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High Protein Meal Prep Tips

meatloaf patties

High protein meal prep isn’t just for people trying to build muscles. Protein is connected to much more than that. 

High protein meals help you feel full faster so you won’t be as inclined to binge eat. It also helps with managing appetites so if you are trying to find a good rhythm and routine, add more protein into your diet.

Protein helps lower blood pressure which is a very important health consideration and many people base their entire meal plan around it. High protein foods will help and even if you don’t have high blood pressure now, it doesn’t hurt.

Protein boosts the metabolism, increasing fat burning which will help with weight loss and management. Even if you’re not trying to bulk for the gym but instead lose a few pounds, protein helps.

pork carnitas ingredients - high protein meal prep

High protein diets can also help with the body’s absorption of calcium and improve bone strength and health. It will also improve the rate at which the body heals after injury.

This list of ingredients is not the entire list of high-protein foods; however these are some of the most popular options because of affordability, accessibility, and flavor. These days, many recipes call for high-protein ingredients as the benefits are much more well known. 

Maximizing protein everyday can be tough but it’s easy to make substitutions while you’re meal prepping. Many of these ingredients have long shelf lives and can be stocked in your kitchen until you’re ready to use them. Having them on hand will make it easier to swap them in.

Top High Protein Ingredients

  • Black & Lima Beans: Beans are a great addition to many meals and are so easy to make. They’re also very affordable and have a long shelf life. 
  • Salmon: Salmon may not be the most affordable ingredient on this list but it is high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon can fill you up fast. When buying fish, just like with any other types of meat, look for deals, ask the butcher, buy in bulk and trim/cut yourself.
  • Cauliflower: Cauliflower has become one of the most common vegetable substitutes for carbs and meats. From cauliflower rice to cauliflower buffalo wings. This versatile veggie can do it all. It’s also high in protein so keep some in your meal prep rotation and it’ll be easy to pivot if you want to.
  • Broccoli and Asparagus: Although these veggies are not well known as high protein foods, they’re popular meal prep ingredients and can be good substitutes for other veggies that offer very little protein or nutrients.
  • Eggs: The wonder ingredient, eggs. Versatile, delicious, and high in protein – eggs can be added to almost any dish and prepared in many ways. Eggs should definitely be on your list when your increasing protein in your meal prep.
  • Beef: Ground lean beef is a good affordable option with high amounts of protein. Although it may not have as much protein for the weight as other meats, beef is very versatile and it’s difficult to just eat chicken with every meal. 
  • Chicken and Turkey: Both of these options are great and fairly interchangeable. Turkey tends to be a little cheaper and higher in protein but chicken isn’t far behind it. Try mixing it up between these two and add a bit of variety to your routine.
  • Oats: Oats can be a good option with complex carbohydrates and a good amount of protein that is not meat. If you have a vegetarian or vegan meal plan, oats are a great addition. Just remember to read the label and pay attention to sugars and other ingredients that have been added which may not be great for your diet.
  • Tuna: Especially canned tuna, which provides a large amount of protein, is affordable, and has a long shelf life. Canned tuna can round out a lot of meals with a unique and strong flavor. Consider substituting tuna for other proteins for a healthier option.
  • Spirulina: A biomass of cyanobacteria, which doesn’t sound as appetizing, however it often comes in powdered form and can easily be added to smoothies and juices. Spirulina is a great source of a ton of essential nutrients including protein, vitamin B, and iron.
  • Guava: One of the few fruits on this list, Guava is a sweet, tropical fruit that is delicious, a good source of protein and vitamin C, and a great addition to a lot of meals. Guava goes very well with sweet and tangy sauces, chicken, and salads. 
  • Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds can be a good addition to your meal to add a bit of crunch and protein. Consider replacing elements of your favorite recipes with hemp seeds to mix it up.
  • Chia Seeds: Much like Hemp seeds, Chia seeds provide a good amount of protein as well as omega-3’s and other essential nutrients. The next time you meal prep, sprinkle some chia seeds on top as a healthy, high-protein garnish.
  • Peas: Peas may not have the most protein but they’re affordable and can be frozen so they last a long time. For meal prepping, this is a great vegetable to keep in the freezer and add to a meal or replace another ingredient to boost the protein.
  • Chickpeas: Chickpeas can be found in a lot of cuisines (especially Mediterranean) and if you’re looking for a vegetarian meal routine, chickpeas are a great addition. High in protein and fiber as well as being delicious and versatile, these legumes should be in your repertoire. They make great snacks as well so if you need something between meals, prepare some chickpeas instead of eating chips.
  • Greek Yogurt and Cottage Cheese: Plain Greek yogurt is delicious in smoothies, in sauces, or on the side as a dip for your meal prep. The same can be said for cottage cheese. There are a lot of recipes that take a classic sauce and substitute in these options for a healthier, high protein meal. They’re also versatile and work with savory or sweet as well as part of a meal or a snack.
  • Quinoa: One of the original “super” foods. Quinoa has become a staple of many high protein recipes these days. It’s one of a few complete vegetable protein sources. Quinoa tends to replace rice or other carbohydrates in meals but can also work well in other ways like salad toppings.
  • Almonds and Pistachios: Nuts in general tend to pack in the protein and almonds and pistachios are some of the best for it. There are a ton of snack options on the shelves for both of these but it’s also easy to make your own snack backs with these nuts. Look for recipes so you can save your money and more importantly control the additives that tend to make shelf snacks less healthy.
  • Lentils: Lentils are legumes, much like chickpeas, that offer a ton of protein for their weight and can easily be added to meals. Consider swapping rice or even quinoa for lentils to mix it up and keep a variety of options open.

Featured High Protein Meal Prep Recipes

pork carnitas

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Tostadas

This Instant Pot Pork Carnitas is a game changer for your weekly dinner meal prep! It tastes as if it came from a restaurant, but you don’t have to break the budget by making it yourself at home. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. What Are Pork Carnitas?…

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meatloaf patties

Baked Meatloaf Patties and Roasted Green Beans

Love the comfort of meatloaf, but don’t want to wait too long for the prep? Here’s a twist on a meatloaf-recipe family favorite using burger patties. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. While classic meatloaf recipes are normally baked in a loaf pan, we opted for using hamburger…

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Balsamic Baked Chicken

This balsamic baked chicken recipe combines succulent bone-in chicken thighs with a flavorful marinade for a delicious and easy-to-make dish. The marinade, consisting of balsamic dressing, honey, olive oil, rosemary, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, infuses the chicken with rich and aromatic flavors.

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