40 high protein recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner - and everything in between

40 high protein recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner - and everything in between

If there's one macronutrient whose proverbial halo glimmers brightest in the world of fitness nutrition it is, undoubtedly, protein. (The others, carbohydrate and fat, of course, matter too.) That's why we're always on the look out for new and tasty ideas for high protein recipes.

Getting adequate protein on the daily is important (and always best done through high protein recipes comprised of actual whole foods, as opposed to protein powder and supplements), even for those who aren't currently lifting heavy.

But before we get into how much protein you need - and, the main event, delicious and cost-effective high protein recipes to help you hit your quota - lets break things down and get into a little nutritional science geekery.

Why do I need high protein recipes?

You’ve probably got some working understanding of why it's important to prioritise protein if you're looking to keep your appetite in check, with the ultimate goal of reaching a healthy weight.

You'll also probably understand why getting to grips with a number of high protein recipes is useful. But let's recap with the role that protein plays in muscle building and repair.

'Protein is a macronutrient that provides amino acids, which join together to create and maintain bone, skin, hormones and muscle,' explains Dr Graeme Close, professor of human physiology at Liverpool John Moore’s University.

'Think of them like Lego blocks. When the muscles are damaged through exercise, the Lego builders are ready to re-build, but they can only get to work if you give them blocks,’ he explains. Train muscle without adequate amino acids and you leave it with no option but to break down. ‘They’re so determined to build those muscular walls that they’ll break down existing muscle in order to access the amino acids required.'

So, focusing on increasing your protein intake as you increase your body's training is a no-brainer. But protein is also important for keeping bones strong and appetites satiated (read: comfortably full and not scouting for unhealthy snacks).

How much protein do I need?

Recommended amounts of protein vary depending on lifestyles but, according to the NHS website, the reference nutrient intake (RNI) is 0.75g of protein per kilogram of body weight for adults.

This averages approximately 46g per day, which is the equivalent of two pieces of salmon. Though, some performance nutrition specialists recommend people doing regular strength training workouts opt for a little more.

You should aim to consume around 25-35g of protein per meal for optimum muscle build and repair. The general consensus is that any more than that amount of protein in a high protein meal will essentially be flushed out as waste.

High protein recipes: what counts?

Despite the boom in high protein snacks, registered nutritionist Jenni Gough recommends you opt for home-cooked high protein meals rather than reaching for highly processed options.

Sure, protein shakes and bars and balls have their place, but your best bet for getting enough protein is to build a repertoire of healthy, versatile high protein meals - suitable for various times of the day.

(Remember: going large on the macronutrient at dinner, after not getting any protein at breakfast or lunch, could mean that those amino acids go down the toilet, instead of to your muscles.)

40 high protein recipe ideas for high protein meals

Ready to fire up some seriously tasty high protein recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Keep scrolling—WH has 40 just for you.

(Koval Nadiya - Getty Images)

High protein recipes that are also affordable and simple to prepare. Cook for fullness or muscle repair - we've got your meals sorted.