15 Surprising Vegan Sources of Protein

Vegan salad

It may be believed that it’s difficult to eat an adequate amount of protein on a vegan diet, which eliminates all animal products. That includes meat, which is the most commonly known source of protein. But these 15 foods are surprisingly great sources of protein and are all vegan!


Oats pack protein and energy-feeding complex carbohydrates. They’re great for breakfast (oatmeal), dairy-free alternatives to milk (oat milk), and for baked goods (oat flour). A batch of oatmeal raisin cookies, anyone?

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are easy to add to smoothies, salads, dressings, and can even be made into pudding. So a punch of protein is simple with these small seeds.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is an inactivated yeast that’s a protein-rich way to add a dairy-free cheesy flavor to dishes.


Tahini is made from ground up sesame seeds and has an abundance of healthy fats and protein. Use it in salad dressings or homemade hummus!


The mild flavor of spinach and its protein content lets you sneak nutrients into things like smoothies and soups. Spinach is also the perfect green for a simple salad!

Whole Grain Pasta

You may think whole grain pasta is just a complex carbohydrate that provides energy, but whole grain pasta also provides protein, plus fiber for a rounded out meal.


Broccoli provides protein without the fat, so roast some with other veggies and serve them over quinoa!


Edamame are green soybeans that are protein and fiber rich. Boil them for a healthy snack or add them to your salad for some texture!


The mighty lentil is a great way to add substance and protein to your cooking. Perfect for soups and stews, lentils not only provide protein, but also iron and zinc.


Potatoes aren’t just good for french fries, they’re a protein powerhouse, also full of vitamin C and potassium. So go on and have a baked potato topped with a load of veggies!


This legume, also known as garbanzo beans, are little wonders of protein and fiber. They can be tossed in salads, stews, and chilis or blended up into hummus for carrot stick dipping!

Wheat Berries

These little whole wheat kernels pack a punch of fiber, protein, and iron. With a slight nutty flavor and wonderful chewy texture, wheat berries are perfect cooked and added to salads.

Brussels Sprouts

Love them or hate them, brussels sprouts are a source of protein and can be delicious roasted with apples and cranberries or tossed in a salad.


Tempeh, tofu’s fermented cousin with a little more texture, is a fantastic source of plant-based protein. Great as a meat alternative in dishes, try marinating and grilling, baking or pan-frying for some extra yummy caramelization.

Sunflower Seeds

These little seeds are great for snacking and for protein! Add them to your homemade granola or snack bars, or sprinkle them on your salad for extra fiber and vitamins.

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