9 Muscle Building Vegan Recipes
100% Plant-Based, High Protein Meals

Vegan food has this ridiculous reputation of lacking flavor, monotone textures, and not giving that ‘full’ filling. If you feel this way, I promise that you’ve just got the wrong recipes. Take this quote for example:

There was a time-a lonely, lonely time-when salads (see also ‘Vegan Salad Recipes High in Protein‘) were a pale and limp affair, relegated to the side of your plate, practically weeping. I think those dark days were also known as the ’80s. – Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Celebrity Vegan Chef

In this article, we’ll be busting that bland myth right open with our 9 best vegan recipes. These easy vegan recipes (see also ‘Vegetarian Mexican Recipes‘) will make you the star of the show at the next office potluck, summer picnic, or birthday party.In this article we’ve got nine delicious vegan recipes that are healthy and easily homemade. Whether you’re looking to improve your diet or just want something new and tasty, these dishes will make your next meal a joy.

Our Top Vegan Bodybuilding Recipes

1. Vegan Protein Pancakes

This delicious vegan breakfast is a snap to make. This recipe makes around 4 pancakes. You’ll need:

  • Half a ripe banana (70 g)
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 30 g vegan protein powder
  • 120 ml or 1/2 cup plant milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 40 g or 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • Stevia, maple syrup or other sweetener

Pancakes vegan recipe

First, mash up the banana and set aside. Create your “egg” by mixing the flax seed with 2 tablespoons of water. Once mixed, set this aside and wait. After a few minutes, mix the banana, flax & water mixture, protein powder (if you don’t want to buy, make your own), plant milk, cinnamon, baking powder, oatmeal and sweeter all together in a bowl. This should give you a thick, pancake batter mixture. Scoop onto a heated pan on medium-heat and cook each side for 3-5 minutes. Top it off with your favorite fruit, jam, or nut butter (see also our article on cocoa butter). Voila – a vegan breakfast. Serving Size: Serving size: 1 pancake = 1/4 recipeCalories = 104 kcal, Protein = 9.2 g, Fat = 2.4 g, Carbs = 12.5 g

2. Vegan Chili Sin Carne

This chili recipe has all the cozy rainy-day comfort of normal chili, hold the meat (see also ‘Best Vegan Meat Recipes‘). Once you sauté some of the ingredients, you throw the rest in and let it simmer – couldn’t be easier or more delicious. You’ll need:

  • 1 medium onion (110 g), diced
  • 1 medium bell pepper (120 g), diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red chili or jalapeno, sliced finely
  • 250 ml / 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can black beans (240 g), drained and rinsed
  • 1 can lentils (240 g), drained and rinsed
  • 100 g corn
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chili Sin Carne

​Once you’ve diced your onion and bell pepper, toss it in the pan with some garlic, chili, and some water. Sauté the mixture for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Once it’s aromatic, it’s time to add the broth, beans, lentils, sweetcorn, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices.

Once you’ve stirred everything in, let it simmer for 20-30 minutes, mixing it occasionally. Give it a taste and add salt and pepper or some spicy seasoning to your liking. Some side dishes (see also ‘Vegan And Vegetarian Side Dishes for Everyone’) could be tangy guacamole, toasted bread, or jasmine rice.Serving size: 1/3 recipe (adjust if you want)Calories = 284 kcal, Protein = 17.3 g, Fat = 2.1 g, Carbs = 53.6 g

3. Aromatic Lentil Soup

This lentil soup is one of many tasty vegan dinner recipes (See Vegan Christmas Dinner) that can be made in less than an hour.

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion (110 g), diced finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 medium carrots (120 g), grated
  • 2-3 medium potatoes (400 g), cubed
  • 200 g uncooked red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (400 g)
  • 1000 ml / 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste


First, toast your cumin seeds in a large casserole pan for around two minutes. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and some water to your toasted cumin and let sit for 3 minutes. Now, add the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer with the lid on for 40 minutes. Add some salt and pepper. For a smoother, less chunkier stew – pour into a blender and mix. Garnish with a bit of cilantro, parsley, or avocado, and enjoy with a side of toast.Serving size: 1/3 recipe (adjust if you want)Calories = 405 kcal, Protein = 21.1 g, Fat = 2.1 g, Carbs = 80.1 g

4. Mujadara

Mujadara is a signature Middle Eastern dish that every vegan should have on their mental menu. For this great recipe, you’ll need:

  • 200 g uncooked green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 large onions (300 g), sliced finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 200 g uncooked rice, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


First, add lentils and 500 ml of water in a pot. Let them simmer until lentils are tender (20-30 minutes). Next, add the cumin seeds to a casserole pan on medium-high heat and toast for about two minutes. After that, add your onions and cook for 15-20 minutes, adding water and scraping the bottom when needed. Once the onion is nicely caramelized, scoop out roughly a third to use as garnish later. Now, add in minced garlic and the rest of the spices with the onions and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the cooked lentils as well as the rice and 700 ml of water to the casserole and stir. Let simmer under a lid for 30 minutes until rice is cooked (don’t touch – letting steam out ruins the rice). While you’re waiting, make the tahini (see also ‘Is Tahini Vegan? Best Vegan Tahini Recipes’) sauce by stirring the tahini, water and lemon juice together. Serve with a wedge of lemon, drizzle over tahini sauce (see also ‘Is Sriracha Vegan?‘) and garnish with the crispy onion bits.Serving size: 1/3 recipeCalories = 579 kcal, Protein = 23.5 g, Fat = 6.8 g. Carbs = 107.3 g

5. Lentil Bolognese

This yummy vegan dinner recipe will readily satisfy your craving for Italian food. To whip up this delicious vegan bolognese, you’ll need:

  • 400 g mushrooms, chopped finely
  • 1 medium onion (110 g), chopped finely
  • 2 celery stalks (80 g), chopped finely
  • 2 medium carrots (120 g),chopped finely
  • 3 garlic gloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (400 g)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 250 g uncooked, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 0.5-1 litre/2-4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (400 g)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Lentil Bolognese

To start, add in mushrooms, onion, celery, carrots in a pan and let cook on medium-high heat for about 7 min. Make sure mushrooms have released their water. Next, add minced garlic, tomato puree and simmer off for 2 more minutes. Now add the can of crushed tomatoes, dry spices, vegetable stock, and lentils. The amount of veggie stock you need might vary – so start with 500 ml/2 cups and add as needed. Cook for 40 minutes until lentils are soft and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a satisfying pile of pasta or rice.Serving size: 1/3 recipeCalories = 406 kcal, Protein = 27.2 g, Fat = 2.8 g, Carbs = 74.7 g

You can watch this video below to see how to cook this vegan version of Lentil Bolognese.

6. Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

If you want to cut time in the kitchen, you can transform the bolognese from the previous recipe into this pie. For this healthy vegan recipe, you’ll need:

  • 1 batch lentil bolognese
  • 500 g white potato, cubed
  • 500 g sweet potato, cubed
  • 100-200 g soy milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Lentil Shepherds Pie vegan recipe

While your bolognese is simmering, boil the potatoes until soft (20-30 minutes). Strain potatoes and mash them up with soy milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon lentil bolognese into an oven dish and then add a layer of mashed potatoes. Add some fresh herbs on top for extra flavor. Put into an oven heated to 200 C or 400 F for 15 minutes. Finish under the grill for a couple of minutes to get a crispy top layer.Serving size: 1/4 recipe (adjust if you want)Calories = 514 kcal, Protein = 26.1 g, Fat = 3.1 g, Carbs = 101.6 g

This recipe is included in our recommended cookbook found here: ​The 10+ Best vegan cookbooks

7. Chipotle and Sweet Potato Stew

This versatile, healthy, and flavorful high protein stew can be eaten with rice, on a tortilla (see also ‘ Can You Eat Tortillas if You’re Vegan? ‘), on-the-go toast, or even as a side dish to something else.

  • 1 large onion (150 g), diced
  • 4 garlic gloves, minced
  • 2 chipotle peppers, chopped finely or 2 tbsp chipotle puree
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2-4 large sweet potatoes (500 g), cubed
  • 250 g uncooked lentils, rinsed
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (400 g)
  • 0.5-1 litre/2-4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 lime (juice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chipotle and Sweet Potato

If you’re using dried chipotle peppers, rehydrate them by adding boiled water and cover for 20 min. In a separate pan, sauté the onion with some water for 7 minutes in a large pan on medium-high heat.

Next, scrape out the seeds and membrane bits in the chipotle peppers. Keep the water, since it’s got some great flavors soaked in.

​Then, add minced garlic, finely chopped peppers (or puree), tomato puree and spices and let fry for 3 minutes. Once fried, add the cubed sweet potato, can of tomatoes, lentils and vegetable stock and let cook for 40 minutes or until lentils are soft.If more liquid is needed – add the chipotle juice instead of water for more flavor. To finish up, add salt and pepper to taste and squeeze in juice of one lime. Serve with rice and garnish with cilantro and avocado.Serving size: 1/3 recipe (adjust if you want)Calories = 423 kcal, Protein = 20.2 g, Fat = 1.9 g, Carbs = 84.9 g

8. Dal

Indian food has some of the best vegan recipes out there. Dal is just the tip of the iceberg of what the cuisine has to offer. For this vegan meal recipe, you’ll need (1):

  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely (110 g)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Thumb-sized piece ginger, grated
  • 2 green chilies, sliced thinly
  • 2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 0.5 teaspoon garam masala
  • 0.5 teaspoon coriander Serving size: 1/3 recipe (adjust if you want)
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped small (250 g)
  • 200 g uncooked red lentils, rinsed
  • 50 g cashew nuts
  • Salt and pepper to taste


To get cooking, toast the mustard and cumin seeds in a large pan on medium-high heat. Once toasted, add onion with some water and sauté for 5 minutes. Then, add garlic, ginger and chilies and let cook for 2 minutes. Now go in with dry spices, stick of cinnamon, bay leaves and the tomato. Let flavors mix and develop for another 2 minutes. Once everything is aromatic, add the red lentils and 500 ml/2 cups of water. If you like a thinner dal, add more water. Combine the 50 g of cashew nuts with a bit of water in a food blender or mixer, then stir the mix into the dal. Let everything simmer for 30-40 minutes until lentils have completely disintegrated. Add salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with cilantro or coriander, and serve with naan or rice.Serving size: 1/3 recipe (adjust if you want)Calories = 346 kcal, Protein = 19.7 g, Fat = 8.9 g, Carbs = 50.3 g

9. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This gluten free sweet potato recipe requires very few ingredients, but packs a flavorful punch. This can be its own meal own easily combined with other dinner recipes.

  • 3 medium to large sweet potatoes (450 g)
  • 1 can black beans (230 g), drained and rinsed
  • 100 g corn
  • 1 medium tomato (110 g), chopped
  • 1/2 onion (50 g), chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Tahini sauce
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Coriander for garnish

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

To start, wash the sweet potatoes and prick each with a fork. Place them evenly on a lined baking sheet bake for around 60 minutes or so. Once baked, slice in half lengthwise. Fry the black beans, corn, tomato, onion, and spices in a pan on medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Create your dressing by mixing the tahini paste with water and lemon juice. Top your sweet potatoes with the bean mixture, drizzle on your tahini dressing, and add coriander for garnish. One word – yummy! Serving size: 1/3 recipeCalories = 328 kcal, Protein = 11.7 g, Fat = 5.9 g, Carbs = 60.4 g

A plant-based diet has been proven to fight obesity, as recent studies on the topic of weight management have found that a vegan diet burns more calories after meals than meat-and-dairy-based meals. The strongest data for the health benefits of plant-based nutrition are for heart issues

Joel Khan

MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine at Wayne State University

Related Post:

Not Enough Protein For You?

One of the biggest fears vegans have (especially bodybuilding enthusiasts considering to switching to the vegan diet) is getting enough protein in their diet. Hopefully the recipes I shared with you are enough to meet your target daily plant-based protein intake.

However, if it’s not, don’t worry. I’ve a got a few recipes that are jam packed with high protein. Feel free to browse the following:

You can also read this article on how much protein you need to build muscle.

Vegan Bodybuilding Meal Recipes: Final Thoughts

These muscle building recipes are perfect for level 5 vegans looking to build their muscles.

​I hope these high protein recipes showed you the delicious joy that can be found in vegan cooking (see also ‘ What Are The Best YouTube Vegan Cooking Shows ‘).

Not only can eating vegan can be a breeze, but it’s also good for you. Vegans have shown to reap benefits from their specialized diet.

If you’re ever on the go and don’t have time to cook, consider jumping on a ​plant-based ​food delivery service​ or vegan subscription boxes.

My #1 recommended ​vegan meal delivery service is Fresh n’ Lean. They ​deliver fresh, ready-to-eat ​vegan meals straight to your door. I have also written a full review of Fresh n’ Lean Meal Delivery Services if you want to check it out. ​

Alternatively, you may want to consider grabbing yourself a ​meal replacement shake. These shakes are perfect for anyone seeking a nutritious meal replacement or as a delicious snack. See our post on the best vegan meal replacement shakes.

​Still unsure what to eat? ​

Read​ ​our definitive vegan meal plan guide.

You can also see this vegan blog list and vegan recipe blogs for more recipes that may help in building muscles.

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Recommended vegan Cookbook

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Jason Hughes
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