17 Tasty Recipes Packed With Plant Proteins

Harness the (delicious) power of plants.

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Let me be totally honest with you — I’m not a vegetarian, and I can’t typically make it through the day without rummaging through my cheese drawer. That being said, love plant-based proteins, and I always try to incorporate them into my diet. I keep a healthy stash of quinoa, lentils, chia seeds, flaxseed, beans and nuts to accompany whatever fresh veggies I have on-hand. I also love pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, chickpeas, wild rice, edamame and farro. The difficult thing is turning these nutrition powerhouses into delicious meals. That’s where these 17 recipes — including options for breakfast, lunch, snack time and dinner — come in handy.


Quinoa Avocado Toast

quinoa avocado toast next to clay jewelry dish

Quinoa Avocado Toast Breakfast

Serve Mom a hearty breakfast this Mother's Day. This quinoa avocado toast recipe includes grilled corn, fresh herbs, goat cheese and chili oil.

Avocado and quinoa combine for a satiating, protein-packed toast topper that’s sure to jumpstart your day.

Get the Recipe: Quinoa Avocado Toast

Orange and Pepita Granola

Homemade Orange and Pepita Granola Recipe

Orange and Pepita Granola

Anyone who grew up eating boxed, processed cereal remembers how delicious the milk tasted when you got to the bottom of the bowl. This nutritious granola has the same nostalgic taste without the unwanted chemicals, dyes and flavorings.

Photo by: Heather Crosby

Heather Crosby

Pumkin seeds and almonds are the star of this nutritious, homemade cereal.

Get the Recipe: Orange and Pepita Granola

Banana Bread Quinoa Cereal


Photo by: unknown


I’ll bet you’ve never thought of eating quinoa for breakfast — especially disguised by the scrumptious flavors of banana bread. This concoction's so delicious, even the kids will be on board.

Get the Recipe: Banana Bread Quinoa Cereal


Kale and Chickpea Salad

Late Summer Kale and Roasted Chickpea Salad

Looking for a salad that will actually stay with you? Thanks to the protein profiles of chickpeas and kale, this one’s your match. I’m giving it bonus points for the Brussels sprouts, which provide additional protein.

Get the Recipe: Kale and Chickpea Salad

Winter Grain Salad

winter grain salad

Winter Grain Salad

Try this healthy yet hearty dish packed with greens, squash, fresh herbs and a punchy vinaigrette that can be served as a main dish or a side dish at a big holiday feast. [Get the recipe>>](http://www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/entertaining/winter-grain-salad?syc=applenews_hgtv-christmas-dinner-recipes-for-the-novice-host)

Make the base of this salad with the protein pal of your choice: quinoa, farro or bulgar wheat. Then revel in the utter greatness of this recipe, which includes edamame, greens and squash (all protein sources!).

Get the Recipe: Winter Grain Salad

Farro Spoon Salad

Farro Spoon Salad lo-res.jpg

farro spoon salad

farro spoon salad

Photo by: Photo courtesy of The Proprietors Bar & Table.

Photo courtesy of The Proprietors Bar & Table.

Farro and sunflower seeds provide plant-based protein in this light, refreshing salad, which features zesty lemon vinaigrette.

Get the Recipe: Farro Spoon Salad


No-Bake Energy Bites: 5 Ways

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The base for all five variations of these energy bites includes chia seeds, ground flaxseed and peanut butter, all sources of protein that give you — you guessed it — energy.

Homemade Hummus

Chickpea Hummus Recipe


Though the fresh chickpeas will need to be soaked overnight, the wait is the most difficult aspect of this dish. But take heart in the fact that soon you will be enjoying the creamy delight that only entirely homemade hummus can provide.

You've probably gathered by now that chickpeas are a great source of plant protein. Chickpeas equal hummus. Homemade hummus equals better hummus.

Get the Recipe: Homemade Hummus

Fruit, Nut and Seed Bars

Homemade fruit, nut and seed bars are a nutritious on-the-go snack.

Fruit, Nut and Seed bars

Homemade fruit, nut and seed bars are a nutritious on-the-go snack.

You’re going to thank me for this one around 3 p.m. when the protein power of nuts and seeds courses through your body like a shot of espresso.

Get the Recipe: Fruit, Nut and Seed Bars


Turkish Red Lentil Soup

Where are my lentil ladies and gents? This soup’s for you.

Get the Recipe: Turkish Red Lentil Soup

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash with Quinoa

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

This vegetarian side dish is a tasty addition to your Thanksgiving table. Fiber-rich and packed with vitamins, health-conscious guests will dig right in.

Looking for a healthy dish that plates beautifully for guests? These protein-and-nutrient-stuffed beauties will do just the trick.

Get the Recipe: Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Turkey, White Bean and Kale Soup

Kale and Leftover Turkey Soup

Leftover Turkey Soup with Kale

Add bacon to a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until brown. Drain the bacon and remove all but 1 teaspoon of rendered bacon fat. Add the olive oil and the onion. Cook the onion for 3-5 minutes or until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more or just until the garlic is slightly softened and fragrant. Add about a cup of chicken stock and use the edge of a wooden spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining stock, beans, turkey, kale, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, stirring occasionally, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Continue cooking the soup at a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaves and serve warm with a sprinkling of the crisp bacon bits.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Obviously, this option isn’t vegetarian, but if you eat meat, this recipe is a must-try. The flavor is spectacular, and cannellini beans and kale deliver a powerful protein punch.

Five Bean Soup

dried bean soup

Dried Bean Soup Gift

Enclose a recipe for a savory bean soup with your beautifully packaged gift jar. Level out each layer of beans for a neat, colorful effect.

Photo by: Hortus Ltd./Mark Fonville

Hortus Ltd./Mark Fonville

Beans are one of my favorite, healthy go-tos, and as such, so is bean soup. This vegetarian option combines all the benefits of five different types of beans — and if you need more convincing, check the price of beans at the supermarket. (They’re a budget-friendly buy!)

Get the Recipe: Five Bean Soup

12 Garden-Fresh Alternatives to Fast Food

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First things first — ditch the fast food.

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Next Up

Muenster Mashed Potatoes

Add a little something-something to your potatoes with a tangy, easy-to-melt cheese.

Backyard Garden Gazpacho

Use garden surpluses to cool down with this chilled summer soup.

Bean Paste Stew with Sweet Potato Leaves

This stew-like bean paste dish, called doenjang jjigae, is a staple in Korean households. Make it using fresh ingredients from your garden.

Vidalia Onion Soup Recipe: Hail, Hail Vidalia

Cook up a rich vidalia onion soup in celebration of this spring veggie's debut.

Game Day Snacks From the Garden

When you invite your garden to the big game, everyone wins.

Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe

Growing garlic? Use the scapes to make perfect pesto.

Eat Your Broccoli Soup Two Ways

Even your kids won't be able to refuse this hearty duo of recipes.

Pumpkin Tortillas Recipe

Fall baking brings a hearty homemade twist to a flatbread favorite.

How to Make Garden Fresh Sandwiches

Celebrate the garden with sandwiches incorporating fresh herbs, cucumbers and perfectly hard-boiled eggs.

Spinach Salad Recipes

Dress up your spinach in these flavorful salad recipes.

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