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40 Quick and Easy Meals and Snacks with Protein

Natalie
Stein
February 13, 2024
40 Quick and Easy Meals and Snacks with Protein
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In this article:

  • Protein can help you manage weight by satisfying hunger and maintaining lean muscle mass. It can also help reduce side effects from GLP-1 medications if you’re on them.
  • Nutritious sources of protein include fish, lentils, beans, reduced-fat dairy products, tofu, shrimp, egg whites, skinless chicken, lean ground turkey, nuts, peanuts, and seeds.
  • Here are 40 ideas for quick and easy meals and snacks with at least one serving of protein.
  • Lark can help you lose weight with or without GLP-1s as you log food, get tips for eating healthier, and make small changes that can turn into healthy habits.

Getting enough protein can help you manage hunger, maintain strength and metabolism, and support lean muscle mass. It can also help reduce side effects from GLP-1 medications if you’re taking them for weight loss.

Some of the healthiest proteins to add to your diet are fish, lentils, beans, reduced-fat dairy products, tofu, shrimp, egg whites, skinless chicken, lean ground turkey, nuts, peanuts, and seeds. Most people can get enough protein by including a serving of high-protein food at most meals and snacks. Here are 40 quick and easy meal and snack ideas that have protein in them. You can always swap foods using our handy Healthy Swaps List, and there are more snack ideas on this snack list, too.

Breakfasts with Protein

1. Scrambled egg, tofu, or egg whites using cooking spray with spinach, tomato, onion, or other vegetables, plus low-fat cheese, served with cooked brown rice or whole-grain toast.

2. Tofu scramble using cooking spray with cashew nuts and vegetables.

3. Peaches and cream oatmeal with rolled or quick-cooking oats, water, sliced fresh or frozen peaches, chopped nuts, and low-fat cottage cheese.

4. Homemade cereal bars made with oats, peanut butter, banana, vanilla extract, and cinnamon, served with a hard-boiled egg.

5. Cold cereal such as unsweetened whole-grain cereal like plain oat O’s, puffed brown rice, or shredded wheat, plus skim milk, unsweetened soy milk, plain yogurt, or low-fat cottage cheese. You can also add fresh fruit, nuts, or seeds.

6. “Leftovers” hash with cooked sweet potato, cooked lean ground turkey, and cooked vegetables, all heated in olive oil with Italian herbs, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.

7. Plant-based skillet breakfast with black or other beans, yellow corn, tomatoes, and onions cooked in olive oil.

8. Savory oatmeal with cooked butternut squash or pumpkin puree, sunflower seeds, feta cheese, and black pepper to taste.

9. Salmon sandwich with cooked salmon, low-fat cottage cheese, and fresh dill (optional) on half a whole-grain bagel, with fruit or sliced tomato on the side

10. Whole-grain waffles with fresh fruit, yogurt, nuts, or seeds.

Sandwiches and Salads with Protein

11. Tuna saladwith plain nonfat yogurt or avocado instead of mayo, diced celery, onion, tomato, lemon juice, and herbs and spices like dill, black pepper, and paprika, served over a bed of greens or on whole-grain bread with a side salad.

12. Greek salad with romaine lettuce or other greens, feta cheese, chickpeas, tomatoes, zucchini, diced onion, and oregano.

13. Pita hummus wrap with hummus spread on a whole-grain pita with vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, or grilled peppers and eggplant.

14. Asian-inspired chopped salad with chopped cabbage or lettuce, vegetables such as snap peas, bell pepper, mushrooms, or carrot, fresh mandarin segments, cooked diced skinless chicken or shrimp, and vinaigrette dressing.

15. Shrimp wraps on lettuce leaves with sliced avocado, chopped cooked shrimp, chopped cabbage, diced onion, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, and chili powder.

16. Veggie or lean ground turkey burger on a whole-grain bun with low-fat cheese and mustard served with kale chips baked with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast.

17. Peanut butter sandwich with fresh fruit and cinnamon on a whole-grain English muffin or wrap.

Soups, Stews, and Chilis with Protein

18. Lentil soup from a can or made with carrots, onions, celery, diced tomatoes, salt, coriander, cumin, low-sodium broth, and dried lentils.

19. Creamy tomato soup with pureed cottage cheese or white beans instead of cream.

20. Low-fat broccoli cheddar soup made with skim milk or unsweetened almond milk instead of cream, low-sodium broth, and low-fat shredded cheddar cheese instead of full-fat.

21. Vegetarian split pea soup from a can or made with dried split peas, onions, celery, carrots, bay leaf, cumin, and oregano.

22. White chicken chili with low-sodium chicken broth, cannellini beans, onion, chicken, garlic, additional vegetables such as kale and poblano peppers, and spices such as cumin, chili powder, and oregano.

23. Fish stew with tilapia or other white fish, onion, sweet potato, carrots, celery, zucchini, and mushrooms.

Entrees with Protein

24. Noodle bowlwith cooked whole-grain spaghetti or spiralized vegetables, peanut sauce or heated peanut butter, tofu, and broccoli florets.

25. Baked chicken roasted in foil with green beans, served with a baked potato.

26. Mushroom and chicken fajitas with grilled bell peppers and onions served with whole-grain corn or flour tortillas.

27. Stuffed peppers with roasted bell pepper halves filled with a mixture of cooked brown rice, chopped vegetables, black beans, garlic, cumin, black pepper, and chili powder, and topped with low-fat cheese.

28. Whole-grain spaghetti with cooked lean ground turkey, shrimp, fish, or chicken and tomato sauce or homemade marinara made with tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, onion, and chopped bell pepper.

29. Simple broiled salmon served with lemon juice and sides of broccoli and brown rice or whole-grain pasta.

30. Baked tilapia crusted with almonds or oats mixed with parmesan cheese, black pepper, and thyme, served with roasted carrots.

Snacks with Protein

31. Baked avocado sticks coated with grated parmesan cheese

32. Beans and cheese with black or low-sodium refried beans and melted shredded low-fat cheese

33. Caprese skewers or plate with low-fat mozzarella cheese or a cut low-fat string cheese stick, sliced tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil

34. Low-fat cottage cheese with fresh fruit or raw vegetables

35. Hard-boiled egg and grape tomatoes with whole-grain crackers

36. Roasted chickpeas or edamame

37. Peanut butter with carrots, apples, or graham crackers

38. Diced apple with chopped nuts

39. Quesadilla with low-fat cheese and spinach or diced onion and tomato between two whole-grain corn tortillas or folded into one whole-grain flour tortilla

40. Puffed chickpea or lentil snacks

How Lark Can Help

Eating nutritious sources of protein can help with weight loss, so it’s important to know how to select and use the best options. Lark offers additional tools and support for weight management and health. Your Lark coach is available 24/7 for nutrition and physical activity coaching and tracking. Lark can help you make healthy choices and establish habits that fit into your lifestyle so you can lose weight and keep it off with or without GLP-1 medications.

Click here to see if you may be eligible to join Lark today!

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