Ever been asked where you get your protein on a meatless diet? Well, there’s no shortage of healthy, plant-based protein in these hearty recipes for Thanksgiving! Tempeh, lentils, beans, tofu, and more provide dense nutrition on top of high protein content. These dishes are “meaty” enough to satisfy any carnivore and way healthier than their animal-based alternatives. Add these high-protein meaty entrees to your Thanksgiving menu and everyone will want to incorporate them into their dinner rotation!
For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App – with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy!
Also, don’t forget to check out our ultimate guide to plant-based recipes for Thanksgiving!
1. Tempeh and Lentil “Meat” Loaf
Source: Tempeh and Lentil “Meat” Loaf
This Tempeh and Lentil “Meat” Loaf by Justin Brown is super healthy, high in protein, loaded with veg and is totally gluten free. Great for use as workout fuel, post workout nutrition or just an amazing dinner if you plan to sit on your couch all night. Enjoy!
2. Chickpea Turnip Meatballs
Source: Chickpea Turnip Meatballs
These gluten-free tChickpea Turnip Meatballs by Ashley Madden put the boring ol’ turnip to good use! They are high in fiber, low in calories, and a good source of protein. Not to mention, they are loaded with flavor! Not only are they packed with garlic, cumin, and coriander, they’re served in a delicious herbed tomato sauce. Yum!
3. Seitan Parmesan
Source: Seitan Parmesan
Meat-free chicken parm? Yes, please! This Seitan Parmesan by Melanie Sorrentino tastes just like the old classic, right down to the savory flavor and meaty texture. Serve it on top of your favorite pasta, tomato sauce, and plenty of melty vegan cheese.
4. High-Protein BBQ Lentil Savory Muffins
These High-Protein BBQ Lentil Savory Muffins by Judy Moosmueller are easy to make, gluten-free, nut-free, low in fat, and full of protein, veggies and a rich barbecue flavor. Makes a great meat-free alternative put also pairs well with other barbecued meals
5. High-Protein Jamaican Jerk Chili With Tempeh
Sound the alarm! It’s hard to say where this High-Protein Jamaican Jerk Chili With Tempeh by Real Food Really Fast: Delicious Plant-Based Recipes Ready in 10 Minutes or Less might rank in terms of pure Scoville units, but it definitely brings the heat. Unassuming little habaneros contribute the blistering blaze, turning up the heat with even the smallest addition. If you’d prefer a full-flavored blend that simply has a bit less fire power, feel free to omit the fresh pepper entirely. The unique Jamaican-style seasoning still packs a spicy, savory punch.
6. High-Protein Mushroom Sandwich With Spicy Aioli
M.A.L.T., mushroom, avocado, lettuce, tomato, is a vegan version of a classic sandwich-so simple but so delicious! Roasted mushrooms add a meatiness to this High-Protein Mushroom Sandwich With Spicy Aioli by Rachel Carr and have a succulent, earthy flavor. The spicy and slightly creamy aioli that goes on it is honestly what ties this whole thing together! Plus, this sandwich packs in 30 grams of protein per serving!
7. High-Protein Lentil and Split Lentil Tacos
These High-Protein Lentil and Split Lentil Tacos by Melissa Tedesco are layered with all kinds of goodness. Red and green lentils make up the base, then sautéed peppers, onions and mushrooms, then a whole bunch of fresh garnishes. The second best part of these tacos (the first being the taste) is that you prepare all of the ingredients and let your guests do the rest of the work, filling and layering to their own taste. These lentil tacos are the perfect summer meal.
8. High-Protein Tofu ‘Chicken’ Fillets With Mushroom Gravy and Mashed Sweet Potato
These High-Protein Tofu ‘Chicken’ Fillets With Mushroom Gravy and Mashed Sweet Potato by Philipp Ertl are really easy to make, super tasty, and made from tofu and chickpea flour, so they’re high in protein and gluten-free. They’re soft on the inside and a bit crispy, outside, and the mushroom gravy works so well with it. Plus, the sweet potato mash provides delicious carb! This recipe takes about 35 minutes to make given you time everything well.
9. Stewed Mushrooms
Source: Stewed Mushrooms
These Stewed Mushrooms by Sara Oliveira is a plate that warms us, with high protein, full of nutrients but low in calories, typical of dishes made with mushrooms. Be sure to use the mushrooms you like best and to complete the dish, serve it with black or red rice, it is superb.
10. Tempeh Meatballs
Source: Tempeh Meatballs
These Tempeh Meatballs by Lisa Dawn Angerame are a great plant-based option for when you’re craving something meaty. Tempeh is full of protein, which makes them great heart additions to so many different dishes. Try making a tempeh meatball sandwich or spaghetti and tempeh meatballs! You can also eat them with some veggies, on a salad, or even as hors d’oeuvres! They are flavored wonderfully with a myriad of spices, which makes them just as good alone as in a more complicated dish!
11. Walnut Taco Meat
Source: Walnut Taco Meat
100% raw, gluten-free tacos! Is it everything you ever dreamed of? The raw vegan Walnut Taco Meat by Christa Clark is made from a walnut base and is absolutely incredible! Put it on tortillas with homemade salsa, cashew sour cream, and guacamole! You can also make an entirely raw meal by serving the vegan taco meat on leaves of cabbage or lettuce. It’s sure to make taco night the best night of the week!
Mmm… Goulash! This easy, meat-free take on a Hungarian classic is made with textured vegetable protein instead of meat. They are soaked in water or vegetable broth to make them tender, then sautéed with spices, aromatics, and vegetables with red wine and tomato paste to make a savory sauce. For anyone who likes dishes with a meaty texture, this Goulash by Attila Hildmann is perfect. Plus, it’s served in a bread bowl.
13. 15-Minute Meaty Pasta Bolognese Sauce
14. Meaty Gumbo
Source: Meaty Gumbo
15. Chili Cornbread Casserole
Source: Chili Cornbread Casserole
The only thing more delicious than golden cornbread dipped in chili is a cornbread casserole with chili filling! The hearty Chili Cornbread Casserole by Melanie Sorrentino is made with rice, kidney beans, crushed tomatoes, and plenty of seasoning. As is, this recipe is ridiculously easy and minimalist. Add some sautéed green peppers and onions into the chili mix if you want to amp it up a bit.
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