8 High-Protein Vegan and Vegetarian Dinners That Pack Even *More* Protein Than a Steak

Photo: Getty Images/vaaseenaa
If you were asked which contains the most protein between a steak and a can of chickpeas, you'd probably choose the steak without a second thought. But you'd be wrong. While the recommended 3-ounce serving size of steak packs 21 grams of protein, a cup of chickpeas contains a whopping 39 grams. With that in mind, making high-protein vegetarian dinners is pretty easy.

Aside from chickpeas, a cup of lentils contains 50 grams of protein, a cup of tofu has 20 grams, and kidney beans contain 43 grams of protein per cup. Not too shabby—especially considering the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein for a 140-pound person is 50 grams per day, or about 7 grams per 20 pounds of body weight.

The next time you're planning out your weekly meals, add these high-protein vegetarian dinners to the menu.

High-protein vegetarian dinners (and lunches) that pack more protein than a steak

1. Vegan jalapeño chickpea mac and cheese

Photo: Cotter Crunch

Protein: 27 grams per serving
Total time: 35 minutes

This vegan mac and cheese has a super-high protein count thanks to the chickpea pasta and added chickpeas. The jalapeños also give it a deliciously spicy kick.

2. High-protein veggie burgers

high-protein vegetarian dinners
Photo: Full of Plants

Protein: 39 grams per serving
Total time: 2 hours

Is it grilling season yet? These high-protein veggie burgers are made from red kidney beans, texturized vegetable protein (TVP), and a handful of different spices.

3. Pesto spaghetti with vegan meatballs

Photo: Vegan Richa

Protein: 24 grams per serving
Total time: 50 minutes

Switch up your typical spaghetti recipe for this protein-packed pesto version. Between the sauce and the meatballs—which are made from walnuts and chickpeas—you're taking in 24 grams of protein per serving.

4. The ultimate protein-packed vegan cesar salad

high-protein vegetarian dinners
Photo: Delish Knowledge

Protein: Up to 28 grams per serving
Total time: 40 minutes

This vegan caesar salad has the same great taste as the original, but it contains a whole lot more protein thanks to tempeh bacon bits, crispy chickpeas, and a cashew-based dressing.

5. Moroccan-spiced vegan shepherd's pie

Photo: A Saucy Kitchen

Protein: 25 grams per serving
Total time: 45 minutes

Comfort food, but make it healthy and high protein. This Moroccan-spiced vegan shepherd’s pie has a creamy lentil base topped with sweet potatoes.

6. Almond butter tofu stir-fry

high-protein vegetarian dinners
Photo: Minimalist Baker

Protein: 23 grams per serving
Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Who can resist a quick and easy stir-fry? This protein-loaded recipe only requires nine ingredients, including tofu, almond butter, and green beans.

7. The ultimate vegan protein burrito

Photo: Blissful Basil

Protein: 22 grams per serving
Total time: 40 minutes

Chipotle has nothing on this wholesome burrito that contains 22 grams of protein from quinoa, black beans, and hemp seeds.

8. Mongolian seitan beef 

high-protein vegetarian dinners
Photo: Yup, It's Vegan!

Protein: 29 grams of protein per serving
Total time: 30 minutes

This vegan beef made from seitan will fool you into thinking you're eating the real thing. Serving alongside broccoli and rice for the ultimate healthy dish.

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