vegetarian protein sources: 5 best sources of quality protein if you're vegetarian

Vegetarian Protein Sources: 5 Best Sources of Quality Protein

No meat, no problem. Say hello to these exciting protein sources!

If you’re a vegetarian, you might be concerned about whether you’re consuming enough quality protein. And you will not be alone

There is a significant shift to low-meat or vegetarian diets all across the world.

According to a recent study, around 44 percent of consumers in Germany follow a low-meat diet.


In the United States, 6 percent of US consumers follow a vegan diet, representing an increase from just 1% in 2014.

As a vegetarian, you have a plethora of sources to get your protein needs. The myth that you need to eat meat to get your proteins is completely false.

The primary benefit of proteins is repairing and building of muscle tissues. In the production of enzymes, hormones, and different chemicals, proteins play an important role. 

Besides helping to construct the main building block of our body’s structure, protein helps to:

Two of the major sources of proteins are animals and plants.

In a recent article, we talked about the differences between plant and animal protein. In this article, we will take a look at some of the vegetarian protein sources.

1. Tofu

The origin of tofu is Soybean, and soybeans are significantly considered as a complete source of protein. 

Research by the Department of Applied Biology, at the University of Perugia by the Faculty of Agriculture, Italy suggests that Tofu is not in any way harmful to health and it is a very good protein source. 

The process of making Tofu is similar to that of cheese. Manufacturers condense soy milk and then make them into different firm shapes. 


People looking to switch from eating meat, enjoy Tofu as an alternative because it can be cooked in different ways – steamed, fried, or even baked sometimes.

Every 100 calories of serving tofu contain 11 grams of protein which is higher than 100 calories of meat which is 8.9 grams.

2. Tempeh

Similar to Tofu, Tempeh is soy-based and a good substitute for meat. To make Tempeh, manufacturers ferment cooked soybeans and once that’s done, they create the mixture into a firm, dense-like block 

Tempeh, however, does have an important difference compared to Tofu, in that: it holds a better shape and is firmer than Tofu

This means that it’s easier to cut into different sizes and slabs for servings on any other occasion whether it’s small chunks on a salad or for a grill party or just to stir fry.

A cup of tempeh has around 30 grams of protein, making it a really good protein replacement for vegetarians. It also contains good fat, calcium, and iron.

3. Quinoa

It is one of the most popular healthy food in the world. Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein, and is one of the few plant foods that contain enough of all nine essential amino acids. 

Quinoa is also rich in fiber, vitamin B, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin E, and various beneficial antioxidants.


As per the University of Chile study by the Faculty of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, in a single serving of one cup of cooked Quinoa which is approximately 185g, there are 8g of proteins.

Related: 5 Easy-To-Make and Healthy Breakfast for Vegetarians

4. Lentils

I love lentils. From legume family, Lentils are edible seeds. They are well known for their lens shape and are sold with or without intact outer shells. 

Lentils consist of over 25 percent protein, which makes it an excellent quality protein source for vegetarians. 

They are also a great source of iron, a mineral that is sometimes missing from a vegetarian diet as per the Food Science and Technology Program Beijing University

There are 12g of protein per serving of lentils. Lentils are easy and quick to cook, and relatively affordable compared to red meat.


Related: Eating Fast Digesting Protein Foods Matter. Here’s Why.

5. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are one of the vegetarian protein sources which have stood the test of time. They are known as garbanzo beans, belong to the legume family.

Chickpeas are high in protein and perfectly replace meat in vegetarian and vegan diets including soup

They contain a medium number of calories as per self-nutrition data progress. There are 3g of protein per single serving which contains 28g in total.