High Protein Vegan Recipes for Bodybuilding: 8 Awesome Recipe Ideas

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If you’re into bodybuilding, you know that protein is essential for muscle growth. It also helps in repairing worn out tissues and muscles. Protein is also a crucial nutrient in human nutrition and survival.

Just because you’re eliminating dairy, eggs, and meat from your diet doesn’t mean that your food should be bland. You can still maintain a high-protein vegetarian diet that’ll support your bodybuilding goals. When properly prepared, these meals should be just as delicious as your favorite steak or cheese omelet.

Vegan meals have a reputation of lacking in flavor, and if you agree with this, you probably have the wrong recipes. Here, we’ll bust this myth and usher you to some high protein vegan recipes for bodybuilding.

Factors to Consider for a High Protein Vegan Recipe for Bodybuilding

A vegan diet for bodybuilders calls for an increase in the daily amount of protein they require. This is because of the additional physical effort they put it in the form of strength or endurance training. Proteins are essential in helping them not only maintain health but also build muscles.

Vegan athletes are a peculiar case when it comes to protein sources since they avoid animal protein sources. This makes some people believe that vegan bodybuilding is impossible. This is not the actual position, however.

The secret to having a vegan bodybuilding diet is combining the right protein sources. The aim is to have an overall amino acid profile that includes all essential amino acids. You don’t necessarily have to eat animal protein to build new muscle.

First and Second Class Proteins

One crucial aspect of vegan bodybuilding is to be able to keep track of the quality of protein consumed. Two primary sources are first class and second class. The former is derived from complete protein sources and the latter from incomplete sources.

Complete Proteins Amino Acids

The difference is in the amount of amino acids in each type. Complete proteins provide all the essential amino acids. These are Methionine, Tryptophan, Histidine, Valine, Threonine, Leucine, and Lysine. Since the body cannot synthesize these amino acids from other amino acids, they're an indispensable part of nutrition.

Most protein sources contain a good percentage of the nine essential amino acids, but some don't contain enough of everything. Obtaining the right amount of Lysine, for example, is a bit challenging if bodybuilders don't often consume plant-based protein.

Legumes such as soy and soy products, beans, chickpeas, lentils, cashews, and peanuts are good sources. The diet should also feature a variety of other proteins, especially for vegan bodybuilders. This will prevent the development of a deficiency with regard to the essential amino acids.

Incomplete Proteins

Consuming a few sources of incomplete proteins also hinders the bodybuilding progress and may cause slow or incomplete recovery after a workout. This will hinder the growth of new muscles in terms of size and strength, regardless of how intense the workout sessions are.

Lack of these amino acids also leads to a higher chance of injury. This situation can be corrected by combining at least two or three incomplete sources of protein. The result is a complete protein that meets the requirement for all the essential amino acids.

An incomplete protein source can be mixed with a legume to obtain all the necessary amino acids.

High Protein Vegan Recipes for Bodybuilding

These vegan recipes are not only delicious but also healthy and provide all the necessary AAs for bodybuilding.

1. Dal

Indian recipes have some of the best high protein vegan recipes. Dal is one of such Indian foods. Here’s what you’ll need for this vegan meal.

Ingredients

  • 1tsp mustard seeds
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, sliced
  • Thumb-sized ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 200g uncooked red lentils
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 50g cashew nuts
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Begin by toasting the cumin seeds and mustard on low heat in a large pan. Once toasted, add the onion and a little water and sauté for five minutes.

Add garlic, chilies, and ginger and cook for two minutes. Add the cinnamon and tomatoes and cook for another two minutes.

Once you get that aromatic smell, put in the lentils and 2 cups of water. For a thinner meal, add some more water.

In a food blender, put the cashew nuts and some water and blend to a smooth paste. Put the paste into the cooked dal and leave it to simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes. The lentils should completely disintegrate.

Add salt and pepper as needed and garnish with coriander. Serve hot with naan or rice.

The meal provides 346 calories, 8.9 grams of fat, 19.7 grams of protein, and 50.3 grams of carbs.

2. High-Protein Breakfast Shake

Your breakfast doesn’t have to be bread and coffee at all times. In any case, a bodybuilder requires more than just a light meal to get started. A protein shake can be an excellent alternative to breakfasts that lack proteins.

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana, sliced
  • 1 cup unsweetened milk, non-dairy or soy milk
  • 2 tbsp. powdered peanut butter
  • 1 scoop vegan protein powder
  • 1 tbsp. maca powder
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp. hemp seeds

Directions

Blend the ingredients until you have a consistent smoothie. Serve chilled.

3. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This recipe is gluten-free and only requires a few ingredients. However, it’s packed with nothing short of a flavorful punch. It can be served as a meal on its own or combined with other dinner recipes.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium or large sweet potatoes
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 100 grams of corn
  • Juice of a half lemon
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. tahini
  • Tahini sauce
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. cumin, grounded
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • Coriander for garnish

Directions

Clean the sweet potatoes and gently prick them with a pointed knife. Place them in a baking sheet evenly lined with a baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour and slice then in half, lengthwise.

Fry the black beans, tomatoes, corn, onions, and spices on medium-high heat for 10 minutes.

For your dressing, mix the tahini paste with water and lemon juice. Top the sweet potatoes with the bean mixture and sprinkle the tahini dressing. Add the coriander for garnishing.

1/3 serving of the recipe provides 328 calories. It also contains 5.9g fat, 60.4g of carbs, and 11.7g protein.

4. Red Pepper and Chickpea Salad

This recipe serves 8 to 10 people.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of chickpeas, 150 oz. each, unsalted, drained and rinsed
  • 3 red peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Whole wheat pitas

Directions

Put all the above contents in a large bowl, cover, and chill for at least two hours. This is to allow the flavors to blend. Remove from the fridge after chilling and spoon into a whole wheat pita.

5. Lentil Bolognese

This is an Italian recipe that’ll satisfy your craving for tasty food. It's loaded with veggies and lentils, and it can be your new favorite meal. In this recipe, lentils substitute ground beef to offer vegans a tantalizing meal.

Ingredients

  • 400g mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. tomato puree
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 250g uncooked lentils
  • ½ liter vegetable stock
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a pan and on medium-high heat, add in the mushrooms, celery, onion, and carrots. Let them cook for 7 minutes until the mushrooms release their water.

Add the garlic and tomato puree and let them simmer for about 2 minutes. At this point, add the crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, lentils, and other spices. The amount of vegetable stock you need will vary depending on your preference.

Leave to cook for 40 minutes until the lentils are soft. Add the salt and pepper. Serve with pasta or rice.

1/3 serving of this recipe has 406 calories, 27.2g protein, 2.8g fat, and 74.7g carbs.

6. Mujadara

If you love lentils, then this meal should definitely be something worth preparing. Mujadara is a favorite Middle Eastern dish that qualifies as a high protein vegan dish. You should consider having it in your recipe list, and you can use brown or white rice, depending on what you want.

Ingredients

  • 200g uncooked green lentils
  • 1tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. grounded cumin
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 200g uncooked rice
  • 2 tbsp. tahini
  • Juice of a half lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

In a cooking pot and on low heat, put the lentils and 500ml of water and simmer until tender. Add the cumin seeds to a casserole pan and toast them in medium-high heat for two minutes. Add the onions to the cumin seeds and cook for 15-20 minutes while adding water as necessary.

Once the onion is cooked, scoop about a third of it for later use. Add the minced garlic and all the other spices and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the cooked lentils and the rice, then add 700 ml of water to the casserole and stir. Simmer for 30 minutes until the rice is ready.

In the meantime, prepare the tahini sauce by stirring the tahini, lemon juice, and water together.

Serve your dish with a wedge of lemon, garnish with the onions you scooped, and sprinkle the tahini sauce.

A serving of this recipe, which is a third, provides 579 calories, 23.5g protein, 6.6g fat, and 107.3g carbs.

7. Vegan Chili Sin Carne

Are you looking for a protein-rich dinner? Then you should definitely try this vegan chili sin carne. This is a cozy recipe that is high in protein and highly delicious. You can prepare it in about 30 minutes and sit down for a delicious meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red chili, sliced
  • 250ml vegetable broth
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 100g corn
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Toss the diced onion and bell pepper in a pan with some garlic, some water, and chili. Sauté the mixture on medium-high heat until it has an aromatic smell.

Add the broth, lentils, beans, corn, chopped tomatoes, spices, and tomato paste. Stir everything in and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the salt and pepper to taste or some spicy seasoning as per your preference. Some excellent accompaniments of this dish are toasted bread, jasmine rice, or tangy guacamole.

A third portion of the recipe contains 284 calories, 17.3g protein, 2.1g fat, and 53.6g carbs.

8. Vegan Protein Pancakes

If you’re looking for something you can have for breakfast, use this recipe. They're fiber-rich and satisfying to nourish your mornings every day.

Ingredients

  • Half ripe banana
  • 1 tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 30g vegan protein powder
  • 120 ml plant milk
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 40g oatmeal
  • Stevia or other sweeteners

Directions

Mash the banana and put it aside. Mix the flaxseed and two tablespoons of water to create an “egg.” Set it aside for a few minutes.

Mix the banana, flax mixture, plant milk, protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon, oatmeal, and sweetener in a bowl. You’ll get a thick batter mixture for your pancakes.

On a heated pan, scoop some of the mixture and cook each side on medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Top it with jam, nut butter, or fruit.

Final Thoughts

As a vegan bodybuilder, your choice may seem limited when it comes to protein sources. However, eliminating animal protein sources from your diet shouldn’t commit you to a life of boring foods. There’s a wide variety of healthy plant proteins you can choose from and still have delicious meals every day.

For the best results from the protein sources you choose, ensure they contain all the essential amino acids. These are crucial in speeding up the growth of muscles in size and strength. Some good protein sources are soy and its products, lentils, black beans, chickpeas, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds, among others.

You don’t have to consume all of them daily, but balancing them the correct way is essential. Choose a good source of carbohydrates to accompany them and balance with veggies and fruits for a complete meal.

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