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The Best 23 Vegan and Vegetarian Protein Sources

23 Amazing Plant Protein Sources

 

Being vegan or vegetarian means you can’t get enough protein!

 

Or does it?

 

Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, veg-curious, or just looking to cut back on eating meat, here are 23 Vegan and Vegetarian protein sources with recipes, to help you get all the protein you will ever need!

 

assorted green vegetables

Pumpkin Seeds

Believe it or not, those pumpkins that you buy every Halloween and throw out after the holiday, are an amazing source of plant protein. 

 

Well, not the pumpkin per se but the seeds inside are.

 

1 cup of pumpkin seeds is 12g of protein. 

 

If you aren’t’ sure what to make with pumpkin seeds, (to be honest, I’ve only eaten them like pumpkin seeds until I saw this recipe), Cooking Light shows not one, not two, but six delicious ways to incorporate pumpkin seeds into your diet. 

 

 

 

Chia Seeds

Ch-ch-ch-chia!  Remember that? 

 

If not, then just forget I mentioned it.   

 

I have to quit showing my age!

 

Anyways, Chia is not just for Chia pets, it’s for Chia seeds too.

 

Chia seeds are tiny black seeds that were an important food for the Mayans and Aztecs. They were very helpful in their ability to provide sustainable energy. 

 

The great thing about Chia seeds is that you can get a lot of nutrients with very few calories.  

 

There are 16.5g of protein in 100g of chia seeds. 

 

That’s a serious amount of protein in some tiny seeds!

 

If you want to start adding chia seeds to your diet, here is a great and simple recipe to do so by  Minimalist Baker.  They show you how to incorporate protein into dessert with this Overnight Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding.   

 

Almonds

Finally, something I am very familiar with!

 

Although, I like my almonds surrounded by coconut and chocolate.  

 

Almond Joy anyone? 

 

Well, anyways, those amazing brown ovals also pack a punch of protein. 

 

How much you might ask? 

 

Well, 1 cup of almonds has 6 grams of protein.

 

If you are looking for a healthier way to enjoy almonds, since my Almond Joy suggestion may not be quite the best, check out this recipe.  

 

My Recipes went above and beyond to provide you with 100 Crazy Good Recipes Using Almonds. 

 

Flax Seed
meatless protein sources infographic

Flax seeds are the new wonder food!  

 

(I am starting to notice that if it’s a seed and tiny it may do extraordinary things.) 

 

Flaxseed can be found in all type of foods from, crackers, waffles, and oatmeal.  

 

It’s amazing that it is in so many different foods because these little seeds can help fight breast cancer, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.  

 

They also contain a bunch of protein.   

 

In one cup of flax seed alone, there is 31g of protein!

 

This an amazing way to make sure you get enough protein if you are vegan or vegetarian.

 

If you are looking for easy ways to incorporate flax seeds into your diet, Taste of Home shows you 10 easy ways to do it.  

 

Did you know that you can actually use flax seed instead of an egg when baking? 

 

Neither did I!  

 

Let Taste of Home show you how in this recipe. 

 

 

 

Black Beans

I love me some black beans especially if I am in line at Chipotle!  

 

(If you like pinto beans in your Chipotle, then keep reading because they are coming up soon!)

 

Black beans are part of the legume family and are called the turtle beans because of their hard shell like appearance.  

 

They help to strengthen bones, ward of heart disease, lower your blood pressure and aid in weight loss.

 

One cup of cooked black beans provides 15g of protein.

 

I like to use black beans in my tacos, enchiladas, southwest casseroles, burritos, the possibilities are endless.  

 

Here are 28 ways to add Black Beans to Everything including dessert by Delish.   

 

Split Peas

Split peas!  

 

Honestly, I didn’t know what a split pea was until I did my research!  

 

So, we are learning together my friend!

 

Split peas are a type of a field pea that is grown specifically for drying.  It is part of the legume family and when you see it, you can see why it is called a split pea. 

 

They are high in protein and fiber but low in fat.  This makes them a perfect food for weight loss.

 

Split peas do not need to be soaked.  They can be cooked immediately and are actually creamy when they are cooked which is why there is split pea soup!

 

One cup of raw split peas is 48g of protein. One cup of cooked split peas is 16g of protein. Either one this powerful legume is loaded with protein.  

 

Here is an amazing Mexican Black Bean Recipe from Belle of the Kitchen.  

 

 

 

Walnuts

Walnuts are so delicious and good for you! 

 

I love snacking on them and adding them to my vegan protein pancakes!  

 

Walnuts are rich in antioxidants, promote a healthy gut, and decrease inflammation. (Source)

 

1 cup of ground walnuts is equivalent to 12g of protein.

 

To use incorporate walnuts into your diet, here are 50 Crunchy Walnut for the Seriously Nutty recipes from Taste of Home

 

 

 

Pinto Beans vegan protein sources pin

I remember soaking pinto beans overnight with my grandma and simmering them on the stove the next day for hours.  What I remember most, is getting a bowl of them with a piece of bread or cornbread, adding some hot sauce and going to town. 

 

One thing I don’t recall or even cared about is them being nutritious.  I only cared about how delicious they were.

 

Now that I am older, less active, and the pounds stick to me, I do look for things that are nutritious and it’s good to know that some of my childhood favorites don’t only taste good, but are good for me.  

 

One cup of boiled pinto beans contains 1.9g of protein.

 

The way I like to cook my pinto beans is southern style.  Here is an easy Slow Cooker Southern Style Pinto Bean recipe from Parenting With A Dash of Authenticity

 

Chickpeas

Not going to lie, I have not cooked with chickpeas except to add them to a salad or hummus.  I know there are better ways to incorporate them, (Check out 31 Chickpea Recipes that aren’t Hummus by Bon Appetit), but I have not personally tried them which is a shame.  

 

Chickpeas are an excellent plant-based protein source, and contain 39g of protein per cup!

 

They also help you to manage your weight, protect against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and best of all are very inexpensive to add to your diet! (Source)

 

What’s not to love?

 

 

 

Hemp Seed

So if you are like me, then you probably have not used a few of this vegan protein source.  Which means you are learning along with me.

 

With that being said, now you can’t laugh at me when I say that I didn’t even know you could eat hemp.’

 

I thought it was for making bracelets and could possibly get you high. Boy was I wrong! (About the getting high from hemp part, not the bracelets.)  (Source

 

Hemp seed is free from gluten and lactose, help to reduce symptoms of PMS and Menopause, (I am going to have to remember to make a hemp seed smoothie, eggs, everything when Aunt Flow makes her visit again!), and help aid in digestion. (Source)

 

One cup of hemp seeds contains 57.04g of protein.

 

If you are clueless like me on how to cook with hemp seed, (besides throwing them in a smoothie), check out Oh My Veggies 18 Creative and Delicious Hemp Seed Recipes. 

 

 

 

Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds!  Another one that I am familiar with.  Sesame seeds are tiny, oil-rich foods that grow in pods.

 

These itty bitty seeds help lower blood pressure, support healthy bones, reduce inflammation, and support your immune system.  

 

One cup of sesame seeds contains 26g of protein.

 

Using Food Network’s recipe, you find 10+ Ways to Cook with Sesame Seeds. 

 

Wild Rice

Having wild rice on this list literally caught me off guard.  I thought wild rice was only grain. I had no idea that it was a vegan and vegetarian protein source.  

 

In fact, one cup of raw wild rice contains 24g of protein.  It contains 7g of protein when it’s cooked. 7g of protein is almost 3 times as much compared to brown or white rice.

 

It is has a ton of health benefits!

 

Wild rice is a powerful source of antioxidants, may be good for your heart, and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.

 

To start off eating wild rice, you can make a Creamy Mushroom Wild Rice using The Salty Marshmallow’s recipe.  

 

 

 

Related Content:

The Step by Step Guide to Getting an Adequate Amount of Plant-Based Protein

The Beginners Guide to Getting Healthy and Staying Healthy (Everything You Want to Know But Afraid to Ask!)

22 Insanely Easy Health Tips Lazy People Will Love (For the Mind, Body, and Spirit)

 

 

 

Lentils

Lentils are kind of like beans.  They come in a variety of colors, red, black, brown, and green, and grow in pods like beans.

 

Lentils contain a lot of folic acids which helps with heart health, pregnancy, and digestion. 

 

One cup of lentils contains 50g of protein. 

 

If you are unfamiliar with how to cook lentils, Yummy Mummy Kitchen has you covered.  Check out their How to Cook Lentils article.  It contains 20 of the best lentil recipes and tells you how to prepare them.  

 

White Beans vegan protein sources pin

If you are noticing a pattern, the pattern is that beans are rich in protein, then you are not amazed that white beans are on the list.  

 

White beans are kidney, cannellini, and navy beans.  They have more cancer-fighting fiber than red beans. They hope to slow cancer growth and decrease inflammation. (Source)

 

These beans are loaded with protein. 

 

One cup of boiled white beans is 15g in protein, 46g of protein uncooked.  

 

Epicurious has 32 White Bean Recipes for Soups, Salads, Stews, and More to help you liven up these beans and make your stomach happy!

 

Quinoa

Quinoa seems to be all the rage lately!

 

Every time I go into Costco there is a product I can try that has quinoa.  But, it is all the rage in a great way.  

 

Quinoa is a gluten-free vegan protein resource that contains all of the 9 essential amino acids that our body needs! (Source

 

One cup of cooked quinoa has 8.14g of protein. 

 

Learn how to cook the perfect quinoa, so you won’t have any mush, plus 10 other dishes with Cookie And Kate.

 

Oat Bran

Oat bran is hot cereal that is very inexpensive and can be cooked in two minutes or less. 

 

When oat bran is cooked, it contains 7g of protein.  

 

There are so many different ways to cook oat bran but the one I enjoy best is Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bran from Joy Food Sunshine

 

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are not just for baseball games.  These delicious seeds also pack some protein. How much you ask?  

 

Well, one cup of sunflower dried seeds contains 29g of protein.  

 

If that doesn’t motivate you to want to eat more of them especially with how cheap they are, then these health benefits definitely will!

 

Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin B complex which helps you maintain a healthy nervous system, and it contains zinc which boosts your immune system.

 

You don’t only have to eat sunflower seeds as just sunflower seeds, you can use them in a variety of ways.  

 

In fact, One Green Planet gives you 15 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With Sunflower Seeds.  These recipes are one of a kind and look so delicious!  

 

I’m heading off to my kitchen now to make one!

  

 

Spirulina

So…this one. 

 

Yep. I didn’t even know how to pronounce it let alone tell you what it is.

 

So, you know what I did? 

 

I did my research and I included a video for you so that you know how to pronounce it and know how to use it 3 different ways. 

 

Spirulina is blue-green algae, seaweed, is a high vegan and vegetarian protein superfood that is packed with tons of nutrients. 

 

It helps to improve gut health, manage diabetes, lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, prevent heart disease and boosts your metabolism and so much more. (Source)

 

If that’s doesn’t blow your mind then this will. One cup of Spirulina contains a whopping 64g of protein! 

 

I don’t know about you but I am definitely going to stock up on spirulina ASAP!

 

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K81NTwfxbvc[/embedyt]

 

Potatoes

If you are a potato lover (slowly raises BOTH hands), then this one is for you! 

 

Yes, this one caught me off guard. I did not know that protein had any type of protein.  I thought that it was all carbs.  

 

Actually, one microwaved potato contains 4.9g of protein! 

 

The only problem is that it is hard to make them in a healthy way. 

 

So to help myself out and you too, here are 20+ Healthy, Delish Ways to Eat Potatoes by Delish

 

 

Ezekiel bread

Ezekiel bread is a type of sprouted bread made from whole grains and legumes that are sprouting. 

 

This bread contains more healthy nutrients and fiber compared to traditional bread. (Source)

 

One slice of Ezekiel bread contains 5g protein!

 

You can buy Ezekiel bread in the store or make your own using this recipe from Comfortable Food

 

Seitan

Last, but most certainly not least is Seitan.  Seitan is a “vegetable meat”. It is made out of wheat and cooked in a vegetable broth, but has a similar flavor and texture to meat. 

 

It has many health benefits such as helps to reduce blood cholesterol, helps muscles grow properly, it does not contain sodium, and it has high calcium levels too. (Source)  

 

100g of Seitan contains 75g of protein! 

 

I didn’t want to leave you hanging, so I had to provide a recipe for this “vegetable meat” vegan protein source.

 

Here are 10 Seitan recipes that will make you forget all about meat from Choose Veg.  

 

Peanut Butter

Yup, all those times your mom or gram gave you peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to eat they knew exactly what they were doing!  

 

They knew they were giving you a vegan protein source!

 

Well, maybe they didn’t, but who cares? 

 

They did know those sandwiches were quick, easy, and would fill you up!  

 

Plus, those sandwiches were sooooo good too!

 

In just 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, there is a whopping 8g of protein!

 

That’s crazy, right?  

 

No wonder, you were full after a sandwich. 

 

Well, now that you know how much protein peanut butter contains, you can send your littles out the door with one and know it will leave them feeling satisfied, just like your mom or your grandma used to do. 

 

Or if you are looking for a more sophisticated way to use peanut butter in your meals, like a curry or something, here are 25 vegan peanut butter recipes you’ll go nuts for by Parade. 

 

 

 

Broccoli

Last but not least!

 

Remember how your mom always told you to eat your vegetables, well, there’s a good reason!

vegetarian protein sources pin

Broccoli is a great vegan and vegetarian protein source!

 

One cup of broccoli is 2.6g of protein!

 

Imagine that!  I know you will finally listen to you mean and eat your vegetables now!

 

If you are looking to jazz up your broccoli, check out this roasted broccoli recipe by She Wears Many Hats

 

 

Conclusion: The Last Thing You Need to Know About Plant Based Protein Sources

Overall, getting protein while being a vegan or vegetarian diet is not hard!  

 

There are so many different plant protein sources! 

 

These 23 Vegan and Vegetarian Protein Sources I named here is just the tip of the iceberg!

 

This Simple Guide to 23 Sources of Plant Protein, is perfect for you to take along, share it, and use it for reference.

 

In fact, Pin it now so you know exactly where to find it when you need it, and you will need it!

 

After reading this, which protein source surprised you the most?  

 

Or was there a protein that I missed?

 

Either way, leave me a comment below right now!

 

Remember Love Always and Spread Bliss,

 

Ree

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