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Which beans are high in protein?

Beans are a staple in many diets, known for their high protein content and valuable contribution to a balanced diet. They are a nutritious powerhouse, offering an array of health benefits and culinary versatility. When it comes to beans rich in protein, there are several varieties that stand out for their nutritional value and role in promoting overall well-being.

One such bean known for its high protein content is the kidney bean. Packed with essential nutrients, kidney beans not only provide a significant amount of protein but also offer fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Incorporating kidney beans into meals can enhance the nutritional profile of dishes while adding a hearty texture and rich flavor.

Black beans are another protein-rich option that deserves a place in a healthy diet. These legumes are not only a great source of plant-based protein but also contain antioxidants and fiber, promoting digestive health and overall wellness.

Kidney Beans

One cup (177 grams) of cooked kidney beans contains:




15.3 grams


0.885 gram


40.4 grams


13.1 grams

Thiamine (vitamin B1)

24% of the DV

Folate (vitamin B9)

58% of the DV


48% of the DV


37% of the DV


29% of the DV

Black Beans

One cup (172 grams) of cooked black beans contains:




15.2 grams


0.929 grams


40.8 grams


15 grams

Thiamine (vitamin B1)

35% of the DV

Folate (vitamin B9)

64% of the DV


20% of the DV


29% of the DV


33% of the DV


One cup (198 grams) of cooked lentils contains:




17.9 grams


0.752 gram


39.8 grams


15.6 grams

Thiamine (vitamin B1)

30% of the DV

Folate (vitamin B9)

90% of the DV


55% of the DV


37% of the DV


23% of the DV

Incorporate beans in your meal

  1. Bean Salads:

    • Rinse a can of your favorite beans (like kidney beans, chickpeas, or black beans).

    • Mix with chopped vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, onions).

    • Dress with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

    • Enjoy as a refreshing and protein-packed side dish or meal.

  2. Bean Soups:

    • Sauté onions and garlic in a pot.

    • Add vegetable broth, chopped vegetables (carrots, celery), and a can of beans.

    • Season with herbs and spices of choice.

    • Simmer until vegetables are tender. Blend if desired for a creamy texture.

  3. Bean Dips:

    • Blend a can of beans (e.g., cannellini or black beans) in a food processor.

    • Add garlic, lemon juice, and tahini or olive oil for smoothness.

    • Season with salt, pepper, and spices like cumin or paprika.

    • Serve with vegetable sticks or whole-grain crackers.

  4. Bean Tacos:

    • Heat a can of black beans or pinto beans with taco seasoning.

    • Fill taco shells or tortillas with the bean mixture.

    • Top with cheese, lettuce, salsa, and avocado.

    • Enjoy a quick and satisfying meal.

  5. Bean Pasta:

    • Cook pasta according to package instructions.

    • Sauté garlic and cherry tomatoes in olive oil.

    • Add a can of beans and cooked pasta to the pan.

    • Toss with fresh basil, salt, and pepper.

    • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese for a hearty dish.

Top Protein-Rich Beans for Your Diet

Beans, particularly kidney beans, black beans, and lentils, stand out as top contenders for protein-rich sources in a balanced diet. These legumes not only offer a substantial amount of protein but also come packed with various other essential nutrients vital for overall well-being.

Kidney beans are renowned for their impressive protein content, making them a valuable addition to meals for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Incorporating kidney beans into dishes like chili, salads, or soups can elevate both the taste and nutritional value of the meal.

Black beans, another protein powerhouse, offer a myriad of health benefits in addition to their protein-rich nature. From aiding in weight management to promoting heart health, black beans are a versatile ingredient that can be used in recipes ranging from burritos to dips, adding a distinct flavor and texture.

Lentils, with their significant protein content, provide a versatile option for including protein in various cuisines. Whether used in Indian dal, soups, or salads, lentils offer a nutritional boost along with a delicious taste.

Incorporating kidney beans, black beans, and lentils into your diet can significantly enhance your protein intake. These beans are not only high in protein but also rich in essential nutrients, making them indispensable for maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.


  1. Which beans are considered high in protein?

    Some of the beans that are high in protein include black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, and edamame.

  2. How much protein do beans typically contain?

    Beans are a great source of protein, with most varieties containing around 15-20 grams of protein per cup when cooked.

  3. Are beans a good alternative source of protein for vegetarians and vegans?

    Yes, beans are an excellent plant-based source of protein and can help meet the protein needs of individuals following a vegetarian or vegan diet.

  4. How can beans be incorporated into a high-protein diet?

    Beans can be added to salads, soups, stews, stir-fries, and casseroles to increase the protein content of meals or enjoyed as a standalone dish.

  5. Are there any cooking methods that can preserve the protein content of beans?

    To retain the maximum protein content, it is recommended to soak beans overnight before cooking and to avoid overcooking, as excessive heat can degrade the protein content.