9 Nutritionist-Approved, High-Protein Snacks You Can Find at Costco
Protein is a hot-button word these days. It’s popping up on packaging and everyone is wondering if we’re getting enough of it. You probably are, but if you’re looking to get even more, there are plenty of ways to do that — especially if you’re shopping at Costco. At the warehouse store, you’ll find plenty of protein-rich snacks that’ll keep you feeling full (way longer than that seven-pound bucket of Nutella).
These are the heart-healthy plant protein sources that I turn to again and again, as a nutritionist and as just a regular hungry snacker.
1. Raw Pumpkin Seeds, $9 for 22 ounces
Raw pumpkin seeds are some of the healthiest sources of protein you can eat. These crunchy green seeds contain a wealth of magnesium, iron, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and plant-based protein. With 6 grams of protein per 1/4 cup, these contain just as much protein as one egg! Make your own trail mix with these, snack on them alone, or add them to a meal. I personally love a handful with a fresh navel orange as an afternoon snack!
2. Natural Almonds, $12 for 3 pounds
Ever wanted to buy three pounds of almonds on the cheap? Head to Costco. For the healthiest form of protein, opt for natural almonds (almonds retain more nutrients, such as vitamin E, when they’re not roasted). Almonds contain 6 grams of protein for just a small handful of nuts (about 20 to 23) and are also a great source of magnesium, vitamin B6, zinc, copper, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. Pair them with fruit, add them to homemade trail mix, make your own fruit and nut bars with them, or just snack on them raw.
3. Grain-Free Granola Bars, $17 for 16 bars
Most granola bars are lacking in protein and high in added sugar and other processed ingredients, which makes these nut- and seed-rich alternatives a great buy. They’re fresh, taste great, and contain natural sweeteners instead of refined sugar (and are low in total sugars). They also contain some of the healthiest and most protein-rich nuts and seeds you can buy, with a whopping 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per bar!
4. Edamame, $10 for 12 8-ounce bags
This massive bag actually features 12 individual packs, which are perfect for steaming or microwaving. Edamame is delicious and rich in plant-based protein, fiber, phytochemicals, and heart-healthy fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. For 7 grams of protein per 1/2 cup, these are a filling snack that’s also versatile enough to be worked into a bigger dish.
5. Mixed Nut Butter, $8 for 27 ounces
Everyone knows that Costco’s almond butter and peanut butter are cult favorites (and great sources of protein!), but I’d like to suggest trying something new. This Mixed Nut Butter (with seeds!) is so good and very similar to a name brand I’ve loved for years. Add a tablespoon of this to your next afternoon apple or just eat the stuff right out of the jar (use a spoon, you’re not a monster). For 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per two tablespoons, this is a must when it comes to protein-rich Costco buys.
6. Dry-Roasted Pistachios, $16 for 48 ounces
If you ask me, pistachios don’t get nearly enough love or attention. These protein-rich seeds are lower in fat per serving than other nuts (so you can eat more of them!) and are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. With 6 grams of protein per 1/4 cup, they’re also a great snack — especially for those of us who need keep our hands busy while we check emails. (Although Costco does also sell pistachios that have already been shelled.)
7. Individual Hummus Cups, $6.50 for 20 2.5-ounce cups
You’ll need a fridge at work or a lunch bag with a cold pack if you plan to take these on the go, but they’re worth picking up for sure. The two key ingredients in hummus (chickpeas and tahini) are great sources of protein. The Kirkland Signature brand of hummus is just as good as the name-brand versions (and much cheaper) and contains 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per mini cup. I love a cup with carrots and celery as an afternoon snack and am always surprised at how full I feel afterwards!
8. Veggie Burgers, from $10
Veggie burgers don’t just have to be eaten for meals! They make a great snack and are made even better when dunked into some salsa or mustard. Not all veggie burgers are created equal in terms of nutrition, though. Many veggie burgers contain highly processed ingredients or high amounts of sodium you’ll want to avoid, which is why I love that Costco carries some healthier versions that are also organic. These popular burgers by Don Lee Farms contain 2/3 cup veggies per burger along with 6 grams of plant-based protein.
I also approve of Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers, which are also sold at Costco. They have 7 grams of protein per burger!
9. The Good Bean Organic Chickpeas, $9 for 18 ounces
These crunchy, nutty-tasting bites are one of my favorite new snacks that Costco came out with this year. They’re gently roasted and a great alternative to traditional nut and seed snacks. They’re also versatile and shelf-stable, so they can be kept in a pantry, gym bag, or at your desk. Just like hummus, these are made from heart-healthy garbanzo beans and contain just a few ingredients. With 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per serving, they’re super satisfying and oh-so-tasty, too!