Welcome to a list of 30 plantbased protein ideas that will provide diverse and flavorful options to meet your nutritional needs.

One common concern for those transitioning to or maintaining a plant-based lifestyle is ensuring adequate protein intake.

Fortunately, nature offers a plethora of delicious and nutrientdense plantbased protein sources that can seamlessly fit into any meal plan.

plant based protein ideas with dinner suggestions

This list includes legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds, allowing you to discover the variety and richness of plant-based proteins.

We also included easy tips to upgrade your salads, pasta, and soups to satiating meals with plant-based protein tips.

For example, this black bean salad is delicious but becomes a fulfilling and proteinrich meal with added quinoa and grilled tofu.

Black bean salad before and after adding plant based protein

30 Plant-based Protein Ideas

1. Lentils (brown, green, red, and black)

Types of lentils

Lentils are a versatile legume rich in protein, making them an excellent plant-based alternative to meat.

Brown lentils are versatile and hold their shape well, making them ideal for soups and stews.

Red lentils cook quickly and become soft, making them ideal for dals, creamy soups such as this velvety Turkish lentil soup, and purees.

Finally, green, black, and French lentils retain firmness and add texture to salads and side dishes.

2. Lentil patties

Lentil patties with lemon wedges and fresh parsley

These patties with cooked lentils, spices, fresh herbs, and garlic have a Mediterranean-inspired flavor.

Lentil patties are a satisfying and nutritious meatless alternative, rich in protein and fiber that will keep you healthy and satiated.

3. Red lentil curry

Lentil curry with make ahead tips

This red lentil curry is so easy and quick to make that it can be a last-minute plantbased dinner. It’s wholesome, nourishing, and protein-packed, and it will make you feel great!

You can serve it on basmati rice or brown rice, but it’s also great with naan, roti, or any other type of flatbread.

4. Lentil loaf

lentil loaf in slices on a cutting board

Lentil loaf is an excellent recipe for those who want less meat but are not necessarily vegan.

You’ll love this recipe because it’s easy to make with simple plant-based ingredients and combines the meaty and chewy texture of the loaf with the saucy and tangy topping.

5. Lentil quinoa salad

Lentil quinoa salad with a silver fork

The lentils and quinoa pack this salad recipe with wholesome and complete plant-based protein and gut-healthy fiber.

We serve this salad as a post-workout meal in a wrap with a sprinkle of crumbled feta, and it’s incredible.

6. Chickpeas (whole, split and chickpea flour)

cooked chickpeas in a white pot

Knowing how to soak and cook dried chickpeas and their uses and storage methods can be a game-changer for everyday cooking.

We’ll show you the step-by-step process of soaking and cooking dried chickpeas to perfection and how to use them in delicious protein-packed recipes.

7. Chickpea curry

Chickpea Curry with a silver spoon

We developed this coconut chickpea curry so that you can make it with easy-to-find ingredients in less than 30 minutes without compromising flavor and texture.

It’s an excellent recipe for a plant-based weeknight dinner and is also perfect for meal prep as it keeps wonderfully for several days in the fridge.

8. Chickpea fritters

Chickpea fritters held by a hand and tahini dip in the middle

Beyond their mouthwatering taste, these chickpea fritters boast an excellent nutrition profile. They are packed with plant protein and gut-healthy fiber.

While they are inspired by falafel, chickpea fritters are easier to make and cook. They are shaped into small flat patties and then cooked in the oven, air fryer, or skillet until crisp outside and tender inside.

9. Zucchini fritters

Zucchini fritters with tzatziki and lemon

Zucchini fritters pack a ton of flavor and are an excellent proteinrich meal with chickpea flour for the whole family.

Our tip is to top them or dip them with tzatziki saucemarinara sauce, or our homemade sour cream.

10. Chickpea Frittata

vegan frittata with zucchini

You’ll love this chickpea frittata recipe because it’s soft, moist, wholesome, and nutritious, with plenty of plant-based protein.

It’s free from most allergens as there are no eggs; it’s soy-free and dairy-free.

11. Tofu (firm or smooth)

12. BBQ Tofu

BBQ tofu with coleslaw and air fryer vegetables

This BBQ tofu recipe is a delicious meat-free alternative for your meatless meals and the best tofu you’ll ever taste.

A bold and sweet homemade BBQ sauce hugs the small bites of crisp and chewy tofu to perfection; it’s a beautiful protein addition to any Barbecue party.

13. Air fryer tofu

Air fryer tofu in a salad

Air fryer tofu is a tasty and healthy alternative to meat. You’ll love its chewy texturecrispy exterior, and tender and juicy core.

It’s perfect for adding to saladsbowlsstir-friesstews, and curries, or dip it in your favorite dipping sauce.

14. Marinated tofu

Marinated tofu on a white plate with lemon

Marinated tofu is a tasty and versatile protein choice that can be served alone or as a satisfying protein boost for most meals.

It can be used in salads, wraps, stir-fries, pasta, and other recipes, and it is excellent for last-minute dinners and meal prep.

15. Tofu scramble

Tofu scramble on avocado and bread

Thanks to tofu’s excellent nutritional content, this dish is a fulfilling and complete meal, especially if combined with some vegetables.

The best way to eat it is by adding seasonal veggiesSautèed mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes all fit right in, and you’ll never get bored.

16. Black Beans

black bean after cooking in a white pot and a silver spoon

Black beans are nutritious and versatile. They can be used in salads, spreads, dips, and other delicious meals.

They are rich in wholesome plant protein and dietary fiber, affordable, and easy to prepare.

17. Black bean soup

Black bean soup with parsley and lime juice

Black beans and vegetables shine in this creamy onepot soup.

They add a bold, earthy, and almost meaty flavor, and they pack the recipe with protein, fiber, and antioxidants that will make you feel nourished and healthy.

18. Black bean salad

black bean salad with quinoa and a white plate

Black bean salad is an easy recipe that combines simple vegetables with a refreshing and zesty cilantro lime dressing to bring out the flavors.

Expect an irresistible combination of textures: crispy bell pepper, creamy sweet potatoes, velvety avocado, tender black beans, corn, and a juicy dressing.

19. Vegetarian chili

lentil chili in a bowl topped with sourcream, avocado, and pickled red onions

Lentil chili is a tasty and wholesome one-pot recipe where brown lentils replace the ground meat in classic chili con carne.

Expect a hearty, comforting, and highprotein meal that is easy to make with pantry staples and excellent for meal prep.

20. Stuffed sweet potato

Microwave sweet potato with black bean topping

Tender sweet potato stuffed with a tasty and wholesome black bean salad and topped with a dollop of fresh sour cream and tangy pickled red onions.

You’ll love how easy it is to add plantbased protein as a stuffing to your vegetables.

21. White beans

White beans after cooking on a white plate with a spoon

Their thin skin and creamy texture sets white beans apart from most other bean varieties.

For this reason, cannellini beans are excellent for making spreads and adding protein to soups and stews.

22. White bean salad

White bean salad on a plate with a silver spoon

White bean salad is perfect for a light, fulfilling lunch or a healthy dinner. It’s best served with pita bread and yogurt tahini sauce.

This bean salad is a convenient source of plant-based protein, offering a quick and nutritious meal option packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

23. Tuscan bean soup

Tuscan white bean soup with silver spoon and fresh herbs on the side

Our Tuscan white bean soup is inspired by “Ribollita,” a comforting Italian recipe in which cannellini beans are paired with leafy greens and aromatic herbs in a flavorful vegetable broth.

White beans are a creamy addition to soups, enhancing flavor and nutritional value with an excellent protein boost.

24. White bean dip

White bean dip and hand with a pita chip

This white bean dip recipe is luxurious, creamy, wholesome, and delicious.

It’s a beautiful and protein-rich spread for sandwiches, pita, or salads, and you can quickly bring it to your next potluckbarbecue, or game night.

25. Creamy pasta salad

Creamy pasta salad on a blue plate with cucumber on the side

This creamy pasta salad perfectly matches luscious creaminess and healthy eating with plantbased protein from beans, dairy-free yogurt, and vegan mayonnaise.

It’s a versatile meal served as a starter, side dish, or light and refreshing main.

26. Protein-rich grains

Proteinrich grains such as quinoa, amaranth, farro, and teff offer substantial protein content and essential amino acids, making them excellent plant-based protein sources.

Let’s see how proteinrich grains can help make a delicious meal.

27. Buddha bowl

Buddha bowl with peanut sauce

Buddha bowl is a healthy combination of colorful vegetablesnourishing whole grains, and plenty of plant-based protein accompanied by a delicious peanut dressing.

It is an excellent way to pack tasty and nourishing ingredients into one flavorful and gorgeous dish.

28. Farro salad

Farro salad with tomato

You will love farro salad because it’s nutritious, fulfilling, easy to make, and tastes delicious.

Farro is an ancient grain; you’ll love its nutty flavor, chewy texture, and many health benefits.

29. Quinoa chickpea salad

Quinoa chickpea salad with avocado

You can also prepare it in advance and bring it to work or have it ready in the fridge for a busy day when you have less time to cook.

We are sure you’ll love this chickpea quinoa salad for its taste and nutritional benefits.

For example, this salad is an excellent source of plant-based protein and fiber, thanks to quinoa and chickpeas.

30. Mediterranean couscous salad

easy couscous salad on a white plate with a silver fork

Follow our step-by-step recipe, and in less than 20 minutes, you’ll have a delicious and versatile couscous salad

It’s excellent for a quick lunch, healthy dinner, side dish, meal prep, potlucks, picnics, and barbecues.

More plant-based protein sources

This list of plant-based protein sources is meant to inspire you in your everyday cooking. However, there are hundreds of fantastic plant-based protein sources that we haven’t mentioned here.

Some are nuts, seeds, peas, tempeh, seitan, nuts, coconut yogurt, soy yogurt, soy milk, amaranth, and the list continues.

Did we forget any of your favorite plant-based protein sources? Let us know in the comments below.

plant based protein ideas with curries, patties, and how to serve them

30 Plant Based Protein Ideas

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 1 vote
Learn how to cook lentils on the stovetop and add nutritious plantbased protein to your everyday meals.
This cooking method is excellent for using lentils as a side dish, in salads, spreads, stuffings, and centerpiece meals.
For other types of recipes, such as soups, curries, and stews, see the chapter "Recipes with Lentils" linked in the notes below.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: Basic
Cuisine: International

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry lentils green, brown, black, or French lentils
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves optional

Instructions 

  • Rinse 1 cup dry lentils in a fine mash sieve to remove dirt and debris.
    Ensure no stones are hiding between the lentils.
    dry lentils rinsed in water
  • Add lentils to a medium-sized pot with 4 cups water.
    Optionally, add 2 bay leaves leaves.
    bay leaves and brown lentils cooking in a casserole
  • Simmer for 15 to 30 minutes or until tender but not mushy.
    Add 1 teaspoon salt halfway through cooking.
    Taste them and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
    Hand holding a wooden spoon with dried lentils
  • Drain in a fine mash sift before adding them to salads, using them in other recipes, or storing them for meal prep.
    Cooked and rinsed lentils in a sift

MAKE IT A MEAL

  • You can use lentils for salads, soups, stews, curries, as stuffing, and more.
    We curated a list of easy and delicious lentil recipes for you.
    Find it in the "Recipes with lentils" chapter linked in the notes below.
    Lentil salad with feta and lemons on the side

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 serving of cooked lentils out of 4 servings.
STORAGE & MAKE AHEAD
Make ahead: All lentils are excellent for meal prep as they refrigerate and freeze well.
Refrigerator: Store cooked lentils in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezer: Freeze lentils in a freezer-friendly bag or container for up to 3 months. Let them cool down completely before freezing.
Thaw & Reheat: Rinse frozen lentils under running water to defrost. Warm them in the microwave for a couple of minutes, or boil them in a saucepan with hot water for a minute.

Nutrition

Calories: 177kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Potassium: 478mg, Dietary Fiber: 15g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 23IU, Vitamin B6: 0.3mg, Vitamin C: 2mg, Vitamin E: 0.2mg, Vitamin K: 3µg, Calcium: 36mg, Folate: 240µg, Iron: 4mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 63mg, Zinc: 2mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

Easy right?

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