Top 10 High-Protein Plant-Based Superfoods You Need

Need to up your protein intake on a plant-based diet? Discover these top 10 high-protein superfoods for a nutrient-packed boost.

You might think that finding high-protein plant-based superfoods is a daunting task, but fear not, because we've got you covered.

These ten superfoods will not only boost your protein intake but also provide a plethora of essential nutrients.

So, if you're looking to elevate your plant-based diet to the next level, you definitely don't want to miss out on discovering these nutrient powerhouses.

Key Takeaways

  1. Quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, hemp seeds, chia seeds, tofu, tempeh, edamame, black beans, and green peas are all excellent sources of plant-based protein.
  2. These high-protein foods are not only rich in protein but also provide essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  3. Incorporating these plant-based superfoods into your diet can help meet your protein needs, especially for those following vegan or vegetarian diets.
  4. Including these foods in your meals can offer various health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and promoting a healthy gut.


Quinoa provides a substantial amount of protein, approximately 8-9g per cooked cup (185g), making it a complete source of this essential nutrient. This makes quinoa one of the good sources of plant protein, especially for individuals following a vegetarian or vegan diet.

It's one of the few plant-based foods considered to be complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids the body needs. With its high amounts of protein, quinoa stands out as a nutritional powerhouse, also rich in magnesium and fiber.

This plant protein source offers versatility in the kitchen, being adaptable to various recipes such as salads, soups, or as a side dish. Due to its impressive nutritional profile, quinoa is a valuable addition to a balanced and protein-rich diet.

Whether you're looking to increase your protein intake from plant-based sources or simply seeking a complete protein source to meet your nutritional requirements, quinoa is an excellent choice to consider.


Lentils, like quinoa, offer a substantial amount of protein, with approximately 18g per cooked cup (198g), making them an excellent addition to a high-protein plant-based diet. When considering lentils, it's essential to understand their place in a well-rounded, high-protein plant-based diet. Here's why they should be on your radar:

  • Nutrient Powerhouse: Lentils are rich in B vitamins, iron, folate, and antioxidants, providing a significant nutritional punch to your meals.
  • *Vegan Protein Source*: For those following a vegan diet, lentils are a crucial source of high-quality protein, ensuring that essential amino acids are part of your diet.
  • Health Benefits: Beyond their protein content, lentils are high in fiber, promoting a healthy gut, and have been associated with reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, excess body weight, and certain cancers.

Lentils are incredibly versatile and can be added to a variety of dishes, from stews and curries to salads or rice. With their impressive protein content and numerous health benefits, lentils are an indispensable component of a balanced plant-based diet.


Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a highly versatile and nutritious legume that can be a valuable addition to a high-protein plant-based diet. They're excellent sources of protein, making them ideal for vegan diets and for those looking for high-protein plant-based options. Just one cup of chickpeas provides around 15 grams (g) of protein, making them a significant source of this essential nutrient.

In addition to being protein-rich, chickpeas are also a good source of fiber, iron, and other essential nutrients, contributing to overall health and well-being. These legumes can be incorporated into various dishes, including stews, curries, salads, and soups, offering a delicious and nutritious way to boost your protein intake.

Furthermore, chickpeas can be roasted in the oven for a crunchy snack or mashed into a protein-rich hummus, offering a wide range of culinary possibilities. Whether you're following a plant-based diet or simply looking to add more protein sources to your meals, chickpeas are an excellent choice for promoting health and meeting your nutritional needs.

Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are a highly nutritious and versatile plant-based superfood that can be a valuable addition to a high-protein diet. When it comes to protein content, hemp seeds are a powerhouse, containing 9g of protein per 3-tablespoon (30g) serving. Not only are they high in protein, but they also pack a punch of essential amino acids, making them a crucial component for those following a vegan diet or looking to up their protein intake with plant-based sources.

Moreover, hemp seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for overall health. They also boast a plethora of essential minerals, including magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc, and selenium. These seeds offer a range of potential health benefits, from reducing inflammation to alleviating symptoms of menopause and certain skin conditions.

Their versatility makes them an easy addition to various dishes, from smoothies and salads to yogurt and beyond. If you're looking to incorporate more high-protein, plant-based foods into your diet, hemp seeds are an excellent choice.


Looking to add more plant-based protein to your diet? Tofu is a great option to consider.

Not only is it rich in essential amino acids, but it also provides a good amount of calcium and iron.

Whether you're looking for a meat substitute or a versatile ingredient for your recipes, tofu has you covered.

Tofu Nutrition

Tofu is a versatile and protein-rich plant-based food that can be easily incorporated into various meals as a meat substitute. When considering tofu nutrition, it's important to note that it contains about 9g of protein per 3 ounces, making it an excellent source of protein for those on a plant-based or vegan diet.

Additionally, tofu is an excellent source of essential amino acids, which are vital for various bodily functions. As a soy product, it's one of the higher protein foods within the plant-based category. Its flexibility in preparation allows for varied protein content, further enhancing its appeal as a protein source.

Moreover, tofu also contains good levels of calcium and iron, making it a well-rounded addition to a balanced diet.

Tofu Recipe Ideas

With its versatility as a meat substitute and rich protein content, tofu can be incorporated into a myriad of recipes and cooking methods, making it a valuable ingredient for those seeking high-protein plant-based meal options.

Tofu, a high-protein plant-based superfood, contains approximately 10-20g of protein per 3.5oz or 100g, making it an excellent addition to a vegan diet.

When it comes to recipe ideas, tofu can be marinated, grilled, baked, or stir-fried to create delicious dishes. It's also a great addition to salads, sandwiches, and wraps for a protein boost.

Consider using tofu in stir-fries, curries, soups, or even as a filling for tacos and burritos. Tofu scramble, tofu stir-fry, and tofu Buddha bowls are also popular and nutritious meal options.


A rich source of probiotics, B vitamins, magnesium, and phosphorus, tempeh is a high-protein, fermented soy product that offers a nutty flavor and firm texture. When considering plant-based diets, tempeh emerges as one of the best sources of plant-based protein, providing about 18g of protein per 3.5oz or 100g serving. This makes it an essential component for both vegan and vegetarian diets, ensuring an adequate intake of protein and essential amino acids.

Tempeh's versatility allows it to be utilized as a meat substitute in various dishes such as stir-fries, sandwiches, salads, and wraps, making it an ideal addition for those seeking to boost their protein intake. Additionally, its rich nutritional profile, including probiotics and B vitamins, further enhances its appeal for individuals looking to maintain a balanced and wholesome plant-based diet.

Incorporating tempeh into your meals can't only increase your protein intake but also introduce a range of beneficial nutrients to support your overall health and well-being.


An excellent addition to your plant-based diet, edamame is a high-protein superfood known for its rich nutritional content and versatility in various culinary applications. These green soybeans are a powerhouse of essential amino acids, making them a valuable protein source for vegetarians and vegans. In just a 3.5oz or 100g serving, edamame provides approximately 12-20g of protein, along with generous amounts of folate, vitamin K, and fiber. Incorporating edamame into your meals not only boosts the protein content but also enhances the overall nutritional value with good levels of calcium and iron. This versatile legume can be used as a meat substitute or added to salads, stir-fries, and pasta dishes, offering a healthy and flavorful option for those following a plant-based diet.

NutrientAmount Per 100g
Vitamin KRich

Edamame's soy protein content and health benefits make it a top choice among health-conscious individuals looking to increase their protein intake through plant-based foods.

Chia Seeds

Derived from the Salvia hispanica plant native to Mexico and Guatemala, chia seeds are a nutrient-dense superfood known for their high protein and fiber content.

When it comes to protein, chia seeds are a top choice, offering 5g of protein per ounce. They're also rich in essential amino acids, making them an excellent plant-based source of protein for vegans and vegetarians.

Additionally, chia seeds boast an impressive 10g of fiber per ounce, promoting digestive health and providing a feeling of fullness.

These tiny seeds are packed with essential nutrients, including iron, calcium, selenium, and magnesium, making them a powerhouse of nutrition. Furthermore, chia seeds are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds, contributing to overall health and well-being.

Incorporating chia seeds into your diet is effortless; you can add them to smoothies, yogurts, or puddings for a nutritious boost.

With their impressive protein and fiber content, chia seeds are undoubtedly a valuable addition to any health-conscious individual's diet.

Black Beans

Black beans, a versatile and nutrient-dense legume, are a high-protein plant-based superfood providing about 15g of protein per cooked cup (170g). They're a crucial addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet, delivering essential amino acids necessary for overall health.

Not only do black beans offer a substantial amount of protein per cup, but they also contain complex carbohydrates and fiber, making them an excellent choice for those seeking extra protein and aiming for weight loss. Incorporating these beans into your meals can aid in managing blood sugar, lowering cholesterol levels, and reducing belly fat.

Their versatility allows them to be included in various dishes, from soups to salads, adding a protein punch to your meal. Moreover, the nutrients present in black beans contribute to promoting a healthy gut and reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

For those looking for a vegan protein source, black beans are an indispensable addition to your diet.

Green Peas

If you're looking for a high-protein plant-based superfood, green peas are an excellent choice. Not only do they provide nearly 9g of protein per cooked cup (160g), but they're also rich in fiber, thiamine, folate, and various vitamins and minerals.

When it comes to nutritional benefits, cooking ideas, and health benefits, green peas have a lot to offer.

Nutritional Benefits

Green peas provide nearly 9g of protein per cooked cup (160g). They are also rich in fiber, thiamine, folate, manganese, vitamins C and K, as well as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and B vitamins.

Including green peas in your diet can contribute to getting enough protein and meeting your daily protein requirements. They're a great source of protein, particularly for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet. Moreover, green peas contain all nine essential amino acids, making them comparable to animal protein sources. This makes them an excellent choice to ensure you're getting much protein and the necessary vitamins and minerals.

Their versatility also makes them a top vegan ingredient, suitable for a wide range of dishes from salads to soups and beyond.

Cooking Ideas

Incorporating green peas into your meals as a high-protein addition can enhance the nutritional value and flavor profile of a variety of dishes.

Green peas, containing nearly 9g of protein per cooked cup, are a versatile ingredient that can be added to salads, soups, curries, rice dishes, and stir-fries.

You can blend cooked green peas with herbs and spices to create a flavorful dip or spread for sandwiches and wraps, or add them to pasta dishes or grain bowls to increase the protein content.

Their high fiber content, along with essential nutrients such as thiamine, folate, manganese, and vitamins C and K, makes them an excellent choice for enhancing the overall nutritional value of your meals.

Additionally, green peas are a good source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and B vitamins, making them an ideal ingredient for side dishes and main courses.

Health Benefits

Boost your diet with the health benefits of green peas, a high-protein plant-based food packed with essential nutrients. Incorporating green peas into your diet offers a myriad of health benefits, such as:

  • Lowering the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure due to their high fiber and low-fat content. Green peas contain heart-healthy phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory properties, promoting cardiovascular health. The high potassium content in green peas contributes to lower blood pressure and reduced risk of stroke.
  • Strengthening the immune system and supporting overall health. The rich array of vitamins and minerals in green peas, including vitamins C and K, iron, and zinc, help fortify the immune system and support optimal health.

Including green peas in your diet, especially for individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets, provides a substantial protein per serving and promotes overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Highest Protein Plant-Based Food?

The highest protein plant-based food is seitan, with 25g of protein per 3.5oz serving. It resembles meat and is a versatile ingredient. Other high-protein options include tofu, tempeh, lentils, and beans, providing essential nutrients for a balanced diet.

Which Superfood Is High in Protein?

High-protein superfoods like seitan, tofu, tempeh, edamame, lentils, and various beans are excellent plant-based sources. They offer 8-25g of protein per serving, making them a nutritious addition to your diet.

What Are the Top 10 Protein Foods?

You need a variety of high-protein plant-based superfoods. Seitan, tofu, tempeh, edamame, lentils, and beans are excellent options. Nutritional yeast is also a complete source of plant protein and contains vitamin B12 when fortified.

Which Edible Plant Has Maximum Protein?

Edamame stands out as a top contender for the highest protein content among edible plants, offering around 18g of protein per cooked cup. It's also a rich source of iron, calcium, and essential amino acids.

Genie H
Genie H

I'm Genie Ho, your go-to dietitian and wellness advocate. Step into my digital haven where health and vitality take center stage. As a dedicated foodie with a passion for nourishing the body and soul, I'm here to empower you on your journey to wellness. From embracing wholesome ingredients to fostering positive habits, let's navigate the path to a healthier, happier you together. With a finger on the pulse of the latest research and insights, my mission is to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to thrive. Welcome to a world where wellness reigns supreme!