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21 Balanced Lunch Ideas With A Ton Of Protein And No Meat

Running out of lunch ideas? These will keep you going.

Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

Being vegetarian isn't nearly as challenging as some think, but we *do* have to be mindful that we're getting enough protein. 🌱

From lentils and soba noodles to beans and eggs, there are so many delicious meat-free protein sources that can form the base of a satisfying meal. To help you get all the protein you need, below are several vegetarian lunch recipes that have at least 15 grams of protein each.

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1. The Ultimate Hummus and Veggie Sandwich

blessthismessplease.com

Hummus is a vegetarian-fave for a reason. This veggie-filled sandwich has 19 grams of protein and a whole lot of flavor.

Get the recipe: The Ultimate Hummus and Veggie Sandwich

2. High-Protein Buddha Noodle Bowl

tasty.co

Edamame are a tiny protein powerhouse — and sprinkling them on top of (equally protein-rich) soba noodles gives this bowl 21 grams of protein.

Get the recipe: High-Protein Buddha Noodle Bowl

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3. Black Bean & Sautéed Spinach Tacos

Wendy Lopez

You can never go wrong with tacos — and this veggie-loaded option that packs 21 grams of protein is no exception. Want to boost the fiber even more? Add chunks of sweet potato.

Recipe: Black Bean & Sautéed Spinach Tacos

4. Cucumber Quinoa Salad

foodheavenmadeeasy.com

With 18 grams of protein and plenty of vitamin A from the spinach, this bowl is as nutritious as it is beautiful. And the quinoa + avocado combo will keep you full for hours.

Get the recipe here: Cucumber Quinoa Salad

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5. Vegetable Scramble with Hummus and Avocado

budgetbytes.com

If you're working from home and need a fast and nutritious lunch, you can't get much quicker than veggie scrambles. They're not just for breakfast, and this one has 18 grams of protein.

Recipe: Vegetable Scramble with Hummus and Avocado

6. Roasted Fennel, Asparagus, and Red Onions with Parmesan and Hard-Boiled Eggs

buzzfeed.com / Via buzzfeed.com

The eggs and cheese that decorate this lovely bowl of veggies really add up! There are 17 grams of protein in this dish — and it's perfect for meal-prepped lunches.

Get the recipe: Roasted Fennel, Asparagus, and Red Onions with Parmesan and Hard-Boiled Eggs

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7. Trader Joe's Protein Bowl

If you love Trader Joe's as much as we do, you'll appreciate that this super satisfying bowl — with butternut squash and soyrizo — is mostly just assembly. It also has 25 grams of protein.

Recipe: Trader Joe's Protein Bowl

8. Spicy Black Bean Burgers

theglowingfridge.com

Packed with black beans, nutritional yeast, and oats, these patties are rich in protein. Just one patty has 23 grams! Prep them the night before for a hearty lunch the next day.

Get the recipe: Spicy Black Bean Burgers

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9. Spicy Brazilian Burrito Bowls

pinchofyum.com

This masterpiece of plaintains, rice, beans, and a Greek-yogurt based sauce has 16 grams of protein.

Get the recipe: Spicy Brazilian Burrito Bowls

10. Avocado Toast with Eggs, Spinach, and Tomatoes

twopeasandtheirpod.com

A slice of avo-toast is usually considered a light breakfast, but with some spinach, tomatoes, and egg piled on top, this toast will give you 16 grams of protein. That certainly makes for a satisfying lunch.

Get the recipe: Avocado Toast with Eggs, Spinach, and Tomatoes

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11. One-Pot Tuscan White Bean Stew

With only about 15 minutes of stove time, this picks up the flavors of a long-simmering stew in a lot less time. Beans and Banza pasta come together to deliver 59 grams of protein.

Get the recipe: One-Pot Tuscan White Bean Stew

12. English Peas, Favas, and Burrata

cannellevanille.com

This green goddess isn't just gorgeous; it also has 20 grams of protein.

Get the recipe: English Peas, Favas, and Burrata

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13. Grilled Corn and Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad

thevegetarianginger.com

This refreshing salad — with its corn, quinoa, and chickpeas — has 20 grams of protein in every bowl.

Get the recipe: Grilled Corn and Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad

14. Black Bean Hummus Tartine

cherryonmysundae.com

If you're looking for a creamy spread to slather on toast that's *not* hummus, try this black bean variation. Two of these tasty tartines will add 31 grams of protein to your daily intake.

Get the recipe: Black Bean Hummus Tartine

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15. Tuscan Pasta Salad

therecipecritic.com

This pasta salad has spinach, olives, Parmesan, bowties, and 25 grams of protein.

Get the recipe: Tuscan Pasta Salad

16. Maple Mustard Tempeh Buddha Bowl

sweetpotatosoul.com

This bowl is vegan, but the tempeh, kale, seeds, sweet potato, and quinoa pack in 35 grams of protein!

Get the recipe: Maple Mustard Tempeh Buddha Bowl

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17. Vegan Lasagna

jessicainthekitchen.com

With all those vegan meat and cheese substitutes, a slice of this lasagna will give you 15 grams of protein.

Get the recipe: Vegan Lasagna

18. Curry & Coconut Cream Njahi

kaluhiskitchen.com

Njahi beans (AKA hyacinth beans) and coconut cream bring 27 grams of protein to this curry. Don't worry if you can't find njahi beans — you can easily substitute them for pretty much any bean you like!

Get the recipe: Curry & Coconut Cream Njahi

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19. Sweet Potato Arugula Salad

sweetpotatosoul.com

The seeds, lentils, and farro in this salad offer 40 grams of protein.

Get the recipe: Sweet Potato Arugula Salad

20. Lentil Kale Salad with Parmesan

littlespicejar.com

Parmesan, lentils, and pepitas? This is a protein powerhouse! With 23 grams of protein, it's hearty and refreshing at the same time.

Get the recipe: Lentil Kale Salad with Parmesan

21. Broccoli & Cheddar Baked Potato

Wendy Lopez

While this has 21 grams of protein on its own, you could also dollop some creamy Greek yogurt on top to get even more.

Recipe: Broccoli & Cheddar Baked Potato

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