These 21 high-protein meal preps for lunch are easy to make in 30 minutes and you can easily freeze them for later. They are portable and contain between 11-45 g of healthy protein, making the perfect lunch for busy people on a high protein diet. Also, check out our 20 school lunch ideas and 30 high-protein dinners!
What is meal prepping?
Preparing meals ahead of time is the concept of meal prepping.
The goal is to save a lot of time for those who have a busy lifestyle.
In fact, In fact, prepping ahead of time can save you money and time.
You can buy healthy foods at bulk prices, and then store them in airtight containers.
If you’re cooking for yourself, you can prep ingredients ahead of time and freeze them for later.
Since it requires you to plan out what to eat before you go shopping, meal prep can help you make healthier meal choices over the long run.
Meal prep doesn't necessarily mean spending a weekend or day preparing meals for the week ahead.
There are many different methods for meal prep, depending on your lifestyle and dietary needs.
Some prefer to cook every day, while others enjoy cooking a few dishes each week. Whatever method works best for you, always make sure to get enough healthy protein and fiber in your diet.
Meal Prep Methods
There are several methods for meal prepping, especially if you seek high protein meal prep on a budget for yourself or your family.
Here are a few:
- Make-Ahead Meals: Cook proteins and starches in advance, place in separate containers, and then store them in the fridge until you need to reheat them at your convenience.
- Batch Cooking: Make large batches and then freeze them to eat later.
- Individual Meal Prep Containers: Prepared meals that are ready to eat right out of the container (e.g. cold salads or sandwiches).
- Preparing the Ingredients Required for Specific Recipes Ahead of Time: This is the best way to reduce cooking times in the kitchen. Proteins often take more time to cook.
Preparing and freezing them will save your time later on when you have to incorporate them in different dishes or prepare starches to pair with those proteins for taking the lunch meal to work or send them with your children to school.
Steps to High-Protein Lunch Meal Prep
Whether you seek high-protein meal prep for weight loss or muscle gain, there are plenty of easy ways to prep quick lunch meals for a high-protein diet:
- Pick 2 or more healthy high-protein foods as the main ingredient such as Salmon, eggs, poultry, lean cuts of beef, beans, or lentils.
- Choose 2 or more quick healthy sides that pair with your animal or plant-based protein or that meet your dietary needs.
- Determine the preferred meal prep cooking methods: It can be one or more!
- Stick to a schedule: Reserve one day each week to plan your meals, shop for groceries, and cook them efficiently.
- Make sure to prepare the right number of meals: You can cook 2 or 3 types of lean protein in larger batches and then incorporate them into different dishes (e.g. cook baked chicken breast and use them to make this Brazilian chicken salad and chicken tortilla soup for different days of the week. You can cook skirt steak in less than 10 minutes and use it to make fajitas or a sandwich.
- When starting out, keep an eye out for variety until you know what works best for you and your family.
- Spend less time at the store: Plan your grocery list by department or shop online.
- Choose quick recipe meals to cook, saving you time in the kitchen!
- Make use of leftovers in a smart way: Transform your leftovers into a different dish. For example, make use of rice and chicken to make chicken soup.
- Store your meals properly: Use safe cooling methods, like freezing and refrigeration, and proper containers. Refrigerate the meals you plan to eat in the next 2 days and then label and freeze the rest for the week.
How to Meal Prep High Protein Lunches
Select your favorite high-protein lunch recipe.
Buy and gather all the required ingredients.
Prep a high-protein lunch in 30 minutes or so!
Store into containers, label, and either refrigerate (eating within 2 days) or freeze them (eating later during the week).
Depending on the high protein lunch idea, reheat it before eating.
High Protein Lunch Ideas
Here are 21 high-protein meal preps for lunch that you can put together mostly in 30 minutes and are perfect for busy people.
They contain between 11-45 grams of protein per serving. Some are meat-based and others are high-protein vegetarian lunches.
With 24 g of protein, these air fryer chicken thighs can be cooked in less than 30 minutes.
You can prep them ahead and refrigerate them to heat when you need them.
This budget-friendly dish makes a comforting meal that you can enjoy with a variety of sides such as this basmati rice and this vegan raw salad or some steamed veggies.
Are you pressed in time and need something simple for lunch yet healthy?
Put together this sushi bowl in just 20 minutes.
All you need are microwavable cauliflower rice, cooked shrimp, and a few fresh veggies and condiments.
It is keto and has 11 g of protein per serving!
This salmon chowder recipe is the low-carb version of the Norwegian fiskesuppe!
All that you’ll need is one pot to prepare this salmon chowder in less than 30 minutes, making it mess-free and saving you time.
It's ideal for chilly, busy days! You can enjoy 32 g of healthy protein by packing the soup in an insulated food jar with a spoon or in a thermal food container. Please take it to work and enjoy a cozy lunch meal!
This is one of the quickest high-protein lunch meal preps ever.
You can have it ready in just 15 minutes using store-bought pizza, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, smoked deli ham, a few veggies, and hard-boiled eggs that you can buy already cooked or boil them ahead and refrigerate.
It has 16 g of protein per slice.
In need of a complete meal for lunch?
Make this black bean soup in 30 minutes with canned black beans, pasta, bacon (optional), and veggies.
Then place it into a thermal food jar and take it to work with you to enjoy it hot.
Guess what? Each portion has 27 g of protein!
Pot and prepare the easiest dinner of your life!
6. Broccoli, Ham, and Cheese Pop Tarts
These are a fun alternative to back-to-school lunch sandwiches!
With 13 g of protein per pop tart, you can send high protein pocket sandwiches to your children’s lunches using pie crust or its leftovers, cheese, cubed ham, and broccoli florets.
It only takes 30 minutes to prepare them!
With 19 grams of protein and 256 calories per portion, this smoked salmon salad is the deconstructed version of a sushi roll.
It packs well for lunch!
8. Balsamic Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
It has 20 g of protein and comes packed with lean chicken breast, low-fat yogurt Caesar dressing, and fresh veggies.
This salad makes a complete summer lunch meal you can have it ready in 25 minutes.
9. Chicken Feta Spinach Burgers
With 17 grams of chicken protein, this Mediterranean-style burger makes a quick high-protein lunch meal prep you don’t want to miss.
Grab some lean ground chicken, seasonings, fresh veggies, and feta, and put together a healthy burger that is love at first bite.
You won’t believe how easy are these high protein overnight oats.
They have whopping 20 grams of protein and come in 3 different flavors.
Just mix all the ingredients together, place them into a mason jar, and chill overnight.
Right before eating or taking to work, place some toppings and enjoy!
11. Vegan Chili
Are you vegan? Or perhaps looking for a cozy and quick plant-based high protein lunch meal prep? This chili is for you!
Make it in 30 minutes with 3 types of canned beans, quinoa, and veggies.
Then pack it into a thermal food container and enjoy!
It has 19 g of protein!
12. Instant Pot Chili (Tex-Mex)
This Instant Pot chili, Tex-Mex style, comes loaded with ground beef, seasonings, veggies, and canned kidney and pinto beans.
It has 31 grams of protein and you can cook it in 25 minutes.
Serve it with crackers or some cornbread for a comforting lunch on chilly days.
13. Chicken Teriyaki Bento Box
With 40 g of protein, this bento box will keep you full longer while satiating your cravings for Asian food.
You can prepare it in just 30 minutes and take it with you whatever you go.
With 15 g of plant-based protein, these super crispy tofu strips make a high-protein lunch meal prep that is versatile and delish!
It calls for just 5 ingredients and you can cook them in 20 minutes on the stovetop, oven, or air fryer.
You may serve it with a sauce and some fresh green salad!
This Brazilian Tuna Salad Sandwich has about 20 g of protein.
It requires no cooking! Just mix light canned tuna, some condiments, seasonings, raisins, carrots, and lemon juice.
Then refrigerate and top your favorite bread with it.
You can serve it as a regular or an open sandwich.
It is lunch made easy and delish!
With 20 g of protein, these 11-minute Greek eggs are something you will want to prepare often.
The recipe calls for olive oil, eggs, feta cheese, seasonings, tomatoes, garlic, and oregano.
Serve these spiced scrambled eggs with toast and some avocado hummus for a quick protein lunch meal.
17. Southwestern Chicken Wraps
These wraps have about 32 g of protein.
The recipe calls for rice, canned black beans, chicken, cheese, and tortillas.
Mix most of the ingredients together, wrap them into tortillas, and bake for 15 minutes.
Then serve with guacamole, sour cream, and these Mexican red pickled onions.
18. Cilantro Lime Chicken Bowl
With 45 g of protein, this cilantro lime chicken bowl will easily become a favorite protein-packed lunch!
Make it in 30 minutes with cauliflower rice, corn, canned black beans, and chicken breast.
Serve it with sliced avocados and enjoy the goodness!
Make this personal pizza with a few ingredients in just 15 minutes.
It contains 32 grams of protein and much flavor.
Grab some pita, spaghetti sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses, canned chicken, and pepperoni slices, and have much fun putting this pizza together.
It is one of those high-protein lunch meal preps that come together in a blink of an eye.
Make these no-cook wraps in just 15 minutes and enjoy 30 g of protein.
All that you have to do is mix together rotisserie chicken, tomatoes, corn, canned black beans, BBQ sauce and light ranch dressing, and cheddar and wrap the mixture into tortillas.
It is easy peasy and you will have a complete meal in no time.
This Mexican recipe calls for cooked shrimp in a spicy, tangy, and chunky vegetable salsa that is ready in just 15 minutes.
It is versatile because you can serve it as an appetizer or a quick lunch with some tortilla chips.
It is no-cook and has 13 g of protein!
How to Store High-Protein Meal Preps
Store high-protein meal preps in airtight containers for 2-3 days in the fridge. Freeze the prepared lunch meals to eat later during the week.
Reheat them before eating!
Other Meal Ideas:
- 75 Easy Dinner Ideas
- 80 Low-Calorie Dinners
- 30 Quick and Easy Low-Carb Dinners
- 45 Easy Gluten-Free Dinners
- 70 Easy Chicken Recipes for Dinner
- 55 Beef Recipes for Dinner
- 85 Easy Freezer Meals
- 35 Easy Pantry Meals
PIN & ENJOY!
21 High-Protein Meal Preps Collection
- 1 Air Fryer, Instant Pot, or Pan
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Low Carb Sushi Bowl
- Norwegian Fish Soup
- Pizza a Portuguesa
- Black Bean Soup
- BBQ Chicken Salad Wraps
- Chicken Parmesan Pizza
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Bowl
- Southwestern Chicken Wraps
- Tuna Salad Sandwich
- Coctel de Camarones
- Breaded Tofu Strips
- Chicken Teriyaki Bento Box
- Greek Eggs Kayana
- Vegan Chili
- Instant Pot Chili
- Chicken Feta Spinach Burgers
- Balsamic Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- Smoked Salmon Salad
- Broccoli, Ham, and Cheese Pop Tarts
- Protein Overnight Oats
- Select your favorite high protein lunch recipe.
- Buy and gather all the required ingredients.
- Prep a high-protein lunch in 30 minutes or so!
- Store into containers, label, and either refrigerate (eating within 2 days) or freeze them (eating later during the week).
- Depending on the high protein lunch idea, reheat it before eating.
** Nutrition labels on easyanddelish.com are for educational purposes only. This info is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate, since the nutrition content of recipes can vary based on ingredient brand or source, portion sizes, recipe changes/variations, and other factors. We suggest making your own calculations using your preferred calculator, based on which ingredients you use, or consulting with a registered dietitian to determine nutritional values more precisely.
Please note that health-focused and diet information provided on easyanddelish.com is for educational purposes and does not constitute medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Consult with your doctor or other qualified health professional prior to initiating any significant change in your diet or exercise regimen, or for any other issue necessitating medical advice.
So many great meal prep recipes here, thank you for sharing one of mine!
Denise Browning says
Thank you for contributing a great recipe to our round-up for high-protein meal preps for lunch.
John / Kitchen Riffs says
A lot of terrific ideas here. A LOT!! Thanks.