List Of High Protein Foods For Vegetarians To Add To Your Diet Plan!



Published on: 14-Jun-2024


10 min read




Lalita Vishwakarma


List Of High Protein Foods For Vegetarians To Add To Your Diet Plan!

List Of High Protein Foods For Vegetarians To Add To Your Diet Plan!

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Hello readers! For vegetarians seeking a vibrant and active lifestyle, protein can sometimes feel like the missing puzzle piece. While a common misconception, building a strong and healthy body as a vegetarian is absolutely achievable!

Protein is highly important for muscle health, immunity, and regulation of bodily functions. Everything from hair to nails to cells is composed of proteins. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for the average adult is 0.8 grams/kilogram of body weight, but when you lack this much protein in your diet, you experience issues like muscle loss, stunted growth, hair discolouration, fatigue, and weakness.

For vegetarians, the key lies in exploring the diverse range of plant-based protein options. This is exactly what we are going to explore in this blog on high-protein foods for vegetarians! Each option boasts a unique nutrient profile, making them perfect for mixing and matching to create delicious and protein-packed meals. Keep reading to discover it all!

Table of Contents

  1. Best Food Sources With High Protein For Vegetarians

  2. List Of Top Vegetarian Protein Sources

  3. Dietitian’s Recommendation

  4. The Final Say 

  5. FAQs 

  6. References 

Best Food Sources With High Protein For Vegetarians

Proteins are one of the main macronutrients essential for building and maintaining the body's muscle mass. They also play a major role in regulating different bodily functions, such as providing structural support, working as hormones and enzymes, and acting as the initiator of cellular function. Here are some of the best sources of protein:

Also Read: Protein And Fibre Rich Foods For Weight Loss

1. Legumes (Beans, Lentils, Chickpeas)

When looking for high-protein foods for vegetarians, legumes are considered the top-priority food. These include beans, lentils, and chickpeas, which are rich in protein content and contain almost all essential amino acids, making them excellent protein sources for vegetarians. They also provide fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Although the protein in legumes is high-quality, it may be lower in certain amino acids like methionine.

  • Protein Content of Beans: 21g in 100 g

  • Protein Content of Lentils: 9g in 100 g

  • Protein Content of Chickpeas: 19g in 100 g

1. Tofu and Tempeh

Next on the list of high-protein vegetarian foods include tofu and tempeh. Both are soy-based products that are highly rich in protein and can be used as substitutes for meat in various dishes. Tofu is generally prepared by coagulating soy milk and pressing the resulting curds into blocks, while tempeh is made by fermenting soybeans. Both are complete protein sources, containing all essential amino acids properly. 

  • Protein content of Tofu: 8g per 100g

  • Protein content of Tempeh: 18 g per 100 g

Also Read: Top 6 Protein Foods And Their Health Benefits

3. Quinoa

It is a pseudo-cereal grain, a complete protein source containing all nine essential amino acids. It is also rich in vitamins, fibre and minerals, making it a nutritious addition to a vegetarian diet.

  • Protein content of Quinoa: 14-18g in 100 g

4. Nuts and Seeds

Another high-protein food for vegetarians includes nuts and seeds. These include almonds, walnuts, peanuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds, which are excellent sources of protein, healthy fats, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. While they may not contain all essential amino acids in the same proportions as animal-based proteins, they can still contribute significantly to protein intake.

  • Protein content in almonds: 21g in 100 g

  • Protein content in walnuts: 15g in 100 g

  • Protein content in chia seeds: 17g in 100 g

5. Dairy Products

For lacto-vegetarians, dairy products like Greek yoghurt, cheese, and milk are rich in protein, particularly whey and casein proteins found in milk. These dairy products also provide calcium and other nutrients essential for bone health.

  • Protein content in milk: 3.4g in 100 g

  • Protein content in curd: 11 g in 100 g

Also Read: 10 Quick High-Protein Recipes You Must Try

List Of Top Vegetarian Protein Sources

Here are some of the top protein-rich foods for vegetarians, along with approximate protein content per serving:

Food Item

Serving Size

Protein (grams)

Black Beans

1 cup cooked


Greek Yogurt

1 cup



1 cup cooked


Cottage Cheese

1/2 cup


Hemp Seeds

3 tablespoons


Chia Seeds

2 tablespoons


Peanut Butter

2 tablespoons


Soy Milk

1 cup


Green Peas

1 cup cooked



1 cup cooked



3 ounces


Mung Beans

1 cup cooked


Pumpkin Seeds

1/4 cup


Sunflower Seeds

1/4 cup



2 tablespoons



1 cup cooked



1 cup cooked


Also Read: Protein Diet Plan For Weight Loss And Get Results

Dietitian’s Recommendation

As a dietitian, I recommend that vegetarians include a variety of protein-rich foods to meet their nutritional needs. Eating a mix of plant-based proteins like legumes, tofu, tempeh, and quinoa is essential to get a full range of amino acids. Adding nuts, seeds, and dairy products such as Greek yoghurt and cheese also helps boost protein intake and essential nutrients. 

Dt. Aditi Upadhyay

The Final Say

There are many high-protein vegetarian foods to choose from. Legumes like lentils and chickpeas, soy-based products such as tofu, and grains like quinoa provide ample protein. Nuts, seeds, dairy products like Greek yoghurt, and alternatives like peanut butter also offer protein. With these options, vegetarians can easily get the protein they need for a healthy diet.


1. What are the protein sources for vegetarians?

For vegetarians, foods like legumes, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, nuts, seeds, and dairy products like Greek yoghurt and cheese are great options. These foods provide a good mix of amino acids and help maintain overall health.

2. Why is protein important for us?

Protein plays a key role in maintaining your health:

  • It regulates your blood sugar level.

  • It is essential for building muscles.

  • It regulates the bodily functions.

3. What are the high-protein foods for non-vegetarians?

Some good sources of protein for non-vegetarians are:

  • Eggs 

  • Fish 

  • Red meat


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