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10 Delicious Recipes That Are Perfect for Lean Bulking

If you know you need more calories to grow, but aren’t sure what to eat, then these bulking recipes are for you.

Bulking sounds like all fun and games at first.

Who doesn’t want to eat more food, right?

Well, if you’re like most people, you’ll change your tune after the first month or so.

The problem is it’s easy to get stuck in a rut eating the same boring foods every day, and you can only force down so much rice, potato, and chicken before wanting to throw/give up.

I’ve been there myself, and I’m happy to say that I was doing it wrong.

Bulking shouldn’t be a chore–it should be enjoyable. And having the right recipes, like these, really helps.

What makes a good “bulking recipe,” you wonder?

Well, it’s pretty simple: you want delicious, high-protein, high-calorie meals that aren’t full of sugar or highly processed junk foods.

As you’ll see, that can include all kinds of dishes, ranging from hearty breakfasts to high-carb snacks, one-pot meals, and much more.

Enjoy!

One-Pot Chili Pasta

Serves 4

Everyday classic comfort foods are awesome for a muscle-building meal plan, and in this recipe, you get two for one.

Start with a bulking chili loaded with ground beef and beans, and then add pasta. That’s all there is to this dish, so you can start with your family’s favorite chili recipe, or use the easy one here.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

646

Calories

44 g

Protein

85 g

Carbs

15 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 lb. 90% lean ground beef

2 Tbsp. flour

2 Tbsp. chili powder

1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes

1 can (15 oz.) black beans

1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans

1 cup frozen corn kernels

2 cups whole-grain elbow macaroni

2 cups beef broth

1 cup (about 4 oz.) shredded cheddar (or cheese of choice)

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Lamb of Gains

Serves 2

Lamb is the ultimate meat for a hearty high-protein dinner. It makes for a nutrient-dense meal, including omega-6 fatty acids, which gives lamb a fat composition similar to salmon.

And lamb chops take only 10 minutes or so to cook, so they’re easy even on a weeknight. Serve with mashed potatoes, and to add protein to the classic side dish, blend in tofu or white beans.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

888

Calories

86 g

Protein

50 g

Carbs

21 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 rack of lamb (about 1 1/2 lbs., or 8 ribs), cut into chops, trimmed of fat

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 lb. carrots

3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro

2 Tbsp. chopped scallions

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 tsp. loosely packed orange zest

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Steak & Spinach Bibimbap

Serves 4

Instead of making another bulking burger or stir fry, try this Korean favorite. With a combination of steak, spinach, and rice, it’s a nutrient-dense meal. And this muscle-building beef dinner is simple to assemble.

The most challenging part is stirring everything together to make the spicy bibimbap sauce. Or, pick up the premade stuff like Annie Chun’s brand go-chu-jang sauce.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

690

Calories

56 g

Protein

51 g

Carbs

28 g

Fat

Ingredients

Steak Bibimbap:

1 1/2 lbs. beef tenderloin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 bunch spinach, cleaned and roughly chopped

1 Tbsp. oil

3 cups cooked rice (about 1 cup dry)

 

Sauce:

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil

3 Tbsp. gochujang (Korean chili paste)

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1/2 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. Korean corn syrup (optional)

3 Tbsp. water

2 tsp. sesame oil

2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

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Vanilla Almond Butter Protein Granola

Serves 8

When you’re eating to gain muscle, one way to get extra calories is to add oats to everything. This homemade granola will give you a quick way to make meals even bigger.

It’s a great breakfast topping for Greek yogurt or an oatmeal bulking recipe. Or, use this almond butter granola as a base for your own trail mix with dried fruit and nuts.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

161

Calories

6 g

Protein

27 g

Carbs

4 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/4 cup almond butter

1/4 cup pure honey

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups rolled oats

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

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Prosciutto Fig Balsamic Bruschetta

Serves 4

Lunch not quite big enough to keep up with your bulking macros? Whether you had chicken pasta salad, a brown rice bowl, or salmon with quinoa, that might not be as many calories as you need to eat before dinner.

This snack can be made up in minutes right when you get home, or pre-assembled and brought to work for an afternoon bite with 20 grams of protein.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

412

Calories

21 g

Protein

42 g

Carbs

18 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 lb. prosciutto

1 cup fresh arugula

1 lb. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

1 baguette, sliced ¾” thick

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (more or less to taste)

1/4 cup fig balsamic

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"Dieting" doesn't have to suck. You CAN eat foods you like and have the body you want!

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Arnold Palmer Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs

Serves 4

When you’re bulking, trade in the chicken breast for dark meat like the thighs and drumsticks. You’ll still be eating plenty of protein, just with higher calories from the fat.

Dark meat is also richer in micronutrients like vitamins, iron, and zinc. For a nutrient-dense dinner, serve roasted chicken thighs with brown rice and roasted veggies.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

445

Calories

26 g

Protein

9 g

Carbs

35 g

Fat

Ingredients

Brine:

4 cups water

4 black tea bags

3 slices lemon peel

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup salt

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

 

Chicken:

2 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 lemon, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp. pure honey

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Twix Protein Bars

Serves 8

When you’re loading up on calories, you might be tempted to grab all the candy in the checkout line. But while you’re chomping down on chocolate, you should get some necessary nutrition too.

With almonds, brown rice, and whey protein powder, these make an awesome snack for bulking – go ahead and eat two at a time, like you’d get in a full-size pack of Twix.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

141

Calories

5 g

Protein

14 g

Carbs

7 g

Fat

Ingredients

Vanilla Base:

1/4 cup ground almonds

2 Tbsp. brown rice flour

1 Tbsp. coconut flour

1 scoop (about 1/4 cup) WHEY+ unflavored protein isolate

2 Tbsp. coconut sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

 

Protein Caramel:

2 Medjool dates

1 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk

1/2 Tbsp. WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

2 Tbsp. cashew nut butter

 

Coating:

4 squares (40g) 85% dark chocolate

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Western Hash Brown Omelette

Serves 4

Protein pancakes are a great breakfast for any meal plan, and when you’re bulking, you can add all your favorite toppings. But that’s not the only way to start the day.

Eggs are a healthy ingredient for building muscle, and with an omelette, you can fold in nutritious additions like ham, veggies, and cheese. For even more protein, enjoy it with turkey bacon or sausage links on the side.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

474

Calories

28 g

Protein

26 g

Carbs

30 g

Fat

Ingredients

8 large eggs

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

4 oz. diced ham

2 bell peppers, diced

1 onion, diced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

3 cups frozen shredded hash browns

1 1/2 cups (about 4 oz.) grated smoked gouda

1 bunch scallions, chopped

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Ashanti Chicken

Serves 8

This flavorful chicken with rice will make any meal special. It’s a great new way to serve Sunday roast chicken dinner, like making a turkey at Thanksgiving only with spicy jollof rice stuffed inside.

And if you don’t want to make the rub from scratch for this Chicken bulking recipe, use a Cajun seasoning blend, which has similar ingredients like cayenne, paprika, and thyme.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

783

Calories

38 g

Protein

70 g

Carbs

38 g

Fat

Ingredients

Chicken:

4 lbs. whole chicken, deboned

1 Tbsp. thyme

1 1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 Tbsp. onion powder

1 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. white pepper

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. bouillon powder

 

Jollof Rice:

1 medium onion, chopped

1 can (14 oz.) tomato sauce

1/2 cup cooking oil

3 cups rice

2 tsp. chicken bouillon

2 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. paprika

1 Tbsp. garlic powder

3 1/2 cups chicken broth (or water)

1 tsp. white pepper

1/2 tsp. dried thyme (optional)

1 scotch bonnet pepper (or ¾ tsp. ground chile)

1 lb. vegetables

 

Chicken Gravy:

1/4 cup roast chicken drippings

2 Tbsp. flour (more if needed)

2 cups chicken stock (more if needed)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Banana & Oats Protein Shake

Serves 1

Protein shakes come in countless varieties, including fancy concoctions with lots of ingredients. But you don’t need all that to get the flavor and nutrition you’re craving. This one keeps it simple with fresh fruit, milk, and oats.

Then you can use any flavor of protein powder, like Legion WHEY+ strawberry banana or chocolate, to complete this bulking milkshake.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

602

Calories

59 g

Protein

73 g

Carbs

9 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup milk

1 banana

1/2 cup oats

2 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

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OVER 100,000 PEOPLE HAVE USED MY COOKBOOK TO GET THE BODY THEY WANT EATING THE FOODS THEY LOVE. WILL YOU BE NEXT?

What if I told you that just about everything magazines and trainers “teach” you about dieting is wrong?

What if you could build muscle and lose fat eating “naughty” foods every week?

What if you didn’t have to suffer through low-carb dieting to get lean? In fact, what if you could eat all the carbs you wanted?

And what if you didn’t have to gorge yourself just to gain muscle and didn’t have to put on pounds and pounds of ugly fat, either?

In short, what if I told you that proper dieting--whether you want to maximize fat loss or muscle growth--is much simpler and more enjoyable than you’ve been led to believe?

Imagine eating delicious, filling meals every day...never feeling starved or stuffed...having great energy levels and workouts...and watching your body respond exactly as you desire, dropping fat or adding muscle each and every week.

And imagine finally understanding how proper dieting really works, never again falling for the BS, tricks, and gimmicks pushed by “gurus” and other shysters.

Well, I have good news.

All these “fantasies” can be a reality...if you know how to do a handful of “little” things correctly.

You see, when you know how to diet properly--and this doesn’t mean learning to eat boiled chicken and raw broccoli six times per day--getting lean and muscular becomes simple, convenient, and dare I say...enjoyable.

And this book will show you the way.

I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like my articles, then you'll love my bestselling books. They'll show you exactly what you need to do to build muscle and lose fat without hating your diet or living in the gym.

If you're a guy, check out Bigger Leaner Stronger, and if you're a girl, Thinner Leaner Stronger is for you.

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