The Daily Nutrition

7 Great Meat-Free Protein Sources

When some of you are eating, there may come a time where you don’t desire any meat. That’s perfectly okay. Sometimes you just aren’t in the mood for it.

But you still need to have some kind of protein in your meal. Protein is a major key to any diet.

There are foods out there that will provide you with a good protein punch that is meatless. This can also be particularly helpful for those of you that are vegetarians.

Some of these foods have more protein than the others, some are going to have more protein than some of the meats you might eat. Either way, if you’re looking for a protein that has no meat, look at the foods below.


great meat free protein sources

If you’re a vegetarian then you probably already know about lentils. You can say these fall under the category of beans, but they are slightly different. They provide the nearly all the same benefits as most beans as well.

You’ll get a good helping of B vitamins, folate, and fiber. These are nutrients that’ll help provide you with energy and keep you regular in the bathroom.

Lentils have a distinct flavor that is amazing. You can add them to a lot of different meals, either mixed in or as a side dish.

You’ll get about 18 grams of protein if you eat a cup of lentils. That is a high amount of protein that’ll give you a big boost when your body actually needs it.

When you’re preparing lentils, it’ll be best to hold off on the salt for as long as possible, unless you are a fan of extremely mushy beans.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are tiny black seeds that seem like they would provide you with almost nothing. However, we all know that you should never judge a book by its cover. Not only will you get a major intake of protein, but you’ll also be provided with a lot of fiber and Omega-3s that’ll help boost brain activity as well.

If you happen to be taking a multivitamin as well, you may not need to take them anymore if you choose to have chia seeds regularly. This is because chia seeds have calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

I don’t recommend you getting a spoonful and eating them, but that is a perfectly acceptable way to consume them. You could easily add them to most meals or even your drinks if you want. They aren’t going to change the flavor of anything and, depending on how much you add, they may not even create the crunch you may be expecting to hear.

2 tablespoons of chia seeds will provide about 9.5 grams of protein.


great meat free protein sources

This may be a food that you haven’t even considered trying yet. It’s starting to pick up a lot of steam and gain more and more popularity.

At first sight, quinoa doesn’t look like much at all but it’s great once you cook it.

Because of its lack of an actual taste, you can basically add it to anything. Yes, I actually mean anything. The only difference it’s going to make in your meal is the texture. Even then, the difference isn’t that great. You’ll just be able to feel the quinoa since it doesn’t have a crunch.

It’ll feel like tiny gel balls. Quinoa feels like this because they are able to retain a ton of moisture. You need to cook it in water, like rice so if you don’t feel like having rice, this is an amazing substitute for it.

Not only does quinoa provide you with a lot of protein, it contains all of the amino acids that your body needs, so you can consider it a “complete” protein.

Quinoa will provide you with about 8 grams of protein per cup. So, if you’re looking to get a little more protein in your meals, add quinoa.

Peanut Butter

great meat free protein sources

Peanut butter is a personal favorite of mine. I sit with a jar and take a eat a few spoonfuls at a time every once in awhile. I could live off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches if you let me, but I know that wouldn’t allow me to have the most well-rounded diet. Peanut butter is just delicious.

If you aren’t a regular peanut butter eater, you should be. Don’t let the kids be the only ones that get to enjoy all the fun of this food. Be a kid again and enjoy a classic childhood favorite.

2 tablespoons of peanut butter will provide 8 grams of protein. You’ll also get 2 grams of fiber. Protein and fiber are pertinent to any diet, regardless of what it is.

Something else that peanut butter has that’s great for your body is monounsaturated fats. This helps reduce your cholesterol levels and in turn, helps with your heart health.

Having a food that can give you essential nutrients, while helping your heart, and taste amazing seems like a combination that you shouldn’t miss out on.

Have peanut butter with a sandwich or just eat it straight from the jar. Either way, just make sure you take advantage of the benefits peanut butter provides.

Greek Yogurt

If you’re looking for a food that is low in calories, but high in protein, then you need to start looking at Greek yogurt.

One cup of this creamy snack has up to 29 grams of protein. In case you were wondering, that’s a lot.

Something great about Greek yogurt that you may not have known is that it is great if you need a substitute for mayonnaise or sour cream. When you mix it in with a meal, you won’t be able to tell the difference at all.

You can eat some foods knowing that you aren’t getting the fattiness of mayonnaise or sour cream.

Be careful when choosing Greek yogurts though. Your best option is to go for a non-flavored type of Greek yogurt. When you start to look at the flavored yogurts, you’ll be looking at a ton of sugar that can cause this snack to go from a nice, healthy go to, to a snack that will pile fat onto your body.


great meat free protein sources

You may have had edamame at your an Asian restaurant before. They are typically served as an appetizer. Or you could’ve just had them as a regular snack.

You probably won’t see them in any meals.

They are perfect for mindless snacking when you just want to get a little more food in your system. They are even better because of the amount of protein they can give you.

A cup of edamame will give you about 16 grams of protein.

For something that just seems like peas in a pod, they give you a bunch of protein.

Not only will you get that extra bit of protein, you will also get a good source of fiber, something that many people lack in their everyday diets.

The best way to cook these beans is to keep them in their pods and boil them. Taking them out of their pods first then cooking them could cause them to lose some of their nutrients. You want to get as much as you can out of the edamame, so you should cook them in a way that will provide you with the most.


great meat free protein sources

Eggs are always argued to be good and bad. Good because of the amount of protein they can provide, but bad because some research shows that it can be very bad for your cholesterol.

For the most part, eggs are a healthy option. They are low in calories and full of choline, which is a brain boosting nutrient. Eggs have also been known to increase your body’s HDL levels, which is considered the good type of cholesterol.

The good thing about eggs is that they can be cooked in so many different ways. This allows you to have a wide variety of recipes that you can make. Eggs go great with most foods. Don’t be scared to add them to something you may not have thought about before.

Add them to a regular salad or even a burger for a bit of added taste. You won’t be disappointed. Eggs by themselves can even be a good meal for you.

Protein Without the Meat

Not all protein comes in the form of a juicy steak. It’s important to know what options you have out there since your typical meals may not always be readily available to you.

You never know what situation you might find yourself in, so it’s important to know where you can find protein when you don’t have that chicken breast in your fridge.

Most of these options are ones that can be added to any meal so even if you do have that nice steak on your plate, you can always add a little more protein to help your body out.

Ready to Lose 10-21 lbs in the Next 28 Days?

If you're really serious about losing weight and want to create a new lifestyle for yourself then the 28-Day Weight Loss Challenge is for you.

The Ketogenic Diet has changed our lives. It has turned our bodies from sugar-burners to fat-burners.

We wake up with more energy, less cravings, and a better mood throughout the day.

Our 28-Day Weight Loss Challenge walks you through how to incorporate the Ketogenic Diet into your lifestyle so you no longer have to worry about giving up on diets and gaining back the weight you keep on trying to lose.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Well it isn't and we are happy to teach you all about it with the 28-Day Weight Loss Challenge.

Check Out the 28-Day Weight Loss Challenge Now

Enjoyed 7 Great Meat-Free Protein Sources? Share it with your friends so they to can follow The Daily Nutrition journey.

Share on Pinterest

More Great Content on The Daily Nutrition

Intermittent Fasting: What is it? What Are the Benefits?

Intermittent fasting is a good way to lose weight. However, there are more benefits to it other than losing weight. Here are other intermittent fasting benefits that you need to know.

Acid Reflux Symptoms And What Causes Them To Happen

Acid reflux is what gives you that heartburn feeling. Are there symptoms that lead to acid reflux? What are the causes of acid reflux? Find out here.

8 Signs and Symptoms You Have A Vitamin Deficiency

Vitamin deficiency is a problem that a lot of people may have without knowing it. Here are 8 signs that you have a vitamin deficiency.

Stomach Ulcers: What They Are, Symptoms, and How To Treat Them

If you're wondering if you have a stomach ulcer then you should pay attention to some very telling symptoms. Find out stomach ulcer symptoms here.

Healthy Coffee: 9 Ways to Make and Enjoy Coffee That’s Good For You

Is coffee healthy? Here are 9 ways to make healthy coffee.

13 Signs and Symptoms That You Have an Iron Deficiency

When you're iron deficient, your body isn't going to be right. Here are 13 symptoms of iron deficiency.

7 of the Top Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

Green tea is a popular drink that is extremely healthy for you. Here are 7 benefits of green tea.

7 Hangover Remedies That Are Quick and Simple for Anybody

Having a hangover is never fun. So sometimes we need hangover home remedies. Here are 7 hangover remedies guaranteed to help cure your hangover.

Supplements 101: What is Creatine? What Does Creatine Do?

Creatine is a way for you to gain muscle in a fast way. But what is creatine? What does creatine do? Find out here.

13 Health Benefits of Avocados Everyone Will Enjoy

Avocados are great for anybody. But it's important to know the health benefits of avocados. Here are 13 health benefits of avocados.

8 Vegetarian Keto Recipes Everyone Will Be Able to Enjoy

Vegetarians can have success with the ketogenic diet as well. Here are 8 keto vegetarian recipes that will help you win your journey to ketosis.

The Best Cumin Substitutes for When You Need Them

Cumin is used in tons of recipes worldwide. However, we may not always have cumin when we need it. Here are 6 cumin substitutes for when you need them.

13 Healthy Snacks You Should Keep at Your Desk at Work

The workday can be long and daunting, especially when you want a snack. Here are 13 healthy snacks for work.

How to Cook Quinoa for Anybody That Wants a Healthier Meal

Quinoa is a healthier alternative to rice. Have you ever wondered how to cook quinoa? Find out here.

7 Easy Ways to Tell if Your Gut Health Isn’t Where it Should Be

We may not understand the importance of our gut health. Gut health is going to be the reason our body is functioning as well as it could. Here are 7 reasons our gut health isn't where it should be.

7 Sour Cream Substitutes Everyone Can Use at Any Time

Sour cream might be an acquired taste for some people. Here are 7 sour cream substitutes that anyone can use.

8 Reasons You Should Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss

If you're looking to lose weight, start your days with apps cider vinegar. Here are 8 reasons you should use apple cider vinegar for weight loss.

How Many Calories Should I Eat Per Day to Lose Weight?

To lose weight, you need to watch your calories. How many calories per day should you eat to lose weight? Find out here.

Hydration: How Much Water Should You Drink a Day?

Everyone needs to stay hydrated. How much water should you drink per day? Find the answer here.

8 Different Ways to Make Heavy Whipping Cream at Home

Heavy cream is a key ingredient in a lot of recipes. However, we may not always have heavy cream present. Here are 8 different ways to make heavy cream.