Top 10 Beans and Legumes Highest in Protein

Top 10 Beans and Legumes Highest in Protein

Beans and legumes are an inexpensive and heart-healthy food popular all around the world. In addition to being high in protein, beans and legumes are also a good source of fiber, iron, and potassium.

The current daily value (DV) for protein is 50 grams per day and is a target meant for most people. Most beans provide between 29-36% of the DV for protein per cup cooked. Boiled soybeans (or edamame) provide a whopping 63% DV.

Beans and legumes high in protein include soybeans, lentils, white beans, cranberry beans, split peas, pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, navy beans, and limas. The list below is ranked by the most protein per cup cooked. For bean products like tofu and hummus see the extended list of beans and bean products high in protein.

List of High Protein Beans

Soy Beans1 Boiled Soybeans (Edamame)
Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
31.3g
(63% DV)
18.2g
(36% DV)
21.2g
(42% DV)
Lentils2 Lentils
Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
17.9g
(36% DV)
9g
(18% DV)
15.6g
(31% DV)
White Beans3 Large White Beans
Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
17.4g
(35% DV)
9.7g
(19% DV)
14g
(28% DV)
Cranberry Beans4 Cranberry (Borlotti) Beans
Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
16.5g
(33% DV)
9.3g
(19% DV)
13.7g
(27% DV)
Split Peas5 Split Peas
Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
16.3g
(33% DV)
8.3g
(17% DV)
14.1g
(28% DV)
Pinto Beans6 Pinto Beans
Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
15.4g
(31% DV)
9g
(18% DV)
12.6g
(25% DV)
Kidney Beans7 Kidney Beans
Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
15.3g
(31% DV)
8.7g
(17% DV)
13.7g
(27% DV)
Black Beans8 Black Beans (Frijoles Negros)
Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
15.2g
(30% DV)
8.9g
(18% DV)
13.4g
(27% DV)
Navy Beans9 Navy (Haricot) Beans
Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
15g
(30% DV)
8.2g
(16% DV)
11.8g
(24% DV)
Lima Beans10 Lima (Butter) Beans
Protein
per Cup
Protein
per 100g
Protein
per 200 Calories
14.7g
(29% DV)
7.8g
(16% DV)
13.6g
(27% DV)

See All 77 Beans and Lentils High in Protein

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More Bean and Bean Products High in Protein

FoodServingProtein
1 Firm Tofuper cup87% DV
(43.5g)
2 Tempehper cup67% DV
(33.7g)
3 Lupin Beans1 cup52% DV
(25.8g)
4 Adzuki Beansper cup35% DV
(17.3g)
5 Great Northern Beansper cup29% DV
(14.7g)
6 Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)per cup29% DV
(14.5g)
7 Mung Beansper cup28% DV
(14.2g)
8 Unsweetened Soymilkper 16oz glass28% DV
(14g)
9 Mungo Beans1 cup27% DV
(13.6g)
10 Broad Beans (Fava)per cup26% DV
(12.9g)
11 Peanut Butterper 2 tblsp14% DV
(7.1g)
12 Peanuts (Dry Roasted)per oz14% DV
(6.9g)
13 Falafel1 falafel5% DV
(2.3g)
14 Miso Paste1 tblsp4% DV
(2.2g)
15 Hummus1 tblsp2% DV
(1.2g)

About the Data

Data for the curated food lists comes from the USDA Food Data Central Repository.

You can check our data against the USDA by clicking the (Source) link at the bottom of each food listing.

Note: When checking data please be sure the serving sizes are the same. In the rare case you find any difference, please contact us and we will fix it right away.

About Nutrient Targets

Setting targets can provide a guide to healthy eating.

Some of the most popular targets include:
  • Daily Value (%DV) - The %DV is a general guideline for everyone and accounts for absorption factors. It is the most common target in the U.S. and is the target on the nutrition labels of most products. It is set by the U.S. FDA.
  • Reference Dietary Intake (%RDI) - The Reference Dietary Intake (RDI) is a customized target accounting for age and gender. It is set by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. The RDI for amino acids is set by the U.N. World Health Organization. The daily value (%DV) builds on the reference dietary intake to create a number for everyone.
  • Adequate Intake (%AI) - Sets a target for Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats. The Adequate Intake is also set by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. It represents a number to ensure adequacy but lacks the same level of evidence as the Reference Dietary Intake. In short, the number is less accurate than the RDI.
  • See the Guide to Recommended Daily Intakes for more information.

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Data Sources and References

  1. U.S. Agricultural Research Service Food Data Central