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

Packing in the protein is easier than you think.

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)

Photo By Cathy Scola / Getty Images

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. 

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How to Cook Farro

cookieandkate.com

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

Farro & Lentil Salad

tasty.co

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

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Maple Cinnamon Breakfast Farro

kitchenconfidante.com

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

Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Breakfast Farro

Farro Risotto with Mushrooms and Peas

themediterraneandish.com

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

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2. KAMUT (9.8 grams of protein per cup)

Douglas Sacha / Getty Images

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. 

Spicy Kamut and Chickpea Stew

cravethegood.com

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 

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One Skillet Creamy Chicken and Kamut Casserole

healthynibblesandbits.com

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

Recipe: One Skillet Creamy Chicken and Kamut Casserole 

3. TEFF (9.8 grams of protein per cup)

Ekaterina Fedotova / Getty Images/500px Plus

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. 

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Oat Teff Pancakes

naturallyella.com

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

Fermented Spicy Teff Porridge

thecanadianafrican.com

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 

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

Grace Cary / Getty Images

Whole wheat pasta meals? Easy peasy. 

Whole Wheat Roasted Veggie Lasagna

pinchofyum.com

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

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Garlicky Whole-Wheat Pasta With Fried Hazelnuts

food52.com

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

Medianews Group / MediaNews Group via Getty Images

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

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Kale and Wild Rice Salad

twopeasandtheirpod.com

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

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice

juliasalbum.com

Creamy, delicious, protein-packed comfort food. 

Recipe: Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice 

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Wild Rice With Sausage and Mushrooms

kalynskitchen.com

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

6. MILLET (6.1 grams of protein per cup)

Krisanapong Detraphiphat / Getty Images

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. 

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Creamy Millet Porridge

runningtothekitchen.com

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

Recipe: Creamy Millet Porridge 

Spiced Millet Chickpea Burgers With Preserved Lemon Yoghurt

deliciouseveryday.com

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 

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

Arx0nt / Getty Images

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

Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Bars

backtothebooknutrition.com

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 

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Savory Oatmeal With Eggs

fannetasticfood.com

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

Recipe: Savory Oatmeal With Eggs 

Muesli

kitchentreaty.com

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

Recipe: How to Make Muesli 

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

Drbouz / Getty Images

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

Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

sallysbakingaddiction.com

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

Recipe: Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

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Shrimp and Grits

spoonforkbacon.com

A classic — and for good reason.

Recipe: Shrimp and Grits

Arepas de Queso (Cheese Arepas)

mycolombianrecipes.com

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)

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9. BUCKWHEAT (5.7 grams of protein per cup)

Ekaterina Fedotova / Getty Images/500px Plus

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. 

Buckwheat Stir-Fry With Kale, Peppers & Artichokes

ifoodreal.com

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

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Banana Bread Pancakes With Grilled Maple Rum Bananas

tasty.co

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

RecipeBanana Bread Pancakes With Grilled Maple Rum Bananas | Shop This Recipe

Kuttu Ki Khichdi (Buckwheat Khichdi)

vegrecipesofindia.com

Big fan of this one.

Recipe: Kuttu Ki Khichdi (Buckwheat Khichdi)

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Soba Noodle Salad 蕎麦サラダ

justonecookbook.com

Soba noodles are made from buckwheat as well!

Recipe: Soba Noodle Salad  蕎麦サラダ

10. SPELT (10.7 grams of protein per cup)

Amphotora / Getty Images

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). 

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Spelt Salad With Navy Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, and Cucumber

oliviascuisine.com

Full of protein and perfect for salad SZN. 

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

Fluffy Vegan Spelt Rolls

minimalistbaker.com

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

Recipe: Fluffy Vegan Spelt Rolls

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11. QUINOA (8.1 grams of protein per cup)

Anna Quaglia / Getty Images/EyeEm

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. 

Breakfast Quinoa

cookieandkate.com

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

Recipe: Breakfast Quinoa

Tofu Bowl With Quinoa

tasty.co

This tofu bowl is filling and full of nutrients. 

Recipe: Tofu Bowl with Quinoa | Shop This Recipe

For even more delicious recipes and meal ideas, download the award-winning Tasty app for iOS and Android! 🍳

Need easy dinner ideas?

These meals will make your weeknights way simpler. (And tastier!)

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