Best High Protein Meal Prep Ideas [2023]

Are you someone who loves fitness and watches your nutrition carefully to get the most out of your workouts?

If so, meal prepping can be an invaluable tool. Not only is it an efficient way to manage your daily caloric needs, but when done right, it can help you meet your health-focused goals.

Keeping meals high in protein is essential for getting the most nutritional benefit from what we eat. Today, I’m going to be sharing some of the best high protein meal prep ideas that make eating nutritious and delicious food easy!

What Are The Best High Protein Meal Prep Ideas?

The best meal prep plan is the one you can stick with. A great plan will get you to hit your macronutrient target each day, with protein being between 0.8 grams to 1.0 grams per pound of body weight.

So if you are a 150lb female, then eating between 120 and 150 grams of protein per day will help you protect, preserve, and even build muscle while feeling satiated and satisfied all day long.

Next, I will share some simple frameworks to help you achieve your individualized protein goals.

But First, What Are Macros?

I will have another post on this and linked here soon, but ‘macros’ is short for macronutrients.

Macronutrients refer to 3 main groups of nutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Let’s start by assuming you are moderately healthy and active. If this is true, a decent starting point is 1/3 of total calories to fat, which supports hormonal production, 1/3 of total calories to carbohydrates to support both brain ad body activity, and 1/3 of total calories to protein to support muscle maintenance and growth.

The amount of each macro is going to vary widely per person based on things like sex, size, and activity level. Many diseases can also play a role, like kidney or liver disease and certainly diabetes. Similarly, I know numerous female athletes who eat 4,000+ calories per day. I also know numerous male athletes who eat 5,000 and even 6,000+ calories per day. This is not the norm for most folks as their activity level is incredibly high, and supporting this level of activity requires adding a lot of carbohydrates.

For more details on this, be sure to check out the ‘How to Count Macros‘ article.

Best High Protein Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast is a great place to add more protein, and if you’ve been munching on granola and almond milk (still one of my faves) as your breakfast for the past few years, then getting more protein in is going to be easy to achieve.

A simple breakfast plan to get you started

I like to bucket foods into 4 main categories;

  1. Protein
  2. Carbohydrates
  3. Fat
  4. Fiber

For breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week, I like to have myself 2 or 3 high protein options, 2 or 3 carb sources, and 2 or 3 fat options. We can look at fiber in the context of how we blend our fat and carb sources, but that is detailed more in the Counting Macros post.

For breakfast, 3 protein sources:

  1. Eggs or Egg Whites
  2. Yogurt
  3. Turkey Bacon

3 carb sources:

  1. Fruit/berries
  2. Granola/oats
  3. Bagel or sourdough

3 fat sources:

  1. Egg yolks if you had whole eggs
  2. Yogurt if you went for full-fat yogurt
  3. Nut or seeds of choice
  4. BONUS – Butter or oil if you love it on toast

You can mix and match these in any order and have a week’s worth of meals without ever repeating the same meal twice. This is a great way to have your variety and stay full all day long.

Swapping Milk for Greek Yogurt

Swapping the milk or milk substitute for Greek yogurt is a great first step in granola. Greek yogurt can have up to 18g of protein per serving, and if fat is a concern, you can go the low-fat or non-fat route and still get all of that high-quality protein.

Eggs and Egg Whites

Adding eggs to any breakfast is always a plus! With 6g of protein per each Grade A large egg, adding eggs to the mix can be a great step in the right direction.

Egg whites are also great if you are watching the fat. I opt to control my fat intake elsewhere, as egg yolks are loaded with micronutrients that support all sorts of healthy functions. Plus, a slightly runny yoke with my Everything bagel or sourdough toast is one of my greatest joys.

Turkey Bacon

Turkey bacon is another great option to add to the morning routine to give your total protein intake a boost!

Turkey bacon, depending on how it is sliced, can range from 4g to 10g of protein per slice. Adding 2 slices to the side of any breakfast setup can really jump-start the day, and that extra protein can help to make you feel full for longer throughout the day, a welcomed benefit!

Best High Protein Lunch Ideas

Following the same idea of 3 protein, 3 carb, and 3 fat choices for lunch:

For lunch, 3 protein sources:

  1. Lean Ground Beef or other lean ground meat
  2. Grilled Chicken Breast
  3. Wild Caught Fish

3 carb sources:

  1. Rice
  2. Tortillas
  3. If you fancy a salad to keep it light for lunch, dates and dried apricots are a great addition.

With the carbs, having a couple of different salsas can help to elevate the flavor while also increasing your options. I buy 1 jar of taqueria salsa and 1 jar of salsa verde every week and just switch which one I use each lunch. Variety achieved.

3 fat sources:

  1. Olive Oil – There may be enough from cooking your meats that you don’t even need to add more
  2. Avocado
  3. Cheese for the salad (feat, blue, or goat cheeses are my faves!)

Lean Ground Beef or other lean ground meat

Lean ground beef is a surefire way to get the protein count up.

I love this option as you can mix with the rice or tortillas and alternate between burrito bowls or tacos for lunch. Just 4 oz of 90:10 ground beef can get you to 22 grams of protein while keeping fat to right around 10 grams.

Grilled Chicken Breast

Grilled chicken breast may be the best way to crush your protein goals while keeping the fat down.

4 oz of chicken breast can boost the protein by up to 26 grams while keeping fat intake to around 2 grams. This makes chicken a home run if you feel like breakfast gave you a good jump start on your fats for the day.

Wild Caught Fish

I love this option for so many reasons:

  1. You can choose things like Salmon, Cod, or Tuna to switch it up
  2. They all taste amazing
  3. Has a good amount of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids

Tuna is a great option if you need to keep the fat down, but I love going for wild-caught salmon or cod and getting those great Omega-3s which are good for so many different functions in our bodies.

4 ounces of wild-caught Sockeye salmon can get you 25 grams of protein with just 8 grams of fat, making the Sockeye salmon more protein dense and less fat-dense than the 90:10 beef mentioned earlier.

Best High Protein Dinner Ideas

No need to overthink this or have a bajillion different proteins sitting around the house.

Just look at the same options for lunch, and swap them around to keep you from feeling like you are eating the same thing every meal of every day. Long gone are the days when folks need to follow the classic meathead diet of chicken, rice, and broccoli for 90% of their meals. Keep it interesting, switch it up, but don’t feel like you need a butcher shop for the variety.

I am updating the carbs and fat sources to offer a little something different for dinner.

For lunch, 3 protein sources:

  1. Lean Ground Beef or other lean ground meat
  2. Grilled Chicken Breast
  3. Wild Caught Fish

3 carb sources:

  1. Salad – again, dates and/or dried apricots are a great addition
  2. Pasta
  3. Bread of choice

3 fat sources:

  1. Olive Oil – There may be enough from cooking your meats that you don’t even need to add more, but great for making toast or salad dressing
  2. Olives
  3. Nuts and/or seeds of choice

Again, no need to overthink this. Just choose a protein option that you didn’t have for lunch and go for it.

Something I love to do for dinner is having a few different store-bought sauces on hand to keep the variety alive:

  1. Having pasta? Pasta sauce is great.
  2. Having rice and need to switch up the flavor for the meat? Buy an Indian simmering sauce like Madras curry or vindaloo, a Thai simmering sauce like Thai green curry, Chinese like General Tsaos, or keep it all American with BBQ sauce.

Throw in some different veggies for dinner and a different simmering sauce, and you have months of variety without repeating what you have had. Filling, full of protein, and never boring.

Best High Protein Snack Ideas

The world is wide open here, but I’ll share some convenient options that are my go-tos

  1. Whey protein smoothie – Always good. Always fast. Plus, I get more berries and fruits in.
  2. S.M.A.S.H. fish – This stands for sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon, and herring. These fish are offered in cans which are a convenient way to slam some protein without anything need other than a fork. S.M.A.S.H. fish also are known to have a healthy amount of Omega-3 fatty acids while keeping heavy metals low such as mercury or PCBs.
  3. Jerky – Easy. Available. High, high protein.

What Are The Best High Protein Meal Prep Ideas?

The best high protein meal prep ideas are, again, the ones that you love and that you can stick to. Aiming for .8 to 1.0 grams per pound of protein each day is easily achieved following the format that I have provided here.

2 or 3 high protein options for breakfast, and then 2 or 3 high protein options that you will share for lunch and dinner, switching between what you have to keep things interesting.


In conclusion, when it comes to meal prepping with high protein foods and snacks, there are plenty of options that will fit your diet. Eggs, Greek yogurt, lean ground beef or proteins like chicken and fish, and snack options like whey and S.M.A.S.H. fish are all great sources of protein that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.

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