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

    No meat, no problem.

    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 if 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

    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!

    2. Kale

    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 kale chips.

    3. Quinoa

    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 this Southwestern quinoa salad at dinner. You can even make quinoa crackers!

    4. Broccoli

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    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 soups or salads — but why not go all in with an outrageous recipe for broccoli tots?

    5. Chia Seeds

    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 oatmeal sometime for breakfast.

    6. Hemp Seeds

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    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

    7. Spinach

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    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

    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

    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

    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! Try these lentil nuggets or lentil meatballs, too!

    11. Tempeh

    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! It makes a great vegan bacon, taco salad, and there's even a recipe for a General Tso's tempeh.

    12. Split Peas

    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 them in a soup or add them to your mac & cheese!

    13. Sesame Seeds

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    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

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    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: steaks, fritters, wings, fried rice, tacos, soup, hash browns... eat them whole or, you know, just eat them plain.

    15. Alternative Nondairy Milks

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    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

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    Protein per cup: 9 grams

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

    17. Black-Eyed Peas

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    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

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    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

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    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, cheese, soups, ice cream, butters, or just eat them as a snack — you can't go wrong!

    20. Pepitas

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    Protein per cup: 36 grams

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

    21. Seitan

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    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 — and thus not gluten-free — but you'd never know from the taste.

    22. String Beans

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    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

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    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

    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.

    25. Sunflower Seeds

    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

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    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

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    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

    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.