16 Complete Protein Pairings with Broccoli

Summary:

  • Broccoli contains a moderate amount of protein - about 2.6 grams per cup.
  • However, broccoli provides only 6 of the 9 essential amino acids sufficiently - it is a little low on isoleucine, leucine and methionine.[1]
  • Broccoli pairs well with carrots, chia seeds, yellow corn, spirulina or pumpkin seeds to create a complete protein profile. [2] More broccoli pairings and detailed analysis below.

A complete protein is a protein source that "contains adequate proportions of the nine essential amino acids" that our body can not produce on its own.

World Health Organization [2], National Academy Press [3]

We analyzed the amino acid composition of broccoli, and found both vegan and vegetarian pairings with broccoli that creates a complete protein profile. Read on to discover new combinations of foods to enjoy!

Details on how we calculate complete protein profiles.

image of broccoli source

Amount of Protein in Broccoli

A decent source of supplementary protein, a single cup of broccoli contains 2.6 grams of protein, or about 5% of recommended daily values. [1]

To get the adequate amount of protein with broccoli alone, you will need 19 cups of broccoli (1770 grams) for an average female, or 23 cups of broccoli for males. [4] That's about 603 calories, and a lot of broccoli! Supplementing broccoli with food higher in protein is a good idea.

Full nutritional profile for broccoli
USDA Source: Broccoli, raw

Macronutrients in 1 cup (91g) of broccoli:

% of RDV Amount
Calories
1.5% 31 kCal
Carbohydrates
0% -
Total fat
0.5% 0.3 grams
Protein
5.1% 2.6 grams

Essential Amino Acids in Broccoli

Proportionally, broccoli does contain abundant amounts of 6 out of the nine essential amino acids. However, broccoli is a little short on isoleucine, leucine and methionine.[1]

To have adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids with broccoli alone, you will have to eat 25 cups of broccoli (2263 grams) for an average person. [2]

That's about 28% more broccoli to compensate for the lack of isoleucine, leucine and methionine, compared to the protein requirement alone.

The amount of each essential amino acid in 1 cup (91g) of broccoli:

Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [1] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
5.1% 2.566g
Histidine
8.5% 0.054g
Isoleucine
8.4% 0.072g
Leucine
6.2% 0.117g
Lysine
7.2% 0.123g
Methionine
4% 0.035g
Phenylalanine
7.1% 0.106g
Threonine
8.9% 0.08g
Tryptophan
11.6% 0.03g
Valine
10.5% 0.114g

More Complete Protein with Broccoli

Top vegan pairings with broccoli include:
  1. Carrots
  2. Chia Seeds
  3. Yellow Corn
  4. Spirulina
  5. Pumpkin Seeds
  6. Spinach
  7. Cashews
  8. Dijon Mustard
  9. Pistachio
  10. Yellow Mustard
  11. Flaxseeds
Although dairy and eggs are generally considered complete proteins, some types of vegetarian food pair more efficiently with broccoli. These include:
  1. Sour Cream
  2. Caramel
  3. Mayonnaise
  4. Yogurt

Vegan 1. Carrots and Broccoli


image of carrots
image of broccoli

Low in protein, carrot is high in isoleucine, leucine and methionine, which is complementary to broccoli.

A ratio of 1.3 cups of broccoli (114g) and 2.2 carrots (160g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 1.4:1 of carrot to broccoli will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for carrots
USDA Source: Carrots, raw

Table of amino acids of 1.3 cup broccoli and 2.2 large carrots :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [5] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
9.4% 4.7g
Histidine
20.8% 0.13g
Isoleucine
24.8% 0.21g
Leucine
16.4% 0.31g
Lysine
18.4% 0.32g
Methionine
8.7% 0.08g
Phenylalanine
15.5% 0.23g
Threonine
45.1% 0.41g
Tryptophan
21.8% 0.06g
Valine
23.4% 0.25g

Vegan 2. Chia Seeds and Broccoli


image of chia seeds
image of broccoli

Chia seed is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in isoleucine, leucine and methionine, complementing the profile of broccoli.

For example, 1.7 cups of broccoli (152g) and 0.5 ounce of chia seeds (14g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.1:1 of chia seed to broccoli will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for chia seeds
USDA Source: Seeds, chia seeds, dried

Table of amino acids of 1.7 cup broccoli and 0.5 oz chia seeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [6] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
13.3% 6.7g
Histidine
26.4% 0.17g
Isoleucine
27.4% 0.24g
Leucine
20.9% 0.39g
Lysine
20.2% 0.35g
Methionine
16.6% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
21.8% 0.32g
Threonine
26.2% 0.24g
Tryptophan
43.6% 0.11g
Valine
30.3% 0.33g

Vegan 3. Yellow Corn and Broccoli


image of yellow corn
image of broccoli

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, yellow corn is high in isoleucine, leucine and methionine, which is complementary to broccoli.

A ratio of 2.5 cups of broccoli (228g) and 1.3 ears of yellow corn (114g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.5 to 1:0.13 for broccoli to yellow corn by weight.

Full nutritional profile for yellow corn
USDA Source: Corn, sweet, yellow, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt

Table of amino acids of 2.5 cup broccoli and 1.3 ear yellow corn :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [7] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
20.6% 10.3g
Histidine
37.8% 0.24g
Isoleucine
38.6% 0.33g
Leucine
37.2% 0.7g
Lysine
27.4% 0.47g
Methionine
19.2% 0.17g
Phenylalanine
29.8% 0.44g
Threonine
39.1% 0.35g
Tryptophan
38.9% 0.1g
Valine
46.5% 0.5g

Vegan 4. Spirulina and Broccoli


image of spirulina
image of broccoli

Spirulina is a great source of protein, and is high in isoleucine, leucine and methionine, complementing the profile of broccoli.

For example, 2 cups of broccoli (182g) and 0.8 tablespoon of spirulina (6g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.03 to 1:16 for broccoli to spirulina by weight.

Full nutritional profile for spirulina
USDA Source: Seaweed, spirulina, dried

Table of amino acids of 2 cup broccoli and 0.8 tbsp spirulina :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [8] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
16.8% 8.4g
Histidine
26.9% 0.17g
Isoleucine
37.9% 0.33g
Leucine
27.3% 0.52g
Lysine
24.4% 0.42g
Methionine
15.7% 0.13g
Phenylalanine
24.9% 0.37g
Threonine
36.6% 0.33g
Tryptophan
43.5% 0.11g
Valine
39.6% 0.43g

Vegan 5. Pumpkin Seeds and Broccoli


image of pumpkin seeds
image of broccoli

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, pumpkin seed is high in isoleucine, leucine and methionine, which is complementary to broccoli.

A ratio of 2 cups of broccoli (182g) and 3.6 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds (14g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.08 to 1:40 for broccoli to pumpkin seed by weight.

Full nutritional profile for pumpkin seeds
USDA Source: Seeds, pumpkin and squash seeds, whole, roasted, without salt

Table of amino acids of 2 cup broccoli and 3.6 tbsp pumpkin seeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [9] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
15.6% 7.8g
Histidine
28.8% 0.18g
Isoleucine
32.7% 0.28g
Leucine
24.4% 0.46g
Lysine
26% 0.45g
Methionine
15% 0.13g
Phenylalanine
23.2% 0.35g
Threonine
28.7% 0.26g
Tryptophan
41.2% 0.11g
Valine
41% 0.44g

Vegan 6. Spinach and Broccoli


image of spinach
image of broccoli

Spinach is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in isoleucine, leucine and methionine, complementing the profile of broccoli.

For example, 1.7 cups of broccoli (152g) and 5.1 cups of spinach (153g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 1:1 of spinach to broccoli will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for spinach
USDA Source: Spinach, raw

Table of amino acids of 1.7 cup broccoli and 5.1 cup spinach :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [10] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
17.3% 8.6g
Histidine
29.7% 0.19g
Isoleucine
40% 0.34g
Leucine
28.4% 0.54g
Lysine
27.5% 0.47g
Methionine
16.1% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
25.1% 0.37g
Threonine
35.5% 0.32g
Tryptophan
42.1% 0.11g
Valine
40.3% 0.44g

Vegan 7. Cashews and Broccoli


image of cashews
image of broccoli

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, cashew is high in isoleucine, leucine and methionine, which is complementary to broccoli.

A ratio of 2 cups of broccoli (182g) and 0.6 ounce of cashews (18g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.1:1 of cashew to broccoli will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for cashews
USDA Source: Nuts, cashew nuts, raw

Table of amino acids of 2 cup broccoli and 0.6 oz cashews :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [11] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
17% 8.5g
Histidine
30.4% 0.19g
Isoleucine
33.6% 0.29g
Leucine
26.8% 0.51g
Lysine
24.4% 0.42g
Methionine
15.8% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
26% 0.39g
Threonine
31.9% 0.29g
Tryptophan
43.5% 0.11g
Valine
39.7% 0.43g

Vegan 8. Dijon Mustard and Broccoli


image of dijon mustard
image of broccoli

Dijon mustard is a great source of protein, and is high in isoleucine, leucine and methionine, complementing the profile of broccoli.

For example, 2 cups of broccoli (182g) and 3.3 tablespoons of dijon mustard (20g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.11:1 of dijon mustard to broccoli will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for dijon mustard
USDA Source: Spices, mustard seed, ground

Table of amino acids of 2 cup broccoli and 3.3 tbsp dijon mustard :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [12] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
20.7% 10.4g
Histidine
45% 0.28g
Isoleucine
44.4% 0.38g
Leucine
34.5% 0.65g
Lysine
36% 0.62g
Methionine
19.3% 0.17g
Phenylalanine
30.1% 0.45g
Threonine
36.5% 0.33g
Tryptophan
42.8% 0.11g
Valine
49.1% 0.53g

Vegan 9. Pistachio and Broccoli


image of pistachio
image of broccoli

A great source of protein, pistachio is high in isoleucine, leucine and methionine, which is complementary to broccoli.

A ratio of 1.4 cups of broccoli (130g) and 3.2 tablespoons of pistachio (25g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.19:1 of pistachio to broccoli will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for pistachio
USDA Source: Nuts, pistachio nuts, dry roasted, without salt added

Table of amino acids of 1.4 cup broccoli and 3.2 tbsp pistachio :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [13] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
17.7% 8.9g
Histidine
33.1% 0.21g
Isoleucine
39.4% 0.34g
Leucine
30.7% 0.58g
Lysine
27.4% 0.47g
Methionine
16.5% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
29.1% 0.43g
Threonine
32.3% 0.29g
Tryptophan
41.3% 0.11g
Valine
44.9% 0.48g

Vegan 10. Yellow Mustard and Broccoli


image of yellow mustard
image of broccoli

Yellow mustard is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in isoleucine, leucine and methionine, complementing the profile of broccoli.

For example, 2.5 cups of broccoli (228g) and 8 tablespoons of yellow mustard (120g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.5 to 1:1.5 for broccoli to yellow mustard by weight.

Full nutritional profile for yellow mustard
USDA Source: Mustard, prepared, yellow

Table of amino acids of 2.5 cup broccoli and 8 tbsp yellow mustard :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [14] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
21.8% 10.9g
Histidine
44% 0.28g
Isoleucine
41.3% 0.36g
Leucine
34.1% 0.64g
Lysine
36.5% 0.62g
Methionine
20.7% 0.18g
Phenylalanine
30.8% 0.46g
Threonine
44.6% 0.4g
Tryptophan
33% 0.09g
Valine
47.4% 0.51g

Vegan 11. Flaxseeds and Broccoli


image of flaxseeds
image of broccoli

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, flaxseed is high in isoleucine, leucine and methionine, which is complementary to broccoli.

A ratio of 1.3 cups of broccoli (114g) and 2.7 tablespoons of flaxseeds (28g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.24:1 of flaxseed to broccoli will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for flaxseeds
USDA Source: Seeds, flaxseed

Table of amino acids of 1.3 cup broccoli and 2.7 tbsp flaxseeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [15] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
16.5% 8.3g
Histidine
31.3% 0.2g
Isoleucine
39.2% 0.34g
Leucine
25.8% 0.49g
Lysine
22.9% 0.39g
Methionine
16.9% 0.15g
Phenylalanine
26.7% 0.4g
Threonine
34.6% 0.31g
Tryptophan
45.9% 0.12g
Valine
40.6% 0.44g

Vegetarian 12. Sour Cream and Broccoli


image of sour cream
image of broccoli

Sour cream is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in isoleucine, leucine and methionine, complementing the profile of broccoli.

For example, 3.3 cups of broccoli (303g) and 0.3 cup of sour cream (64g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.21:1 of sour cream to broccoli will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for sour cream
USDA Source: Cream, sour, cultured

Table of amino acids of 3.3 cup broccoli and 0.3 cup sour cream :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [16] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
20.2% 10.1g
Histidine
37.8% 0.24g
Isoleucine
40% 0.34g
Leucine
31.7% 0.6g
Lysine
34.3% 0.59g
Methionine
19.2% 0.17g
Phenylalanine
30.6% 0.46g
Threonine
39.8% 0.36g
Tryptophan
48.9% 0.13g
Valine
46.7% 0.5g

Vegetarian 13. Caramel and Broccoli


image of caramel
image of broccoli

Low in protein, caramel is high in isoleucine, leucine and methionine, which is complementary to broccoli.

A ratio of 3.3 cups of broccoli (303g) and 0.5 cup of caramel (158g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.5 to 1:0.1 for broccoli to caramel by weight.

Full nutritional profile for caramel
USDA Source: Toppings, butterscotch or caramel

Table of amino acids of 3.3 cup broccoli and 0.5 cup caramel :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [17] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
20.9% 10.5g
Histidine
38.4% 0.24g
Isoleucine
44.2% 0.38g
Leucine
32.7% 0.62g
Lysine
34.7% 0.59g
Methionine
20.2% 0.17g
Phenylalanine
31.3% 0.47g
Threonine
41.2% 0.37g
Tryptophan
38.5% 0.1g
Valine
49.4% 0.53g

Vegetarian 14. Mayonnaise and Broccoli


image of mayonnaise
image of broccoli

Mayonnaise is low in protein, and is high in isoleucine, leucine and methionine, complementing the profile of broccoli.

For example, 2.5 cups of broccoli (228g) and 1 cup of mayonnaise (224g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 1:1 of mayonnaise to broccoli will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for mayonnaise
USDA Source: Salad dressing, mayonnaise, regular

Table of amino acids of 2.5 cup broccoli and 1 cup mayonnaise :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [18] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
17.1% 8.6g
Histidine
30.5% 0.19g
Isoleucine
37.8% 0.33g
Leucine
26.8% 0.51g
Lysine
27.4% 0.47g
Methionine
19.2% 0.16g
Phenylalanine
26.4% 0.39g
Threonine
35.9% 0.32g
Tryptophan
43.5% 0.11g
Valine
41.7% 0.45g

Vegetarian 15. Yogurt and Broccoli


image of yogurt
image of broccoli

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, yogurt is high in isoleucine, leucine and methionine, which is complementary to broccoli.

A ratio of 2.5 cups of broccoli (228g) and 3.9 tablespoons of yogurt (59g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.26 to 1:0.9 for broccoli to yogurt by weight.

Full nutritional profile for yogurt
USDA Source: Yogurt, plain, whole milk

Table of amino acids of 2.5 cup broccoli and 3.9 tbsp yogurt :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [19] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
16.9% 8.5g
Histidine
29.4% 0.19g
Isoleucine
33.9% 0.29g
Leucine
26.5% 0.5g
Lysine
28.7% 0.49g
Methionine
17.1% 0.15g
Phenylalanine
25.4% 0.38g
Threonine
31.6% 0.28g
Tryptophan
33.4% 0.09g
Valine
42% 0.45g


Complete Protein Pairings