beans with the highest protein

Top 10 Beans with the Highest Protein for a Vegan Diet

Are you trying to find out which of these beans with the highest protein content you should eat? Or the best vegan sources of protein?

In today’s article we are going over a list of the top 10 beans that contain the most protein. Beans being some of the most protein dense foods that you could eat.

It is no secret that beans are one of the biggest sources of protein in a vegan diet. Most people are aware of just how nutritious and protein packed they are.

Beans are possibly one of the most underrated foods out there. They have so much to offer and yet get so little credit for just how healthy they really are.

If you are a vegan beginner you are most likely trying to find out which beans you should be eating in order to get the most protein.

So, if you want to know which beans to eat to get the most benefits then keep reading. Because here are the top 10 beans that you should start eating today!

Beans with the Highest Protein

These top 10 beans are by far the best options available. If you are going to start eating more beans in your daily diet, then these should be the ones.

All of these beans are high in protein, helping you to get all of your necessary daily protein in. without having to buy expensive vegan foods or resort to copious amounts of tofu.

The funny thing is that I used to not even like beans. In fact, I was probably vegan for about six years before I really started to enjoy eating beans.

It just took time for me to figure out how I liked to eat them. And now I eat a generous amount of beans on a weekly basis!

So, even if you don’t think that you like beans very much, just give them a try. They might surprise you.

Related: Best Vegan Sources of Protein You Should be Eating

1.    Great Northern Beans

These great northern beans are a medium sized white bean that is extremely versatile and easy to include into your diet.

They are very mild tasting, so much so that you could include them in deserts or smoothies for extra protein!

These beans go excellently in chilis and stews or tossed into salads and roasted veggies.

Protein: 9.7 grams per ½ cup

2.    Lentils

Lentils are a very filling legume as they are not only high in protein but in fiber as well. Helping to leave you feeling full and satisfied.

These green lentils go great in soups and salads, but they can also be used in mock meat dishes. Such as in vegan meatloaf and meatballs.

They are very soft beans so they can be used in recipes that need a binding agent.

Protein: 9 grams per ½ cup

3.    Split Peas

Split peas are on this list of the beans with the highest protein content because they are little but mighty!

These split peas pack a surprising amount of beneficial protein, making them an excellent source of vegan protein.

You can use them to make the classic split pea soup or to make veganized Indian bean-based dishes at home.

Protein: 8.2 grams per ½ cup

4.    Black Beans

If you are making a Mexican dish but what to choose the most protein packed bean you will want to choose black beans.

These black beans are certainly one of the most protein dense foods to choose when creating dishes packed with protein.

Black beans go great in Mexican dishes like enchiladas or over salads. But they are mild enough to be added into just about any dish needing some extra protein.

Protein: 7.6 grams per ½ cup

beans with the highest protein

5.    Black-Eyed Peas

Black-eyes peas are another wonderful bean that is often associate with southern style dishes.

These tasty canned black eyed peas bring a flavor of their own and go great in baked beans or simply as a side dish.

They are a great bean for recreating vegan versions of your favorite southern dishes.

Protein: 7.5 grams per ½ cup

6.    Navy Beans

Canned navy beans are very similar to great northern beans only they are smaller and creamier in consistency.

They make great additions to creamy soups, chilis, or stews. They can also be blended into sauces for any extra creamy and protein rich meal.

Protein: 7.5 grams per ½ cup

7.    Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are a very popular bean mostly associated with Mexican style dishes. Such as refried beans!

These pinto beans have a wonderfully nutty flavor of their own that adds depth and richness to whatever you add them to.

They are excellent when added to chilis, Mexican salads, in burritos, or made into refried beans.

Protein: 7.2 grams per ½ cup

8.    Red Kidney Beans

If you are concerned about not getting enough protein or iron on a vegan diet then these red kidney beans are the answer to your problem!

These are just one of the beans with the highest protein and they are very high in iron as well.

These canned kidney beans go particularly good in chili, on top of salads, or added to burritos.

Protein: 7.2 grams per ½ cup

9.    Chick Peas

Chickpeas are a delicious bean that is very popular in vegan cooking.

Canned chickpeas can be used in a variety of traditional dishes such as falafel and hummus. They are mild enough to even be added to baked goods like brownies and cookies!

Protein: 6.3 grams per ½ cup

10. Cannellini Beans

Canned cannellini beans are another type of bean that is very rich in fiber and very versatile in cooking.

These pleasant tasting beans are mild enough to be mashed into mashed potatoes, pureed into soups, or added to stews.

They also make an excellent side dish when dressed up with some spices and onions.

Protein: 6.2 grams per ½ cup

Why are Beans Important in a Vegan Diet?

You might be wondering why beans are such a prominent part of most vegan diets. After all, just about every vegan meal plan or food chart contains several bean varieties.

This is because beans provide such an easy and efficient form of protein. Providing a source of protein that is not meat but is still easy to consume regularly.

Beans are about as low stress as it gets since they don’t even need to be cooked if you buy them canned. You can just dump them into a pot of soup or over a tossed salad.

You could even eat them straight out of the can if you were feeling particularly hardcore that day.

This is why beans are such an important part of a vegan diet, especially a vegan diet for beginners.

As it provides an easy source of protein that can take the place of meat.

Health Benefits of Eating Beans 

Beans are some of the best vegan sources of protein of course, but what else do they have to offer on a nutritional level?

Are they healthy in other ways as well?

These are all questions that you might find yourself asking when adding more beans into your diet. And you will be happy to hear that beans aren’t just some of the most protein dense foods. They are very nutritious as well!

Vitamin and Mineral Rich

Beans are very vitamin and mineral dense while containing little to no fat, sodium, or cholesterol.

They are naturally high in folate, iron, calcium, B vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

Different kinds of beans will contain different levels of vitamins and minerals. So, do your research if you are trying to consume more of a specific vitamin or mineral.

The fact that beans are good sources of iron are just another reason why they are so good for those following a vegan diet!

Protein Dense

Beans are all pretty high in protein as this list of beans with the highest protein has suggested.

This makes them a wonderful food to include in your diet as protein is a very important nutritional element that we need to be getting.

Not only does protein help your body to build and repair itself. It also uses protein as a source of energy.

If you find yourself feeling tired and weak on a vegan diet, it might be because you are not getting in enough protein.

If you are active and regularly exercise you will need to consume even more protein in order to repair your muscles.

Rich in Fiber

Beans are amazing sources of fiber which just adds to their nutritional benefits.

Fiber is a commonly overlooked element of our daily diet. But it is still very important and a necessary thing in our diet in order for our body to function as it should.

Fiber helps to keep you regular and helps to keep your digestive tract clean and functioning well.

The average adult should be consuming 25-38 grams of fiber a day. Beans can greatly help you to reach that necessary amount on a daily basis.

Best Vegan Sources of Protein

One of the biggest concerns for most people when they go on a vegan diet is protein.

Where is their protein going to come from without meat? Will they be able to get enough protein on a vegan diet?

These are all very common concerns and the same ones that I had when I first went vegan. But the good thing is that there are far more sources of vegan protein than you might think.

In fact, there are more vegan foods rich in protein than there are non-vegan foods!

Beans are just one type of protein rich foods that you can eat on a vegan diet. There are many, many more that have good amounts of protein.

As long as you eat a vegan diet rich in a variety of foods you will definitely eat enough protein! Here are a few examples of protein rich foods to eat on a vegan diet that don’t include beans:

  • Edamame: 18 grams per cup
  • Quinoa: 8.14 grams per cup
  • Wild Rice: 6.54 grams per cup
  • Sweet Corn: 4.68 grams per ear of corn
  • Potatoes: 4.55 grams per potato
  • Broccoli: 4.28 grams per stalk
  • Avocado: 4.02 grams per avocado
  • Asparagus: 3 grams per cup


I hope that this list has helped you to decide which beans you want to include in your vegan diet.

All of these options are excellent beans to include in your diet, protein wise as well as nutritional wise.

Beans are a great way to include more vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein into your diet whether you are vegan or not. Even on a diet that includes meat you might not be getting in enough protein!

If you are concerned about getting protein into your daily diet then these 10 beans are the ones to start eating!

Do you include beans in your vegan diet? If so, how do you like to eat them? Do you try to eat beans with the most protein or do you just eat whichever you are wanting in the moment?

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