Non-Meat Protein Sources For Your Survival Stockpile

The first thing most people think of when you say protein is meat. And that’s true. Meat is the traditional source, but there are many other foods out there that contain it, too. You should have these in your survival stockpile because, depending on the emergency, fresh meat may not be readily available.

Now, before we get into this, we need to look at it from a nutritional standpoint, because that’s the most important thing. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and protein is the building block of muscle.

Your body uses protein for energy, muscle and tissue repair, and about a thousand other things. There are 20 amino acids, and 9 of those are essential – our bodies can’t make them so we have to consume them.

That’s where many non-meat protein sources fall short of meat, at least in the eyes of habitual meat-and-potato folks. Vegetarians would beg to differ, at least to a certain extent.

How to Build the Ultimate SHTF Stockpile

Most meat is what’s called a complete protein; that is, it has all 20 amino acids. Most non-meat sources aren’t, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get all of them. You just have to eat more than one protein source. That’s OK though.

Another thing to consider, and another reason why you should store back-up non-meat protein sources, is that meat isn’t particularly portable. You can’t just toss it in a rucksack and trek off with it. Jerky, sure, but even that only lasts for so long, and it takes A LOT of meat to make a little bit of jerky.

Now that you know what you need to know nutritionally and logically, let’s talk about some good protein sources you should have in your survival stockpile.

Powdered Eggs

All you need to add to these is water or milk, and you have a complete protein source. If you have cholesterol problems, you can buy powdered egg whites and they’re almost pure protein. Keep in mind that if you’re going to use powdered eggs to bake with, some recipes will require the whole egg, not the egg whites.

In addition to protein, eggs are a good source of fat, which your body can most certainly use as an energy source. They’re also packed with lutein and zeaxanthin, two top disease-fighting nutrients. Finally, they have iron and trace amounts of other minerals.


This is one of those foods that gets a bad rap because it’s not a traditional food. It’s sounds exotic and mysterious, and if you asked many people, they wouldn’t have any idea what it even is. Well, let me enlighten you. It’s technically a seed of a leafy plant sort of like spinach, though most people think it’s a grain.

I’ve had it in granola and as a hot cereal sort of like steel-cut oats. You can also pop it like popcorn, which was interesting to me because that’s my favorite snack. You can also add it to salads for crunch, cook it and season it up as a side dish, and use it to thicken stews or soups. You could grind it for flour, too, though it would take more than what’s really feasible.

But what about nutrients? Quinoa is a complete protein! Just as good as meat. It’s actually labeled a superfood because it’s so good for you.

One cup has 8 grams of protein, which doesn’t compare to the 43 grams you’ll get out of the same amount of chicken, but it’s still significant, especially considering it’s complete. It’s also a good source of fiber and fat, and is packed with minerals that you don’t get from many foods.

Iron, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, zinc, and manganese are at the top, and it provides at least 30 percent of your daily requirement of those. Stockpile it.

Nuts and Nut Butters

Nuts are a great source of protein; almost as good as meat, and they’re complete. Still, they’re good for you. 2 tablespoons of peanut  butter has 15 grams of protein. They’re also high-calorie and high fat, but a good portion of that fat is omega-3 fat – more in some nuts than others – and you need fat in your diet anyway.

Plus, nuts are a great source of minerals, including potassium and magnesium, which is a brain nutrient. Vitamins E and B6 are in there, too.

Since Nuts do go rancid after a while, you can always store nut butters such as peanut butter or almond butter. Best nuts nutritionally are almonds (by far!), walnuts, pistachios, cashews, pecans, and macadamia nuts. Really though, they’re all fantastic for you.

Beans and Rice

There’s a reason these are paired together, and it’s not just because they make a delicious combination. When you combine beans, which are low in the amino acid methionine and high in lysine, with rice, which is low in lysine but high in methionine, you have a complete protein source. Since both are cake to store and last for practically ever if stored properly, they’re must-have survival foods.

Pinto beans, which are cheap and easy to find, have 41 grams of protein in 1 cup raw, which is about 2 cups, cooked. So, 1 cup of cooked pintos have 20 grams of protein. You’ll also be getting 40 percent of your daily requirement of potassium and magnesium, 25 percent of your iron and B6, and ten percent of your vitamin C. Not too shabby.

Chia Seeds

Sounds weird because they only have 2.5 grams of protein, but they contain all 9 essential amino acids. They’re another superfood and can be eaten raw, thrown into a smoothie, or used to thicken soups and stews.


I know I already mentioned chia seeds, but other seeds, including pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, are good sources of protein, too. They have about the same nutritional profile as nuts, but they do go rancid, so keep your stockpile rotated.

And that’s about it for high-quality back-up sources of protein, but you have plenty of options. Personally, I’m stocked up on beans and rice, and peanut butter. Be diverse though, because if SHTF, you’re not going to want to live on just beans and rice and peanut butter sandwiches.

Depending on where you live, you may be able to scavenge for nuts and seeds. Pine nuts in particular are great for you, though they’re a lot of work to extract.

Choose smart and plan ahead your survival stockpile, as it will save your life one day!

If I’ve missed a good source of protein that should be stockpiled in my survival pantry, let me know in the comments section below.

Written by

Theresa Crouse is a full-time writer currently living in central Florida. She was born and raised in the hills of West Virginia, where she learned to farm, hunt, fish, and live off the land from an early age. She prefers to live off the grid as much as possible and does her best to follow the “leave nothing behind but footprints” philosophy. For fun, she enjoys shooting, kayaking, tinkering on her car and motorcycle, and just about anything else that involves water, going fast, or the outdoors.

Latest comments
  • INsects are a wonderful source of both meat Protein anD FAt. Grasshoppers are delicious stir-fried or roasted on a stick ANd are called “Shrimps of the Earth” by the rural Chinese. IN both warm and cold weather, rotten logs can be kicked apart for wood-boring grubs, also delicious stir-fried or roasted. people should try to overcome their taste prejudices now rather than waiting for the SHTF event so that they can find the insect recipes they like best.

    • Vince, As a long time survival instructor very ‘familiar’ with insect ingestion, and also an avid ‘health’ activist, I would caution persons thinking about having anything to do with the consumption, or even the handling of insects, except in the most extreme of survival necessity when absolutely nothing else is available, which, fortunately, is not often, even in a surprise wilderness . and not even a consideration if you prep well enough in advance.

      The reason I say this is because of the esoteric problem of seriously dangerous parasites from these insects getting in your system and bacterial Spirochettes in your sbloodstream which now infect large segments of the population causing them to prematurely decease slowly but surely. Not to mention that more insects than you think can cause deleterious allergies even if they’re not considered poisonous or toxic.

      More doctors recently are realizing that Parasite caused diseases and allergy related illnesses account for far more sickness and deaths in people these days than anybody ever though before.

      With all the other ‘environmental’ poisons and toxins and chemicals being sprayed on our gmo foods and heavy metal poisons and who knows what else in the air we breathe from chem-trailing, I, personally, wouldn’t be digging in rotting logs adding to the problem. I don’t even eat shrimp, which to me is just a big cockroach?.

      And last, but not least, ‘We don’t need to eat no stanking’ freaking bugs’ or make ourselves stupid looking targets of opportunity dancing around around a field trying to catch them in a major SHTF event.,

      If you’re THAT desperate, then you didn’t prepare well enough in the first place, so you’ll likely die anyway.

    • Glad to hear someone in central Florida is prepping thats where i live and i am a native living in citrus county. my husband was born in prinston, west virginia but has lived most of his life in central FLORIDA. i grew up on beans and rice combo as well as beans and cornbread with fish and grits and eggs and grits as well with a good dose of greens. Collards, mustard and turnip greens and roots were a basic in our household staples. recently was introduced to QUINOA what a great protein source.

  • B R A V O, Theresa C. ! Really GOOD Information ! You DO GREAT WORK, Lady, and We ALL Appreciate that. Keep doing what you have been doing. Thank You for the VALUABLE Data. Bill

  • It irritates me that everyone thinks the only way to eat beans is ‘beans n rice’. I grew up in the appalachian mtns. no one eats beans n rice! we eat a lot of beans, too. BEans and corn bread is most common. also, hominy (slacked corn), sorghum, oats, etc. Rice is still rarely eaten. Personally, I think rice is too refined. Yes, i know all about brown rice.
    I like your articles. tho. Thank you for ‘real life’ topics. We.have lost so much of our ancestors’ knowledge. Zombie stuff is so boring.

  • “If I’ve missed a good source of protein that should be stockpiled in my survival pantry, let me know in the comments section..”
    COW! Cow is a great source of protein.
    I eat a strict vegetarian diet, I have lots of vegetarians in my diet…and cows are vegetarians that provide lots of great protein!!

    • This article was about non-meat sources of protein. Not everyone eats meat, so this was about proteins other than meat.

  • Glad you didn’t include the greatest sickness causing food Hoax protein ever perpetrated on overweight nutritionally deficient and prematurely dying humans. SOY!

  • Creepy crawlies are a magnificent wellspring of both meat Protein anD FAt. Grasshoppers are delightful blend browned or cooked on a sticke called “Shrimps of the Earth” by the Chinese. It annoys me that everybody thinks the best way to eat beans will be ‘beans n rice’. Happy you did exclude the best affliction causing sustenance Hoax protein at any point executed on overweight healthfully insufficient and rashly kicking the bucket people.

  • I try to eat like we are already in Survival mode but once a month I go out on a limb and have…….. meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn and wash it all down with southern sweet tea. : )