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15 High Protein Vegetables You Should Add to Your Diet

High Protein Vegetables

It’s no secret that the human body needs protein to build muscles and function healthily. Contrary to the popular misconception, dairy products and meat aren’t the only sources of protein. There are plenty of high protein vegetables that can supply your body’s needs even if you are on a vegetarian, vegan or vegan keto diet.

Vegetables contain plant-based proteins that are a nutritious and healthy alternative to meat-based proteins. We’ve prepared a list of the vegetables with the most protein to help you get sufficient amounts from your diet.

Key Takeaways

  • Many vegetables contain plant-based protein. Legumes and soybeans are the vegetables highest in protein, and they are often used as meat substitutes in vegan and vegetarian recipes.
  • Other vegetables that are rich in protein include spinach, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, corn, and kale. Most of these vegetables also contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, making them very healthy meal choices.
  • Protein-rich vegetables are great ingredients to use in salads, soups, stews, and vegetable curries. They can be steamed, grilled, stewed, sauteed, baked, fried, boiled, roasted, or air-fried, and you can eat most of them fresh, as well.

Are Vegetables a Source of Protein?

Meat, eggs and dairy products contain the highest amout of protein per serving. But vegetables, especially legumes and soybeans, can be a good source of protein, as well. Other plant-based protein sources include whole grains, seeds, and nuts.

Vegetables can provide most of the protein your body needs, and many nutritionists advise that plant-based protein can be instrumental for weight loss, maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol, and decreasing the risk of chronic diseases.

Are Legumes Vegetables?

Are Legumes Vegetables

Legumes are acknowledged as vegetables by the USDA Dietary Guidelines. They also contain nutrients typical for the other food groups, which is why they aren’t always counted in the daily vegetable intake recommendations as vegetables. Many legumes are protein-rich vegetables, and it’s a good idea to include them in your diet because of the many vitamins and minerals they contain.

Still, there’s an opposing point of view that doesn’t consider legumes vegetables because they are essentially seeds, whereas vegetables are normally the green leafy parts, flowers, or fruit of plants.

Related: 30 Vegan Breakfast Ideas: Start the Day with a Nutritious Vegan-friendly Meal

15 Healthy Vegetables High in Protein to Include in Your Diet

1. Edamame - 11.54g per 100g


Image by Rasa Malaysia

Edamame is the name for green soybeans. They can be boiled or steamed, and are usually served with a sprinkling of salt as part of the traditional Japanese cuisine. Fresh soybeans contain a number of essential vitamins and minerals. They are also rich in protein and antioxidants. Edamame makes an energizing and nourishing snack.

2. Soybean Sprouts - 8.47g per 100g

Soybean Sprouts

Soybean sprouts are great in salads or stir-fry recipes. Soybeans are one of the ultimate high-protein vegetables, as they contain a lot of protein, whether as fresh green beans or sprouts. While it’s unclear whether soy-based foods promote heart health, soybeans are definitely a good source of plant-based protein.

3. Lentils - 8.38g per 100g


Lentils contain surprisingly high levels of protein, as well as fiber and iron. Because of their meat-like taste, lentils are often used as a meat substitute in vegan dishes.

4. Split Peas - 8.29g per 100g

Split Peas

Image by Billy Parisi

Split peas are dried and peeled peas that are normally used in cooking. Pea soup is usually cooked from split peas, for instance. When dried, they contain more protein per 100g than fresh peas; fresh green peas contain around 5.63g of protein per 100g. Peas help maintain healthy levels of blood sugar.

5. Chickpeas - 8.23g per 100g


Apart form their relatively high protein content, chickpeas also contain polyunsaturated fats, which can help you lower your cholesterol levels. This, in turn, promotes heart health. Chickpeas are the perfect addition to leafy green salads and vegetable stews. In addition, humus, which is much-loved by vegans and vegetarians, is made by cheakpeas.

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Start your Plan with our High Protein sample menu

Looking for an easy way to save time and eat well while following high protein diet? CookUnity’s prepared meal delivery service could be just right for you. There are hundreds of delicious chef-crafted dishes to choose from every week, accommodating a wide range of dietary preferences and needs. All meals are prepared fresh, delivered straight to your door, and ready to eat within minutes. Explore how CookUnity can transform the way you eat.

6. Black Beans - 8.23g per 100g

Black Beans

Image by Pressure Cook Recipes

Black beans are often used in Mexican cuisine - think enchiladas, tacos, black bean burritos or Mexican bean soup. Rich in protein and minerals, black beans are filling and can be delicious in salads when combined with onions, tomatoes, and corn, for instance. They also contain plenty of antioxidants.

7. Lima Beans (Butter Beans) - 7.25g per 100g

Lima Beans

Image by Soulfully Made

Lima beans have a mild, buttery flavor, which is why they are also known as butter beans. They need to be cooked and can be added to stews, mixed with other vegetables in salads, and are even a key ingredient in Valencian paella.

8. Fava Beans - 7.06g per 100g

Fava Beans

Image by The Spruce Eats

Fava beans, or broad beans, are one of the oldest cultivated legumes in the world. A big part of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, they’re a popular ingredient in soups, stews, and salads.

9. Spinach - 7.02g per 100g


Spinach is another protein-rich vegetable with proven health benefits. It's a popular addition to salads and other dishes. Fresh spinach leaves contain vitamins A, C, and K, as well as important minerals like folic acid and iron.

10. Green Peas - 5.42g per 100g

Green Peas

Green peas are one of the most popular spring vegetables. You can eat them fresh or buy frozen green peas if you want to add them to your cooking year-round. Peas combine well with other vegetables and there are numerous ways you can use them in salads. Fresh, cooked, or mashed, peas are simply delicious.

11. Cauliflower - 4.02g per 100g


Cauliflower is another vegetable that is rich in protein and can be a great addition to your diet. Cauliflower is acctually classed as superfood, due to its high micronutrien profile. It's a popular ingredient in cream soups because it can easily be cooked and blended with other vegetables. You can also use cauliflower as a rice and meat substitute (due to its texture) if you're a vegan or on a low-carb dietary regimen, like the Atkins diet.

12. Brussels Sprouts - 3.42g per 100g

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are also protein-rich vegetables that you should consider adding to your diet. You can steam them and eat them separately or use them in casseroles with other vegetables. Steamed Brussels sprouts are also a good addition to salads.

13. Corn - 3.27g per 100g


Sweet corn is often used in Mexican food, as well as being a popular ingredient in various salad recipes and vegetable mixes. Corn is delicious and you can easily use it year round, as it is also sold frozen. Corn on the cob can make a wonderful and healthy snack, too.

14. Kale - 2.92g per 100g


Rich in vitamins C and K, kale has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Often labeled a superfood, kale is really great for a healthy diet. It’s a popular salad ingredient, and because of its hardy leaves, recipes with kale can be prepared in advance.

15. Broccoli - 2.57g per 100g


If you were told to eat broccoli as a kid, it's because there’s a good reason for being healthy food. Broccoli contains high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in addition to being a high-protein vegetable. Broccoli can be steamed, boiled, or fried and combined with a variety of other vegetables. And if you've never had it roasted, you can try Cookunity's Garlic Roasted Broccoli for a change!

Related: Plant-Based Vs. Vegan: Is There a Difference?

If you enjoy predominantly plant-based dishes, take advantage of Cookunity’s vegetarian and vegan meal delivery services anytime! Thoughtfully crafted by expert chefs near you, our vegetable dishes are not only healthy but absolutely delicious!

Explore the most popular Keto meals on CookUnity.

1. Vegan Quinoa and Chickpea Bowl

Nelson Brizuela


This is Chef Nelson's take on the healthy bowls we all know and love. This plant-based salad is packed full of nutrient-dense, fresh ingredients like cucumbers, corn, spinach, beets, chickpeas, and tricolor quinoa. Dress and toss in Chef's delectable chili-lime vinaigrette — it's tangy, zesty, and packs a punch!

2. Mushroom-Lentil Bolognese

Emily Peck


This comforting pasta dish is so full of umami, you won't even miss the meat. Chef Emily makes a rich, plant-based bolognese sauce with a mixture of wild mushroom and red lentils, then serves it over a bed of fresh spinach and Italian Sfoglini organic pasta. To take it to the next level, Chef tops the bolognese with crispy roasted mushrooms and a crunchy walnut-and-herb breadcrumb topping. This dish is so delicious and hearty, it's sure to satisfy vegans and omnivores alike.

3. Quinoa and Caramelized Onion Mujaddara

Lena Elkousy


This is a modern, delectable twist on a traditional Middle Eastern dish, Mujaddara. Chef Lena replaces the traditional white rice with high-protein quinoa and tops it with the traditional caramelized onions. The flavorful grain mix is served with oven roasted-carrots tossed in lemon zest and sweet-tart pomegranate molasses, plus a side of Dukkah, a traditional Egyptian topping made with pistachios, perfectly toasted spices, and sesame seeds. The whole dish is finished with a cool and tangy vegan lemon-cilantro yogurt sauce to tie it all together.

4. Cauliflower Shawarma Quinoa Bowl

Anne Thornton


Indulge in the vibrant flavors of the Middle East with this delectable dish. The cauliflower takes center stage, marinated in a fragrant blend of spices and roasted to perfection, creating a flavorful and tender shawarma. Accompanied by a refreshing quinoa tabbouleh, protein-rich lentils, and tangy pickled shallots, this dish offers a delightful combination of textures and flavors. The sautéed supergreens add a nutritious touch, while the za'atar tahini sauce drizzled over the dish provides a creamy and zesty finish.

5. Falafel-Crusted Artichoke Hearts

Einat Admony


An Italian classic gets a Middle Eastern twist: tender artichoke hearts are coated in a crispy spiced falafel crust. Dipped in a creamy tahini-marinara sauce and paired with tangy Italian-style three bean salad, they make a great balanced meal or afternoon (or a late night, no judging!) snack.

Explore delicious, plant-powered delights! Click here to discover our top picks for a delectable vegan meal delivery at CookUnity

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Start your Plan with our High Protein sample menu

Delicious Ways to Prepare Meals with Vegetables

Ways to Prepare Meals with Vegetables

Image by My Food Book

There are so many ways to enjoy high-protein vegetables! You can focus on one or two favorites or indulge in eating a variety of them - it’s up to you. You can cook a vegetable stew, fry, steam, or roast them. If you want to get a spicier taste, there are some amazing vegetable curry recipes that you can try. Many of the protein-rich vegetables, mentioned in the list above, can be used in cream soups, which can make a delicious and filling meal.

Some vegetables, like cauliflower and broccoli, can be grilled and combined with cheese. If you’re looking for a vegan option, there are delicious recipes that use soybeans or lentils instead of meat in stews, tacos, and even pasta sauces.

Salads are the perfect way to eat more high-protein vegetables. Beans, soybean sprouts, chickpeas, kale, and sweet corn are all amazing salad ingredients. Because they all contain protein, salads with these vegetables will be filling, as well as tasty.

And if you fancy restaurant-quality vegetable dishes, why not try Cookunity’s Vegetables in Spicy Thai Basil Sauce, Middle Eastern Grilled Vegetable and Lentil Bowl or Green Curried Spring Vegetables? Order today your favorite vegetarian meal and we’ll deliver it right to your doorstep!

Related: 15 High Protein Meal Prep Ideas to Achieve Your Nutritional Goals

High Protein Vegetables: FAQs

Q: Can vegetables replace meat protein?

A: Yes, you can replace meat protein with plant-based protein. You can make sure that you receive enough protein by including the right vegetables in your diet, especially legumes and fermented soybeans, which contain the essential for vegans vitamin B12.

Q: What vegetables have more protein than meat?

A: In general, meat contains more protein per serving than vegetables. Soybeans and legumes, however, contain high levels of protein and can be used as meat substitutes. Other high-protein vegetables include spinach, peas, and cauliflower.

Q: How do vegans get protein?

A: Although it can sometimes be difficult to get enough protein as a vegan, vegans can get sufficient plant-based protein by including soy-based products, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds in their diet.

Q: What's the highest protein fruit?

A: Guava is considered the highest protein fruit, containing 2.6g of protein per 100g serving. Passion fruit (granadilla) and avocado are other fruits that contain a good amount of protein.

Q: Which vegetables have the lowest protein?

A: Lettuce and other leafy greens, cabbage, bell peppers, and carrots are all examples of vegetables that are low in protein. Iceberg lettuce, for instance, contains only 0.74g of protein per 100g.

Related: How to Get B12 as a Vegetarian? Tips for a Balanced Diet


Plant-based proteins can be found in a variety of vegetables. Adding them to your diet doesn’t have to be hard - there are numerous ways you can include high-protein vegetables in salads, stews, soups, and more. Most of these vegetables make a filling and delicious alternative to meat dishes, as well. And your health will only benefit from adding them to your meal plan, be it intermittent fasting, or a specific protein or plant-based diet!