Experts agree that incorporating lean protein into your meals and distributing your protein intake throughout your day, can increase satiety and maximize your health in various ways, including improving muscle health.


When we think of protein, we most commonly think of meat, and it’s not always easy to incorporate meat into all of your meals. This is where having an understanding of some of the best meatless sources of protein can come in handy.


Read on to see some of the best options that can give you a healthy serving of protein minus the meat, and work on incorporating these foods into your meal whenever possible to boost your protein intake!

Beans & Lentils

Beans area great source of protein, and one of the best things about beans is their versatility: you can use them for anything from soups, dips, and salads to burgers and burritos. While the exact protein content will vary depending on the kind of bean you are eating, some of your best options will be black beans, which contain almost 13 grams of protein per ½ cup, or soybeans like edamame, which contain about 11 grams per ½ cup. Lentils are another great option, with 9 grams per ½ cup serving.

Greek Yogurt

While you can get protein from a lot of dairy, Greek yogurt is one of the best options out there because it gives you the highest protein content with lower sugar, carbs, and calories than many other options. On average, Greek yogurt will have about 10 – 14 grams of protein per ½ cup serving, and it’s an ideal way to get protein in your breakfast or to replace not-so-healthy ingredients, like mayonnaise and sour cream, in some of your favorite lunch and dinner recipes.

Chia Seeds

Of all the meatless protein sources you can choose from, chia seeds may not have the highest protein content, but they contain enough to be considered a substantial source of protein, and they are packed with a ton of other nutrients like fiber, zinc, and magnesium, making them a powerhouse when it comes to health benefits. With about nine grams of protein for every two tablespoons, chia seeds won’t change the flavor of your food and are easy to sprinkle onto any dish that could use a boost of protein.

Nuts and Nut Butters

There is a huge variety to choose from when it comes to nuts, but on average most kinds have about three to seven grams of protein per 1/3 cup. Nuts can be easily incorporated into a lot of your meals, or you can munch on them solo as a snack. Nut butters are also a good source of protein. Peanut butter, a common favorite, has about eight grams of protein per two tablespoon serving. Throw a couple spoons into your morning smoothie or have a bit with some apple slices as a protein packed snack.


We rarely see a strong consensus on the value or importance of eggs in our diet, but one thing that’s not debatable is their protein content. With about six to seven grams per egg, and with recent research suggesting that eggs may actually help boost your good cholesterol in addition to offering up a wealth of other benefits, there’s no reason why eggs shouldn’t be a regular part of your diet, so long as you eat them in moderation.


You might still mix up the pronunciation, but you’ve surely heard of the various health benefits of quinoa by now. In addition to being full of important vitamins and minerals, quinoa is a good source of protein with about eight grams per cup when cooked. It’s also one of the few meatless sources of protein that is actually a complete protein, meaning it gives your body all nine of the essential amino acids it needs. Add some quinoa to your salads or replace some of the common grains in your meals like rice or pasta with quinoa for a more nutritional meal overall.


How do you work protein into your meals? Share with us below or tweet me @tamarahoumi