Whether your goal is to lose weight or simply to avoid the siren song of takeout on crazy busy days, stocking your kitchen with healthy staples just isn't enough. The key to success is actually transforming those staples into nutritious, homemade meals you can reheat in just minutes.

Protein is a crucial nutrient for every part of your body, and there are plenty of reasons you might want to add more of it to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. "In numerous studies, a high-protein breakfast habit has been linked to weight management or weight loss," nutritionist Cynthia Sass told Prevention previously. "Protein is filling, and triggers the release of satiety hormones that blunt appetite." The nutrient will also help you stay more alert and energised throughout the day.

While high-protein diets like Atkins or Paleo have been in style for years now, there are some people who really need higher protein meals more than others. People who are in middle age may need to actively eat more protein due to age-related muscle loss. Those who eat a very high-sugar, high-carb diet may also benefit from adding more protein to ensure that between 10 and 35 percent of their daily kilojoules are coming from protein. And anyone who is prone to gaining weight may consume more protein to keep them full and satisfied from lower-kJ meals.

While there's no shortage of healthy recipes, only certain ones have been created with meal prep in mind. And if you're on a high-protein diet, you'll want to make sure the best protein food sources, like eggs, chicken, black beans, tofu, and chickpeas. Here, you'll find delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that will last for days in the fridge (or for months in the freezer) and are loaded with metabolism-stoking, satiating protein. Pick a few that make your mouth water, and start cooking!


Almond Butter, Strawberry & Banana Overnight Oats with Chia

Almond Butter, Strawberry, and Banana Overnight Oats With Chia

You don't often come across an porridge recipe that serves up 16 grams of protein. But thanks to the addition of Greek yoghurt, almond butter, and chia seeds, this one does just that. Double, triple, or quadruple the recipe to make what you'll need for the week, then divvy up the servings into individual jars or containers. If you're planning to tote your breakfast to the office, make transport easy by stirring the almond butter and banana garnish right in with the rest of the ingredients.

Get the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen »


honey spiced salmon with quinoa

Honey-Spiced Salmon with Quinoa

Salmon and quinoa are truly a power duo. First, just 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa contains 12 grams of protein, dietitian Ginger Hultin told Prevention previously. Then you've got salmon, which contains around 23 grams of protein per serving and is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids for fighting inflammation and protecting your heart. In this recipe, red cabbage is tossed with a honey-scallion glaze, then mixed with cooked quinoa and served with salmon and lime, making a delicious meal prep option with 41 grams of protein per serving.

Get the recipe from Prevention »


Vegetarian Black Bean Breakfast Burritos

Vegetarian Black Bean Breakfast Burritos

Fluffy scrambled eggs, tahini- and cumin-spiced black beans, roasted sweet potato, chopped green capsicum, and corn: That's the stuff these freezer-friendly burritos are made of. Just assemble the individual burritos, wrap them in foil, and pop them in your icebox. When you're ready to eat, zap one in the microwave for a fast, hot breakfast with 16 grams of protein, a hit of satiating fibre, and no shortage of savory Tex-Mex flavour.

Get the recipe from Fit Foodie Finds »


steak and lentil salad recipe

Lentil and Steak Salad

They may be little, but lentils are a high-fibre, high-protein superfood that's also good for your gut health. Pair them with lean steak, and you increase the protein in this dish to 25 grams per serving. Chopped red cabbage, parsley, sour-sweet grapefruit, onion, honey, Dijon mustard, and other seasonings make this salad anything but boring. Prep these four servings the night before for a perfect lunch that'll last you days.

Get the recipe from Prevention »


Meal Prep Sesame Tofu Quinoa Bowls

Sesame Tofu Quinoa Bowls

This recipe features four powerhouse ingredients-green beans, tofu, broccoli, and quinoa-which are simply cooked together on a baking sheet with tamari sauce drizzled on top. After that, you'll simply divide the ingredients into four meal prep containers and top with even more tamari or hot sauce. At 23 grams of protein and 1,774kJ (424cal) per serving, this dish is nutritious, tasty, and satisfying. (And if you're not a huge tofu fan, feel free to swap in chicken, chickpeas, fish, or any other protein.)

Get the recipe from Simply Quinoa »


Beef and broccoli stir fry

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

This flank steak and veggie stir-fry comes together in under 30 minutes, and it'll stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days, according to this blogger. And with 20 grams of protein and just 2 grams of sugar per serving, it's far better for you than anything you'd find at a takeout joint. (Many Asian sauces are total sugar mines.) Pack it up with brown rice for lunch, or warm it up for a lightning fast dinner.

Get the recipe from Life Made Sweeter »


Slow cooker turkey quinoa chili

Slow Cooker Turkey Quinoa Chilli with Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans

This sweet, smoky chilli is everything you want in a clean make-ahead meal: It only takes 10 minutes to prep, it gets more flavourful as it sits in the fridge, and it's got almost 30 grams of protein per serving. Plus, it’s versatile: You can top it with crunchy tortilla chips, sliced avocado, or for even more protein, a dollop of Greek yoghurt.

Get the recipe from Well Plated »


Chili-Orange Shrimp with Couscous

Chilli-Orange Prawns with Couscous

Seasoned, sautéed prawns star in this colourful recipe and delivers a brain-boosting nutrient called choline. The prawns are cooked together with ginger, chilli garlic sauce, orange, and cashews to give it a rich flavour you won't be able to resist, then served on top of broccoli couscous. At 1,736kJ (415cal) and 17 grams of protein, this meal will leave you truly satisfied with every serving.

Get the recipe from Prevention »


Simple Garlicky Green Crock-Pot Chicken and Lentils

Garlicky Crockpot Chicken and Lentils

Not only is this chicken and lentils dish easy to make, but it also packs a huge protein punch-to the tune of 42 grams per serving. And thanks to the delicious basil, mint, and orange marinade, it's loaded with flavor. Pack it up with a side salad for lunch, or enjoy it as a bowl for dinner with the optional avocado-yoghurt sauce on top. The best part: Since it's made with hearty ingredients, it can hang out for days in the fridge without getting soggy.

Get the recipe from Cotter Crunch »


Slow Cooker Pork Posole Recipe

Crockpot Pork Posole Stew

This filling meal-in-a-bowl is made with pork shoulder and veggies. This recipe yields a huge batch, so keep half in the fridge for the week (it'll only get more delicious over time) and freeze the rest in individual containers for fast lunches or dinners later on. And if you're looking for protein, it's got plenty. Each serving gives you nearly 50 grams of the muscle-building nutrient.

Get the recipe from Foodie Crush »


sesame chicken egg roll in a bowl

Sesame Chicken Egg Roll in a Bowl

Why order Chinese takeout when this delicious, Asian-inspired dish is so easy to make? Broccoli slaw replaces traditional noodles for a low-carb variation, while chopped, bite-sized chicken gives a helpful protein boost at 15 grams per serving. Plus, you can prep this meal in 15 minutes and make 8 whole servings-enough for you to have a family dinner and still have leftovers for the week.

Get the recipe from Peace, Love and Low-Carb »


Tilapia with Oranges, Tomatoes, and Toasted Garlic

Tilapia with Oranges, Tomatoes, and Toasted Garlic

Just one fillet of tilapia packs 23 grams of protein, and when it's served with whole-wheat couscous and topped with orange slices and tomatoes, it's next-level tasty. The ingredient list here is short-you probably have most of it in your kitchen already-and with four servings, you can easily split this feast into four containers to enjoy for the next several days.

Get the recipe from Prevention »

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