Are you vegetarian or are looking for ways to incorporate more plant-based sources of protein? Beans and other pulses are a great way to do that! What are pulses, you might ask? Pulses are the edible seeds of the plants in the legume family, including beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils. They are packed with fiber, budget-friendly, and delicious! Beans can be incorporated into almost all the meals of the day, and here are some of our favorite high protein vegetarian meals to prove it!

11 Protein-Packed Vegetarian Recipes To Keep You Full and Focused

Three Bean Chili

With cold weather hitting almost all of the east coast, chili is an easy way to warm you up from inside and out. Chili is very customizable because of all the toppings you can put on and is a great way to use up any leftover veggies you may have waiting in the fridge. This recipe can be made on the stove or done in the slow cooker for convenience. Try making your own chili seasoning to control the sodium in this dish or use a low sodium chili seasoning for ease.

Lentil Soup

This soup could not be any easier and is great for lunch or dinner (just pair with a nice salad, and you are good to go!). This would also be a great pick me up if you are battling a cold and need some nourishment. Check out the recipe here.

Socca (Chickpea Flatbread)

This flatbread comes together quickly and would be great for a snack or to serve as an appetizer at your next gathering! Try serving it with tzatziki for a delicious treat. Recipe here.

Lentil Curry

lentil curry

This curry is another quick recipe that comes together in a flash. Whether you are a novice in the kitchen or a seasoned chef, you will enjoy this curry! Serve with naan (or some socca flatbread!). Recipe here.

Black Bean Burgers

healthy recipe

Black Bean Burger (Photo by Kaitlin Eckstein)

This is a great alternative to standard beef or turkey burgers (and taste wayyyy better than the frozen variety). Another budget-friendly meal, these burgers also freeze well, so feel free to shape them and stick them in the freezer for a quick meal on any weeknight, recipe here.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dip

I bet you didn’t think I could include a pulse-filled dessert? Well, you thought wrong. No one could tell that the secret ingredient in this yummy dessert is actually white beans! Perfect for your next gathering. Check out the recipe here!

Black Bean Tacos

don't feel like cooking tacos

Black Bean Tacos. Photo by Kaitlin Eckstein

Black beans, tomatoes, spices, and delicious toppings? Could this be any easier? I think not. This would be great for taco night as a vegetarian alternative. Check out the recipe here.

Baked Beans

healthy recipe

Baked Beans (photo credit Klara Knezevic)

A summertime favorite, but made with less sugar and is slow cooker friendly! Don’t forget the liquid smoke as it gives the beans some nice flavor. Serve with burgers (or black bean burgers!) at your next BBQ (or right now if you happen to be feeling some summertime sadness). Recipe here.

Vegan Lentils

vegan lentil recipe

I love combination meals. What is a combination meal you may ask? Think of a meal that has all of the components, including protein, carbs, and veggies! This lentil dish fits the bill. Check out the recipe here.

Chickpea Tomato Salad

diabetes friendly party food

Another summertime favorite that is PACKED with fiber and protein. Serve with your favorite grilled chicken or fish. Recipe here.

Roasted Chickpeas

roasted chickpeas

Photo by Kristin Jenkins

This is a great snack for your next road trip, afternoon hike, or just a long workday. You can change up the spices to fit your tastes! Try chili powder and cumin for a Mexican spin, or Italian seasonings with parmesan cheese! Recipe here.

Looking for more plant-based inspiration? Check out these blogs!

Is a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet Right for You?

7 Healthy Vegetarian BBQ Blogs to Try this Father’s Day

Vegetarian Recipe Database

If you would like help incorporating more beans and pulses into your lifestyle, make an appointment with one of our dietitians, by clicking here or calling 301-474-2499. 

Klara Knezevic is a registered dietitian nutritionist based in Maryland. She has over a decade of experience in the nutrition field and currently serves as the CEO and co-owner of Rebecca Bitzer and Associates, one of the largest nutrition private practices in the country. Klara is passionate about sharing practical nutrition tips to help you feel confident in the choices that you make. Coauthor of Cooking with Food Sensitivities Survival Guide and Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating.