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    25 (Very Good) High-Protein Vegetarian Recipes If You're Trying To Eat Less Meat

    High protein, high flavor, no meat.

    If you're looking for some recommendations on meat-free, high-protein meals, you've come to the right place.

    Whether you're vegetarian or vegan, or simply trying to cut down on your meat intake for whatever reason, these meals will satisfy your appetite and keep you feeling full throughout the day. 

    Here, animal protein is replaced with everything from beans to eggs, to seitan and cheese. Let's dig in!

    1. Healthy and Hearty Black Bean Soup

    Black bean soup

    This recipe comes together with really inexpensive ingredients — like black beans, stock, and lots of spices — and the result is creamy, filling, and makes for excellent leftovers.

    Recipe: Healthy and Hearty Black Bean Soup

    2. Vegan Burrito Bowl

    A bowl filled with equal parts rice, lentil walnut taco meat, a corn salad, tortilla chips, and guacamole.

    I won't go so far as saying this is better than Chipotle, but there's something about lentil walnut "taco meat" that's texturally irresistible. Load it up with tortilla chips, a corn and bean mix, and extra guacamole, and it gets pretty close. 

    Recipe: Vegan Burrito Bowl

    3. Veggie-Packed Lentil Soup

    Two bowls of freshly made lentil soup placed on a circular wooden board.

    A mix of vegetables, lemon juice, curry powder, and other herbs and spices create a depth of flavor you'll want to mop up with a piece of crusty bread. 

    Recipe: Veggie-Packed Lentil Soup

    4. Mongolian Seitan and Broccoli

    Bowl of sticky, sweet Mongolian seitan and broccoli, with serving of white rice.

    If you want a vegetarian dish that'll make you feel like you're eating takeout, check out this seitan recipe. Seitan sometimes gets a bad rep because many people don't know what it is (high-protein wheat gluten), but personally I love it for its super-chewy and meat-like texture. 

    Recipe: Mongolian Seitan and Broccoli

    5. Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas

    A stack of black bean quesadilla slices sprinkled with chopped cilantro.

    Is there anything better than a sky-high slice of quesadilla for dinner? Load it up with cheese and black beans, and pair with a side of sour cream and fresh herbs.

    Recipe: Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas

    6. Classic Egg Salad Sandwich

    Egg salad sandwich with generous serving of creamy egg salad.

    This classic vegetarian dish is a favorite among meat lovers and vegetarians alike. Replace the chicken buillon for a veggie one for a completely meat-free meal. Make sure to stick to the recipe, lest you end up with a runny egg salad. 

    Recipe: Classic Egg Salad Sandwich

    7. Vegan Feijoada

    Table set with various plates, including a main plate containing vegan Feijoada, also known as Brazilian black bean stew.

    If you've ever tried the national Brazilian dish known as Feijoada, then you know what an explosion of flavor is. This vegan variation mimics the flavor with a clever combination of liquid smoke, smoked paprika powder, soy sauce, and savory mushrooms. 

    Recipe: Vegan Feijoada

    8. Vegan Tofu Tacos

    Close-up of smoky tofu crumble at the end of a taco topped with avocado slices and sour cream.

    Chili powder, paprika, and maple syrup transform tofu into a savory crumble you'll wish you made double portions of. Add sliced avocado and sour cream for even more flavor.

    Recipe: Vegan Tofu Tacos

    9. Pea Pesto Pasta With Sun-Dried Tomatoes

    Plate of freshly made pea pesto pasta with bits of sliced sundried tomatoes.

    If you have a bag of frozen peas lying around, then this dish could be its rags-to-riches story. Blend it up with Parmesan, lemon juice, and pine nuts, and you've got an intensely flavorful pesto. 

    Recipe: Pea Pesto Pasta With Sun-Dried Tomatoes

    10. Chickpea Fritters

    A hand dips a palm-sized chickpea fritter in tahini sauce; five other fritters surround it.

    These are great to make a lot of in advance and pop in the microwave (or eat cold) on your next lazy night. Pair them with tahini or ranch. 

    Recipe: Chickpea Fritters

    11. Tostadas With Banana Peel Carnitas

    A single tostada spread with creamy refried bean mush, banana peel carnitas, and finely sliced lettuce.

    If you've got a bit of time, try tostadas made with banana peel carnitas. Banana peels might have never struck you as edible, but once cooked, they're actually soft and pretty meaty in texture. 

    Recipe: Tostadas With Banana Peel Carnitas

    12. Spicy Baked Mac 'n' Cheese

    A large skillet of creamy mac 'n' cheese with a spoon scooping some of it out.

    Cheese has way more protein than you might think (what can't it do?). Here, a single serving of 3 ounces of cheddar yields 21 grams of protein. 

    Recipe: Spicy Baked Mac 'n' Cheese

    13. Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich

    A large grainy sandwiched is filled with sprouts and smashed chickpea salad.

    Personally, smashed chickpea sandwiches make the perfect intact beach or picnic food, particularly when they're made with hearty, crusty slices of bread. They'll hold up even after a morning spent in your picnic bag, and will fill you up after an hour spent swimming with your friends. 

    Recipe: Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich

    14. Tofu Scramble

    A large skillet filled with a tofu scramble that resembles scrambled eggs in texture.

    Don't let your eyes deceive you: This scramble is egg-less and composed solely of pressed firm tofu, nutritional yeast, soy milk, and spices. It's great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and pairs perfectly with rice or tortilla wraps. 

    Recipe: Tofu Scramble

    15. Rice, Beans, and Greens

    Gray ceramic bowl filled with equal parts purple rice, collard greens, kimchi, and broccoli slices.

    If you have a bit of leftover kimchi, I swear you can turn any smattering of ingredients into a dish. Take this recipe, where collard greens, broccoli, beans, and rice come together for the perfect last-minute dish. 

    Recipe: Rice, Beans, and Greens

    16. Grilled Halloumi Salad

    White bowl filled with halloumi salad containing sliced cucumber, sliced onions, grilled halloumi, and arugula.

    This pantry salad is super easy to make with ingredients you probably already have in your fridge. 

    Recipe: Grilled Halloumi Salad

    17. Espagueti Verde (Spaghetti in Poblano Sauce)

    Plate filled with a creamy spaghetti with flecks of crumbled queso fresco and garnished with cilantro leaves.

    To make this traditional Mexican dish, roast green poblano peppers directly over a gas stove. Then, drop them in a plastic bag and let them sweat for five minutes.  You can then finish the sauce by blending the roasted peppers (with skins peeled off) with onion, garlic, and milk. 

    Recipe: Espagueti Verde (Spaghetti in Poblano Sauce)

    18. Black Bean Burger With Slaw

    Double-decker burger with black bean patties and slices of melted cheese.

    Black bean burgers were my gateway vegetarian food, and they'll forever be one of my favorite BBQ foods. Here, potato starch and bread crumbs make sure those patties stay crispy with every bite. 

    Recipe: Black Bean Burger With Slaw

    19. Eggplant Parmesan With Fresh Mozzarella

    A casserole dish with eggplant parmesan with herb sprigs decorating it.

    The key to a good eggplant parmigiana? Making sure the eggplants are crispy, dried, and ready to soak up all the tomato sauce. 

    Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan With Fresh Mozzarella

    20. Jamaican-Style Kidney Bean Curry

    Large plate filled with kidney bean curry, white rice, and tomato slices.

    Scotch bonnet peppers might not be crucial to making this dish, but in my opinion, they are essential to authentic flavor, so don't skimp out on them!

    Recipe: Jamaican-Style Kidney Bean Curry

    21. Cauliflower and Black Bean Tacos

    A row of cauliflower and black bean tacos stuffed to the brim with jalapeño slices, avocado slices, green onion slices, and topped with chipotle mayo.

    Don't worry — this cauliflower recipe won't require you to squeeze water out of five pounds of cauliflower. Just cover your florets with lime juice and spices, roast them, and they're ready to eat. 

    Recipe: Cauliflower and Black Bean Tacos

    22. Creamy Garlic Mushroom Tagliatelle

    Creamy tagliatelle noodles tossed with garlic mushrooms and served with two small pieces of garlic bread.

    Garlic, Parmesan, and mushrooms are always a quick shortcut to an explosion of savoriness — especially when you combine the three together. Here, a bit of full-fat cream cheese binds all the flavors together. 

    RecipeCreamy Garlic Mushroom Tagliatelle

    23. Cheesy Slow Cooker Lentils

    Big spoon stirring a pot of cheesy lentils

    If you've ever felt like lentils can be a bit bland, then you're not alone. That's why this simple recipe, which combines a cup of grated cheddar cheese with lentils, is kind of perfect. 

    RecipeCheesy Slow Cooker Lentils

    24. Ricotta Gnocchi

    Skillet filled with ricotta gnocchi tossed with fried herbs, grated parmesan cheese, and butter.

    Four ingredients are all you need to make this ricotta gnocchi a reality. To serve, you can dress it up with something as simple as butter and Parmesan, or your favorite jar of pasta sauce. 

    Recipe: Ricotta Gnocchi

    25. Sweet Potato Bisque With Crispy White Beans

    A pot filled almost to the top with sweet potato bisque topped with fried white beans and sweet potato slices.

    This sweet potato bisque (sans shellfish) should honestly be a dessert soup, because it's that good. Add red pepper flakes for balanced flavor.

    Recipe: Sweet Potato Bisque With Crispy White Beans

    What's your favorite protein-rich vegetarian meal? Share in the comments!