Protein is a valuable source of essential amino acids, which serve as the building blocks for muscles and muscle tissues. However, many of the primary sources of protein come from non-vegetarian diets, including chicken, meat, fish, and eggs.

In this guide, I will share with you the best high protein foods that aren’t meat. You need to know!

Being a Vegetarian how can I Build muscles?

Fulfilling daily protein requirements can be quite challenging for vegetarians.

However, if you consider consuming a variety of high-protein vegetarian foods daily, you can meet your protein requirements. Additionally, putting in some effort at the gym can lead to improved muscle building and maintaining a healthy body weight.

As a vegetarian, you can also achieve your fitness goals. Let’s find out the best high protein foods that aren’t meat.

Let’s get started,

Best High Protein Foods That Aren’t Meat

1. Soya Chunks

High Protein Foods That Aren't Meat - Soya chunks

This is also known as vegetarian meat, as soya chunks provide nutrients similar to non-vegetarian foods.

Soya chunks are complete proteins, containing all the important amino acids. Additionally, soya chunks contain a decent amount of protein and calcium, which aid in muscle building and support stronger bones.

Benefits of Soya Chunks

  1. Helps gain muscles and boosts metabolism
  2. Good for skin and hair and bone health
  3. Helps in weight loss

Also Read: 9 Amazing Ways How to Increase Muscles Mass

2. Roasted Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a great snacking option that provides valuable protein, making them an optimal choice for vegetarians.

Despite having lower-quality protein compared to meat sources, they still offer a substantial protein source.

Boiled chickpeas are another option, but I suggest roasting them after boiling to make them a more delicious and flavorful snack.

A 100-gram serving of chickpeas offers 19 grams of high-quality protein. Doesn’t that make it a great snacking option?

Chickpeas are a healthy food choice as they are fat-free, low in calories, and help to control your appetite.

Benefits of Roasted Chickpeas

  1. Great snacking option
  2. Easy to carry and easy to consume food and also easy to make
  3. Provide a sufficiently good amount of protein

3. Green Gram Dal/Moong Dal

High Protein Foods That Aren't Meat - Green gram dal

Green gram dal, also known as moong dal, is rich in protein and fiber.

The fiber content in gram dal aids in easy digestion.

A 100-gram serving of green moong dal contains 24 grams of protein, making it an excellent choice for vegetarians.

It is also rich in antioxidants and can be consumed in various forms, such as dal or sprouts.

Green gram dal has a low glycemic index, which helps in controlling blood sugar levels.

Benefits of Green Gram Dal/Moong Dal

  1. Provides enough protein
  2. Helps in weight loss
  3. Ease indigestion
  4. Control blood sugar levels

Related Read: Twenty Most Important Foods That Burn Fat Like Crazy

4. Cheese/Paneer

High Protein Foods That Aren't Meat - A bowl of cottage cheese

Another popular high-protein food that is not meat is CHEESE.

It is a good source of protein and calcium, which assist in muscle building and maintaining healthy bone weight.

A 100-gram serving of cheese contains up to 20 grams of protein, along with other vital vitamins and minerals.

Cheese contains amino acids, such as leucine, which are essential for muscle building.

For maximum benefits, consider consuming cheese for lunch or dinner.

Benefits of Eating Cheese

  • Good source of protein
  • Vital amino acid i.e Leucine

5. Peanut butter

Apple with peanut butter - High Protein Foods That Aren't Meat

Peanut butter is a high-protein food source that is suitable for vegetarians who are looking to either lose or gain weight. It can be enjoyed with bread as a go-to pre-workout meal, thanks to its protein and fiber content.

Also, peanut butter is excellent for building and repairing muscles. One tablespoon of peanut butter contains 4g of high-quality protein.

Benefits of Peanut Butter

  1. High in protein
  2. Helps in satiation 
  3. Helps control appetite

6. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a plant-based source of protein. 100g of chia seeds contains 16g of protein, 35g of fiber, and 42g of carbs.

They are an excellent alternative to meat for those seeking high-protein foods.

Many gym-goers and athletes incorporate chia seeds into their diets to meet their calorie and protein needs.

Additionally, chia seeds are rich in important nutrients such as calcium, zinc, and manganese.

Benefits of Chia Seeds

  1. Help boost metabolism
  2. Limit food craving
  3. Help reduce belly fat

7. Lentils

Lentils are plant-based, high-protein foods that are not meat.

A bowl of lentils contains approximately 18g of quality protein and is packed with macronutrients such as iron, magnesium, and zinc.

This superfood is not only affordable but also readily available in the market.

Plant-based protein is an excellent choice for individuals following a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Benefits of Lentils

  1. Good for heart health
  2. Good plant protein food source
  3. High in fiber

8. Tofu

Tofu is made from soy milk and is known for being low in calories, low in fat, and gluten-free.

100 grams of tofu contains nearly 8 grams of protein, making it a good source of protein as it contains all the essential amino acids.

Tofu, being made from soy milk, retains calcium, which is good for overall bone health.

As a plant-based protein, it is an optimal source of protein, particularly for vegans or vegetarians.

Benefits of Tofu

  1. Helps in building muscles
  2. Another protein source for vegetarians
  3. A good source of calcium that helps promote stronger bones.

9. Whey Protein

High Protein Foods That Aren't Meat - Girl having scoop of protein

Whey protein is an excellent choice for everyone, particularly vegetarians, to meet their protein requirements.

A single scoop of good protein powder can contain up to 24-28 grams of high-quality protein.

Whey protein contains protein and important amino acids that support muscle growth.

It is recommended to drink whey protein after a workout as it digests quickly and aids in immediate muscle recovery.

Benefits of Whey Protein

  1. Helps in weight loss
  2. Build lean muscle mass
  3. Helps in muscle recovery
  4. Easily digest

Read Blog: Supplement for Better Muscle Building

10. Milk

High Protein Foods That Aren't Meat

Another high-quality protein source that every vegetarian should consider adding is MILK.

Milk contains all the important amino acids that contribute to a healthier lifestyle.

A glass of 250 ml of milk contains almost 9 grams of high-quality protein.

Not only does milk boost your physical performance, but it also aids in muscle repair.

Benefits of Milk

  1. Good protein source
  2. Helps in repairing muscles and reducing muscle soreness
  3. Provide enough calcium

11. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is richer in high-quality protein compared to regular yogurt, with approximately 10g of protein per 100g serving.

It contains all the essential amino acids necessary for muscle repair and growth.

Greek yogurt is a good source of calcium, which is essential for muscle contraction.

Benefits of Greek Yogurt

  1. Boost metabolism
  2. Reduce craving
  3. Good for bone health
  4. Helps build muscle mass

12. Peanuts

There are various types of nuts, but peanuts are considered one of the best sources of high-quality protein.

100 grams of peanuts contain nearly 25 grams of protein, which is equivalent to a scoop of protein powder.

Peanuts are not only delicious but also packed with nutritional benefits. They contain good fats, fiber, and antioxidants.

Peanuts are a source of monounsaturated fat, which can help support testosterone levels.

They make for a convenient and portable snack, making them a favorite choice for gym-goers and health-conscious individuals alike.

Benefits of Peanuts

  1. Contain good fats
  2. Support testosterone level
  3. Provide a good amount of protein that aids in muscle building

Tip: Try peanut butter that holds approx 25 grams of protein in just one spoon.

Calculating How Much Protein These Foods Have?

Below are the calculations for high-protein foods that are not mentioned above, specifically not meat-based foods:

Food Type

Soya Chunks

Roasted Chickpeas



Peanut Butter

Chia Seeds



Whey Protein

Greek Yogurt


Total protein can be consumed

Quantity of Food

100 gram

100 gram

100 gram

100 gram

1 tablespoon

100 gram

1 cup

250 ml

1 scoop

100 gram

100 gram

Protein Per Gram

52 gram

18.64 gram

8 gram

25 gram

4 gram

16 gram

18 gram

9 gram

24 – 28 gram

10 gram

26 gram

210.64 grams of protein

Above is the chart that shows how a vegetarian can fulfill his or her protein requirements with a variety of these superfoods.

Fitness Blogger | Fitness Trainer | Weight Loss Nutritionist

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