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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. 🌱

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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

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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

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2. Avocado Quinoa Power Salad

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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

3. Lasagna Soup

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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

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4. Healthy Banana Pancakes

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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

5. Chickpea Sweet Potato Stew

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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

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6. Southwestern-Style Quinoa Salad

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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

7. One-Pot Enchilada Rice

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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

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8. 3-Ingredient Banana Oat Smoothie

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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

9. Chipotle Chickpea Tacos

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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

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10. One-Pot Lentil Bolognese

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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

11. Veggie Fried Rice

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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

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12. Easy Chickpea Curry (Chana Masala)

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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)

13. Strawberry Chocolate Overnight Oats

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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

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14. Buffalo Chickpea Wraps

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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

15. 3-Bean Salad

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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

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16. Vegetarian Pad See Ew

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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

17. Black Bean Burgers

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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

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18. Chickpea Salad Sandwich

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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

19. Protein-Packed Veggie Bowl

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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

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20. Spinach & Mushroom Quesadilla

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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

21. Green Mac 'n' Cheese

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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

For even more delicious recipes and meal ideas, download the award-winning Tasty app for iOS and Android! 🍳

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