4 Quick & Easy Vegetarian Recipes for Bodybuilders

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The phrase “vegetarian bodybuilding recipes” may sound like an oxymoron to the hardcore lifters, as it is hard for some to imagine bulking up without having meat in their diets. 

vegetarian bodybuilding recipes

Unless you are training to compete in the next staging of Mr. Olympia or just wanting to become really huge and imposing, you can actually still gain lean muscle mass even after deciding to go meatless. Whether you became a complete or part-time vegetarian, the following easy and tasty recipes can still supply most of your daily amino acids requirement for muscle growth and strength, as each one contains more than 20g of protein per serving.  

#1. Barbecue Tempeh Wraps

In case you are not familiar with tempeh, it is a fermented soybean cake product that originates from Indonesia. It is similar tofu but firmer and has about twice the amount of protein per gram. An 8-oz of tempeh contains more than 30 grams of protein or more than half of your normal daily requirement. It is also one of the plant-based foods that contain all 9 essential amino acids. 

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This vegetarian bodybuilding recipe that exudes classic Mexican flavors is packed with both nutrition and succulence that even meat-lovers would love. 


  • 1 8-oz. Package of Tempeh (chopped)
  • 4 pcs. 8” Tortillas
  • 4 Large Lettuce Leaves 
  • 1 Small Avocado (sliced)
  • 1 Cup Grated Cheddar
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Broth
  • ¼ Cup  Light Tamari or Soy Sauce
  • ½ Cup Barbecue Sauce
  • ¼ Cup Diced White Onion
  • ½ Cup Diced Bell Pepper
  • ¾ Cup Diced Tomato
  • 1 Tbsp. Chopped Cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. Minced Jalapeno
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Place the chopped tempeh and the vegetable broth in a medium pan with a lid and bring to boil on a stove. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes with the cover and another 5-6 minutes with the lid off. Stir occasionally.
  1. Drain most of the liquid, add the soy sauce and onions, and saute until the onion turns clear. 
  1. Add the bell pepper and jalapeno and lightly season with salt and pepper. Continue sauteing for about 2 minutes then add the barbecue sauce, tomato, and cilantro and stir for another two minutes. 
  1. Warm the tortillas a little in an oven toaster then place them on a plate or a tray. Place a lettuce leaf on top of each one, followed by a few slices of avocado. Divide the cooked barbecue flavored tempeh filling into 4 parts and put on top of the tortillas followed by grated cheese, then roll each one to close. 
  1. Serve hot with a side of tossed green salad or a coleslaw. 

#2. Black Beans, Mozzarella & Vegetable Frittata

Eggs, black beans, and mozzarella are all loaded with muscle building proteins, not to mention some really great natural flavors. Toss in some really nutritious, succulent and antioxidant-rich vegetables and you know that your body, as well as your palate, is in for a great treat. And one of the best parts is it is very easy to do. 


  • 8 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Black Beans
  • 3-oz. Mozzarella (cubed)
  • 2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
  • ½ Cup Chopped Kale or Spinach
  • 1 Tbsp. Chopped Basil
  • 1 Tsp. Chopped Spring Onion
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Water
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Beat up the eggs in a small bowl together with basil, spring onion, and water. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and continue whisking for a few more seconds and then set aside.
  1. Heat up the oil in a small non-stick frying pan on a stove set at low to medium fire. Add the beans and tomatoes and lightly season with salt and pepper and saute for 5-6 minutes. Set the heat on low and let it cook for another 2 minutes. 
  1. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and scatter the cubed mozzarella on top. Stir a few times until all ingredients are well mixed and evenly distributed. Cover the pan and let it cook on low heat for about 15 minutes or until the top is almost completely cooked.
  1. Transfer the frittata to a clean serving plate and allow it to cool for a little bit. Slice and serve warm. 

#3. Stir-Fried Quinoa and Tofu with Mixed Vegetables

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Both quinoa and the soy-based tofu belongs to the short list of non-meat foods that contain all 9 essential amino acids that our bodies need for building and retaining lean muscle mass. Moreover, quinoa contains various vitamins and minerals including vitamins B and E, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. It is also rich in fiber and monounsaturated fat including omega3. 

This recipe is both tasty and easy to make. You can likewise add or change some of the ingredients for your convenience or to increase its nutritional and gastronomic value. For instance, you can replace the tofu with the more protein-rich tempeh or substitute the zucchini with broccoli, or the crimini mushroom with shiitake. You can also add a whisked egg while stir-frying for an extra dose of protein and flavor.


  • 2 Cups Quinoa
  • 1 8-oz. Pack of Tofu (or tempeh)
  • 1 Small Zucchini, chopped
  • 2 Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Small Tomato, sliced or 6 – 8 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Small White Onion, diced or sliced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Cup Baby Spinach or Bok Choy
  • 2 – 3 Basil Leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive or Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Liquid Aminos or Light Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Sriracha Sauce
  • 4 Cups Water
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste


  1. Pour the quinoa and water into a medium pot with a lid and bring to boil on a stove. Turn down the heat to low and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the grains turn tender. While waiting, chop the tofu into bite-sized cubes, as well as all the vegetables according to their respective slices as indicated above.
  1. Heat up the oil in a large skillet with the stove set on medium-high heat. Put in the tofu, onion, and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add the zucchini and mushroom and continue cooking for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  1. Once the tofu and zucchini are almost done, set the heat to low and put in the baby spinach or bok choy and tomatoes, followed by the liquid aminos or soy sauce, a tablespoon of sriracha and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Stir until everything is thoroughly mixed together then have a taste. Add a little more sriracha If you want it to be spicier. 

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  1. Put in the cooked quinoa and basil leaves and stir for another minute or two, or until every component is heated through. Serve finished product in a large bowl. 

#4. Coconut Curry Red Lentil and Chickpea Soup

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If there is one vegetarian bodybuilding recipe that should be included in your culinary repertoire, it should be this one. I think every vegetarian should pay homage one way or another to India, the mecca of meatless cooking and a country where almost 1/3 of its more than one billion citizens are lifelong vegetarians. 

vegetarian bodybuilding recipes

This dish is a comfort food and protein pack rolled into one. It is also a cornucopia of flavor, texture and satiety value. It is perfect for cold wintry nights and outcast days. 

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  • 1 Cup Dry Red Lentils
  • 1 Cup Canned Chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 Big Onion (diced or chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp. Chopped Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. Minced Fresh Ginger
  • 2 Small Carrots (diced)
  • 2 Stalks Celery (diced)
  • 1 Cup Chopped Kale or Spinach
  • 2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 400g Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. Curry Powder
  • ½ Tsp. Red Chili Flakes  
  • 1 400ml Can Coconut Milk
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive or Coconut Oil
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • For Garnish: Chopped Cilantro and Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
vegetarian bodybuilding recipes


  1. Heat up the olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Put in the onion, carrots, and celery and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the veggies become tender.
  1. Add the garlic, ginger, tomato paste, chili flakes, and curry powder. Let it cook for about a minute while stirring occasionally.
  1. Pour the vegetable broth, coconut milk, lentils and crushed tomatoes into the pot. Stir, cover the pot and bring to boil. 
  1. Set the stove heat to low and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the lentils become tender. Add the chickpeas and let it cook for another 5 minutes while stirring the mixture occasionally. Lightly season with salt and pepper and taste. 
  1. To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl, then mix in a tablespoon of chopped spinach or kale into the hot soup and stir a little. Place a heaped spoonful of Greek yogurt or sour cream on the middle top of the soup, and sprinkle it with chopped cilantro to complete the presentation and for added flavor. 

Thanks for reading and I hope that you find these recipes helpful, as well as delightful. I applaud you for deciding to eat healthily and take better care of your body. Happy cooking (and eating)! 

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