You Can Make These Delicious Protein-Packed Dinner Recipes in Under 30 Minutes

Getting enough protein doesn’t have to be boring, and these tasty, satisfying dinner recipes are the proof. Each takes 30 minutes or less and is packed with delicious plant-based ingredients like tofu, chickpeas, beans, or lentils. Not only are they a great source of protein, but they’re also rich in essential vitamins and minerals.

Why is protein good for dinner?

Choosing high-protein plant-based foods for dinner is good for us in many ways. For one, protein-rich foods tend to be more filling than carbohydrates or fats, but this nutrient is also essential for building and repairing tissue that may have been damaged over the course of the day. On top of this, protein can help to stabilize blood sugar levels, improve bone health, and support immune function, too. 

As a bonus, many protein-rich plant-based foods are rich in other beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Antioxidants are plant compounds that combat free radical damage, potentially lowering the risk of chronic diseases.

RELATED: 10 Delicious, Protein-Packed Pasta Recipes to Cook Tonight

Serving from frying panUnsplash

Protein-rich plant-based ingredients also tend to be versatile and easy to cook.

Important note: the recommended dietary allowance for protein intake varies per person depending on weight and activity level, however, the general guide for most adults is around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. So, for example, if you weigh 70 kilograms, you’ll need roughly 56 grams of protein per day.

8 high-protein dinner recipes you can make in 30 minutes

Find some of our favorite high-protein dinner recipes below.

VegNews.CharSiuTofuJeeca Uy

1 Vegan Sticky Sweet Char Siu Tofu

The primary ingredient in this quick and tasty recipe from the Vegan Asian: A Cookbook is, of course, sweet and tangy tofu. The soy-based food is known for being high in protein—in fact, a 16-ounce package of extra-firm tofu typically contains about 40 grams of the nutrient.
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VegNews.TacosSmriti Kirubanandan

2 Vegan Chickpea Tacos With Creamy Cashew Dill Sauce

One cup of chickpeas contains around 14 to 15 grams of protein, which makes them a good source of the nutrient, especially when they’re combined with cashews, just like they are in this super-easy, quick, tasty Mexican-inspired recipe.
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VegNews.BreakfastBurritoLinda Soper-Kolton

3 Vegan Freezer-Friendly Black Bean Breakfast Burritos

These freezer-friendly burritos are not just convenient, but they’re packed with flavor, too. And protein, of course. They feature a tasty, nutrient-dense combination of tofu and black beans—the latter contains around 24 grams of protein per can.
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VegNews.Red Lentil Marinara SpaghettiAshley Madden

4 Vegan Red Lentil Marinara Spaghetti

In the mood for pasta? Good news: this classic Italian dish can be loaded with protein, especially when it’s made with a juicy, nourishing lentil marinara, just like in this version from The Plant-Based Cookbook. Fun fact: A cup of red lentils contains approximately 18 grams of protein.
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VegNews.Picatta.HannahKaminskyHannah Kaminsky

5 Sheet Pan Vegan Tempeh Picatta

Similar to tofu, tempeh, which is also made with soy, is another excellent source of plant-based protein (an 8-ounce package of tempeh typically contains around 40 grams of protein!). Try it out in this tasty, indulgent, salty picatta from The Everyday Vegan Cheat Sheet cookbook.
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VegNews.BeefyBowlsNava Atlas

6 Vegan Korean BBQ Bowls With Kimchi

If you’re really short on time, you can’t go wrong with this super quick and easy Korean BBQ bowl. It’s packed with flavor and plenty of protein, thanks to the addition of plant-based beef-style crumbles. There are a few different vegan mince options to choose from, but Beyond Beef Plant-Based Ground, for example, contains around 21 grams of protein per serving.
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VegNews.ChickpeaBurgers (1)Nadine Horn and Jörg Mayer

7 Grillable Vegan Quinoa and Chickpea Burgers

A juicy satisfying burger is a great dinner option, but it doesn’t have to be loaded with meat to be protein-rich. These grillable plant-based patties from VBQ: The Ultimate Vegan Barbecue Cookbook are made with quinoa, which provides about eight grams of protein per cooked cup, as well as chickpeas and chia seeds, too.
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VegNews.VeganNicoiseSaladAndrea Hannemann

8 Easy Vegan French Niçoise Salad

If you’re in the mood for something light and refreshing, yet still protein-packed, this easy, vegan French niçoise salad from the Plant Over Processed cookbook is a great option. The dish is traditionally made with tuna, but chickpeas are arguably an even more delicious plant-based alternative.
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