100 Most Protein Rich Vegetarian Foods


Looking for vegan protein?  Check out our High Protein Vegan Foods!


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The American Dietetic Association recommends that healthy individuals consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This number is even higher for athletes: endurance athletes are recommended 1.2 to 1.4 g/kg body weight, whereas resistance and strength-trained athletes may need as much as 1.6 to 1.7 g/kg body weight.

It’s difficult for vegetarians, particularly vegetarian athletes, to get the recommended amount of protein, so I’ve compiled a list of the 100 most protein rich vegetarian foods as shown in the USDA food database. By “protein rich”, I mean they have highest percentage of total calories from protein.

The following table shows the top 10.

















































































































  Food Protein (%) Calories Protein (g) Fat (g) Carbs (g)
1 Cowpeas,Leafy Tips,Ckd,Bld,Drnd,Wo/Salt 84.9% 22 4.67 0.1 2.8
2 Cowpeas,Leafy Tips,Ckd,Bld,Drnd,W/Salt 84.9% 22 4.67 0.1 2.8
3 Egg, White, Raw, Fresh 83.8% 52 10.9 0.17 0.73
4 Cheese, Cottage, Nonfat, Uncrmd, Dry, Lrg Or Sml Curd 81.3% 85 17.27 0.42 1.85
5 Seaweed, Spirulina, Dried 79.3% 290 57.47 7.72 23.9
6 Mori-Nu, Tofu, Silken, Lite Extra Firm 73.7% 38 7 0.7 1
7 Soy Sauce Made From Soy (Tamari) 70.1% 60 10.51 0.1 5.57
8 Cheese, Cottage, Lowfat, 1% Milkfat 68.8% 72 12.39 1.02 2.72
9 Mor-Nu, Tofu, Silken, Lite Firm 68.1% 37 6.3 0.8 1.1
10 Pumpkin Leaves, Raw 66.3% 19 3.15 0.4 2.33


What are “leafy cowpeas”? The cowpea plant, shown above, is a grain legume that produces the semi-popular “blackeye pea”. But it turns out the plant’s leaves are more protein-rich than its bean. There are a couple of recipes out there incorporating cowpea leaves. Trouble is, you’ll probably have to travel abroad to find the stuff.

Click through for the full list of 100 protein-packed veggie wonders!























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































  Food Protein (%) Calories Protein (g) Fat (g) Carbs (g)
1 Cowpeas,Leafy Tips,Ckd,Bld,Drnd,Wo/Salt 84.9% 22 4.67 0.1 2.8
2 Cowpeas,Leafy Tips,Ckd,Bld,Drnd,W/Salt 84.9% 22 4.67 0.1 2.8
3 Egg, White, Raw, Fresh 83.8% 52 10.9 0.17 0.73
4 Cheese, Cottage, Nonfat, Uncrmd, Dry, Lrg Or Sml Curd 81.3% 85 17.27 0.42 1.85
5 Seaweed, Spirulina, Dried 79.3% 290 57.47 7.72 23.9
6 Mori-Nu, Tofu, Silken, Lite Extra Firm 73.7% 38 7 0.7 1
7 Soy Sauce Made From Soy (Tamari) 70.1% 60 10.51 0.1 5.57
8 Cheese, Cottage, Lowfat, 1% Milkfat 68.8% 72 12.39 1.02 2.72
9 Mor-Nu, Tofu, Silken, Lite Firm 68.1% 37 6.3 0.8 1.1
10 Pumpkin Leaves, Raw 66.3% 19 3.15 0.4 2.33
11 Cheese, Cottage, Lowfat, 2% Milkfat 61.1% 90 13.74 1.93 3.63
12 Seitan 61.0% 118 18 1 9
13 Mustard Greens, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/o Salt 60.3% 15 2.26 0.24 2.1
14 Beans, Kidney, Mature Seeds, Sprouted, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/Salt 58.5% 33 4.83 0.58 4.72
15 Beans, Kidney, Mature Seeds, Sprouted, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/o Salt 58.5% 33 4.83 0.58 4.72
16 Beans, Kidney, Mature Seeds, Sprouted, Raw 57.9% 29 4.2 0.5 4.1
17 Broccoli Raab, Raw 57.6% 22 3.17 0.49 2.85
18 Cowpeas,Leafy Tips,Raw 56.6% 29 4.1 0.25 4.82
19 Mushrooms, Raw 56.2% 22 3.09 0.34 3.28
20 Chrysanthemum Leaves, Raw 56.0% 24 3.36 0.56 3.01
21 Mushrooms, White, Stir-Fried 55.1% 26 3.58 0.33 4.04
22 Mori-Nu, Tofu, Silken, Extra Firm 53.8% 55 7.4 1.9 2
23 Mori-Nu, Tofu, Silken, Extra Firm 53.8% 55 7.4 1.9 2
24 Pumpkin Leaves, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/o Salt 51.8% 21 2.72 0.22 3.39
25 Pumpkin, Leaves, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/Salt 51.8% 21 2.72 0.22 3.39
26 Spinach, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/Salt 51.7% 23 2.97 0.26 3.75
27 Spinach, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/o Salt 51.7% 23 2.97 0.26 3.75
28 Squash, Zucchini, Baby, Raw 51.6% 21 2.71 0.4 3.11
29 Bamboo Shoots, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/o Salt 51.0% 12 1.53 0.22 1.92
30 Spinach, Raw 49.7% 23 2.86 0.39 3.63
31 Taro Leaves, Raw 47.4% 42 4.98 0.74 6.7
32 Soy Sauce Made From Soy&Wheat (Shoyu) 47.4% 53 6.28 0.04 7.61
33 Turnip Greens&Turnips, Frozen, Unprep 46.9% 21 2.46 0.19 3.4
34 Tofu, Firm, Prep w/Ca Sulfate&Magnesium Chloride (Nigari) 46.8% 70 8.19 4.17 1.69
35 Mushrooms, Portabella, Grilled 46.7% 35 4.09 0.75 5.08
36 Beans, Mung, Mature Seeds, Sprouted, Cnd, Drained Sol 46.7% 12 1.4 0.06 2.14
37 Broccoli Raab, Cooked 46.4% 33 3.83 0.52 3.12
38 Cabbage, Chinese (Pak-Choi), Raw 46.2% 13 1.5 0.2 2.18
39 Sweet Potato Leaves, Raw 45.7% 35 4 0.3 6.38
40 Taro Leaves, Cooked, Stmd, w/o Salt 45.3% 24 2.72 0.41 4.02
41 Taro, Leaves, Cooked, Stmd, w/Salt 45.3% 24 2.72 0.41 3.89
42 Mori-Nu, Tofu, Silken, Firm 44.5% 62 6.9 2.7 2.4
43 Asparagus, Raw 44.0% 20 2.2 0.12 3.88
44 Asparagus, Cooked, Boiled, Drained 43.6% 22 2.4 0.22 4.11
45 Tofu, Raw, Firm, Prep w/Ca Sulfate 43.5% 145 15.78 8.72 4.28
46 Tofu, Extra Firm, Prep w/Nigari 43.5% 91 9.89 5.83 2
47 Tofu, Soft, Prep w/Ca Sulfate&Magnesium Chloride (Nigari) 43.0% 61 6.55 3.69 1.8
48 Amaranth Leaves, Raw 42.8% 23 2.46 0.33 4.02
49 Broccoli, Leaves, Raw 42.6% 28 2.98 0.35 5.24
50 Tofu, Raw, Reg, Prep w/Ca Sulfate 42.5% 76 8.08 4.78 1.88
51 Lettuce, Butterhead (Incl Boston&Bibb Types), Raw 41.5% 13 1.35 0.22 2.23
52 Mustard Greens, Raw 41.5% 26 2.7 0.2 4.9
53 Arugula, Raw 41.3% 25 2.58 0.66 3.65
54 Yogurt, Plain, Skim Milk, 13 Grams Prot Per 8 Oz 40.9% 56 5.73 0.18 7.68
55 Tofu, Dried-Frozen (Koyadofu), Prep w/Ca Sulfate 40.6% 472 47.94 30.34 12.79
56 Amaranth Leaves, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/Salt 40.2% 21 2.11 0.18 4.11
57 Amaranth Leaves, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/o Salt 40.2% 21 2.11 0.18 4.11
58 Tofu, Dried-Frozen (Koyadofu) 40.0% 480 47.94 30.34 14.56
59 Soybeans, Mature Cooked, Boiled, w/o Salt 38.5% 173 16.64 8.97 9.93
60 Soybeans, Mature Seeds, Cooked, Boiled, w/Salt 38.5% 173 16.64 8.97 9.93
61 Chard, Swiss, Raw 37.9% 19 1.8 0.2 3.74
62 Chard, Swiss, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/Salt 37.6% 20 1.88 0.08 4.13
63 Chard, Swiss, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/o Salt 37.6% 20 1.88 0.08 4.13
64 Coriander (Cilantro) Leaves, Raw 37.0% 23 2.13 0.52 3.67
65 Beans, Navy, Mature Seeds, Sprouted, Raw 36.7% 67 6.15 0.7 13.05
66 ss="col2">Cheese, Parmesan, Hard 36.5% 392 35.75 25.83 3.22
67 Beans, Navy, Mature Seeds, Sprouted, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/Salt 36.3% 78 7.07 0.81 15.01
68 Beans, Navy, Mature Seeds, Sprouted, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/o Salt 36.3% 78 7.07 0.81 15.01
69 Beans, Fava, In Pod, Raw 36.0% 88 7.92 0.73 17.63
70 Soybeans, Green, Raw 35.2% 147 12.95 6.8 11.05
71 Soybeans, Mature Seeds, Dry Rstd 35.1% 451 39.58 21.62 32.72
72 Soybeans, Mature Seeds, Raw 35.1% 416 36.49 19.94 30.16
73 Soybeans, Grn, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/Salt 35.0% 141 12.35 6.4 11.05
74 Soybeans, Grn, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/o Salt 35.0% 141 12.35 6.4 11.05
75 Mori-Nu, Tofu, Silken, Soft 34.9% 55 4.8 2.7 2.9
76 Tofu, Hard, Prep w/Nigari 34.7% 146 12.68 9.99 4.39
77 Soy Milk, Fluid 34.5% 52 4.48 1.92 4.93
78 Beans, Pinto, Mature Seeds, Sprouted, Raw 33.9% 62 5.25 0.9 11.6
79 Beans, Pinto, Mature Seeds, Sprouted, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/Salt 33.8% 22 1.86 0.32 4.1
80 Beans, Pinto, Mature Seeds, Sprouted, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/o Salt 33.8% 22 1.86 0.32 4.1
81 Broccoli, Raw 33.2% 34 2.82 0.37 6.64
82 Broadbeans, Immat Seeds, Raw 31.1% 72 5.6 0.6 11.7
83 Broadbeans, Immat Seeds, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/Salt 31.0% 62 4.8 0.5 10.1
84 Broadbeans, Immat Seeds, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/o Salt 31.0% 62 4.8 0.5 10.1
85 Beans, Kidney, Royal Red, Mature Seeds, Cooked, Boiled w/Salt 30.9% 123 9.49 0.17 21.85
86 Beans, Kidney, Royal Red, Mature Seeds, Cooked, Boiled, w/o Salt 30.9% 123 9.49 0.17 21.85
87 Broadbeans (Fava Bns), Mature Seeds, Cnd 30.8% 71 5.47 0.22 12.41
88 Beans, Kidney, Royal Red, Mature Seeds, Raw 30.8% 329 25.33 0.45 58.33
89 Broadbeans (Fava Beans), Mature Seeds, Raw 30.6% 341 26.12 1.53 58.29
90 Cowpeas,Young Pods W/Seeds,Ckd,Bld,Drnd,Wo/Salt 30.6% 34 2.6 0.3 7
91 Cowpeas,Young Pods W/Seeds,Ckd,Bld,Drnd,W/Salt 30.6% 34 2.6 0.3 7
92 Cowpeas,Young Pods W/Seeds,Raw 30.0% 44 3.3 0.3 9.5
93 Tofu, Salted&Fermented (Fuyu) 28.1% 116 8.15 8 5.15
94 Cowpeas,Common (Blackeyes,Crowder,Southern),Mtre Seeds,Raw 28.0% 336 23.52 1.26 60.03
95 Broccoli, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/o Salt 27.2% 35 2.38 0.41 7.18
96 Kale, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, w/Salt 27.1% 28 1.9 0.4 5.63
97 Kale, Raw 26.4% 50 3.3 0.7 10.01
98 Cheese,Fontina 26.0% 389 25.6 31.14 1.55
99 Cheese,Monterey 26.0% 373 24.48 30.28 0.68
100 Tomatoes,Yellow,Raw 26.0% 15 0.98 0.26 2.98

33 thoughts on “100 Most Protein Rich Vegetarian Foods

  1. Debbie

    Interesting list, but I’d hate to think how much tamari you’d have to consume to get 10 gm of protein. I don’t how much volume would equal 100 gm, but I’m guessing it’s a lot.

    Reply
  2. monica

    Thanks, all! I’m working on a similar list that covers more practical portion sizes (I wouldn’t want to drink that much soy sauce, either!). Stay tuned!

    Reply
  3. Indrani

    Hi. I like the list. Very useful…. One thing i am not so sure about at that is the quantities of each item. How much of any of the items listed must one have in order to get that amount of protein….

    Reply
  4. Tim

    Hi Indrani,

    the list isn’t intended to provide actual amounts of protein for a specific quantity of food so much as it is intended to show relative amounts of protein for foods.

    If you take a 100g measure of any of those it is easy enough to work out how much protein you’d get from the percentage of protein but as M said, 100g of tamari isn’t a realistic serving size.

    This list is intended to get you thinking about all the different foods that are high protein so that you can include more high protein foods in your diet.

    You should check out the list of highest protein beans, that’s done by protein per cup of beans which is a useful serving size.

    Reply
  5. Sally Parrott Ashbrook

    Interesting about the cowpea leaves. I was excited, because I have a bag of cowpeas in my cupboard, until I realized the listing said it was the leaves! My cowpeas were grown in South Carolina (I live in GA and bought them from a regional co-op), and it’s been my understanding (I grew up eating them) that cowpeas were brought to the South by slaves. So they are grown down here, though I’ve never seen any fresh ones to have access to the leaves!

    Reply
  6. ganesh

    hi yaar,
    your doing good. bunch of thanks for the list.

    i need a help from u.i am 19 and of 40kgs. i am soo thin.wat shall i do to increase my weight and my muscle.can u just me some ideas

    Reply
  7. DEEPANKAR DUGGAL

    i got a problem of uricacid so that’s why i wanna know the list of those food items which are not good for me
    and i also have one question that is there any permanent treatement of that diesease
    thanks

    Reply
  8. Saran

    Hi Monica,

    Its a very nice list. Thank you.

    I just have a doubt…
    In the list, one full egg means 10.9 g of protein. Right?

    Similarly, how you should calculate for cowpeas?
    for 4.67 g protein how many gms cowpeas you shd consume?

    Reply
  9. Raj

    HI Monica,

    Your website is great, good info for everybody, I would like to suggest for the weight loss program if you can list out required protein rich foods that would be of great help for fat loss.

    Thanks a lot for the amazing work.

    Reply
  10. Monique

    Great list but what are the portions that contain those particular calories and protein? How many mushrooms? How much tofu, broccoli or cow peas constitute a serving size with those calories and protein?
    That would be a great additional column on the chart.

    Reply
  11. Lz_erk

    THANK you!

    Although morally- and medically-conscious eggs are unfortunately a tall and more expensive order, I like their simplicity. Where does a fried or boiled egg fit into this — still in position #3, or somewhere past #101…?

    I had the time and patience to find an answer to my own question:

    http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/128/10/1716

    In my amateur interpretation of a glance at the results, more of cooked egg protein is assimilated in digestion.

    Reply
  12. Kris

    It would be wonderful to see portion sizes of each item on the list so we can see how
    much we need to consume to
    get the amount of protein. That addition would make this list a lot more helpful. Thanks
    for posting this though.

    Reply
  13. Buzz

    Research shows that cowpeas only contain around 20% proteins, equalling quinoa, but certainly not as high as this table shows.

    Reply
  14. Susan Curry

    I am trying to stay vegetarian moving toward vegan and still get 26 grams of protein each day. I am also gluten intolerant.

    What I need is a list of portion sizes and the amount of protein in grams in that portion size.
    Does anyone know where I can get that?

    Reply
  15. Pingback: 10 Most Protein Rich Foods | Victoria Lam

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