If you are looking to add in more protein to your day then meal prepping is the way to go. Not only will it save you time, but it will allow you to be more structured in sticking to certain eating habits as well.
When you’re looking for tips and ideas on how to have high protein meal prep, there are many great options to try!
Easy High Protein Meal Prep
Since meal prepping is becoming more and more common and popular, it only makes sense to find out why people are starting to meal prep with recipes and ingredients that yield in a higher protein than others.
It’s true that not all people eat a lot of protein during the day, but there are many people that do, and they find that it suits their body’s energy needs for the day and week quite well.
If you’re hoping to find out the benefits of switching to a higher protein meal planning schedule, there are simple tips and recipes that can help make that happen!
To get started, you just need to find out a few answers to some of the more common questions people have when eating a higher protein diet for the week.
What proteins are good for meal prep?
There are actually a lot of great foods that you can use to meal prep and get a higher dose of protein.
Chicken is going to be the most popular meat that most people will use for meal prepping because it’s a versatile protein that can literally taste good in most recipes that it’s paired with. (Even if a recipe doesn’t call for chicken, you can always grill up some or bake some chicken and easily add it in!)
Beef is also great for adding to your recipes for the week because beef can be cooked in so many different forms.
Ground beef is great for adding to lettuce wraps or soups and even on salads, while cooking up steak can be great to go with stir fry’s or as a quick sandwich, too.
Ground turkey and ground chicken are also great options and can be swapped out for any meal that calls for ground beef.
While you’re trying to decide the proteins you want to add to your prepping, don’t forget the power of soups! Making homemade soups is a great way to cook a recipe once and eat it over and over again.
You can also add so many proteins and veggies to a soup to give it quite a healthy and powerful kick.
Is it safe to meal prep for five days?
It’s essential to understand food safety when you’re talking about meal prepping for the week. According to studies, it’s been shown that you really shouldn’t prepare meals longer than just a couple of days ahead of time.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t still plan! You can easily create your weekly and monthly menu ahead of schedule and then just plan on having a couple of days during the week to prepare so that you follow the recommended guidelines.
How do you eat a high protein diet on a budget?
It’s true when they say that everyone is on some sort of budget, so how does one plan to up the protein in their diet without going over their monthly grocery spending allotment? It’s a good question, and thankfully, there are options!
If you’re ready to add a higher protein diet to your life, you don’t have to break the bank. There are many high-protein foods that you can rotate in that you’ll be able to afford easily and enjoy eating as well.
Don’t overlook the protein power of eggs! And eggs aren’t just for breakfast! You can get a dozen eggs at the store for less than $2 a carton, and that can make you so many meals!
Scrambled eggs are just one fast and easy recipe that will give you more protein quickly. Pair your eggs with sliced avocado or even a scoop of cottage cheese, and you’ll have a quick boost of protein that won’t break the bank.
Eggs are also great to hard boil and have quick snacks to grab and go in the fridge as well. There is even an option to fry your eggs and make a simple egg sandwich as well.
Just by adding eggs to your meal plan a couple of times per week, you might find that it actually saves you money instead of costing you more.
A lot of people will add peanut butter to their daily diet to increase their intake of protein in an affordable way. The one thing that you have to be careful with when it comes to peanut butter is that it’s higher in fat content than many other protein options. (even though this is considered “good fat,” everything in excess can not be so good after eating too much)
A simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich can be a fast lunch or dinner option that will load you full of protein. You can also put a scoop of peanut butter on celery sticks, crackers, or even on rice cakes as well. (Even just eating a spoonful of peanut butter can give you a jolt of added protein quickly!)
Most people will choose natural peanut butter so that it has less sugar in it, but the type of peanut butter that you use is totally up to you. Just check the protein per serving and make your choice.
Make sure to take a trip down the canned meat aisle in your grocery store to see what you can find. Canned tuna is a wonderful protein that won’t break the budget either.
For a lower fat content, make sure to get canned tuna in water vs. getting canned tuna in oil. It tends to have a cleaner taste to it as well, in my opinion.
One can of tuna contains a large amount of protein and gives you a meal easily. There are a lot of people that eat tuna straight from the can as well!
While that might be okay for some, I like to add in a few other ingredients and make a nice tuna salad to enjoy. Adding in hard-boiled eggs (more protein!), some mayonnaise and even some pickles and onions creates a great salad recipe that can be paired with bread, crackers, or even put on top of sliced cucumbers for a healthy meal or snack.
Remember to think outside the box when it comes to finding foods that are high in protein. People automatically go straight to meat for more protein, but Greek Yogurt is great as well!
You can eat Greek yogurt as is or top it with some granola and fruit for a healthy breakfast or lunch. It’s also super simple to add some great yogurt to your smoothies or green drinks as well to boost the protein quickly.
Make sure to pay attention to the flavor of the yogurt when you’re buying it from the store. I tend to purchase unflavored Greek yogurt because then I can use it for a variety of recipes. (It’s so good as a topping for baking potatoes or to put into my chili!)
If you do get flavored Greek yogurt, check the label for any added sugars as well. It’s just something to keep an eye out for in case you’re trying to keep your sugars lower while upping your proteins.
How much protein should I meal prep?
There really isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer here. This can vary from person to person and can also vary depending on the amount of activity the person is doing as well.
For someone who works out during the day, the amount of protein they’re going to consume is probably higher than someone who sits stationary at a desk.
But, a good rule of thumb and place to start is to remember that the protein in your daily diet should account for about 30% of your daily calories. It can be more if you’re trying to increase your protein, but that really should be your line to gauge a regular daily intake.
Should you freeze your meal prep?
You just may find that freezing your meal prep is a great way to skirt that you can’t meal prep earlier! If you have the meals ready to go, just pop them in a freezer-safe container and store them in the freezer until you’re planning on using them.
This is a simple way for you to get ahead for the month and to give you a ton of great meals that are ready to go.
Just don’t forget to unthaw them by placing them in the fridge the day before, or you might find yourself having a cold meal!
Can you meal prep with Rice?
Absolutely. Many people think it’s no longer suitable to eat once the rice is cooked and hardened after cooling. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
The best part about cooking rice is that you can store it in the fridge and then reheat it again. I tend to add a tiny bit of butter or chicken stock as a liquid when I’m reheating rice so that it heats up and stays nice and soft.
You can also make fried rice with leftover rice and have a delicious meal prep recipe that way, too!
How much does it cost to food prep for a week?
If you’re meal prepping with more protein in mind, it’s going to cost you more probably. As mentioned earlier, you can save money by adding eggs and peanut butter versus cooking actual meat for each meal.
Buying and using chicken or canned tuna will also be an affordable way to have a higher protein diet without breaking the bank too.
On average, it’s a safe estimate to assume that you would spend anywhere from $75-$100 meal prepping per week.
However, if you plan ahead and look at sale ads, you just might be able to save even more money than that!
Money-Saving Tips for Protein Packed Meal Prep
Since there is a higher cost associated with eating meats and proteins, why not use a few simple tips to cut down on the costs? All of these money-saving ideas can make meal prep easier to do and also more affordable.
Check the sale ads weekly
This doesn’t mean that you have to sit down and read the paper from cover to cover but find out what protein is going to be on sale at your local grocery stores during the upcoming week.
Most stores are cyclical in sales and tend to run one meat per week at a discount. More times than not, this will be chicken, but sometimes it includes ground beef and turkey as well.
Once you find out how much the meat at the store is going to cost, you can start making your meal plan menu right away.
Only use meat for 3-4 meals weekly
Make it a point to cut down on the amount of meat you’re eating weekly and replace it with something else high in protein.
Black beans are a great option that is high in protein while staying way under budget, too! We also like to cook up mushrooms and eat those with other veggies as well. They have a meaty taste and flavor and are always well-priced.
Buy discounted meat and freeze it
It just might pay off to become friends with the local butcher in the meat department! They can tell you when they discount meat so that you can get there and grab some to put in your freezer.
As long as you freeze it by the sell-by date, you should be totally fine! You can then load up on meats at a great price and then unthaw and cook later down the road.
High Protein Meal Prep Recipes
Meal prep has never been easier. This simple salmon recipe will fill your belly full of delicious and flavorful foods. When you add in the beets, you get a flavor that can’t be topped.
This simple salmon recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners or a fast and straightforward weekend meal. It’s also great to use this recipe to use up other veggies that you may have in your summer or fall garden. You can find the recipe HERE.
- Calories: 806
- Fats: 45g
- Protein: 54g
- Carbs: 53g
- Fiber: 13g
These Spicy Turkey Meal Prep Bowls are high in protein, full of flavor, and low in fat and calories. The perfect high protein meal prep recipe!
You can find the recipe HERE.
- Calories: 272
- Fats: 9g
- Protein: 20g
- Carbs: 29g
Not only is this easy chicken recipe fast and simple, but a serving costs less than $4 to make! Being able to pair chicken with fresh and colorful vegetables is the perfect way to have everyone running for the table.
Fajitas are perfect for meal prepping because you can literally do everything that you need and want to do ahead of time. This recipe is also great for leftovers to have everyone enjoy through the week. There’s nothing like making a meal once and getting to eat it over and over again. You can find the recipe HERE.
- Calories: 455
- Fats: 13g
- Protein: 53g
- Carbs: 29g
- Fiber: 9g
Packed with protein, this super easy healthy Chicken Cobb Salad doesn’t take long to put together and is perfect if you’re looking for a filling salad. It packs really well, making this cobb salad an ideal meal prep as well.
One trip to keep in mind when making salads is that you can prepare meals and keep the salads in jars which make them easy to transport and sealed effectively for freshness. You can find the recipe HERE.
Meal Prep Sheet Pan Greek Meatballs with Vegetables is a delicious and easy oven meal prep recipe using ground beef and Mediterranean spices.
It’s no secret that meatballs make for a super simple and easy dish. They can easily be enjoyed with rice, noodles, or all on their own. You can find the recipe HERE.
A healthy meal prep recipe in a pinch! These Cuban-Style Tuna Meal Prep Bowls are gluten-free, paleo, and perfect for a well-rounded lunch!
With plantain chips, fresh veggies, jalapeno tuna, and a zesty dairy-free yogurt, you’ll be powering through that midday slump! You can find the recipe HERE.
With 37 grams of protein , adding this salmon to your weekly meal prep is a great choice. This Salmon Sheet Pan meal prep means that you’re going to be able to have everything made and ready, all on one pan. Not only does this cut down on the time that it takes to make this delicious dish, but it also means that cleaning up is a breeze, too.
Pair this simple salmon recipe with steamed veggies, or heat up some rice as well. Salmon makes for a great fresh dish as well as one that is full of flavor and taste. You can find the recipe HERE.
- Calories: 344
- Fats: 18g
- Protein: 37g
- Carbs: 6g
- Fiber: 2g
Are you looking for a simple way to combine a chicken dish with sweet potatoes? With 43 grams of protein..meal prepping has never been easier! Once you make this high protein cinnamon potato and chicken recipe, you just might have a brand new fall favorite.
Find out how simple it can be to vary up the flavors of chicken by giving this dish a try. It’s loaded with taste, packed with delicious ingredients, and is sure to be one that everyone in the family loves. You can find the recipe HERE.
- Calories: 446
- Fats: 14g
- Protein: 43g
- Carbs: 44g
- Fiber: 9g
Eating gluten-free doesn’t have to be complicated. These protein bowls make it super simple for planning out your high protein and gluten-free eating for the week.
One of the biggest benefits of meal planning is that it gives you time to slow down and think about the foods that you can eat. Being on a gluten-free diet isn’t difficult to do, but the last thing that you want to have happened is to be rushed and not be able to plan accordingly. You can find the recipe HERE.
- Calories: 249
- Fats: 11g
- Protein: 25g
- Carbs: 13g
- Fiber: 1g
With 48 grams of protein this recipe packs a serious protein punch! Butter chicken is the perfect way to feed your body with a ton of healthy protein bites. This simple meal prep recipe will fuel your body and fill your tummy so that you’re ready to tackle the day. You can find the recipe HERE
- Calories: 600
- Fats: 37g
- Protein: 48g
- Carbs: 17g
Who knew that roasted chicken could be made in so many different ways? With 36 grams of protein, using roasted chicken for meal prep is a perfect answer! You can easily pair it with veggies for a complete meal or pair it with rice for some extra carbs, too.
Using chicken as the primary protein when meal prepping really does afford a ton of delicious options. The roasted chicken does a fantastic job at taking on the flavors of the seasonings and ingredients as well. You can find the recipe HERE.
- Calories: 219
- Fats: 4g
- Protein: 36g
- Carbs: 8g
- Fiber: 2g
Put this on your meal planning radar for Taco Tuesday! You’re going to love planning this delicious and simple meal! Not only do you have to do minimal prep work to prepare, but you’re going to have a blast gobbling down every bite.
This bowl is loaded full of healthy protein and healthy fats that will help give you energy and fuel your body all day long. You can find the recipe HERE.
- Calories: 346
- Fats: 10g
- Protein: 24g
- Carbs: 45g
- Fiber: 9g
Just when you thought you couldn’t love pasta anymore, along comes this high protein pasta recipe that will fill your taste buds full of flavor. Chickpea pasta is a fabulous vegetarian protein option.
Who knew that the combination of artichoke and parmesan were literally the best pairing there was? It’s such a lovely and subtle mixture that really meshes well with the pasta. You can find the recipe HERE.
- Calories: 270
- Fats: 9g
- Protein: 20g
- Carbs: 33g
- Fiber: 9g
This Apple Cider Chicken is a staple in our house! With 33 grams of protein this chicken is the perfect protein option.
In fact, you can easily meal plan in bulk with this easy recipe. The grilled chicken is so versatile in how it can be used that you just might be able to plan out several different meals using this one simple recipe. You can find the recipe HERE.
- Calories: 147
- Fats: 1.5g
- Protein: 33g
- Carbs: 0g
Eating a high protein diet doesn’t mean that it has to be high in fat. The best part about turkey meatballs is that they give that wonderful flavor but have a much lesser fat content. This means that you can enjoy it more and not feel any guilt about it!
Meatballs are great for meal prepping because you can either eat them as they are or pair them with salad, soup, or even pasta! Adding meatballs to other ingredients stretches the meal planning that much further. You can find the recipe HERE.
- Calories: 64
- Fats: 13g
- Protein: 7g
- Carbs: 2g
Do you like a bit of heat to go with your sweet? These Honey Sriracha meatballs will have you eating every last bite. The more that you can make, the more that you’re going to want to eat!
And it’s safe to say that these meatballs are great for meal planning and enjoying at any point in time during the day!
If you’re not a fan of hot foods, just eliminate the sriracha sauce and go ahead with this meal prep recipe. It’s still delicious! You can find the recipe HERE.
- Calories: 296
- Fats: 10g
- Protein: 26g
- Carbs: 18g
- Fiber: 1g
Burrito bowls are the best! The entire bowl is focused on adding protein to each and every bite. The best part about making burrito bowls at home is that you’re able to add in whatever ingredients that you’re craving.
Beans, lettuce, more chicken…you name it. It’s all possible, and every single bowl you might enjoy making differently every single time. You can find the recipe HERE.
When you can add quinoa with chicken and veggies to your daily meal planning, you know it’s going to be a flavorful day. This simple prep bowl recipe will treat your tummy and taste buds well.
The added ingredients are not only flavorful, but they’re easy and straightforward to cook. The best part about using vegetables in your daily diet is that you can change them up to add in ones that are in season or on sale at the store. You can find the recipe HERE.
Chicken salad is perfect for meal prepping because it’s fast, simple, and delicious. When you can prepare your chicken salad for your next few meals, this gives you options on how you can eat it.
Pairing chicken salad with bread or crackers are two great options to use. You can also use this simple salad recipe as a low carb dish that you can pair with lettuce wraps or even on top of salad greens, too. You can find the recipe HERE.
- Calories: 435
- Fats: 29g
- Protein: 36g
- Carbs: 7g
- Fiber: 2g
Don’t forget that meal planning can be for breakfast time as well! I love taking the time to start off the mornings by having the breakfasts already done and waiting.
It just makes sense to have breakfast scrambles waiting and ready because they’re quick and simple to eat. You can opt to add in more meats and proteins, or load up on the veggies as well. You can find the recipe HERE.
- Calories: 234
- Fats: 16g
- Protein: 19g
- Carbs: 1g
- Fiber: 0g
Why spend time making mealtime harder than it has to be? This simple Korean Ground Beef recipe proves that good tasting food doesn’t have to be hard! You can quickly make up this beef and use it for wraps, in bowls, and even mix it with rice and noodles.
The best part about this type of meal prepping dish is that it’s quick and versatile in use. For a lower fat option, you can also use ground turkey as well. You can find the recipe HERE.
- Calories: 427
- Fats: 25g
- Protein: 28g
- Carbs: 20g
- Fiber: 5g
Bring on the heat! With the world firecracker in the title, you know it’s going to be a tad bit spicy! This just means that you can either make it as is or tone it down on the heat some as well. Either way, it’s totally up to you and what you want to do!
I’ve made this spicy and not spicy and the flavor is there either way. Adding rice or other starchy ingredients can help to tone down the heat level, too. You can find the recipe HERE.
- Calories: 484
- Fats: 11g
- Protein: 35g
- Carbs: 59g
- Fiber: 5g
Last, but not least, you can’t go wrong using chicken breast for meal prepping. Chicken is one of the top proteins that people use for their daily, weekly, and monthly meal prepping.
Not only does chicken work great with a wide variety of ingredients but it also really gives you options.
Once you cook chicken breast, you can make sandwiches, soups, salads, and more. You can even top with cheese and sauce and call it a day! You can find the recipe HERE.
- Calories: 294
- Fats: 15g
- Protein: 31g
- Carbs: 4g
- Fiber: 1g
As you can see, all of these easy meal prep recipes are full of extra protein to provide fuel and energy throughout the day! Use these recipes as a way to get inspired to plan for the week!
Just follow these simple meal planning tips to start adding more protein to your daily diet. With just a few simple tweaks, you’ll be loving your new meal planning methods and recipes in no time at all!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground turkey
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, diced
- 1 white or yellow onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 can diced tomatoes, with juices
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1-2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 2 cups cooked white rice, for serving
- Cook the rice according to package instructions. Set aside.
- In a large skillet pan or Dutch Oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add ground turkey. Break apart the meat into small pieces as it cooks. Cook the meat for 7 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Add diced bell peppers, onions, garlic powder, red pepper flakes to the skillet. Saute for 7 minutes or until vegetables have softened.
- Add diced tomatoes and chickpeas. Continue cooking for 5 minutes.
- Add spinach and let it wilt for 2-3 minutes. Let the entire mixture of flavors come together.
- How to Meal Prep it: Depending on the size of your containers, you will add ¼-½ cup cooked rice to each container. Add the ground turkey veggie mixture evenly between the containers.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 272Total Fat: 9gCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 20g