The 5 best plant-based protein powders
If your goal is to stick to plant-based ingredients, it can be tough to find a high-quality protein powder that isn't gritty or chalky. When you're looking for the best plant-based protein powders, you'll find two of the most common protein sources are brown rice and quinoa. Brown rice tends to have a chalkier taste on its own, which is why it's often blended with other ingredients, while quinoa is more neutral. For a strict grain-free diet, you can opt for a protein powder that's derived from peas, chia seeds, or pumpkin seeds. Regardless of the protein source you choose, you'll be glad to know that you don't need to consume meat-based products to bulk up.
When you're picking out a protein powder, it's helpful to first consider how you'll be using it. Are you looking for a complete shake formula that you can simply mix with water or milk alternatives? Or would you prefer something more stripped down that you can add to your own customized smoothie or shake recipes?
You'll also want to think about any additional dietary considerations you have, whether you need an option that's also gluten-free, sugar-free, kosher, organic, or keto-friendly, for example. When possible, it's also helpful to read online reviews to see what customers have to say about the protein powder's taste and texture. (I did this part for you.)
Below, I've put together a list of the best plant-based protein powders on Amazon so you can find the one that's best for your needs.
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1. The fan favorite
Protein per serving: 21 grams
What makes it great: This organic plant-based protein powder, which boasts over 9,000 reviews on Amazon, is made with a healthy blend of pea, brown rice, and chia proteins. One of only two picks in this list that are USDA certified-organic, it has a sweet vanilla flavor that tastes great in smoothies, according to reviewers, and zero added sugar. It's tasty enough to mix with just plain water, milk, or your favorite milk substitute, but you can also add it to shakes. With additional plant-based ingredients such rosemary and sunflower oil, it's 100% vegan and kosher, plus it's free of gluten, dairy, lactose, soy, and carrageen. It's also available in a chocolate-flavored version.
One reviewer says: "This is the best vegan protein powder I have ever tasted in my life. [...] It blends so easily. It's not gritty or grainy and doesn't taste like you're eating handfuls of dirt. I've tried dozens of vegan protein powders and this is by far the best I've ever had. I know we all have different taste buds, but this is definitely a top contender for all. I blend everyday with bananas, strawberries, cinnamon, and water. It's my breakfast on the go and I love it."
2. The simple one
Protein per serving: 8 grams
What makes it great: Made of a single non-GMO ingredient, this high-quality pea protein powder is a simple option you can add to your own customized shakes. At just $15 for 2 pounds, it comes at a wallet-friendly price, yet it's still chock-full of healthy nutrients (including vitamin D, iron, and calcium). What's more, it's unsweetened and unflavored so you can add it to shakes and smoothies without altering the taste much. Unlike the other options in this roundup, it's probably not one you'd want to drink on its own with just water or a milk substitute. But this one-ingredient powder is compatible with a wide variety of diet types.
One reviewer says: "The BEST protein powder I have found. I use it with frozen berries, lemon juice, and green energy powder to make a smoothie, every morning, My husband and I love it. We really miss it, if we miss a day. Anthony's Peas is the only protein powder that I actually like. That is because I can't taste it."
3. The one made with pumpkin seeds
Protein per serving: 20 grams
What makes it great: This non-chalky, non-gritty plant-based protein powder boasts a delicious chocolate flavor, according to reviewers. It relies on pumpkin seeds along with pea protein to deliver its energy boost. The vegan powder can be mixed with water or a milk substitute (or regular old milk, if you drink it) or added to your own smoothie recipes. Additionally, it has an ingredient called Velositol that helps with muscle protein synthesis.
One reviewer says: "I have been vegan quite a while and tried so many brands - hands down, Genius Vegan protein tastes the best and gives me awesome results. I actually shared it with my non-vegan friends and feedback has been pretty amazing, so much better than whey.Highly recommend!"
4. The one that's berry-flavored
Protein per serving: 20 grams
What makes it great: With more than 3,000 reviews on Amazon, this popular berry-flavored protein powder is well-liked and vouched for by reviewers. It has a mix of nutrient-rich ingredients including broccoli, spinach, kale, and alfalfa powders, along with a handful of proteins including pea, brown rice, and sacha inchi. (The latter is derived from the sacha peanut — sometimes called the "Inca nut" — which has a rich, nutty flavor). The powder has no added sugar and it's 100% vegan and gluten-free too. Scoop a portion into your smoothie, or mix it up with water, milk, or the milk substitute of your choice for a creamy berry shake. It's also available in chocolate, coconut almond, salted caramel, and tropical flavors.
One reviewer says: "I drink this every morning, just to get my day going. The texture is great and the taste is clean. There is no harsh aftertaste like in many other protein shakes. My fiancé loves to blend this powder with more fruits after a workout. This powder blends well and isn't chalky. We've gone through three of these berry flavor powders. The quality has always been phenomenal. I wouldn't go with any other protein powder."
5. The editor favorite
Protein per serving: 20 grams
What makes it great: USDA-certified organic and non-GMO, this Garden of Life protein and greens powder is a favorite among Mic editors due to its nutrient-rich profile and the fact that it tastes exactly like a milkshake when blended with your dairy-substitute of choice. It's also a popular choice among Amazon reviewers, with a 4.5-star rating after more than 2,000 reviews. In addition to being vegan, this powder is also kosher and gluten-free, and it's loaded with amino acids, vitamins, and minerals (including potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc).
One reviewer says: "Love, love, love it. I get the vanilla and mix it in with a bunch of veggies & some fruit in blender and it really adds to the taste. I ran out of it this week and realized that my juices (smoothies) suddenly tasted like grass. It really does taste good and help balance out all the strong veggie flavors. Such a great product with all that it includes and it got the thumbs up from my nutritionist."