14 Healthy Vegetable Protein Sources for Vegetarians

Vegetable Protein

Proteins break down in the body as amino acids promoting cell growth and repair. Another benefit of proteins is that they take longer to digest you’re your stomach will feel fuller for longer with fewer calories without the urge of having more food.

Meat is considered one of the major sources of protein but it is not the only way to obtain it. And what about vegetarians, how can they get enough quantity of proteins?

Here are 14 sources of vegetable protein

Before going through the list, medical experts recommend that women should get about 46 g of protein per day, while men should get about 56 g of protein per day.

The below list also includes tips on how to add each protein source to your diet.

Green Peas

Legumes are a good source of vegetarian protein. One cup of green peas contains 7.9 g of vegetable protein, about the same as one cup of milk.

If you don’t like eating it this way then there is another tasty option. You can add peas in pesto sauce and mix them with toasted pine nuts, fresh mint, olive oil and parmesan.


Most cereals contain a small amount of protein. However, it is worth highlighting its high presence in quinoa with more than 8 g per cup. In addition, it is the protein source par excellence because it includes the nine essential amino acids that the body needs for growth and repair.

You should have no excuse for not including quinoa in your diet as it is very versatile. You can make salads, sauté them with vegetables, add sugar and eat them with fruits such as breakfast, etc.

Dry Fruits

Protein is not the only nutritious content offered by dry fruits. Apart from protein, they contain healthy fats. So, adding nuts to your diet is very important. Almonds, cashews and pistachios, for example, contain 160 calories and 5 or 6 grams of protein per fruit. Choose varieties that are raw or dry toasted. Also, choose the brand with as few ingredients as possible, just nuts and perhaps salt.

Remember to avoid dry fruits that have hydrogenated oils or a lot of added sugar, as they have other effects on the health.


There are many varieties of beans. A common feature is that it has high amount of vegetable protein. Two cups of beans contain approximately 26 g.


With only half a cup of chickpeas, you’ll get 7.3 g of vegetable protein. They are also very beneficial because of their high fiber content and low calories.

You can add them in salads, make mashed chickpeas, make hummus and so on…

Tempeh and Tofu

Soy foods are some of the highest sources of vegetable protein. This is the case with tempeh and tofu too, as they contain approximately 15 and 20 grams per half cup respectively.


Get your portions of soya the way it appears in nature, directly from the soya pod.

They are also called as Edamame beans. Half a cup contains 8.4 g. It can be served hot or cold sprinkled with salt. You can also try adding them to your favorite salad or pasta.

Green Leafy Vegetables

Vegetables don’t have as much protein as legumes or nuts. However, they are rich in fiber and contain a lot of antioxidants.

Two cups of raw spinach, for example, contain 2.1 grams of protein, and one cup of chopped broccoli contains 8.1 grams.


You can also eat hemp milk, which also contains fewer calories than skimmed milk. Hemp seeds is another good option, as 3 tablespoons of it contains 10 g of protein.

Chia Seeds

These seeds is a simple way to add protein to your diet. Chia seeds contain 14% protein. These can be added to salads, yogurt, mixed in milkshakes.

Sesame, Sunflower and Poppy Seeds

It is worth noting the high vegetable protein content 7.3 g per quarter cup in sunflower seeds. Similarly sesame and poppy seeds provides 5.4 g. One way to add sunflower seeds to your diet is to incorporate them into a vinaigrette, a mixture prepared with oil and acidic foods such as lemon or vinegar.


Seitan is produced from wheat gluten. There are few other names to it such as Wheat meat, Wheat protein and wheat gluten.

A half a cup of seitan has 36 g of protein. It can be added to any recipe that requires poultry meat, as it resembles duck meat, although it tastes like chicken.

Lactose-free milk

Milk alternatives are not just for lactose intolerants. There are many varieties of milk without lactose. Avoid those that have a high sugar content and added flavors. For example, soy milk has 100 calories per cup, while skim milk has 80 calories per cup, although soy milk is made up of a higher protein content. As for other flavoured varieties they provide even more calories.

It should be noted that soy milk, rice, hemp, and almonds are the alternatives that contain more vegetable protein.

Sugar-free cocoa powder

You’ve probably just discovered that you can get protein through chocolate.

The sugar-free cocoa powder used in preparing hot chocolate contains 1 g of protein per tablespoon. But this can be too bitter to taste for many. So to counter this, you can add calorie-free sweeteners.

If you’re vegan or vegetarian, these are some of the sources you can turn to for a protein balanced diet.

Nilam Mehta - Author

Nilam is the owner and writer of EverydayCares.com. She is an experienced pharmaceutical professional and believes that many of the health problems can be cured naturally at home. She enjoys reading scholarly medical journals and gets inspiration to write up-to-date practical information and resources and makes sure all of the articles are of the highest quality. The best way to reach her is via [email protected]

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