Are you looking for meal prep ideas to lose weight or increase muscle mass? This may be the year you want to try a high protein diet. High protein meal prep ideas are very popular now and for good reason – eating more protein keeps you feeling fuller longer and may help kick your metabolism into high gear. But one of the drawbacks of eating more protein is the work and planning that goes into preparing your food. That’s why these high protein meal prep ideas can be a timesaver.
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There’s no reason to let a lack of time stop you from following a diet that’s good for you in so many ways. The key to increasing the amount of protein in your diet is to get into the habit of meal prepping. By taking some time each week to shop, clean, chop and cook, you’ll have ready-to-go meals at your fingertips all week long that are loaded with filling protein and other good-for-you ingredients.
High-Protein Meal Prep Basics
The best high-protein meal prep starts with planning. Create a menu of foods you want to eat during the week. Every meal doesn’t have to be the same, but it’s helpful if you use similar ingredients in multiple meals so you can prep the food once and use it to feed yourself a few times. Make a list of everything you need before heading to the store to avoid having to make return trips.
Once you’re home, wash all produce and cut or chop it. Cook the protein that you plan to use throughout the week, whether that is meat, poultry, eggs, legumes, high-protein grains or other foods. Gather any sauces or seasonings that will make your meals delicious. Then start portioning out your meals into containers so they’re ready to grab on the run or to heat and eat.
Tips for Successful High-Protein Meal Prepping
A good plan is our first tip for successful high-protein meal prepping, but there’s a few more steps to make high-protein meal prep easy, enjoyable and worth the time it takes to eat healthier. These tips will also help:
- Vary your protein – Don’t eat the same thing over and over or you’ll start to get bored. Switch up your protein and also add different accompaniments, spices or sauces. Good sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, dairy, legumes, nuts and seeds, as well as high-protein grains like quinoa.
- Designate time – Set aside a specific time each week to meal prep so you’ll know that you have time to get it done. Even though you may not want to spend hours in the kitchen, remind yourself of how easy you are making the rest of the week and how much better you’ll eat when you have healthy food prepared and ready.
- Buy storage containers – Having the right size containers makes meal prep so much easier. Invest in a set of containers that fit your needs.
- Don’t overdo it – If you’re new to meal prepping, it may seem overwhelming to do too much. So start slowly and build from there. Maybe you just want to meal prep breakfasts so they’re ready to eat when you’re crunched for time in the morning. Or if you get hungry between meals, prep some high protein snacks that will help you avoid the vending machine.
High Protein Breakfast Meal Prep
When it comes to easy high protein meal prep ideas, breakfast is king. Many high protein breakfast meals include eggs and/or dairy, which are not only easy to prep, but they store well. You can prep these high protein breakfast meals days ahead. They also freeze well.
Here are some easy prep high protein meals to start your day:
Asparagus and Sausage Egg Cups – These grab-and-go egg cups help fill you up as you start your day. In addition to eggs, you’ll enjoy a tasty mix of asparagus, turkey sausage and parmesan cheese, with 16g of protein to keep you going strong until lunchtime.
High Protein Lunch Meal Prep
Many people take lunch with them to work or can’t be bothered stopping to make a meal in the middle of the day. When nothing is prepared in advance, it’s very easy to make less-than-desirable food choices. By meal prepping high protein lunches in advance, you’ll eat healthier and keep yourself well-fueled throughout the day.
Try these high protein meal prep recipes for lunch:
Creamy Bow-Tie Pasta – Looking for high protein meals without meat? Try this high protein pasta dish, which gets its protein from a mix of low-fat cheese as well as multi-grain pasta. The recipe also includes chicken, but you can still get a boost of protein even if you leave it out.
Healthy High Protein Snacks
Snacks are the perfect time to boost protein. High protein snacks help you avoid the crash you can get when you eat carbs.
Try these high protein snack recipes. They’re easy to meal prep and equally easy to take with you in case hunger strikes.
Peanut Butter Protein Balls – These protein-packed snacks are made with a mix of protein-rich peanut butter and protein powder. Rice cereal gives them some crunch and a bit of maple syrup and dark chocolate satisfies a sweet tooth.
High Protein Dinner Meal Prep
Dinner is the meal when people tend to eat the most protein, but it’s also the time when you may feel least likely to want to cook.
Do these high protein dinner meal prep steps in advance for these recipes. All you’ll have to do when you get home from work is reheat and eat.
Chicken Thighs with Farro – This colorful and tasty dinner is not only packed with protein but also with hunger-satisfying fiber. The farro is a flavorful accompaniment to the chicken thighs and vegetables and may just become your new favorite high-protein grain.
High Protein Dessert Meal Prep
There is no reason to sacrifice dessert to carbs and empty calories. These high protein dessert recipes are easy to meal prep and loaded with protein.
Honey Yogurt Berry Parfaits – Greek yogurt and almonds add a boost of protein to this slightly sweet and very attractive red, white and blue dessert. One serving has a full 15g of protein!