10 High Protein Vegetables
Protein is important for many body parts, from your hair to muscles, and is crucial in keeping the structure of your body healthy. You may know that legumes, dairy, meat, poultry and seafood are protein sources, but did you know that some vegetables are also packed with protein?
While not all vegetables with protein have a comparable amount of protein to the foods mentioned, they are nevertheless the cornerstone of any healthy eating pattern. They are rich in essential nutrients your body needs to function at its best. Here we look at what vegetables are high in protein and what other nutrients they bring to the table. Some of the foods on this list may surprise you.
High-Protein Vegetables, Ranked from Highest to Lowest Protein:
1 cup: 8.6 g protein
Peas are a super versatile vegetable that is surprisingly packed with protein. It is also a good source of fiber, with 35% of the daily recommendation per cup. Add peas to your favorite pasta, stir-fry or soup tonight for a nutrition and protein boost.
1 cup: 5.2 g protein
Along with being the second highest protein vegetable on this list, spinach has a lot going for it. It is full of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin K and vitamin C, which support a healthy immune system, protect vision, promote healthy blood flow and more. This ranking refers to cooked spinach, so make it pantry-friendly by trying one of our recipes that start with a bag of frozen spinach.
1 cup: 4.8 g protein
Like many other vegetables on this list, artichokes are packed with protein, fiber and many other nutrients. Artichoke is a flavorful, earthy vegetable that deserves a spot on your plate. Enjoy canned or fresh artichokes with these easy preparation tips.
1 cup: 4.7 g protein
Contrary to what some may think, sweet corn is a nutritious food with impressive health benefits. Similar to green peas, it is a good source of fiber (12% of the RDA per cup) which helps keep you full and satisfied, especially when paired with protein. Keep some in your freezer to throw together some of our favorite easy corn recipes.
1 cup: 4.6 g protein
There are so many reasons to enjoy avocados, from managing weight to boosting your heart health. Along with protein, avocados are a good source of potassium and fiber. While we love a classic avocado toast, there are many ways to enjoy this high-protein vegetable that are not in toast form.
1 cup: 4.3 g protein
Asparagus is a high-protein, low-carb vegetable with a number of nutritional benefits. It is a great source of folate and vitamin A, which are important for cell growth, vision and healthy skin. Plus, you can enjoy the benefits in the form of Garlic-Parmesan Asparagus—need we say more?
1 cup: 4 g protein
Brussels sprouts pair fiber and protein with several vitamins and nutrients to keep you feeling full and nourished. Not to mention, they have health benefits ranging from keeping you mentally sharp to fighting cancer and lowering blood pressure. With 4 g of protein present in every cup uncooked, enjoy them roasted with garlic and Parmesan.
1 cup: 4 g protein
Mushroom's meaty flavor sets it apart from other vegetables. Not only are they earthy and flavorful, but these fungi also contain more protein than several vegetables—One cup of cooked mushrooms provides about 4 g of protein! Moreover, mushrooms are packed with B vitamins, and for those mushrooms grown under UV light, vitamin D, which is a nutrient that many people are not getting enough of. Check out our Healthy Mushroom Recipes for meal ideas.
1 cup: 3.5 g protein
Kale gained a reputation of being a nutrient powerhouse, and its impressive nutrition profile backs up the claims. It is full of antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients that help stave off chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer. To savor this highly nutritious veggie that provides nearly 4 g of protein per one cup serving cooked, add it to soups and salads, make kale chips or try one of our delicious kale recipes.
1 cup: 3 g protein
Potatoes have a bad rep for being a high-carb vegetable. In reality, though, they are a good source of several nutrients—one cup (160g) of cooked potato boasts 20% of your daily needs for potassium and 25% of your vitamin C needs. They are also a filling option for a starchy vegetable, offering three g of protein per serving cooked. Check out our tips for turning a baked potato into a healthy and delicious meal.