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20 High Protein Meal Prep Ideas for Every Meal

Evidence Based

Keeping a collection of quick and easy high-protein meal prep ideas at your fingertips makes dieting simple. 

And that’s why this article is a dieter’s best friend. 

In it, you’ll learn the best healthy meal prep proteins to add to your meals, five high protein meal prep ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and more. 

Prepare to elevate your high protein meal prep with these nutritious and delicious choices.

10 Ingredients that Make it Easy to Meal Prep High Protein Food

Stocking your kitchen with the right ingredients makes it easier to meal prep high protein foods. Below is a list of healthy meal prep proteins to make meal planning a breeze:

  • Poultry: Poultry, such as chicken breasts and ground turkey, is an excellent low-fat, high-protein, animal-based protein.
  • Red Meat: Ground beef, top sirloin, and pork loin are tasty lean red meats, fantastic for protein-rich dinners.
  • Fish: Tuna, salmon, and cod are low-calorie healthy meal prep proteins rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Shellfish: Shellfish like shrimp, crab, and lobster are delicious proteins perfect for a stir fry or burrito bowl.
  • Eggs: Eggs and egg whites are inexpensive, versatile, and ideal for building muscle.
  • Low-Fat Dairy: Low-fat milk, Greek yogurt, Skyr, and cottage cheese are great protein boosters for meals, snacks, and post-workout shakes.
  • Legumes: Legumes, like black beans, lentils, and peas, are plant-based proteins rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Whole Grains: Brown rice, quinoa, and millet add protein and fiber to meals and snacks.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Nuts, such as almonds, cashews, and pistachios, and seeds, such as hemp, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds, provide healthy fats, flavor, and a hit of protein to salads, shakes, and bread. 
  • Vegetables: Most vegetables contain some protein and help create balanced and nutritious meals.

High Protein Breakfast Meal Prep Ideas

These high protein meal prep ideas are healthy takes on classic breakfast meals that help keep you full until lunch. Each is high in protein but low in fat and calories, making them ideal meal prep recipes for a quick, nutritious breakfast before a morning workout or meeting.

1. Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Picture courtesy of Hurry The Food Up

This high-protein pancake recipe is perfect for those who enjoy something sweet in the morning but don’t like the soggy texture of protein pancakes containing mashed banana.

Make a batch for the week and refrigerate them in a sealed container. When you’re ready to eat, heat them in the toaster or under the grill for a quick, tasty breakfast.

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2. High-Protein Quinoa Scramble

High-Protein Quinoa Scramble

Picture courtesy of Krolls Korner

Eggs are quick and easy to cook and are an excellent meal-prep protein for breakfast. For a tasty twist on regular scrambled eggs, try this high-protein quinoa scramble. Adding cheese, quinoa, and leafy greens takes ho-hum scrambled eggs to the next level, boosting flavor, protein, and nutrition. 

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3. Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Picture courtesy of Minimalist Baker

Overnight oats are a popular make-ahead breakfast for time-pressed people who want a hearty morning meal. This vegan-friendly, high-protein breakfast recipe uses peanut butter and chia seeds to pack in protein and add flavor and texture.

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4. No-Bake Protein Bars

No-Bake Protein Bars

Picture courtesy of Dare Bee

If you prefer a light breakfast, these no-bake protein bars are for you. This recipe uses coconut milk (or coconut cream) to create a creamy, chewy protein bar packed with flavor. If you’re not a fan of coconut milk or want a bar with more protein and less fat, use soy, almond, or low-fat cow’s milk instead. 

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5. Low Carb Crustless Quiche with Shredded Chicken and Cheese

Low Carb Crustless Quiche with Shredded Chicken and Cheese

Picture courtesy of 730 Sage Street

This low-carb, protein-rich quiche is a delicious way to use your leftover chicken. It’s also an easy meal prep recipe you can make ahead for those mornings when you have less than 20 minutes to get out the door. 

Store your cooked quiche in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, and reheat in the microwave before eating.

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High Protein Lunch Meal Prep Ideas

Elevate your lunch game with these delicious high protein meal prep ideas. From simple salads to scrumptious sandwiches, these high protein meal prep recipes satisfy hunger without weighing you down. 

1. Shredded Chicken Chickpea Salad

Shredded Chicken Chickpea Salad

Picture courtesy of Ambitious Kitchen

Canned chickpeas and leftover chicken make great protein meal prep ingredients for a quick and easy lunch. This salad is flavorful, high in protein, and low in calories. It also makes a great brown bag lunch to take to work.

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2. Tomato Bun Tuna Melt

Tomato Bun Tuna Melt

Picture courtesy of Delish

The tomato bun tuna melt is a low-carb, high-protein meal prep idea inspired by the classic tuna melt. Canned tuna is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, an essential nutrient that may help you build muscle

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3. Smoked Ham & Hard-Boiled Egg Salad

Smoked Ham & Hard-Boiled Egg Salad

Picture courtesy of The Healthy Foody

Many people wrongly overlook ham as a protein meal prep option. This ham and hard-boiled egg salad recipe is quick and light and includes a variety of ingredients, making it easy to modify to make your own. You can also replace the ham with other proteins like roast beef or pork. 

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4. Best Veggie Burger

Best Veggie Burger

 

Picture courtesy of Cookie + Kate

These veggie burgers are made from a tasty mix of quinoa, black beans, oats, sweet potatoes, fresh herbs, and a blend of seasonings, giving them the perfect balance of sweet and spicy.  Better yet, you can whip up this high-protein meal prep recipe in 20 minutes or less.

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5. Light Beef Sliders

Light Beef Sliders

Picture courtesy of Laloosh

Burgers are a lunchtime favorite. These healthy meal prep beef sliders combine savory mushrooms with ground beef to cut calories and boost nutrition, though you can also use ground turkey or ground chicken if you prefer poultry over red meat.

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High Protein Dinner Meal Prep Ideas

Revitalize your dinner routine with these great high protein meal prep recipes. From mouth-watering steak to hearty vegetarian options, these high protein meals make healthy eating easy, especially on busy weeknights. 

1. Turkey Chili with White Beans

Turkey Chili with White Beans  

Picture courtesy of Epicurious

Chili is a hearty comfort food you can make ahead of time, so it’s ready to go on weeknights when you’re low on energy. This turkey chili provides more than 30 grams of protein per serving, making it a great high protein meal prep recipe. Pair it with cauliflower rice for a low-calorie and nutrient-dense side dish.

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2. Pressure Cooker Japanese Seafood Curry

Pressure Cooker Japanese Seafood Curry

Picture courtesy of Just One Cookbook

This Japanese seafood curry recipe is great because the pressure cooker does all the work. With a mix of clams, scallops, and shrimp, this high-protein meal provides 53 grams of protein per serving and a ton of flavor. 

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3. Garlic-Lime Skirt Steak with Veggies

Garlic-Lime Skirt Steak with Veggies

Picture courtesy of Paleo Newbie

Steak is the star in many great high protein recipes, but it’s not the easiest meat to cook. Skirt steak is an exception. Cutting the steak into thin strips allows it to cook faster and stay tender.

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4. Spicy Green Bean Salad with Sesame-Lime Tofu

Spicy Green Bean Salad with Sesame-Lime Tofu

Picture courtesy of Serious Eats

This spicy green bean salad is an outstanding plant-based high protein meal prep idea for easy dinners during the week. Simply broil the tofu, cook the vegetables, make the dressing, mix it all together, divide it into meal prep containers, and refrigerate.

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5. Asparagus Sweet Potato Chicken Skillet

Asparagus Sweet Potato Chicken Skillet

Picture courtesy of Primavera Kitchen

Sweet potatoes and asparagus are healthy ingredients that go well with almost any meal prep protein. Cut the chicken breasts, sweet potatoes, and asparagus into small pieces to prepare a week’s worth of high-protein dinners in about 30 minutes.

Get the Recipe

High Protein Meal Prep Ideas: FAQs

FAQ #1: How do I meal prep high protein meals?

Here’s a 5-step process for meal prepping high-protein meals:

  1. Calculate your calories and macros using the Legion Macro Calculator.
  2. Use the high protein meal prep ideas above to create a 7-day breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu.
  3. Decide which day (or days) you’d like to cook your meals.
  4. Buy everything you need to make your high-protein meals in time for your “prep day.”
  5. Prepare, cook, and store your week’s meals.

And if you’d like a more in-depth guide to meal prepping high protein meals, check out this article:

Meal Prep Made Easy: How to Make the Perfect Meal Prep

FAQ #2: What are some meal prep ideas high in protein for people on a budget?

You don’t need to spend a lot to enjoy high-protein meals. Affordable cuts of meat like London broil, top round roast, chicken leg or thigh, and pork loin roast are budget-friendly meal prep ideas high in protein. 

Likewise, canned tuna and salmon cost less than fresh fish and have a significantly longer shelf life.

Plant-based proteins are another low-cost option for meal prep ideas high in protein. Beans, lentils, and peas are inexpensive and add a lot of nutritional value. 

FAQ #3: What are some high protein meal prep ideas for people eating 120 grams of protein per day?

Since most people eat 3-to-5 meals daily, look for high protein meal prep ideas that provide about 25-to-40 grams of protein per serving. Any of the high protein meal prep recipes above are a good place to start. 

FAQ #4: Which vegetables are high in protein for meal prep?

The 10 best vegetables to use for high-protein meals are:

  1. Lima beans
  2. Soybean sprouts
  3. Green peas
  4. Spinach
  5. Corn
  6. Asparagus
  7. Artichokes
  8. Brussel sprouts
  9. Mushrooms
  10. Broccoli 

FAQ #5: Can vegans do high protein meal prep?

Yes, vegans can do high protein meal prep with proper planning. Great high protein meal prep recipes for vegans should center around healthy plant-based high-protein foods, such as tofu, tempeh, and edamame; legumes, like black beans and lentils; and nuts and seeds like almonds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds.

And if you want to learn more about high-protein meal prep ideas for vegans, check out this article:

11 Awesome Vegan Recipes

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