High Protein No Meat Meals
You’re committed to a plant-based diet but still want to make sure you get enough protein with each meal. We get it protein is essential for your health and wellbeing, so cutting out meat doesn’t mean you have to skimp on this important macronutrient. The good news is, that there are plenty of meatless meals packed with protein from beans, grains, nuts, and more.
Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or just want to add more meatless Mondays to your routine, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’re sharing 8 high protein no meat meals to add to your regular rotation. From hearty veggie chili to peanut zoodles and chickpea curry, these dishes prove you can get a healthy dose of protein at every meal without a shred of meat. So grab your fork and get ready to dig in – your new favorite meatless, protein-packed meals await!
What Constitutes a High Protein No Meat Meal?
- Beans and lentils: Black beans, chickpeas, and lentils pack about 15-20 grams of protein per cup. Add them to salads, soups, or eat as a side dish.
- Tofu: Made from soy, tofu contains about 10 grams of protein per half cup. Tofu can be grilled, baked, steamed or added to stir fries.
- Seitan: Made from wheat gluten, seitan has about 30 grams of protein per 3 ounce serving. Seitan can be sautéed, grilled or baked and used in place of meat.
- Nut butters: Two tablespoons of peanut or almond butter has 8 grams of protein. Spread it on bread or fruit, or add to smoothies.
- Quinoa: A whole grain superfood, 1 cup of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of protein. Quinoa can be served as a side dish, or added to salads for extra protein and nutrients.
- Plant-based protein powders: Powders made from pea protein, rice protein or hemp protein contain 20-30 grams of protein per scoop. Add to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt or juice.
By combining a few of these ingredients, you can easily make a high protein no meat meals. Some options include a tofu stir fry over quinoa, a chickpea salad sandwich, or a smoothie made with plant-based protein powder, nut butter and fruit. Get creative and you’ll find there are endless possibilities for delicious no meat, high-protein meals.
Black Bean Burgers: A Meatless Marvel
Black bean burgers are a meatless marvel. Not only are they packed with protein, but they’re delicious and satisfying too. Here’s how you can make your own:
To start, rinse and drain two 15-ounce cans of black beans. Mash them up a bit, but leave some whole beans. Add in 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs or panko to help bind everything together.
Next, chop up some veggies for extra flavor and texture. Dice 1/2 an onion, mince 2-3 cloves of garlic, and finely chop 1/2 bell pepper. Add them to the beans along with 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, and salt and pepper to taste.
Mix everything thoroughly with your hands, then form the mixture into patties. Aim for burger-sized patties, roughly 4 to 6 inches in diameter.
To cook the burgers, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook for about 5-7 minutes per side, until browned and heated through.
Serve your black bean burgers on buns with your favorite toppings like:
A meatless burger that’s protein-packed, planet-friendly, and delicious? That’s a win-win-win in my book. Give black bean burgers a try – your taste buds will thank you!
Lentil Bolognese: Hearty, Healthy & Meat-Free
A hearty Bolognese sauce is a comforting classic, but this lentil-based version is a completely high protein no meat meal. Lentils provide nearly 18 grams of protein per cooked cup, making this a satisfying dish for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
To make Lentil Bolognese, you’ll need:
•1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
•1 (28 oz) can crush tomatoes
•2 carrots, diced
•3 celery stalks, diced
•1 onion, diced
•3 cloves garlic, minced
•2 tbsp olive oil
•1 tsp dried oregano
•1 tsp dried basil
•1 bay leaf
•Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the lentils, crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Remove the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper, and serve over your favorite pasta. Or for a low-carb option, serve the Bolognese sauce over zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.
- Optional: top with parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and red pepper flakes. Enjoy your hearty meat-free meal!
This Lentil Bolognese is perfect for a casual family dinner or to bring to a potluck. Storing any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator, this sauce can last up to 1 week. Lentils, as a source of plant-based protein, are highly nutritious, affordable, and environmentally sustainable. Eating more meat-free meals is good for your health and the planet.
Tofu Stir Fry With Rice Noodles: A Protein Powerhouse
Tofu is a perfect meat substitute in stir fries and provides a solid dose of plant-based protein. For this high-protein, meatless meal, extra-firm tofu is stir fried with rice noodles, broccoli, bell peppers and a savory sauce.
-1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
-8 ounces rice noodles or rice vermicelli
-2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 onion, sliced
-1 red bell pepper, sliced
-2 cups broccoli florets
-3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
-2 tablespoons rice vinegar or lime juice
-1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
-2 teaspoons sugar
-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
-2 tablespoons sesame oil
-2 tablespoons sliced scallions
- Drain the tofu and place on several layers of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Place another towel on top and press with your hands to extract excess moisture. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Cook the rice noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.
3.Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and stir fry until lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to the skillet. Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper and broccoli and stir fry until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, sugar and red pepper flakes (if using) in a bowl. Add to the skillet along with 1/4 cup water. Bring to a simmer.
- Add the tofu, scallions and sesame oil and stir fry until heated through, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked rice noodles. Serve hot.
This protein-packed stir fry is loaded with 21 grams of plant-based protein per serving. Enjoy your meatless meal! Let me know if you have any other questions.
Chickpea Curry Over Rice: Comforting & Creamy
A hearty chickpea curry over rice is the ultimate comfort food for meatless Monday or any day. This creamy curry is packed with protein from chickpeas and filling enough to satisfy any appetite.
To make this chickpea curry, you’ll need:
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for spice)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- Cooked rice for serving
- Cilantro for garnish (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the spices – curry powder, cumin, coriander and cayenne (if using) and cook for 1 minute while stirring constantly.
Whisk in the coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the chickpeas and spinach, stir to combine and simmer for about 10 minutes until slightly thickened.
Remove from heat and season with salt to taste. Serve the chickpea curry over rice and garnish with cilantro if desired.
This cozy chickpea curry is creamy, healthy and satisfying. Packed with protein and flavor, it’s a perfect meatless meal for any night of the week. Enjoy!
Tempeh Fajitas: Sizzling, Savory & Satisfying
Tempeh is a plant-based source of protein made from fermented soybeans. It has a firm, chewy texture and nutty flavor that works well in fajitas. This recipe is satisfying, savory and packed with flavor from veggies, spices and tangy lime juice.
- 1 package tempeh, cut into 1/2-inch strips
- 1 bell pepper, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- Juice of 1 lime
- Tortillas of your choice
- Toppings: salsa, guacamole, lettuce, etc.
- Combine the chili powder, cumin, paprika and cayenne (if using) in a bowl. Add the tempeh strips and toss to coat.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Return the tempeh to the skillet. Add the lime juice and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
- Warm the tortillas, then fill them with the tempeh and vegetable mixture. Top as desired with salsa, guacamole, lettuce, etc.
- Alternatively, you can also serve the tempeh and veggies on their own as a salad or rice bowl topping. Enjoy your meatless meal!
This high protein no meat meal dish is perfect for Meatless Mondays or any day you want a break from meat. Tempeh fajitas are a healthy, delicious option for plant-based fajitas. Let me know if you have any other questions!
Seitan Sloppy Joes: A Plant-Based Classic
Seitan, made from wheat gluten, is a popular meat substitute that provides a hearty, savory addition to dishes. This plant-based classic is perfect for sloppy joes.
To make seitan sloppy joes, you’ll need:
- 1 pound seitan, chopped
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- Kaiser rolls or hamburger buns for serving
Simply combine the tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder in a saucepan and whisk to combine. Add the chopped seitan and bring to a simmer.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, spoon the seitan sloppy joe mixture onto kaiser rolls or hamburger buns. Top with your favorite sloppy joe toppings like coleslaw, pickles, or onion.
Seitan sloppy joes are satisfying, protein-packed, and 100% plant-based. Kids and people of mature age alike will surely enjoy this meatless take on an American classic. The sauce clings to the seitan just like ground beef, with a texture similar to shredded or diced chicken.
This budget-friendly meal is perfect for high protein no meat meal Mondays or any day you want to eat less meat. Seitan, made from wheat gluten, provides a hearty texture for dishes like sloppy joes, chilis, stews, and more. Give seitan sloppy joes a try—your taste buds won’t miss the meat!
Quinoa Chili: Hearty, Healthy & High in Protein
Quinoa is a supergrain that’s perfect for hearty, meatless chili. It’s packed with high protein no meat meal and fiber to keep you full, and has an earthy, nutty flavor that pairs well with chili spices. This quinoa chili is a healthy comfort food at its best.
To make quinoa chili, start by sautéing diced onions, carrots, and bell peppers in olive oil. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant. Stir in diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and rinsed quinoa. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is tender.
For extra protein, add a can of black beans or kidney beans. You can also add corn for some sweetness. As the chili simmers, the flavors will blend and intensify. Season with salt to taste. Ladle the chili into bowls and top with your favorite garnishes like:
•Avocado – Creamy avocado is a perfect topping for hearty chili. Mash it right into the chili or slice it up as a garnish.
•Cilantro – Fresh, herbaceous cilantro adds brightness. Chopped cilantro is a classic chili garnish.
•Green onions – Sliced green onions or scallions provide fresh oniony flavor without the bite of raw white onions.
•Lime wedges – A squeeze of fresh lime juice adds a burst of acidity and brightness to balance the rich, spicy flavors of the chili.
•Tortilla chips – Crushed tortilla chips soak up the flavorful broth and provide some crunch.
•Cheese – Shredded cheese, like cheddar or Monterey Jack, melts into the hot chili for a gooey, savory topping.
This quinoa chili is naturally healthy, fiber high protein no meat meal. Packed with nutritious ingredients and robust, satisfying flavors, this chili will warm you up on the coldest winter nights. Hearty, healthy, and high in protein, this quinoa chili needs nothing else – enjoy!
Hummus and Veggie Wraps
Hummus and veggie wraps are a perfect high protein no meat meal. Hummus, made from chickpeas, contains 8 grams of protein per half cup. Pair that with veggies and a whole wheat wrap or pita and you have a satisfying lunch or dinner.
To make the wraps, start with a base of hummus. Spread 1/3 to 1/2 cup of hummus onto each wrap or in the center of each pita. Top with a variety of chopped fresh or roasted veggies such as:
- Bell peppers (red, green, yellow)
- Sprouts (alfalfa or broccoli)
You can also add extras for more protein like:
- Black olives
- Shelled edamame
- Grilled tofu cubes
Roll up the wraps tightly or fold the pita over the filling. Slice in half diagonally and serve.
For a heartier meal, add a side of protein-rich grains such as quinoa, farro or brown rice. A cup of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of protein and pairs great with Mediterranean-inspired hummus and veggie wraps.
You can customize the wraps to your own tastes by using different types of hummus like roasted red pepper, lemon dill or jalapeno cilantro. And swap in your favorite veggies and extras. The options are endless!
These hummus and veggie wraps are ideal for lunches on the go, picnics or a light summer dinner. They require no cooking and come together in minutes. Best of all, they provide a good amount of plant-based protein to keep you satisfied for hours. Give them a try for your next meatless meal. Your taste buds and body will thank you!
High Protein No Meat Meals FAQ: Answering Your Questions meals
You probably have a lot of questions about getting enough protein in your diet without eating meat. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers:
How can I get protein for dinner without meat?
There are plenty of plant-based sources of protein to choose from for dinner. Some great options include:
- Tofu stir fry with veggies over rice or quinoa. Tofu contains about 10 grams of protein per half cup.
- Black bean burritos or tacos. Black beans have 15 grams of protein per cup.
- Lentil sloppy joes. Lentils have 18 grams of protein per cup.
- Hummus and veggie wraps. Hummus has 10 grams of protein per half cup.
- Peanut noodles. Peanut sauce is made from peanut butter which has 8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoon serving.
What vegetarian food is full of protein?
Some of the most protein-packed vegetarian foods are:
- Seitan – 25 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving. Seitan is made from wheat gluten.
- Tempeh – 31 grams of protein per half cup. Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans.
- Nut butter – Peanut butter has 8 grams of protein per 2-tablespoon serving. Almond butter has 6 grams per 2 tablespoon serving.
- Nutritional yeast – 8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoon serving. Nutritional yeast has a savory cheese-like flavor.
- Plant-based protein powders – Options like pea protein, hemp protein, and brown rice protein typically contain 20-30 grams of protein per scoop.
- Spirulina – A type of blue-green algae powder that contains 8 grams of protein per 2-tablespoon serving.
- Amaranth – A grain with 9 grams of protein per 1 cooked cup.
- Quinoa – A grain with 8 grams of protein per 1 cooked cup.
Eating a variety of these foods throughout the day will help ensure you get all the amino acids you need to meet your daily protein requirements, all without eating meat. Let me know if you have any other questions!
You now have eight delicious high protein no meat meal options to choose from for your next dinner. Whether you’re looking for a quick fix, want to impress family or friends, or just want to mix up your weekly menu rotation, these recipes have you covered. Best of all, they prove that you don’t need meat to make a satisfying, protein-packed meal. So go ahead – pick a recipe, cook up something new and nourishing, and enjoy.
Your body and the planet will thank you. And if you have any other questions about plant-based protein or meatless meals, you know where to find us. We’re here to make the transition to meatless eating as easy, affordable, and delicious as possible. Happy cooking!