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10 Best Sources of Vegetarian Protein

Updated: Sep 16, 2022

When you hear the word "Protein," you are likely to think of Chicken or Fish. That makes sense, meat is one of the best sources of Protein. But it’s not the only source. The right plant-based foods can be excellent sources of protein and other nutrients, often with fewer calories than animal products. Also, it isn’t hard to meet the required amount of protein on a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet.

Take a look at some of these high-protein vegetarian foods to add to your diet.

1. Soy

Soy Bean contains 34g per 100g, Soya Chunks contains 52g per 100g

Soy & its products are among the richest sources of protein in a plant-based diet. Soy is at the root of several types of foods, including soy milk, soya chunks, miso, tofu etc.,

2. Mushroom

White Button Mushroom contains 2.89 g per 100 g (1)

Mushrooms are considered an excellent source of digestible plant-based protein. Mushroom proteins usually have a complete essential amino acid profile, which may cover the dietetic requirements (2). However, the protein content varies with the variety of mushrooms.

3. Chickpea/Channa Dal

Contains 8.86g per 100 g (3)

Chickpea/Channa are rich source pf protein and fibre. Additionally, they also contain several key vitamins and minerals. A cup of chickpea provides almost one-third of an adult’s daily protein needs.

4. Lentils (Masoor dal, Urad dal, Toor dal)

Contains about 9.02g per 100g (4)

Lentils are a protein powerhouse stuffed into a tiny package. Not only do they deliver protein, a 1/2 cup of cooked lentils gives you 8 grams of fiber. Fiber is good for your heart, helps keep you full and can keep your weight in check.

5. Peanut/ Groundnut

Contains 25.8 g per 100 g (5)

Peanuts are an especially good source of healthful fats, protein, and fiber. They also contain plenty of potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and B vitamins. Despite being high in calories, peanuts are nutrient-rich and low in carbohydrates.

6. Quinoa

Contains 4.4 g per100 g (6)

Quinoa is a type of edible seed. However, it is classified as a whole grain and is a good source of plant protein and fiber. Unlike some plant proteins, quinoa is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also rich in magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, iron, thiamine and folate.

7. Chia Seeds

Contains about 16.5 g per 100g (9)

These tiny seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch. They are loaded with large amounts of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, plenty of high quality protein, and several essential minerals and antioxidants.

8. Paneer/Cottage Cheese

Contains 11g per100g (7)

Cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein and contains relatively few calories. It’s also packed with many nutrients, such as B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and selenium. For these reasons, it’s widely used by athletes and in weight loss plans.

9. Broccoli

Contains about 2.3 g per100g (8)

Broccoli is a very popular vegetable known for antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It is also a good source of protein per calorie, but you’d need to eat huge amounts of it to meet your daily protein requirement.

10. Nuts & Seeds

Contains about 19-22g per 100g

Nuts, seeds and their derived products are great sources of protein. These are also great sources of fiber and healthy fats, in addition to iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin E and certain B vitamins.

Going vegan or vegetarian requires some planning. Consuming wide variety of grains, fruits & vegetables will give you the adequate mix of nutrients to nourish your body.