11 High-Protein Grains For Anyone Trying To Eat A Bit Healthier (Or Eat Less Meat)

·7 min read

Meat isn't the *only* way to get your daily serving of protein. To help you hit your protein goals, here are 11 grains with high protein content — including farro, buckwheat, spelt, and oats — plus cooking instructions and easy and delicious recipes ideas for each.

1. FARRO (6 grams of protein per cup)

Wooden bowl of farro

Looks a lot like spelt, but it's not! Farro has similar nutrients to quinoa but is heartier, which makes it really good in soups and casseroles.

Photo By Cathy Scola / Getty Images

How to Cook Farro

Bowl of farro

This is a great post on farro cooking basics. From there you can use it as a side or add it to whatever you want! Some ideas are below.

Recipe: How to Cook Farro

cookieandkate.com

Farro & Lentil Salad

Farro & Lentil

This is a great option for meal prepping or a super-satisfying work-from-home lunch. Because farro is a bit heartier, it can even hold up to being dressed in advance.

Recipe: Farro & Lentil Salad | Shop This Recipe

tasty.co

Maple Cinnamon Breakfast Farro

Maple cinnamon breakfast farro

If you're looking for an alternative to oatmeal, here ya go!

Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Breakfast Farro

kitchenconfidante.com

Farro Risotto with Mushrooms and Peas

Farro risotto with mushrooms and peas

For this, the recipe writer actually prefers farro to rice in this recipe because farro isn't as finicky.

Recipe: Farro Risotto with Mushrooms and Peas

themediterraneandish.com

2. KAMUT (9.8 grams of protein per cup)

Closeup of Kamut

Kamut is an old-school version of wheat that existed way before our modern versions. It's got a firm texture, nutty taste, and packs quite a bit of nutrients. It works great as a replacement for rice, but will need extra cooking time.

Douglas Sacha / Getty Images

Spicy Kamut and Chickpea Stew

Spicy Kamut and Chickpea Stew

This vegan stew is hearty as is, but if you prefer to have meat, the writer suggests swapping out chickpeas for chicken or beef.

Recipe: Spicy Kamut and Chickpea Stew

cravethegood.com

One Skillet Creamy Chicken and Kamut Casserole

One Skillet Creamy Chicken and Kamut Casserole

The combo of chicken and kamut makes this dish super protein-packed.

Recipe: One Skillet Creamy Chicken and Kamut Casserole

healthynibblesandbits.com

3. TEFF (9.8 grams of protein per cup)

Teff

This teeny tiny grain is a staple in Ethiopian food, usually ground into flour for injera (Ethiopian flatbread). It can also be used in baked goods, stews, pilaf, and more.

Ekaterina Fedotova / Getty Images/500px Plus

Oat Teff Pancakes

Oat Teff Pancakes

The writer grinds whole teff and oats for this recipe, but those of us without a grain mill can just grab bags of teff and oat flour.

Recipe: Oat Teff Pancakes I Shop The Recipe

naturallyella.com

Fermented Spicy Teff Porridge

Fermented Spicy Teff Porridge

If you're feeling adventurous and patient (this calls for a night in the fridge), this porridge is just for you! The writer combines her traditional Ghanaian cooking techniques with this staple Ethiopian grain.

Recipe: Fermented Spicy Teff Porridge

thecanadianafrican.com

4. WHOLE WHEAT PASTA (7 grams of protein per cup)

Full frame shot of whole wheat rotini pasta

Whole wheat pasta meals? Easy peasy.

Grace Cary / Getty Images

Whole Wheat Roasted Veggie Lasagna

Whole Wheat Roasted Veggie Lasagna

This hearty lasagna is packed with nutrients from the veggies and whole wheat pasta, but it can be time-consuming. Cook this one up on the weekend, and enjoy the leftovers on those busy weeknights.

Recipe: Whole Wheat Roasted Veggie Lasagna

pinchofyum.com

Garlicky Whole-Wheat Pasta With Fried Hazelnuts

Garlicky Whole-Wheat Pasta with Fried Hazelnuts

5. WILD RICE (6.5 grams of protein per cup)

Wild rice

Wild rice has nearly twice the amount of protein as brown rice, making it a super easy swap from time to time.

Medianews Group / MediaNews Group via Getty Images

Kale and Wild Rice Salad

Kale and wild rice salad

This salad is full of flavor and will keep you full. The recipe creator suggests cooking the rice in an Instant Pot to save time (if you have one).

Recipe: Kale and Wild Rice Salad

twopeasandtheirpod.com

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice

Creamy, delicious, protein-packed comfort food.

Recipe: Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice

juliasalbum.com

Wild Rice With Sausage and Mushrooms

Wild Rice with Sausage and Mushrooms

This is meant to be served as a side dish or stuffing, but honestly, I'd eat a plate of it for dinner.

Recipe: Wild Rice With Sausage and Mushrooms

kalynskitchen.com

6. MILLET (6.1 grams of protein per cup)

Millet in a spoon above bowl

Millet cooks quickly because it's so small, and you can make it light and fluffy like rice, or make it creamy like mashed potatoes. Take the extra step of toasting before cooking to bring out more of its flavor.

Krisanapong Detraphiphat / Getty Images

Creamy Millet Porridge

Creamy Millet Porridge

Make it overnight in the slow cooker or on the stovetop when you're ready.

Recipe: Creamy Millet Porridge

runningtothekitchen.com

Spiced Millet Chickpea Burgers With Preserved Lemon Yoghurt

Spiced Millet Chickpea Burgers with Preserved Lemon Yoghurt

Vegetarian or not, these are sure to be delicious. Millet is gluten-free, and this recipe can be made totally GF by swapping out bread crumbs for a gluten-free flour.

Recipe: Spiced Millet Chickpea Burgers With Preserved Lemon Yoghurt

deliciouseveryday.com

7. ROLLED OATS (5.9 grams of protein per cup)

Rolled oats, oat flakes in bowl on wooden table.

Steel-cut or old-fashioned rolled oats are the way to go for maximum nutritional value.

Arx0nt / Getty Images

Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Bars

Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Bars

This recipe comes with a lot of optional modifications so you can accommodate a variety of dietary needs. They can be made dairy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free!

Recipe: Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Bars

backtothebooknutrition.com

Savory Oatmeal With Eggs

Savory oatmeal with eggs and avocado

Oatmeal is usually sweetened, but judging by the comments, once you go savory you'll love it!

Recipe: Savory Oatmeal With Eggs

fannetasticfood.com

Muesli

Muesli in a jar on left, in a bowl on right.

Once you start making your own muesli, you'll pick it over store-bought granola every time!

Recipe: How to Make Muesli

kitchentreaty.com

8. CORNMEAL/GRITS (4.4 grams of protein per cup)

Corn grits in wooden dish with wooden spoon on the wooden rustic table

Fun fact: Cornmeal and grits are the same thing ground to different consistencies.

Drbouz / Getty Images

Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

Spicy, sweet, and savory cornbread is a nice twist to traditional recipes.

Recipe: Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

sallysbakingaddiction.com

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits

A classic — and for good reason.

Recipe: Shrimp and Grits

spoonforkbacon.com

Arepas de Queso (Cheese Arepas)

Arepas de Queso (Cheese Arepas)

If you searched high and low for pre-cooked cornmeal, check the comments for really good substitutes. Some suggestions are to use masarepa, white hominy, or even grits!

Recipe: Arepas de Queso (Cheese Arepas)

mycolombianrecipes.com

9. BUCKWHEAT (5.7 grams of protein per cup)

Raw dry buckwheat grain in and around a bowl

Buckwheat is completely unrelated to wheat, and it's gluten-free! It has a stronger flavor than other grains so it can be a little polarizing — people often either love it or hate it.

Ekaterina Fedotova / Getty Images/500px Plus

Buckwheat Stir-Fry With Kale, Peppers & Artichokes

Buckwheat Stir Fry with Kale, Peppers & Artichokes

This 30-minute recipe is highly customizable, so even if you don't have every ingredient, you can probably come up with something delicious with what you have on hand.

Also, *roasted* buckwheat is what you want to look for.

Recipe: Buckwheat Stir-Fry With Kale, Peppers & Artichokes

ifoodreal.com

Banana Bread Pancakes With Grilled Maple Rum Bananas

Banana Bread Pancakes With Grilled Maple Rum Bananas

If you think the flavor of buckwheat is just a tad too much, you can make it milder by combining it with another flour.

Recipe: Banana Bread Pancakes With Grilled Maple Rum Bananas | Shop This Recipe

tasty.co

Kuttu Ki Khichdi (Buckwheat Khichdi)

Kuttu ki khichdi (Buckwheat khichdi)

Soba Noodle Salad 蕎麦サラダ

Soba noodle salad

Soba noodles are made from buckwheat as well!

Recipe: Soba Noodle Salad 蕎麦サラダ

justonecookbook.com

10. SPELT (10.7 grams of protein per cup)

Spelt is similar to wheat, and you can find it in pasta and flour forms. If baking, swap out all-purpose flour for spelt flour (many like it better than using wheat flour). 

Spelt is similar to wheat, and you can find it in pasta and flour forms. If baking, swap out all-purpose flour for spelt flour (many like it better than using wheat flour).

Amphotora / Getty Images

Spelt Salad With Navy Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, and Cucumber

Spelt salad with navy beans, cherry tomatoes and cucumber

Full of protein and perfect for salad SZN.

Recipe: Spelt Salad With Navy Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, and Cucumber

oliviascuisine.com

Fluffy Vegan Spelt Rolls

Fluffy Vegan Spelt Rolls

Could we have found the vegan, gluten-free replacement for the Cheesecake Factory rolls?! Maybe!

Recipe: Fluffy Vegan Spelt Rolls

minimalistbaker.com

11. QUINOA (8.1 grams of protein per cup)

Jar of quinoa

It’s an excellent source of protein and gluten-free, and it has been the cool kid on the block for quite a few years now.

Anna Quaglia / Getty Images/EyeEm

Breakfast Quinoa

Breakfast Quinoa

Quinoa isn't always just a rice substitute. Try it for breakfast!

Recipe: Breakfast Quinoa

cookieandkate.com

Tofu Bowl With Quinoa

Tofu bowl

This tofu bowl is filling and full of nutrients.

Recipe: Tofu Bowl with Quinoa | Shop This Recipe

tasty.co

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