35 Vegan Meal Prep Ideas with Tons of Protein
In today’s post we’ll take a look at the importance of protein, the best plant foods to look for and some of the best high protein vegan meal prep recipes you can try today.
Contrary to popular belief, it is actually easy to get adequate amounts of protein as a vegan or anyone on a plant-based diet for that matter.
It really just takes proper planning and a better understanding of the types of foods you need to eat.
Let’s find out how.
Before we jump right into the list of high protein vegan meal prep recipes I want to take a brief moment to talk about why protein matters for vegans, how much is recommended and some of the best vegan protein sources available.
If these are all things you’re already aware of or are pressed for time then by all means please click on the link below to jump right to the list.
If you’re new to meal prep or maybe just need a little refresher then I recommend you read the following post – The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Meal Prep.
It is an excellent starting point to help make sure you’re saving money, saving time in the kitchen and ultimately avoiding any of the overwhelm associated with meal prep.
And since we’re talking about vegan meal prep, I also need to mention that there’s a big difference between being vegan and being vegetarian.
Seems absurd to bring it up but the differences aren’t subtle yet it’s something that often gets confused in day-to-day talk.
It’s a topic I’ve also covered here – Complete Guide to the Vegetarian Diet.
The Importance of Protein for Vegans
Protein is one of the 3 essential macronutrients your body needs and of course it performs a number of important functions in the body such as:
- Its role in bone, muscle and tissue repair.
- Its importance in hormone regulation.
- It is essential for growth and provides structure for cells and tissues.
- Protein is a good source of energy and it curbs hunger.
- It has numerous fitness benefits which include building muscle, exercise recovery, weight maintenance and much more.
Bottom line is protein is one of the most important nutrients for everyone and should be a key part of any balanced diet.
Why is protein even more important for vegans?
Well, most people you talk to will refer to animal products as the best source of protein but you can equally get as much protein and even more than your recommended amount from a vegan diet.
The difference is proteins from plant-based foods are not easily processed and digested in the body like those from animal products.
So vegans need a little bit more protein than most.
Since most vegans are on a strict diet that means you need to be a little bit more creative about the way you incorporate proteins into the foods you eat.
But as I mentioned earlier, a well balanced vegan diet can definitely help you meet all your protein requirements.
It just takes adequate planning and a better understanding of the types of foods you need to eat.
Speaking of protein requirements…
How Much Protein Do You Need As A Vegan?
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8g per Kg of body weight or 0.36g per pound for the average person.
That equates ideally to about 10% of your total daily calorie consumption which is sufficient enough for most people.
The optimal amount of protein you need will depend on a number of factors such as age, gender, level of activity, overall health and in this case if you’re on a vegan diet.
Plant-based proteins are digested differently from animal proteins and that’s the primary reason why vegans need more protein than non-vegans.
The protein recommendation for vegans is about 0.9g per Kg of body weight or about 0.41g per pound.
If you need to determine your RDA simply get your body weight in Kg or lbs and multiply it by the appropriate number.
For example if you weigh 170lbs and are on a vegan diet your protein RDA will be 170×0.41 = 69.7g.
But remember all the variables (age, gender, exercise, etc) still come into play.
Counting your Macros
Determining your appropriate macro requirements isn’t as complicated as it seems.
In fact there are plenty of tools and apps nowadays to help simplify the process for you.
If you need some in-depth knowledge and insight into counting macros then see – How to Count Your Macros Without Losing Your Mind.
Do Vegans Really Need to Worry About Protein?
Everyone seems to be obsessed about protein and there’s even more skepticism for vegans because of the lack of meat.
I can tell you it is something you need to be aware of but you shouldn’t lose any sleep over it as long as you’re eating a decent variety of plant foods.
Truth is a vegan diet just like any other diet can also be unbalanced and that’s what you need to pay particular attention to.
Your focus should be on a balanced diet and not just on protein alone.
If you have a balanced diet and are eating enough calories then you’re definitely going to get enough protein and probably even more than you need.
I also need to reiterate that you should to consider your own individual situation and make adjustments accordingly.
Best Vegan Protein Sources
Here’s a list of some of the best plant foods that contain plenty of protein to help you meet your Recommended Daily Allowance.
(Note: Protein amounts shown are per cup unless otherwise indicated)
- Vegetables and Legumes
Examples here include Lima beans (11.6g), Green peas (8.6g), Spinach (5.3g), Corn (4.3g), Asparagus (4.3g), Brussels Sprouts (4g), Mushrooms (3.9g), and Broccoli (3.9g).
- Whole Grains
A few examples here are Wheat (9.8g), Teff (9.8g), Quinoa (8.1g), Wild rice (6.5g), Oatmeal (5.9g), and Cornmeal Grits (4.4g).
Examples include Dry roasted peanuts (24.4g), Almonds (21.2g), Dry roasted cashews (15.3g), Walnuts (15.2g), Dry roasted hazelnuts (15g), and Pecans (9.2g) – ***values are per 100g***
Seeds pack a lot of protein and make for perfect snacks in between your meals.
You can try Hemp seeds (31.g), Pumpkin seeds (29.8g), Pistachios (21.1g), Dry roasted Sunflower seeds (19.3g), Flax seeds (18.3g), and Chia seeds (16.5g) – ***values are per 100g***
You’ve got your pick of Soybeans (31.3g), Lentils (17.9g), White beans (17.4g), Pinto beans (15.4g), Kidney beans (15.3g), Black beans (15.2g) and Lima beans (14.7g).
I know that’s far from an exclusive list but it does give you a mix of different foods you can include in your diet for adequate amounts of protein, more flavor and some diversity as well.
That was a brief summary on the importance of protein for vegans, why vegans need a little bit more and some of the best protein-rich plant foods.
It’s easy to get enough protein on a vegan diet but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible for you to fall short.
Focus on a balanced diet, add some variety to your food and you should do just fine.
With that let’s take a look at some vegan meal prep recipes with plenty of protein.
1 - BBQ Lentil Meatballs
“BBQ Lentil Meatballs is made with simple plant-based ingredients of lentils, rice, mushrooms, and BBQ sauce. It’s a vegan protein packed dish! These lentil meatballs can serve great as a post-workout entree or as an appetizer for your party or game day events!” – Vegan With Curves
Contains 9g of protein per serving (4 meatballs).
2 - Black Bean Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
“Make these Vegan Black Bean Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes for a satisfying Mexican dish that’s healthy, fresh and amazingly flavorful.” – Savor and Savvy
Contains 6g of protein per serving. (1 potato)
3 - Crispy Vegetable Fritters
“These crispy vegetable fritters are packed with broccoli, carrots, and zucchini. Dip each delicious appetizer fritter into the creamy avocado yogurt sauce.” – Jessica Gavin
Contains 10g of protein per serving.
4 - Roasted Vegetables with Garlic and Herbs
“This simple veggie blend of potatoes, carrots and green beans is seasoned with a delicious garlic and fresh herb blend then roasted to deliciousness. It’s an excellent go-to side dish that pairs well with just about anything!” – Cooking Classy
Contains 4g of protein per serving.
5 - Vegan Egg Muffins
“Start the day right with these vegetable packed high protein Vegan Egg Muffins! An easy make ahead breakfast option made with wholesome ingredients. Gluten free.” – Okonomi Kitchen
Contains 8.6g per serving (1 muffin).
6 - Brown Rice and Baked Tempeh Bowls
“These brown rice and baked tempeh bowls with cabbage and broccoli make a delicious, filling, high-protein vegan meal. This recipe works well for vegan meal prep, is gluten-free and can be customized as needed by adding additional veggies or legumes.” – Running on Real Food
Contains 12.5g of protein per serving.
7 - Chickpea Scramble
“Chickpea scramble is the perfect effortless vegan breakfast option. It’s naturally soy and gluten-free, high in protein, and full of flavor. Plus, it requires just 5 ingredients and 10 minutes to make!” – Sweet Simple Vegan
8 - High Protein Oatmeal (4 Ways)
Images courtesy of Bites of Wellness
“Start your morning right with these recipes for high protein oatmeal! So simple to make and packed with fiber and protein, these healthy oatmeal recipes are sure to become your favorites!” – Bites of Wellness
Each recipe contains 20g of protein per serving.
9 - Balsamic Tempeh & Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowls
“Meal prep made easy with this balsamic tempeh and roasted vegetable quinoa bowls! You just need one pan, 30 minutes and your lunches are done for the week!” – Simply Quinoa
Contains 14g of protein per serving.
10 - Broccoli Cashew Stir-Fry
“Easy lightened-up Broccoli Cashew Stir-Fry makes a satisfying 30-minute weeknight meal! A healthy oil-free stir-fry with fresh flavors of garlic & ginger.” – The Garden Grazer
Contains 8g of protein per serving.
11 - Tomato Quinoa Salad
“This Tomato Quinoa Salad is fast, flavorful, and easily made in advance for speedy lunches and sides for work, school, or home!” – Peas and Crayons
Contains 9g of protein per serving
12 - Vegan Fajita Bowl
13 - Southwest Roasted Potato Salad
14 - Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowls
“Flavorful 30-minute burrito bowls made with seasoned cauliflower rice, black beans, grilled peppers and onions, and guacamole! Hearty, plant-based fun.” – Minimalist Baker
Contains 13.7g of protein per serving.
15 - Minestrone Soup Jars
16 - Vegan Chili Sin Carne
18 - The Ultimate Vegan Protein Burrito
“This ultimate vegan protein burrito packs a whopping 22 grams of protein, oodles of fiber, and plenty of other goodness, like healthy fats, omega-3s, vitamins, and trace minerals. Fluffy quinoa is tossed with black beans, hemp seeds, cilantro, and seasonings. The mixture gets tucked into sprouted tortillas along with massaged kale, pico de gallo, and guacamole to create a vegan burrito that is just as satisfying as it is nourishing. – Blissful Basil”
19 - Broccoli Pasta with Fresh Pesto
“A nutritious, Broccoli Pasta with fresh pesto, made with protein-rich legume penne. The dairy free pesto is a real treat – made with fresh basil, nutritional yeast, hemp oil and cashews. On the table in 30 minutes.” – Ascension Kitchen
Contains 27g of protein per serving.
20 - Vegan Lasagna Soup
“This thick and heart Lasagna Soup is packed with fiber plant based protein. Vegan and gluten free, is a comforting a satisfying meal in a bowl!” – May I Have That Recipe
Contains 8.5g of protein per serving.
21 - BBQ Tofu Protein Bowl
“Bulgur wheat, garlic, herbs, broccoli, kale, mushrooms, tofu, BBQ sauce, sunflower seeds and nutritional yeast combine in this next dish for a wonderful BBQ tofu protein bowl.” – Euphoric Vegan
22 - Southwest Sweet Potato Vegan Meal Prep Bowls
23 - Spicy Brazilian Burrito Bowls
“Spicy Brazilian Burrito Bowls recipe featuring seasoned rice and beans, garlic cilantro lime slaw, and crispy fried plantains. So good.” – Pinch of Yum
Contains 16.7g of protein per serving.
24 - Tomato & Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Risotto
25 - Carrot Meatballs with Mint Cauliflower Rice
“Carrot Meatballs With Mint Cauliflower Rice is an Easy, 15-minute meal prep meatballs recipe loaded with Italian flavor and a hidden veggie. Paired with lemon mint cauliflower rice for a filling, low carb meal!” – Meal Prep on Fleek
Contains 32g of protein per serving.
26 - Spicy One-Pot Lentil Dal
“Batch cook your lunches in advance with this flavorsome, vegan-friendly, high-protein lentil dal. Vegan meal prep has never been so easy!” – My Protein
Contains 28g of protein per serving.
27 - Layered Quinoa Salad
“Quinoa with a layer of roasted Mediterranean vegetables, green leaves and a spicy tomato dressing. A high protein vegan healthy salad that is bursting with fresh produce. Perfect vegan meal prep for a nutritious high plant protein filling meal.” – Nest and Glow
Contains 17g of protein per serving.
28 - Kimchi Tofu Scramble
“This kimchi tofu scramble is a protein-packed, plant-based breakfast that takes just 5 minutes to make and is a wonderful alternative to scrambled eggs!” – Simply Quinoa
Contains 9g of protein per serving.
29 - Coconut Curry Tofu Stir Fry
“Easy Vegan Coconut Curry Tofu Stir-Fry is dairy-free, gluten-free and lightened-up. It’s full of protein, vegetables and healthy fats, creating a complete, wholesome meal.” – Plating Pixels
Contains 12g of protein per serving.
30 - Black Bean Quinoa Casserole
“Black Bean Quinoa Casserole is comforting and easy to make in an hour. The Mexican-inspired flavors of this vegan and gluten-free dish make it a family favorite.” – Veggies Save The Day
Contains 12g of protein per serving.
31 - Vegan Lemon Asparagus Pasta
“Creamy Lemon Alfredo style sauce with tofu with fettuccine and pan roasted garlic asparagus and more lemon. Vegan Nutfree Recipe.” – Vegan Richa
Contains 17g of protein per serving.
32 - Tofu Soba Noodles
“This quick and easy vegetarian noodle dish comes together in just 20 minutes – perfect for those busy weeknights!” – Damn Delicious
Contains about 17g of protein per serving.
33 - Plant Protein Power Breakfast Bowls
“I love this as a make-ahead breakfast. I store individual portions of the tofu and black beans in the refrigerator (it keeps for about 3 days), then heat it up and top with toppings. So easy!” – Kitchen Treaty
Contains 21g of protein per serving.
34 - Vegan Steak
“Tender, juicy and flavorful vegan steak! Perfectly spiced and looking remarkably like the ‘real thing’ these vegan seitan steaks are deliciously textured, super high in protein and heaps of fun to make!” – Loving It Vegan
Contains 58g of protein per serving!
35 - Ginger Peanut Tofu Wraps
I hope this helped give you an idea of some of the best plant-based protein sources and some delicious high protein meal prep recipes you can make today.
Getting enough protein on a vegan diet isn’t really a difficult task but still isn’t one you should neglect.
Focus on a well-balanced diet and you should be good to go.