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19 High-Protein Vegetables and How to Eat More of Them

It’s important to include healthy sources of protein in your diet each day.

When you think of protein, steak or chicken might come to mind. But if you’re not a big meat eater, you have other options to make sure you get the recommended amount of protein that your body needs. 

Worry not, because there are plenty of protein-rich vegetables that are available year-round. Try out these 19 options for plenty of variety.

They can each be enjoyed alone as a side dish, or in different recipes for a filling main course.

1. Broccoli 

TOTAL PROTEIN: 4.26 grams per 1 stalk (medium)

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There’s a reason your parents always told you to eat your little green trees. In addition to protein, broccoli offers filling fiber, vitamins K and C, and more. 

There’s a reason your parents always told you to eat your little green trees. In addition to protein, broccoli offers filling fiber, vitamins K and C, and more.

Recipes to Try: 

Magic Broccoli from RecipeTin Eats

Roasted Pecan Broccoli from Slim Palate

2. Yellow Sweet Corn

TOTAL PROTEIN: 4.68 grams per 1 large ear

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Sweet corn is as nutritious as it is tasty. Look for fresh corn in the summertime, or use the frozen version for recipes year-round.

Recipes to Try:

Sweet Corn, Zucchini, and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza from How Sweet It Is

Sweet Corn Chowder from Maebells

3. Potato

TOTAL PROTEIN: 5 grams per 1 medium potato (with skin)

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The trusty spud gets a bad rap. It’s actually packed with protein and vitamins C and B-6. Extra points if you eat the skin!

Recipes to Try: 

Healthy Twice Baked Potatoes from bFeedme

Baked Potato Wedges from Home Cooking Adventure

4. Edamame

TOTAL PROTEIN: 18 grams per 1 cup

If you normally only eat edamame at your local sushi restaurant, it’s time to start enjoying it at home. It’s packed with healthy plant protein, vitamins, and minerals. Recipes to Try: 

Spicy Sesame Edamame from The Salty Tomato

Crispy Parmesan Garlic Edamame from Homemade Hooplah

5. Lentils 

TOTAL PROTEIN: 18 grams per 1 cup

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Lentils aren’t technically a vegetable. They are actually a pulse, found in the legume family. But you won’t find a better option when it comes to an inexpensive, readily available, vegetarian-friendly protein. Bonus: Dry lentils cook up in only 15 minutes!

Recipes to Try; 

Red Lentil Taco Soup from Connoisseurus Veg

Four Corners Lentil Soup from My New Roots

6. Green Peas

TOTAL PROTEIN: 8.5 grams per 1 cup

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If you think green peas are mushy and unappetizing, you’re not alone. But they are versatile and can be a delicious addition to many recipes.

Recipes to Try:

Green Monster Veggie Burger from Vegan Heaven

Crunchy Roasted Green Peas from Super Healthy Kids

7. Asparagus 

TOTAL PROTEIN: 2.9 grams per 1 cup 

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Nothing says springtime like fresh asparagus. Try these yummy spears roasted, grilled, or steamed. You can even wrap them in bacon for a protein-filled treat.

Recipes to Try:

Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-Fry with Lemon Sauce from Home Cooking Memories

Bacon Wrapped Caramelized Sesame Asparagus from How Sweet It Is

8. Brussels Sprouts 

TOTAL PROTEIN: 3 grams per 1 cup

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If you hated Brussels sprouts as a kid, it might be time to try them again. They are delicious roasted, steamed, or even shredded in a salad.

Recipes to Try: 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples from Back to Her Roots

Brussels Sprouts Sweet Potato Hash from A Healthy Life for Me

9. Artichokes 

TOTAL PROTEIN: 4 grams per 1 artichoke 

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Artichokes are a popular ingredient in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. They are versatile enough to enjoy in a salad, and are also delicious steamed or baked.

Recipes to Try: 

Baked Artichoke Chicken from Inspired Dreamer

Easy Artichoke, Spinach, and Herb Frittata from Linda Wagner

10 Broccoli Raab

TOTAL PROTEIN: 1.27 grams per 1 cup

Broccoli raab, also known as rapini, is popular in Italian cooking. It works well sautéed as a side dish, or you can try it incorporated in other dishes like pasta and eggs.

Recipes to Try:

Italian-Style Garlicky Broccoli Raab from She Loves Biscotti

Broccoli Raab and Egg Pizza from The Tart Tart

11. Avocado 

TOTAL PROTEIN: 2.67 grams per 1 avocado (medium)

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You can do a lot more with avocado than just make guacamole. Try it in a pudding or smoothie for a creamy, thick, and protein-filled twist.

Recipes to Try:

Vanilla and Honey Avocado Pudding from The Iron You

Guacamole Deviled Eggs from Everyday Dishes

12. Cauliflower

TOTAL PROTEIN: 2.05 grams per 1 cup (chopped)

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You can do a lot more with cauliflower than just cover it with cheese. Try it in a soup or roasted for a flavorful side dish.

Recipes to Try:

Cauliflower Hazelnut Soup from What’s Cooking Good Looking

Balsamic Glazed Cauliflower from Cupcakes and Kale Chips

13. Arugula 

This salad staple has a surprisingly high amount of protein per serving. Beyond salad, try it in pasta, on top of pizza, or with eggs. 

Recipes to Try:

Linguine with Arugula, Garlic, and Parmesan from Gimme Some Oven

Gruyere, Fig Jam, and Arugula Breakfast Sandwiches from How Sweet It Is

14. Mung Beans 

TOTAL PROTEIN: 12 grams per 1/4 cup (dry) 

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Mung beans are part of the legume family and offer plenty of protein per serving. They also are a good source of iron and fiber.

Recipes to Try:

Mung Bean and Coconut Curry from The Muffin Myth

Sprouted Mung Bean Burgers from Holy Cow Vegan

15. Lima Beans

TOTAL PROTEIN: 6.84 grams per 100 grams

This little legume packs a nutritious punch. Even if you don’t like the taste, consider eating them for the potassium, fiber, and iron.

Recipes to Try:

Mediterranean-Style Baked Lima Beans from Beard and Bonnet

Herbed Lima Bean Hummus from Recipe Girl

16. Turnip Greens 

TOTAL PROTEIN: 2.34 grams per 10 ounces

Popular in many Southern dishes, turnip greens are packed with vitamins and minerals. For a twist, substitute spinach or kale with turnip greens in recipes. 

Recipes to Try:

Fennel with Turnip Greens from Naturally Ella

Turnip Green Dip from Lana’s Cooking

17. Okra

TOTAL PROTEIN: 1.93 grams per 1 cup 

If you’re looking for a new vegetable to try, consider okra. You can add it to soups, stews, and even curry for a crunchy taste. 

Recipes to Try:

Cornmeal Fried Okra from A Sweet Pea Chef

Fish and Okra Curry from One Bite More

18. Mushrooms

TOTAL PROTEIN: 2.97 grams per 1 cup

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Mushrooms are more than just a pizza topper. They have only 20 calories per cup, but are packed with protein, potassium, and other disease-fighting goodness.

Recipes to Try:

Wine and Thyme Mushrooms from Veggie Belly

Roasted Mushroom and Romaine Salad from Cookin Canuck

19. Beet Greens

TOTAL PROTEIN: 2.2 grams per 1 cup

The next time you make something with beets, don’t throw away the green leaves! You can bake or sauté them, or throw them in a green smoothie for a nutritious boost.

Recipes to Try:

Beet Green and Mushroom Frittata from Fig and Honey

Baked Beet Green Chips from Eat Thrive Grow

This article was originally published on Healthline.com March 11, 2016