20 vegan iron-rich recipes
Looking for good vegan sources of iron to include in your diet? Discover our collection of easy and delicious iron-rich recipes, including hummus and curry, porridge and energy balls
Looking for iron-rich recipes? Want healthy, nutritious meals that will help you to up your intake of iron? Check out our recipes below, then take a look at our healthy high-protein vegan recipes, quick vegan recipes and budget vegan recipes.
Iron is an essential nutrient for good health, for it is involved in transporting oxygen around our body by binding to haemoglobin and carrying red blood cells around the body. Too little and you may start to feel tired, lack concentration and even feel light-headed. You can get iron from your diet in both animal (heme) and plant-based (non-heme) sources, and the absorption is increased when eaten alongside fruits and vegetables which contain Vitamin C.
Good vegan iron sources include legumes such as tofu, lentils, tempeh, beans, peas, nuts, seeds, wholegrains and certain fruits and vegetables, including green leafy vegetables, tomato purée, prunes and olives.
20 vegan iron-rich recipes
1. Tofu piccata
Swap chicken for sautéed tofu in this clever vegan twist on a classic, served with a white wine sauce and long-stemmed broccoli.
Try our salad recipe with crispy golden tofu and crunchy vegetables. This easy dish is vegan, high in protein and good for you.
3. Mapo tofu
The people of Sichuan love chilli and the lip tingle of sichuan peppercorns – exactly what this dish celebrates. Add plenty of chiu chow chilli oil to really make it sing.
This recipe for roast broccoli with lentils and preserved lemon makes for a really easy midweek meal for one. It’s vegan and ready in less than an hour but still delivers big, punchy flavours.
5. Kidney beans
Chilli is a great dish for packing kidney beans into your diet. This veggie butternut squash and quinoa version makes a quick and satisfying meal.
Cook aubergine pieces with fragrant spices and red lentils for a healthy midweek meal. Serve with naans for a hearty dinner.
Try our quick and easy vegan chilli. This quinoa and black bean chilli recipe is high in protein and vegan – but still tastes beautifully creamy.
Sweet potato linguine is more robust than courgetti, so can withstand a bit more cooking. Served with a warming vegan bolognese-style ragu, this gluten-free main is perfect for the start of the cooler months.
This vegan recipe for wholewheat spaghetti with long-stemmed broccoli, chilli and lemon is quick and easy – perfect for a midweek supper.
Check out this easy vegan salad recipe with crunchy kale, fiery ginger and topped with a creamy hummus and peanut butter dressing – an easy midweek meal for two.
Try our lightly spiced vegan curry for a wholesome midweek meal for four. Make the most of storecupboard ingredients such as chickpeas and chopped tomatoes in this flavoursome dish.
12. Saag aloo
An Indian classic of spiced potatoes and spinach, saag aloo comes flavoured with red chilli, cumin seeds, turmeric and fresh ginger.
Turn a storecupboard staple into this vibrant meze dish and sprinkle with jewel-like pine nuts, raisins and olives.
Pumpkin seed butter makes the perfect vegan toast topper for breakfast. Serve with apple and chia seeds for an energy boosting brekkie. Add date nectar for sweetness, or leave out for savoury toast toppings.
Pack plenty of crunch into this balanced vegan salad and sprinkle with a homemade nut and seed mix.
Check out our take on traditional Eastern Mediterranean baba ganoush. Comprised of grilled aubergines and tahini, this dip is seriously creamy. What’s more, it’s vegan, too.
Buddha bowls are generous portions of good-for-you ingredients piled into a bowl as a healthy but filling salad. They’re balanced in grains, protein, veggies and carbs, so choose what you fancy and get filling. Think of this as a savoury smoothie bowl: it’s all about the toppings.
18. Protein balls
Check out this easy recipe for high-protein, iron-rich, vegan coconut butter, date and cranberry energy balls. They make a great pre-workout snack.
Packed with nuts, fruit and oats, this hearty bowl is perfect for a post-workout breakfast.
Start your morning with this quinoa porridge packed full of guilt-free goodness. This recipe is quick with minimal ingredients. What’s more, it’s easy to make a batch for the rest of the week.
Tracey Raye is the Health Editor for Olive and BBC Good Food. She oversees all health, nutrition and fitness related content across the brands, including the bi-annual Healthy Diet Plan, monthly Health Edit newsletter and health column in the magazine.