Looking for vegetarian protein snacks? Put those boring protein bars down and give these snacks a try.
If you’re a vegetarian trying to boost your protein intake, you know how difficult it can be to keep things interesting. These high-protein snacks will give you the variety you crave without sacrificing your goals.
8 Vegetarian Protein Snacks
1. Greek Yogurt with Fresh Fruit and Hemp Hearts
Here’s a healthy snack that’s loaded with protein and other beneficial nutrients:
1 cup of Greek yogurt (17g of protein; 100 calories)
1 tablespoon of hemp hearts (about 3g of protein; about 55 calories)
1/2 cup of fresh fruit (berries, bananas, or peaches are great options)
Add a 1/2 scoop of your favorite protein powder if you want extra protein. Stick to plain, no-fat Greek yogurt to keep your calories in check. Flavored yogurts are loaded with sugar. Fresh fruit will add flavor and subtle sweetness along with fiber.
2. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is another excellent source of protein for vegetarians. In fact, a half-cup of small curd cottage cheese has 12 grams of protein and just 100 calories.
So, cottage cheese is a great option if you’re looking for high protein vegetarian snacks that are also low in calories.
Stick with plain cottage cheese and add your own toppings for a satisfying snack any time of day. What’s great about this delicious snack is that you can make it sweet or savory. Here are some great mix-ins ideas:
You can also add a half-scoop of protein for an extra protein boost and flavor.
3. Bean Salad
Beans are healthy protein snacks for vegetarians because they’re loaded with plant-based protein and fiber.
1/2 cup of black beans has 7.6 grams of protein
1/2 cup of split peas has 8.2 grams of protein
1/2 cup of chickpeas has 6.3 grams of protein
While you can buy pre-made bean salad, it’s best to make your own at home using simple ingredients. It takes just minutes to put together, and you can easily make enough for a few days.
Here’s a simple bean salad recipe that uses healthy ingredients:
2 cans of low-sodium beans (black beans, white beans, chickpeas and fava beans are all great options)
1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, diced or quartered
1 bell pepper
1 cup fresh greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.)
1 bunch of green onions
1/2 cup feta cheese
Fresh basil, cilantro and/or parsley
Juice from 1 lemon or 1 lime
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Feel free to add whatever fresh veggies you have on hand. The more colorful the salad, the healthier it will be. And if feta isn’t your cup of tea, add parmesan, pecorino or gouda cheese –they’re all high in protein.
4. Egg White Muffins
Egg whites are rich in protein and low in calories. In fact, the whites from one egg have four grams of protein and just 18 calories.
Egg white muffins are a great way to add more protein to your diet. Liquid egg whites make it easy to maximize the protein benefits of egg whites without wasting yolks.
The recipe above also includes cottage cheese, which will add extra protein.
5. Protein Bites
Protein bites are a great option if you want a simple snack that can help boost muscle growth and satisfy your sweet tooth. These vegetarian protein snacks are usually no-bake, so they’re so easy to put together. And you can make a big batch at once to snack on throughout the week.
Are you looking for a high protein vegetarian breakfast to eat? Me, too. And while I am not 100% vegetarian, I only eat meat maybe four or five times a year. So, I don’t get the extra protein needed from sausage, bacon, steak or any of the other high proteins people add to their breakfast.
Since I had already started researching vegetarian high protein breakfast recipes, it only made sense to share them with our readers, too.
Wait! I’ll Need More Protein
One thing that is evident when scouring through vegetarian high protein breakfast recipes is that many of the recipe authors think 4 – 10 grams of protein is a lot.
Instead, you’ll want to keep in mind that some of the serving sizes, such as the one with oats and quinoa, are just 190 calories.
You can absolutely eat 2 or 3 servings and remain within your daily calorie recommendations. However, most anyone should consume far more than 190 calories each meal.
If you want to add in some lean protein on top of these recipes, consider:
Note: A lot of vegetarians eat eggs. We’re not here to debate anything with you. Instead, we do want to mention that we’re going to include vegetarian egg recipes and also list vegetarian high protein breakfast ideas with no eggs. We’ll go a step further and label each recipe name with eggs or eggs-free so that you can find the recipe you want more easily.
5 High Protein Vegetarian Breakfast Ideas
1. Steel-Cut Oats and Quinoa Breakfast (egg-free)
Steel-cut oats and quinoa is a great, fiber-rich breakfast option for anyone that is trying to avoid eggs or meats. The recipe is rated very well, and it only takes about 40 minutes to cook it up. Most of your time is spent waiting for the water to boil and the grains to cook properly.
This is an oaty breakfast option and cinnamon adds an extra kick to the dish.
We won’t reinvent the wheel and adjust this recipe at all, so you’ll find the link at the bottom of each recipe.
However, you should know the nutrition information, which includes:
7.6g of protein
30.6g of carbs
4.7g of fat
Calorie-wise and protein-wise, this recipe is a little short on what we consider high protein. However, you should eat two to three servings.
You’ll also want to keep in mind that fiber is a carbohydrate. You’ll be subtracting 5.4 grams of carbs in this recipe for a true carb count of 25.2 grams for anyone trying to watch their carb intake.
One of the best tasting vegetarian recipes with eggs is burritos. This is a bit heavier than other options on this list, but it’s an excellent source of protein with healthy ingredients. The recipe does call for bacon, but you can nix it or add in plant-based alternatives, such as Be Leaf Vegan Bacon, which tastes really good and even has a nice texture to it.
You’ll be adding in eggs, bacon (use alternative options), cheese, tortillas, refried beans and can add in veggies freely.
If you want to add a little spice, curry powder will give it a nice taste. You can also use black beans if you want plenty of protein but are not a fan of refried beans.
Do you like ricotta? How about pancakes? If you like both of these ingredients, this is a great recipe for you. Ricotta is made from whey, and you’ll want to be cautious with this recipe as the author states these pancakes are sweet, primarily due to their choice of coconut oil
You can experiment with other oils to make it less sweet.
Cooking time is just ten minutes, and these pancakes offer a balanced breakfast. You can slather some maple syrup or jam on top to make them even sweeter.
Scrambled eggs and cheese are an easy high protein vegetarian breakfast that is fast to make on busy mornings. And the protein content is also high, add in some avocado toast or nutritional yeast, and you’ll enjoy a healthy, protein-rich breakfast.
And the recipe takes just five minutes to whip up.
Finally, another vegan-friendly recipe. It’s actually quite difficult to find no-egg options unless the recipe is filled with grains. However, this is one of the tastiest options if you like natural peanut butter, chia seeds and oats.
And, you can prepare this recipe the night before, so if you have to rush out of the door, there’s no reason to miss out on a hearty breakfast.
Nutrition is as follows:
22g of protein
108g of carbohydrates
28g of fat
Note: These nutrition calculations may be slightly off, because there are so many different types of peanut butter. If you’re trying to reduce your calories, experiment by swapping out some of the ingredients for healthier options.
When we say “high protein,” what does this really mean? Traditionally, people are searching for how to get 25 grams of protein for breakfast, and that’s actually a good amount of protein to eat.
However, many vegetarian recipes will fall short of this threshold. You’ll need to either have another high protein snack or add something else on the side to your breakfast, such as yogurt.
Recommendations for protein include at least:
50 grams of protein for women
60 grams of protein for men
However, if you exercise, you may want to consume 1 – 2 grams of protein per pound. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you’ll need 150 – 300 grams of protein throughout the day.
You can read a lot of studies on protein consumption here and here.
Consuming a high protein vegetarian breakfast is possible, you’ll just need to mix up your traditional options, such as sausage for something like Greek yogurt. The few recipes above are a good start for finding recipes for the entire week.
If all else fails, you’re sure to find an easy high protein vegetarian breakfast shake that you can take to fill your protein needs.