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.

Vegan protein swaps text with colourful designed fruit and vegetable graphics

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.

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

Graphic of an egg and chunks of tofu

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

Graphic design of yogurt and cashew nutsSwap two: natural yogurt for unsalted cashew nuts
Try it in... vegan cashew cream

Graphic design of a carton of milk and soya milkSwap three: whole milk for soya milk 
Try it in... vegan smoothie

Graphic design of parmesan cheese with cashew nutsSwap four: parmesan for cashew nuts
Try it in... vegan cashew parmesan

Graphic design of cheddar cheese and tempehSwap five: cheddar for tempeh
Try it in... teriyaki tempeh with peanut dip

Graphic design of cottage cheese with peanut butterSwap six: cottage cheese for peanut butter
Try it in... red onion with peanut butter & chilli

Graphic design of pork mince with lentilsSwap seven: pork mince for red lentils
Try it in... lentil ragu with courgetti

Graphic design of a chicken wing and quinoaSwap eight: chicken wings for quinoa
Try it in... vegetable tagine with apricot quinoa

Graphic design of a prawn with pumpkin seedsSwap nine: prawns for pumpkin seeds
Try it in... spiced rice & beans

Graphic design of salmon with tofuSwap 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.

All health content on is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

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