what vegan food is high in protein

What Vegan Food is High in Protein? Discover Nutritious Options

Hello and welcome to our guide to vegan protein sources. If you’re a vegan, you might be wondering what vegan food is high in protein. It’s a common misconception that only animal products contain protein. However, there are plenty of plant-based protein sources that can be incorporated into a vegan diet.

Protein is essential for maintaining and repairing tissues in the body. It’s especially important for building and repairing muscle tissue. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you’re consuming enough protein, whether you’re a vegan or not.

Luckily, there are many vegan protein sources that are both nutritious and delicious. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best plant-based protein sources and provide tips on how to incorporate them into your diet.

The Benefits of a High Protein Vegan Diet

A high protein vegan diet can offer numerous health benefits, including improved muscle growth and recovery, increased energy levels, and a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Protein is essential for overall health as it plays a crucial role in building and repairing tissues, producing enzymes and hormones, and maintaining healthy bones and muscles. Vegan protein options are equally important to ensure a balanced and healthy diet, especially for those following a plant-based lifestyle.

There are several vegan protein options that provide an excellent source of protein. Legumes and beans, nuts and seeds, grains and pseudo-grains, tofu and tempeh, and plant-based protein powders and supplements are all excellent vegan protein sources. By incorporating these into a balanced diet, vegans can easily meet their daily protein requirements.

Furthermore, a high protein vegan diet can support weight loss, as protein helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer. This means you are less likely to overeat and consume unnecessary calories throughout the day. Additionally, plant-based protein sources tend to be lower in calories and fat than animal proteins, which can help with weight management and overall health.

The Benefits of a High Protein Vegan Diet:

  • Improved muscle growth and recovery
  • Increased energy levels
  • Reduced risk of chronic diseases
  • Essential for overall health
  • Supports weight loss

“A well-planned vegan diet can easily meet protein requirements.”

It’s important to note that when increasing protein intake, it’s essential to consume adequate amounts of other nutrients as well.

Overall, a high protein vegan diet can offer a wealth of health benefits. By incorporating a variety of plant-based protein sources into your meals, you can ensure you are getting the nutrients you need to stay healthy and thrive.

Legumes and Beans for Vegan Protein

Legumes and beans are excellent sources of protein for vegans and vegetarians. They are also high in fibre, which helps to keep you feeling full for longer. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours, making them a versatile addition to any meal. Here are some examples of legumes and beans that are great sources of protein:

Type of Bean/LegumeProtein Content per 100g
Black Beans8g
Kidney Beans7.3g
Green Peas5g

Incorporating legumes and beans into your diet is easy. You can add them to soups, stews, curries, and salads. You can also use them to make dips, spreads, and burgers. Here is a simple and tasty recipe for chickpea curry:

Chickpea Curry

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot, heat some oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the curry powder and stir well.
  3. Add the chickpeas, coconut milk, and vegetable broth. Stir well and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve over rice or with naan bread.

Legumes and beans are an important part of a balanced vegan diet. They are not only great sources of protein, but also high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Experiment with different varieties and find your favourites!

Nuts and Seeds for Vegan Protein

Nuts and seeds are not only delicious but also provide a healthy dose of vegan protein. They are also packed with essential nutrients, healthy fats, and fiber that make them a great addition to a high protein vegan diet. Here are some examples of nuts and seeds that you can add to your meals:

Nut/SeedProtein Content (per 28g)
Chia Seeds4g
Hemp Seeds9g
Sunflower Seeds6g

These nuts and seeds can be added to smoothies, salads, or oatmeal to give a protein boost to your meals. They can also be roasted and eaten as snacks.

Tip: When buying nuts and seeds, look for unsalted and unroasted varieties to avoid added salt and oils.

“Nuts and seeds are not only delicious but also provide a healthy dose of vegan protein.”

Seed Butters as Vegan Protein Sources

Seed butters such as almond butter, cashew butter, and sunflower seed butter are also great vegan protein sources. They can be used as spreads on toast or rice cakes, or added to smoothies for extra creaminess and protein.

Tip: Look for seed butters without added sugars or oils to keep them healthy.

Plant-Based Protein Powders and Supplements

One of the easiest ways to increase your protein intake on a vegan diet is by using plant-based protein powders and supplements. They are a convenient way to add extra protein to smoothies, shakes, and other recipes.

Some popular plant-based protein powders include:

Type of PowderProtein Content per Serving
Pea Protein20-25g
Brown Rice Protein20-24g
Soy Protein20-25g
Hemp Protein10-15g

It’s important to choose a protein powder that is organic, non-GMO, and free from artificial sweeteners and other additives. You can also look for powders that are fortified with additional vitamins and minerals.

Tip: Some plant-based protein powders can be gritty or have a strong taste, so it’s important to experiment with different brands and flavors until you find one that you like.

In addition to protein powders, there are also a variety of supplements that can help boost your protein intake. Some popular options include:

  • Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) – These are essential amino acids that can help support muscle growth and repair.
  • Creatine – This is a naturally occurring compound that can help improve muscle strength and endurance.
  • Omega-3 supplements – These can help support overall health and may also help reduce inflammation in the body.

As with any supplement, it’s important to talk to your doctor before adding them to your routine. They can help you determine whether or not a supplement is right for you and what dosage you should take.

Meat Substitutes for Vegan Protein

For those who crave a more traditional meat-like texture and flavour in their meals, meat substitutes are a great option as vegan protein sources. Not only can they provide a familiar taste and texture, but many meat substitutes are also high in protein and can help meet daily dietary requirements.


Tofurky is a popular brand that provides meatless options for sausages, deli slices, and even roasts for holiday meals. Made of a combination of wheat protein and tofu, Tofurky products typically contain 25-30 grams of protein per serving.


Tempeh is a fermented soybean product that originated in Indonesia. It has a nutty flavour and is often used as a meat substitute in stir-fries, sandwiches, and salads. One 3-ounce serving of tempeh contains around 16 grams of protein, making it a great addition to a high protein vegan diet.


Also known as wheat meat or wheat protein, seitan is made from wheat gluten and has a chewy texture similar to meat. It can be used in place of chicken or beef in many recipes and contains around 25 grams of protein per serving.

When using meat substitutes as vegan protein sources, it’s important to read labels carefully and choose those that are low in added sugars and fats. Experimenting with different brands and varieties can help find the best options for taste and nutrition.

Tofu and Tempeh for Vegan Protein

Tofu and tempeh are two popular vegan protein sources that are versatile, nutritious, and tasty. Both foods are made from soybeans and are widely used in vegan cooking to replace meat and dairy products.


Tofu, sometimes called bean curd, is a popular vegan protein source that is rich in iron, calcium, and other essential nutrients. It is made by coagulating soymilk and pressing the curds into blocks, which can then be sliced, marinated, grilled, or used in a variety of dishes. Tofu has a mild flavour and a firm texture, which makes it a versatile ingredient in many vegan recipes.

Type of TofuDescriptionProtein Content per 100g
Soft tofuHigh water content, creamy texture, ideal for blending and cooking8g
Firm tofuDense texture, holds its shape well, ideal for frying and grilling12g
Extra firm tofuVery dense texture, holds its shape even better than firm tofu, ideal for stir-fries and salads13g

Some popular ways to use tofu include:

  • Adding it to stir-fries and soups
  • Blending it to make creamy sauces and dips
  • Grilling or baking it for a crispy texture
  • Replacing eggs in vegan baking


Tempeh is another popular vegan protein source that is made by fermenting cooked soybeans with a specific type of fungus. This process leads to the formation of a firm block of protein that has a nutty flavour and a chewy texture. Tempeh is high in protein, fibre, and other essential nutrients, making it an excellent addition to a vegan diet.

Type of TempehDescriptionProtein Content per 100g
Original tempehMade only with soybeans, has a nutty flavour, and is the most traditional variety of tempeh19g
Mixed grain tempehMade with a blend of grains and soybeans, has a milder flavour and a lighter texture15g
Flavoured tempehMarinated in various spices and seasonings, has a unique taste and is ready to eat as-is or used in recipesVaries

Some popular ways to use tempeh include:

  • Adding it to sandwiches and wraps
  • Slicing it and grilling or baking it in a marinade
  • Crumbling it and using it as a substitute for ground meat
  • Adding it to soups and stews

Tip: To enhance the flavour of tofu and tempeh, try marinating them in a mixture of your favourite spices, herbs, and sauces for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Grains and Pseudo-grains for Vegan Protein

Grains and pseudo-grains can be an important source of vegan protein. Pseudo-grains are seeds that are consumed like grains, but botanically differ from grains. These types of foods offer a range of nutritional benefits, including plant protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Here are some examples:

FoodProtein Content (per 100g)
Brown Rice2-3g
Wild Rice6-7g

These foods can be used in a variety of recipes, including salads, stir-fries, and stews. Pseudo-grains can also be used to make porridge or added to baking recipes.

Brown rice, for instance, can be mixed with beans to create a complete protein source, while quinoa can be used instead of rice in dishes, adding a complete protein source to your meal. Buckwheat can be used to make pancakes, and wild rice can be used to make a hearty salad.


Grains and pseudo-grains can be a nutritional powerhouse for a vegan diet, offering a range of health benefits, including plant protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. Incorporating these into your meals can be a simple and delicious way to boost your protein intake.

Combining Foods for Optimal Protein Intake

While there are many vegan protein sources available, it is important to combine them in the right way to ensure optimal protein intake. This is because many vegan protein sources are incomplete, meaning they do not contain all the essential amino acids necessary for the body to function properly.

By combining different vegan protein sources, you can create complete protein sources that contain all the essential amino acids. Some popular combinations include:

Vegan Protein SourceComplementary Food
Legumes/BeansWhole grains, seeds
Tofu/TempehWhole grains, seeds

By combining vegan protein sources in this way, you can create complete protein sources that are easily absorbed by the body. This is important for maintaining muscle mass and supporting bodily functions.

It is important to note that the protein combining theory has been challenged in recent years, and it is now believed that as long as you consume a variety of vegan protein sources throughout the day, you can still meet your protein requirements.

Vegan Protein Meal Ideas and Recipes

Looking for some delicious and nutritious vegan protein meal ideas? Look no further! Here are some recipe ideas to help you get the protein you need on a plant-based diet.


Start your day off right with a protein-packed breakfast. Try making a tofu scramble with veggies and some whole grain toast on the side. Or, make some vegan protein pancakes using a mixture of oat flour and vegan protein powder. Top them with some fresh fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup for a sweet and satisfying meal.


For a quick and easy lunch, make a vegan protein-packed salad by combining leafy greens with quinoa, chickpeas, and roasted veggies. Top it off with some avocado and a homemade vinaigrette for a delicious and filling meal.


For a satisfying dinner, try making a vegan lentil shepherd’s pie. Layer cooked lentils, mashed sweet potatoes, and veggies in a baking dish and bake until golden and bubbly. Or, try a vegan protein power bowl by combining quinoa, roasted veggies, and tempeh or tofu. Drizzle with a homemade peanut sauce for a flavourful and filling meal.


Don’t forget to snack on some vegan protein sources throughout the day. Try making some roasted chickpeas or edamame for a crunchy and protein-rich snack. Or, make some homemade protein balls by mixing together vegan protein powder, nut butter, and dates for a sweet and satisfying snack.

With these delicious vegan protein meal ideas and recipes, you’ll never have to worry about getting enough protein on a plant-based diet. Enjoy!

FAQs on Vegan Protein Sources

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding vegan protein sources:

What are some good sources of vegan protein?

There are plenty of vegan protein sources, including legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, grains, and meat substitutes like tofu and tempeh. Plant-based protein powders and supplements can also be used to increase protein intake.

How much protein do I need on a vegan diet?

Protein requirements vary depending on age, gender, weight, and activity level. However, the recommended daily intake is about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For someone who weighs 68kg, this would be around 54g of protein per day.

Can you get enough protein on a vegan diet?

Yes, it is possible to get enough protein on a vegan diet. By incorporating a variety of vegan protein sources and keeping track of protein intake, it is easy to meet the recommended daily intake of protein.

Do I need to eat complete proteins at every meal?

No, it is not necessary to eat complete proteins at every meal. The body can combine incomplete proteins throughout the day to create complete proteins.

What are some plant-based sources of complete proteins?

Plant-based sources of complete proteins include quinoa, soy, and buckwheat. Combining complementary proteins, such as rice and beans, can also create a complete protein source.

Are vegan protein powders and supplements necessary?

No, vegan protein powders and supplements are not necessary if enough protein is consumed through a well-rounded diet. However, they can be a convenient way to increase protein intake for those who struggle to meet their daily requirements.

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