Vegan protein swaps text with colourful designed fruit and vegetable graphics

Vegan protein swaps

Following a vegan diet and looking for advice on getting the right nutrients? Here, we bring you high-protein ingredients and their plant-based equivalents, plus recipe inspiration for each.

Protein is an essential nutrient that’s found in lots of plant foods, which is real benefit in helping to reduce animal proteins in your diet whether you are an omnivore, vegetarian or a vegan.

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Our guide helps you make simple protein food swaps, but don’t forget food is made up of many different nutrients including fats and carbohydrates, as well as vitamins and minerals. So, although the protein content in our swaps may be similar, the amount of fat, carbs and associated calories, as well as micronutrients, will differ. 

For more on vegan diets, we’ve collaborated with BBC Future:

The health benefits of going vegan – BBC Future
Why vegan junk food might be even worse for your health – BBC Future
How a vegan diet could affect your intelligence – BBC Future
The hidden biases that drive anti-vegan hatred – BBC Future
The mystery of why there are more women vegans – BBC Future
Why the vegan diet is not always green – BBC Future
Which milk alternative should we be drinking? – BBC Future

Swap one: poached egg for tofu
Try it in… tofu scramble

Swap two: natural yogurt for unsalted cashew nuts
Try it in… vegan cashew cream

Swap three: whole milk for soya milk 
Try it in… vegan smoothie

Swap four: parmesan for cashew nuts
Try it in… vegan cashew parmesan

Swap five: cheddar for tempeh
Try it in… teriyaki tempeh with peanut dip

Swap six: cottage cheese for peanut butter
Try it in… red onion with peanut butter & chilli

Swap seven: pork mince for red lentils
Try it in… lentil ragu with courgetti

Swap eight: chicken wings for quinoa
Try it in… vegetable tagine with apricot quinoa

Swap nine: prawns for pumpkin seeds
Try it in… spiced rice & beans

Swap ten: salmon for tofu
Try it in… salt & pepper tofu

More on vegan diets

The best vegan protein sources
A balanced diet for vegans
What is a plant-based diet?
How to become vegan
5 vegan ingredients you’ve never heard of
More health & nutrition tips

Vegan recipes

Healthy vegan recipes
Healthy vegan lunches
Healthy vegan dinners
Healthy vegan breakfasts
Vegan chickpea recipes
Vegan smoothies

This article was last updated on 10th February 2020 by Kerry Torrens.

Kerry Torrens is a qualified Nutritionist (MBANT) with a post graduate diploma in Personalised Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She is a member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and a member of the Guild of Food Writers. Over the last 15 years she has been a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including BBC Good Food.

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