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10 High-Protein Lunch Ideas That Keep You Full

Lunchtime is often associated with quick fixes: fast food, a microwaved “one-minute” meal, or even just a granola bar. But what if there was a way to enjoy a lunch that not only tasted great but also kept you full and productive throughout the afternoon? Incorporating high-protein foods into your midday meal can do just that, providing the necessary building blocks for energy and muscle repair, as well as keeping hunger at bay until dinner.

10 High-Protein Lunch Ideas That Keep You Full

With our fast-paced lives, it can be challenging to craft high-protein lunches that are both healthy and delicious. In this article, we’re serving up ten lunch ideas that are not only rich in protein but also easy to make, ensuring that your midday meal is one to look forward to. Whether you’re meal-prepping for the week or whipping something up on the spot, we’ve got you covered with a variety of options to suit different tastes and dietary needs.

1: Protein-Packed Turkey BLT Salad

Protein-Packed Turkey BLT Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

This salad not only delivers on crunch but also on a healthy dose of protein. Using a mix of garden favorites, you can whip up a Turkey BLT Salad that’s both satisfying and nutritious. The protein content here comes from the chicken breast, which provides about 25 grams per serving. Combine this with the feta, sunflower seeds, and turkey bacon, and you have a salad that’s a powerhouse of protein, with tastes reminiscent of your favorite sandwich.

2: Black Bean Burrito Bowl With Farro

Black Bean Burrito Bowl With Farro

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked farro
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked corn kernels
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This vegetarian delight is a protein powerhouse with black beans as its star. A serving of this dish would provide you with over 20 grams of protein, thanks to the combination of farro and black beans. The avocado adds healthy fats, and the burst of fresh flavors from the lime, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro ensures you’re not missing out on taste.

3: Tuna and Avocado Wrap

Tuna and Avocado Wrap

Ingredients

  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 1 ripe avocado, mashed
  • 1 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large whole-wheat tortillas

A classic combination with a healthy twist. This Tuna and Avocado Wrap provides about 30 grams of protein per serving, making it a substantial and filling option. With the creaminess of avocado and Greek yogurt complementing the hearty tuna, this wrap is as creamy as it is crunchy, and the perfect handheld lunch to get you through the day.

4: Mouthwatering Steak Nachos

 Mouthwatering Steak Nachos

Ingredients

  • 8 oz skirt or flank steak
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced jalapenos
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • Tortilla chips

Nachos for lunch? Why not! With a few clever twists, you can make this pub favorite a protein-packed meal. The steak, black beans, and cheddar cheese provide over 40 grams of protein per serving. Seasoned just right and topped with fresh veggies, it’s a lunch that’s sure to keep you full and your taste buds happy.

5: Salmon with Roasted Veggie

Salmon with Roasted Veggie

Ingredients

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 lb mixed vegetables (such as bell peppers, zucchini, and red onion), chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The king of Omega-3’s, Salmon offers a healthy kick of protein and fats that your body craves. A serving of this dish packs a whopping 35 grams of protein. Pair it with a colorful array of roasted vegetables for a lunch that is not only a feast for the eyes but also for your body.

6: Chicken Breast Stir Fry with Veggies

Chicken Breast Stir Fry with Veggies

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (such as broccoli, bell peppers, and snap peas)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Cooked brown rice or quinoa, optional

This stir-fry is an easy way to get your protein and veggies in one delicious meal. With 30 grams of protein per serving, the Chicken Breast Stir Fry offers a balance of flavors: savory, sweet, and a hint of umami. Pair it with brown rice or quinoa for a complete meal that’ll leave you energized for your afternoon.

7: Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Whole-grain bread

For a vegetarian lunch that doesn’t skimp on protein, try the Chickpea Salad Sandwich. A serving provides over 20 grams of protein, thanks to the chickpeas and Greek yogurt. The crunch from the veggies and the creaminess of the Greek yogurt make for a satisfyingly light yet filling sandwich.

8: Cottage Cheese and Fruit Bowl

Cottage Cheese and Fruit Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup mixed fresh fruit (such as berries, melon, and pineapple)
  • 2 tbsp honey or agave nectar (optional)

Sometimes, the best lunches are the simplest. A Cottage Cheese and Fruit Bowl offers nearly 30 grams of protein per serving. With the natural sweetness of the fruit and the creaminess of the cottage cheese, this lunch is a refreshing and light option for those warm afternoons.

9: Egg Salad Lettuce Wraps

Egg Salad Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lettuce leaves

Enjoy the classic Egg Salad with a healthier twist by serving it in Lettuce Wraps. With over 25 grams of protein per serving, this lunch is a great alternative for those watching their carb intake. The crisp lettuce adds a satisfying crunch that complements the creamy egg salad perfectly.

10: Warm Kale-Quinoa Salad

Warm Kale-Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 cups kale, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Finish strong with a Warm Kale-Quinoa Salad that offers a balance of protein, greens, and grains. With over 20 grams of protein per serving, this salad is warm, hearty, and satisfying. The nutty quinoa pairs perfectly with the earthy kale, and the almonds and cranberries add a delightful texture.

Incorporating these high-protein lunches into your weekly routine can lead to a more energetic and fulfilling workday. By opting for meals that are not only rich in protein but also varied and flavorful, you can say goodbye to the mid-afternoon slump and hello to a more productive afternoon. Remember, a little planning and a touch of creativity can go a long way in ensuring that your lunches are as satisfying as they are nutritious.

So, the next time you reach for your lunch, challenge yourself to make it a high-protein affair. With these ten recipes as your starting point, you’re well on your way to elevating your lunch game and giving your body the fuel it needs to conquer the day.