Protein in Broccoli vs Steak: Which is Better For You?

Top Sirloin Beef Steak Cooked Medium Rare Served with Steamed Broccoli

Protein in Broccoli vs Steak: Which is Better For You?

Every human being needs protein in order to survive. Protein in food provides specific nutrients that help our bodies grow and thrive. There are several different food groups that offer protein. Mainly, people stick to animal products such as beef, poultry, fish and seafood, eggs, and dairy products. However, there are also tons of plant-based products that offer protein as well. Nuts, vegetables, beans, and whole grains are great sources of protein for those who do not eat animal products. While both vegetables and meat can offer protein, there are differences in the amount and how much an individual needs to have in order to gain enough protein on a regular basis.

A delicious grilled pepper steak with broccoli on a rustic wooden table.
Steak and broccoli both offer protein in various ways.


Steak's Total Protein

The amount of protein present in a steak truly depends on the cut of the steak itself. Different cuts have more or less protein than others. For example, a 3-ounce ribeye steak has around 22 grams of protein whereas a 3-ounce filet mignon has 26 grams of protein. These protein counts are rather high for a small amount of beef. Overall, steak offers a higher amount of protein per ounce.

Broccoli's Total Protein

Broccoli, like steak, offers protein when consumed. However, it takes a far larger amount of broccoli to obtain the same amount of protein in a 3-ounce steak. A 3.5-ounce serving of broccoli offers 2.4 grams of protein. Therefore, in order to get the same amount of protein as a steak, one would need to have a substantial amount of broccoli—several cups in order to reach 22-26 grams of protein.

Healthy Green Organic Raw Broccoli Florets Ready for Cooking
Broccoli also offers other vitamins and minerals.

©Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

Broccoli's Other Secrets

While steak does offer more protein per ounce, broccoli has a ton of other vitamins and minerals that are essential to one's daily diet. Broccoli also has fiber, vitamins C and K, and folate. These vitamins and minerals are essential to the overall health of an individual person.

Broccoli also can be a healthier option as it offers more protein per 100 calories than steak. There are 8 grams of protein in a 100-calorie serving of steak. On the other hand, there are 11 grams of protein in a 100-calorie serving of broccoli. The green vegetable also has no fat, making it better for you overall. Studies suggest that getting some protein from vegetables is a rather smart option, though it may mean consuming more.

Considerations With Steak

Another thing to consider with steak is that red meat consumption can be dangerous in high amounts. Red meat contains high amounts of fat, including saturated fat. A high consumption of red meat can lead to heart issues and clogged arteries. While protein intake is incredibly important for one's overall health, varying the protein source is essential to maintaining one's health. Having too much of one thing can, in turn, backfire.

Prime Black Angus Skirt steak with cranberry sauce and grilled garlic on wooden board. Medium Rare degree of steak doneness.
Red meat, in high consumption, can be unhealthy.

©Davidchuk Alexey/Shutterstock.com

So, Which is Better For You?

Infographic comparing broccoli and steak.
Broccoli is healthier in large amounts compared to steak.
  • Broccoli has a lot less protein per serving than steak, meaning you'll have to eat a lot of it to get the protein you need.
  • Steak is much higher in calories than broccoli.
  • Broccoli is much safer to eat in large quantities compared to steak. Eating steak frequently can raise your risk for certain health issues.

Overall, both steak and broccoli are excellent options when looking to consume protein. However, there are key things to consider with both. Broccoli, while it is a healthier way to get protein, needs to be consumed in extremely high amounts to get a substantial amount of protein. It is not possible to maintain a steady protein consumption on just broccoli alone.

Steak is a great way to get a fast, easy, protein-filled meal. Yet, it is not a great option for everyday consumption. Too much red meat can lead to immense health issues down the road including heart issues and high blood pressure.

If you are looking for a plant-based way to consume protein, there are a variety of other options, which do include broccoli. There are many different tofus, beans, grains, and other vegetables that offer protein for those looking to take the vegetarian or vegan route.

A Great Steak Recipe to Try

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A white plate holds a delicious grilled New York Strip Steak with a side of mashed potatoes and fresh mixed vegetables. A glass of red wine completes the meal.

Steak with Mashed “Potatoes”

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  • Author: Moms Who Think



Rosemary salt:

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, from about 4 medium sprigs
2 tablespoons coarse salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 

Mashed ‘Potatoes’:

½ large head cauliflower, broken into florets, about 8 cups
½ cup nonfat buttermilk
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced ½ inch thick
½-¾ cup low-fat milk
1 tablespoon butter
2 scallions, chopped


1 pound lean steak, preferably flank, about inches thick
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
8 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
¼ cup chopped fresh mint


1. For the rosemary salt, combine chopped rosemary and salt on a cutting board and chop together. Stir in pepper; transfer to a small bowl, and set aside.

2. For the mashed ‘potatoes’, place the cauliflower in a steamer basket and set aside. Place potatoes in a saucepan large enough to fit steamer basket, add cold salted water to cover by about 2 inches, bring to a boil, reduce heat. Set steamer basket over boiling water, cover, and steam 15 minutes while simmering potatoes until tender.

3. Transfer cauliflower to a food processor, add the buttermilk, and ¼ cup of the milk, and puree until very smooth, about 2 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, drain potatoes, return to the saucepan, and heat over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes to dry. Mash with a potato masher. Add the cauliflower puree, ¼ cup milk, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir to blend, and heat over medium-low heat, adding more milk as needed for a creamy consistency. Stir in the butter and the scallions. Cover, and set aside to keep warm.

5. Heat a grill or grill pan. Sprinkle the steak on both sides generously with the rosemary salt, pressing it into the meat. Grill the steak 4 minutes on one side. Turn, and grill 3 to 4 more minutes. Remove to a plate and let stand 5 minutes. Thinly slice the beef against the grain. Add the vinegar to the pan and stir to incorporate any pan juices.

6. To serve, make a bed of lettuce on each of four plates. Arrange one-quarter of the steak slices on top of the lettuce. Spoon on some of the cauliflower mashed potatoes. Scatter tomatoes all over, drizzle with the balsamic-meat juices, and garnish with chopped mint.

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