Get ready for these 40 meals high in protein to try for your next meal prep. Whether you're looking for meals that will provide lasting energy or just looking to add a little more protein to your diet, these high protein meal prep recipes will keep you satisfied.
We've got you covered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with these easy meal prep recipes that are packed with protein. There is nothing better than meal-prepping and knowing you have healthy and filling meals ready to go when you need them most, plus, It's a Whole Lotta Yum!
Why eat more protein?
High protein meals are beneficial for muscle repair and growth, for weight management by helping you feel more full, and protein helps to stabilize blood sugar levels.
How much protein is considered high protein?
All of our recipe ideas have a minimum of 15 grams of protein each, most of the meal prep ideas have 20-30 grams of protein per serving! Plus, we give you easy ways to add more by adding easy sides like chicken breakfast sausage, high protein cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, or protein powder.
And spreading out your protein during the day is the best way to feel full, keep energy levels up, and to maximize the benefits to our bodies and muscles.
40 high protein meal prep recipes
We've included tons of high protein meal prep ideas for you to enjoy, the majority of these are high protein low carb, many are low calorie, and all of them are using healthy real ingredients. The types of recipes you'll find:
- High protein breakfast meal prep
- High protein lunch meal prep
- High protein dinner meal prep
- High protein meal prep for weight loss
- High protein low carb meal prep
How to Meal Prep High Protein
10 Easy High Protein Ideas for Weight Loss (No Recipe Needed!)
While it can be fun to cook and meal prep all of your recipes, sometimes you just want something easy that you can throw together in a few minutes. We know how it is, and we do it too.
If you want to simplify your meals as much as possible, try these 10 easy high-protein ideas that don't require a recipe.
- Greek yogurt and berries: A drizzle of honey is great for added sweetness or add granola for crunch. My favorite is mixing in 15 g of vanilla protein powder with 200 g nonfat Greek yogurt to get a simple 30 g of protein meal.
- Hard-boiled eggs and avocado slices: Hardboil a bunch of eggs at once for easy snacking throughout the week. An egg has 6 g of protein per large egg, so mix hard boiled eggs with cooked egg whites to keep the fats lower.
- Whole grain crackers with tuna salad or chicken salad (greek yogurt can be used in place of mayo), veggie sticks on the side.
- Cottage cheese and fruit: Chia seeds or flax seeds can add extra fiber and protein.
- Protein bar + turkey stick: my go to combo as a pre or post workout snack.
- Turkey or chicken slices wrapped around avocado or veggie slices, plus whole grain crackers on the side.
- Beef or turkey jerky or turkey sticks, a hard boiled egg with a side of veggies or fruit.
- Hummus and veggie wrap: Whole grain high protein tortilla, hummus, and sliced veggies.
- Smoked salmon with cream cheese; eat it on a high protein wrap.
- Bean salad: Mix canned beans (chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, etc.) with diced vegetables and a simple vinaigrette.
Easy lean protein ideas
The key to eating more protein as part of a well balanced eating plan whether you're trying to build muscle or prevent muscle loss, is to focus on lean protein sources. Here's are some of our favorites, many of which are inexpensive protein sources too.
- Ground meats: Lean ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground beef. I said lean, friends as in try to eat the 99%-93% ground meats that are lower in saturated fats.
- Shredded chicken or turkey: great for adding to salads, soups, sandwiches, or on a wrap. Buying the 2.5 lb bags of frozen chicken breast meat or chicken tenders is the way to go here to keep costs down.
- Canned tuna: did you know one can of tuna has over 40 grams of protein? Our favorite way to eat it is mixed with our easy low fat tzatziki sauce served over lettuce, with crackers, or as an open faced sandwich.
- Eggs: while one large egg has 6 g of protein per serving, mixing an egg in with egg whites and sauteed veggies is a great way to get 20-30 grams of protein in one meal.
- Leaner meat cuts: chicken such as boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken tenderloins, turkey breast meat, turkey tenderloin, pork tenderloin, or game meat.
- Seafood: fish filets, smoked salmon, shrimp, crab, clams, or mussels.
- Organic grass fed beef: Eating local grass fed beef is a leaner option that grocery store beef.
- Plant based sources: tofu, edamame beans, soy protein, and tempeh.
- Protein powder: Mixing whey based protein powder or vegan protein powder into smoothies, yogurt, making protein powder pancakes, or mxing it into overnight oats is a great way to get a protein boost.
- Beans and legumes: the highest protein beans and legumes are chickpeas, lentils, green peas, kidney beans, soybeans, black beans, pinto beans, and white beans.
How much protein do I need in a day?
The rule of thumb is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound and up to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram if you lift weights and are trying to build muscle.
To build muscle and prevent muscle loss while losing my last 25 lbs, my trainer is having me eat 150 grams of protein per day split between 5 small meals per day. Your daily goals could be different than this, and we recommend you check in with your doctor, trainer, or medical professional before going whole hog on protein.
So if you weigh 150 lb, your daily protein should be at least 50 grams of protein per day. If you're trying to build muscle or prevent muscle loss as we get older, eating more than that is recommended.
How long does meal prepped protein last in the fridge?
High-protein meals usually last about 3-5 days in the fridge. But this also depends on the types of ingredients you use. For example, seafood should usually be eaten within a few days, while cooked chicken or turkey can last up to 4 days. Always store your meal preps in airtight containers to help them stay fresh for longer.
Regardless, prepping meals in advance makes it much easier to eat healthy and hit your protein goals during a busy week.
Can High Protein Meals Help With Weight Loss?
Yes, high protein meals can aid in weight loss by increasing satiety, reducing appetite, and enhancing metabolic rate. Protein-rich foods require more energy to digest, absorb, and metabolize, which can also contribute to burning more calories.
Are Plant-Based Proteins As Effective As Animal-Based Proteins?
Plant-based proteins can be just as effective as animal-based proteins when a variety of sources are consumed to ensure all essential amino acids are included in the diet. Combining different plant proteins can provide a complete amino acid profile.
How Can I Add More Protein to My Meals Without Adding Too Many Calories?
To add more protein without excessive calories, choose lean protein sources like chicken breast, turkey, fish, legumes, and low-fat dairy. Incorporating protein powders into shakes or meals is another effective way to increase protein intake without significantly increasing calorie intake.
Can High Protein Diets Be Harmful?
While high protein diets are generally safe for healthy individuals, excessively high intake over a long period may strain the kidneys in people with preexisting kidney conditions. It's important to balance protein with other nutrients and consult a healthcare provider if you have health concerns.
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