Top 10 High Protein Vegetables

Top 10 High Protein Vegetables

At some point in time, we’ve all been told we need to eat more vegetables. Your parents scolding you as a child; your doctor lecturing you about your health; or maybe even your friends picking on your poor eating habits. Oftentimes, these friendly little reminders are viewed as a pester, but it’s actually some of the best advice we’ve ever received. 

Everyone knows protein in a vital part of every diet, but many people are under the misguided impression that protein only comes from meat. When you think of protein, most people typically picture chicken, steak, or some other form of meat. This is simply due to the way people were raised. Some grew up always thinking a complete meal consists of meat as the main helping with vegetables coming in as side dishes, like an afterthought. Even restaurants ask if you want to add a “protein” to a vegetable-based meal! The message has clearly been convoluted, but slowly yet surely, society is evolving. More and more people are changing the way they think and discovering a plant-based diet is substantial, viable, full of nutrition, and quite frankly delicious. 

Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or are just trying to cut back on your meat intake, protein-rich vegetables should be an essential part of your diet. Because unlike what so many have been taught, vegetables are, in fact, protein. Below is a brief list of 10 vegetables that have the highest amount of protein. Each one can be enjoyed as a side dish or cooked into different recipes as a filling main course. 

Protein Packed Plants


There’s a reason your parents were always telling you to eat these little green trees. One serving of broccoli consists of 4.2 grams of protein. You’ll also receive other nutritional benefits like fiber, vitamins K and C, and more. The best part? Broccoli is incredibly simple to cook. Add florets to boiling water and cook until tender. All it takes is a matter of minutes!


Potatoes are one of the best veggies to cook with because there’s SO much you can do with them! It’s a common belief that potatoes don’t have much protein, but that’s not true. One medium potato has 5 grams of protein and is full of vitamins C and B-6. Bonus points if you eat the skin! 

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts get a bad rap and seem to be the enemy of all children. But when cooked right, brussels sprouts can be deliciously tender and full of flavor. One cup of these little guys has 3 grams of protein. Roast them, steam them, season them to your liking, and they can be eaten alone of added to a protein-packed salad. 


These tasty spears are fantastic roasted, grilled, steamed, or sautéed. They’re a great side dish for any meal or can be chopped up to be included in stir frys and such. One cup consists of 2.9 grams of protein. 


Avocado is truly a wonderful vegetable, and there’s way more you can do with it than make some delicious guac. Spread it on a slice of bread to make some avocado toast; cut up some slices to top your favorite salad or dish; blend it into a creamy smoothie; or even lightly season it and eat it straight out of the peel. There are plenty of options when cooking with avocado, and one medium one is packed with 2.67 grams of protein. 


From cauliflower pizza to cauliflower rice, this fluffy vegetable is becoming all the rage. And there’s good reason for it! Cauliflower can be used in a variety of dishes or enjoyed alone, and one cup consists of 2.05 grams of protein.  

Sweet Potato

This brightly colored veggie is nothing sort of awesome. Whether used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, sweet potato is always a great choice. One medium sweet potato has 2 grams of protein. Mash ‘em, dice ‘em, or slice ‘em- you can’t go wrong with a sweet potato.  


While spinach isn’t the most protein-packed vegetable, it is one of the most nutrient-dense leafy greens and should be a staple in every diet. One cup of spinach has 1 gram of protein, as well as high amounts of magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, and vitamins A and C. 


Edamame is a staple at every sushi restaurant, but you don’t have to be a sushi fanatic to enjoy this protein-packed snack. One cup is packed full of 18 grams of protein. Plus, popping out the peas makes eating fun!


Although lentils aren’t technically a vegetable, they’re a fantastic protein-rich ingredient to combine with all kinds of other veggies to create a complete meal. This legume has 18 grams of protein in just one cup! 

Daily Protein Intake

Remember, the recommended amount of protein consumption per day is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. A healthy mixture of the above vegetables, along with a variety of many others, will assure you’ll never have to worry about being protein deficient.  

By: Sydney Daly-Weber

Holly MacKinnon