Your pantry is vital to sticking to a healthy diet. Aside from keeping all your flavor enhancers (herbs, spices, etc.), your cooking oils and grains, your pantry can keep plenty of high protein foods! Many people automatically think of animal meats when talking about protein, however there are plenty more to choose from. These high protein pantry foods are always in my pantry! I also restock and make sure I incorporate these into my weekly meals.
The Best High Protein Pantry Foods
- Lentils – Lentils are legumes that can be dried or canned. They contain about 23 grams of protein per half cup! You can cook these as a side dish, use them as a base for a buddha bowl or toss them in with a salad.
- Beans – Beans come in a large variety such as black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, cannellini beans, etc. They contain about 22 grams of protein per half cup. You can use beans similar to how you use lentils.
- Nuts and nut butters – Nuts and almond or peanut butter are great high protein snack items. Not to mention they contain plenty of healthy fats. Nuts contain between 4-12 grams of protein per quarter cup. Nut butters contain about 5-8 grams of protein per two tablespoons.
- Quinoa – Quinoa is an ancient grain that is a great replacement for pasta and rice. It contains about 12 grams of protein per half cup. Bonus: quinoa is a complete protein meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids! This is a great protein food for vegetarians.
- Canned tuna – Canned tuna is one my favorite pantry items. It is so easy to use and great for quick lunches. One can of tuna contains about 41 grams of protein! You can make an easy tuna salad with Greek yogurt, celery, lemon and salt and pepper.
- Protein powder – Protein powder may not be the most ideal way to get protein, but it’s a must in my pantry. It’s a great addition to smoothies. There are so many options to choose from that range in protein content. Whey protein is highest in protein, but vegan or plant-based protein powders are great as well. My favorite is Perfect Fit!
*Nutrition facts obtained from the National Nutrient Database.