Top 8 Vegetables High in Protein

Protein is an essential part of any diet and vegetables are a great way to get more protein into your diet. This seemingly insignificant nutrient is deceptively hard-working and is vital to every cell, tissue, bone, and muscle in your body. Protein has many different functions and given that is makes up a massive 40% of our bodies’ dry matter, it begins to become clear how significant protein is. Protein is key to the growth and repair of your muscles, bones, ligaments, tissues, and even your hair, skin and nails. It also boosts your immune system and helps your body fight infection. It maintains bodily functions, such as digestion, metabolism and circulation. Here are some of the best protein-packing vegetables available:


Although technically considered fruits and legumes, beans top the list when it comes to protein-rich food sources. Pinto, garbanzo, white, kidney, lima and soy beans are all packed with protein. Per 100g, the average protein content of beans is 9g, but some varieties contain as much as 12g per 100g – making the almighty bean the vegetarian source of protein.


Per serving, asparagus delivers over 3g of protein. This lanky, green vegetable is extremely versatile, as it can be boiled, grilled, steamed or fried.


Excellent in curries and soups and equally appealing eaten mashed or as a steamed side dish; not only is cauliflower versatile and healthy but it contains 3g of protein per serving.

Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts

Tying for fourth place are two more examples of healthy, green vegetables: broccoli and brussels sprouts. Both of these vegetables are protein-rich, low in fat and easily prepared; making them ideal side-dishes.


Artichoke is another vegetable that is high on the list when it comes to protein content. Serving up just under 3g of protein per serving, artichokes are an excellent addition to pasta, salads and soups and provide an earthy, intense flavor.


Tiny yet surprisingly rich in protein, watercress is next on the list. Per 100g serving, watercress delivers almost 3g of protein, which, for its size, renders it an excellent source of the nutrient. Perfect for salads, soups and sandwiches, watercress can easily find its way into your diet.


It might be slightly more calorific than the other vegetables listed here, but sweetcorn also has its benefits: Per serving, it contains almost 3g of protein and is a delicious addition to many popular recipes.


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Posts By Sequoia
  • mark

    How come when one googles “top vegetables high in protein” you get a different list of those highest in protein. If I wanted to stop eating meats how much would I need to meet daily requirements….

  • Elliot G. Perkins

    I would like to become a vegatarian and would like to know how much protein, I need in my diet. My second concern; is I exercise every day does that have a bearing on whether, I should become a vegatarian.

  • Lite

    In response to you both, I just stopped eating meat three months ago, so I’ve been researching this quite a bit. Your body only needs about 50g of protein a day. Because your stomach processes protein, when you make the switch to veggies only, your stomach will growl like crazy and you’ll get some hunger pangs, because you’re not getting the tons and tons of protein a meat-laden Western diet brings, but you’ll get used to it, your stomach will shrink, and it’ll likely make less acid and you’ll rarely feel queasy.

    The reason there’s different vegetables in different top tens or whatnot is protein content based on mass, volume, before/after cooking, raw, dried, et cetera. The main ones to take away from this list are beans, broccoli, and cauliflower. All three are cheap, abundant, and can be made to taste awesome.

    As for working out, you’re going to be burning more calories than if you didn’t, but continue to eat whenever you’re hungry, and you should be fine.

  • Virginia Greenwood-Warner

    Ok, I am a strict vegan and I want a list of vegetables highest in protein with the absolute least carbs. There just doesn’t seem to be one or nobody seems to know. Any ideas where I can obtain this?

  • Jared White

    Great list! I’m always surprised by how much protein is in vegetables! I put together a list of vegetables high in quality protein, with a few different veggies. It’s also good to remember that it’s not that difficult to get all the essential amino acids by eating a variety of food (as your list proves). Thanks!