12 High Iron Vegetarian Recipes

Check out these 12 tasty recipes loaded with iron to give your diet a healthy boost.

tomato akuri with scrambled tofu on a white plate

Why Is Iron Important?

Iron is vital for human health because it carries out crucial functions in our bodies. It helps transport oxygen by forming haemoglobin in red blood cells and is involved in energy production, DNA synthesis, and immune function. Not getting enough iron can lead to anaemia, which causes fatigue and weakness. So, eating iron-rich foods is important for staying healthy and energetic.

What Are The Benefits Of Iron?

Oxygen Transport: Iron is essential for carrying oxygen throughout the body by creating haemoglobin in red blood cells.

Energy Metabolism: Iron helps produce energy by participating in enzymatic reactions involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

DNA Synthesis: Iron is necessary for synthesising DNA, supporting healthy cell growth and development.

Immune Function: Iron regulates immune cell activity, aiding in the body's defence against infections and pathogens.

Cognitive Function: Adequate iron levels support cognitive function, including memory, attention, and learning ability.

Muscle Function: Iron facilitates the production of myoglobin, which helps muscles efficiently use oxygen during physical activity, improving endurance and performance.

What Foods Are High In Iron?

  • Beans; red kidney beans, edamame beans, chickpeas, cannellini
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dried fruits
  • Spinach
  • Quinoa
  • Broccoli 
  • Tofu
  • Lentils
  • Dark chocolate

Breakfasts That Are High In Iron:

Tomato Akuri: Packed with flavour and a healthy portion of iron rich tofu, this breakfast really is the perfect way to start your day.  

Broccoli Huevos Rancheros: With broccoli as the main star of the show, this meal is full of not only flavour but also iron.
Spinach Pancakes:
Spinach is a great way to get your daily recommended amount of iron, making these spinach pancakes the perfect option. 

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Tomato Akuri with Masala Beans

This savoury Indian-inspired breakfast showcases Akuri eggs, which is scrambled eggs (or tofu) with red onion, chilli, coriander, turmeric and chilli powder. They're served with grilled tomatoes and onion tomato masala baked beans. 

Purple Sprouting Broccoli Huevos Rancheros

One Pan Purple Sprouting Broccoli Huevos Rancheros 

This quick, one-pan Mexican-inspired recipe makes the perfect for brunch or midweek supper. The sprouting broccoli is cooked in chopped tomatoes with garlic, chilli and eggs (or tofu). 

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Spinach Pancakes with Fried Egg & Maple Syrup

This delicious brunch recipe is perfect for a lazy weekend at home. Serve with a fried egg and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Lunches High In Iron:

Quinoa Buddha Bowl: This is a great lunch recipe, with both quinoa and chickpeas being high in iron, and pak choi which also has a nice amount of iron too, this lunch will have you feeling energetic for the afternoon ahead.
Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta:
With rocket and pumpkin seeds, both boasting a decent amount of iron, this recipe is a fantastic lunch option to boost your iron levels.
Aubergine Chickpea Salad:
Chickpeas are the perfect ingredient to boost iron levels in any dish, and with the added sprinkling of raisins this recipe is a great high iron lunch idea.

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Quick Pak Choi & Quinoa Buddha Bowl

This super versatile recipe is full of healthy plant-based ingredients and works great for meal prep. You can substitute pak choi using the other veg you have on hand too.

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Rocket, Pumpkin Seeds and Truffle Oil Pesto Pasta

A festive pesto made from fresh rocket, warm golden garlic, truffle oil, and roasted pumpkin seeds. Toss your favourite pasta in this decadent pesto – you're in for a treat!

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Grilled Aubergine Coronation Chickpea Salad

A royal British-inspired dish that's quick to make and perfect for the warmer weather. Creamy, sweet and spicy, this salad showcases beautiful grilled aubergine wedges, is packed with flavour and can be served on its own, or in lettuce cups for extra crunch. Leftovers will make an amazing sandwich filling too.

High Iron Dinner Ideas:

Cannellini Bean Traybake: With high iron cannellini beans and an added boost in the form of tahini, this dish makes a great dinner.
Lentil Shepherd's Pie:
This dish has a healthy helping of lentils, which are nice and high in iron, making it a fantastic dinner option. 

Tofu Bibimbap Bowl: Tofu is a great source of iron, and with the addition of avocado this bibimbap bowl will easily refuel you after a long day.

roasted veggies in oddbox bowl

Carrot, Celeriac, Aubergine and Cannellini Bean Tray Bake 

A quick and delicious one-tray-bake, perfect for a weeknight dinner. The veg is roasted with cannellini beans and served with a creamy tahini and sesame oil dressing. 

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Fennel Lentil Ragu & Potato Shepherd's Pie

A vegetarian ragu is a great staple recipe, and it makes a great base for a delicious shepherd's pie. Cook this at the weekend, eat what you need and freeze any leftovers for later. This is a no-fuss type of recipe but super delicious and versatile.

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Choi Sum Tofu Bibimbap Bowl

Korean-inspired rice dish made with cooked rice and an assortment of wilted garlicky choi sum, crunchy raw veggies and crispy tofu. All dressed with a spicy sesame sauce. Kimchi or leftover roasted veggies would be a great addition to this bowl too.

High Iron Dessert Recipes:

Chocolate Fondant Pots: You can’t forget about a sweet treat, so give these dark chocolate fondant pots a try. 
Blueberry And Peanut Butter Cups:
Both peanut butter and dark chocolate have a healthy helping of iron, meaning that these peanut butter cups are the perfect treat after a long day.
Date, Tahini And Oat Cookies:
These cookies are a powerhouse of iron, with dates, tahini and desiccated coconut to really give you that iron boost.

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Clementine Chocolate Fondant Pots

It doesn't get much more indulgent than this classic melt-in-the-middle clementine zest and chocolate dessert. Serve with juicy clementine segments. 

bunch of frozen blueberry and peanut butter cups

Frozen Blueberry and Peanut Butter Cups

Try these little chocolate cups with a creamy peanut butter and and a fruity blueberry centre. The little cups are quick to make and kept in the freezer to enjoy whenever. The blueberries are kept whole and add a lovely juiciness and texture to the nutty peanut butter. Make a batch and get the kids involved!

A plate of date, tahini and oat cookies. There's a cup of coffee, a bowl of dates, and a drying rack with more cookies on the table as well.

Date, Tahini & Oat Cookies

Packed full of natural sugar from the dates, these delicious cookies are chewy, nutty and utterly morish. Crunchy on the outside but still soft in the centre, you can whip these vegan treats up in less than 30 minutes.