Low Carb, Vegan, and Paleo Recipes

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No matter what type of dietary pattern you choose to follow, getting enough protein every day remains essential.

Protein is crucial for your body’s immune response. In addition, following a higher protein diet may help you maintain a healthy body weight.

Protein is so important because it’s the most filling macronutrient — and that means it can help keep you feeling satisfied between meals (1).

A high protein diet may also help promote healthy blood sugar management, support skeletal health, and contribute to weight loss while preserving healthy muscle mass (2, 3, 4).

Fortunately, eating more protein can be a breeze as long as you choose the right recipes.

Here are 15 high protein meals that contain at least 20 grams of protein per serving.

If you’ve decided to start following a more plant-based diet, you may be concerned about getting enough protein.

However, as long as you’re following a balanced vegetarian diet rich in whole foods, getting enough protein could be easier than you may think.

Here are a few plant-based high protein meal ideas.

1. Overnight oats with protein powder

Overnight oats are a great option for those needing a quick breakfast on the go.

These Protein Overnight Oats pack in 22 grams of plant-based protein from oats, vegan vanilla protein powder, and chia seeds.

The best part overnight about oats is that you can tweak the recipe based on your preferences. If you’d like to add more protein, you can add a tablespoon of natural peanut butter, which provides an additional 3.6 grams of protein (5).

2. Poached egg Buddha bowls

Grain bowls are a good choice for lunch because they’re easy to make and to meal prep.

These Poached Egg Buddha Bowls combine high protein ingredients like wheat berries, poached eggs, and ricotta cheese with flavorful Greek olives and cherry tomatoes, providing 21 grams of protein per serving.

This recipe is a good choice for those who don’t eat meat but include eggs and dairy in their diet. If you follow a gluten-free diet, consider using a gluten-free grain like quinoa in place of the wheat berries.

3. Lentil chili

While most chilis contain ground beef, turkey, or chicken, this vegetarian-friendly Lentil Chili boasts an impressive 21 grams of protein from lentils and beans. It also contains cocoa powder, which gives the dish a deep, rich flavor.

Not only are lentils and beans an excellent source of plant-based protein, but they’re also rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

What’s more, research has linked diets high in beans and lentils with health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and colon cancer (6, 7).

This Lentil Chili is a delicious way to increase your intake of beans and lentils while fulfilling your daily protein needs.

People following high protein, low carb dietary patterns replace carb-rich foods with those higher in protein and fat.

There are many types of high protein, low carb diets, but most restrict carbohydrate intake to less than 26% of total calories — or less than 130 grams of carbs per day (8).

High protein, low carb diets emphasize protein-rich foods like eggs, chicken, and fish.

Here are a few high protein, low carb meal ideas.

4. Omelets

Omelets are a popular choice for those following high protein, low carb diets because they’re made with protein-rich eggs and can be customized based on your carb and protein needs.

One large egg contains 6.26 grams of protein, so an omelet made with 3 eggs would provide nearly 19 grams of protein (9).

To add even more protein, you can throw in ingredients like goat cheese and ground turkey. Don’t forget to add plenty of non-starchy vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, and tomatoes for added fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

5. Grilled salmon with avocado salsa

Salmon contains a ton of protein and healthy fats, which is exactly what people on high protein, low carb diets seek.

This salmon with Avocado Salsa recipe pairs grilled salmon with low carb ingredients like avocado and cherry tomatoes and packs in 25 grams of protein per serving and just 13 grams of carbs.

6. Stuffed chicken breasts

Chicken breasts are an excellent source of protein and pair well with low carb ingredients like cheese and non-starchy vegetables.

In this recipe, chicken breasts are stuffed with goat cheese and spinach and served atop a bed of caramelized onions and mushrooms.

With 28 grams of protein and just 5.8 grams of carbs per serving, this may become your new favorite high protein, low carb dinner.

People following vegan diets abstain from all animal products, which may make it a challenge to get enough protein.

However, you can create high protein vegan meals with the right ingredients.

Here are a few vegan meals that pack in plenty of plant-based protein.

7. Chocolate chia protein pudding

Chia seeds boast a filling combination of protein and fiber (10).

These tiny seeds take on a gel-like texture when combined with liquid, so you can make a creamy pudding that’s delicious any time of day.

This Chocolate Chia Protein Pudding is made with chia seeds, almond milk, vegan chocolate protein powder, and cacao powder — which is exceptionally high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds (11).

A serving of this chocolaty pudding contains an impressive 28 grams of plant-based protein. Plus, it takes only a few minutes to make. Try topping the pudding with some berries for a pop of natural sweetness.

8. Fall farro protein bowl

This vegan-friendly Fall Farro Protein Bowl has everything you want in a satisfying meal.

Combine high protein ingredients like chickpeas, farro, hummus, tempeh strips, and roasted almonds with arugula, roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, and mixed greens for a satisfying combination that’s sure to keep you full for hours.

This farro bowl provides 21 grams of protein per serving and takes just 45 minutes to prepare.

9. The ultimate vegan protein burrito

Beans, quinoa, hemp seeds, and sprouted grain tortillas push the protein content of these Ultimate Vegan Protein Burritos to 22 grams per serving.

Not only are these burritos brimming with protein, but they’re also an excellent source of healthy fat, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protective plant compounds — thanks to ingredients like avocado, cilantro, pico de gallo, and kale.

One of the star ingredients in this recipe, hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein for vegans, providing nearly 10 grams per 3-tablespoon (30-gram) serving (12).

The paleo dietary pattern excludes certain foods, such as refined grains, dairy products, and legumes, and emphasizes whole, nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables, fruits, seeds, fish, and eggs.

This diet may carry some health benefits, including improving some heart disease risk factors, such as high triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels (13, 14).

Here are a few ideas for high protein and paleo-friendly meals.

10. Sweet potato and turkey breakfast hash

When you’re craving a flavorful, filling paleo breakfast, a breakfast hash can make your morning.

This Sweet Potato and Turkey Breakfast Hash is made with nutritious sweet potatoes, apples, Brussels sprouts, and kale.

Unlike many other paleo-friendly breakfasts, this dish gets most of its 25 grams of protein from ground turkey.

This makes it a great breakfast choice for you if you have an allergy to eggs.

11. Guacamole chicken salad

This Paleo-Friendly Guacamole Chicken Salad is creamy, filling, and portable. You can make it in large batches and use it as a lunch option when you’re short on time.

Loaded with healthy fats from the avocados, this dish packs in 21 grams of protein per serving.

Try adding this chicken salad to a bed of greens and sprinkling on some pumpkin seeds for a simple salad. You could also pair it with plantain or sweet potato chips for a filling snack.

12. Paleo shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles

This veggie-heavy Paleo Shrimp Scampi recipe replaces spaghetti with zucchini noodles for a paleo-friendly dinner option.

Shrimp contain a lot of protein and are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals like B12 and selenium (15).

The dish contains 26 grams of protein per serving and takes just 35 minutes to prepare.

When you don’t have time to prepare a meal, quick meals — such as frozen dishes — can be a helpful option.

However, when purchasing quick meals, be sure to choose items that are nutritious and contain plenty of protein and fiber.

Here are a few options for heat-and-eat meals.

13. The Good Kitchen frozen meals

The Good Kitchen offers a variety of frozen, ready-to-heat meals that provide protein and nutritious ingredients.

These meals come in a variety of flavors, all of which are high in protein. For example, the Chili Lime Chicken provides 30 grams of protein, the Fennel Shrimp has 35 grams, and the Beef Taco Bowl has 39 grams.

14. True Primal soups

When you’re craving a quick but satisfying lunch, try out True Primal soups.

Their paleo-friendly, organic soups contain whole food ingredients that are high in protein.

Their Roasted Chicken Soup contains 26 grams of protein per serving from high protein ingredients like chicken bone broth and chicken breast.

15. Dr. Praeger’s All American Veggie Burgers

Unlike most other plant-based burgers, Dr. Praeger’s All American Veggie Burgers contain high amounts of protein. Each burger provides 22 grams of protein.

These burgers are made with pea protein, which is an excellent source of protein for those on plant-based diets.

Try popping one of these burgers on top of a salad or grain bowl for a filling plant-based meal.

Choosing high protein meals can help you meet your nutrition needs while feeling satisfied between meals.

You can likely find easy-to-prepare high protein recipes to suit any dietary preferences you may have.

Try out a few of the high protein recipes above when you’re craving a satisfying and healthy meal.

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