22 Herbs and Spices That Have Protein

Updated on May 11, 2020
Cynthia Hoover profile image

Cynthia is a gardening enthusiast. She has a green thumb and always plants a variety of items for harvesting during gardening season.

Adding additional protein to your diet is as easy as using herbs and spices.
Adding additional protein to your diet is as easy as using herbs and spices.

Protein is body fuel, and adding it to your diet is a great way to keep your energy up. Our bodies need protein to give us energy for the day.

Especially when it comes to kids, it can be very hard to make sure they get enough protein. If you have ever had a picky eater in your family, you have no doubt stressed over adding protein to their diet. I have found over the years that certain spices contain more protein than others...not as much as you would get from eating meat, of course, but still. Spices offer a simple way to add additional protein to many dishes while adding great flavor, as well.

Using these spices a great way to add a little protein to vegetarian dishes or to get a little protein in your picky toddler's diet! I have an extremely picky 7-year-old and a toddler that will not eat meat unless I say it is chicken. He loves "chicken bites," but I admit that sometimes it is beef that I call chicken. My 7-year-old daughter hates everything, home-cooked or not; she is just the pickiest little thing I have ever known, so I've had to get pretty creative over the years, finding ways to add protein to her diet. It can be very hard to give protein to someone who only wants to eat bread! Since she loves bread so much, I have found by adding spices to my bread recipes I can feel a bit better (not much) about what she is eating.

22 Herbs and Spices With Protein

You will find that these spices, which add wonderful flavors to your dishes, also contain protein! Be it a picky tween, toddler, or your vegetarian or vegan friends, spices can add much-needed protein. Here are the most protein-rich spices to add to your pantry, but keep in mind that they only offer minimal amounts.

  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Tarragon
  • Dill seed
  • Paprika
  • Basil
  • Poppy seed
  • Caraway seed
  • Spearmint
  • Parsley
  • Red or cayenne pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Fennel seed
  • Garlic
  • Cumin seed
  • Anise seed
  • Celery seed
  • Mustard seed
  • Dried chervil
  • Fenugreek seed
  • Curry powder
  • Marjoram

Creating your own infused oils at home can add additional protein if you choose the right spices.
Creating your own infused oils at home can add additional protein if you choose the right spices.

How to Use Spices for Added Protein

Now that you have the list of spices what do you do with it? Adding these spices to your meals is easy. The sky's the limit and you can use your imagination. I will give you a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Curry powder is not just for adding to chicken. Try adding it to quinoa and other grains as well.
  • Fenugreek seed, spearmint, poppy seed, and ginger can all be incorporated into yogurt or smoothies.
  • Cayenne and red pepper can be added to just about any dish if you can stand a little heat. I enjoy adding pepper flakes to slices of pizza and salads.
  • Basil, paprika, tarragon, cumin seed, and mustard seed work well with chicken and on steamed vegetables.
  • Garlic is a stand-alone spice. It works well with just about everything and you can easily roast entire cloves and eat them as a side dish.
  • It is extremely easy to create your own infused oils with a wealth of the spices I mention here, adding additional protein and flavor to your cooking or salad oil.

However you decide to use these spices, they are sure to add some wonderful flavor profiles to your meals... plus a little protein, as well.

Questions & Answers

  • What are good sources of protein?

    Protein sources will vary depending on your lifestyle. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, I have written another article that mentions eight sources of protein.

    If you are not a vegan or vegetarian, there is a wealth of foods you can eat to add protein to your diet. To name a few, you could add the following to your diet:


    Chicken Breast

    Cheese (many types of cheese including cottage cheese are high in protein)



    Beef (lean cuts of beef are best)

    This is only a small example of the foods you can eat to add protein to your diet.

© 2016 Cynthia Hoover


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      8 days ago

      I use all of those in my cooking and I also grow some of them on my balcony.


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