I remember when I started trying to build muscle as a vegan. Everyone recommended eating at least 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. For me, that meant eating 115g of protein/day. I tracked my protein intake the next day, and I was shocked to see it was only 55 grams… Not even half of the target!
Nowadays, I typically eat 110g to 120g of vegan protein per day without much thought. How? I’ve gotten used to eating more of the foods and meals listed below.
In this post, I’ll share four detailed, high-protein vegan meal plans. I’ll start with one that I’ve eaten many times. Then I’ll progress to higher and higher amounts of protein. (The last one is over 200g of protein in a day!)
But first, let’s cover the high-protein vegan foods that will be the focus of these meal plans.
List of High-Protein Vegan Foods
In order to hit 100g of protein, 150g of protein, or more on a vegan diet, you need to specifically make a point to include high-protein vegan foods.
You can’t just eat some beans and expect to automatically reach those kinds of numbers (unless you’re eating a ton of calories).
So what are the high-protein foods to consider adding to your diet?
Here are some common vegan foods and how much protein they actually have in a 100-calorie serving:
- Beyond Burgers have ~7.4 grams of protein per 100 calories.
- Gardein Crispy Tenders have ~7.8 grams of protein per 100 calories.
- Impossible Burgers have ~7.9 grams of protein per 100 calories.
- Fried tofu has ~8.6 grams of protein per 100 calories.
- Butler Soy Curls have ~9.2 grams of protein per 100 calories.
- Raw tofu has ~10.0 grams of protein per 100 calories.
- Tempeh has ~11.3 grams of protein per 100 calories.
- TVP has ~15.0 grams of protein per 100 calories.
- Gardein Plant-Based Jerky has ~15.0 grams of protein per 100 calories.
- Boca Original Vegan Burgers have ~18.6 grams of protein per 100 calories.
- Seitan has ~20.2 grams of protein per 100 calories.
And just for extra measure, here are even more vegan protein sources:
- Soy milk or pea milk
- “Protein pasta”
- Nutritional yeast
- Protein powder (here’s my favorite on Amazon)
- Peanut butter
So, those are the kinds of foods we’ll be trying to add into your diet. Below, I’ll share some meal plans and recipes that give you some ideas on how to integrate these foods specifically.
High-Protein Vegan Meal Plan #1: 109g of Protein
I’ll start with an example I’ve personally eaten many times. I made this meal plan to help clear up my acne.
I actually ate this every day for a while because I was feeling so happy about the results (and I just liked the foods). You can read more about that in my post about how I cleared up my acne as a vegan.
Anyway, there’s no designated “breakfast, lunch, dinner” in this meal plan. I just ate a bunch of these small meals and snacks throughout the day, in any order:
- Scrambled tofu with a full block of tofu (44g protein, 420 cal)
- Chia seed pudding, sweetened with protein powder (31g protein, 430 cal)
- Can of lentil vegetable soup (11g protein, 270 cal)
- Small bowl of oatmeal with berries (8g protein, 270 cal)
- A small baggy of almonds (8g protein, 220 cal)
- Bowl of Popcorn (7g protein, 350 cal)
Total: 109g protein, 1960 calories
In this meal plan, the scrambled tofu and the protein powder in the chia seed pudding are clearly doing the most as far as protein. The lentils, oats, almonds, and popcorn all add a little bit, but it’s the tofu and protein powder that really help us get over 100g.
Sometimes I would add a handful of walnuts or eat brown rice and veggies instead of the soup. But that didn’t affect the protein too much.
Let’s move onto another example!
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High-Protein Vegan Meal Plan #2: 139g of Protein
Here’s another example meal plan I just came up with. It sounds pretty delicious if you ask me!
I took the protein and calorie values from Cronometer (the app I use to track calories and nutrients).
Obviously, the exact amounts would depend on your recipes and portion sizes.
• Protein pancakes and maple syrup (41g protein, 470 cal)
• Tempeh bacon (12g protein, 130 cal)
• Vegan “BLT” sandwich with Tofurkey slices (19g protein, 430 cal)
• Chocolate protein shake (23g protein, 200 cal)
• Salad (3g protein, 40 cal)
• Stir-fry with noodles, seitan, and veggies (41g protein, 790 cal)
Total: 139g protein, 2,060 calories
In this plan, there are quite a few high-protein foods. The breakfast alone has 53 grams of protein. Personally, I like eating my high-protein meals early in the day like this. Then I can relax a bit more about the rest of the day and still hit my protein goal easily.
As you see, we get all the way up to 139g of protein by the end of the day, without eating anything too weird or having multiple protein shakes.
High-Protein Vegan Meal Plan #3: 172g of Protein
Here’s another example day. This one goes a bit higher in protein and in calories.
Again the values are taken from Cronometer—it’s my go-to app for all my food and diet tracking—but would depend on your recipe and serving size.
• Breakfast burrito (28g protein, 670 cal)
• Beyond Burger with whole-wheat bun (26g protein, 360 cal)
• Vanilla protein shake with a spoonful of peanut butter (27g protein, 300 cal)
• Protein pasta – Black bean spaghetti (42g protein, 320 cal)
• Marinara sauce with added TVP (28g protein, 310 cal)
• Salad (5g protein, 50 cal)
• Nutritional yeast popcorn (16g protein, 450 cal)
Total: 172g protein, 2,460 calories
One of the big tips from this meal plan is that protein pasta is usually extremely high in protein. Black soybean spaghetti, for example, is way more protein-dense than whole black beans.
The downside of protein pasta, of course, is that it costs probably 2x or 3x as much as normal pasta in the grocery store! So, not the best if you’re vegan on a budget. But it adds a lot of protein.
Side note: My apologies if the calorie/protein estimates for the salads are way off—it depends how you do your salads. I usually do mine as just a small bowl of greens, not much else. Obviously if you add ingredients like olive oil or nuts, that will add a lot more calories.
High-Protein Vegan Meal Plan #4: 200g of Protein
Let’s try one more. Let’s go for 200+ grams of protein in a day on a vegan diet.
I’ve maybe never eaten this much protein in a day myself. But just to prove it’s possible, let’s do it! And let’s do it without going over 2,500 calories.
• Scrambled tofu with a full block of tofu (44g protein, 420 cal)
• Tempeh bacon – 2 servings (24g protein, 260 cal)
• Vanilla protein shake (23g protein, 200 cal)
• Edamame spaghetti with marinara sauce (53g protein, 520 cal)
• Vegan bratwurst with hot dog bun (30g protein, 370 cal)
• Black bean vegetable soup (12g protein, 280 cal)
• Chocolate protein shake (23g protein, 200 cal)
Total: 209g protein, 2,250 calories
This meal plan has 37% of calories from protein, which is pretty aggressive. Personally, I don’t think this kind of protein level is necessary for almost anyone.
The only situation I can imagine where this much protein might be useful is if you were someone who normally eats 3,000+ calories to maintain your weight, and now you’re trying to retain as much muscle as possible while also cutting fat aggressively.
Anyway, I hope these example meal plans gave you some ideas for how you might put together a high-protein vegan meal plan that fits your needs!
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