According to protein lore, few foods provide as much quality protein as an egg. And many of us think egg =
protein. It’s an easy, convenient way to start the day. Plus, eggs are super affordable. However, some folks
just aren’t that into eggs. In fact, there are people who kind of gag at the thought of eating eggs every day.
Others just avoid animal products. And most of us certainly don’t want to live on eggs alone as our sole protein
So, how much protein does an egg provide anyway? One large egg has six grams of protein, with
an extra-large egg packing 7 grams of protein. An average serving of scrambled eggs, for example, is 2 eggs,
which provide 12 grams of protein and 160 calories.
While that is certainly respectable, there are other foods with comparable or more protein per serving. Obvious
choices include meat (~22 grams protein/3 oz), poultry (~38 grams/cup), fish (~19 grams/3 oz), and seafood (~20
grams/3 oz), depending on the type and cut. However, there are several other options you may find surprising.
Here are our top 14 foods that provide more protein than an egg. What’s more, they’re all vegetarian-friendly,
and many are vegan.
13+ Foods with More Protein Than An Egg
Adzuki Beans. These beans may not be the most well-known, but with 9 grams of protein in
just ½ cup (cooked), they provide a lot of protein. They also provide 8 grams of fiber in a serving.
Black Beans. If you can’t find adzuki beans at your grocery store, have no fear. Black
beans also provide 8 grams of protein in a half-cup serving along with 6 grams of fiber. They are also highly
versatile and work well in salads, soups, chili, and popular Tex-Mex dishes.
Lentils. A member of the legume family, lentils come in several varieties—brown, red,
green, black, and French, for example—that all provide a slightly different taste and texture. All, however,
provide 9 grams of protein in a modest half cup serving of cooked lentils. While you can buy them cooked and
canned, they are much faster and easier to cook than beans, so you can skip the canned versions if you choose.
These tasty beans can be ready in just 15 to 20 minutes, with no need to soak. Plus, if you purchase split
lentils, they take even less time to cook—just 5 to 7 minutes.
Tofu. If you scroll through some vegan recipes, you’re bound to come across more than a few
that contain tofu. This versatile meat substitute provides 8 grams of protein per 3-oz serving and can even be
used for an egg-free breakfast scramble.
Tempeh. Another protein-rich food made with soybeans is tempeh. But unlike tofu, tempeh is
made from fermented beans. Typically grains or seeds (such as rice, flax, or millet) are added for a nuttier,
richer flavor. Add sliced tempeh to a vegetable stir fry for an added 16 grams of protein per 3-oz serving.
Pumpkin Seeds. While often considered a healthy fat (as they provide 14 grams/serving),
these delicious seeds also provide more protein than an egg—10 grams in just a ¼ cup serving. Try them raw or
roasted; enjoy a small handful or added to trail mix. Or sprinkle a serving over your big leafy green salad
for added crunch, protein, healthy fats, and flavor.
Peanut Butter. Is it just me, or does everyone celebrate this high-protein food? Yes, it is
higher in fat (with 16 grams per serving), but 2 tablespoons add 8 grams of protein to your dish, smoothie, on
toast, or served with noodles. Peanuts in the raw also provide a nice serving of protein at 7 grams per ounce.
Almonds. For a quick protein-rich snack, you can’t beat a handful of almonds. In one ¼ cup,
you’ll enjoy 7 grams of protein along with heart-healthy fats and fiber to hold you over until your next meal.
Greek Yogurt. If you really want a food that’s higher in protein than an egg, you can’t go
wrong with Greek yogurt, which packs 20 grams in a small 7-oz container. And both the full fat and reduced-fat
versions don’t disappoint with the super-thick, creamy texture that goes so well with fruit, nuts, honey,
seeds, or even to stand in for sour cream.
Kefir. Move over yogurt and cottage cheese… actually, go ahead and keep them both if you
consume dairy—just add kefir too for a change of pace. A single cup of this thick, creamy drink provides 10
grams of protein. Just watch out for the fruit-flavored versions at the store as many also provide a hefty
dose of sugar.
Amaranth. While not as well-known as quinoa, this is another pseudo-cereal from South
America that provides an impressive amount of protein—9.4 grams per cup. It’s also high in fiber, loaded with
vitamins, and may help support lower blood pressure and decrease LDL cholesterol levels. It can be eaten like
oatmeal, cooked and served like rice, added to veggies, or in a hearty, healthy salad.
Teff. Another grain-like option is Teff, which provides 9.75 grams of protein per cup. It
also is a good source of fiber as well as iron. To eat, make it into porridge or instead of rice in a
Quinoa. These tiny South American seeds provide 8 grams of complete protein
per cup, so
they’re often considered essential for vegetarian or vegan diets. They’re also pretty popular in
muscle-building diets due to their high L-arginine content. Quinoa is also rich in healthy fats and fiber.
Serve it up as you would any grain with veggies, beans, or a salad.
But our favorite food with more protein than an egg is:
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