramen noodles if you wish (assuming you’re okay with not going strictly vegan).
Love burgers? Here’s a delicious veggie burger that matches up to your favorite meat patty.
You’ll be using sweet potatoes, quinoa or millet, oats, and black beans to supply most of the nutrition. And, let’s not forget the cumin, chili powder, paprika, cayenne powder, and cilantro for flavor.
Put those together and you’ve got a light burger that’s loaded with healthy fiber and a solid dose of protein.
Thanks to the sweet potatoes, you also get 41% of your daily vitamin A requirements. Now, that’s a good deal.
This is a very versatile dish that you can enjoy as a main or side dish depending on what you’re having. It is also a great way to add some lentils into your diet.
Lentils are great because they not only provide a non-meat source of protein but also have a good amount of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The fiber is especially beneficial since the American Heart Association found that the average American adult only gets 50-60% of the daily fiber requirements.
This is another delicious vegetarian that features cheese and eggs. In case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a big fan of both!
Along with the black beans, these two ingredients provide you with a healthy amount of protein. Of course, you can do without the egg if you want to go vegan. You’ll likewise need to get the vegan fontina cheese as well.
It’s worth noting that fontina cheeses are made differently. So, some are non-vegan or vegetarian. Also, some brands make vegetarian fontina cheeses like Reny Picot, Sartori, Boars Head, BelGioioso, and Clover Sonoma. Finally, there are vegan versions as well.
So, do select the one that suits your dietary preference.
In case you’re on a diet or prefer a light dinner, this is an amazing arugula salad that features pecans, tahini, and goat cheese for the protein.
Yes, goat cheese isn’t vegan. And, you can replace it with vegan cream cheese like Go Veggie, Daiya Cream Cheeze, or Kite Hill Cream Cheese if you want something that’s flavorful without the dairy.
That said, this is a great dinner recipe if you want something light with lots of crunch and flavor. The combination of the honey, tahini dressing, and lemon juice are perfect. And, you get the pecans, arugula, and raisins providing lovely texture.
if you want something more filling, how about some portobello. My kids love that word as they keep repeating it for fun whenever my wife says it.
Portobello mushrooms are amazing because they’re among the few non-meat foods that can give you a feel of chewing onto something substantial.
This is a 30-minute meal that you can scale up or down depending on how many mushroom caps you have. And, you can likewise adjust the stuffing to variety if you want. But, I highly suggest starting with the original since it tastes awesome.
I can quickly tell if a vegan dish is good because my kids will finish it. If they ask for seconds, then you know it’s wonderfully out of this world.
I’ll have to admit, tofu isn’t my favorite thing in the world. That’s because they’re bland. And, if you choose the wrong type to use (soft or hard) in your recipe, you’ll end up with mush or something that doesn’t look right.
But, that’s not the case with this one. And, my kids will vouch for it.
Like me, they don’t like tofu. But, in nugget form with an added crunch from the cornmeal and the combo of the salt, garlic, and onion powder for flavor, they’re good to do.
This is an after school snack for them. Although, you can enjoy it for lunch and dinner since the tofu and soy milk add enough protein to make it filling enough with a side salad.
With 28 grams of protein per serving, this is a protein powerhouse thanks to the kale, beans, eggs and cheese.
Yes, cheese and eggs again. The good news is there are a lot of substitutes you can use for both. Here they are.
Best vegan substitutes for eggs:
- The Vegg Scramble
Although you won’t get the oozing gooey-ness of the yolk, you’ll still be able to enjoy the great flavor eggs add when incorporated with other foods.
As far as cheddar cheese goes, here are our top picks:
- ASDA Free from Mature Cheddar Alternative
- Bute Island Sheese Vegan Mature Cheddar Style
- Violife Just Like Mature Cheddar Slices
- So Delicious Dairy-Free Cheddar Flavored Shreds
- Ocado Free From Cheddar Style
- Waitrose Vegan Original Block
- Violife Original Flavour Block
Care for a little Cajun? This is a tasty colorful wrap that great to have for both lunch and dinner. While the ingredients in the taco are wonderful, it’s the salsa that steals the show thanks to the combination of coriander, green chili, and mango.
Make sure to have some dairy-free coconut or soy yogurt on hand if you want to be able to top the taco off.
This is one of my all-time favorites. Of course, I do love avocado so I may be a little bit biased.
That said, this is a hearty, yet light sandwich that is delightful to the palate. The avocado and tomatoes make a lovely pairing while the balsamic vinegar cuts through everything to make it perfect.
This is for days when you want something quick and light. It takes all of 12 minutes to make and you’ll love the combination of savory and sweet.
Tempeh is the protein featured in this recipe, which is one of the staples you’ll want to have around if you’re planning to stay on a vegan diet for long.
One cup gives you a whopping 31 grams of protein. And, it has zero cholesterol. Thus, making it perfect if you’re trying to lose weight. If that’s not enough, that same serving gives you 31% of your daily magnesium requirements, as well as 18% of calcium and 25% of iron.
This is a lovely light lunch or dinner recipe for when you want to have something different. After all, it’s not every day you’re doing to have couscous with grapefruit.
And, if you’re like me, the combination may sound a bit weird at first. In fact, I had my doubts because I couldn’t quite imagine how the two flavors will blend.
But, this is something you have to taste for yourself. And make sure not to skimp on the dressing.
No Meat, No Problem
Knowing the right meat and dairy substitutes are essential to maintaining a healthy vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. That’s why in addition to the high protein vegan recipes above, I’ve also included many non-meat, non-dairy alternatives to eggs, milk, and cheeses. Hopefully, they’ll let you have more options to choose from.