Are you looking for a way to get more protein in your diet without having to eat mountains of chicken and steak? Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or simply just trying to incorporate some healthier sources into your meals, beans and legumes are an incredible source of plant-based proteins. In this article, we'll look at the top legumes and beans protein content so you can begin incorporating them into your weekly meal plan. 

When it comes to boosting your protein intake through plant-based sources, legumes and beans are the topmost choices. These nutritional powerhouses not only offer a wealth of protein but also provide essential nutrients. Legumes, like beans and lentils, are important in many types of diets, like the Mediterranean and DASH diets, as well as vegetarian, vegan, and low-GI diets. They are not only nutritious but also help prevent and manage health issues. If you are looking to boost your protein intake, read on to learn more about some high-protein legumes and beans and their nutritional values. 

Legumes and Beans High in Protein

Listed below are the different legumes with their nutritional profiles, which give you information about the amount of protein in legumes per 100 grams: 

Legumes/Bean Protein (g) Total Fiber (g) Energy
Soya bean, brown 35.58 21.55 381.45
Lentil dal 24.35 10.43 322.41
Black gram, dal 23.06 11.93 324.09
Green gram, whole 22.53 17.04 293.73
Lentil whole, yellow 22.87 16.66 297.80
Lentil whole, brown 22.49 16.82 298.99
Red gram, dal 21.70 9.06 330.78
Bengal gram, dal 21.55 15.15 329.11

Apart from the high legumes and beans protein content, these foods also contain fiber, and some important vitamins and minerals like magnesium and phosphorus. However, they have slightly low bio-availability, because beans and legumes contain certain compounds, such as phytates and tannins, which can inhibit the absorption of some nutrients, including protein. Soaking, cooking, and microwaving can make the protein in legumes more easily absorbed by your body.

Other Benefits of Consuming Beans/Legumes:

  • Studies have shown that adding legumes to your diet can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and even help manage it if you already have it. 
  • Regularly eating legumes can also help lower cholesterol levels and keep your blood pressure in check. 
  • If you're looking to shed a few pounds, high-protein legumes can aid in weight control, too. With their fiber, protein, and slow-digesting carbs, legumes will keep you feeling satisfied and full 

Legume/Bean-Based Recipes:

  Try these easy-to-make recipes that incorporate protein-rich beans and legumes:

  • Soybean Potato Vegetable: This is a delightful combo of high-protein beans and potato that's bursting with nutrients and packed with plenty of protein (5.20g/100g). 
  • Veg Soybean Tikki: This tasty dish makes for a fun snack. Packed with protein (6.32g/100g), they're a great way to sneak some extra nutrients into your meals. 
  • Chole Paneer Masala: This flavourful dish is packed with protein (7.60g/100g) and essential nutrients, and it's simmered in a spicy onion tomato gravy. Whether you have it with roti or rice, this dish is the perfect choice for a satisfying lunch or dinner.
  • Surati dal: This is a simple, yet flavourful dish to spice up your dinner or lunch. This Gujarati dish, packed with 5.20g of protein per 100g, is slightly sweet and sour, and pairs perfectly with rice dishes.

To increase your protein intake, keep in mind that a sedentary man weighing 65 kg should aim for a daily protein intake of 54 grams, and a sedentary woman weighing 55 kg should target 46 grams. If you're not sure about how much protein you need because of a medical condition, it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor. And remember to enjoy these delicious foods in the right amounts by having well-balanced meals of carbs, proteins and fiber.


To sum up, beans and legumes are not only delicious and versatile but also a great source of plant-based proteins. We’ve identified some of the top high-protein beans and legumes, and with a little planning, these options can become part of every weekly meal as they also offer a number of essential vitamins and minerals. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive or overly difficult; all it takes is a bit of determination and knowledge about the different options out there. Adding some delicious, nutritious, protein-rich legumes and beans into your meal plan is one small step towards making healthier choices every day!