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    11 High-Protein Grains For Anyone Trying To Eat A Bit Healthier (Or Eat Less Meat)

    Packing in the protein is easier than you think.

    Meat isn't the *only* way to get your daily serving of protein. To help you hit your protein goals, here are 11 grains with high protein content — including farro, buckwheat, spelt, and oats — plus cooking instructions and easy and delicious recipes ideas for each.

    1. FARRO (6 grams of protein per cup)

    Wooden bowl of farro
    Photo By Cathy Scola / Getty Images

    Looks a lot like spelt, but it's not! Farro has similar nutrients to quinoa but is heartier, which makes it really good in soups and casseroles. 

    How to Cook Farro

    Bowl of farro

    This is a great post on farro cooking basics. From there you can use it as a side or add it to whatever you want! Some ideas are below.

    Recipe: How to Cook Farro

    Farro & Lentil Salad

    Farro & Lentil

    This is a great option for meal prepping or a super-satisfying work-from-home lunch. Because farro is a bit heartier, it can even hold up to being dressed in advance.

    Recipe: Farro & Lentil Salad | Shop This Recipe

    Maple Cinnamon Breakfast Farro

    Maple cinnamon breakfast farro

    If you're looking for an alternative to oatmeal, here ya go!

    Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Breakfast Farro

    Farro Risotto with Mushrooms and Peas

    Farro risotto with mushrooms and peas

    For this, the recipe writer actually prefers farro to rice in this recipe because farro isn't as finicky.

    Recipe: Farro Risotto with Mushrooms and Peas

    2. KAMUT (9.8 grams of protein per cup)

    Closeup of Kamut
    Douglas Sacha / Getty Images

    Kamut is an old-school version of wheat that existed way before our modern versions. It's got a firm texture, nutty taste, and packs quite a bit of nutrients. It works great as a replacement for rice, but will need extra cooking time. 

    Spicy Kamut and Chickpea Stew

    Spicy Kamut and Chickpea Stew

    This vegan stew is hearty as is, but if you prefer to have meat, the writer suggests swapping out chickpeas for chicken or beef. 

    Recipe: Spicy Kamut and Chickpea Stew 

    One Skillet Creamy Chicken and Kamut Casserole

    One Skillet Creamy Chicken and Kamut Casserole

    The combo of chicken and kamut makes this dish super protein-packed. 

    Recipe: One Skillet Creamy Chicken and Kamut Casserole 

    3. TEFF (9.8 grams of protein per cup)

    Ekaterina Fedotova / Getty Images/500px Plus

    This teeny tiny grain is a staple in Ethiopian food, usually ground into flour for injera (Ethiopian flatbread). It can also be used in baked goods, stews, pilaf, and more. 

    Oat Teff Pancakes

    Oat Teff Pancakes

    The writer grinds whole teff and oats for this recipe, but those of us without a grain mill can just grab bags of teff and oat flour. 

    Recipe: Oat Teff Pancakes I Shop The Recipe

    Fermented Spicy Teff Porridge

    Fermented Spicy Teff Porridge

    If you're feeling adventurous and patient (this calls for a night in the fridge), this porridge is just for you! The writer combines her traditional Ghanaian cooking techniques with this staple Ethiopian grain. 

    Recipe: Fermented Spicy Teff Porridge 

    4. WHOLE WHEAT PASTA (7 grams of protein per cup)

    Full frame shot of whole wheat rotini pasta
    Grace Cary / Getty Images

    Whole wheat pasta meals? Easy peasy. 

    Whole Wheat Roasted Veggie Lasagna

    Whole Wheat Roasted Veggie Lasagna

    This hearty lasagna is packed with nutrients from the veggies and whole wheat pasta, but it can be time-consuming. Cook this one up on the weekend, and enjoy the leftovers on those busy weeknights. 

    Recipe: Whole Wheat Roasted Veggie Lasagna

    5. WILD RICE (6.5 grams of protein per cup)

    Wild rice
    Medianews Group / MediaNews Group via Getty Images

    Wild rice has nearly twice the amount of protein as brown rice, making it a super easy swap from time to time. 

    Kale and Wild Rice Salad

    Kale and wild rice salad

    This salad is full of flavor and will keep you full. The recipe creator suggests cooking the rice in an Instant Pot to save time (if you have one). 

    Recipe: Kale and Wild Rice Salad

    Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice

    Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice

    Creamy, delicious, protein-packed comfort food. 

    Recipe: Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice 

    Wild Rice With Sausage and Mushrooms

    Wild Rice with Sausage and Mushrooms

    This is meant to be served as a side dish or stuffing, but honestly, I'd eat a plate of it for dinner. 

    Recipe: Wild Rice With Sausage and Mushrooms

    6. MILLET (6.1 grams of protein per cup)

    Millet in a spoon above bowl
    Krisanapong Detraphiphat / Getty Images

    Millet cooks quickly because it's so small, and you can make it light and fluffy like rice, or make it creamy like mashed potatoes. Take the extra step of toasting before cooking to bring out more of its flavor. 

    Creamy Millet Porridge

    Creamy Millet Porridge

    Make it overnight in the slow cooker or on the stovetop when you're ready. 

    Recipe: Creamy Millet Porridge 

    Spiced Millet Chickpea Burgers With Preserved Lemon Yoghurt

    Spiced Millet Chickpea Burgers with Preserved Lemon Yoghurt

    Vegetarian or not, these are sure to be delicious. Millet is gluten-free, and this recipe can be made totally GF by swapping out bread crumbs for a gluten-free flour. 

    Recipe: Spiced Millet Chickpea Burgers With Preserved Lemon Yoghurt 

    7. ROLLED OATS (5.9 grams of protein per cup)

    Rolled oats, oat flakes in bowl on wooden table.
    Arx0nt / Getty Images

    Steel-cut or old-fashioned rolled oats are the way to go for maximum nutritional value. 

    Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Bars

    Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Bars

    This recipe comes with a lot of optional modifications so you can accommodate a variety of dietary needs. They can be made dairy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free!

    Recipe: Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Bars 

    Savory Oatmeal With Eggs

    Savory oatmeal with eggs and avocado

    Oatmeal is usually sweetened, but judging by the comments, once you go savory you'll love it!

    Recipe: Savory Oatmeal With Eggs 


    Muesli in a jar on left, in a bowl on right.

    Once you start making your own muesli, you'll pick it over store-bought granola every time!

    Recipe: How to Make Muesli 

    8. CORNMEAL/GRITS (4.4 grams of protein per cup)

    Corn grits in wooden dish with wooden spoon on the wooden rustic table
    Drbouz / Getty Images

    Fun fact: Cornmeal and grits are the same thing ground to different consistencies. 

    Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

    Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

    Spicy, sweet, and savory cornbread is a nice twist to traditional recipes. 

    Recipe: Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

    Shrimp and Grits

    Shrimp and grits

    A classic — and for good reason.

    Recipe: Shrimp and Grits

    Arepas de Queso (Cheese Arepas)

    Arepas de Queso (Cheese Arepas)

    If you searched high and low for pre-cooked cornmeal, check the comments for really good substitutes. Some suggestions are to use masarepa, white hominy, or even grits! 

    Recipe: Arepas de Queso (Cheese Arepas)

    9. BUCKWHEAT (5.7 grams of protein per cup)

    Raw dry buckwheat grain in and around a bowl
    Ekaterina Fedotova / Getty Images/500px Plus

    Buckwheat is completely unrelated to wheat, and it's gluten-free! It has a stronger flavor than other grains so it can be a little polarizing — people often either love it or hate it. 

    Buckwheat Stir-Fry With Kale, Peppers & Artichokes

    Buckwheat Stir Fry with Kale, Peppers & Artichokes

    This 30-minute recipe is highly customizable, so even if you don't have every ingredient, you can probably come up with something delicious with what you have on hand. 

    Also, *roasted* buckwheat is what you want to look for. 

    Recipe: Buckwheat Stir-Fry With Kale, Peppers & Artichokes

    Banana Bread Pancakes With Grilled Maple Rum Bananas

    Banana Bread Pancakes With Grilled Maple Rum Bananas

    If you think the flavor of buckwheat is just a tad too much, you can make it milder by combining it with another flour. 

    RecipeBanana Bread Pancakes With Grilled Maple Rum Bananas | Shop This Recipe

    Soba Noodle Salad 蕎麦サラダ

    Soba noodle salad

    Soba noodles are made from buckwheat as well!

    Recipe: Soba Noodle Salad  蕎麦サラダ

    10. SPELT (10.7 grams of protein per cup)

    Amphotora / Getty Images

    Spelt is similar to wheat, and you can find it in pasta and flour forms. If baking, swap out all-purpose flour for spelt flour (many like it better than using wheat flour). 

    Fluffy Vegan Spelt Rolls

    Fluffy Vegan Spelt Rolls

    Could we have found the vegan, gluten-free replacement for the Cheesecake Factory rolls?! Maybe!

    Recipe: Fluffy Vegan Spelt Rolls

    11. QUINOA (8.1 grams of protein per cup)

    Jar of quinoa
    Anna Quaglia / Getty Images/EyeEm

    It’s an excellent source of protein and gluten-free, and it has been the cool kid on the block for quite a few years now. 

    Breakfast Quinoa

    Breakfast Quinoa

    Quinoa isn't always just a rice substitute. Try it for breakfast!

    Recipe: Breakfast Quinoa

    Tofu Bowl With Quinoa

    Tofu bowl

    This tofu bowl is filling and full of nutrients. 

    Recipe: Tofu Bowl with Quinoa | Shop This Recipe

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