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November 04, 2019 / Rebecca Jacobs

The Best Sources to Get Protein On a Vegan Diet


The vegan diet is growing in popularity as more people are turning to plant-based eating to support overall health. However, one of the biggest concerns with a vegan diet is getting enough protein. But fear not: with the right food choices and variety, you can get enough vegan protein to support your daily needs of about 0.8 grams per kg of body weight per day.

Using meal planning to your advantage can also be a great hack to make sure you are getting enough protein each day. You can pre-plan your meals, being mindful of how much vegan protein is in each recipe, but more on that later.

Best Sources of Protein on a Vegan Diet

When following a vegan diet, there are various ways to meet your daily protein requirements. While most plant-based foods on their own aren’t considered complete, you can make sure you're getting all the essential amino acids by enjoying a variety of protein-rich plant foods.

Here are some of the best sources of vegan protein to add to your vegan diet.

1. Tofu, Tempeh, Edamame


Tofu, tempeh, and edamame are all soy-based vegan protein sources that are staples in a vegan diet. Tempeh offers 15 grams of vegan protein in a 3-ounce serving. Tofu provides eight grams of protein in a 3.5-ounce serving, and edamame packs more than 18 grams of protein in a one-cup serving. All three of these are ideal sources of vegan protein and can be easily added to a plant-based meal plan.

Try one of these easy meals that include these soy-based vegan foods.

2. Chickpeas


Chickpeas are another great source of vegan protein. They boast 14 grams of protein in just one cup, as well as 12 grams of fiber. Chickpeas can be found in hummus recipes, and you can even find chickpea pasta to use in place of traditional wheat-based pasta for added fiber and protein.

Here are some of our favorite meals that highlight this versatile ingredient.

3. Lentils


One cup of cooked lentils has 9 grams of plant protein. Lentils are also rich in dietary fiber and low in calories and fat, making them a great addition to a balanced vegan diet. Get creative and make a vegan “meat” sauce with lentils, marinara sauce, and garlic, or add them over a salad for a protein boost.

These two savory lentil dishes are easy to make and great to prepare in advance for a busy week ahead:

4. Peanuts


Peanuts are a great way to increase the amount of vegan protein in your diet - and they're cheap! They can be enjoyed in homemade trail mix; as peanut butter on toast; blended into a smoothie; or added to salads and stir-frys as a crunchy topping. In a 3.5-ounce serving of peanuts, you will get close to 26 grams of vegan protein. In two tablespoons of peanut butter, you can pack in seven grams of vegan protein.

Here are some delicious ways to get peanuts into your plant-based diet.

5. Quinoa


Quinoa is one of the few plant-based foods that’s considered a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids. In just one cup of cooked quinoa, you can get eight grams of complete protein. Pair that with some beans or lentils, and you have yourself a protein-rich vegan meal.

Here are some delicious plant-based meals that feature this vegan superfood.

The Takeaway

If you are following a plant-based diet, or plan on going vegan, know that there are many different vegan protein sources available. With a balanced diet and well formulated meal plan, you can easily get your daily protein needs from vegan-friendly foods. One of the best ways to make sure that you are getting enough protein is to meal plan. PlateJoy takes the hassle out of meal planning and provides you with custom weekly vegan meal plans that are protein-rich and nutrient-dense. With your weekly meal plan, you’ll also be provided with a shopping list, which takes the stress out of grocery shopping.

Get started with your customized plant-based meal plan that fits your flavor preferences, and provides all the protein and macronutrients you need to live a healthy vegan lifestyle.

Rebecca Jacobs
Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant @ Holistic Balance Nutrition

Rebecca Jacobs N.C is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant, specializing in digestive and women's health. She takes a holistic approach to wellness, doesn't believe in "dieting," and believes that healthy eating must be delicious. Rebecca is also a recipe developer and creates healthy alternatives to traditionally unhealthy foods.

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