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    21 High-Protein Plant-Based Recipes If You're Trying To Eat Less Meat

    Whether you're fully vegetarian or just trying to add more meat-free options to your recipe rotation, these will help.

    Whether you're entirely vegetarian or you just want to introduce some meat-free options into your recipe rotation, we've got you covered with these plant-based meals — all of which are high in protein. 🌱

    Protein packed veggie bowl

    Many plants — not to mention, cheese and eggs — have plenty of protein, so you can take on Meatless Mondays (or go vegetarian) without worry. From a protein-packed take on cheesy mac 'n' cheese to a sweet but hearty grab-and-go breakfast, this list is full of plant-based meals that pack a protein wallop and taste incredible.

    1. Sesame Peanut Noodles

    Bowl of noodles topped with peanuts and veggies

    Plant-based eating shouldn't be boring, and this dish proves it doesn't have to be. The recipe is surprisingly easy — three steps and less than 30 minutes — and relies on peanut butter, veggies, and sesame seeds for its protein. To make your prep work easier, use a precut coleslaw mix of carrots and cabbage.

    Recipe: Sesame Peanut Noodles | Shop This Recipe

    2. Avocado Quinoa Power Salad

    Avocado quinoa power salad

    When most people think of salad, they think of a meal that's light, healthy, and, frankly, not very filling. That's not the case with this quinoa-based edition that uses avocado, spinach, and a homemade dressing to deliver a midday meal that will keep you going until dinner.

    Recipe: Avocado Quinoa Power Salad | Shop This Recipe

    3. Lasagna Soup

    Bowl of soupy lasagna / Via

    Say goodbye to dry, overly dense lasagna with this extra-saucy take on the staple. For an additional dose of protein, add in plant-based meat crumbles, like this version from Beyond Meat.

    Recipe: Lasagna Soup | Shop This Recipe

    4. Healthy Banana Pancakes

    Pancakes topped with syrup, walnuts, and bananas / Via

    You might scoff at this one, but just 2 ounces of quick-cook oats (this recipe calls for double that) have 8 grams of protein. Plus, who needs a REASON to eat pancakes, anyway?

    Recipe: Healthy Banana Pancakes | Shop This Recipe

    5. Chickpea Sweet Potato Stew

    Pot of tomato-based soup with chickpeas / Via

    It only takes 30 minutes to cook up this pot of rainy-day goodness — plus, it's packed with protein. The fiber-rich sweet potatoes will fill you up, and the spinach and chickpeas will keep you full.

    Recipe: Chickpea Sweet Potato Stew | Shop This Recipe

    6. Southwestern-Style Quinoa Salad

    Salad of quinoa, corn, and tomatoes / Via

    Quinoa is such a versatile base — and it's rich in protein, with 8 grams per 1-cup serving. Eat this Southwestern-style quinoa salad on a bed of greens, wrapped in a tortilla, or on its own with a topping of avocado and cilantro.

    Recipe: Southwestern-Style Quinoa Salad | Shop This Recipe

    7. One-Pot Enchilada Rice

    Cheesy enchiladas in red sauce / Via

    Just because you're eating plant-based dishes doesn't mean you have to skimp on cheese. This gooey one-pot dish has black beans, brown rice, and plenty of cheesy goodness. Tip: If you really want that enchilada flavor, swap the tomato sauce for enchilada sauce.

    Recipe: One-Pot Enchilada Rice | Shop This Recipe

    8. 3-Ingredient Banana Oat Smoothie

    Smoothie in a glass / Via

    Breakfast just got a whole lot easier! This recipe only calls for three ingredients — oats, banana, and milk — and delivers an impressive 18 grams of protein. No joke. If you like your smoothies extra cold, freeze the bananas the night before.

    Recipe: 3-Ingredient Banana Oat Smoothie | Shop This Recipe

    9. Chipotle Chickpea Tacos

    Tortilla with chickpeas and cilantro on top / Via

    Fact: You don't need chicken, beef, or even fish to create a taco masterpiece. And this version — which uses chickpeas — provides super-craveworthy flavor, thanks to its coating of soy sauce, chipotle peppers, and garlic.

    Recipe: Chipotle Chickpea Tacos | Shop This Recipe

    10. One-Pot Lentil Bolognese

    Plate of pasta covered in red sauce / Via

    You only need one large pot to make this meat-free Bolognese. The lentils give the sauce a meatless protein boost, while the mix of broth, spices, and herbs will make you feel like a real chef. (Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!)

    Recipe: One-Pot Lentil Bolognese | Shop This Recipe

    11. Veggie Fried Rice

    Close-up photo of veggie fried rice / Via

    This recipe is proof that it only takes a few (usually colorful) substitutes to make your favorite dish meat-free. Replacing the meat are peas, carrots, bell pepper, broccoli, and corn — or whatever other veggies you fancy.

    Recipe: Veggie Fried Rice | Shop This Recipe

    12. Easy Chickpea Curry (Chana Masala)

    Indian curry over white rice / Via

    The wonderful thing about Indian food is that in most cases, it's naturally meat-free. This curry is no exception. It calls for two cans of chickpeas (resulting in 11 grams of protein per serving) and plenty of Indian food–flavor basics: garlic, ginger, turmeric, and a dash of lemon.

    Recipe: Easy Chickpea Curry (Chana Masala) | Shop This Recipe

    13. Strawberry Chocolate Overnight Oats

    Jar filled with chocolate overnight oats and topped with strawberries / Via

    If you're a sweet-breakfast person but want something with a little more protein, this spin on overnight oats may be just what you need. The six-ingredient recipe takes less than 30 minutes, but you'll want to make it in advance so it has time to cool and set (ideally the night before). For even more protein, add chia seeds or crushed walnuts to the mix.

    Recipe: Strawberry Chocolate Overnight Oats | Shop This Recipe

    14. Buffalo Chickpea Wraps

    Tortilla wrap filled with veggies and chickpeas / Via

    If you've been vegetarian for a few years, chances are there are a few meaty flavors you miss. This recipe uses Buffalo sauce (mmm, RIP, Buffalo wings) to give the chickpeas that tangy zest — and smothers everything with a homemade hummus-based sauce. Yum.

    Recipe: Buffalo Chickpea Wraps | Shop This Recipe

    15. 3-Bean Salad

    Bowl of bean salad with veggies / Via

    If you're trying to cut down on (or avoid) meat, beans will naturally become your go-to ingredient. This recipe — which is perfect for lunch or a potluck — mixes three types of beans with tons of veggies and a homemade dressing. The end result has 23 grams of protein per serving. You're welcome.

    Recipe: 3-Bean Salad | Shop This Recipe

    16. Vegetarian Pad See Ew

    Bowl of noodles, tofu, and veggies / Via

    Pad thai's less popular (and arguably more delicious) cousin gets a makeover in this plant-based recipe that uses fried tofu in place of meat. The result is everything you'd expect: a hearty, saucy noodle dish you can make at home in under 30 minutes.

    Recipe: Vegetarian Pad See Ew | Shop This Recipe

    17. Black Bean Burgers

    Black bean burger on a bun / Via

    What is it about burgers that we love so much? This spin on the classic uses black beans, shredded carrots, oats, and plenty of onion (plus a host of spices) to create a veggie version that doesn't skimp on protein. The recipe takes only 15 minutes to make, but after you make the patties, you'll want to stick them in the freezer for 30 minutes to set.

    Recipe: Black Bean Burgers | Shop This Recipe

    18. Chickpea Salad Sandwich

    Two halves of a sandwich stacked on top of each other / Via

    If you're craving a chicken salad sandwich but want to skip the chicken, look no further. This chickpea-based recipe has all the chicken salad ingredients (minus the chicken) and an impressive 13 grams of protein per serving. For extra goodness, add avocado or swap out mayo for hummus.

    Recipe: Chickpea Salad Sandwich | Shop This Recipe

    19. Protein-Packed Veggie Bowl

    Protein-Packed Veggie Bowl

    You want protein? Here's your protein — all 36 grams of it (per serving). Not only is this meal delicious, healthy, and balanced, but it's also versatile. You can replace the chickpeas with beans or add in tomatoes and cabbage.

    Recipe: Protein-Packed Veggie Bowl | Shop This Recipe

    20. Spinach & Mushroom Quesadilla

    Spinach and Mushroom Quesadilla / Via

    It's wild how adding a couple of ingredients to a basic recipe can make such a difference. In this case, mushrooms and spinach make the traditional quesadilla even better.

    Recipe: Spinach & Mushroom Quesadilla | Shop This Recipe

    21. Green Mac 'n' Cheese

    Green mac 'n' cheese / Via

    Green mac 'n' cheese? Yes, and proud of it. This meal has all the mac goodness (two melted cheeses over noodles) with a much-needed dose of nutrients. The recipe calls for a whopping 4 cups of fresh spinach — but the end result absolutely still holds up in terms of flavor and satisfaction.

    Recipe: Green Mac ’n’ Cheese | Shop This Recipe

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