27 Fish With The Most Protein (Complete List)

Fish is a great source of dietary protein. However, the levels of protein can vary drastically in different types of fish.

What fish has the highest amount of protein? The fish with the highest amount of protein is tuna, with 33 grams of protein per 4-ounce serving. The next best options are anchovies and trout, with 32 and 30 grams of protein per 4-ounce serving, respectively.

In addition to varying in protein content, different types of fish also have different calorie counts and nutrient profiles. It’s important to be mindful of which fish you consume most often if you’re watching your calorie intake and to consume a variety of fish so you can get a wide range of vitamins and minerals.

In this article, I’ll cover why fish is a good source of protein, how much protein you can get from fish, and the 27 highest protein fish that are perfect for increasing your daily protein intake. 

Why Is Fish a Good Source of Protein? 

Unlike other sources of dietary protein, such as red meat, fish is low in saturated fats but high in beneficial unsaturated fats called omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve heart health, support cognitive function, and lower inflammation in the body.

A lot of fish are high in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) but low in calories, which makes it ideal if you’re trying to watch your calorie intake or want to lose weight. Fish is also low in carbohydrates, so it can be eaten on any low carbohydrate diet, such as the ketogenic diet.

How Much Protein Should You Get From Fish?  

You can get as much of your daily protein as you like from fish, but I recommend varying your protein sources so you can get it from a range of foods. Having a varied diet enhances your overall nutritional intake and increases the chances of you consuming adequate amounts of every micronutrient. 

I recommend consuming a maximum of one or two 4-ounce servings of fish each day if you want to increase your protein intake. This will give you an additional 18 to 30 grams of protein (for one serving of fish) or 36 to 60 grams of protein (for two servings of fish) a day, depending on which kind of fish you eat.

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Protein in Fish Compared to Alternatives 

Fish is one of the highest protein-containing foods you can eat, but that’s not to say there aren’t other high-quality protein sources. 

As I mentioned above, one 4-ounce serving of fish contains between 18 and 30 grams of protein, depending on the type of fish. Below is a list of other common protein sources and how much protein they have per 4-ounce serving to help you compare the amount of protein in fish with other foods.

  • Turkey breast – 32 grams
  • Chicken breast – 31 grams
  • Beef – 29 grams
  • Pinto beans – 24 grams
  • Chickpeas – 22 grams
  • Eggs – 15 grams
  • Tofu – 9 grams 

27 High Protein Fish

Below are the top 27 fish with the most protein

Type of Fish Amount of Protein in a Serving (4 ounces)
Tuna33
Anchovies32
Trout30
Snapper30
Tilapia29
Bluefish29
Pollock28
Sardines28
Grouper28
Sea Bream28
Sea Bass27
Mussels27
Shrimp26
Yellowtail26
Common Carp26
Cod26
Catfish24
King Mackerel24
Scallops23
Salmon23
Halibut23
Silver Carp21
Sole21
Monkfish21
Flounder20
Grass Carp19
Hake18

1. Tuna (33 grams of protein)

Tuna

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 147 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 33 grams 
  • Fats – 0.7 grams 

Tuna has the highest protein content out of any type of fish, with 33 grams of protein per 4-ounce serving. You can find it canned or buy tuna steaks from the food store or fish market.

Tuna steaks can be eaten raw or cooked, and they taste great when combined with roasted potatoes, garlic fries, or baked sweet potatoes. You can fry them in a pan or grill them in the oven.

Learn more and see tuna steak recipes at BBC Good Food

2. Anchovies (32 grams of protein)

Anchovies

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 151 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 32 grams 
  • Fats – 5 grams 

Anchovies are small, oily saltwater fish that have a very salty, fishy taste. You can typically find them canned and packed in a salty brine or vinegar.

You can add anchovies to a wide range of dishes, including pasta, pizza, and salads. They dissolve in sauces such as tomato sauce very easily and taste especially great in sandwiches on their own or with some mozzarella cheese.

You can find more information about how to cook anchovies effectively at Love Food

3. Trout (30 grams of protein) 

Trout

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 215 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 30 grams 
  • Fats – 9.6 grams 

Trout is a freshwater fish with a mild fish taste and soft texture. It tastes like a milder form of salmon.

Trout is best cooked in the oven or a frying pan with some roasted root vegetables on the side, like carrots, parsnips, and rutabaga.

Check out this delicious trout recipe at Julia’s Album

4. Snapper (30 grams of protein)

Snapper

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 145 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 30 grams 
  • Fats – 1.9 grams 

Snapper is a low-calorie, low-fat fish with a sweet flavor and flaky texture. It’s primarily a marine fish, but it can also be found in freshwater. 

Snapper is great inside tacos or fritters. I also like seasoning it with garlic, paprika, and onion powders. It’s delicious when grilled, broiled, pan-fried, or steamed.

If you want to make your own homemade fish tacos using snapper, try out this recipe at Chili Pepper Madness

5. Tilapia (29 grams of protein)

Tilapia

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 145 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 29 grams 
  • Fats – 3 grams 

Tilapia is a white freshwater fish with a flaky but firm texture.

Most tilapia is farmed, so it’s important to look for tilapia from high-quality sources that don’t overcrowd their fish or feed them a lot of antibiotics and hormones to keep them healthy.

Responsibly-sourced tilapia will have a seal of approval from places like the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and Ocean Wise. A fishmonger at the food store or fish market should also be able to tell you where their tilapia comes from so you can verify if it’s a high-quality source.

A popular way to eat tilapia is to grill it and top it with a lemon and garlic or creamy mushroom sauce. You can also fry it in a skillet or bake it.

See Self.com for some easy ways to cook with tilapia. 

6. Bluefish (29 grams of protein)

Bluefish

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 283 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 29 grams 
  • Fats – 22.3 grams 

Bluefish is a marine fish that has a fishy taste, but you can squeeze lemon juice on it to cut through the intense flavor.

Bluefish is best when baked in the oven with a little salt and pepper. If you want to add a little extra flavor and spice, try it with Dijon mustard and smoked paprika.

If you want to try a delicious baked bluefish recipe, take a look at Simply Recipes

7. Pollock (28 grams of protein)

Pollock

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 133 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 28 grams 
  • Fats – 1.4 grams 

Pollock is a flaky, high-protein fish. It’s one of the lowest mercury-containing fish you can eat. Mercury can negatively affect the nervous system, immune system, kidneys, and liver. 

Pollock is great to eat battered and fried with a side of fries, but you can also grill or bake it and eat it with oven-roasted potatoes if you don’t want to fry it in a lot of oil. It should not be eaten raw because it can contain parasites called cod worms.

Find some great pollock recipes at Top Ten Recipes

8. Sardines (28 grams of protein)

 Sardines

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 236 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 28 grams 
  • Fats – 13 grams 

Sardines are a small, oily fish that usually come prepared in a can. They are higher in calories than many other high-protein fish options, but they’re still a great food because they’re high in vitamin B-12, vitamin D, and calcium. 

You can throw them into salads, tacos, and pasta dishes, eat them on their own, or eat them with sliced avocado and tomato sauce.

Serious Eats has some great sardines recipes for you to try. 

9. Grouper (28 grams of protein)

Grouper

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 133 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 28 grams 
  • Fats – 1.5 grams 

Grouper is a saltwater fish that easily absorbs sauces and marinades, making it a versatile protein source. It has a sweet, juicy flavor.

Grouper can be eaten grilled, baked, or fried. It’s a great fish to pair with beans and legumes such as kidney beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, or lentils.

Check out this great Mediterranean-style grouper recipe at The Mediterranean Dish. 

10. Sea Bream (28 grams of protein)

Sea Bream

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 129 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 28 grams 
  • Fats – 1 gram

Bream are freshwater and marine water fish that are low in calories and fat but high in protein. Whether you’re cooking the whole fish or smaller portions of it, you can place it in the oven or pan-fry it. It has a mild, sweet flavor that is great with spices like garlic and chili. 

Sea bream tastes great with garlic butter and a squeeze of fresh lemon. It’s also commonly paired with garlic and chili. To make your own garlic and chili sea bream, try this recipe at Flawless Food

11. Sea Bass (27 grams of protein)

Sea Bass

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 141 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 27 grams 
  • Fats – 2.9 grams 

Sea bass is a white marine fish that has a tender texture and mild flavor.

Although it’s low in calories and high in protein, it is high in mercury. It is recommended to eat no more than three servings of sea bass per month to avoid consuming too much mercury.

Sea bass tastes great with a lemon, garlic, and herb sauce, and you can find a great recipe for Pan-Fried Sea Bass with Lemon Garlic Herb Sauce at Bowl of Delicious. 

12. Mussels (27 grams of protein) 

Mussels

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 195 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 27 grams 
  • Fats – 5 grams 

Mussels are obtained from freshwater and saltwater habitats and have a slightly salty taste and chewy texture.

Mussels are often served as a side dish along with garlic bread, sweet potato fries, and roasted vegetables, so they’re perfect for a dinner party.

You can eat them raw, but if you’d rather cook them, head to The Endless Meal to learn how best to eat cooked mussels. 

13. Shrimp (26 grams of protein)

Shrimp

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 135 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 26 grams 
  • Fats – 1.9 grams 

For an amazing high-protein, low-carb food, shrimp are a great option. Not only are they high in protein with 26 grams per 4 oz serving, but they are also low in fat with less than 2 g of fat per serving.

Before eating shrimp, you may need to de-shell and de-vein them and then wash them thoroughly. They’re a popular addition to paella to add extra protein and taste to the dish. They only take around 2 minutes to fry or 5 minutes to boil in a pan.

Check out whatsinthepan.com for some great shrimp recipes. 

14. Yellowtail (26 grams of protein)

Yellowtail

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 165 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 26 grams 
  • Fats – 6 grams 

Also known as the Japanese amberjack, yellowtail is a type of jack fish that has a firm texture and a mild, sweet flavor. 

Yellowtail is delicious when grilled or baked in the oven, and it can also be pan-fried. It tastes delicious when paired with noodles, spaghetti, or tagliatelle in a pasta dish with a tomato and herb sauce.

The Japanese Seared Hamachi Yellowtail recipe at Low Carb Asian is a great option if you’re looking to eat more yellowtail at home.  

15. Common Carp (26 grams of protein)

Common Carp

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 184 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 26 grams 
  • Fats – 8 grams 

Common carp is an oily freshwater fish commonly found in European and Asian waters. It has a similar taste as salmon. 

Carp is commonly cooked in the oven or a frying pan with butter, lemon sauce, or salt and pepper seasoning. There’s a great Sichuan Crispy Fried Carp recipe at honest-food.net you can try if you want to eat more common carp in your diet. 

16. Cod (26 grams of protein)

Cod

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 119 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 26 grams 
  • Fats – 1 gram

Cod is one of the most popular kinds of fish. It has a mild flavor that’s not too fishy. 

You can cook cod in a number of ways, including steamed, grilled, or baked. You can eat it as a steak topped with garlic butter and a side of fries and vegetables or add it to pasta dishes.

Check The Spruce Eats for some delicious cod recipes. 

17. Catfish (24 grams of protein)

Catfish

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 163 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 24 grams 
  • Fats – 8.1 grams 

Catfish is a freshwater or marine water fish that is relatively high in protein and contains moderate amounts of fat per 4 oz serving. It’s not as flaky as other white fish like cod, and it has a sweeter, stronger flavor.

Catfish is delicious when seasoned with salt and pepper, but if you want to try a more flavorsome recipe, try this crispy southern fried catfish by The Seasoned Mum. You can serve it with lemon rice, coleslaw, and cucumber salad.

18. King Mackerel (24 grams of protein)

King Mackerel

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 297 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 24 grams 
  • Fats – 20 grams 

Although high in fat with 20 grams of fat per 4 oz serving, king mackerel is very low in saturated fats. It’s an oily fish with a stronger fish taste than some of the other options on this list.

King mackerel is great when pan-fried with garlic and lemon butter. If you want to make your very own fried king mackerel, try this recipe at ThaiTable.com. Serve it alongside sauteed onions and mushrooms and a sprinkle of garlic.

19. Scallops (23 grams of protein)

Scallops

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 126 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 6.1 grams 
  • Protein – 23 grams 
  • Fats – 0.9 grams 

Scallops have a slightly sweeter, less traditionally fishy taste than other types of seafood. Some people describe the taste as buttery. They are higher in carbohydrates than most other fish on this list but still only contain 6.1 grams per 4 oz serving and are very low in fat. 

The best way to cook scallops is in a pan with butter or oil. They are a suitable side dish or starter before your main meal.

If you’ve never cooked scallops before, try out this easy garlic-lemon scallop recipe at All Recipes. 

20. Salmon (23 grams of protein)

Salmon

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 180 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 23 grams 
  • Fats – 9.3 grams 

One of the most popular types of fish is salmon, which is high in protein and contains no carbohydrates.

Salmon can be served in a number of ways, but the most popular cooking methods are pan-searing and baking in the oven. Honey and garlic sauces are delicious on salmon.

Café Delites has a great honey and garlic salmon recipe that is suitable for beginner and advanced cooks. 

21. Halibut (23 grams of protein)

Halibut

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 126 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 23 grams 
  • Fats – 1.8 grams 

Halibut is a low-fat fish that has a mild, sweet flavor similar to tilapia.

Halibut is most commonly cooked in a frying pan but can also be baked in the oven with a creamy cheese and garlic sauce. See the Great British Chefs website for more information on how best to cook halibut. 

22. Silver Carp (21 grams of protein)

Silver Carp

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 113 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 21 grams 
  • Fats – 3.4 grams 

Silver carp is a type of freshwater fish that has a smooth texture and mild flavor.

This type of fish is great when cooked whole or in smaller fillets and basted in garlic butter or lemon juice to add moisture.

The Tasty Craze has a great recipe for marinated silver carp which you can find here

23. Sole (21 grams of protein)

Sole

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 97 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 21 grams 
  • Fats – 2.7 grams 

Sometimes called Dover sole or black sole, this type of fish is a very low-calorie, high-protein option. Its texture is more similar to the texture of meat, and it doesn’t have a strong fishy taste.

It only takes around 20 minutes to cook sole in the oven. You can also cook sole in a frying pan, but you will need to be careful not to dry the fish out too quickly if you use this cooking method.

Check out this sole recipe at Healthy Recipes that’s inspired by meunière, a French style of cooking. 

24. Monkfish (21 grams of protein)

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 110 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 21 grams 
  • Fats – 2.2 grams 

Monkfish is a nutrient-dense fish with a taste and texture similar to that of lobster.

You can pan-fry or oven-roast monkfish. It tastes great when combined with tomato-based sauces and a sprinkle of garlic and black pepper.

This recipe for tomato, ginger, and garlic monkfish at Great British Chefs is a good one to try next time you want to cook monkfish. 

25. Flounder (20 grams of protein)

Flounder

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 109 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 20 grams 
  • Fats – 3 grams 

Flounder is the name given to a group of flatfish that are found in oceans across the globe. Like other white fish such as cod and tilapia, it has a flaky texture without a strong fishy taste.

Flounder is best when baked, sauteed, or poached. It’s easy to prepare and has a delicious, sweet flavor. You can serve it with a side of freshly cooked rice, roasted potatoes, or steamed vegetables.

The Spruce Eats has a simple baked lemon butter flounder recipe that you can find here

26. Grass Carp (19 grams of protein)

Grass Carp

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 128 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 19 grams 
  • Fats – 5.9 grams 

Grass carp is a freshwater fish that has a firm texture and a very mild flavor.

You can cook grass carp whole or in smaller pieces. It should always be basted in something like a lemon sauce or garlic butter to prevent the fish from drying out too quickly.

Check out this Chinese pan-fried grass carp recipe at China Sichuan Food. 

27. Hake (18 grams of protein)

Macronutrient Breakdown Per 4 Ounces

  • Calories – 102 calories 
  • Carbohydrates – 0 grams 
  • Protein – 18 grams 
  • Fats – 0.6 grams 

Hake is a popular, low-calorie fish with a slightly sweet flavor. With just 102 calories per 4 oz serving, it’s a great option when you’re trying to cut calories while still eating an adequate amount of dietary protein each day. 

Whether you bake it in the oven or a frying pan, you can cook hake in a range of different sauces and seasonings for a tasty, high-protein meal. Mushroom, white wine, or orange sauces taste great on hake.

Hint of Healthy has some great pan-fried hake recipes if you want to make your own hake dish at home. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Which Has More Protein – Fish Or Meat? 

Fish usually has more protein than meat, but the protein contents vary based on which type of fish or meat you eat. For example, 4 oz of raw chicken breast has 25 g of protein while 4 oz of raw tuna has 33 g of protein. But 4 oz of raw flounder only has 20 g of protein and 4 oz of raw sirloin steak has 33 g of protein.

Other Fish Resources


About The Author

Athina Crilley
Athina Crilley

Athina Crilley is a Biochemistry graduate, a qualified personal trainer, and nutrition coach. She is passionate about helping women to balance their hormones and cycle. She is the host and producer of Finding Flo podcast, which covers all things women’s health and nutrition.