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Fuel Your Fitness Without the Fridge: Delicious Dairy-Free Protein Options

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Updated on April 16, 2024

Do you ever have a pickle trying to discover delectable, high-protein foods now that dairy’s off the menu? We’ve rustled up this brilliant guide listing satisfying dairy-free protein sources. Why not join us on this culinary voyage as we uncover ways to keep your meals riveting without the customary milk or cheese?

Eggs, fish, nuts, soy, chicken and turkey, quinoa, and seeds are all excellent dairy-free protein sources. Dairy-free high-protein snacks include hard-boiled eggs, roasted chickpeas, tuna pouches, jerky and beef sticks, trail mix, protein bars, and dairy-free yoghurt. Dairy-free protein foods are suitable for lactose-intolerant individuals and provide plant-based options. These alternatives help promote weight loss and are generally lower in saturated fat than dairy protein sources.

Top Seven Dairy-Free Protein Sources

Here are seven fantastic dairy-free protein sources to incorporate into your diet: eggs, fish, nuts, soy, chicken and turkey, quinoa, and seeds.



Eggs are a star in the world of dairy-free protein. They come with lots of health benefits. One large egg has all you need – vitamins A, B2, B12 and D. It’s also full of other good stuff like folate, phosphorus and selenium.

But that’s not all. Eggs have a digestion rate above 90%. This means your body can use almost all the high-quality protein in eggs. Plus, they give your body “good” cholesterol. If hens eat food rich in Omega-3s, their eggs also get an extra boost for our health. So, think about having an egg or two next time you want a quick bite!


Fish is an excellent pick for a dairy-free protein source. It has lots of protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium. Fatty fish like salmon and sardines even give you some vitamin D.

Many types of fish are there to choose from. You can enjoy seafood like cod or shellfish such as tuna. Want to try something different? Go for mackerel, trout or herring. Tilapia and swordfish are also tasty choices with good nutrients.

Omega-3 fatty acids in many fishes make them very healthy. Fish is a perfect choice for eating something other than dairy or meat. One thing’s sure: you won’t feel short on protein if you’re eating plenty of fish!


Nuts are great for our health. They burst with protein, good fats and fibre. Almonds, pistachios, and cashews are some of the best to eat on a dairy-free diet. Nuts help us stay full and give us lots of nutrients. Eating them can even make us healthier. We should all try to eat more nuts in our meals or snacks.

Dairy-free Protein
Nuts as dairy-free protein


Soy is a superfood. It contains good stuff like fibre, protein, and omega-3 fats. You can find it in many forms, such as soy milk or tofu. Did you know that one serving of soy milk gives your body 380 milligrams of calcium? That’s very close to the amount found in dairy. Soy also has unique things called genistein and daidzen.

These are not present in any other foods. The best part is that each cup only has 100 calories with just enough fat and carbs for a balanced diet. Soy truly earns its spot as a top dairy-free protein source.

Chicken and turkey

Chicken and turkey are a big deal for food lovers who want to avoid dairy. These two pals pack a protein punch without making you worry about milk or cheese. A tiny three-ounce bit of them can give you about 27 grams of this nutrient.

They are the top dogs when discussing animal proteins, leaving beef far behind. And it’s not just proteins – they’re also packed to the brim with phosphorus, which is excellent news for those worried about their bones’ health.

Turkey breast keeps your calorie count low as it has little fat but contains many vitamins and minerals!


Quinoa is a small grain, but keep its size in check. This tiny seed packs a lot of good stuff. We can call quinoa a “whole grain”. Whole grains are full of fibre and help our bodies stay strong and healthy.

But that’s not all. Quinoa gives our body protein, too. Protein is essential for us; it helps keep our muscles big and strong.

This wonder grain doesn’t stop there. It also offers more goodies like zinc and folate. These nutrients play an essential part in keeping our bodies working well. To add to the charm, quinoa has no gluten in it.

So, people who can’t eat gluten can enjoy it without worry. The best part? Quinoa is quite tasty as well. And yes, cooked quinoa has nearly 8 grams of protein per cup.


Seeds are small but mighty. They pack a powerful protein punch. We often add chia and flaxseeds to my breakfast; it’s an easy way to get lots of protein first thing in the day. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds even made it into the list of seven dairy-free protein sources.

It’s not just about the protein; these little gems give us healthy fats, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. If you love a bit of crunch in your meals, try hemp or pumpkin seeds – they offer almost 10 grams of protein per ounce. And for my vegan friends who miss out on calcium from milk products, chia seeds come to the rescue as they’re full of calcium.

As someone who loves food, including these high-protein plant foods in my daily diet has been great fun!

10 Dairy-Free High Protein Snacks

Are you looking for some tasty and nutritious dairy-free snacks? Check out this list of 10 high-protein options that will satisfy your cravings and energise you throughout the day. From hard-boiled eggs to protein bars, there’s something for everyone.


Hard-boiled eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are a delicious and nutritious option for those looking to increase their protein intake. They make for a convenient snack with approximately 6.3g of protein per egg.

Not only are hard-boiled eggs packed with protein, but they also include essential nutrients like vitamins A, E, and B12. Omega-3 enriched eggs are an even better choice as they provide alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid that can benefit heart health.

To increase protein intake, top your hard-boiled eggs with ingredients like avocado or smoked salmon for extra flavour and nutrients. Whether enjoyed on its own or added to salads or sandwiches, a hard-boiled egg is a versatile and nutritious addition to any diet.

Roasted chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas are a delicious and nutritious dairy-free snack option. They are packed with protein, making them an excellent choice for those looking to increase their intake of this essential nutrient.

You can enjoy roasted chickpeas as a crunchy snack or add them to salads and roasted vegetables for an extra boost of flavour and texture.

One fantastic brand that offers roasted chickpeas is The Happy Snack Company. They have a delightful lime and cracked pepper flavour that adds a zesty kick to your snacking experience.

Moreover, these roasted chickpeas are suitable for various dietary needs as they are gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, and vegan.

Not only do roasted chickpeas taste amazing, but they also provide numerous health benefits. They contain high fibre, which aids digestion and helps you feel full for extended periods.

Additionally, they include essential minerals like iron and magnesium that support overall body function.

Tuna pouches

Tuna pouches are a fantastic choice for dairy-free, high, high-protein snacks. They come in convenient sizes, usually around 2.5-2.6 ounces, making them easy to take on the go. Each tuna pouch contains about 15-18 grams of protein, which satisfies hunger and promotes muscle recovery.

Best of all, plain tuna pouches are always dairy-free, so they’re suitable for people with lactose intolerance or dairy-free diets. These healthy and portable snacks are perfect for athletes or anyone looking for nutritious options when on the move.

Jerky and beef sticks

We love snacking on jerky and beef sticks because they are delicious and protein-packed. Not only do they satisfy my cravings, but they also provide a quick and convenient way to boost my protein intake.

Beef jerky is an excellent option for dairy-free snack lovers like me, as it contains high amounts of protein while being low in calories and carbohydrates. For example, Chomp’s meat sticks have 9g of protein per stick and only 90 calories.

They are also low in sodium, fat, and carbs, making them suitable for keto or low-carb diets. So whenever we need a tasty dairy-free snack energising us throughout the day, we reach for these satisfying jerky and beef sticks!

Trail mix

Trail mix is a good option for a dairy-free, high-protein snack. It typically includes ingredients like nuts and seeds, which are stuffed with healthy fats, protein, and fibre. In just a ⅓ cup serving of trail mix, you can get around 5-7 grams of protein.

Some popular high-protein trail mix recipes include dried fruit and chocolate chips for added flavour. To boost your protein intake deliciously and conveniently, try incorporating almonds, pistachios, cashews, or pumpkin seeds into your trail mix for more protein punch.

Protein bars

Protein bars are an excellent option for snack time, especially if you’re looking for dairy-free protein options. They usually have around 10-20 grams of protein and 150-400 calories per bar.

One popular dairy-free option is the Vegan Cookie Dough Protein Bar, which is highly rated among food lovers. If you’re monitoring your calorie intake, look for protein bars with less than 250 calories and at least 10 grams of protein.

You can find these dairy-free protein bars at grocery stores or even consider vegan protein bars or dairy-free protein powder as alternatives to traditional dairy-based products.

Dairy-free yoghurt

Dairy-free yoghurt is an excellent option if you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious dairy-free snack. It’s made from plant-based alternatives like almond or coconut milk, making it suitable for lactose intolerance or following a plant-based diet.

Dairy-free yoghurts also tend to have higher fibre content than dairy yoghurts, which can benefit digestion. They often have lower overall sugar and sodium content, too.

So, if you’re craving a creamy and satisfying snack, try out some famous brands like Silk Almondmilk Yogurt Alternative or So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt.

Benefits of Dairy-Free Protein Foods

Dairy-free protein foods offer numerous benefits, such as being suitable for lactose intolerant individuals and providing plant-based protein options. They can also help in weight loss and are generally lower in saturated fat than dairy protein sources.


Suitable for lactose-intolerant individuals

If you’re lactose intolerant, there are plenty of dairy-free protein options for you to enjoy. You don’t have to worry about missing protein because many suitable alternatives are available.

Plant-based proteins like nuts, soy, and quinoa can provide the nutrients your body needs without discomfort. In addition to being lactose-free, these foods have other health importance, such as being lower in saturated fat and promoting weight loss.

So, if you’re looking for a protein-rich diet that doesn’t include dairy products, there are plenty of delicious options!

Plant-based protein options

Plant-based protein options are great for those looking to add more variety to their diets. Not only are they healthier alternatives to animal-based proteins, but they also provide numerous health benefits.

Foods like beans, nuts, and plant-based meat can be excellent protein sources for vegans and individuals following a plant-based diet. These options are protein-rich and packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre our bodies need.

Additionally, incorporating plant-based proteins into your meals can share in a more sustainable food system and help reduce the environmental effects of animal agriculture. So whether you’re vegan or want to explore new flavours, there’s no shortage of delicious and nutritious plant-based protein options!

Can promote weight loss

Removing dairy from your diet can assist in weight loss. This is because dairy products, like milk, contain lactose, a natural sugar that can contribute to weight gain.

By cutting out dairy, you reduce your sugar intake and may see some positive effects on your weight management journey. Scientific evidence has also shown that consuming dairy can have adverse health effects, so opting for dairy-free protein foods can benefit overall health.

It’s essential to ensure you still get enough protein and calcium when going dairy-free.

Lower in saturated fat

Dairy-free protein foods are a great choice due to their low saturated fat compared to dairy products. This is important for our heart health because too much-saturated fat can result in heart disease.

By choosing dairy-free protein sources, we can reduce saturated fat intake and promote a healthier heart. Dairy-free protein foods also benefit those with diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, as reducing saturated fat can help prevent these conditions.

So, by opting for dairy-free options, we can enjoy protein-rich foods without worrying about consuming too much saturated fat.


A variety of dairy-free protein foods can be included in your diet. There are many options, from eggs and fish to nuts, soy, chicken, turkey, quinoa, and seeds.

These alternatives provide essential protein and other benefits, such as being suitable for lactose-intolerant individuals and promoting weight loss. So whether you’re lactose intolerant or simply looking to add more plant-based protein options, these dairy-free protein foods have you covered.

Enjoy exploring the delicious and nutritious world of dairy-free alternatives!


What are some examples of dairy-free protein foods?

Some dairy-free protein foods include beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, nuts, seeds, and plant-based protein powders.

Are there any animal-based protein options that are also dairy-free?

Animal-based protein options, like chicken breast, turkey breast, fish, and eggs, are dairy-free.

Can I get enough protein from a dairy-free diet?

Yes, it is possible to get enough protein from a dairy-free diet by incorporating a variety of plant-based proteins and animal-based proteins into your meals.

Are there any health benefits to following a dairy-free diet for protein?

Following a dairy-free diet for protein can have various health benefits, such as improved digestion (for those with lactose intolerance), reduced inflammation in some individuals who may be sensitive to specific milk proteins, and the opportunity to explore new food sources rich in nutrients like fibre and vitamins.

How can I ensure I am getting enough calcium on a dairy-free diet high in plant sources of proteins?

While some plant-based proteins may not provide as much calcium as milk products do, you can still meet your calcium needs by including other calcium-rich foods in your diet, such as fortified dairy-free milk or juices made from almonds or soybeans; leafy green vegetables like kale or broccoli; and tofu set with calcium sulfate.

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