By Becca DiCenso
These meatless recipes will energize you from the start of your day to when you’re sitting down at the dinner table. Pick your favorites and plan ‘em out!
If you’re a vegetarian, you’re probably always looking for fresh, healthy, and delicious meatless meals. And by now you know that getting your protein and varying your menu to ban boredom are two of the biggest challenges. We’ve found 20 awesome, protein-packed vegetarian meals from around the web and broken them up below into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. See which ones you haven’t tried yet—and then plan out your healthy eating game plan with some Zero Belly Smoothies mixed in the rotation for an extra boost of waist-slimming superpowers. And while you’re at it, be sure to check out these 20 Weight-Loss Superfoods You’re Not Eating.
1. Grain-Free Apple Walnut Pancakes
Nutrition: 339 calories, 25.3 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 370 mg sodium, 17.4 g carbs, 6.3 g fiber, 8.5 g sugars, 15.1 g protein
Good ol’ fashioned pancakes are a staple breakfast food since as far back as I can remember. But not always known as healthy. Usually made with a heavy batter and smothered in butter and syrup, this pancake version skips all that for a lighter result that won’t leave you feeling guilty. These fluffy pancakes made from coconut flour are just as indulgent without all the added sugars and highly-processed ingredients.
Get the recipe from Seasonal and Savory.
2. Oatmeal Superfood Breakfast Bars
Nutrition: 360 calories, 13.3 g fat (2.8 g saturated fat), 279 mg sodium, 50.3 g carbs, 7.6 g fiber, 14.6 sugars, 11.8 g protein
Just looking at these will make your mouth water. The vibrant colors from the variety of seeds and fruits make for a picture perfect on-the-go breakfast, packed with superfood ingredients that will have you ready to take on any day. These bars are ideal to make ahead for an easy grab in the A.M. that will get you fueled to start the day and shedding those pounds in no time. If you’re a die-hard KIND bar fan and not about to make your own, see where your favorite flavors fall on our exclusive list of Every KIND Bar—Ranked!.
Get the recipe from A healthy Life For Me.
3. Chocolate Overnight Oatmeal Smoothie
Nutrition: 402 calories, 17.7 g fat (2.3 g saturated fat), 187 mg sodium, 55.2 g carbs, 13.2 g fiber, 14.8 g sugars, 13.5 g protein
Perfect to kill that chocolate craving, this creamy smoothie is one you won’t forget. Oats are a great way to thicken up a smoothie and leave you feeling fuller, not to mention they’re also known to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease due to their high fiber content.
Get the recipe from Running with Spoons.
4. High Protein Vanilla Chia Pudding
Nutrition: 357 calories, 18.9 g fat (1.7 g saturated fat), 69 mg sodium, 38.7 g carbs, 10.1 g fiber, 15.8 g protein
Chia seeds, quinoa, and hemp hearts are all loaded with plant-based protein. A complete way to start out your day, this blend of superfoods is bumpin’ with nutrients. This is also a flat-belly dream with 0 grams of sugar and almost 16 grams of protein (without using maple syrup)!
Get the recipe from Simply Quinoa.
5. Greek Yogurt and a Perfect Parfait
Nutrition: 266 calories, 22.1 g fat (5.1 g saturated fat), 62 mg sodium, 47.2 g carbs, 8.1 g fiber, 23.3 g sugars, 27.2 g protein
Holy parfait. Breakfast doesn’t get much more simple than this. Just combine a yogurt of your choice (we recommend Greek) with fresh berries and granola. If you want more flavor, you could add a little vanilla extract and cinnamon. If you’re feeling ambitious, make your own granola too! Too many prepackaged items loads of added sugars and artificial flavoring. Be sure to check out these 30 Ways to Stop Eating So Much Sugar to found out how else you can stay away from the unnecessary sugars.
Get the recipe from Nutritious Eats.
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6. Avocado and Heirloom Tomato Toast with
Nutrition: 419 calories, 22.5 g fat (4.7 g saturated fat), 327 mg sodium, 42.9 g carbs, 13.7 g fiber, 10.6 g sugars, 11.5 g protein
Here’s a satisfying lunch made with fresh avocado and juicy heirloom tomatoes; it doesn’t get much better than that! Avocados are a [belly-fat killer]9http://www.eatthis.com/flat-belly-superfoods-video) and packed with healthy monounsaturated fats to leave you feeling fuller. So, when your stomach starts to rumble mid-day, reach for this easy 5-ingredient (plus seasoning) toast recipe to boost your energy and have you ready to take on the rest of the day.
Get the recipe from Blissful Basil.
7. Vegan Tempeh BLT Wrap
Nutrition: 382 calories, 26 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 722 mg sodium, 20.5 g carbs, 3.7 g fiber, 4.1 g sugars, 23 g protein
Tempeh is an awesome alternative when you're looking to cut back or completely cut out the meat in your diet. Tempeh is a firmer version of its very close friend tofu. It actually contains more protein per gram and is a less processed form (Tofu’s getting jealous). Tempeh is new to us westerners but has been eaten in Asia for hundreds of years. The mild flavor allows you to season and dress it as you please to fit the taste you’re looking for. It’s one of the Best Proteins for Your Body Goals!
Get the recipe from Peaceful Dumpling.
8. Golden Raisin Wheat Berry Arugula Salad
Wheat berries are the whole-grain form of wheat, this complete grain prior to undergoing any processing is full of protein. Pairing wheat berries with peppery arugula and sweet raisins lead to an explosion of flavor in your mouth. High protein grains are always a great swap when your looking to stay away from meat. This may sound like your average salad but once you taste it you’ll understand the difference.
Nutrition: 484 calories, 31.9 g fat (8.7 g saturated fat), 110 mg sodium, 43 g carbs, 3.6 g fiber, 22 g sugars, 13.2 g protein
Get the recipe from In It 4 the Long Run.
9. Braised Lentils and Vegetables
Nutrition: 322 calories, 4.2 g fat, 102 mg sodium, 50.4 g carbs, 17.1 g fiber, 5.4 g sugars, 16.1 g protein
Lentils are a nutrition-packed member of the legume family. One of the main benefits lentils bring to the table is their high fiber content. They also give you tons of energy and stabilize blood sugar. These are a filling addition to any meal and when seasoned right, can lead to a perfect balance of savory flavors. No wonder they’re lentils are one of the best of the 57 Healthiest Foods on the Planet!
Get the recipe from Cafe Johnsonia.
10. Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
Nutrition: 292 calories, 13.8 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 820 mg sodium, 23.4 g carbs, 3.2 g fiber, 12.1 g sugars, 17.2 g protein
One of my favorite carb swaps is the spaghetti squash. I don’t know about you, but I am a huge pasta fan since growing up in an Italian family. There were just so many ways to eat it—with marinara, butter and garlic, meatballs, carbonara sauce- and the list doesn’t stop there. Now, there’s a way to enjoy these Italian favorites without all the added carbs and calories. The spaghetti squash has a similar appearance and texture to angel hair pasta once it’s cooked and pulled from its outer shell. This healthy pasta tip is the ideal answer for when you're looking for that hearty Sunday night dinner.
Get the recipe from I Heart Vegetables.
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11. Mexican Zucchini Burrito Boats
Nutrition: 389 calories, 8.6 g fat (3.4 g saturated fat), 315 mg sodium, 61.8 g carbs, 11.8 g fiber, 5.7 g sugars, 19.7 g protein
These zucchini burrito boats put Chipotle to shame. Stuffed with rice, veggies, beans and melty cheese to hold it all together, this Mexican dish is a vegetarian dinner that will have you forgetting you skipped the meat.
Get the recipe from Making Thyme For Health.
12. Peanutty Quinoa Bowls with Baked Tofu
Nutrition: 595 calories, 27.8 g fat (3.8 g saturated fat), 629 mg sodium, 51.9 g carbs, 10.2 g fiber, 10.3 g sugars, 42.8 g protein
Tofu is the perfect substitute to add to breakfast, lunch or dinner, especially if you are staying away from animal meat. It is filled with protein and brings a great amount of nutritional value to the table. Tofu is made from soybeans and can be cooked to taste similar to just about any other meat. It is super absorbent so depending on the way you cook it and what you cook it in will really define how it will turn out. Think of it as a blank canvas ready to be painted. Try it out a few different ways and find out how you enjoy it best, here’s a great place to start.
Get the recipe from Oh my Veggies.
14. Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
Nutrition: 463 calories, 11.4 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 1029 mg sodium, 64.7 g carbs, 26.9 g fiber, 9.2 g sugars, 27.7 g protein
What’s better than an incredibly comforting warm soup on a cold winter day? Not much. Come home and snuggle up to this soup that is super high in fiber and blasting with flavor. It’s creamy texture and kicking spices come together to make the perfect balance of flavors. The ginger in this soup will also help aid sickness, nausea, and congestion. So beat those winter sniffles with this hearty dinner.
Get the recipe from Vegangela.
14. Baked Falafel Bowls
Nutrition: 618 calories, 38.8 g fat (6.5 g saturated fat), 476 mg sodium, 58.3 carbs, 16.8 g fiber, 5.5 g sugars, 17 g protein
It’s true: the more colors you eat, the more nutrients you put into your body. Sticking to bright colored fruits and vegetables are a great way to increase your vitamin intake and some major flavors. When looking to boost your iron, eat greens, like arugula. An entire 2 cups of arugula contains only 10 calories. (Go ahead, read that again, it’s not a typo!) These bowls are beaming with color and with fully packed fiber to keep your digestive system on track.
Get the recipe from Vegu Kate.
15. Avocado Couscous Grapefruit Salad with
Honey Lime Dressing
Nutrition: 588 calories, 32 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 288 mg sodium, 68.4 g carbs, 15.4 g fiber, 11.3 g sugars, 18.1 g protein
Here is a quick, simple, throw together meal perfect for those nights that you just have too much going on! I don’t know about you but I am a huge fan of adding citrus to zest up a basic salad. Grapefruit is also an excellent source of vitamin C, the colds worst enemy. This cold-fighter is bright in color and in flavor; sure to pack a punch. The citrus will add a sweet and sour tang to the couscous and jazz up the creamy avocado. Opt out of the honey dressing if you’re looking to reduce the sugar count and just use a mix of fresh lime juice and olive oil.
Get the recipe from Well Plated.
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16. Vegan Buffalo Cheddar Cheese
Nutrition: 339 calories, 29.7 g fat (16.6 g saturated fat), 278 mg sodium, 15.3 g carbs, 3.8 g fiber, 3 g sugars, 8.2 g protein
Spread this ‘cheese’ on some homemade crackers or eat it with a spoon, there’s no wrong way to enjoy this! The smoky, spicy combination is bold and hearty. The cashews are disguised as a cheese that make the perfect vegan alternative. Cashews are a great mineral source packed with copper, manganese, magnesium and vitamin K.
Get the recipe from My Darling Vegan.
17. Chickpea Croutons
Serves: 4 Nutrition: 182 calories, 3 g fat, 12 mg sodium, 30.3 carbs, 8.7 g fiber, 5.3 g sugars, 9.7 g protein
Whether you're topping a soup or salad or just looking for healthy snack ideas, here's an answer! Pack a handful or two in a baggy and pick at them all day long. With such great crunch and flavor, these one ingredient croutons are an ideal wholesome snack. Forget the processed pretzels and chips, bake these chickpeas at home for a quick 20 minutes to create these protein packed treats.
Get the recipe from Simple Vegan Blog.
18. No-Bake Oatmeal Protein Energy Balls
Nutrition: 176 calories, 7.4 g fat (1.4 g saturated fat), 64 mg sodium, 19.4 g carbs, 2.8 g fiber, 8.8 g sugars, 8.8 g protein
Whoever invented this latest ‘no-bake balls’ food trend needs to be recognized! The convenience and ease of making these no bake energy balls pretty much beats out any other snack out there. Always so delicious and filled with the perfect amount of protein and nutrients to keep you going, these oatmeal protein balls will have you feelings some type of way. Their gooey and rich texture are munch-worthy in between meals or for a late night snack.
Get the recipe from The Healthy Maven.
19. Banana Nut Quinoa Bars
Nutrition: 319 calories, 17.1 g fat (5.8 g saturated fat), 76 mg sodium, 35.7 g carbs, 4.4 g fiber, 14.1 g sugar, 9.7 g protein
Ever have a busy work week that sometimes calls for an unhealthy quick breakfast? NO MORE. With these easy, high protein bars that you can make ahead of time and have around for the whole week. They are chewy and crunchy with the perfect amount of sweetness added from the banana. Bananas are a potassium filled fruit that help lower blood pressure naturally, plus they have high levels of tryptophan which converts into serotonin and makes you happier.
Get the recipe from The Wholesome Dish.
20. Baked McTofu Nuggets
Nutrition: 172 calories, 6 g fat (1.1 g saturated fat), 184 mg sodium, 20 g carbs, 2.7 g fiber, 2.2 g sugar, 12 g protein
Who would have thought you could make this McDonald's classic a healthy lunch? Well, this twist on the McNuggets are a loaded source of protein and baked to perfection.
Get the recipe from One Ingredient Chef.
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