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The 20 Best Protein Sources For Vegetarians

By Carine Claudepierre -
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Vegetarians need solid protein sources that are directly coming from animal sources. Learn about 20 protein sources that are appropriate for vegetarians.

Best Protein Sources

Meat and fish are the main sources of protein for most people. For people on a vegetarian diet, it’s essential to find other ways of getting the much-needed recommended intake of protein.

How Much Protein Should I Eat In A Day?

The typical amount of protein needed daily is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

This amounts to 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

Use the calculator below to figure out how much protein you should eat in a day!

Of course, this amount is just indicative. And people exercising a lot should increase their protein intake to help the body repair and build muscles.

Daily Protein Calculator

Use the slider below to find out how much protein is recommended for your body weight.

When you slide this slider, you’ll also see a table with how much of the items below you need to eat to reach this value!

Your Weight:

You Need: grams of protein per day

FoodProtein Per 100gNeeded To Reach Your DI*Also Suitable For
Yogurt 9g Keto
Eggs 12.4g Keto
Lentils 8.4g Vegan
Protein Powder 60g Varies
Chia Seeds 16.5g Keto, Vegan
Quinoa 5g Vegan
Cottage Cheese 11g Keto
Hemp Seeds 31.6g Keto, Vegan
Black Beans 8.9g Vegan
Edamame 11.2g Vegan
Peanut Butter 24g Keto, Vegan
Almond Butter 21g Keto, Vegan
Almond Flour 26.2g Keto, Vegan
All-Purpose Flour 10.9g Vegan
Tofu 10.1g Keto, Vegan
Buckwheat 13.2g Vegan
Chickpeas 7g Vegan
Brussels Sprouts 3.5g Keto, Vegan
Avocado 2g Keto, Vegan
Oats 12g Vegan

* the value is for illustrative purpose only. It's not recommended to get all the daily protein from a single source.

Top Sources Of Protein

The sources of protein below are 20 of the easiest way to find protein on a vegetarian diet.

While the list focuses on vegetarians, many of the items are also suitable for people on a vegan diet.

Best Protein Sources

1. Hemp Seeds

Hemp Seeds: 31.6g of protein per 100g

Hemp Seeds are a fantastic source of protein, and they also bring omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E.

And don’t worry, you won’t get any psychoactive effects from eating hemp hearts, they only contain trace amounts.

Delicious Recipes With Hemp Seeds

More Hemp Seed Recipes.

2. Almond Flour

Almond Flour: 26.2g of protein per 100g

Almond flour is one of my favorite low-carb flours. It’s not only low in net carbs, but it’s also rich in protein, very rich.

Almond flour can be used to make all your classic baking recipes, but with a low-carb twist.

Delicious Recipes With Almond Flour

More Almond Flour Recipes.

3. Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter: 24g of protein per 100g

Peanut Butter is a protein powerhouse. However, it’s essential to source natural peanut butter, which contains only peanuts (and sometimes salt).

Other kinds of peanut butter are loaded with sugar and oils that greatly reduce their nutritional value. Natural peanut butter is much healthier with no cholesterol at all!

If you can’t find pure peanut butter, you can make your own healthy peanut butter.

Delicious Recipes With Peanut Butter

More Peanut Butter Recipes.

4. Almond Butter

Almond Butter: 21g of protein per 100g

Almond Butter is another natural butter made only from almonds.

Because it’s so similar to peanut butter, you can almost always swap the two in any recipe.

If you can’t find pure peanut butter, you can make your own healthy peanut butter.

Delicious Recipes With Almond Butter

More Almond Butter Recipes.

5. Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds: 16.5g of protein per 100g

Chia seeds are high-protein seeds that are also very rich in fiber and other nutrients.

These seeds can be used to make egg alternatives by leveraging their gelling properties.

Delicious Recipes With Chia Seeds

More Chia Seed Recipes.

6. Buckwheat

Buckwheat: 13.2g of protein per 100g

Despite its name, buckwheat has nothing to do with wheat. It’s a grain-like seed that can be used to make many healthy recipes.

It’s another plant-based complete protein source.

Delicious Recipes With Buckwheat

More Buckwheat Recipes.

7. Eggs

Egg: 12.4g of protein per 100g

Eggs are an easy and simple vegetarian protein source. It’s also a complete protein source, but it’s, of course, not a vegan-friendly protein.

Eggs can be used in every meal from breakfast to dinner, lunch, and snacks.

Delicious Recipes With Eggs

More Egg Recipes.

8. Oats

Oats: 12g of protein per 100g

While oats are not particularly keto-friendly, they are relatively low in carbs and rich in nutrients for plant-based proteins.

It’s a cereal that can easily be turned into flour and used to make many baking recipes.

Delicious Recipes With Oats

More Oat Recipes.

9. Edamame

Edamame: 11.2g of protein per 100g

Also known as Soya Beans or Soybeans, edamame are peas similar to green beans that are used to make many soy products from Soy Sauce to Tempeh or Tofu.

But it’s a vegetable that is also delicious on its own, just cooked in boiled water. It’s another complete protein source with all essential amino acids.

Delicious Recipes With Edamame

10. Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese: 11g of protein per 100g

Cottage Cheese is a low-carb fresh cheese that brings a refreshing taste to salads and breakfasts.

While it’s made from curdled milk, it contains almost none of the carbs present in cow milk but a high protein content.

Delicious Recipes With Cottage Cheese

More Cottage Cheese Recipes.

11. All-Purpose Flour

All-Purpose Flour: 10.9g of protein per 100g

All-Purpose Flour is of course not a keto-friendly flour, but it’s otherwise compatible with a vegan or vegetarian diet.

It’s also very high in protein and can be used in almost all baking recipes.

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour typically contains less protein, partly because Gluten is a protein itself, so removing it from the flour reduces the total amount of protein.

Delicious Recipes With All-Purpose Flour

More All-Purpose Flour Recipes.

12. Tofu

Tofu: 10.1g of protein per 100g

Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a soft block made from the coagulation of soy milk.

It’s very low in calories while being rich in protein, iron, calcium, and magnesium.

Soy is a complete protein source, so it contains all essential amino acids, and it’s compatible with a vegan diet.

Tofu can be a vegan substitute for chicken in almost all curry recipes.

Delicious Recipes With Tofu

13. Yogurt

Yogurt: 9g of protein per 100g

Yogurt is a surprising source of protein, but it brings a good amount of protein, and it’s easy to eat in a larger quantity than some of the other protein sources.

The best type of yogurt for proteins is Greek yogurt.

Delicious Recipes With Yogurt

More recipes with Yogurt.

14. Black Beans

Black Beans: 8.9g of protein per 100g

Black beans are another legume very rich in protein.

Also known as black turtle beans, they also bring 37% of the recommended intake of Vitamin B9 and 21% of Vitamin B1 and several minerals.

Delicious Recipes With Black Beans

More Black Bean Recipes.

15. Lentils

Lentils: 8.4g of protein per 100g

Lentils are simple legumes that have been used in cooking for a few thousand years.

While they are higher in carbs than some other legumes, they are rich in vitamins B9, B6, and B5, and in iron, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.

Delicious Recipes With Almond Flour

16. Chickpeas

Chickpeas: 7.5g of protein per 100g

Chickpeas are legumes also known as Garbanzo Beans and sometimes Egyptian Peas.

While it’s often used to make hummus, it can also be used roasted as a snack or in curries to add taste and texture.

Chickpeas are also a complete protein source, which means they include all essential amino acids.

Delicious Recipes With Chickpeas

More Chickpea Recipes.

17. Quinoa

Quinoa: 5g of protein per 100g

Quinoa is an ancient seed that is making an impressive comeback as a healthy vegetable. It can be used to replace rice in curries, but it can also make loads of delicious recipes.

With its complete protein profile, quinoa is another source of all essential amino acids.

Delicious Recipes With Chia Seeds

More Quinoa Recipes.

18. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts: 3.5g of protein per 100g

While Brussels Sprouts contain fewer proteins than legumes, seeds, or nuts, they are quite high compared to many other leafy vegetables.

Delicious Recipes With Brussels Sprouts

More recipes with Brussels Sprouts.

19. Avocados

Avocados: 2g of protein per 100g

Avocados don’t contain a lot of protein, but it’s not a negligible quantity either.

So including avocados in your diet or on your protein balls is actually not a bad idea at all, plus you’ll get all the healthy fat, vitamins, and micronutrients (such as Zinc) from the vegetable.

Delicious Recipes With Avocados

More Recipes with Avocados.

20. Protein Powder

Protein Powder: 30-70g of protein per 100g

I know protein powder is (mostly) not a wholesome ingredient, but it’s such a high-protein ingredient and it’s so convenient that it can’t be overlooked!

Plus you can always get healthy and lightly refined options, such as peanut-based protein powder.

Delicious Recipes With Protein Powder

More Recipes With Protein Powder.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are 4 proteins that vegetarians can eat?

The 4 best proteins for vegetarians are hemp seeds, almond flour, peanut butter, and almond butter. It’s good to add edamame, eggs, or chickpeas for complete proteins.

Do vegetarians struggle to get protein?

Not at all! In fact, most vegetarians and vegans understand nutrition much better and therefore tend to take enough proteins while some non-vegetarians might be lacking some macronutrients.

What food is 100% protein?

There’s no (natural) food in the world that is made only from protein. In fact, even beef which is heralded as the default and best protein source only contains 26 grams per 100g.

What are essential amino acids?

Out of the 21 amino acids needed by the human body, 9 cannot be made by our organs, the rest can be synthesized.
These 9 amino acids are called essential amino acids and are Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine.

Conclusion

Whether you are on a vegan or vegetarian diet, there are many protein-rich foods that you can use to boost your protein intake.

And by knowing which ones are complete vegetarian or vegan protein sources, you can make sure you have all the amino acids your body needs.

Carine Claudepierre

About The Author

Carine Claudepierre

Hi, I'm Carine, the food blogger, author, recipe developer, published author of a cookbook, and founder of Sweet As Honey.

I'm passionate about sharing easy, tasty recipes that are both delicious and healthy

Cooking and Baking is my true passion. In fact, I only share a small portion of my recipes on Sweetashoney. Most of them are eaten by my husband and my two kids before I have time to take any pictures!

Browse all my recipes with my Recipe Index.

I hope that you too find the recipes you love on Sweetashoney!

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The recipes, instructions, and articles on this website should not be taken or used as medical advice. You must consult with your doctor before starting on a keto or low-carb diet. The nutritional data provided on Sweetashoney is to be used as indicative only. The nutrition data is calculated using WP Recipe Maker. Net Carbs is calculated by removing the fiber and some sweeteners from the total Carbohydrates. As an example, a recipe with 10 grams of Carbs per 100 grams that contains 3 grams of erythritol and 5 grams of fiber will have a net carbs content of 2 grams. Some sweeteners are excluded because they are not metabolized. You should always calculate the nutritional data yourself instead of relying on Sweetashoney's data. Sweetashoney and its recipes and articles are not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose, or treat any disease. Sweetashoney cannot be liable for adverse reactions or any other outcome resulting from the use of recipes or advice found on the Website.

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