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28 Vegetarian Sources Of Protein That Will Keep You Feeling Full And Satisfied

No meat, no problem.

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Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

A little context: The USDA recommends that women between the ages of 19 and 30 on a 2,000 calorie-per-day diet eat 46 grams of protein a day, and for men of the same age, 56 grams protein per day. A table of exactly how much protein you need for your age and body can be found here.

Keep in mind that not all proteins are created equal. It will take a larger amount of leafy greens than, say, beans to make you feel full. But i you're looking for a few extra grams here or there along with the vitamins and nutrients that veggies provide, consider getting even more involved with the ones on this list!

1. Chickpeas

Protein per cup: 16 gramsProtein per ounce: 6 grams Chickpeas are a great food that you can add to meals to keep you feeling full. If you don't like them as they are, try hummus — or put them in a a salad with this recipe for roasted chickpea and avocado salad!
Mizina / Getty Images

Protein per cup: 16 grams

Protein per ounce: 6 grams

Chickpeas are a great food that you can add to meals to keep you feeling full. If you don't like them as they are, try hummus — or put them in a a salad with this recipe for roasted chickpea and avocado salad!

2. Kale

Protein per 2 cups raw kale: 1 gramKale. You love it, you hate it, but gosh darn it, kale is good for ya! Looking for a recipe? Try this kale and quinoa bowl.
Yinyang / Getty Images

Protein per 2 cups raw kale: 1 gram

Kale. You love it, you hate it, but gosh darn it, kale is good for ya! Looking for a recipe? Try this kale and quinoa bowl.

3. Quinoa

Protein per cup of cooked quinoa: 8.14 gramsProtein per ounce: 3 gramsQuinoa, in all of its colors, gives you 8 grams of protein per cup. Not bad! Start out with a quinoa bowl at lunchtime or kick it up a notch with any of these recipes at dinner.
Id-art / Getty Images

Protein per cup of cooked quinoa: 8.14 grams

Protein per ounce: 3 grams

Quinoa, in all of its colors, gives you 8 grams of protein per cup. Not bad! Start out with a quinoa bowl at lunchtime or kick it up a notch with any of these recipes at dinner.

4. Broccoli

Protein per cup of raw broccoli: 2.57 gramsProtein per bunch: 17 gramsGood ol' broccoli can be prepared in a variety of ways — raw, roasted, sautéed, in casseroles or salads — but why not go all in with an outrageous recipe for broccoli tots?
Pinkomelet / Getty Images

Protein per cup of raw broccoli: 2.57 grams

Protein per bunch: 17 grams

Good ol' broccoli can be prepared in a variety of ways — raw, roasted, sautéed, in casseroles or salads — but why not go all in with an outrageous recipe for broccoli tots?

5. Chia Seeds

Protein per cup dry: 38 gramsProtein per tablespoon: 2 gramsAh, chia seeds. Did you know that the stuff you played with as a kid when you made your first Chia Pet is actually jam-packed with vitamins and minerals? Well, it is! Sprinkle them in your yogurt, salads, or test out chia seed pudding sometime for breakfast!
Pinkomelet / Getty Images

Protein per cup dry: 38 grams

Protein per tablespoon: 2 grams

Ah, chia seeds. Did you know that the stuff you played with as a kid when you made your first Chia Pet is actually jam-packed with vitamins and minerals? Well, it is! Sprinkle them in your yogurt, salads, or test out chia seed pudding sometime for breakfast!

6. Hemp Seeds

Protein per tablespoon: 11 gramsHemp seeds have a mild flavor, so they can be easily added to any salad, pestos, soups, and pretty much any savory dish — or your morning smoothies!
4kodiak / Getty Images

Protein per tablespoon: 11 grams

Hemp seeds have a mild flavor, so they can be easily added to any salad, pestos, soups, and pretty much any savory dish — or your morning smoothies!

7. Spinach

Protein per cup raw: ~1 gramProtein per tablespoon: 1 gramAyye, this wasn't Popeye's favorite food for no reason! Use it in your salads to feel full longer, blend it in smoothies, juice it, or put it in virtually any meal.
Max2611 / Getty Images

Protein per cup raw: ~1 gram

Protein per tablespoon: 1 gram

Ayye, this wasn't Popeye's favorite food for no reason! Use it in your salads to feel full longer, blend it in smoothies, juice it, or put it in virtually any meal.

8. Rice

Protein per cup of cooked white rice : 4 gramsProtein per cup of cooked brown rice: 5 gramsIs there a person in this world who doesn't like rice? I'd like to meet them. Because I'd tell them that they're missing out on so much: sushi, rice bowls, risotto, and so many other delicious foods across the world!
Sanapadh / Getty Images

Protein per cup of cooked white rice : 4 grams

Protein per cup of cooked brown rice: 5 grams

Is there a person in this world who doesn't like rice? I'd like to meet them. Because I'd tell them that they're missing out on so much: sushi, rice bowls, risotto, and so many other delicious foods across the world!

9. Avocado

Protein per cup, pureed: 4.6 gramsProtein per cup, cubed: 3 gramsYes, avocado toast is a bit played out...but there's so much else to do with these guys! Bake them, fry them, make pudding, or use it as a replacement for butter and cream in your favorite recipes.
Nata_vkusidey / Getty Images

Protein per cup, pureed: 4.6 grams

Protein per cup, cubed: 3 grams

Yes, avocado toast is a bit played out...but there's so much else to do with these guys! Bake them, fry them, make pudding, or use it as a replacement for butter and cream in your favorite recipes.

10. Lentils

Protein per cup cooked: 17 gramsProtein per cup raw: 47 grams Protein per ounce: 7 gramsJust one cup of lentils will provide you with 37% of the USDA recommended protein intake, so you might as well start learning how to use them in soups, hummus, burgers, and to make your own dal!
Cookelma / Getty Images

Protein per cup cooked: 17 grams

Protein per cup raw: 47 grams

Protein per ounce: 7 grams

Just one cup of lentils will provide you with 37% of the USDA recommended protein intake, so you might as well start learning how to use them in soups, hummus, burgers, and to make your own dal!

11. Tempeh

Protein per cup cooked: 30 gramsProtein per ounce: 5 gramsThis fermented food is super filling, with 30 grams of protein per cup, and it's my personal favorite meat replacement. It's tasty! See why with any of these recipes or see what the other side eats with this vegan BLT.
Amalliaeka / Getty Images

Protein per cup cooked: 30 grams

Protein per ounce: 5 grams

This fermented food is super filling, with 30 grams of protein per cup, and it's my personal favorite meat replacement. It's tasty! See why with any of these recipes or see what the other side eats with this vegan BLT.

12. Split Peas

Protein per cup: 16 gramsProtein per ounce: 6 gramsSplit peas — whether you go for green or yellow — pack a punch with a whopping 16 grams of protein per cup. Try recipe #2 in our roundup of slow cooker soups to get into the split-pea soup game this winter.
Thefurnaceroom / Getty Images

Protein per cup: 16 grams

Protein per ounce: 6 grams

Split peas — whether you go for green or yellow — pack a punch with a whopping 16 grams of protein per cup. Try recipe #2 in our roundup of slow cooker soups to get into the split-pea soup game this winter.

13. Sesame Seeds

Protein per cup: 25 gramsProtein per tablespoon: 2 gramsNOT that you'd ever eat an entire cup of sesame seeds in one sitting, but that could totally happen with tahini or hummus, let's be honest. Sprinkle these guys on anything and everything and learn how to make your own tahini!
Zkruger / Getty Images

Protein per cup: 25 grams

Protein per tablespoon: 2 grams

NOT that you'd ever eat an entire cup of sesame seeds in one sitting, but that could totally happen with tahini or hummus, let's be honest. Sprinkle these guys on anything and everything and learn how to make your own tahini!

14. Cauliflower

Protein per cup raw: 2 gramsYes, of course you can eat the regular white cauliflower, too. But why wouldn't you want to try the green fractal-y goodness that is the Romanesco cauliflower? Regardless of the style you choose, you've got a lot of options these days: fritters, buffalo bites, fried rice, tacos, hash browns... Go crazy, or, you know, just eat them plain.
Barmalini / Getty Images

Protein per cup raw: 2 grams

Yes, of course you can eat the regular white cauliflower, too. But why wouldn't you want to try the green fractal-y goodness that is the Romanesco cauliflower? Regardless of the style you choose, you've got a lot of options these days: fritters, buffalo bites, fried rice, tacos, hash browns... Go crazy, or, you know, just eat them plain.

15. Alternative Nondairy Milks

Protein per cup of soy milk: 4 gramsProtein per cup of almond milk: 5 gramsProtein per cup of coconut milk: 5.5 gramsProtein per cup of hemp milk: 5 gramsAlternative milks — made from nuts, coconuts, etc. — often can add a lot of protein to your meal. Just sub in any of these with your regular milk of choice, and voilà!
Hdesert / Getty Images

Protein per cup of soy milk: 4 grams

Protein per cup of almond milk: 5 grams

Protein per cup of coconut milk: 5.5 grams

Protein per cup of hemp milk: 5 grams

Alternative milks — made from nuts, coconuts, etc. — often can add a lot of protein to your meal. Just sub in any of these with your regular milk of choice, and voilà!

16. Edamame

Protein per cup: 9 gramsEnjoy them steamed and with salt, or mix it up with a new recipe!
Biitli / Getty Images

Protein per cup: 9 grams

Enjoy them steamed and with salt, or mix it up with a new recipe!

17. Black-Eyed Peas

Protein per cup: 12 gramsProtein per ounce: 6 gramsLooking for a recipe? Try this Nepali recipe for potatoes with black-eyed peas and bamboo shoots here.
Traveler1116 / Getty Images

Protein per cup: 12 grams

Protein per ounce: 6 grams

Looking for a recipe? Try this Nepali recipe for potatoes with black-eyed peas and bamboo shoots here.

18. Arugula

Protein per cup raw: 1 gramOne cup of the peppery lettuce that's often called rocket equals 1 gram of protein — just another reason to eat your salad!
Ivannag82 / Getty Images

Protein per cup raw: 1 gram

One cup of the peppery lettuce that's often called rocket equals 1 gram of protein — just another reason to eat your salad!

19. Cashews

Protein per cup: 22 gramsCashews are one of my favorite sources to make fake cheese from, but there's so much more you can do with them: cashew milks, soups, ice cream, or just eat them as a snack — you can't go wrong!
Dopam / Getty Images

Protein per cup: 22 grams

Cashews are one of my favorite sources to make fake cheese from, but there's so much more you can do with them: cashew milks, soups, ice cream, or just eat them as a snack — you can't go wrong!

20. Pepitas

Protein per cup: 36 gramsAKA pumpkin seeds. So tasty! You can put them on anything, or eat them alone!
Wmaster890 / Getty Images

Protein per cup: 36 grams

AKA pumpkin seeds. So tasty! You can put them on anything, or eat them alone!

21. Seitan

Protein per cup: 63 gramsThis common meat substitute and protein powerhouse can be used as a replacement for meat in almost anything. It's made from wheat gluten, but you'd never know by the taste.
H3k27 / Getty Images

Protein per cup: 63 grams

This common meat substitute and protein powerhouse can be used as a replacement for meat in almost anything. It's made from wheat gluten, but you'd never know by the taste.

22. String Beans

Protein per cup: 2 gramsThese guys give a bonus of 4 grams of dietary fiber for each cup, and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Try them with almonds to start!
Oasistrek / Getty Images

Protein per cup: 2 grams

These guys give a bonus of 4 grams of dietary fiber for each cup, and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Try them with almonds to start!

23. Almonds

Protein per cup: 30 gramsProtein per tablespoon: 2 gramsAlmonds are the perfect midday snack to keep your energy up! Eat them on their own, add them into trail mix, or make them into cheese, milk, or almond butter.
Selkus / Getty Images

Protein per cup: 30 grams

Protein per tablespoon: 2 grams

Almonds are the perfect midday snack to keep your energy up! Eat them on their own, add them into trail mix, or make them into cheese, milk, or almond butter.

24. Asparagus

Protein per cup cooked: 4 gramsThe vegetable that'll turn your pee green will also fill you up with protein. Lean into this with asparagus soup, salads, sides, and pretty much anything else you can think of here.
Fcafotodigital / Getty Images

Protein per cup cooked: 4 grams

The vegetable that'll turn your pee green will also fill you up with protein. Lean into this with asparagus soup, salads, sides, and pretty much anything else you can think of here.

25. Sunflower Seeds

Protein per cup raw: 30 gramsProtein per tablespoon: 2 gramsRaw sunflower seeds have 2 grams of protein per tablespoon and are great to snack on, put in granolas, and make nut butter from.
Diana Taliun / Getty Images

Protein per cup raw: 30 grams

Protein per tablespoon: 2 grams

Raw sunflower seeds have 2 grams of protein per tablespoon and are great to snack on, put in granolas, and make nut butter from.

26. Cucumbers

Protein per cup: 1 gramStop using cucumbers for your beauty regimen and alcoholic drinks and start taking advantage of their nutrition! Spiralize them, pickle them, use them in salads! Whatever your heart desires, really.
Glazunov_e / Getty Images

Protein per cup: 1 gram

Stop using cucumbers for your beauty regimen and alcoholic drinks and start taking advantage of their nutrition! Spiralize them, pickle them, use them in salads! Whatever your heart desires, really.

27. Tofu

Protein per cup: 16 gramsProtein per ounce: 2 gramsAh, tofu. You're skeptical, but you know it doesn't have to look like plain white cubes, right? Dive into the world of tofu here.
Aga7ta / Getty Images

Protein per cup: 16 grams

Protein per ounce: 2 grams

Ah, tofu. You're skeptical, but you know it doesn't have to look like plain white cubes, right? Dive into the world of tofu here.

28. Beans

Protein per cup of cooked black beans: 15 gramsProtein per cup of cooked kidney beans: 15 gramsProtein per cup of cooked pinto beans: 12 gramsProtein per cup of cooked fava beans: 13 gramsGood ol' beans — these guys get an A+ in keeping you full and satisfied. Try a black bean and chickpea salad, or even making your own spreads, dips, and black bean veggie burger. See, you're a pro already!All information sourced from the USDA. Now you'll never have to ask a vegetarian where they get their protein from again!
Smarina / Getty Images

Protein per cup of cooked black beans: 15 grams

Protein per cup of cooked kidney beans: 15 grams

Protein per cup of cooked pinto beans: 12 grams

Protein per cup of cooked fava beans: 13 grams

Good ol' beans — these guys get an A+ in keeping you full and satisfied. Try a black bean and chickpea salad, or even making your own spreads, dips, and black bean veggie burger. See, you're a pro already!

All information sourced from the USDA. Now you'll never have to ask a vegetarian where they get their protein from again!

UPDATE

Some entries have been updated with the most recent protein counts made available by the USDA.

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