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25 Balanced Plant-Based Summer Meals That Have Plenty Of Protein

No disrespect to salad, but these recipes won't leave you feeling hungry after an hour.

Looking for easy plant-based recipes that are both high in protein *and* high in flavor?

We've got tons of options below — from hearty veggie burgers to colorful grain bowls to slow cooker staples. Take your pick!

1. The Best-Ever Vegan Burger

This recipe is a little fiddly, but the results are definitely worth it — the texture and flavor are basically as close as you can get to a traditional beef burger without busting out the weird science kit. And the walnuts, beans, rice, and vital wheat gluten pack a ton of protein into these lil' patties.

Recipe: The Best-Ever Vegan Burger I Shop The Recipe



2. Chipotle Chickpea Tacos

These crispy chickpeas are a great snack on their own, but they're totally the star of this gorgeous taco. Commenters recommend adding a dash of lime juice at the end to really make the flavors *pop.*

Recipe: Chipotle Chickpea Tacos I Shop The Recipe

3. Vegetable Dumpling Soup

You can totally modify this soup with whatever veggie odds and ends you have on hand, and it'll still turn out totally flavorful and filling. And if you want to amp up the protein, try adding an egg to the dumpling batter!

Recipe: Vegetable Dumpling Soup I Shop The Recipe



4. Caprese Spaghetti Squash

Who even needs noodles? You might be skeptical, but this amazing veggie totally mimics the texture of spaghetti, and the caprese flavors just put it totally over the top.

Recipe: Caprese Spaghetti Squash I Shop The Recipe

5. Peanut Butter Oat Energy Balls

These are a great breakfast, afternoon snack, or post-workout bite, and they're super portable, so you can just have some on hand whenever. And if you're a no-honey vegan, you can totally sub maple syrup or agave for equal deliciousness.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Oat Energy Balls I Shop The Recipe



6. Slow Cooker Coconut Curry

Prep this the night before, put it on to cook in the morning, and come back home to a bowl of delicious veggie- and protein-packed comfort food. I mean, what could possibly be better? 

Recipe: Slow Cooker Coconut Curry I Shop The Recipe

7. Avocado Quinoa Power Salad

The quinoa in this recipe turns a simple salad into something that'll keep you full all afternoon — no 4 p.m. hangry spell! Commenters recommend adding red onion for a little zing, and as a Certified Red Onion Nut, I am totally on board with this addition.

Recipe: Avocado Quinoa Power Salad I Shop The Recipe



8. Vegetarian Pad See Ew

Pad see ew is my go-to Thai order, and tofu is basically my BFF, so this recipe is a match made in heaven for me specifically. But you will probably also really enjoy it! It's packed with flavor, and that crispy marinated tofu is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Recipe: Vegetarian Pad See Ew I Shop The Recipe

9. One-Pot Lentil Bolognese

Lentils are a totally underrated plant-based protein, IMO, but in this recipe they get a starring role. Combined with an umami punch from mushrooms, this pasta will please vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike.

Recipe: One-Pot Lentil Bolognese I Shop The Recipe



10. Cheesy Egg Toast Perfect for Breakfast

Okay, yes, the title of this recipe says "perfect for breakfast," but I am firmly of the opinion that eggs are an anytime food. This as an easy lunch with strawberries? With a salad for dinner? Sign me the heck up.

Recipe: Cheesy Egg Toast Perfect for Breakfast I Shop The Recipe

11. Protein-Packed Chili

It's right in the name! The beans and quinoa in this recipe impart a ton of protein without sacrificing any of that good, good chili flavor. The leftovers are super versatile too, whether you have them over a potato, in a burrito, or even on nachos.

Recipe: Protein-Packed Chili I Shop The Recipe



12. Sesame Peanut Noodles

This is a great ~15-minute meal for those nights when you just have to eat something but don't want to put in any effort. And you can make it even easier by using bagged coleslaw mix (just the veggies! no dressing!!) so you don't even have to chop anything.

Recipe: Sesame Peanut Noodles I Shop The Recipe

13. Protein-Packed Veggie Bowl

Grains + roasted veggies + tofu + avocado = a match made in veggie heaven. And this is a great recipe for meal prep, too, if you're cooking ahead. Also, I personally love a little sauce action on a Buddha bowl, and I bet adding tahini (thinned out with hot water and a lil' lemon juice) would be absolutely *chef's kiss* perfection.

Recipe: Protein-Packed Veggie Bowl I Shop The Recipe



14. Egg, Avocado, and Tomato Toast

Even though this avocado toast means I, a millennial, won't be able to afford a mortgage, it's delicious enough to be worth it. And to complete the millennial stereotype, try finishing it off with a little everything-bagel seasoning.

Recipe: Egg, Avocado, and Tomato Toast I Shop The Recipe

15. Sofritas Burrito Bowl

Just like your favorite Chipotle bowl, but you get to customize it! Slather it with guac — no one can tell you it's extra when you make it yourself.

Recipe: Sofritas Burrito Bowl I Shop The Recipe



16. Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Unlike with the traditional meat-based version, you probably won't need to take a nap after this one (no shade to the OG shepherd's pie; I love you, too). It's a little involved, but the results are way worth it, and you can eat these leftovers for days and they'll just keep getting better.

Recipe: Vegan Shepherd's Pie I Shop The Recipe

17. Buffalo Chickpea Sliders

There's apparently a chicken wing shortage, but thanks to these sliders, you won't miss the meat! And get ready to put that vegan ranch on absolutely everything — it's amazing.

Recipe: Buffalo Chickpea Sliders I Shop The Recipe



18. Popcorn Tofu Nuggets

Tofu truly can do anything, including these delicious crispy lil' dudes. I haven't tried, so I can't verify this, but I have a hunch that these would be incredible in the air fryer. If you try this, please report back with results; I am very curious.

Recipe: Popcorn Tofu Nuggets I Shop The Recipe

19. Low-Carb Zucchini "Ravioli"

Move over, zoodles, because there's a new zucchini-based pasta substitute in town. These little pockets are cheesy, savory, and deliciously satisfying.

Recipe: Low-Carb Zucchini "Ravioli" I Shop The Recipe



20. Loaded Vegetarian Nachos

I don't know why nachos never get included in lists of sheet pan dinners, but I'm here to say they should. They're easy and delicious, and there's minimal cleanup involved! A win-win-win. And the taco-seasoned lentils in this recipe add on a fourth win, just for kicks.

Recipe: Loaded Vegetarian Nachos I Shop The Recipe

21. Vegetarian Pot Stickers

I usually have a bag of premade pot stickers in my freezer for quick dinners, but I highly recommend amping up your pot sticker game by making these homemade ones. The recipe takes a little prep, but if you make this one (or double it!), you'll be set for weeks.

Recipe: Vegetarian Pot Stickers I Shop The Recipe



22. Healthier Veggie Fried Rice

You definitely don't need an Instant Pot to make this dish, but it sure does make things easier. I'm a good cook, but rice was my Achilles' heel until the Instant Pot changed my life, and this recipe makes full use of its ricely powers.

Recipe: Healthier Veggie Fried Rice I Shop The Recipe

23. Meatless Sloppy Joes

The textured vegetable protein that this recipe calls for can be tricky to find, depending on where you live (check health food stores!), but it can easily be subbed with lentils, mushrooms, or your favorite brand of meatless crumbles.

Recipe: Meatless Sloppy Joes I Shop The Recipe



24. Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Sweet Potato Crusted Quiche

The sweet potato crust is the real innovation here, and it means you can modify the filling however you'd like. Feta would be delicious in place of the goat cheese, and really, any veggies you have waiting to be used up can find a home in this delicious lil' tart.

Recipe: Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Sweet Potato Crusted Quiche I Shop The Recipe

25. Homemade Falafel

You can make the mixture ahead of time and then fry (or bake) up the falafel fresh when you're ready to eat — which means that with a little planning, you'll always be minutes away from falafel bliss. Truly, that's heaven. 

Recipe: Homemade Falafel I Shop The Recipe

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