10 Best Healthy Vegetarian Snack Ideas + Brands
When hunger strikes, it's best to assume you're going to eat whatever is in easy reach. That's a good thing if you've planned ahead with healthy snack options but can spell disaster for your health goals if you only have junk food around. And this can be especially hard if you follow a vegetarian diet.
Thankfully, it's easier than you might think to ensure that you have lots of healthy vegetarian snack options around. With things like eco-friendly meal kit delivery services and plant-based protein powders, there are so many great choices out there. Here are our choices for the ten best snacks for vegetarians to stave off hunger and our recommendations of the best brands with healthy snacks made from real food.
How to Choose the Best Vegetarian Snacks
When choosing the best healthy vegetarian snacks and vegetarian meal delivery services, we looked at four criteria to see which options topped the list.
- What's the protein content? This essential macronutrient helps you feel full. Too little protein in your snack, and you'll be reaching for something else soon after finishing it. Alongside vegetarian snack protein content, you may need to add things like a vitamin subscription service to help get all of the essential nutrients you need.
- Is it portable? Hunger rarely strikes at convenient times. The best vegetarian snacks should be easy to transport so you can consume them on the go. In addition to produce delivery services for fresh fruits and veggies, you can now get pre-made vegetarian snacks delivered to enjoy on-the-go.
- Does it mimic meat? You may be avoiding animal products for health or ethical reasons but still love their taste. Snacks designed to mimic meaty flavors may be appealing.
- What are the added ingredients? Sometimes manufacturers compensate for missing animal products by pumping in sweeteners and other unhealthy additives. You aren't doing any favors for your health by filling up on simple carbs or added sugar.
Our Top Healthy Vegetarian Snack Brands
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. Check out our full review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn a commission.
- Best Sweet Treat - Love + Chew Protein Cookies
- Best Vegan Protein - Sunwarrior Plant-Based Protein
- Best for Fresh Veggies - Purple Carrot
- Best for Smoothies - Splendid Spoon
- Best for Salty Snacks - Nature Box
Top 10 Best Healthy Snacks for Vegetarians
1.) Protein Cookies
For those who prioritize convenience, plant-based protein cookies can offer a sweet snack that's 100% gluten-free and made with nutritious ingredients. Almonds and almond butter typically make up each cookie's base, with different types of gluten-free flour added. These can be a great vegan or keto-friendly option for satisfying your sweet tooth.
2.) Roasted Edamame and Chickpeas
If you're craving something salty, it's hard to beat dry roasted beans. Both chickpeas and edamame (soybeans harvested before peak ripeness) are loaded with protein and beneficial fiber. Edamame contains up to 18 grams of protein per one-cup serving, while chickpeas offer almost twice this protein content at 39 grams for the same serving size.
You can easily transform fresh or canned beans into this savory snack. Simply rinse the beans and pat them dry before tossing them with olive oil. Roast them at 400°F for around 30 minutes, or until dried and crispy. Sprinkle with your choice of toppings—parmesan, cayenne pepper, paprika, and even cinnamon are all popular.
3.) Homemade Energy Balls
Skip the granola bars that are candy in disguise and snack on homemade no-bake energy balls instead. There are no rules regarding how you can customize their ingredients, so homemade energy balls are among the best vegetarian snacks available for those who can be creative.
Recipes abound online for making your own, but the general steps are simple. Choose an assortment of nuts and dried fruits (with a few cacao nibs tosses in for chocolate lovers), add everything to a food processor, and pulse until smooth. If you've got the ratio right, the mixture should clump together and easily roll into balls. Set each ball on a cookie tray and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before enjoying or storing in freezer-safe containers.
4.) Air-Popped Popcorn
It's hard to beat popcorn if you're looking for a snack that's light on calories. This nutritious whole grain contains impressive amounts of phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and manganese—minerals that aid digestion and energy production.
Using an air popper is preferred, as they don't require added oil. Think beyond salt and butter by seasoning your kernels with paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, or an herbal blend. If you're craving cheese, add a sprinkling of nutritional yeast. At less than 100 calories per two cups, popcorn is filling without being fattening and offers a blank canvas for your favorite flavorings. It's one of the best vegetarian snacks for mindless eating without consequence.
5.) Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs deserve more attention after breakfast time, as they offer one of the best snacks for vegetarians any time of day. Research shows that eating eggs improves cholesterol levels and boosts satiety to support weight loss.
Each egg gives you 75 calories and seven grams of protein to stave off hunger, as well as a mix of selenium, vitamin A, and crucial B vitamins. Prep them at the beginning of the week, and you'll have a high-protein finger food available at a moment's notice that comes in its own packaging.
6.) Green Smoothies
Eating a salad takes time, but the right green smoothie can offer similar amounts of nutrients in a more portable package. Making homemade green smoothies provides a quick and convenient way to fit in more daily servings of vegetables and can be bulked up with vegetarian protein powders to keep you feeling full. Consider blending one big batch at the start of the week so you can start each day with a smoothie.
Green smoothies offer concentrated servings of leafy greens and other superfoods, and they can be customized to your preferences. It's best to avoid the temptation of buying premade drinks with added sugar or using sweetened ingredients like flavored yogurts to ensure the drink stays healthy.
7.) Greek Yogurt with Fruit
Stay full while satisfying that sweet tooth with Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit. This slightly thicker take on the traditional form of dairy gives it a rich texture that's well suited for a midday pick-me-up. One cup of Greek yogurt contains 25 grams of protein. It makes for a nutritious substitute for fattier forms of dairy (like sour cream) and tends to be easier on the digestive system for those who are lactose intolerant.
Skip the flavored tubs that can contain over 15 grams of added sugars and opt for unflavored varieties that you top with berries or chopped bananas for a boost of fiber and antioxidants. Craving something sweeter? Make your yogurt a dessert substitute by drizzling it with honey or maple syrup.
8.) Homemade "Chicken" Salad
Look no further for a healthy vegetarian lunch option than a chickpea "chicken" salad. This recipe combines chickpeas, grapes, celery, mayo (choose vegan if desired), and more a sandwich spread that's just as tasty served with crackers or as a salad topper. It's so filling and flavorful even meat-lovers will be a fan.
This vegetarian-friendly salad mixes up quickly and requires little more than opening a can of chickpeas. It's a great way to change things up at lunchtime if you're tired of hummus and mimics one of the world's most popular chicken dishes.
9.) Mushroom Jerky
Stave off hunger and satisfy your inner carnivore while remaining meat-free with mushroom jerky. Many brands now carry this vegan snack, which consists of dried mushrooms (most often shiitake) flavored with seasonings like soy sauce, teriyaki, applewood BBQ, and more to pull out its distinctive umami flavoring. This is a tasty way to get many of the same nutritional benefits found in mushroom supplements.
Mushroom jerky offers premium flavor options and meaty texture without the use of animal products. Pack some for a day outdoors, and you won't miss the meat. Keep the jerky on hand for whenever you get hangry, and it's a healthy vegetarian snack even meat-lovers will reach for.
10.) Baba Ganoush
Take a healthier turn with your chip dip than a creamy ranch spread by whipping up a batch of baba ganoush instead. This classic Middle Eastern dish is made with roasted eggplant and can be used just like hummus for dipping fresh vegetables and pita chips. Keep some in the fridge for a portable side dish that adds pizzazz to snack time.
Baba ganoush is low-calorie and versatile enough for a variety of dishes. It makes for a refreshing dip you can serve with dinner or pack in Tupperware to snack on anywhere.
The Best Healthy Vegetarian Snack Brands
Ready to restock your pantry with some of these exciting vegetarian snack ideas? Here are the top five brands we recommend for vegetarian snacks and meals.
Best Sweet Treat: Love + Chew Protein Cookies
Each of Love + Chew's four cookie flavors (banana bread, mocha chip, cherry almond, and chocolate chia) contains between 250-280 calories, with seven grams of protein. For extra convenience, you can subscribe for automatic delivery every two to eight weeks and get 15% off each order.
Why buy: These cookies are sweet enough to satisfy cravings without relying on refined sugars—plus, they contain enough protein to keep you from snacking again soon after. We love that they are certified vegan, paleo-friendly, and individually wrapped for extra portability.
Best Vegan Protein: Sunwarrior Plant-Based Protein
Plant-based protein powders make it easy to mix up a delicious smoothie or shake that can sustain you between meals. Sunwarrior Organic Warrior Blend is a plant-based protein powder made from pea protein, hemp protein, goji berries, and coconut MCT oil.
Why buy: We love that Sunwarrior Organic Warrior Blend protein comes in so many different flavors, including mocha, vanilla, chocolate, and berry. It's also USDA organic and vegan.
Best for Fresh Veggies: Purple Carrot
Looking for a way to add more fresh fruits and veggies to your day? Purple Carrot makes it easy to cook healthy plant-based meals and snacks with their meal kit delivery service. Sign up for the subscription option that works for you to have all of the fresh ingredients and recipes delivered right to your door.
Why buy: We love that Purple Carrot makes it so simple to discover new plant-based meal options. You can learn new recipes and discover favorite new veggies and fruits with each delivery.
Best for Smoothies: Splendid Spoon
Splendid Spoon offers a wide variety of plant-based, vegan, and ready-to-eat smoothies, noodle bowls, soups, and more. Their low-sugar smoothie options make it easy to fuel up with something good when you're on-the-go, and work great as a meal-replacement option.
Why buy: We recommend Splendid Spoon because they offer lots of plant-based snacks and meals that are ready made and full of real ingredients. Their smoothies are made with things like pea protein, real fruit, and real veggies for a filling vegetarian option.
Best for Salty Snacks: Nature Boxnaturebox.com
Nature Box offers healthy and unique snack boxes for all kinds of eaters. You can select snack options for vegan, paleo, keto, gluten-free, and low-carb diets. Some of their vegetarian snack options include plantain chips, lentil loops, kettle corn, dried fruits, and more.
Why buy: Nature Box is a great option for those who enjoy salty or savory snacks. You can customize your snack box to include your favorite combinations of vegan snack mixes, dried fruits, granola bars, and lentil loops, which make a great replacement for potato chips.
Why Eat Healthy Vegetarian Snacks?
There are many compelling reasons to eat less meat.
To start, it's better for the environment. The livestock industry accounts for almost 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions today and consumes copious amounts of the planet's natural resources. For example, it takes over 1,200 gallons of water to produce a single 8-oz steak, compared to just 60 gallons for the same amount of tofu.
Second, a meat-free diet is excellent for your health. Research shows that going vegetarian leads to a decreased risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and many forms of cancer. Those who follow a plant-based diet are more likely to have a BMI in the healthy range and to avoid dying from any cause. In fact, replacing just 2 percent of calories from animal proteins with plant foods is associated with a 32% lower risk of death.
However, following a vegetarian diet alone can't ensure you're making healthy choices. It's possible to be meat-free but consume nothing but simple carbs and soft drinks all day—hardly the blueprint for a healthy lifestyle.
Making smart food choices requires you to fill your diet with the best vegetarian snacks that are filling, nutrient-dense, and able to satisfy your craving, so you don't double back for less healthy fare. Here's our advice for how to choose the best snacks for vegetarians to ensure you make healthy choices when you're hungry.
Eating well doesn't need to feel overwhelming. It's easier than ever to find healthy vegetarian snacks that satisfy cravings while keeping you full so you don't indulge in less healthy foods later.
Plan ahead to ensure you have some of the best snacks for vegetarians on hand, and you'll always have access to what's necessary to make smart eating choices.
Lydia Noyes is a freelance writer specializing in health and wellness, food and farming, and environmental topics. When not working against a writing deadline, you can find Lydia outdoors where she attempts to bring order to her 33-acre hobby farm filled with fruit trees, heritage breed pigs, too many chickens to count, and an organic garden that somehow gets bigger every year.
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