Nutrition / Recipes

5 Simple High-Protein Meal Prep Recipes for Busy Weekdays

If you’re looking to increase your protein intake, consider meal prepping these recipes as recommended by RDs. 

In our busy and increasingly chaotic lives, meal prepping has become so crucial and commonplace. Meal prepping, the act of preparing a week’s worth of meals ahead of time, is a great way to save time, money and increase the chances of successfully meeting your macronutrient goals, explains Kimberly Duffy, RDN, LD, CPT, with Strength in Nutrition in Minnesota.

The Benefits of Meal Prepping

While she points out that meal prepping used to be something only done by bodybuilders or professional athletes, it has become far more mainstream in recent years. “We are all looking for ways to be more efficient and organized,” she says. “Planning and preparing meals and snacks in advance saves people time when they are running out the door to work, meetings, events, etc.”

The reality is that almost anyone can benefit from meal prepping, especially those trying to make better or healthier food and nutrition decisions. “Meal prepping can prevent last-minute, quick and easy food choices like fast food, going out to eat, ordering in or even pulling pre-made and more processed foods out of the pantry or refrigerator, which can help you lose weight or increase muscle mass,” she says. “As a registered dietitian, I teach my clients how to plan and prep their meals to track/journal their macronutrient intake so they can successfully meet their lifestyle goals.”

Meal prepping can help reduce food waste and be cost-effective, notes Lisa Richards, CNC, nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet. “Buying ingredients in bulk and preparing meals at home can be more budget-friendly compared to eating out or purchasing pre-made meals,” she says. “Meal prepping also allows you to customize your meals according to your dietary preferences, restrictions, and nutritional needs.”

High-Protein Recipes

When it comes to meal prepping, opting for high-protein recipes is key, as this vital nutrient is essential for everyone regardless of their age or gender. Not only does protein help keep you feeling full for longer periods of time, but it also increases muscle mass, strengthens your bones, reduces cravings, increases metabolism, lowers blood pressure and helps maintain weight loss

“Protein is an essential for building muscles and bones, repairing cells, and more,” says Laura M. Ali,  MS, RDN a culinary nutritionist based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “Because it takes a while for our body to break it down, it helps fill you up and keeps your blood sugar stable.”

If you’re looking to increase your protein intake, consider meal prepping these recipes as recommended by RDs. 

High-Protein Roasted Chicken Grain Bowl

“Grain bowls are easy to make ahead, make a great lunch or dinner option and can use up a variety of food you already have on hand,” says Ali. “The key to making these is to make a batch of a high protein grain like quinoa or farro ahead and store it in the fridge.” She recommends keeping some roasted chicken breast or shredded rotisserie chicken on hand so that, when you are ready, you can portion them out to make a variety of bowls. 



  1.     Mix the quinoa and lentils together and place them in the bottom of a shallow bowl. 
  2.     Arrange the chicken, peppers, mushrooms and spinach around quinoa and lentil mixture.
  3.     Sprinkle the walnuts over top and add the microgreens and dressing.
  4.     Toss to combine.

If making in a mason jar:

  1.     Place the dressing in the bottom of a 12 oz. mason jar.
  2.     Add in the chicken, followed by the quinoa and lentils.
  3.     Layer on the peppers, mushrooms and walnuts. 
  4.     Top with the spinach and microgreens.
  5.     Seal with the lid and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

High-Protein Chicken Fajitas 

Chicken fajitas are an easy dinner to prep ahead. To make them higher in protein, Ali recommends using high protein tortillas in place of regular wheat tortillas.



  1. Slice a variety of bell peppers and store them in the fridge. (These make great snacks and you can use them for other dinners too, so slice up a bunch at once and store them in containers in your fridge.)
  2. Slice a sweet onion and store it in a separate container.
  3. Cut a couple of raw chicken breasts in strips, or buy raw chicken tenders and cut them in smaller pieces. Store them in a container in your fridge.
  4. Pull the chicken and peppers out of the fridge when you are ready to cook.
  5. Heat oil in a large saucepan.
  6. Sauté the peppers and onions for about 5 minutes, until the peppers soften and the onions are translucent. Remove from the pan.
  7. Add the chicken to the pan and brown on both sides. Return the peppers and onions to the pan and toss with the fajita seasoning and cook for a minute or two to rewarm the peppers and onions.
  8. Distribute chicken and pepper mix between the tortillas and top each with ~ 1 tablespoon of the cheese.
  9. Serve with guacamole and salsa on the side.

Protein Bites

“These are the perfect high protein snack for when you want a little bit of sweet without all the processed sugar and carbohydrates,” says Duffy. “Whip them up in under 15 minutes to have on hand for a quick grab and go snack or treat.” Two of these balls are under 200 calories with 9 of protein.  



  1. Mix together all ingredients
  2. Roll into 20 1″ balls.
  3. Keep in the refrigerator or on the counter top in a sealed container for up to a week. 1 serving = 2 balls.

High-Protein Egg Muffins

Don’t forget that breakfast is an important meal! “Egg muffins are an easy to make ahead breakfast that you can reheat when you want,” says Ali. “They can be stored in the freezer in individual portions, so they are ready whenever the mood strikes and you can make a batch of 8-12 muffins and store them in resealable freezer safe bags or containers and take them on the go.”



  1.     Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the wells of a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2.     Place the cottage cheese and whip until smooth in a blender or food processor. 
  3.     Add the eggs in an blend quickly, until combined.
  4.     Place the spinach and mushrooms in the wells of the muffin tin
  5.     Evenly distribute the egg mixture between the 12 muffin tin cups, pouring over the vegetables. 
  6.     Place in the middle of the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the muffins puff up and are firm to touch.  
  7.     Cool on a wire rack. The muffins will deflate slightly as they cool.
  8.     Once cool, pack them in their individual containers and either refrigerate if eating in a couple of days or place them in the freezer. 

Tuna Melts

“These are a quick and easy lunch or dinner meal that is full of protein and is macro-balanced,” says Duffy.  “You can really mix any veggies you want into the tuna salad, it just adds to the flavor and extra fiber intake.” She points out that this is an easy way to add some brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids to your diet.  



  1. Cut the English muffins in half and toast in a toaster.  
  2. Mix the tuna, mayo, relish, celery, spinach and salt and pepper in a bowl. 
  3. Put the English muffin halves on a baking sheet or air fryer pan.  
  4. Divide the tuna mixture into 4 servings and put 1 serving on each of the English muffin halves. 
  5. Top each with 1 slice of tomato and ½ oz of cheese.  
  6. Bake in a 375 degree oven or air fryer for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese is melted. 


Meal Prep Recipes


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