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18 Easy & Delicious High-Protein Meals, Part 1

Fill yourself up the right way.

November 16, 2023
Medically-reviewed and fact checked by Ryan Lester, PA-C

If you’re reading this, chances are you know that protein is an essential part of a healthy meal -- especially for those looking to build and maintain muscle. It also comes with an incredibly useful side effect when trying to lose weight -- it helps each meal make you feel full after eating, which nutritionists refer to as “satiety”. The rate at which you feel full, due to something like protein, is termed as “satisfaction”.

Feeling satiated means you’re less likely to snack after a meal, while being satisfied means you’ll experience no urge to overeat when consuming the dish. This leads into why most calorie-counting diets are tough to stick to, and likely to fail. A lot of diets cap your daily calorie intake at 1,500 -- with the hope being that you’re burning off those calories simply going about your normal day. The consequence of diets like this is that most people cut their protein intake in order to adhere to said calorie counting. You’ll lose weight, sure, but you’ll be losing a lot of muscle along with it which is counterproductive to optimal aging.

You may be wondering just how much of your intake should be protein. On average, most dieticians prescribe that every meal contain 30 grams of protein in order to meet the body’s demand and avoid any deficiency. This may not be that easy for a lot of people. You may not want to make a proper meal after a long day of work. Maybe you don’t have protein in the house. Or maybe you do but eating the same protein week after week may become boring. 

It’s for that very reason that we rounded up 9 delicious recipes below, each bursting with flavor, and each of them unique and varied from one to the next. If you like these -- and rest-assured, you will love them -- we’ll have 9 more for you soon.

Sweet Chili Salmon

This dish walks that fine line between too spicy and too sweet, and balances them evenly. It’s full of flavor, fish, liquid aminos, chili sauce, and sesame oil -- not too much of one or the other, resulting in quite the daredevil act. Cook time should top out around 10 minutes -- what’s not to love?

Spicy Pork Chops with Pineapple

The chipotle, cayenne, chili powder, and ancho, come together like a heatwave in August, but are mellowed rather well by the ripe pineapple rings that’ve rendered in pork juices. A dash of sea salt and a sprig of mint to finish and you have a meal that’s fresh, filling, and never a bore.

Tuna Burgers

Tuna, with a nice, even sear. Crunchy, and crisp, snap peas. Plus a spicy, velvety mayo. The only thing this burger is lacking is beef, but by the end of your meal you may have forgotten entirely that cows even exist. Which is okay, because that’s an easy fact to relearn — what isn’t okay, however, is never having tried this, but that’s a wrong only you can right.

Southwest Bean Bake

This recipe from Pinch of Yum is a feast: Black beans, ground turkey, bacon bits, and Monterey Jack cheese will have you hitting your protein fill and is sure to leave you smiling.

Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa

This can all be done in one skillet, which saves one of the bigger headaches of healthy eating -- the time spent cleaning your kitchen. Quinoa rates quite high on the protein scale for grains, so couple that with the leanness of shrimp, and well, you’re eating good in more ways than one.

Chicken Pan Pie

No pot, here -- this isn’t the usual chicken pot pie. With more than 30 plus grams of chicken in addition to a good sort of veggies, this one will hit the spot in any season.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

If you’re not a fan of couscous’ chewiness, quinoa is an easy sub here. As this one involves no cooking, it’s ideal for those surprisingly hot days we find at the tail end of summer or in fall’s beginnings when a warm kitchen is in no way appealing. But this is also a salad that‘s good for colder times just as well. A vegetarian dish loaded with protein, requiring very little prep and no heat to enjoy at any time? The meal-prepper’s dream.

Sausages with Brussel Sprouts

Sausage and bacon in one dish may sound a bit too bold even for the most enthusiastic breakfast lovers, but we’re not wrong. Add to it the anti-inflammatory powers of turmeric found in brussels -- not to mention a bit of green -- and you have yourself a winner in every which way.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

This classic appetizer is reimagined with less breading in place of juicy, delectable chicken. Here, two different cheeses and jalapeños are folded into two chicken breasts, which are wrapped in two strips of bacon. All four ingredients come together to form a meal that will leave even the hungriest person in the room feeling pleasantly full.

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