Andie Thueson » Wellness » Healthy Living » 30 Surprising Sources of Protein: Go Beyond Boring Chicken!

30 Surprising Sources of Protein: Go Beyond Boring Chicken!


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In the world of diet and fitness, the idea of eating protein seems to be crammed down our throats, EAT YOUR PROTEIN they say.

But Why? I have no desire to look like a beefed-up she-man. It turns out to get the sleek trimmed down nicely-toned bod I’m going for. Protein is a BIG part of that!

Getting tired of eating chicken to get your protein in? Try these 30 Surprising Sources of Protein! Just say no to bland chicken and mix it up a bit!

Here are the top 3 things you need to understand about protein…. (AWESOME article found here on

Protein is the building block of muscle construction—more muscle tone = better metabolism. If you don’t get enough protein, you’re in for trouble! It will cause muscle depletion and all sorts of other nasty problems you don’t want or need.

The base amount of protein you need is more than the required RDA states! If you sit on your bum all day and have no desire to lose weight or tone anything, you are perfectly ok with the recommended 50g of protein. Otherwise, a good rule of thumb is 1.2-2 grams of protein for every 2.2 lbs of body weight for an active individual looking to lean up. (Example, let’s take my body weight of 131 lbs to divide that by 2.2. You get 59.5. Then you multiply that by 1.5 to get the total of 89 grams of protein. I should be consuming to get the hot bod I’m going for.) Just some simple math 😉

Your body needs different kinds of protein. Just eating only chicken and beef won’t cut it either you need to mix it up! — This is where I come in!!

Let’s mix things up and say no to bland basic chicken+ beef! Give these 30 Surprising Sources of Protein a try! 

All these ideas are some of my favorite “go-to” protein snacks. 

  1. Cottage Cheese 12 grams in 1/2 Cup Serving
  2. Hard-Boiled Egg: 1 Egg = 6 grams
  3. Protein Powder: 1 scoop of protein = 20-30 grams depending on the brand (My personal favorite brand is Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein Powder). Use the link to save $10 on your first order! 
  4. Hummus 2 TBS = 2 grams — pretty high for a DIP
  5. Lunch Meat & Cheese Stick Roll Up =16 grams
  6. Low Sugar Beef Jerky = 1 oz serving =14 grams.
  7. Edamame 1 Cup = 17 grams
  8. Protein Bar: Snack Size Variety around 120-200 Calories = 10-16 grams of protein (My favorite brand is Built Bars!) Use Code Andie10 for 10% your entire order. 
  9. Celery + Natural Peanut Butter (2 TBS)= 7 grams
  10. Greek Yogurt 1 Cup = 23 grams
  11. Almonds 21 — (count em’ out) = 5 grams
  12. Egg Whites 6 — 21 grams
  13. Pumpkin Seeds 1/4 cup = 10 grams
  14. Black Beans 1/2 Cup = 8 grams
  15. Oatmeal 1/2 dry = 6 grams
  16. Peanut Butter Protein Bites — Recipes Found HERE 2 grams per bite
  17. Protein Pancakes Recipes Found HERE = 10-20 grams. 
  18. Cinnamon Crunch Chickpeas Recipe Found HERE = 14 grams — these look AMAZING!
  19. Protein Popcorn = Combine 3 cups air-popped popcorn with 1/2 Scoop Protein Powder to coat = 16.5 grams
  20. Wheat Berries: 1/2 Cup Serving = 6 grams. The recipe can be found HERE)
  21. Dave’s Killer Organic Everything Bagels & 2 TBS Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese = 15 grams
  22. 8 oz Glass of 1% Milk = 8 grams 
  23. Quinoa 1 Cup Cooked = 8 grams
  24. Tuna 6oz can = 22 grams — Mix with one wedge laughing cow cheese (2g) & mustard! 
  25. Broccoli 6 grams per 1 Cup 
  26. Spinach also has 6 grams per 1 cup serving.
  27. Perk Energy Drink: Comes in so many tasty flavors it’s like a protein hot chocolate. I drink this “on the daily” for a natural caffeine boost and a good dose of protein- 7 grams. I enjoy the Mexican Hot Chocolate and the Chai Flavors. Use Code “andie” to save 15% 
  28. Collagen Powder. This is by far my favorite way to sneak in extra good for me protein. It is flavorless and can be added to ANYTHING for an easy 10G boost of protein. Add it to your coffee, Perk, protein shake, oatmeal, tea, water. REALLY anything. My favorite brand of Collagen is Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein Powder. Use the link to save $10 on your first order!
  29. Peanut Butter: 2 TBS = 7 grams 
  30. Guavas: This exotic fruit packs 4.2 grams of protein per serving! 

There you have it, friends, 30 sources of good for you surprising sources of protein that go way beyond bland grilled chicken. 

I hope this helps you on your journey. Protein is a foundational macronutrient we all could use a bit more of! 


  1. Amber Koogler says:

    Great list!!! I've been needing protein ideas!

  2. McKenzie @ Girl Loves Glam says:

    Love this! Totally pinning!

  3. What a great list, Andie- tons I would never have thought of! I've been seeing this post all over Pinterest too 😉

  4. Ashley at flats to flip flops says:

    What? You are so smart! Pinning fo sure!<br />Ash:)

  5. Some great and different ideas there. Would never have thought to coat popcorn with protein powder.

    1. Elle, — Let me know what ya think! We’re fans of it in our home! 🙂

  6. GiGi Eats says:

    I eat roughly 2 pounds of animal protein most days of the week, and if it’s not animal protein, it’s vegan protein powder. YUM! I would die with out that much protein. Protein is my go – to for stomach reasons!

    1. LOL!!! Me Too! I love my Protein!!! Which Vegan powder is your fave? I always love trying new brands!

  7. Didn’t see Pepsi on the list 😉 As in days of old…have last Pepsi can on desk….Think of you often. Love Dad

  8. Hello,
    Im just wondering about the total grams of Protein we get after calculating
    (Weight divided by 2.2 x1.5= total), Is that total grams of Protein that needs to be consumed in one day?

    1. Yes – that should equal about of Protein in grams for one day consumption 🙂

  9. love these ideas to sneak in a little more protein!

  10. Love this list! Thanks so much for sharing!

  11. Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert says:

    Love these products! They all look amazing!

  12. This post was so helpful and very interesting! I can’t wait to try some of these! Thank you!!

  13. What a great article! And for sure – there are some real surprises on the list that I’ll bet most people aren’t expecting – like oatmeal and broccoli, for example! So helpful to see these comparisons!

  14. I love knowins all the new-to-me ways that I can sneak in more protein. Thank you also for the formula to help me figure out how much more protein I need. i’ve been waaay under-consuming!

  15. I had no clue that guavas have so much protein! and I never thought of protein popcorn, genius!

  16. This is fabulous information! I have this bookmarked for reference!

  17. Love the list!! I didn’t know some of these & I love getting in my protein!

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