Learn all about iron-rich vegan foods and how to incorporate them into a real-world, everyday meals for optimal absorption in this round-up of delicious iron-rich recipes.
Iron deficiency is quite a common nutrient deficiency in the world and affects vegans and omnivores alike. The good news is that you can get all the iron your body needs from Plants. When we think about iron, our minds wander to red meat etc. But there are lots of plant-based foods containing good amounts of this essential mineral as well.
Now, one thing is choosing iron-rich foods. The other thing is making sure your body can absorb that iron. You can enhance your body’s absorption of iron by drinking citrus juice or eating or adding other foods rich in vitamin C at the same time that you eat high-iron foods.
Another little trick: Use a cast-iron skillet. Cooking in a cast iron skillet can add significant amounts of iron to your food and into your body.
It’s often really surprising foods that contain a lot of iron. Like Blackstrap molasses 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses has 3.6 mg. You can add molasses to vegan baked beans, any baked oatmeal recipe, or add some to salad dressings. Mix and match lentils and beans or beans and spinach to make an iron packed meal.
If your readings are consistently low even after eating thoughtfully, consult your doctor about it. People can have absorption issues and will need supplementation even with an iron-rich diet.
For high protein options, check this collection!
Without further ado, here are some hearty vegan meals to try that combine iron-rich foods with ingredients that help to absorb it well.
Best Vegan Recipes using Iron rich foods
1 cup of lentils has 6.6 mg iron. Paired with other iron sources such as spinach, tomatoes and that bit of lemon for the vitamin c that helps iron absorption and you are all set. Lentils are so easy to incorporate into your everyday like. Try them in lentil soups, tacos, pasta sauce, and even brownies
Vegan Stuffed Butternut Squash with Lentil & Apple filling is a hearty and satisfying plant-based main course for any winter dinner and makes for a showstopping holiday meal! Easy to make ahead of time!
This creamy Thai inspired Vegan Red Lentil Sweet Potato Curry features healthy coconut milk and plenty of veggies. It’s all made in just one pot, gluten-free and perfect as a quick weeknight dinner!
Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes! 1 Pot, 30 min, freezer friendly tangy flavorful sloppy lentils. Serve in sandwiches with slaw or over tater tots or baked potato. Vegan Glutenfree Soyfree Nutfree Recipe
Make this easy Vegan Curry Lentil Casserole whenever that craving for restaurant-style creamy Indian lentil dishes hits. Brown lentils simmered in a fragrant coconut curry broth, served over rice! So easy, so delicious. Gluten-free, too.
This Lentil Bolognese Sauce is hearty with Red lentils and Mushrooms, flavors with herbs, sauce and great with Spaghetti or other pasta. 22 Gm of Protein. Vegan Soyfree Nutfree Recipe. Can be gluten-free with glutenfree pasta
This Lentil Quinoa Loaf with a Spicy Ketchup glaze is nut-free, vegan and can be made gluten-free. Perfect addition to a holiday meal. Makes 1 loaf, serves 3 to 4
Turmeric Lentil Fritters Tomato Greens Bowl with Tahini Dill Sauce. Baked Seedy Golden Lentil fritters with greens, tomatoes and a tahini sauce make an easy Lunch bowl. Vegan Nut-free Soy-free Recipe. Easily Glutenfree. Makes 16 to 18 fritters
Vegan Enchiladas Recipe. Easy Enchilada Recipe with Blender Enchilada Sauce, soft tortillas filled with black beans, spinach and lentils. Vegan Soy-free Recipe. Can be Gluten-free. Ready within 1 Hour. Makes 1 rectangular pan (8 by 12). (Pictured in 9 by 9 pan. You might have some leftover filling and sauce depending on how many tortillas you fit in). .
High in protein and iron – 4 oz has 6.4 mg. Tofu paired with greens or beans makes for a satisfying and nutritious meal
Sheet Pan Veggie Dinner with Broccoli, Sweet Potato, Tofu, Chickpeas, Sunflower seeds dressed with Miso Maple Dressing. Vegan Glutenfree Nutfree Recipe. Can be soyfree with chickpea miso. 23 gm of Protein!
Malai Tofu – a simple Indian weeknight curry with tofu in a thick spiced tomato coconut milk sauce. Serve with naan and/or rice for a delicious plant-based dinner. Soy-free option included.
Curb your Japanese take-out cravings with this easy homemade vegan tofu katsu curry recipe! Crispy panko breaded tofu in a creamy mildly spiced curry sauce. Nutfree, GF option soyfree option
Spinach is another excellent source of iron. 1 cup has 6.4 mg. Spinach in combination with chickpeas, lentils or tofu makes for an iron rich meal.
An easy Spicy Spinach Tofu Stir-fry that can be made in 1 pot within 15 minutes. This recipe is a lifesaver come dinnertime. weeknight Indian spiced Tofu Spinach curry with almost no chopping! Gluten-free, Nut-free, soy-free option.
You will love this delicious vegan spinach and artichoke pasta bake recipe. It’s like having spinach and artichoke dip, but for dinner!
Chickpea Spinach Pie with Berbere Spice. Easy Chickpea Spinach Pastry for holidays and company with vegan puff pastry. Use spices or blends of choice. Use lentils for variation. Vegan Soy-free Nut-free Recipe.
This chickpea Lentil Quinoa Spinach Stew is easy, filing, full of protein and delicious. Free of dairy, egg, corn, soy, gluten
Chickpeas and Kidney Beans
Great sources of iron and you can easily combine them. 1 cup of chickpeas has 3.6 mg 1 cup kidney beans has 5.2 mg
Instant Pot Vegan Chili – Oil-free Kidney Bean Red Lentil Chili. Easy Flavorful Pressure Cooker Vegetarian Chili. Vegan Glutenfree Nutfree Soyfree Recipe. Saucepan Option
This deliciously creamy and rich coconut-based Vegan Peanut Stew makes for a warm and comforting easy weeknight meal that’s super quick and simple to make using just one pot. Packed with healthy vegetables and plant-based protein from kidney beans and peanut butter! Gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and plant-based! Serve over rice
Baked Chickpea Sweet Potato Curry – a one-pot wonder made in one casserole dish. So easy to make, so perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. No standing around and sautéing needed. Glutenfree, soy-free, nut-free option.
This Buffalo Chickpea Salad Sandwich is the ultimate vegan lunch sandwich with a spicy chickpea salad that has all the flavors of buffalo wings! 100% plant-based perfect for a summer picnic or as an office lunch!
This Jalapeno Popper Chickpea Salad Sandwich recipe combines two favorites into a new exciting lunch sandwich! Protein-rich chickpeas and veggies tossed with a creamy tofu based jalapeño popper dip, with a bit of a kick thanks to both pickled and fresh jalapenos! Soyfree option Glutenfree option
Chickpea Veggie Loaf with spices and a spicy bbq glaze. Chickpea Cannellini bean Veggie “meat” loaf for Thanksgiving and the holidays. Easy and delicious. Vegan Recipe. Makes 1 loaf. I use 9 by 5 inch pan, Nut-free, Soy-free, Can be gluten-free
Ethiopian Berbere Chickpea Pizza with Tahini Garlic Dressing. Amazingly flavorful pizza. Dress with tahini dressing, vegan ranch or other creamy dressing. Vegan Soyfree Nut-free Recipe. Gluten-free Crust option.. Makes 1 large pizza
Beans and soycurls
Most beans are good sources of iron. Combination of beans with other beans or lentils, or soycurls adds a boost of iron to the meal. Soycurls with cashews which are also a good source of iron adds up!
Everyone will love these unconventional vegan skillet enchiladas made in one skillet with soy curls, black beans, sauteed veggies, queso, and crunchy tortilla chips. Garnish with your favorite Mexican toppings like cilantro, vegan shredded cheese, and avocado. A great recipe for 5 de Mayo
Dragon Chicken Soycurls – a vegan twist on Indo-Chinese restaurant classic. Soycurls are Marinated and baked then tossed in a fiery spicy sweet cashew pepper sauce. Glutenfree.
Hemp Seeds and Chia Seeds
Add some iron to your favorite bowls and breakfast treats. 3 tablespoons have 2.5 mg
Seedy Chocolate No Bake Granola Bars with candied ginger and gingerbread spices. These bars filled will nuts and seeds make a tasty snack. substitute nuts with more seeds to make them nut-free. Vegan Gluten-free Recipe. Easily made into protein bars. Makes 10 to 12 bars
Decadent Vegan Tiramisu Chia Seed Pudding! Coffee Chocolate Chia pudding layered with creamy vanilla layer topped with whipped coconut cream and cocoa powder. Glutenfree Soyfree Nutfree
Lemon Curd Chia Pudding. Easy 5 Ingredient Thick Lemon Coconut Milk Turmeric Pudding with Chia seeds. This zesty pudding is a refreshing treat for Summer. Serve with whipped coconut cream. Vegan gluten-free nut-free soy-free Recipe.