Guide to High-Protein Meals

Guide to High-Protein Meals

Knowing how critical protein is for body conditioning and muscle growth, here are a few meal ideas boasting a high dose of protein that you may want to experiment with. Carry on reading to find out more.

Based on the bodybuilders or fitness influencers you know, it is highly likely that you know of protein being an essential part of their diet. According to Nancy Waldeck, Dietitian at the Thomas F. Chapman Family Cancer Wellness in Piedmont, protein, considered a macronutrient, plays a significant role in keeping your cells in good shape and keeping your body healthy.

Eating the daily recommended protein helps build bones and muscles, repairs tissue, oxygenates red blood cells, eases digestion, and regulates your hormones. Moreover, Waldeck  points out, high-protein meals fill you up faster and keep you full longer, making it easier for you to maintain your healthy weight.

So if you’re planning to switch to a high-protein diet this new year, you may want to consider going for recipes that consist of salmon, chicken, tuna, beef, or pork. Remember that the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) is at 0.36 grams of protein per pound (0.8 grams per kg) of body weight. 

Here are 5 high-protein dishes and their ingredients to help you reach your fitness goals this 2023. Don’t forget to consult a dietitian for your daily recommended protein intake based on factors such as your age, muscle mass, and overall health.

5 High-Protein Dishes

I. Southwest Salmon Chowder

This recipe is perfect for a cold day while also being a rich source of protein and omega-3 fatty acid. Aside from being nutritious, you’ll also be delighted to know that you can prepare this meal in less than an hour.

In terms of ingredients, the following are everything you need to enjoy this flavorful chowder:

1.) 1 ½ pounds of fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillets

2.) 1 ½ cups of water

3.) 2 tablespoons of olive oil

4.) ¾ cup of chopped red or orange sweet pepper

5.) ¼ cup of thinly sliced green onions (separate the green from the white part)

6.) 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

7.) 3 ½ cups of low-sodium vegetable broth or stock

8.) 3 cups of ½-inch pieces red-skinned potatoes

9.) 2 ½ cups of low-fat milk

10.) ½ teaspoon of salt

11.) ½ teaspoon of black pepper

12.) ¼ to ½ teaspoon of ground ancho chile pepper or chilli powder

13.) 2 cups of frozen whole kernel corn, thawed

14.) 1 teaspoon of lime zest

15.) 1 chopped avocado

Once you have your ingredients ready, it’s time to prepare this quick yet high-protein chowder. Here are the steps to making a Southwest Salmon Chowder:

Step 1

Rinse the salmon fillets. If they are frozen, thaw them first. Afterwards, boil water in a large skillet, then add the fillets. Reduce heat once it boils again. Cover the skillet and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily. Remove them from the skillet and discard the water. Flake them into ½-inch pieces.

Step 2

Using a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high. Add the sweet pepper and white parts of onions. Cook and stir for 3 minutes or until they’re tender. Stir them in flour, then cook and stir for 1 more minute.

Step 3

Gradually stir in the broth. Add the potatoes, milk, salt, black pepper, and ground ancho pepper. Reduce the heat once it boils. Cover it and simmer for 15 minutes or until the broth is slightly thick and the vegetables are tender. Don’t forget to stir occasionally. Afterwards, add the corn, then cook and stir for another 2 minutes. Gently stir in the salmon and lime zest.

Step 4

Afterwards, top each serving with the green parts of the onions. Feel free to add avocados, lime wedges, and additional ground ancho pepper.

And there you have it! You now have a delicious Southwest Salmon Chowder for you to enjoy. With a serving of 1 and ¼ cup, you’re giving your body 22 grams of protein, 24.9 grams of carbohydrates, 2.6 grams of fibre, and more.

II. Healthy Rice and Chicken Dinner Skillet

If you’re looking for a chicken dish to cook for dinner that is gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free, this next recipe is perfect for you. Moreover, it is healthy, delicious, and only needs around 20 minutes to prepare.

With that said, it’s time to get into the cooking process. For the ingredients needed, the following items are everything you need to prepare this dish:

1.) 10oz/ 280g chicken breast, cut in strips

2.) 1 ½ tablespoon of olive oil

3.) 3 minced garlic cloves, minced

4.) 2 cups of chopped zucchini

5.) 1 chopped bell pepper

6.) 1 cup of frozen peas

7.) 2 cups of cooked rice 

8.) 1 ½ tablespoon of tamari sauce

9.) 3 thinly chopped scallions 

Step 1

Once you have everything ready, start by cooking the chicken breasts in olive oil for 4 minutes.

Step 2

Afterwards, add your vegetables and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in the frozen peas for 3 more minutes.

Step 3

Add in the rice and tamari sauce. Stir them and feel free to add more olive oil if needed. Stir your rice occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t overdo it as it can affect the overall taste.

Step 4

Add the scallions in and stir for one more minute before serving.

A serving of this dish gives your body 38 grams of protein, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fibre, and more.

III. Tuna Salad

This high-protein recipe is perhaps one of the easiest dishes to prepare. It doesn’t matter whether you’re someone who knows their way around the kitchen or not. You can easily make tuna salad as long as you have the necessary ingredients.

For ingredients, this recipe needs the following:

1.) 18oz (three 6 oz packets) of white albacore tuna, drained, low sodium

2.) 1/3 cup of Dijon mustard

3.) 3/4 cup (or 7oz) of 2% Greek yoghourt

4.) 1/3 cup of pepitas

5.) 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts

6.) 1 celery of stalk (chopped)

7.) 1/3 cup of dried cranberries (No sugar added)

8.) 2 tablespoons of fresh tarragon (optional)

9.) 1/2 tablespoon of curry powder

10.) 1 teaspoon of turmeric

11.) Sea salt

12.) Pepper

Once you have everything ready, preparing the dish is easy. Simply place all your ingredients in a bowl and mix. Add your salt and pepper according to your preference. Afterwards, enjoy your simple and healthy tuna salad.

One serving of tuna salad gives your body 32 grams of protein, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fibre, and more.

IV. Shepherd’s Pie (Beef Version)

While the traditional version of this dish involves the use of lamb meat, you can also choose ground beef for its filling. Unlike the previous two recipes, this one takes around an hour to prepare. The following items are the ingredients you’ll need to cook the beef version of Shepherd’s Pie:

1.) 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks

2.) 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter

3.) ½ large yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)

4.) 4 large carrots, diced

5.) 2 cloves of garlic, minced

6.) 1 pound of ground beef

7.) 3 teaspoons of kosher salt, divided

8.) 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

9.) 1/3 cup of beef stock

10.) 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

11.) ¼ cup of unsalted butter, cubed

12.) ½ cup of heavy cream

13.) ½ teaspoon of black pepper

14.) 1 cup of frozen peas

15.) 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley

16.) 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

Once you have everything ready, the following are the steps you need to prepare this dish:

Step 1

Boil a pot of water. Add your potatoes and continue boiling for another 10 to 15 minutes or until they’re tender.

Step 2

Melt your butter in a large skillet. Afterwards, add your onions and carrots. Cook them for 8 to 10 minutes or until they start to soften. Then, add your garlic and beef. Use a spatula to break them up. Add 1 tablespoon of salt.

Step 3

Sprinkle your flour over the top of the beef and stir. Add your beef stock and Worcestershire sauce and let it simmer until it thickens.

Step 4

Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Mash them, then add butter and heavy cream. Afterwards, continue mashing until they’re smooth. Season with black pepper and 2 tablespoons of kosher salt.

Step 5

Add your peas and parsley to the beef and stir to combine. Top the beef with the mashed potatoes and spread them into an even layer. Once you’re done, sprinkle some grated Parmesan over the top.

Step 6

Turn the oven to broil. Afterwards, place your skillet on a sheet pan and place it under the broiler. Once the potatoes take on some golden edges, remove it from the oven and serve.

One serving of Beef Shepherd’s Pie gives your body 32 grams of protein, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of fibre, and more.

V. Plant-Based Tacos

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to go on a vegan diet, this high-protein recipe is for you. Instead of meat, your main ingredient would be tofu and it would only take around 20 minutes to prepare.

So if you’re excited to try this dish soon, here are the ingredients you need to have:

1.) 1 tablespoon of olive oil

2.) 1/2 large onion, chopped

3.) 4 tablespoon of no added salt tomato paste

4.) 1/2 cup of water

5.) 2 1/2 tablespoon of no salt taco seasoning

6.) 1 1/2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

7.) 16 oz of firm or extra firm tofu, drained and pressed

8.) 10 corn taco or fajita shells

9.) 1 cup of guacamole (or avocado mashed with lime juice)

10.) Pickled onions

11.) Fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeno, lime wedges, or salsa

Once you have everything ready, you can start making some healthy tacos. The following are the steps you need to follow to prepare this dish:

Step 1

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Afterwards, add your onions, and saute until they’re translucent.

Step 2

Crumble your tofu using your hands. Continue until the texture resembles cottage cheese.

Step 3

Afterwards, add your tomato paste, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Don’t forget to stir continuously.

Step 4

Pour water into your skillet, along with the taco seasoning and apple cider vinegar. Continue stirring until it turns into a thick sauce.

Step 5

Add your tofu to the skillet and stir. Cook for a few more minutes until it is hot throughout.

Step 6

Add the tofu to your taco or fajita shell. Feel free to customise by adding guacamole, pickled onions, cilantro, and more.

Eating 2 tacos gives your body 10 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fibre, and more.

Bonus Recipes

Aside from these 5 recipes, Personal Trainer Chris has two delicious high-protein dishes you can easily prepare at home.

I. Chicken Pancake

If you’re looking for a healthy breakfast meal but have little to no time to make your usual dishes, Chris offers this delicious recipe that is sure to kick off your day on a good note.

In terms of ingredients, the following items are everything you need to make Chicken Pancake:

1.) 50 grams of Flapjack Protein mix

2.) 1 Egg

3.) 100 grams of chicken tenderloin

4.) 5 grams of maple syrup

Once you have everything ready, here are the steps to preparing this meal:

Step 1

Slice your chicken into strips. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Step 2

Add your chicken to a pan and cook until they start to turn brown.

Step 3

Prepare your pancake batter. Afterwards, add the chicken and protein powder. Cook until it solidifies.

Step 4

Cook egg according to your preference, then add on top of the pancake and enjoy.

One serving of this dish gives your body 45 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of fat, and more.

II. High-Protein Banana Bread

Next, if you love banana bread and at the same time, you want to increase your daily protein intake, try this recipe of Chris.

As per ingredients, the following items are everything you need to prepare it:

1.) 70 grams of low fat yoghurt

2.) 30 grams of whole flour

3.) 90 grams of raw almond flour

4.) 5 grams of baking powder

5.) 30 grams of Whey Protein Isolate (Unflavored)

6.) 2 eggs

7.) 90 grams of bananas

Once you have everything in front of you, the following steps are everything you need to make this dish a reality:

Step 1

Mix all your dry ingredients first, then all the wet ones.

Step 2

Mash the bananas and beat the egg whites.

Step 3

Afterwards, mix everything together and place it in an air fryer or oven for 15 minutes.

The recipe gives your body 65 grams of protein, 70 grams of carbohydrates, 50 grams of fat, and more.

About Chris

Brought up in Paris and living an international life in the melting-pot that is Hong Kong, found either with a whisk in one hand or a dumbbell in the other, Chris strives to bake delicious & healthy recipes by combining the art of French cuisine with his background in sports nutrition. Follow him on his IG account for more delicious recipes.


Reaching your fitness goals this 2023 is easier thanks to these 5 recipes. Aside from their high protein content and delicious taste, they also have essential nutrients that keep your body healthy and safe from various illnesses. So head over to your nearby grocery and buy the ingredients you need to make these dishes. Who knows? You might just find your new favourite meal today.