1. Chicken bakes
Put the “easy” in your weeknight meal by simply baking flavorful chicken in the oven. Chicken is a powerful source of protein (a whopping 38 grams in one cup) and is a versatile meat you can bake in all kinds of ways. Try one of these baked chicken recipes to pair with roasted or veggies, or pick one of these delicious recipes below.
Not only is a bowl of chili a comforting meal for a cozy winter night in, but it’s typically packed with multiple sources of protein. Chicken, beef, or even turkey are easy protein bases for homemade chili, with the packed protein bunch of extra beans and chickpeas. Toss in some extra vegetables to up the fiber and you have yourself a powerfully nutritious meal in one small bowl.
3. Rice and quinoa bowls
When you’re not in the mood for a salad, a rice bowl packed with protein can be an easy go-to for lunch. Rely on chicken, fish, or lean steak for the protein in your meal. For an extra protein bonus, use quinoa, which contains a surprising 8 grams of protein per cooked cup.
Nothing warms the soul like a spicy bowl of curry—especially when it’s packed with protein and veggie goodness. Chicken, steak, and even seafood can all work in a curry, depending on what you’re craving! Not in the mood for meat? Chickpeas also work as a protein source in curry when you’re looking for something light but still want a high-protein dinner.
5. Waffles and pancakes
Dinner isn’t the only time to get a protein boost in your day! Waffles and pancakes can surprisingly be a great source of protein, depending on the types of ingredients you mix into the batter. Protein powder works well, as well as other protein-rich ingredients like Greek yogurt and cottage cheese.
6. Grilled meat and veggies
When you want to keep your meal lean, there’s nothing like grilling up some meat and veggies for dinner. Steak marinades and chicken marinades can work well for a quick weeknight meal, as will other meats like salmon, tuna, pork chops, and pork tenderloin.
Speaking of grilling, burgers are another easy way to get a protein boost in your meal—and a delicious one, to boot! You can keep it lean with chicken, tuna, turkey, and even lean ground beef. Pile on lots of veggies and top with a whole-wheat bun for an extra kick of fiber.
8. Egg scrambles, omelets, and hashes
Chicken and beef aren’t always the two go-to’s if you want protein—eggs work, too! One egg contains 5 to 7 grams of protein (depending on the size) and makes for an excellent post-workout meal in the morning. Mix together with other protein-rich ingredients like beans, ham, turkey sausage, salmon, and even cheese.
9. Smoothies and shakes
When you’re not feeling as hungry but you know you need to get your protein count up for the day, a smoothie or shake can do the trick. Whether it’s packed with your favorite protein powder or mixed together with Greek yogurt, a smoothie can help rev up your metabolism and keep your muscles strong and healthy with every sip.