5 Healthy Meat Substitutes

Last Updated on Mar 31, 2024 by HappyDieter

When you are really hungry your body is asking for protein, plant proteins, meats, and fat. However, there is no reason for you to go full-time vegetarian in order to green your lifestyle. There are a lot of delicious healthy meat substitutes available which help you to forget about meats. These healthy meat substitutes not only provide the necessary nutrients but also offer a variety of flavors that can make your meals more enjoyable. Enjoy these healthy meat substitutes and happy eating!

They are full of nutrition and you should try at least one vegetarian diet, vegan, meat-free day a week. Here are 5 healthy meat substitutes which will provide you with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and much more.

Key Takeaways

  • Incorporate soybeans, and tofu, into your diet as a versatile and protein-rich meat substitute.

  • Explore the variety of options with peas, beans, lentils, meat alternatives, and meat substitutes to add plant-based protein to your meals.

  • Incorporate seeds and raw nuts in your cooking as meat alternatives for added texture and nutrients.

  • Utilize hemp seeds and quinoa as complete protein sources that can replace meats in your vegan dishes.

  • Experiment with whole grains like brown rice and quinoa to create hearty and filling meat-free meals.

  • By incorporating these healthy vegan meat substitutes, such as soy protein, into your diet, you can enjoy flavorful and nutritious plant-based meals.

1. Soybeans

Soy is a complete protein that contains amino acids that rival steak, but without artery-clogging fat, cholesterol, and excess calories. Soybeans are also full of minerals, fiber, vitamins, and disease-fighting plant compounds. In addition, the best way to eat soy protein is in its form which is not heavily processed, such as soy milk, natto, and tofu, as meat alternatives.

2. Peas, beans and lentils

Legumes are a good source of protein, and vegan meat alternatives, and they don’t cost a lot. For example, lentils, a meat alternative, provide 9 grams of protein per half-cup along with minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Lentils, as meat alternatives, can be cooked quickly and added to pasta sauce, eaten as a side dish, or tossed into salads. You can also try serving beans as a side dish, mixing peas into a salad, or using them to jazz up a vegetable or salad-based soup with meat alternatives and other foods.

3. Seeds and raw nuts

Seeds and nuts are great food sources of plant protein, vitamin E, and fiber. Some foods contain ALA, which is the plant version of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. However, they contain a lot of fat, and for that reason, it is recommended to eat smaller portions. We recommend that you enjoy it as part of a snack, such as peanut butter and apple slices, or use nut butter as a sandwich base to add protein to your diet.

4. Hemp seeds and quinoa

These seeds are healthy foods and they are new to the scene. However, we are singling them out because quinoa is a great protein on its own and hemp is almost complete. One cup contains 9 grams of natural plant protein, making quinoa one seed that should grace the dinner plates for every person who looks for a healthy alternative to meat.

Besides hemp seeds containing protein, they also contain omega-3 fatty acids. You should go easy on meat since this makes them high in fat. Sprinkle seeds on top of cereal or salads or blend powdered hemp into smoothies. Also, don’t forget to chew the seeds thoroughly, because you won’t get the fatty acids or protein from the seeds which are not completely broken.

5. Whole grains

Grains are an excellent source of fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins, and disease-fighting antioxidants. Make sure to choose whole grains, since processed grains lose their natural minerals and vitamins, fiber, and most of their protein. Keep in mind that by snacking on slices of multigrain bread solo you won’t get the protein benefits of beef.

The reason is that most plant proteins, grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes don’t contain all nine essential amino acids. However, if you combine legumes and grains, or seeds with nuts or legumes, you will get a complete protein. We recommend trying whole wheat couscous with lentils, brown rice, and beans, or hummus made with sesame seeds and garbanzo beans.


You’ve learned about various healthy meat substitutes like soybeans, peas, beans, lentils, seeds, raw nuts, hemp seeds, quinoa, and whole grains. Incorporating these plant proteins into your diet can provide essential nutrients and offer a delicious alternative to meat. Experiment with these healthy meat substitutes to discover new flavors and textures that can elevate your meals. These healthy meat substitutes are perfect for those who are looking to add a touch of healthiness to their meals. Enjoy!

Make a conscious effort to include these protein-rich meat substitutes, with grams of protein, in your diet regularly. Not only will you reap the health benefits of the protein-rich meat they offer, but you’ll also contribute to a more sustainable food system. By choosing these plant-based alternatives, you’re not only taking care of your well-being but also making a positive impact on the environment. Start small by trying one new substitute each week and gradually increase their presence in your meals. Eating healthier has never been this tasty!


What are healthy meat substitutes?

Healthy meat substitutes include soybeans, peas, beans, lentils, seeds, raw nuts, hemp seeds, quinoa, and whole grains. These plant-based options offer protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals while being low in saturated fats.

How can I incorporate soybeans into my diet as a meat substitute?

You can use soybeans in various forms like tofu, tempeh, edamame, or soy milk. These versatile options are rich in protein and can be used in stir-fries, salads, soups, or smoothies to replace meat while providing essential nutrients.

What benefits do peas, beans, and lentils offer as meat substitutes?

Peas, beans, and lentils are rich in protein and fiber which help with satiety and digestion. They also contain vitamins and minerals such as iron and folate that are essential for overall health when replacing meat in meals.

Why are seeds and raw nuts good meat alternatives?

Seeds and raw nuts are packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. They offer a crunchy texture and nutty flavor to dishes while providing essential nutrients, protein, and grams that support heart health and overall well-being.

How can hemp seeds and quinoa be used as meat substitutes?

Hemp seeds can be sprinkled on salads or blended into smoothies for added protein. Quinoa is a versatile grain that can replace meat in dishes like stir-fries or stuffed peppers due to its high protein content.