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6 high protein meal prep lunch & dinners

You know I'm all about a high protein meal prep that I can spend an hour or 2 at max, making once in the week to last through the busy work week. If you haven't heard me say it before, I love to craft up those "send it and forget it" type meals that allow me to set the oven, crock pot, timer, etc. and be able to cross off another item on the to-do list while my food is cooking.


This post is dedicated to 6 of my favorite meal preps lately! Here you will find not only 6 high protein meal prep lunch & dinners, but also the full ingredient list & how to steps on prepping them yourself. Use the article for your ingredient list & guidance while making and the video as your inspiration and recap to make sure you got it all.


Each of these meals are simple no matter if you're a seasoned chef for the family or yourself or if you're just getting started with meal prep. I am a big fan of "MIYO", meaning Make It Your Own, so have fun with the herbs and spices in each dish, play to your preferences & enjoy the experience. When you enjoy the creation, the experience & the final product, you're more likely to show up again!


Let's start with lunches. If you're a working professional who lives the work from home life or you go into the office, this is likely the busiest part of your day-- it's when every one needs you, emails are blowing up, kids are getting restless and it's when you have the LEAST amount of time to get in a nutritious meal to keep you going. So it goes 1 of 2 ways:

  1. you divert to the easiest option available: munching on what you have left in the fridge/pantry until you're full OR grab something from the drive through when you grab your oldest that happy meal.

  2. you skip your meal all together: it's easy to forget about yourself when you're swamped taking care of everyone else!

Neither of these options leave you fully satiated, lead to increased snacking throughout your day & aren't delivering the nutrients you body needs to keep you going!


Here are some simple lunch preps that are packed with your macro & micronutrients, high in protein, & can be made in 10 mins or less with the right prep ahead of time!


1.Basil Pesto Protein Bowl

high protein meal prep lunch

If your lunch game has been weak, you need this basil pesto protein bowl that you can make in just 10 minutes with the right meal planning ahead of time. You can get as fancy or as relaxed as you want with these bowls with a bed of mixed greens, couscous or a 50/50 (my personal fav)!


Ingredients:

  • Mixed greens or spinach

  • Couscous of choice (I'm using a basil & herb)

  • Veggies & toppings of choice: shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots, grape tomatoes, beets, bell pepper, garbanzo beans, (avocado if not doing the Bitchin' sauce dressing for a balance of fats), etc.

  • Olive oil & fresh ground pepper

Instructions:

1. Start by heating up your protein of choice. I'm using my viral 3 ingredient juicy chicken recipe that I already made the night before & warming it up so it's ready to go into my bowl.


2. If using mixed greens or spinach, add a little bit of olive oil and pepper and give that a little massage so it wilts down a little bit, making it easier to mix & eat with you other bowl ingredients.


3. If doing a 50/50 split or having couscous as your base, you can make this ahead of time, in just 10 mins (send it & forget it) with your protein the night before or whenever you do your meal prep. Heat up and toss your couscous of choice into your bowl.

*For this bowl, I'm using the basil and herb pearled couscous making this a great option if you're looking for the 50/50 split. If you want to make this more mixed greens heavy, you can opt for a smaller grain couscous.


4. Add in your toppings of choice such as shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots, tomatoes, beets, yellow bell peppers, and garbanzo beans. Get creative and throw in what you have on hand or some of your favorites.


5. Then you'll layer in your protein right on top, sprinkle some fresh chopped scallions and some slivered almonds over the top for that extra crunch.


6. Add your dressing--this is really what makes this bowl come to life. I used the pesto Bitchin' Sauce, local San Diego based with whole, natural ingredients & exquisite taste. You can find this in any local, large chain grocery store and try out their different flavors.


Mix it up and enjoy!


**A few things to note to make the real time bowl prep super easy on yourself:

👩🏽‍🍳Cook your protein & couscous the night before or whenever you do your weekly meal prep. This will make it simple to heat up and throw all your ingredients into your bowl when you go to snag your lunch or prep it to take with you for your work day!



🌰Add shredded red cabbage & nuts of choice for your crunch! These make for a change up in textures and make all the difference in making your bowl feel heartier!


🥗Mix up your toppings and dressings! This is just 1 version of these loaded salads/bowls that I make for lunch on the daily! You can change up the toppings, your dressings, the way you season your protein & voila you have a totally different meal!




 


2.Salmon Burgers 3 Ways

salmon burger bowl

Whether you work from home or you're on the go, here are delicious salmon burgers you can make three different ways to satisfy your lunch needs! These salmon burgers do really well if you're cooking one on demand or if you're meal prepping a few for the entire week.


You can snag a 12 pack of frozen salmon burgers (on my Costco must have list along with 15 other versatile foods) to stock up for you week and simply to have on deck when you haven't made it to the grocery store! For a smaller quantity, you can find fresh or frozen packs of 2-4 at your local grocery store, my personal favorite are those with spinach and feta!


Each of these Salmon Burgers are 20g of protein each and with each of these options you’re easily adding another 5-10g protein to your meal! 

No matter which way you love your Salmon Burger, these are incredibly easy to make and can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge so they are ready to go in less than 5 mins. 




Ingredients:

  • Salmon burgers of choice

  • Base of choice: mixed greens, burger buns or rice

  • Grape tomatoes

  • Scallions

  • Avocado

  • Olive oil & fresh ground pepper


Instructions:

  1. Start by pouring a little bit of olive oil into your pan, cooking salmon burgers on medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes until they're nice and golden and get those grill marks that we love.

If making the Decomposed Burger Bowl:

Great for those who bring their lunch to work or on the go.

  • Add your mixed greens to a bowl, cut up all the vegetables that you want to add in your bowl, & toss in some small grain couscous (cooked ahead of time).

  • Add some avocado on top, shake it up and you have an amazing on the go bowl!

If making the Burger:

Next is your salmon burger. This is a great lunch or dinner option or even a great summer barbecue option if you are a pescatarian.

  • My little hack here is doing mustard on one side and smashed avocado on the other. Dress with your toppings of choice and add some fresh fruit on the side.

If making the Salmon Burger Salad:

Your next option is a salmon burger salad with some starchy carbohydrates or greens on the side.Great if you want a lighter dish for an at-home lunch or dinner. Think of this as the happy medium between the first 2 options of the decomposed bowl and the salmon burger.

  • Add your side such as rice, potatoes or couscous and dress your salad with toppings of choice.

  • Then add your salmon burger on top of your salad & spread a little bit of mustard on top of the salmon patty with sliced avocado on top.

  • Add a few more veggies to the top if you like and a couple slices of fruit if you're having this for lunch.

  • Top your salmon burger salad with a little balsamic and enjoy!

All those flavors will come together and you are good to go!


Here's how you can make all 3 Salmon Burger lunch variations!


Now dinner is a bit of a different ball game. You likely have more time to spend making dinner on a nightly or weekly basis, based on your schedule and life commitments. Here are 4 easy 1 pot/pan dinner meals you can make for yourself or the whole family for the entire week! Some of these dual as great left overs for lunches too!


 

3. Stuffed Pepper Bowl

If you're in for a delicious 1 pot, high protein meal you can make in less than 60 mins for 2 people the entire week as well as some pretty hilarious fails, then this one is for you!


This is going to make 7-8 servings, which is going to last about 3-4 days for two people, however you can make in smaller portions to yield less to accommodate your needs. As you can tell from the video, this was clearly A LOT to make in my what I thought was large, size pot, so the ingredients below are based on 2-4 servings of this dish. To make the larger portion as I did, see the changes you'll make below, just make sure you have a larger pot ◡̈

stuffed pepper bowl

🍽7-8 servings

🍽Prep + Cook time: 1 hour/1 pot

🍽All whole food ingredients

🍽High protein

🍽Dairy free

🍽Can be made vegan/vegetarian friendly

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil

  • 1lb 85-97% lean ground beef (I used 3lbs)

  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (I used 3)

  • 1 bell pepper (I used 2)

  • 1 yellow onion (I used 2)

  • 3 garlic cloves (I used 6— we love garlic)

  • 1 can tomato paste, 6 oz (I used 3)

  • 1 1/2 cup beef broth (I used 3 cups)

  • 1 cup basmati rice (I used 1.5 cups)

Seasonings as you’d like:

- Ground cumin

- Smoked paprika

- Dried oregano

- Salt and pepper to taste


Toppings (optional):

- Fresh cilantro and avocado


Instructions:

  • Start by sautéing half of your yellow onion with olive oil. Then add in your lean ground beef and break up so it begins to brown.

  • Season with ground cumin, smoked paprika, dried oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste, and a little bit of cilantro.

  • Then you'll add in your bell peppers, tomato paste, and fire roasted diced tomatoes

*If you opt to not add rice to this dish, your meal is already done! At this point, if you're also making a higher serving amount, check to see how full your pot is before you add the rice. As this portion if already cooked, if your pot will overflow, take out half the contents from that pot and place into another just to store and keep warm.

  • Then in the pot, add your beef broth and basmati rice. Stir together and pop that into the oven on 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.

*If you ended up needing to split the food into 2 pots, you can now mixed the two batches together for one large Stuffed Pepper Bowl!

  • Serve in a bowl & top with avocado and cilantro, enjoy!

You can store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months! Great to make and have on deck for a rainy day!



 

4. Mediterranean Paella w/DIY Tzatziki

Greek style paella

When you're craving Greek, but also need to meal prep for the week, this sausage, shrimp paella with high protein tzatziki is for you! I made this 2 different ways over the past couple months-1 on the stove and 1 in the instant pot. I changed up the add ins for each and added the feta & DIY tzatziki to one, giving this that Mediterranean vibe. Pick whichever sounds the best, a mix of both, or try each on different weeks! Both are great 1-pan options for a simple, high protein & delicious meal prep!


Both of these recipes yield 7-8 servings. You can cut in 1/2 for a smaller meal prep for 1 person for the week.


Sausage shrimp paella

Stove Top Paella (fresh with a kick):

  • 2lb bag of frozen shrimp— if you can find pre-peeled, you’ll love your life (ez-peel wasn’t the worst)

  • 12oz Smoked Chicken Sausage- I used spicy jalapeño

  • 1.5 cups of brown rice — can sub for jasmine, basmati or wild if you prefer

  • 3 cups organic chicken broth - can use vegetable or water

  • Seasonings of choice, my favs for this: Old Bay, thyme, Kinders ‘The Blend’, & chili powder

  • 2-3 green onions (white goes in the pan to cook and green goes on top for garnish)

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic — less if you don’t like as garlicy

  • Handful of spinach (optional)

  • Handful of Italian parsley (some to go in with spinach & some for garnish)

  • 10-12 grape tomatoes cut in 1/2 (optional)

  • Fresh lime

  • Avocado - 1/4 per serving (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Start with heating, olive oil, garlic and green onion (white part) in a pan and then throw in your frozen shrimp.

  2. In a separate pan (optional) sauté your sausage. I like to cut up all my sausage and sauté in a separate pan so they can individually cook and get those really good flavors out and of course have those grill marks. You can definitely cook these in the same pan if you prefer.

  3. Once your shrimp is about 80% cooked, add in your seasonings. Stir and add in your sausage if you cooked separately.

  4. Add in brown rice, organic chicken broth, and stir. Pat down rice to make sure it's fully covered. Cover your lid and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes. Stir and recover for another 10 to 15 minutes or until rice is tender. There's going to be a little bit of juice left which is perfect when you start to add in your toppings.

  5. Add in spinach and fresh Italian parsley and allow to wilt down.

  6. Serve and add grape tomatoes, more Italian parsley and the green part of the scallions, avocado. and little bit of fresh squeeze lime.

Store for up to 5 days in the fridge or freeze for up to 3 months.


Full stove stop paella how to below!



Instant Pot Paella (Greek style):

  • 1 yellow onion

  • 1 red bell pepper (or any color you like)

  • 1lb can of crushed tomatoes (I like Mutti)

  • 1 pack organic chicken sausage (I used cajun style)

  • 3-4 cups organic chicken bone broth (can up for vegetable, beef and/or non-bone broth)

  • 2 bags frozen shrimp (pealed if possible)

  • 2 cups brown rice

  • Olive oil

  • Feta for sprinkling on top

  • Scallions (homegrown if you haven't done this already, so easy!)

  • View tzatziki recipe here!

Instructions:

  1. Chop up your onion and bell pepper, then set your instant pot to the sauté setting for 10 mins. Add your onion and bell pepper to the pot with olive oil.

  2. Sauté and then add in your crushed tomatoes & stir.

  3. Add in your rice and bone broth and stir.

  4. Add in your frozen shrimp, stir and set instant pot to pressure cook or "manual" for 30 minutes. Based on the quantity you're making, you'll be able to cook between 25-35 minutes.

  5. Allow instant pot to release steam (about 10 mins).

  6. Serve & garnish with feta & your DIY, high protein tzatziki, & green part of your scallions and enjoy!

Store in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


Full instant pot, Greek style paella, below!


 

5. Scrappy Protein Pasta

protein pasta with homemade sauce

Here's a scrappy pasta sauce that you can make with just a few items left in your fridge. You can DIY with any veggie scraps in your fridge that sound like a good combo! I added the jalapeño peppers for a pop of flavor & because my chicken meatballs were cranberry jalapeño! So long as you don’t have a cashew nut allergy, I would keep these in your recipe to ensure your sauce is creamy! I also added some milk as needed to the blended to keep the creamy consistency without loosing flavor (you can use water or a nut based milk for a dairy free option).


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 red onion

  • 1-2 handfuls of grape tomatoes

  • 1-2 handfuls of raw cashews

  • 3-5 garlic cloves

  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper

  • 1-2 cans tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, based on size and preference

  • Garlic & rosemary infused olive oil (you can use regular, I just had this on deck from my niece and nephew that made it for me!)

  • Amylu cranberry jalapeno chicken meatballs

  • Wild mushroom chicken sausage

  • Tomato paste

  • Chunks of fresh Parmesan

  • Green onions

  • Basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and add your scraps to a baking sheet with olive oil. Once oven is ready, place your scraps in for about 20 mins.

  2. Start boiling your pasta water & when ready, add in your protein pasta (I used the 1/2 chickpea and 1/2 regular protein pasta by Barilla because I had 1/2 of each left!) I do recommend using a protein pasta for this as you can't even tell the difference between this and standard noodles & you're getting in additional protein!

  3. Sauté your chicken sausage and meatballs with scallions or yellow onion, you can use one or the other or whatever you have. I like to grill these first to get them chared.

  4. Once your scraps are toasted in the oven, pour them into a blender with your tomato sauce. I kept the grape tomatoes whole and put them off to the side to add them into the final sauce. Blend until creamy.

  5. Pour your sauce into the pan with your sautéed sausage and meatballs and add your tomato paste. Add paste until you get to desired thickness.

  6. Add fresh Parmesan chucks or any cheese you'd like to melt into the sauce (can omit if dairy free).

  7. Add back in your grape tomatoes if used and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add spices to desired flavor.

  8. Serve over your protein pasta and sprinkle the green part of your scallions on top to garnish.

  9. Enjoy with your favorite red wine! Store in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze sauce for up to 3 months.



 

6. DIY Chili Paste Salmon


Chili paste salmon

Can you say HOLY SALMON?!! This simple, homemade Chili Paste is an absolute must have for your next Salmon meal prep! If you've been buying a pre-made chili paste, here's how you can make your own with simple, whole ingredients and turn it into an entire meal prep with two sides.


I made a 2.25lb salmon & paired with a simple broccolini and couscous, all in just 30 min, yielding enough for 2 people for 5 meals! You know I’m queen send it & forget it and this meal is exactly that!

CHILI PASTE INGREDIENTS

  • 3 peppers of choice- I used two yellow one green Serrano based on what I had available! I would love to try with a red!

  • Spices:

    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

    • 1/2 teaspoon Kinders blend

    • 1/2 teaspoon coconut aminos

    • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

This makes for a more flavorful, zesty chili vs. a super spicy, melt your mouth chili, which I am more of a fan of when it comes to spicy foods!


Start by making your chili paste:

  1. Chop three to four peppers of your choosing and add to a mini food processor or chopper (this makes mincing way easier, less time consuming & dangerous for your amateur cook!

  2. Once minced, add to a small pot with some olive oil and saute for 15 minutes.

  3. Add in your seasoning cumin, onion powder, Kinders The Blend, paprika and coconut aminos. Cook for five to 10 more minutes then place back into your food processor to really mix all those flavors together.

  4. Then add some sesame or olive oil to give it a little bit more of that liquid base before you spread all over your salmon.

*I only used three peppers and minimal seasoning for this entire recipe, and it was able to easily cover and entire two and a quarter pound salmon.


To cook your salmon:

  1. Place in the oven on 375 degrees F for 17 mins. This is for about a 2-2.25lb salmon.

  2. Remove, serve with your sides of choice (more below on the ones I like) and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Side recs: broccolini & couscous Since I was making such a large salmon for an entire week of meal prep, I did the salmon in one pan and the broccolini in the other.

  1. Cut that broccoli in half so those stems are a little bit thinner and they're easier to cook. Place that onto your pan with a little bit of olive oil and Kinders The Blend because it's all in one. If you don't have this, you can grab it here on Amazon, and you can also use salt, pepper and a little bit of garlic powder.

  2. Use your hands to fully coat your broccolini with the olive oil and seasoning and pop that into the oven next to your salmon for the same 15-20 mins.

*If you have a large enough pan or are making a smaller salmon, you can put both on the same pan in the oven and the same temp and cook time!


Pair with a quick 10 minute stove top couscous (learn how to cook here) while the salmon & broccolini are cooking and in less than 30 minutes, you have up to 5 delicious healthy meals for 2 people all week long.


Check out the full video tutorial for this meal below.



Hope you absolutely love these recipes and enjoy MIYO (making it your own) with your preferred serving sizes, seasonings and sides! Comment below with your favorite recipe from this list and any questions you have on making these!


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