Losing weight and gaining muscle mass at the same time can be tricky, but it’s possible. Apart from having a tailored workout routine, you also need to have a high-protein, low-carb diet. Increasing your protein intake helps protect your muscles from breaking down. Check out these high-protein recipes for weight loss and muscle gain.
THE SEARCH IS OVER FOR THE BEST HIGH-PROTEIN RECIPES FOR WEIGHT LOSS
1. SMOKED SALMON AND SCRAMBLED EGGS ON TOAST
Start the day right by having smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast. As one of our recipes for weight loss and muscle gain, this morning meal has 20 grams of protein and 247 calories per serving. Salmon also has anti-inflammatory properties that can lessen muscle damage after exercise as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which help the body burn fat.
- 2 eggs
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted
- 1 (110g) slice smoked salmon, chopped
- 1/8 cup milk
- 1/4 tsp olive oil
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- Place eggs and milk in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine the ingredients.
- Heat olive oil in a medium non-stick pan over medium heat. Add egg mixture and scramble.
- Place scrambled eggs on top of toasted bread. Top with salmon. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
2. EGG WHITE FRITTATA WITH SPINACH AND MUSHROOMS
Egg white frittata with spinach and mushrooms is another breakfast offering we’ve included in our list of high-protein recipes for weight loss and muscle gain. This healthy recipe has 26 grams of protein — thanks to egg whites, spinach and mushrooms.
- 3 brown mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup egg whites, whisked
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
- a handful of fresh spinach
- salt, as needed
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven broiler.
- Cover the surface of a non-stick fry pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add mushrooms. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn mushrooms occasionally.
- Stir in spinach. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until spinach has wilted.
- Add egg whites, 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt to the pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until egg whites start to cook through.
- Transfer pan to the oven. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until eggs have puffed and are cooked through. Remove from heat.
- Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese on top of the frittata. Cut into wedges and serve.
3. CHICKPEA TUNA SALAD
Chickpea tuna salad is a perfect dish for lunch. Even though it’s a light offering, it’s packed with 27 grams of protein. Unlike most tuna salads, this recipe doesn’t use any mayonnaise. You’ll only consume 273 calories per serving. Thus, it’s a worthy addition to our list of high-protein recipes for weight loss and muscle gain. Tuna is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which fights inflammation and enhances muscle growth.
- 1 (420g) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 (170g) can wild albacore tuna, drained
- 2 tbsp red onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp capers
- 2 tbsp caper brine
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- a handful of lettuce, chopped
- Place chickpeas, tuna, red onion, capers, caper brine and red wine vinegar in a large bowl. Stir to combine the ingredients. Add more brine and vinegar if needed.
- Place lettuce on a plate. Top with chickpea tuna salad. Serve.
4. SALMON AND BEETROOT SANDWICH
If you want a more substantial offering for lunch, try this salmon and beetroot sandwich recipe. As part of our high-protein recipes for weight loss and muscle gain, this delicious sandwich has 455 calories and 35 grams of protein per serving.
It’s guaranteed to keep you full and nourished, even as you sweat it out at the gym. If you want less calories, you can easily turn this into an open-faced sandwich or use tortilla wraps instead.
- 454g wild-caught salmon fillets
- 8 slices rye bread
- 1 large carrot, cut into thin strips
- 1 lemon, zested
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 cup Greek yoghurt
- 1 cup sauerkraut
- 1/2 cup pickled beetroot slices
- 1/3 cup fresh dill
- 2 tbsp horseradish
- salt and pepper, as needed
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Season salmon with salt and pepper. Place on the baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.
- Remove salmon from the oven. Let cool for 10 minutes. Gently slice into chunks.
- Place lemon zest, Greek yoghurt, beetroot, dill and horseradish in the blender. Pulse until the mixture has a smooth texture.
- Brush beet mixture on both slices of bread. Put salmon, sauerkraut, carrots and arugula on top of one slice. Place the second slice on top to make a sandwich. Serve.
5. TURKEY CHILLI
My list of high-protein recipes for weight loss and muscle gain includes a healthy and satisfying chilli. This turkey chilli recipe is 336 calories per serving and has 31.8 grams of protein.
The delicious dish is packed with healthy and nutrient-dense ingredients. So, you’ll be strong and capable to power through your intense workout sessions. For those who prefer a milder dish, you can adjust the amount of chilli powder to your preferred spiciness level.
- 454g lean ground turkey
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 (420g) cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (790g) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (420g) can sweet corn, rinsed and drained
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 3 tbsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion and red bell pepper. Sauté, while stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add ground turkey to the pot. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat. Cook until turkey is no longer pink. Add chilli powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir for 30 seconds.
- Stir in tomatoes, kidney beans, corn and chicken broth. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat. Let simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until mixture thickens. Season with salt and other spices if needed.
- Transfer to a bowl and serve.
6. SALMON CURRY
This salmon curry recipe is perfect for when you want a protein-packed meal but don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. The delicious dish is 324 calories per serving and has 24 grams of protein. Thus, this salmon curry is a great addition to our list of high-protein recipes for weight loss and muscle gain. You’ll be able to enjoy your protein-packed meal in under 20 minutes.
- 2 (150g) wild-caught salmon fillets
- 1 cup Jasmine rice
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp Thai green curry paste
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp lime juice
- a pinch of salt
- Cook rice according to the package instructions.
- Heat a medium fry pan on high heat. Place salmon on the pan with the skin side down. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Flip the salmon and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat a non-stick saucepan on medium heat. Add curry paste and stir until fragrant.
- Stir in coconut milk until well-combined with the curry paste. Add fish sauce, lime juice and salt to the pan. Stir to combine all the ingredients.
- Place rice in a serving bowl. Top with curry sauce and salmon. Serve.
7. CHICKEN BURRITO BOWL
If you want to eat something colourful and appetising before your workout, try out this chicken burrito bowl. As part of my high-protein recipes for weight loss and muscle gain, this healthy dish is 565 calories per serving with a whopping 54 grams of protein. It’s a very substantial dish, so you’re sure to have enough energy and strength to go hard during your workout session.
- 340g boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 cups white or brown rice, cooked
- 1 cup lettuce, shredded
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1/3 cup no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup guacamole
- 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yoghurt
- 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 tbsp cilantro
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Mexican seasoning mix
- salt, as needed
- Place rice, cilantro, lime juice and salt in a large bowl. Toss to combine the ingredients.
- Heat olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Season chicken with your preferred Mexican seasoning mix. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until cooked through.
- Add black beans to the pan. Stir until warmed through. Remove from heat.
- Place rice in one portion of the serving bowl. Place the chicken and beans in another section. Similarly, place lettuce, guacamole, salsa and Greek yoghurt in different parts of the bowl.
- Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top. Serve.
8. ORANGE CHICKEN
If you want to maximise weight loss and muscle gain during your workouts, you’ll enjoy this simple but delicious orange chicken recipe. It’s only 290 calories per serving, but it comes with 53 grams of protein. So, even if you have a low calorie intake, the protein ensures that your muscle reserves won’t be used up by your body.
With these kinds of benefits, this orange chicken is a worthy addition to my list of high-protein recipes for weight loss and muscle gain.
- 454g boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
- 6 tbsp no-added-sugar orange marmalade
- 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp onion powder
- sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
- Combine orange marmalade, soy sauce and apple cider vinegar in a medium bowl.
- Heat olive oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle garlic powder and onion powder. Stir and cook until meat is white all the way through. Turn down the heat.
- Pour the orange sauce over the chicken. Gently toss to evenly coat the chicken with the sauce. Cover pan and let the sauce thicken.
- Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top if desired. Serve with lettuce, brown rice, cauliflower rice or your preferred side dish.
9. SHRIMP, KALE AND SWEET POTATO STIR FRY
Shrimp, kale and sweet potato stir fry is one of the simpler dishes on my list of high-protein recipes for weight loss and muscle gain. This recipe doesn’t need a lot of ingredients and it’s very easy to make.
It has 265 calories per serving with 32.1 grams of protein. So, you’re able to lower your caloric intake and lose weight. At the same time, the protein-packed dish strengthens and protects your muscles.
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups kale leaves, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups fresh shrimp
- 2 cups sweet potatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- a pinch of red pepper, crushed
- salt and ground black pepper, as needed
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions and pepper. Cook until onions are tender and golden.
- Add garlic to the pan. Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Stir in sweet potatoes. Cook until the sweet potatoes soften. Add shrimp to the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp turns pink.
- Reduce heat to low. Add kale leaves to the pan and stir until leaves are wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a platter and serve.
10. CHICKEN MEATBALLS
I’ve included a tasty and versatile dish in our list of high-protein recipes for weight loss and muscle gain. This chicken meatballs recipe goes well with salads, vegetables and grains, as well as a variety of sauces.
It’s a substantial meal at 519 calories per serving, but you also consume 57 grams of protein. Thus, these chicken meatballs are the perfect complement to your high-intensity workout session.
- 454g ground chicken
- 90g rolled oats
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 tsp ground allspice
- 2 tsp olive oil
- salt and ground black pepper, as needed
- Combine ground chicken, rolled oats, onions, allspice, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- Scoop out the meat mixture, one spoonful at a time, to form small balls. Repeat until the mixture is used up.
- Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the meatballs and fry until they are cooked through and golden brown.
- Transfer to a platter. Serve with your preferred side dish.
You’ll be able to reach your fitness goals at a much faster rate with these high-protein recipes for weight loss and muscle gain. I’ve introduced 10 different protein-packed dishes so you can have some variety in your meal plan. Some recipes you prepare for breakfast while others are suitable for light lunches.
There are also substantial dinners that can keep you strong and nourished. All these high-protein recipes are designed to supplement a high-intensity workout regimen. So, you’ll be able to lose weight and protect your muscle mass at the same time.