Top 10 Grains Highest in Protein

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN

Grains are a staple source of calories, carbohydrates, b-vitamins, and protein. Whole unrefined grains provide more protein for each carb because the bran and germ of grains contain the most protein per carb.

The current daily value (%DV) for protein is 50 grams per day, and is a target meant for most people. Grains high in protein include cornmeal, kamut (wheat berries), teff, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, wild rice, millet, couscous, oatmeal, and buckwheat. One cup of cooked whole grains provides between 6-20% of the DV for protein.

For more grains high in protein see the extended list of protein rich grains, and complete vegetarian protein foods.

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List of High Protein Grains

Cornmeal1. Cornmeal (Grits)
1 cup (122g)200 calories (55g)100g
20% DV (9.9g)9% DV (4.5g)16% DV (8.1g)
Kamut2. Kamut (Khorasan - Wheat)
1 cup (172g)200 calories (152g)100g
20% DV (9.8g)17% DV (8.7g)11% DV (5.7g)
Teff3. Teff
1 cup (252g)200 calories (198g)100g
20% DV (9.8g)15% DV (7.7g)8% DV (3.9g)
Quinoa4. Quinoa
1 cup (185g)200 calories (167g)100g
16% DV (8.1g)15% DV (7.3g)9% DV (4.4g)
Whole Wheat Pasta5. Whole Wheat Pasta
1 cup (117g)200 calories (134g)100g
14% DV (7g)16% DV (8g)12% DV (6g)
Wild Rice6. Wild Rice
1 cup (164g)200 calories (198g)100g
13% DV (6.5g)16% DV (7.9g)8% DV (4g)
Millet7. Millet
1 cup (174g)200 calories (168g)100g
12% DV (6.1g)12% DV (5.9g)7% DV (3.5g)
Couscous8. Couscous
1 cup (157g)200 calories (179g)100g
12% DV (6g)14% DV (6.8g)8% DV (3.8g)
A bowl of oatmeal with blueberries9. Oatmeal
1 cup (234g)200 calories (282g)100g
12% DV (5.9g)14% DV (7.2g)5% DV (2.5g)
Buckwheat10. Buckwheat
1 cup (168g)200 calories (217g)100g
11% DV (5.7g)15% DV (7.3g)7% DV (3.4g)
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Top 10 Grains Highest in Protein

More Protein Rich Grains

#1 Spelt21% DV (10.7g) in 1 cup (194g)17% DV (8.7g) in 200 calories (157g)
#2 Amaranth19% DV (9.3g) in 1 cup (246g)15% DV (7.5g) in 200 calories (196g)
#3 Oat Bran14% DV (7g) in 1 cup (219g)32% DV (16.1g) in 200 calories (500g)
#4 Soba Noodles12% DV (5.8g) in 1 cup (114g)20% DV (10.2g) in 200 calories (202g)
#5 Bulgur11% DV (5.6g) in 1 cup (182g)15% DV (7.4g) in 200 calories (241g)
#6 Brown Rice11% DV (5.5g) in 1 cup (202g)9% DV (4.5g) in 200 calories (163g)
#7 White Rice9% DV (4.6g) in 1 cup (158g)9% DV (4.7g) in 200 calories (163g)
#8 Pearled Barley7% DV (3.5g) in 1 cup (157g)7% DV (3.7g) in 200 calories (163g)

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Data Sources and References

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