High-protein and meat-free? Nope, those aren’t oxymorons. Vegetarian dishes can be hearty, wholesome and just as high in protein as those that contain meat. These balanced meals with nutrient-dense foods like whole grains, legumes and veggies will keep you full and satisfied. These recipes are jam packed with 15–30 grams of protein per serving and can be made in just one pan. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian or simply trying new meat-free meals, these seven veg-friendly dishes are perfect for you.
1. SPICY BLACK BEAN SOUP | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES
Got some cans of black beans in the back of your pantry? Make this spicy vegan black bean soup from Dietitian Debbie Dishes. Serve with fried plantains, sour cream and/or chimichurri for a satisfying meal. Recipe makes 3 servings at 1 cup each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 527; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 46mg; Carbohydrate: 83g; Dietary Fiber: 28g; Sugar: 9g; Protein: 28g
2. LENTIL SWEET POTATO & SPINACH STEW | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES
Savor meatless Monday with this lentil, sweet potato and spinach stew from Elle. Lentils are a great source of protein and iron for vegetarians and vegans, and they add so much body to this stew. The orange veggies add the perfect amount of sweetness to balance the spices. This stew can be made ahead of time and frozen. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 1/2 cups each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 310; Total Fat: 0g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 602mg; Carbohydrate: 58g; Dietary Fiber: 13g; Sugar: 14g; Protein 20g
3. BLACK BEAN SPINACH QUESADILLA | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES
Family-friendly black bean and spinach quesadillas make for a delicious and quick meatless Monday meal. This recipe, courtesy of “The Calories In, Calories Out Cookbook”, calls for black beans, baby spinach and mushrooms, but feel free to swap in your family’s favorite veggies. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 quesadilla each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 370; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 20mg; Sodium: 846mg; Carbohydrate: 44g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 20g
4. STUFFED BELL PEPPER EGGS | STEPS 2 NUTRITION
A handful of simple ingredients like eggs, salsa, spinach and onion are served nestled in a bell pepper shell then baked to perfection. This meal is low in carbs, too. Recipe makes 1 serving at 1 stuffed bell pepper. Nutrition info is for 2 whole eggs (yolk + white) and 2 egg whites, but you can modify it any way you want.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 226; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 370mg; Sodium: 509mg; Carbohydrate: 10g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 22g
5. BUTTERNUT SQUASH LASAGNA | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES
Butternut squash is a powerhouse of vitamins A and C. Purée it and add to lasagna for a nutritious boost. Tip: Using no-boil noodles is a big time-saver, and they work best when lasagna is saucy so they can absorb the moisture. They appear puny in the pan when assembling, but they will plump up while cooking. To freeze individual servings, wrap in parchment or foil, then place in plastic storage bags for up to three months. Recipe makes 8 servings at 1 slice each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 309; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 38mg; Sodium: 513mg; Carbohydrate: 33g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 20g
6. CHEESY VEGGIE ENCHILADAS | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES
These cheesy enchiladas from The Honour System have us drooling. Whole-wheat tortillas are stuffed with a savory mixture of ricotta, spinach, garlic and brown rice. To kick up the flavor, they’re topped with a spiced up cheddar cheese and salsa mixture before baking. In one word, yum. Recipe makes 6 servings at 1 enchilada each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 420; Total Fat: 22g; Saturated Fat: 12g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 52mg; Sodium: 797mg; Total Carbohydrate: 20g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 3g; Protein: 20g
7. POWER GREENS BREAKFAST SKILLET | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES
Start your day off right with this veggie breakfast skillet. It’s loaded with dark leafy greens and sweet caramelized onions. Elle Penner, RD, notes it’s perfect for weekends or weekdays — just caramelize those onions ahead of time for a mouth-watering breakfast in under 10 minutes! Recipe makes 2 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 285 ; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 271mg; Sodium: 357mg; Carbohydrate: 21g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 17g