Top 10 Vegan Sources of Protein

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN

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

A block of tofu1. Firm Tofu
1 cup (252g)200 calories (139g)100g
87% DV (43.5g)48% DV (24g)35% DV (17.3g)
  • Medium soft tofu provides 40% DV per cup.
  • Soft tofu provides 36%DV per cup
  • 1 cup of tempeh provides 67% DV.
See more plant based vegan protein foods.

Complete Nutrition Facts.
Beans2. Beans and Lentils (Lentils)
1 cup (198g)200 calories (172g)100g
36% DV (17.9g)31% DV (15.6g)18% DV (9g)

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.

Complete Nutrition Facts.
A glass of soymilk and soybeans3. Soymilk (Unsweetened)
1 cup (486g)200 calories (606g)100g
28% DV (14g)35% DV (17.5g)6% DV (2.9g)
Green Peas4. Green Peas (Cooked)
1 cup (160g)200 calories (238g)100g
17% DV (8.6g)26% DV (12.8g)11% DV (5.4g)
A bunch of squash seeds5. Nuts and Seeds (Squash Seeds)
1oz handful (28g)200 calories (35g)100g
17% DV (8.5g)21% DV (10.4g)60% DV (29.8g)

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.

Complete Nutrition Facts.
Quinoa6. Whole Grains (Quinoa)
1 cup (185g)200 calories (167g)100g
16% DV (8.1g)15% DV (7.3g)9% DV (4.4g)

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.

Complete Nutrition Facts.
Peanut Butter7. Peanut Butter
2 tblsp (32g)200 calories (34g)100g
15% DV (7.7g)16% DV (8.2g)48% DV (24.1g)
A bowl of spinach8. Spinach
1 cup (180g)200 calories (870g)100g
11% DV (5.3g)52% DV (25.8g)6% DV (3g)

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

Collards (10%), Mustard Greens (7%), Swiss Chard (7%), and Kale (5%).
See more health benefits of Spinach.

Complete Nutrition Facts.
Sweet Corn9. Sweet Corn
1 cup (145g)200 calories (233g)100g
9% DV (4.7g)15% DV (7.6g)7% DV (3.3g)
Mushrooms10. White Button Mushrooms (Cooked)
1 cup (108g)200 calories (769g)100g
8% DV (3.9g)55% DV (27.5g)7% DV (3.6g)

Other Mushrooms High in Protein %DV per cup cooked

Portabella (8%), and Shiitake (7%).

Complete Nutrition Facts.
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Top 10 Vegan Protein Foods

More Protein Rich Foods for Vegans

#1 Dry Roasted Soybeans81% DV (40.3g) in 1 cup (93g)39% DV (19.3g) in 200 calories (45g)
#2 Natto68% DV (34g) in 1 cup (175g)37% DV (18.4g) in 200 calories (95g)
#3 Tempeh67% DV (33.7g) in 1 cup (166g)42% DV (21.1g) in 200 calories (104g)
#4 Soybean Sprouts18% DV (9.2g) in 1 cup (70g)43% DV (21.5g) in 200 calories (164g)
#5 Raisins10% DV (5.1g) in 1 cup (165g)4% DV (2.1g) in 200 calories (67g)
#6 Asparagus9% DV (4.3g) in 1 cup (180g)44% DV (21.8g) in 200 calories (909g)
#7 Guavas8% DV (4.2g) in 1 cup (165g)15% DV (7.5g) in 200 calories (294g)
#8 Artichokes8% DV (4.2g) in 1 cup (128g)28% DV (13.9g) in 200 calories (426g)

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Data Sources and References

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