9 Best Plant Based, Vegan Vanilla Protein Powders

Even though vegan protein powders seem to come in every flavor from chocolate-mint to tropical banana, I buy almost exclusively vanilla powders. 

Vanilla has an undeserved reputation as being "boring", but in reality, the flavor provides the backbone for many sweet treats. Have you ever seen a cookie recipe without at least a healthy splash of vanilla extract? I know I haven't.   

I think vanilla's real strength comes in its versatility. Craving a chocolate shake? Add a little cocoa powder and natural salt to your vanilla protein. Mix all that with chilled coffee for a protein-boosted iced coffee. Or, go simple with almond milk and ice for a simple, smooth, and creamy vanilla shake. You can make basically any flavor by combining fruits and spices with vanilla – in fact, the vanilla just makes it better! Truly, vanilla proteins don't get the respect they deserve. 

We've decided to honor versatile vanilla by compiling a list of our favorite vegan-friendly vanilla protein powders. Choose one of our favorites below to provide a sweet base to your shakes and baked goods. 

Best Overall

Orgain's sweet vanilla bean protein is my all-time favorite vanilla protein. Even when mixed with plain almond milk – heck, even water - this stuff tastes like melted ice cream. I can't wait to jump out of bed in the morning so that I can have my shake – it's just that good! 

Orgain is also great for people with food sensitivities or intolerances. The protein is free of gluten and soy and is kosher, non-GMO, and USDA Organic. Each two-scoop serving has 150 calories and 21g of plant-based protein. 

What We Like

Aside from the great vanilla flavor, Orgain protein powder is super smooth. You can mix it with a plain, thin liquid like water or almond milk and treat yourself to a creamy shake. There's minimal grittiness, and the powder has been compared to Shakeology – but for a way more reasonable price. 

What We Didn't Like

If you're not into very sweet flavors, this probably isn't the protein for you. Orgain has a very assertive flavor that is very much like a dessert. If you prefer muted, lightly sweet flavors, you might find this a little overwhelming. 

Best for Weight Loss

Created by vegan triathlete Brendan Brazier, the Vega One products are all based entirely on whole, nutritious plant foods. Vega One is an all-in-one nutritional shake and contains 50% of your daily intake of vitamins and minerals from whole foods like broccoli and kale. It provides 25% of your daily fiber, as well as a hefty dose of omega-3s, antioxidants, and probiotics.

Vega One is low-glycemic as well as gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free. With all these nutrients and 20g of protein, a serving or two of Vega One makes an excellent low-calorie replacement for your calorie-laden breakfast or snacks.

While not necessarily "low calorie", Vega One provides enough satiating protein and nutrition to keep you full until your next meal to help you reach your weight and fitness goals.

What We Like

Clean eaters love the ingredient list of Vega One. There are no GMO ingredients in the blend, and Vega One uses all-natural sweeteners for a dessert-like flavor, as opposed to artificial sweeteners like many "weight loss" products.

What We Didn't Like

While many purchasers like the light French Vanilla flavor, when it comes down to it, this shake is based on whole foods. Some reviewers said the earthy taste of the pea protein came through a bit too much, so this powder is best mixed with stronger flavors like bananas, cocoa, and coffee.

Best Raw Vegan Powder

You don't have to give up protein powder just because you're eating a raw vegan diet – merely reach for Sunwarrior! This completely raw protein powder is made from legumes, hemp seeds, and goji berries, and features MCTs from coconut oil. The low-temperature, old world processing maintains the nutrients of the ingredients and makes a smooth, creamy texture.

Sunwarrior is a totally clean product that's free of sugar, GMOs, dairy, and gluten. The company pays great attention to detail, even building the scoop right into the lid, so you don't have to stick your hand in the powder and dig around for the scoop. Each one-scoop serving has108 calories and 18g of raw vegan protein.

What We Like

Many reviewers appreciate the cleanliness of the ingredient list in Sunwarrior protein. Completely free of artificial sweeteners, hexanes, and isolates, this product uses stevia to provide a sweet vanilla flavor. This is an excellent way to get your protein boost without having to sacrifice a healthy, whole-foods-based diet.

What We Didn't Like

Some purchasers have noted that the formula was recently changed, and this altered the taste of the traditional flavor. You may not notice if you're new to the product, but if you've purchased before, you may find that the new formula tastes different than the original.

Best Budget-Friendly Powder

Most people know Bob's Red Mill for their excellent flours and nutritional yeast, but their vanilla protein powder is a little-known treasure!

Their unique nutritional booster blend is made from water-processed yellow pea protein and chicory root, and also contains plenty of omega-3, antioxidants, and fiber.

Bob's Red Mill's protein is sweetened with natural monk fruit, so it's perfect for people who are avoiding sugar and artificial sweeteners but don't love the taste of stevia.

Great news for people with celiac disease, too - Bob's Red Mill's vanilla protein is processed in a separate gluten-free facility and has been tested for cross-contamination.

Each 1/3 cup serving contains 180 calories, 20g of protein, and 12g of dietary fiber! Each serving also provides 35% of your daily value of iron, which makes it an optimal choice for vegans - especially those just transitioning to the diet.

What We Like

Considering the protein product and clean ingredients, it's a real steal for the price. While Bob's might not carry the name brand recognizability or fancy packaging of some other protein powder companies, this is a great choice for eating healthy on a budget – or if you're just looking for a quality product overall!

What We Didn't Like

The consensus is that while the flavor is good, the texture of this powder makes it tough to consume as a straight shake with only almond milk or water – reviewers noted it's a little on the chalky side. Consider adding this protein to baked goods, pancake batter, or a smoothie with frozen fruits to help mask the texture.

Best for Sensitive Stomachs

If you struggle with digesting protein powders, the physical side effect can be enough to deter you from adding the supplement to your diet. If you've had trouble in the past with bloating and gas from protein powders, Garden of Life's Raw Organic Protein may be the product for you. The blend uses proteins from seven different plants, including things like pumpkin seed and cranberry, to create a smooth drink that's completely free of grains, GMOs, and artificial/chemical ingredients.

Garden of Life takes extra steps to ensure easy digestion of their product. The powder comes with probiotics and 12 enzymes that help digest the contents of the powder, so you get all the benefits and none of the bloating or discomfort. The blend also includes 19 naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, to help the rest of your body in addition to your muscles.

Each serving of Garden of Life's Organic Raw Protein contains 100 calories and 15g of protein.

What We Like

This protein boasts an incredibly smooth texture, in addition to its clean, raw ingredient list. It's smooth enough to drink only with water or almond milk, without any of that gritty, chalky texture that can come with natural proteins. It's also not too sweet and doesn't have a stevia aftertaste.

What We Didn't Like

There's no getting around it – this product is expensive. However, if your budget allows, it's a high-quality product, and your body will thank you for the investment. However, the cost can make it inaccessible to some people.

Best for Veggie-Haters

You already know that it's way easier to get the recommended daily value of vegetables when you can drink them - that's why "green smoothies" are so popular.

Vega Protein & Greens takes that one step further – each serving of this vanilla protein powder provides two servings of Vega's signature greens blend, which includes kale, spinach, broccoli, and alfalfa. This allows you to get the "greens" in without having to drop any broccoli into your blender – or turbo-charge the "greenness" of your smoothie by adding this in addition to veggies.

Vega's Protein & Greens provides 120 calories and 20g of protein per serving. The formula is completely dairy-, soy-, and gluten-free, and it contains no artificial colors/sweeteners/flavors or GMOs. Each tub contains 26 servings of protein powder.

What We Like

The flavor of this product is fantastic – especially considering it's chock full of nutritious greens. There is no hint of that earthy, vegetable taste - just smooth, vanilla goodness. Vega uses stevia to sweeten the powder.

What We Didn't Like

While the flavor gets rave reviews, the texture of Protein & Greens is best suited for applications like smoothies, oatmeal, and baked goods – it's a little grainy and gritty when mixed with plain water/almond milk in a shaker bottle. Also, like most products, it can be cost-prohibitive – this is definitely a "you get what you pay for" product.

Best for Weight Lifters

Blending powder into a smoothie is all well and good, but when you're looking to build muscle, it's essential that your powder blends well with plain liquid so you can rush that delicious recovery to your muscles.

The Complete Plant Protein from PlantFusion is smooth and creamy enough to be mixed in your shaker right at the gym, so the protein can get to work repairing those muscles.

PlantFusion uses an amino acid infused protein blend, which includes proteins from peas, artichokes, amaranth, and quinoa. It also includes 4,500 mg of BCAAs and 3,350 mg of L-Glutamine, making it an ideal choice for weightlifters and athletes. The fructose in this blend provides some post-workout carbs, too.

Each serving contains 120 calories and 21g of plant protein. The two-pound tub contains 30 servings.

What We Like

You don't lift that hard to walk around with bloat! PlantFusion's Complete Protein is easy to digest, thanks to a proprietary blend of enzymes. It's a safe choice, even for those with sensitive stomachs or food allergies.

What We Didn't Like

This is a pretty sweet protein due to the presence of fructose and stevia. If you're sensitive to sweet tastes, this one may feel overwhelming. Make sure you blend with unsweetened liquids like water or unsweetened almond milk.

Best Meal Replacement

One of my favorite things about protein shakes is the convenience - it's so easy to just blend everything up and walk out the door, without having to worry about cooking and washing dishes. The All-In-One Nutritional Shake from Naturade takes this to the next level by providing the protein and nutrients to replace a meal on its own with water or mixed into a smoothie.

The protein blend comes from foods like pea, hemp, chia, potato, and chlorella, and the power boasts a "whole food complex" from a variety of fruits and vegetables. This all-in-one shake also features fiber, an omega blend, prebiotics, and a digestive enzyme blend to help digestion.

It is sweetened with a mix of organic cane sugar, organic rice syrup, and stevia, so it doesn’t have that overwhelmingly sweet stevia taste.

Each serving of VeganSmart contains 160 calories, 20g of plant protein, 14g of carbohydrates (6 from fiber) and 5g of fat. Each serving is mixed with about a cup of water, which makes for a thick and filling shake, so it's a great option for breakfast or a filling snack.

What We Like

Reviewers love the taste of this shake! It has no weird chemical, sweetener taste, and many people describe the flavor as "cake batter". Even better is that it contains nothing artificial and doesn't use soy as a building block.

What We Didn't Like

Users with especially sensitive stomachs found that this product caused a lot more gas and bloating than competitors' products. If you tend to be sensitive to protein products, consider starting out with a half-serving of this to see how your body adjusts to avoid any potential discomfort.

Best Soy-Free Protein

Most protein manufacturers have hopped on the soy-free bandwagon, but that doesn't necessarily mean they do it right. MRM's Veggie Elite Performance Protein is a soy-free protein powder that tastes great - its flavor is consistently rated as one of the best out there. Even better? It's super digestible, so you won't have to deal with bad gas or cramping, especially when compared to whey protein.

MRM's Veggie Elite Performance Protein is great for athletes, as it contains BCAAs for muscle growth, and digestive enzymes to make sure you don't deal with any bloating or puffiness after your workout.

The protein is made from raw pea and raw brown rice proteins and is completely free of cholesterol, soy, gluten, dairy, and GMOs. Each scoop contains 130 calories and 24g of protein.

What We Like

The flavor! MRM has mastered flavor, as both their vanilla and chocolate mocha powders get rave reviews. When you love the way something tastes, you'll be sure to incorporate it into your diet, and will ultimately get your money's worth since none of it will go to waste. The vanilla is great in a shake or blended all by its lonesome with water or almond milk.

What We Didn't Like

While the product itself gets overwhelmingly positive reviews, some buyers struggled with inconsistency from the Amazon seller. A few purchasers noted that they would receive one order that was 100% fine, while the next would have some defect or packaging issue.

Vanilla: The Trusty Pantry Staple

Despite its unfair reputation as "boring", vanilla protein powder is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to the fit vegan's kitchen. It goes with just about every flavor on the planet and can be doctored up to mimic whatever flavor you're jonesing for at that moment.

Keeping a tub of vanilla protein in your cupboard can not only help you meet your fitness and weight loss goals, but you've also given yourself a versatile, healthy ingredient to add to your shakes and meals.

There are some fantastic vegan vanilla proteins out there, whether you're looking to build muscle, lose weight, or merely supplement your diet with great-tasting, healthy plant-based protein. Who says vanilla is boring? Pick up a tub and treat your taste buds to something good and good for you.

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