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Top 10 Vegan Sources of Protein

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN
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Top 10 Vegan Sources of Protein

Veganism is a diet that avoids all foods from animals. This includes meats, seafood, cheese, milk, and eggs. Most vegans are often concerned with getting enough protein, and all the essential amino acids.

Several companies have gone into business creating fake meat products using soy and seitan (wheat gluten). This list avoids listing such foods sticking instead to natural whole and healthy foods.

Whole and healthy vegan sources of protein include tofu, beans, lentils, soymilk, green peas, nuts, seeds, whole grains, peanut butter, spinach, sweet corn, and mushrooms. The daily value (%DV) for protein is set at 50 grams per day. This is a general target meant for most people.

For more vegan sources of protein see our lists of beans, grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits high in protein.

Top 10 Vegan Sources of Protein

A block of tofu

#1: Firm Tofu

Protein per CupProtein per 100g
87% DV (43.5g)35% DV (17.3g)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Firm Tofu
Medium soft tofu provides 40% DV per cup.
Soft tofu provides 36%DV per cup
1 cup of tempeh provides 67% DV.

Note: The amount of protein in tofu can range between 4.8g (10% DV) to 17.3g (35% DV) per 100 gram serving (or a little less than 1/2 cup). See the nutrition comparison of 10 common tofu brands. To find more, use the detailed nutrient ranking of all vegan foods high in protein.
Lentils

#2: Lentils

Protein per CupProtein per 100g
36% DV (17.9g)18% DV (9g)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Lentils (Cooked)

More Beans High in Protein (%DV per cup)

Lentils (36%), White Beans (35%), Split Peas (33%), Pinto (31%), Kidney Beans (31%), Black Beans (30%), Navy Beans (30%), Chickpeas (Garbanzo) (29%), and Lima beans (29%).
See more beans and legumes high in protein.
Soymilk

#3: Unsweetened Soymilk

Protein per 16oz GlassProtein per 100g
28% DV (14g)6% DV (2.9g)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Unsweetened Soy Milk
Green Peas

#4: Green Peas

Protein per Cup CookedProtein per 100g
17% DV (8.6g)11% DV (5.4g)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Cooked Green Peas
Squash and Pumpkin Seeds

#5: Seeds (Squash and Pumpkin Seeds)

Protein per 1oz HandfulProtein per 100g
17% DV (8.5g)60% DV (29.8g)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Roasted Squash And Pumpkin Seeds (Unsalted)

Other Nuts and Seeds High in Protein %DV per oz

Peanuts (14%), Almonds (12%), Pistachios (12%), Sunflower Seeds (11%), Flax Seeds (10%), Chia Seeds (9%), and Cashews (9%).
See more high protein nuts.
A bowl of quinoa

#6: Quinoa

Protein per CupProtein per 100g
16% DV (8.1g)9% DV (4.4g)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Quinoa Cooked

Other Whole Grains High in Protein %DV per cup cooked

Cornmeal (20%), Kamut (20%), Teff (20%), Whole Wheat Pasta (18%), Buckwheat (11%), Brown Rice (11%), and Barley (7%).
See the list of whole grains high in protein.
Peanut Butter

#7: Peanut Butter

Protein 2 TblspProtein per 100g
15% DV (7.7g)48% DV (24.1g)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Peanut Butter (Chunk Style)
A Bowl of Spinach

#8: Spinach

Protein per Cup CookedProtein per 100g
11% DV (5.3g)6% DV (3g)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Cooked Spinach

Other dark leafy greens high in protein (%DV per cup cooked)

Collards (10%), Mustard Greens (7%), Swiss Chard (7%), and Kale (5%).
Yellow Sweet Corn

#9: Sweet Corn

Protein per Cup CookedProtein per 100g
9% DV (4.7g)7% DV (3.3g)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Yellow Sweet Corn
White Button Mushrooms

#10: Mushrooms

Protein per Cup CookedProtein per 100g
8% DV (3.9g)7% DV (3.6g)
Source: Nutrition Facts for White Button Mushrooms (Stir-fried)

Other Mushrooms High in Protein %DV per cup cooked

Portabella (8%), Shiitake (7%), Oyster (6%), Morel (4%), Crimini (4%), and Enoki (3%).

See All 200 Vegan Foods High in Protein

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Top 10 Vegan Foods High in Protein

More Protein Rich Foods for Vegans

FoodServingProtein
#1 Dry Roasted Soybeansper cup81% DV
(40.3g)
#2 Nattoper cup68% DV
(34g)
#3 Tempehper cup67% DV
(33.7g)
#4 Soybean Sprouts1 cup18% DV
(9.2g)
#5 Raisinsper oz2% DV
(0.9g)
#6 Asparagusper cup cooked9% DV
(4.3g)
#7 Guavasper cup8% DV
(4.2g)
#8 Artichokes (Globe or French)in a medium artichoke8% DV
(4.2g)

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View more food groups with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.

Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.
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