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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.

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Top 10 Vegan Sources of Protein

1 Firm Tofu
A block of 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.
2 Lentils
Lentils

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.
3 Unsweetened Soymilk
Soymilk
4 Green Peas
Green Peas
5 Seeds (Squash and Pumpkin Seeds)
Squash and Pumpkin Seeds

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 Cahsews (9%).
See more high protein nuts.
6 Quinoa
A bowl of quinoa

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.
7 Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter
8 Spinach
A Bowl of Spinach

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

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

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

#1 Dry Roasted Soybeans 81% DV (40.3g) in per cup
#2 Natto 68% DV (34g) in per cup
#3 Tempeh 67% DV (33.7g) in per cup
#4 Soybean Sprouts 18% DV (9.2g) in per cup
#5 Raisins 10% DV (5.1g) in per cup
#6 Asparagus 9% DV (4.3g) in per cup
#7 Guavas 8% DV (4.2g) in per cup
#8 Artichokes 8% DV (4.2g) in per cup

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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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