50 Vegan Protein Sources

vegan

Three months back I started eating vegan only. This surprised my family and friends, I got the typical responses. I have to admit though, the reactions I was getting were not dissimilar to ones I would have given my vegan friends a year ago. Since I started my research I have found that there are so many myths and misconceptions about being vegan out there.

By far the most common comment I’ve been getting is “where do you get your protein from?”. Or aren’t you afraid of protein deficiency? Therefore I decided to do some research on vegan protein sources. Most of the lists you find online tend to be top 5 or top 10 vegan protein sources. I decided to go all out and research 50.

The other issue I see with a typical list like this that you find online is that they tend to give you the protein content on a per 100g basis. The problem I see with this (and the problem with food labelling in general) is that it’s hard to picture how many grams a typical serving is. I have included the per 100g value for consistency, but also the likely number of grams you would eat in one sitting.

I’ve also linked to some blogs and resources to give you more information about the food or recipes. Let me know what you think and if there are any more you’d like to add to the list.

green peas large

 

1 – Green Peas: Having spent my early years in the UK, green peas on a Friday was something I looked forward to at school when they used to serve us fish. I still enjoy them today and gives a nice sweet flavour to any food.

Protein: 5g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 6.2g

Typical Serving Size: 80g

Favorite Recipe: Butter-less Alfredo with Peas


kidney-beans2 – Kidney Beans: There are so many benefits beyond a protein source to these beans. Not only can they lower your heart attack risk, but these kidney shaped treats hold 25g per 100g of fiber.

Protein: 24g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 7.2g

Typical Serving Size: 60g

Favorite Recipe: Cinnamon Spiced Sweet Kidney Bean Spread


artichoke3 – Artichokes: These add a nice tang and flavour to a simple sandwich. I started off just boiling artichokes and picking off the leaves one by one. Since then I’ve been more creative with my meals. Check out the recipe below from The Fig Tree. Looking at the pictures makes me drool.

Protein: 3.3g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 7.0g

Typical Serving Size: 40g

Favorite Recipe: Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Shells


tempeh4 – Tempeh: Six months ago I didn’t know what tempeh was. I didn’t like it at first, but with the right recipe it can taste incredible.

Protein: 19g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 9.8g

Typical Serving Size: 84g

Favorite Recipe: Gochujang Tempeh + Blasted Broccoli


lentils5 – Lentils: As someone who had only eaten lentils with lentil soup exclusively, I was surprised by the creations you can have from these things. I had to post the lentil burger recipe below as I need a burger substitute to ween me off my meat.

Protein: 26g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 7.5g

Typical Serving Size: 90g

Favorite Recipe: Lentil Walnut-Apple Burgers


black-beans6 – Black Beans: For me black beans give a nice creamy taste to food. Packed full of protein they go well with almost any savoury snack. I’ve included the savory vegan muffins below, they are delicious.

Protein: 21g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 6.2g

Typical Serving Size: 60g

Favorite Recipe: Corn Muffins with Black Beans


oatmeal7 – Oatmeal: Good for sweet or savory meals. My favorite is sweet of course. However recently I have been cutting down on my sugar, so be aware of that.

Protein: 2.4g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 3.5g

Typical Serving Size: 45g

Favorite Recipe: Blueberry Oatmeal Waffles


chickpeas8 – Chickpeas: I could eat hummus all day with pita. Maybe one day I’ll get sick of it, but I can’t see that happening. Moving away from hummus I’ve started boiling these with a bit of salt and eating them straight from the bowl. They taste nice, soft and creamy.

Protein: 19g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 5.2g

Typical Serving Size: 70g

Favorite Recipe: Chickpea & Vegetable Coconut Curry Soup


almonds9 – Almonds: These nuts are so versatile. I’ve loved using them as an addition to my meals. Do check the mouth-watering cookies in the link below from TheVegan8 – one of the best resources that has helped me on my journey.

Protein: 21g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 3.6g

Typical Serving Size: 30g

Favorite Recipe: Double Chocolate Espresso Almond Cookies


broccoli10 – Broccoli: An enemy to a lot of people. I’ve loved experimenting with broccoli. Once you clear away the sugar, meat and processed food from your system, I have found that your taste buds tend to adjust and you start to feel the nuances in the flavors of some of these foods. I’ve found this especially with broccoli.

Protein: 2.8g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 8.2g

Typical Serving Size: 90g

Favorite Recipe: Garlic-Ginger Pasta with broccoli, mushrooms and coconut “shrimp”


soy-milk11 – Soy Milk: I have switched to soy milk in my teas. After a few days my taste had adjusted. You can even make it at home (see link below), although I must admit this is more on my to-do list than actually made homemade soy milk.

Protein: 3.3g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 6.1g

Typical Serving Size: 70g

Favorite Recipe: Homemade Soy Milk


Spinach12 – Spinach: Similar to my experience with broccoli, spinach used to be tasteless for me. Now when I eat it I’m starting to feel the tanginess in each bite. During my lunch break now I sometimes pick-up a pack of washed baby spinach and chew on it as a side snack with my food. I feel so good afterwards.

Protein: 2.9g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 12.6g

Typical Serving Size: 85g

Favorite Recipe: Spinach Smoothies


sun-dried-tomatoes13 – Sun-dried Tomatoes: These are great to throw on pretty much any foods, whether it’s a pasta or a sandwich. They are also rich in fiber and potassium.

Protein: 5g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 2.3g

Typical Serving Size: 20g

Favorite Recipe: Olive, Sun-Dried Tomato & Caper Potato Salad


pumpkin-seeds14 – Pumpkin Seeds: I like to add these to a lot of my foods, they make them look sophisticated. They are also rich in zinc and known to help with prevention of prostate cancer.

Protein: 19g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 4.3g

Typical Serving Size: 20g

Favorite Recipe: Vegan Overnight Oats


cashews15 – Cashews: What I’ve found with cashews is that more you chew them the sweeter they get. I love the crunch they give a certain food when some crushed cashews are added to a meal.

Protein: 18g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 3.3g

Typical Serving Size: 30g

Favorite Recipe: Cashew Cream Tofu


navy-beans16 – Navy Beans: Amazingly cheap source of protein. It also has an impressive amount of fiber with 11g per 100g.

Protein: 6g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 9g

Typical Serving Size: 60g

Favorite Recipe: White Bean Chilli


peanut-butter17 – Peanut Butter: I’ve had a love affair with my peanut butter jar for as long as I can reach it. This hasn’t changed when eating vegan. I have to stop myself a lot of times.

Protein: 25g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 4.3g

Typical Serving Size: 30g

Favorite Recipe: Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies


edamame18 – Edamame: Perfect little snack. You normally get these on the table in Japanese restaurants before he food comes. The color can add a nice touch to the food when blended as you can see in the soup dish below. It also comes with a host of health benefits.

Protein: 11g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 9g

Typical Serving Size: 50g

Favorite Recipe: Edamame Avocado Soup


wheatgerm19 – Wheat Germ: Excellent source of plant protein. Has a high concentration of daily vitamins, vitamin E in particular.

Protein: 31g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 8.5g

Typical Serving Size: 12g

Favorite Recipe: Breakfast Oatmeal Trail Mix Cupcakes


Quinoa20 – Quinoa: This supergrain is rich in magnesium and has a high iron content. As well as having over 14% protein. As a side, do check out Nada’s blog below, One Arab Vegan. She has amazing Middle Eastern vegan recipes as well as an incredible story.

Protein: 4g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 3.3g

Typical Serving Size: 30g

Favorite Recipe: Quinoa Confetti Salad


dates
dates

21 – Dates: I usually eat a couple of dates in the morning before heading to the gym. They give you a shot of the energy required. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including zinc. There are a lot of variety of dates out there, it’s good to experiment with them to find one that suits your tastes.

Protein: 2.5g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 0.9g

Typical Serving Size: 50g

Favorite Recipe: Maddy’s Granola Bars


tahini22 – Tahini: This is usually added to hummus to give it the nice creamy texture. It is rich in minerals like phosphorus, magnesium and iron. Remember when eating hummus to always check the tahini.

Protein: 17g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 2.9g

Typical Serving Size: 45g

Favorite Recipe: Green Bean and Courgette Salad with Tahini Dressing


Asparagus23 – Asparagus: When I was a kid I used to hate asparagus, but it seems the older I get the more I’m drawn to it. Apart from it being delicious, it is loaded with nutrients and vitamins A, C, E and K.

Protein: 2.2g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 11g

Typical Serving Size: 90g

Favorite Recipe: Vegetable Abundance Paella


Peanuts24 – Peanuts: They are a good source of folate, niacin and vitamin E as well as of course containing a lot of protein per gram. I love the nice strong smell that they give off, makes my mouth water.

Protein: 26g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 4.6g

Typical Serving Size: 30g

Favorite Recipe: Raw Vegan Peanut Butter & Chocolate Butter Cream Cups


brown-rice25 – Brown Rice: Although it is a lot healthier and contains a lot more fiber, I do still prefer white rice. Maybe it’s a high glycemic addiction. I would still eat brown rice though if it’s cooked in the right way. It has a good amount of phosphorus, vitamin B6 and magnesium.

Protein: 2.6g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 2.3g

Typical Serving Size: 150g

Favorite Recipe: Brown Rice Stir-Fry with Vegetables


flax-seeds26 – Flax Seeds: Also called linseeds in some shops, they’ve been around for thousands of years, but more recently have become mainstream when the benefits were discovered. They are a rich source of fiber and protein.

Protein: 18g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 3.4g

Typical Serving Size: 10g

Favorite Recipe: Raspberry Coconut Flax Waffles


kale27 – Kale: It has become very popular recently and you can order it in many restaurants and find it in almost all supermarkets now. It’s a great detox food, will make your insides feel clean. It is also high in Iron and vitamin K.

Protein: 4.3g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 8.8g

Typical Serving Size: 50g

Favorite Recipe: Sweet Potato and Kale Mac N’ Cheese


chia-seeds28 – Chia Seeds: These are important for bone nutrients and have been shown to show major improvements in diabetics. There’s also an interesting study that shows that chia seed loading works just as well as carb loading before a workout.

Protein: 17g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 3.5g

Typical Serving Size: 20g

Favorite Recipe: Vanilla Coconut Chia Seed Pudding


Amaranth29 – Amaranth: Gives a nice nutty flavor to foods. It contains a good amount of lysine, which is what your body needs to absorb calcium and build muscle. Apart from it being a huge source of protein.

Protein: 14g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 3.7g

Typical Serving Size: 150g

Favorite Recipe: Vegan Sushi


tofu30 – Tofu: Containing all eight essential amino acids, tofu is a typical addition to a vegan meal. It is something that I’m still getting used to as it doesn’t really have a taste, but all the health benefits outweigh my need to stimulate my taste bud so it will continue being added to some of my meals.

Protein: 8g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 10.5g

Typical Serving Size: 200g

Favorite Recipe: Tofu Scramble


Spirulina31 – Spirulina: This contains an abundance of essential amino acids and many vitamins. They help prevent cancer, lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. With all the benefits though the taste is not great. You have to mix it in with something to get a good taste and all the benefits.

Protein: 57g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 19.7g

Typical Serving Size: 10g

Favorite Recipe: Extra-thick Mint Chip Superfood Smoothie


Walnuts32 – Walnuts: They taste quite bitter by themselves so I don’t tend to eat them as a snack. In foods and desserts they are amazing. They are an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids.

Protein: 15g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 2.3g

Typical Serving Size: 30g

Favorite Recipe: Black Walnut Apricot Cookies


Sesame
Sesame

33 – Sesame: They may be tiny, but have huge nutritional benefits. They can prevent a wide variety of cancers, lower blood pressure and build strong bones. They will also add a delicate crunch to any dish, that are very subtle, but powerful.

Protein: 18g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 3.1g

Typical Serving Size: 10g

Favorite Recipe: Steamed Eggplant With Ginger Garlic Chive Dressing


Seitan34 – Seitan: This is plain and pure gluten. If you are on a gluten-free diet then this is not for you. Although it is a powerhouse of nutrition and I have found nothing in my research to suggest that it’s harmful, I would be happy if this was researched more.

Protein: 75g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 20.3g

Typical Serving Size: 100g

Favorite Recipe: Seitan Dumplings


brazil-nuts35 – Brazil Nuts: Ideal for low thyroid function. They hold a large amount of mineral selenium which helps your immune system and your body to heal. You only need about 4 brazil nuts a day to get all the selenium your body needs.

Protein: 14g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 2.1g

Typical Serving Size: 30g

Favorite Recipe: Bestest Pesto (brazil nuts instead of pine nuts)


raisins36 – Raisins: When grapes are dried to produce raisins the nutrients become compact and more concentrated, so don’t let their small size fool you. As well as being a good source of protein and energy, they pack a lot of iron in them too.

Protein: 3.1g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 1g

Typical Serving Size: 45g

Favorite Recipe: Perfect Vegan Cinnamon Buns


potatoes37 – Potatoes: A baked potato is a nice lazy afternoon lunch when you don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen or getting creative. They are a good source of vitamin B6 as well as potassium, manganese and vitamin C.

Protein: 2g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 2.6g

Typical Serving Size: 350g

Favorite Recipe: Baked Fries


cauliflower38 – Cauliflower: Beyond protein cauliflower will give you a big dose of vitamin C, as well as being a good source of vitamin K, fiber and vitamin B6. It’s so easy to snack on raw or boil for a few minutes to get a nice soft texture.

Protein: 1.9g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 7.6g

Typical Serving Size: 500g

Favorite Recipe: Cauli-power Fettuccine “Alfredo” 


garlic39 – Garlic: Obviously you’re not going to have a huge amount to garlic in one go, but I wanted to put this on the list because it always seems to be the missing ingredient to make food taste good for me. It has many benefits beyond protein including reducing your blood pressure.

Protein: 6g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 4g

Typical Serving Size: 5g

Favorite Recipe: Creamy Vegan Garlic Pasta With Roasted Tomatoes


okra40 – Okra: My favorite dishes with okra come from Eastern Europe and the Middle East. A nice okra stew with some rice on a cold day is perfection. It will also contain high amounts of folic acid, Vitamin B & C.

Protein: 1.9g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 5.8g

Typical Serving Size: 110g

Favorite Recipe: Okra Kuzhambu – Okra in Tamarind Coconut Sauce


mung-beans41 – Mung Beans: Very filling when you eat them because of high fiber and protein content. They also are a high source of nutrients including manganese, potassium, folate and zinc.

Protein: 24g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 6.9g

Typical Serving Size: 60g

Favorite Recipe: Mung Bean Falafel


sweet-corn42 – Sweet Corn: This makes every savory dish more interesting. I add it to my rice, salad or anything I’ve whipped up, if I’m being lazy about the ingredients, I would add a bit of sweet corn to it. Occasionally I would boil a can of sweet corn for a few minutes and eat it as a snack by its self.

Protein: 3.2g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 3.7g

Typical Serving Size: 70g

Favorite Recipe: Grilled Corn With Sriracha Aioli


Spaghetti43 – Spaghetti: I’ve been eating spaghetti about once a week. Most supermarket spaghetti will be vegan, but do check the label. I’m happy with the protein content as it justifies the carb intake for me.

Protein: 6g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 3.8g

Typical Serving Size: 150g

Favorite Recipe: Spaghetti & Bean Balls


sunflower-seeds44 – Sunflower Seeds: I usually have these on my coffee table as a snack. They’re a bit salty so you need plenty of water around. Sunflower seeds are a brilliant source of vitamin E as well as contributing to your daily protein intake.

Protein: 21g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 3.6g

Typical Serving Size: 20g

Favorite Recipe: Make Vegan Cheese with Sunflower Seeds


avocado45 – Avocado: I can’t get enough of avocados. I have them in my salad every day to give a nice creamy taste to it. It feels wrong without it. Of course there’s always guacamole – which I can’t live without.

Protein: 2g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 1.3g

Typical Serving Size: 180g

Favorite Recipe: Dueling Avocado + Sweet Potato Kale Salad


Bulgur46 – Bulgur: You can always order this at Turkish restaurants, in my opinion they make the best Bulgur Pilaf. It’s what I would substitute when I don’t feel like having rice one day.

Protein: 12g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 3.5g

Typical Serving Size: 120g

Favorite Recipe: Basil and Bulgar Salad


Guava47 – Guava: It’s surprising that not many people have tried guava before when I ask them about it. It’s a tropical fruit and tastes like a bit like a pear would. It is very rich in vitamin C.

Protein: 2.6g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 3.8g

Typical Serving Size: 55g

Favorite Recipe: Nutrient Rich Tropical Green Smoothie


Buckwheat48 – Buckwheat: The name is misleading, it is not related to wheat in any way. It’s a highly nourishing substitute for rice and contains a decent amount of protein. It’s great to eat on cold days and may even help in diabetes.

Protein: 13g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 3.8g

Typical Serving Size: 90g

Favorite Recipe: Buckwheat Noodles


Pistachios49 – Pistachios: As well as being a delicious snack, pistachios come with a range of health benefits from protection against diabetes to improved digestion. I also love them on my baklava – which has the butter and honey substituted for vegan alternatives, but still just as tasty.

Protein: 20g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 3.6g

Typical Serving Size: 30g

Favorite Recipe: Spinach Herb Pistachio Pesto


hemp-seeds50 – Hemp Seeds: No these won’t get you high. They won’t provide any of the psychoactive effects that you get from the drug, although it does come from the same marijuana plant. There are no laws or penalties against buying hemp seeds.

Protein: 37g per 100g

Grams per 100 calories: 6.4g

Typical Serving Size: 30g

Favorite Recipe: Homemade Hemp Seed Milk


Reader Additions & Contributions

  • Pine Nuts: 14g per 100g. Typical Serving: 20g
  • Wild Rice: 15g per 100g. Typical Serving: 120g
  • Spelt: 15g per 100g. Typical Serving: 100g
  • Rye: 10g per 100g. Typical Serving: 90g

I think there’s no doubt from the list above that protein deficiency on a vegan lifestyle is not going to be a problem. Writing this list has made me hungry so it’s time for me to research another delicious recipe to try for tonight.

Do let me know your suggestions, I plan on expanding and updating this list.

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Article by: Douglas Norman

Douglas writes all the latest health news for BodyFatLoss. He is very diligent about finding all the facts and sources of any new health and fitness findings.