I admit that I used to be one of those people who drove my vegetarian friends crazy with questions like, “But how do you get enough protein?” Like most of society, I carried around the belief that the only real way to get all the protein we need for optimal functioning was through animal products. Well, my friends, after years of digging deeper into the issue, my eyes have been opened to the fact that there are major benefits to eating a plant-based diet, both for our bodies and for the planet. That’s why I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite vegetarian dinners with protein.

Through a diet rich in vegetables, legumes, good grains, seeds, and nuts, our bodies will easily get all the amino acids (which form a “complete” protein) it needs. Kimberly Snyder broke it down for us here earlier in the year, and it all makes so much more sense now. She also predicts the plant-based way of life will only continue to gain momentum, so the more we know, the better!

While I do incorporate small amounts of meat and fish into my diet a few times a week, many more of our meals these days are getting all their nutrients from plant-based sources.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of a plant-based diet, here are a few sources that I’d highly recommend: Forks Over Knives (the film), Eat Vegan Before 6:00, The Beauty Detox Solution. Keep scrolling for my current favorite recipes that feature protein-packed meatless mains, and I’d love to hear if you guys are giving vegetarianism a try!

Spicy Black Bean Tacos with Corn Salsa & Avocado from The Awesome Green

These tacos have it all. They’re filling and are incredibly nourishing–packed with protein, healthy fats, carbs, minerals, and vitamins. Plus, it looks great and tastes amazing!

Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Yogurt, Herbs, & Everything Spice

These hot potatoes are a staple in my dinner rotation—quick and easy to make, they’re as delicious as they are healthy and loaded with nutrients.

Loaded Mediterranean Street Cart Fries from A Pinch of Yum

Part salad, part nachos, and part chili fries, these sweet potato fries are absolutely heavenly. They’re topped with fresh summery romaine, marinated tomatoes, chickpeas, feta cheese, herbs to the nines, and easy tzatziki.

Pappardelle With Shiitakes, Kale, & Jammy Leeks

When was the last time you had a truly delicious leek dish? You need to put this one on your list ASAP because it is elite.

Sushi Bowl With Miso Glazed Eggplant from Goop

Delicious, healthy, and can be easily prepped in advance so you won’t be stressed at dinnertime.

Spicy Peanut Brussels Sprout Tacos

Roasted Brussels sprouts and radishes elevate these warming, wholesome tacos into an elegant and delicious meal.

Sesame Shiitakes and Bok Choy from Scaling Back

I can practically smell these delicious veggies through the screen!

Roasted Sweet Potato Pitas With Arugula and Garlic Dressing from Salt & Lavender

This is such a fresh, healthy, and comforting vegetarian meal that even the pickiest of meat-eaters will be obsessed.

Rainbow Grain Bowl Potluck Party

The colors alone in this grain bowl make it a must-try when you’re looking for vegetarian dinners with protein. Yum!

Chickpea Bean Bowl With Toasted Breadcrumbs & Dill Tahini from Dolly & Oatmeal

You’ll be shocked at how filling this vitamin-packed bowl is—as satisfying as it is a breeze to make.

Mango & Coconut Soba Noodle Salad

These flavors may seem a bit out of the ordinary for a soba noodle salad, but trust, you’re going to be hooked. These fresh, light and beautiful flavors are too good to be true.

Mean Green Vegetable Detox Soup from Half Baked Harvest

This veggie dish is absolutely loaded with some of the most powerful soup-erfoods around. (Get it?)

Green Bean & Shallot Ravioli Salad from Martha Stewart

Simple, tasty, and absolutely perfect.

Mole-Spiced Chickpea & Grilled Zucchini Tacos from Snixy Kitchen

The perfect alternative to mole-spiced chicken, these tacos have all the flavor and protein while still being vegetarian.

Quinoa Bowl With Harissa Roasted Veggies, Avocado, & Fried Egg

This dish is easy to prep in advance, so you don’t have to worry about throwing it together during a chaotic dinner hour. And isn’t it gorgeous?

Roast Cauliflower Steaks With Kale & Lentils from The Last Food Blog

The cauliflower steaks are seasoned with garlic, thyme and lemon then roasted until they are golden, sweet, and tender. It doesn’t get more cozy and delicious than that.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

This vegetarian and gluten-free recipe can be easily reheated, is packed with nutrients, fits a variety of dietary needs, and most importantly, is incredibly delicious.

Mushroom Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese” from Love & Lemons

Get all those comforting flavors and textures of a bolognese without any of the meat. It’ll still be packed with protein thanks to the lentils.

Tofu Noodle Stir-Fry With Spring Vegetables from Minimalist Baker

The tahini stir fry sauce is a game-changer in this super flavorful dinner. Tofu, fresh veggies, and rice noodles make up this quick and easy healthy dinner.

Chana Masala With Spinach from Foodie Crush

This easy chickpea stew gets a little extra green thanks to some spinach that makes the tasty, earthy, spiced tomato sauce even better.

Crispy Sesame Falafel Melts With Garlicky Green Tahini from Half Baked Harvest

These homemade, vegetable-filled falafel bites are topped with melty cheese for a truly luscious, filling, colorful, and fun dinner. Add a side of sweet potato friends and you’ve got a real treat.

Vegan Moussaka from Minimalist Baker

Layers of roasted eggplant melt into a hearty tomato and lentil filling and are then topped with an absolutely stunning roasted garlic cashew bechamel. All you need are 10 ingredients and you’re good to go!

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Comments (11)
  1. 1
    Blush & Pearls March 31, 2017 at 8:59 am

    All of these dishes look amazing! Black beans are on my list of things I need to start eating.

    Blush & Pearls by Angela

    Reply
  2. 2
    calliealdridge March 31, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    I love this post! Having been raised in the South, I too am learning that you actually can get enough protein through plant-based eating. Way to go in also featuring all of these amazing recipes and bloggers!

    Reply
  3. 3
    Eme March 31, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing this post, as a plant based eater I can’t wait to try some of these out.

    Reply
  4. 4
    Michelle & Watson June 20, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    My boyfriend always claims we need meat for protein in every meal – I’m excited to prove him wrong with some of these dishes!

    Woof Xo,
    Michelle & Watson

    https://www.watsonandwalls.com/

    Reply
  5. 5
    Diana Lopes July 3, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    This looks incredibly delicious and healthy! I’ll give this recipe a spin for sure.

    Reply
  6. 6
    janet June 4, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Thanks for pulling these together. I’m striving for 30% of my meals to be plant-based each week. Yummy looking photos gives me incentive to try new things

    Reply
  7. 7
    Darlene June 4, 2019 at 9:21 am

    They all look delicious. I wish I could try them; however, I am allergic to a lot of plant based proteins including: nuts, legumes (beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, tofu etc.) and neither my husband or I like quinoa (I’ve tried it so many ways having made this mistake of buying the large bag from Costco to try it for the first time). Non-animal protein is a challenge for me with all of my allergies 🙁

    Reply
    • Leigh June 4, 2019 at 8:15 pm

      Sounds like my vegetarian husband! 🙂 Have you ever tried seitan? If you’re gluten intolerant it’s a no-go. But otherwise, it is amazing! Hemp seeds are nice too, although a little expensive. And there are some veggies that are pretty high in protein too, that could help. Best of luck to you!

      Reply
  8. 8
    Anne Campbell June 9, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    Okay you are speaking my love language! I’ve made your chili, and it’s the bomb.

    Reply
  9. 9
    Alexandra February 4, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Looks like the sweet potato and black bean chili recipe is not showing anymore at that link? I’ve saved the link in the past and it’s cutting off before the recipe – can only see the intro! Can you help? 🙂

    Reply
    • Camille Styles February 4, 2021 at 9:37 am

      Thanks Alexandra, it does look like there was a bug on that post! I’ve reset it and it *should* be working now, but please let me know if you’re still having any issues accessing this one! 🙂

      Reply