One of the most common questions vegans get is: Where do you get your protein from? I get this question almost ever time someone finds out I don’t eat animal products. People suddenly turn into professional nutritionists as soon as the word vegan comes out of my mouth.
Protein is obviously very important for any diet, especially complete proteins that contain all nine essential amino acids – the acids our bodies can’t produce on their own. Eggs and dairy are very good sources of complete proteins, but consuming them comes at a steep cost: high cholesterol, animal cruelty, and environmental damage. Many people assume that meat, dairy, and eggs are the only way to get adequate intakes of protein, but as we already know, it is more than possible to get enough protein from completely plant-based sources.
Here are some of the most protein rich recipes we’ve come up with over years. Maybe if you show them to your omnivore friends, they will finally stop asking you where you get yours. 🙂
#1. HIGH PROTEIN PASTA WITH CREAMY WHITE SAUCE
We’ll kick things off with the most protein packed meal on this list. When you think of protein, pasta probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but don’t be fooled… This dish has about 55g of protein! Get the recipe here.
#2. Healthy Fast Food Style Crispy “Chicken” Sandwich
Crunchy tofu, cashew-based mayo, and a whole wheat bun give this yummy sandwich about 15 – 20g of protein. Get the recipe here.
#3. High Protein Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie
This 16 ounce smoothie, mostly consisting of nuts and fruit, yields about 20g of protein. Get the recipe here.
#4. CHICKEN-STYLE SEITAN RECIPE
This recipe isn’t for a complete meal, but you can add this seitan to your meals the same way you would use chicken, pork, or any other kind of meat. Each 1 ounce serving contains about 21g of protein. Get the recipe here.
#5. Healthy 1-Pot Rice Cooker Meal: Black Eyed Peas and Rice
Black eyed peas and brown rice, both great sources of protein on their own, come together to form a complete protein in this one-pot meal. Each serving yields about 13g. Get the recipe here.
#6. HIGH-PROTEIN TROPICAL SMOOTHIE
With an added scoop of protein powder, this 16 ounce smoothie yields a whopping 38g of protein. Without it, it still delivers 18g. Get the recipe here.
#7. Tempeh-Bacon & Tofu Breakfast Scramble
Tofu is an excellent source of lean protein, and tempeh – its fermented cousin – is even better. One plate of this scramble yields about 21g of protein. Add some potatoes and avocado for healthy carbs and fat, and you’ve got a perfectly nutritious breakfast. Get the recipe here.
#8. Black Bean Super Salad w/ Cilantro & Lime Vinaigrette
Black beans are a wonderful source of protein, but they’re not the only excellent one hidden within this salad. It also has chickpeas, edamame, peas, and spinach. The whole salad contains about 60 grams of protein and serves four. Get the recipe here.
#9. Creamed Collard Greens with Cornmeal Crusted Tofu
Tofu, tempeh, flax seeds, cashew cream, mushrooms, and nutritional yeast pack this meal full of protein. Not to mention the greens and cornmeal, which also contribute small amounts. Each serving contains about 25g. Get the recipe here.
#10. Healthy Strawberries & Cream Chia Seed Pudding
This light 12 ounce snack contains about 15g of protein. Get the recipe here.
#11. Peanut Butter Espresso Smoothie
This 16 ounce smoothie contains 15g of protein, and the added caffein will give your metabolism a little boost too. Get the recipe here.
#12. Low-Carb Tempeh Tacos
Each one of these little tacos has about 5g of protein. It takes a few to feel full, so the protein adds up quickly. Get the recipe here.
#13. CURRY CHICKPEA SALAD SANDWICH
Whole grain bread is an underrated source of protein for vegans and omnivores alike. For example, two slices or ordinary whole wheat bread yield 7g of protein, and that’s actually on the low end when you compare it to larger slices of multigrain bread, which can contain up to 7g per slice. Pile on some chickpea salad and you’re up to almost 20g. Get the recipe here.
#14. BROCCOLI CAULIFLOWER AND “CHEESE” SOUP
It’s not often that a vegetable-based soup is high in protein, but believe it or not, this soup actually yields about 28g of protein per serving. Get the recipe here.
#15. CASHEW CHEESECAKE WITH BERRY COMPOTE
You probably weren’t expecting to find a dessert on this list, but this vegan cheesecake proves even sweets can be a good source of protein. The cake has about 11g of protein per slice if you cut it into eight slices. The whole cake has about 90g of protein. This is one of three cheesecakes we’ve made from cashews, and they’ve all been fantastic. Get the recipe here.