Top 10 Beans and Legumes Highest in Protein

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN

Beans and legumes are an inexpensive heart-healthy food popular all around the world. In addition to being high in protein, beans and legumes are also a good source of fiber, iron, and potassium.

The current daily value (%DV) for protein is 50 grams per day and is a target meant for most people. Most beans provide between 29-36% of the DV for protein per cup cooked. Boiled soybeans (or edamame) provide a whopping 63% DV.

Beans and legumes high in protein include soybeans, lentils, white beans, cranberry beans, split peas, pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, navy beans, and limas. The list below is ranked by the most protein per cup cooked. For bean products like tofu and hummus see the extended list of beans and bean products high in protein.

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List of High Protein Beans

Soy Beans1. Boiled Soybeans (Edamame)
1 cup (172g)200 calories (116g)100g
63% DV (31.3g)42% DV (21.2g)36% DV (18.2g)
Lentils2. Lentils
1 cup (198g)200 calories (172g)100g
36% DV (17.9g)31% DV (15.6g)18% DV (9g)
White Beans3. White Beans
1 cup (179g)200 calories (144g)100g
35% DV (17.4g)28% DV (14g)19% DV (9.7g)
Cranberry Beans4. Cranberry (Roman) Beans
1 cup (177g)200 calories (147g)100g
33% DV (16.5g)27% DV (13.7g)49% DV (24.3g)
Split Peas5. Split Peas
1 cup (196g)200 calories (169g)100g
33% DV (16.3g)28% DV (14.1g)17% DV (8.3g)
Pinto Beans6. Pinto Beans
1 cup (171g)200 calories (140g)100g
31% DV (15.4g)25% DV (12.6g)18% DV (9g)
Kidney Beans7. Kidney Beans
1 cup (177g)200 calories (157g)100g
31% DV (15.3g)27% DV (13.7g)17% DV (8.7g)
Black Beans8. Black Beans (Frijoles Negros)
1 cup (172g)200 calories (152g)100g
30% DV (15.2g)27% DV (13.4g)18% DV (8.9g)
Navy Beans9. Navy Beans
1 cup (182g)200 calories (143g)100g
30% DV (15g)24% DV (11.8g)16% DV (8.2g)
Lima Beans10. Lima Beans
1 cup (188g)200 calories (174g)100g
29% DV (14.7g)27% DV (13.6g)16% DV (7.8g)
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Top 10 Beans Highest in Protein

More Bean and Bean Products High in Protein

#1 Firm Tofu87% DV (43.5g) in 1 cup (252g)48% DV (24g) in 200 calories (139g)
#2 Tempeh67% DV (33.7g) in 1 cup (166g)42% DV (21.1g) in 200 calories (104g)
#3 Lupin Beans52% DV (25.8g) in 1 cup (166g)54% DV (26.8g) in 200 calories (172g)
#4 Adzuki Beans35% DV (17.3g) in 1 cup (230g)24% DV (11.8g) in 200 calories (156g)
#5 Great Northern Beans29% DV (14.7g) in 1 cup (177g)28% DV (14.1g) in 200 calories (169g)
#6 Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)29% DV (14.5g) in 1 cup (164g)22% DV (10.8g) in 200 calories (122g)
#7 Mung Beans28% DV (14.2g) in 1 cup (202g)27% DV (13.4g) in 200 calories (190g)
#8 Soymilk28% DV (14g) in 1 cup (486g)35% DV (17.5g) in 200 calories (606g)
#9 Mungo Beans27% DV (13.6g) in 1 cup (180g)29% DV (14.4g) in 200 calories (190g)
#10 Broad (Fava) Beans26% DV (12.9g) in 1 cup (170g)28% DV (13.8g) in 200 calories (182g)
#11 Peanut Butter14% DV (7.1g) in 2 tblsp (32g)15% DV (7.4g) in 200 calories (33g)
#12 Peanuts (Dry-Roasted)14% DV (6.9g) in 1oz handful (28g)17% DV (8.3g) in 200 calories (34g)
#13 Falafel5% DV (2.3g) in 1 falafel (17g)16% DV (8g) in 200 calories (60g)
#14 Miso Paste4% DV (2.2g) in 1 tblsp (17g)26% DV (12.9g) in 200 calories (101g)
#15 Hummus2% DV (1.2g) in 1 tblsp (15g)19% DV (9.5g) in 200 calories (120g)

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Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.