Been feeling a little sluggish lately? Can’t quite hit that last set at the gym? Can’t even remember the last time you had the energy to hit the gym?
No, this isn’t just life in your thirties—you could be in dire need of more protein in your diet. And if your current diet consists of snack packs at your coffee shop and a few Trader Joe’s frozen meals, then frankly you shouldn’t be too surprised by that last sentence.
And really, if you’re surviving off frozen meals...please let us help you. No one deserves to live like that.
Back to protein. Protein is a macronutrient, along with fat and carbohydrates. Protein helps you build muscle, balance your hormones, and repair muscle tissues (so you can finally heal that hammy from last year’s racquetball fiasco). It’s an important part of your plate, and most of us don’t get enough of it. So below, we’re sharing 15 delicious, protein-with-a-punch recipes you can make on your own (and if you don’t trust yourself in the kitchen, don’t worry—we got you, Boo).
Whether you’re a veggie lover or die-hard carnivore, this list contains a high-protein dish to fit your lifestyle. From powered-up lasagna to a new, high-protein take on your favorite taco joint, there’s a meal here to suit your needs (and cravings).
We’re not ones to go all science-y on you, but check out this fun fact: 100 grams of quinoa contains a whopping 14 grams of protein (and 3.5 grams of fiber). But this recipe doesn’t stop there—it’s loaded with vegan protein, including kidney beans, black beans, and lima beans. The fresh veggies add a dash of color, vitamins, and minerals, making this one of the healthiest, most filling plant-based meals you can possibly make.
Let’s face the facts here: When you work in an office, reheated lunches can become sort of (meaning totally) a drag. There’s just something about a microwaved cheeseburger or reheated chicken that doesn’t have you counting down the minutes until your lunch break. Lucky for you, this BLT avocado chicken salad is an easy but delicious no-heat lunch. Packed with creamy avocado, tomatoes, roasted chicken breast, bacon, and mayo, these wraps are loaded with protein and healthy fats.
Listen, tacos are awesome (every meme will tell you they rank right up there with dogs and spending Friday night in). But if you’re going for a meal that’s higher in protein than carbohydrates, you may want to rethink the taco shell. With these taco quinoa bowls, you’ll use the tortilla and stock up on black beans, ground turkey, onions, quinoa, greens, and a homemade cilantro crema for a protein-packed meal that’s perfect for lunch or dinner.
To the genius who discovered vegetables can be transformed into pizza and pasta, thank you for your service to society. We think we speak for everyone in saying this. In this recipe, you’ll find onions, carrots, and zucchini masterfully hidden in a gooey, cheesy, low carb lasagna. Mozzarella cheese, herbs, and ground beef really bring out the flavor, making you completely forget this is a “healthy” version of the Italian classic.
If you just boarded the high-protein, low-carb train, allow me to introduce you to one of the most versatile recipes out there: stuffed peppers. One Google search will bring about recipes for Mexican, Italian, or Mediterranean stuffed peppers, giving you a wide range of flavors with very little effort. With this recipe, you’ll stuff each bell pepper with ground turkey, feta, Greek seasoning, spinach, chickpeas, and crushed tomatoes, giving you a complete, high-protein dinner in a single dish.
Sure, chicken parmesan gets all the glory, but that’s only because you haven’t tried this delicious parmesan crusted cod. Ready to go in just thirty minutes, all you need for this dish is a little parmesan cheese, paprika, parsley, olive oil, and cod. Bake next to some fresh broccoli for 10 minutes and you have yourself an easy weeknight meal—with over 10 grams of protein per serving.
If you’re still feeling things out in the kitchen, know this: There are plenty of easy ways to satisfy your cravings—without going overboard. So if you’re trying to put space between you and your favorite corner deli, try this low-carb, high-protein lunch idea. Using iceberg lettuce leaves in lieu of a whole grain wrap, prepare your favorite sammie. Pile on the bacon, turkey, tomato, cheese, and mayo, sparing yourself the bread and carbs.
This week, you’re turning over a new leaf: You haven’t logged into Postmates since Friday, you turned down the free pizza at work, and you traded in your typical bowl of cereal for a morning plate of scrambled eggs.
But after a long work week, you’re really craving takeout. Keep your momentum going with this Thai peanut chicken salad. It packs all the flavor you’d expect from your favorite Thai restaurant, just with more veggies, more protein, and fewer carbohydrates. Plus, it’s ready in just 25 minutes—not even delivery can do that.
If you’ve been following a high-protein lifestyle for awhile now, chances are you’re no stranger to a spiralizer. You can spiralize zucchini into linguine, yellow squash into pad Thai, or as is the case in this recipe, simply spiralize sweet potatoes into crispy string fries. Pair with a side of Brussels sprouts and a seared pork chop for a balanced, high-protein dinner any night of the week.
Allow us to tell you something you already know: You don’t need to be a die-hard carnivore to get a solid source of protein. For all you veggie lovers out there, you’re going to love this vegan veggie and quinoa salad—loaded to the brim with plant-based protein. You’ll get cauliflower, butternut squash, quinoa, lentils, kale, and pumpkin seeds stuffed into one delicious bowl. This meatless dish has more than enough protein to hold you over.
Looking for an easy, high-protein dish you can throw together in 20 minutes or less (we have a whole app full of them…but sit tight for that)? This Italian baked shrimp requires just five ingredients and dirties only one dish in your kitchen. Toss shrimp, a homemade butter sauce, and tomatoes on a sheet pan to bake in the oven. In 10 minutes, you have a delicious seafood dinner just waiting to be enjoyed.
No matter what recipe you follow, there are two main ingredients in virtually every meatball recipe: eggs and ground meat. The addition of eggs gives you more protein than you’d get from burgers or patties, so make them a regular in your weekly lineup. These ground chicken meatballs call for two whole eggs, an entire cup of mozzarella, and just a quarter cup of breadcrumbs, making them the perfect main feature for any high-protein diet.
If you ever get off work and have zero ideas for dinner (which, let’s face it, is almost every night of the week), a quick stir-fry is the way to go. Most stir-fry recipes can be whipped up in 15 minutes or less, and give you more than your fair share of meat and veggies. This chicken and asparagus stir-fry is incredibly easy to make, and packs an unfathomable 51 grams of protein in a single serving.
It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, there’s no problem that a breakfast burrito can’t solve. If you’re looking for a fun brinner (breakfast for dinner) idea, try these breakfast burritos. Loaded with healthy fats from the avocado and goat cheese, protein from the eggs, and fiber from the onions and sweet potatoes, this is one weeknight meal you won’t be able to turn down.
We know, we know—balanced meals are all well and good, but they take time. As do most good things in life.
Tovala is there for you when your Google calendar is not, delivering high-protein, healthy meals straight to your front door. These chef-inspired dishes come with hundreds of choices, including vegetarian, low-carb, and other options to fit your dietary preferences. Simply select the meals that fit your needs, allow us to do the meal prep and delivery. When your meal arrives, just scan the meal’s barcode and you can watch it cook itself in your Tovala Oven.
On the other hand, if you haven’t quite given up on yourself in the kitchen, take a scroll through the Tovala app. There are plenty of simple, high-protein dishes you can make yourself in under 20 minutes.