Food, Healthy Eating

10 High Protein Vegan Foods You Should Be Eating

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One of the most frequent questions we get from readers is: How do I get enough protein on a vegan diet? Lack of sufficient protein isn’t just daunting to new vegans or the V-curious–it can also affect long-time vegans. But with a bit of self-monitoring and awareness, you *can* perfectly balance your vegan diet with proper protein-rich foods.  These are a list of 11 protein-rich foods to add to your vegan diet.

1. Soy (10-15 grams per half a cup): Soy is one of the most known sources of protein and is often considered as the best alternative to meat. Soy can be taken in different forms such as the soy milk, natto (recipe made out of fermented beans), and the best-known product, Tofu.

Try: Simple Vegan Baked Tofu

Healthy Eating: Best High-Protein Vegan Foods | Peaceful Dumpling

2. Quinoa (8 grams per cup): Quinoa is yet another grain that can help you meet your daily requirement of protein. In addition, it is also full of fiber, magnesium, iron, and other vital minerals. The best part of Quinoa is that it can be served for breakfast or a substitute for rice during other meals of the day.

Try: Vegan Spicy Lentil and Quinoa Salad

Healthy Eating: Best High-Protein Vegan Foods | Peaceful Dumpling

3. Beans: These are one of the most commonly consumed foods. They are many different varieties, like black, heirloom, pinto, navy, lima, fava, kidney, lentils, chickpeas, and black-eyed peas; and all these are rich in protein. Each of these beans has a different amount of protein based on the type and serving.

Try: Vegan Southwestern Chili 

Healthy Eating: Best High-Protein Vegan Foods | Peaceful Dumpling

4. Leafy and cruciferous veggies: Leafy vegetables are rich in all kinds of minerals, and protein is not one to be excluded. Though not particularly high, leafy greens do have a significant amount of proteins in them. A cup of  cooked spinach has a surprisingly large amount of protein–5 g–that’s over 10% of an adult woman’s daily protein needs! Cruciferous veggies like broccoli are also hidden sources of vegan protein. A cup of steamed broccoli contains 4 g of protein. Brussels sprouts and collard greens are other veggies with high protein content.Nuts: All kind of nuts, including peanuts, cashew, walnuts, almond, etc. are high in protein content. Not only they’re tasty, but also extremely healthy.

Try: Lime Kale and Mint Smoothie

Healthy Eating: Best High-Protein Vegan Foods | Peaceful Dumpling

5. Nuts: All kind of nuts, including peanuts, cashew, walnuts, almond, etc. are high in protein content. Not only they’re tasty, but also extremely healthy.

Try: Fresh Arugula Salad with Strawberries and Nuts

Healthy Eating: Best High-Protein Vegan Foods | Peaceful Dumpling

6. Peanut Butter: PB&J sandwiches helped you grow, and there’s a reason for that. Peanut butter contains 8 g of protein in every 2 tablespoon serving.

Try: Peanut Butter Chickpea and Brocoli 

Healthy Eating: Best High-Protein Vegan Foods | Peaceful Dumpling

7. Pumpkin Seeds: These seeds contain zinc, vitamin Bs, and a high amount of protein, making them a nutritional powerhouse. Try making granola with them, or using then in salads, cereals, oatmeal, quinoa, pasta, and even pesto.

Try: Nutmeg Spiced Pumpkin Soup

Healthy Eating: Best High-Protein Vegan Foods | Peaceful Dumpling

8. Seitan: Also known as wheat-meat or mock chicken, seitan’s protein content varies by brand, but is usually as high or even higher than tofu by volume and weight.

Try: Crispy Seitan Salad with Chia Seed Dressing

Healthy Eating: Best High-Protein Vegan Foods | Peaceful Dumpling

9. Chia Seeds: These little seeds can be to added to almost anything–smoothies, salads, or just a glass of water or nondairy milk. A 3 tbsp serving contains 7 g of protein and a ton of fiber to keep you full.

Try: Minty Maca Chia Pudding

Healthy Eating: Best High-Protein Vegan Foods | Peaceful Dumpling

10. Sesame Seeds: Not only do sesame seeds contain protein, they also contain a multitude of essential minerals, including: magnesium, calcium, copper, zinc, iron, selenium, and manganese. So make sure you take out those seeds in the pantry and sprinkle some over your salads, sushi bowls, bibimbap, and curries.

Try: Vegan Korean Burrito Bowl  (contains tahini, which is made of sesame seeds)

Healthy Eating: Best High-Protein Vegan Foods | Peaceful Dumpling

11. Hemp Seeds: In addition to being an excellent protein source (1 tbsp of hulled “hemp hearts” gives you whopping 10 g!), it’s also full of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, and magnesium–a mineral many women don’t get enough of, and which helps with relaxation, blood pressure, osteoporosis, blood sugar regulation, among other crucial functions. The nutty, savory flavor and texture go well with everything from salads, rice, pasta, smoothies, oatmeal, vegan yogurt, and even roasted veggies. Knock yourself out!

Try: Beet Carrot Ginger Protein Smoothie

Healthy Eating: Best High-Protein Vegan Foods | Peaceful Dumpling

Related: 10 Tips for Maintaining a Vegan Diet

Should You Try a Paleo Vegan Diet?

Ask PD: Anti-Inflammatory Foods and Vegan Vitamins

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Photos: Peaceful Dumpling, Mary Hood Luttrell, Christina Ramirez, Lana Jane Fox, Alexandra Kudukis

Sravanthi Reddy

Sravanthi Reddy

Contributor at Peaceful Dumpling
Sravanthi is a nature enthusiast and a fighter by nature. She loves to go for long walks and try her own home remedies for health and skin conditions. Her other passion is writing. She is also on her weight loss journey and has almost reached her goal.
  • Stephanie Spence

    This was really helpful! Thankyou. I nearly bought hemp seeds the other day, I’ll definitely get some next time now!

    • Juhea Kim

      hemp seeds are my new favorite things to sprinkle on everything! they’re so tasty–and frankly, don’t get stuck in your teeth like chia seeds. 😀

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