January 9th, 2018 | Updated on July 8th, 2022
A well-rounded diet should always pack in the right amount of protein. The important macronutrient promotes muscle recovery and satiety—which simply means it keeps you feeling full and helps your body heal after a workout.
Eggs are the poster child for protein—you need only watch Sylvester Stallone chugging raw eggs as Rocky Balboa for proof. And the reputation is well-earned: A single hard-boiled egg packs six grams of protein, all in a convenient, portable package.
What the little white orbs don’t deserve is a monopoly on your protein consumption—there are other equally delicious ways to load up on the muscle-building nutrient. In fact, these 11 foods all have more protein than an egg:
1. Hemp Hearts
Compared to the arguably more popular chia seeds, hemp hearts are lower in calories and higher in protein per tablespoon. Each seed also comes packed with heart-healthy, alpha-linoleic acid, an omega-3. Studies suggest that hemp seeds can help fight heart disease, obesity, and metabolic syndrome, likely because they’re rich in fiber and omega-3s.
You can eat them straight from the bag, sprinkle a handful on salads, in your morning oatmeal, or your post-workout smoothie. Find them in your local health food store or grab a bag online from retailer Manitoba Harvest.
Tofu is so beloved by vegetarians for a reason. Four ounces has 10 grams of protein and 94 calories. Try it in this low-calorie tofu and coconut rice dinner.
This veggie can often be found in the frozen section and makes a great low-calorie snack. Bonus: It’s also high in fiber. Four ounces has 12 grams of protein and 136 calories.
4. Greek Yogurt
This tangy smoothie favorite is seriously packing the protein. Four ounces has 12 grams and about 64 calories. Step outside the smoothie box and try it in something savory.
5. Cottage Cheese
Want creamy oatmeal without any actual cream? Try adding cottage cheese. It’s high in protein and low in calories—four ounces has 14 grams of protein and 81 calories. Plus, it’s usually more affordable than other dairy products.
Shrimp is so low in calories, and so high in protein. Four ounces of shrimp has 24 grams of protein and 120 calories. This food is also extremely freezer-friendly (it can last for about three to six months), and many grocery stores will sell it pre-frozen. Try it in stir-fry.
If you’re not a huge fish fan, but still want all the low-calorie high-protein benefits fish can provide, tilapia is a great option to keep in mind. It has a mild, inoffensive flavor and is quick and easy to make. Try cooking it with this simple parchment paper hack.
8. Dried Spirulina
Fish aren’t the only ocean fare packed with protein: Just two tablespoons of this dried seaweed contain an amazing eight grams of protein—all for just 40 calories. Hint: Try sprinkling spirulina over a salad, or use it to season roasted vegetables.
9. Roasted Soybeans
A quarter cup of this snack houses 15 grams of protein, along with a sizable dose of fiber and potassium. It’s the perfect ingredient to include in a homemade trail mix.
10. Gruyere Cheese
An ounce of gruyere—a deliciously rich variety of Swiss cheese—has more than eight grams of protein. Just watch your portions, though: While a one-ounce serving contains a reasonable 117 calories, it can be easy to consume several portions if you aren’t careful.
11. Dried Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds may be best known for their magnesium, but they’re also a rich source of protein: 10 grams per quarter cup.