Protein-Rich Vegan Staples
The following foods are great sources of vegan protein. For optimal nutrition, try to include a wide variety in your diet.
Tempeh is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form that has a rich and nutty flavor.
Tempeh has 15 grams per 4 ounces serving. This Vegan Tempeh Guide has everything you need like a shopping guide, tips, and recipes to try at home.
Tofu, aka bean curd, is food made by curdling soymilk (milk made from soybeans) and then pressing the curds into blocks. Tofu has a substantial 10 grams of protein per 4 ounces serving with no saturated fat.
Learn about tofu – what it is, how to cook it, and recipes to help you incorporate this wonder food into your diet in this The Ultimate Guide to Tofu. Guaranteed to turn you into a tofu ninja.
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
Textured vegetable, or textured soy, protein (TVP or TSP) can be found in the dry goods section of the grocer. It is sold as a dry crumble and is easily re-hydrated to produce a chewy and hearty protein addition to almost any meal. Like tofu, it has a tremendous versatility of flavor.
It has a staggering 12 grams of protein per serving, and a good amount of iron as well. Learn more in this comprehensive Textured Vegetable Protein Guide.
Seitan is wheat gluten and has a whopping 15 grams of protein per serving. The chewy texture, savory taste, and the ability to be formed into any shape make seitan an excellent choice for many dishes including barbecue.
Seitan can be found pre-made in the refrigerated section of the grocer, or it can be made using wheat gluten from the dry goods section. Of course, those maintaining a gluten-free diet will want to steer clear of seitan. Find out all the delicious ways to add seitan to your life in this Vegan Seitan Guide.
Protein-Rich Vegan Meats
Faux, fake, mock, meat analogs, or plant proteins; no matter what you call them, vegan meat products are more common than ever, and they can be a great source of protein.
Not surprisingly, there has been a lot of talk about these products. Are they healthy? Are they better for the environment? How do vegan meats help animals? Why would vegans want to eat something that is like meat if they don’t eat meat? And, perhaps the most asked question of them all, do vegan meats taste good?
Get answers and more in this Vegan Meat Guide.
Protein-Rich Whole Foods
Believe it or not, there’s quality protein in whole plant foods.
Beans and legumes are tiny nutritional powerhouses filled with protein, fiber, and nutrients. They should be a staple in any well-balanced vegan diet.
Nuts and seeds are not only high in protein, but they are also full of healthy oils like omega 3s, vitamin Bs, and other essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, copper, and iron.
Don’t forget that nut butter and spreads are also good protein sources. Be sure to look for ones made without sugars and extra oils.
Finally, whole grains may not be the first thing you think of when you think of high-protein foods, but some grains have a high amino acid content making them a protein-packed addition to your diet.
The following whole foods are full of vegan protein.
Note: The tabs open new sections. Within each, the table scrolls left to right.
|Legume (cooked)||Serving Size (cups)||Protein (grams)|
| Soybeans|| 1|| 31|
| Lentils|| 1|| 18|
| Kidney beans|| 1|| 15|
| Chickpeas|| 1 || 15|
| Pinto beans|| 1|| 15|
| Lima beans|| 1|| 15|
| Black beans|| 1|| 15|
| Black-eyed peas|| 1|| 13|
|Vegetables (cooked)||Amount (cups unless noted)||Protein (grams)|
| Edamame|| 1|| 18|
| Spinach|| 1 bunch (340 grams)|| 10|
| Green Peas|| 1|| 8|
| Broccoli|| 1|| 6|
| Brussel Sprouts|| 1|| 6|
| Sun-dried tomatoes|| 1|| 4|
| Potato (w/skin)|| 1 medium|| 4|
| Asparagus|| 1 || 4|
|Nut or Seeds (raw unless noted)||Amount (cups unless noted)||Protein (grams)|
| Peanuts, dry roasted|| 1/4|| 10|
| Hemp Seeds|| 3 tablespoons|| 10|
| Sesame Seeds|| 1/4|| 8|
| Sunflower Seeds|| 1/4|| 8|
| Almonds|| 1/4|| 8|
| Poppy Seeds|| 1/4|| 6|
| Brazil Nuts|| 1/4|| 5|
| Pumpkin Seeds|| 1/4|| 3|
| Walnuts|| 1/4|| 3|
|Grains (cooked)||Amount (cups)||Protein (grams)|