Vegan Protein Review: What Is the Best Vegan Protein Powder?

If you’re looking for a new vegan protein powder, you’ve come to the right place. The Clean Green Simple team decided to do a real, hands-on taste test of 10 (yes, 10!) different protein powders. We purchased each and every powder, allowing us—and our taste buds—to review the products in real life.

As a nutritional supplement, protein powder is used for a variety of reasons. It all depends on the person and their lifestyle and needs. Maybe you want to add more essential nutrients to your diet. Or perhaps you want to support muscle growth and post-exercise recovery. Some people may use protein powders to increase satiety in meals, which can aid in healthy weight management.

And while most people associate protein with animal products, it’s possible to get enough of it from plants. The key is to eat the right combination of plant proteins, which ensure you get all the amino acids you need.

Enter the wonderful world of vegan protein powders. Made with plant-based proteins like pea and pumpkin seed, these powders are ideal for vegans, vegetarians, and people who are simply looking for plant-based sources of protein.

But with so many brands and products to choose from, how do you know which is best? In this post, we set out to find the best vegan protein powder out there.

Several vegan protein powders with a wooden spoon

Our Review Guidelines

To test and grade each protein powder, we used the same four scenarios:

  • Vanilla Flavor. We standardized on the vanilla flavor of each protein powder tested (vanilla, vanilla bean, or French vanilla).
  • Blended with milk. In a blender, we combined 1/3 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk and 1 tablespoon protein powder.
  • In a banana smoothie. In a blender, we combined 1/3 cup So Delicous coconut milk, 1 tablespoon protein powder, and ¼ cup frozen bananas to make a smoothie.
  • In yogurt. We combined 1/3 cup Forager Project Organic Dairy-free Cashewmilk Yogurt (unsweetened plain) with 1 tablespoon protein powder. We used a small bowl and a spoon.

Then, we graded each powder on a scale from 1 to 5 (1=poor, 5=excellent) on the following:

  • How well it blended with milk
  • How well it blended in a smoothie
  • How well it blended in yogurt
  • Texture. Was it chalky? Grainy? Smooth?
  • Sweetness. Is the level of sweetness preferable? (1 is too sweet or not sweet at all; 5 is an ideal kind of sweet)
  • Flavor. How was the vanilla flavor? Did it taste artificial or natural? Did the powder leave an aftertaste?

Finally, to help determine our overall assessment, we considered these factors (and sought out to answer the following questions):

  • Protein sources. Where did the protein come from?
  • Protein per serving. How much protein do you get in a serving?
  • Other important ingredients. Does the powder have additional ingredients that make it super special?
  • Gluten-free or soy-free? Will this work for certain dietary limitations?
  • Organic or non-GMO? Will this work for those who want organic or non-GMO products?
  • Sweeteners. What sweeteners does it contain, if any?
  • Other notable labels. Any other certifications or labels of importance?

And now, for the results…

Vegan Protein Powder Reviews

Below are the ten protein powders we tested, in no particular order. Click here to jump to our top pick.

1. Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein

Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein
Photo: Kirsten Nunez
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Product Ratings

  • How well it blended with milk: 2.5
  • How well it blended in a banana smoothie: 3  
  • How well it blended in yogurt: 3
  • Texture: 2 (fairly chalky)
  • Sweetness: 3 (neutral)
  • Flavor: 1 (the vanilla flavor was okay, but overall it tasted like Play-Doh)

Product Information

  • Protein sources: Pea, sprouted brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, chlorella, quinoa sprout, chia seed sprout, garbanzo beam sprout, lentil sprout, adzuki bean sprout, flax seed sprout, sunflower seed sprout, pumpkin seed sprout, sesame seed sprout
  • Protein per serving: 22 g/packet (31 g)
  • Other important ingredients: Raw probiotic and enzyme blend
  • Gluten-free?: Yes
  • Soy-free?: Yes
  • Organic?: Yes
  • Non-GMO?: Yes
  • Sweeteners: Organic stevia extract
  • Other notable labels: NSF Gluten-Free, Informed-Choice — Trusted by sport

Overall thoughts: The raw organic protein blend comes from a lot of sources, which is pretty impressive. But we weren’t a fan of the flavor or smell; it reminded us of Play-Doh.

Would we recommend?: No

2. KOS Organic Plant Protein

KOS Organic Plant Protein
Photo: Kirsten Nunez
Buy on Amazon

Product Review

  • How well it blended with milk: 4
  • How well it blended in a banana smoothie: 3.5
  • How well it blended in yogurt: 3.5
  • Texture: 4 (quite smooth, not gritty)
  • Sweetness: 4 (sweet, but not in an artificial way)
  • Flavor: 4.5 (decent flavor, no aftertaste)

Product Information

  • Protein sources: Pea, flaxseed, quinoa, pumpkin seed, chia seed
  • Protein per serving: 20 g/2 scoops (37 g)
  • Other important ingredients: Digestive enzyme blend, natural fruit and vegetable blend
  • Gluten-free?: Yes
  • Soy-free?: Yes
  • Organic?: Yes
  • Non-GMO?: Yes
  • Sweeteners: Organic agave inulin, organic coconut sugar, organic stevia, monk fruit extract  
  • Other notable labels: N/A   

Overall thoughts: This was pleasantly sweet without being over the top. It didn’t have an aftertaste, unlike the sweeter powders in this list. (In a smoothie, you definitely won’t need to use an additional sweetener.) We also liked the texture; it blended well and was smooth.

Would we recommend?: Yes.

3. NutriBiotic Raw Organic Rice Protein

Nutribiotic Raw Organic Rice Protein
Photo: Kirsten Nunez
Buy on Amazon

Product Review

  • How well it blended with milk: 2
  • How well it blended in a banana smoothie: 3
  • How well it blended in yogurt: 2
  • Texture: 1 (grainy)
  • Sweetness: 1 (no sweetness at all)
  • Flavor: 1 (not good, tasted more like rice/water than vanilla)

Product Information

  • Protein sources: Sprouted brown rice
  • Protein per serving: 12 g/packet (15 g)
  • Other important ingredients: N/A
  • Gluten-free?: Yes
  • Soy-free?: Yes
  • Organic?: Yes
  • Non-GMO?: Yes
  • Sweeteners: None
  • Other notable labels: Kosher

Overall thoughts: Though it had a natural vanilla scent, we couldn’t actually taste the vanilla. The rice flavor was overpowering. But considering this powder has just two ingredients (rice protein and vanilla), this isn’t too surprising. You might enjoy this if you’re solely looking for rice protein.

Would we recommend?: No.

4. Orgain Organic Protein

Orgain Protein Powder
Photo: Kirsten Nunez
Buy on Amazon

Product Information

  • How well it blended with milk: 3.5
  • How well it blended in a banana smoothie: 4  
  • How well it blended in yogurt: 4
  • Texture: 4 (not too chalky, quite creamy and smooth)
  • Sweetness: 3 (just about right)
  • Flavor: 4 (pleasant vanilla flavor)

Product Information

  • Protein sources: Pea, brown rice, chia seed
  • Protein per serving: 21 g/packet (46 g)
  • Other important ingredients: N/A
  • Gluten-free?: Yes
  • Soy-free?: Yes
  • Organic?: Yes
  • Non-GMO?: Yes
  • Sweeteners: Stevia, erythritol
  • Other notable labels: Kosher

Overall thoughts: We liked the flavor, along with how it blended. (Perhaps this is due to its “creamer base,” which includes ingredients like high oleic sunflower oil and rice bran extract).

Would we recommend?: Yes

5. PlantFusion Complete Protein

Plant Fusion Complete Protein
Photo: Kirsten Nunez
Buy on Amazon

Product Review

  • How well it blended with milk: 2.5
  • How well it blended in a banana smoothie: 3  
  • How well it blended in yogurt: 2.5
  • Texture: 2 (finer than other powders, but still chalky and rough when mixed)
  • Sweetness: 1 (too sweet, tasted artificial)
  • Flavor: 1 (strong, chemical-like flavor with a significant aftertaste)

Product Information

  • Protein sources: Pea, artichoke, sprouted amaranth, sprouted quinoa, algae
  • Protein per serving: 21 g/packet (30 g)
  • Other important ingredients: Enzyme blend
  • Gluten-free?: Yes
  • Soy-free?: Yes
  • Organic?: N/A
  • Non-GMO?: Yes
  • Sweeteners: Stevia extract powder
  • Other notable labels: N/A

Overall thoughts: This was our least favorite. The flavor was very strong and chemical-like, which reminded us a vanilla-scented candle or body wash.

Would we recommend?: No

6. Sunwarrior Protein Warrior Blend

Sunwarrior Protein Warrior Blend
Photo: Kirsten Nunez
Buy on Amazon

Product Ratings

  • How well it blended with milk: 4
  • How well it blended in a banana smoothie: 4
  • How well it blended in yogurt: 4
  • Texture: 4 (very thick, bit a chalky)
  • Sweetness: 2 (sweetness level was okay)
  • Flavor: 2.5 (there wasn’t much flavor)

Product Information

  • Protein sources: Pea, hemp, goji berry
  • Protein per serving: 18 g/packet (25 g)
  • Other important ingredients: Organic whole ground coconut
  • Gluten-free?: Yes
  • Soy-free?: Yes
  • Organic?: Yes
  • Non-GMO?: Yes
  • Sweeteners: Organic stevia extract
  • Other notable labels: N/A

Overall thoughts: The vanilla flavor was almost nonexistent, and it wasn’t very sweet. However, if you’re looking for something to offset sweet fruits in a smoothie, this might work for that purpose.

Would we recommend?: Maybe.

7. Tone It Up Plant-Based Protein

Tone It Up Protein Powder
Photo: Kirsten Nunez
Buy on Amazon

Product Ratings

  • How well it blended with milk: 2.5
  • How well it blended in a banana smoothie: 3  
  • How well it blended in yogurt: 3
  • Texture: 2.5 (a bit grainy)
  • Sweetness: 2.5 (okay sweetness)
  • Flavor: 3.5 (okay flavor, mild aftertaste)

Product Information

  • Protein sources: Pea, pumpkin seed
  • Protein per serving: 15 g/packet (23 g)
  • Other important ingredients: N/A
  • Gluten-free?: Yes
  • Soy-free?: Yes
  • Organic?: No
  • Non-GMO?: Yes
  • Sweeteners: Monk fruit extract
  • Other notable labels: Kosher

Overall thoughts: The flavor was alright, but it had a mild aftertaste. We preferred it in a smoothie instead of in milk or yogurt. If you want a protein powder without stevia, you might enjoy this one.

Would we recommend?: Maybe

8. Vega One Organic All-in-One Shake

Vega One Organic Shake
Photo: Kirsten Nunez
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Product Review

  • How well it blended with milk: 2.5
  • How well it blended in a banana smoothie:  3
  • How well it blended in yogurt: 3
  • Texture: 2 (grainy and chalky)
  • Sweetness: 2 (very sweet)
  • Flavor: 3 (vanilla flavor was overpowered by other ingredients)

Product Information

  • Protein sources: Pea, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed
  • Protein per serving: 20 g/packet (38 g)
  • Other important ingredients: Probiotics, mushroom powder, veggies and fruits blend
  • Gluten-free?: Yes
  • Soy-free?: Yes
  • Organic?: Yes
  • Non-GMO?: Yes
  • Sweeteners: Stevia extract, agave inulin powder
  • Other notable labels: N/A

Overall thoughts: Ingredient-wise, this one packs a punch. But we didn’t like how it tasted with just milk. It was a bit better with frozen bananas.

Would we recommend?: Maybe

9. Vega Proteins & Greens

Vega Protein and Greens
Photo: Kirsten Nunez
Buy on Amazon

Product Review

  • How well it blended with milk: 2
  • How well it blended in a banana smoothie: 2  
  • How well it blended in yogurt:  2
  • Texture: 2 (grainy and chalky)
  • Sweetness: 1.5 (extremely sweet)
  • Flavor: 2 (weird flavor with a strong aftertaste)

Product Information

  • Protein sources: Pea, brown rice
  • Protein per serving: 20 g/packet (38 g)
  • Other important ingredients: Greens (spinach powder, broccoli powder, alfalfa powder, etc.)
  • Gluten-free?: Yes
  • Soy-free?: Yes
  • Organic?: No
  • Non-GMO?: Yes
  • Sweeteners: Stevia leaf extract  
  • Other notable labels: N/A 

Overall thoughts: This had an unappealing flavor and aftertaste. You can’t taste the greens, but it’s very sweet. We weren’t a fan of this one.

Would we recommend?: No

10. Vegan Smart Organic Protein

Naturade Vegan Smart Organic Protein
Photo: Kirsten Nunez
Buy on Amazon

Product Review

  • How well it blended with milk: 3
  • How well it blended in a banana smoothie: 3  
  • How well it blended in yogurt: 3
  • Texture: 3.5 (somewhat smooth, but a bit chalky)
  • Sweetness: 3 (leans toward the sweeter side)
  • Flavor: 3.5 (vanilla flavor was okay, but tasted a bit “perfumey”)

Product Information

  • Protein sources: Pea
  • Protein per serving: 20 g/2 scoops (36 g)
  • Other important ingredients: N/A
  • Gluten-free?: Yes
  • Soy-free?: Yes
  • Organic?: Yes
  • Non-GMO?: Yes
  • Sweeteners: Organic stevia extract, organic rice syrup solids, organic cane sugar
  • Other notable labels: N/A

Overall thoughts: Overall, we liked the vanilla flavor, though it might taste a bit “perfumey” to some people. Otherwise, it blended pretty well and had decent flavor.

Would we recommend?: Yes

And the winner is…

KOS Organic Plant Protein!

KOS Organic Plant Protein
Photo: Kirsten Nunez
Buy on Amazon

Of all the vegan protein powders we tried, this was our favorite. Overall, the vanilla flavor and sweetness was spot on. It tasted like vanilla without reminding us of chemicals, and it didn’t have an aftertaste. The texture was also fairly smooth, earning it the title of the best vegan protein powder of our review. Jump back to the full review.

Honorable Mentions

We also liked Orgain Organic Protein and Vegan Smart Organic Protein. Compared to the other powders on this list, these two products had better flavor and texture.

And in last place…

These three came in last mainly due to their unpleasant flavor. In general, they tasted bitter and pungent. They also left an unappealing aftertaste.

Have you tried any of these protein powders? What did you think? We’d love to hear what you (and your taste buds) thought. Share your comments, below!

* Clean Green Simple is not affiliated with Garden of Life, KOS, Naturade/Vegan Smart, Nutribiotic, Orgain, Plantfusion, Sunwarrior, Tone It Up, or Vega. Clean Green Simple purchased all of these products and were not incentivized in any way to provide positive or negative reviews. All opinions and thoughts are our own.