Low Calorie High Protein Meals

30 Low Calorie High Protein Meals: Tasty Recipes for a Healthier You

30 Low Calorie High Protein Meals: Tasty Recipes for a Healthier You

Eating more low calorie high protein meals is an excellent way to manage your weight while feeling satisfied and energized. Foods higher in protein paired with lower overall calories can help facilitate safe, sustainable weight loss through increasing satiety, preserving lean body mass, boosting fat burning, and supporting an efficient metabolism. This article will provide 30 nutritious and delicious low calorie high protein meals ideas to enjoy as part of a healthier lifestyle.

Key Takeaways about Low Calorie High Protein Meals
Key Takeaways about Low Calorie High Protein Meals


  • Replacing higher calorie foods with low calorie high protein meals promotes weight loss by boosting metabolism, reducing appetite, and burning more calories.
  • We list 30 satisfying high protein breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack ideas that are 300 calories or less per serving.
  • Recipes feature lean proteins like chicken, fish, eggs, Greek yogurt, beans, lentils, and tofu.
  • Tips are provided to modify meals for higher protein or lower calories.

Why Focus on  Low Calorie High Protein Meals?

There are several evidence-based health and weight loss benefits associated with building your diet around 30 low calorie high protein meals, including:

  1. Increased Fullness and Reduced Hunger

Foods higher in protein increase levels of satiety hormones like GLP-1, peptide YY, and cholecystokinin. This leads to feeling fuller and more satisfied after eating. One study found that increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% of calories reduced late-night cravings by 50% and cut total calories by 441 per day. This helps create an easy calorie deficit.

  1. Preservation of Lean Muscle Mass

Higher protein intake provides amino acid building blocks that help maintain lean muscle mass. Many body processes also require amino acids. Consuming adequate protein while losing weight spares calorie-burning lean mass to a greater degree than low-protein diets.

  1. Boosting Metabolism

Protein has a high thermogenic effect compared to carbs and fat, meaning your body uses more energy to digest it. One study showed consuming 30% vs. 15% of calories from protein increased calories burned by an extra 80-100 per day.

  1. Regulation of Blood Sugar Levels

Replacing refined carbs with protein helps moderate blood sugar spikes and crashes, leading to steadier energy, mood, and cravings. The amino acids in protein foods slow digestion, keeping you satisfied longer.

  1. Effective Weight Loss

Due to the synergistic effects of increased satiety, sparing metabolism boosting muscle, and burning more calories digesting protein foods, focusing on 30 higher protein, lower calorie meals support safe, sustainable long-term weight loss.


30 Low Calorie High Protein Meals


Here is a list of 30 low calorie high, protein meal ideas:

  1. Greek yogurt with berries and almonds
  2. Egg white veggie omelet
  3. Tuna salad stuffed with tomatoes
  4. Turkey burger with veggies
  5. Chicken veggies stir fry.
  6. Protein oatmeal with almond milk
  7. Smoked salmon and goat cheese on toast
  8. Tofu veggie scramble
  9. Lentil spinach soup
  10. Edamame avocado toast
  11. Cottage cheese with melon
  12. Chicken zoodle soup
  13. Grilled shrimp salad
  14. Tuna lettuce wraps
  15. Vegetarian chili
  16. Turkey taco lettuce wraps
  17. Greek yogurt parfait
  18. Roasted chickpeas
  19. Protein pancakes with Greek yogurt
  20. Open-faced BLT sandwich
  21. Chicken cauliflower fried rice
  22. Tilapia with broccoli
  23. Veggie frittata
  24. Black bean quinoa bowls
  25. Greek yogurt chicken salad
  26. Lentil Bolognese with zoodles
  27. Tuna stuffed avocado.
  28. Egg salad stuffed peppers.
  29. Protein overnight oats
  30. Tofu broccoli stir fry


Satisfying  Low Calorie High Protein Meals Ideas Under 300 Calories

Low Calorie High Protein Meals Ideas Under 300 Calories
Low Calorie High Protein Meals Ideas Under 300 Calories

Here are 30 delicious high protein meal ideas, all around 300 calories or fewer per serving to aid your weight loss goals. Many links to full recipes.

Breakfast Low Calorie High Protein Meals Ideas

Breakfast Low Calorie High Protein Meals Ideas
Breakfast Low Calorie High Protein Meals Ideas


Start your day off right with a satisfying low calorie high protein breakfast under 300 calories.

Meal Protein (g) Calories
Veggie egg white omelet 26 133
Greek yogurt berry protein bowl 15-20 180
Smoked salmon toast 15 190
Protein banana almond pancakes 20 215
Breakfast tofu veggie scramble 15 140
Spinach artichoke egg bake 20 290
Veggie egg muffins 15 195
Peanut butter protein oats 15 250

Pro Tip!

Adding 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese or 1-2 eggs boosts protein easily.

Other Breakfast Options:

  • Burrito with eggs, spinach, salsa, and Greek yogurt (25g protein, 295 calories)
  • Overnight oats with cottage cheese and berries (18g protein, 220 calories)
  • Tofu veggie breakfast hash (15g protein, 190 calories)

Lunch Low Calorie High Protein Meals Ideas

Lunch Low Calorie High Protein Meals Ideas
Lunch Low Calorie High Protein Meals Ideas

Keep protein levels high and calories low at lunch with these under-300-calorie meal ideas.

Meal Protein (g) Calories
Turkey avocado wrap 23 280
Lentil veggie soup 15 210
Tuna salad lettuce wraps 22 230
Chicken celery salad 30 210
Leftover dinner salad 20 250
Edamame avocado toast 10 190

Pro Tip!

Pure chickpeas or edamame in chicken/tuna salads instead of mayo for extra protein.

Other Lunch Options:

  • Veggie quinoa salad with beans (15g protein, 220 calories)
  • Egg salad stuffed tomato (18g protein, 195 calories)
  • Open-faced BLT sandwich (15g protein, 270 calories)

Dinner Low Calorie High Protein Meals Ideas

Dinner Low Calorie High Protein Meals Ideas
Dinner Low Calorie High Protein Meals Ideas

Finish your day strong with a delicious high protein dinner.

Meal Protein (g) Calories
Lemon garlic tilapia 30 180
Turkey Bolognese zucchini noodles 25 295
Veggie fajita bowls 20 280
Greek chicken skewers 27 225
Tofu broccoli stir fry 15 175
Veggie chili 15 265

Pro Tip!

Mix lentils, beans, or tofu into soups/casseroles for an extra protein punch.

Other Dinner Options:

  • Shrimp cauliflower fried rice (20g protein, 290 calories)
  • Veggie & bean enchiladas (15g protein, 270 calories)
  • Taco salads with turkey (25g protein, 280 calories)

Simple Snack & Dessert Low Calorie High Protein Meals Ideas

Incorporate high protein snacks and lighter sweets to prevent cravings between meals.

Snack Protein (g) Calories
cottage cheese and berries 15 120
edamame pods 10 120
Greek yogurt with almonds 15 150
turkey roll-ups 10 60
protein shake 15-25 100-200


Dessert Protein (g) Calories
protein mug cake 15 180
chocolate peanut butter protein balls 5 65
Greek yogurt parfait 15 145

Tips for Preparing Satisfying Low Calorie High Protein Meals

Follow these tips to make meals higher in protein with fewer calories easily:

Choose Leaner Protein Sources

Choose  lean meats like:

  • Chicken or turkey breast
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Top sirloin or 90%+ lean ground beef
  • Fish and shellfish like tilapia, tuna, salmon, shrimp
  • Egg whites or whole eggs
  • Beans, lentils, edamame
  • Tofu, tempeh
  • Greek yogurt

Trim any visible fat before cooking meats to further reduce calories.

Increase Non-Starchy Vegetables

Pile your plate high with:

  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Leafy greens like spinach and kale
  • Asparagus
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Mushrooms, etc.

The extra fiber boosts satiety, so you eat less overall.

Choose Lower Carl Side Dishes

Swap out carby sides for:

  • Cauliflower rice
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Zucchini noodles
  • Steamed veggies instead of grains

You’ll save 100+ calories per serving.

Limit High Calorie Sauces and Condiments

Avoid creamy, cheese-based sauces and limit oils. Flavor foods with:

  • Salsa Verde
  • Mustard
  • Hot sauce
  • Herbs and spices
  • Vinegar like balsamic
  • Broths
  • Lemon/lime juice

Cook with Healthy Fats

Sautee or roast veggies in:

  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Coconut oil

Measure oil when cooking to control portions.

Flavor Foods with Herbs and Spices

Explore flavorful additions like:

  • Oregano
  • Cinnamon
  • Curry powder
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Red pepper flakes

Zero calories but big flavor!

Pay Attention to Portions

Weigh and measure higher calorie ingredients like oils, nut butter, cheese, and grains and minimize when possible.

Plating meals on smaller plates tricks your brain into thinking portion sizes are bigger than they are.

Conclusion on High Protein, Low Calorie Meals for Weight Loss

There are many evidence-based benefits to centering your diet around 30 low calorie high protein meals for supporting a healthy weight and body composition. Protein is the king of nutrients when it comes to staying satisfied with fewer calories.

Low Cal High Protein Meals beat cravings and fuel lean muscle. Boost metabolism and lose weight without deprivation. Try our 30 tasty recipes—your body will thank you for the healthy choice!

FAQs about Low Calorie High Protein Meals


Here are the common frequently asked questions about Low Calorie High Protein Meals and the best answers for them.

What foods are high in protein but low in calories?

Some successful options that give you a lot of protein for minimal calories include:

  • Lean meat like chicken or turkey breast, pork tenderloin, fish like tuna and tilapia, shrimp, and egg whites. Go for boneless, skinless cuts.
  • Greek yogurt packs up to 20 grams of protein per serving, nearly triple what’s in regular yogurt! Plus, it’s thick and creamy. I love mixing in some berries or making overnight oats with it instead of milk.
  • Beans, lentils, and soy foods like edamame and tofu are plant proteins that give you plenty of protein without tons of calories or fat. My plant fives are black beans, chickpeas, green lentils, and tofu!
  • Low-fat cottage cheese is another winner, with even a half cup providing 14 grams of protein. Plus, it’s a successful base for sweet snacks and meals.

So, your best bet overall? Focus on getting protein from lean meats, seafood, eggs, yogurt, beans/lentils and soy products if you’re watching calories!

How can I get 40g of protein in a meal?

No problem getting to 40g protein in one meal with some strategic food choices:

  • 6 ounces of lean chicken or fish has about 40 grams of protein.
  • You could also do 8 egg whites (5 whole eggs contain the same protein as that)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt adds about 20 grams of protein to pair with lean meat or eggs
  • Have a plant-based meal with 3/4 cup beans/lentils + 1/2 block firm tofu or tempeh
  • Protein powder is useful, too – 2 scoops can provide up to 40g of protein

I’d suggest rounding out any of these combos with veggies and/or fruit instead of high-carb sides to keep calories in check!

How can I get 30g of protein every meal?

Getting about 30 grams of protein per meal is very doable. Here are some simple combos:

  • 4 ounces chicken, fish, or lean meat + 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 whole eggs plus 2 egg whites OR 1 whole egg + 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup lentils OR black beans plus 4 ounces tofu or tempeh
  • Protein oatmeal made with scoop powder, Greek yogurt, eggs, nut butter
  • Protein smoothie with 2 scoops powder, Greek yogurt, and your milk/milk alternative of choice

Season and sauce proteins simply with spices, herbs, mustards, etc. Pair with low-carb vegetable sides versus grains or starchy veggies instead. Easy peasy 30g protein meals!

How can I get 40 grams of protein for breakfast?

As important as protein is, getting enough with breakfast can be tough for some. My top tips:

  • Make a protein-packed smoothie with 2 scoops powder, Greek yogurt, nut butter, and milk/milk sub
  • Cook up a big scramble with 6 egg whites or 3 whole eggs and lots of veggies
  • Layer high protein ingredients into a breakfast bowl: think Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, nut butter, etc., topped with seeds, nuts, granola, and fruit
  • Bake a high-protein muffin tin frittata with plenty of egg whites and lean meat/vegetable mixes.
  • Overnight oats give you lasting energy – make them extra protein-rich in protein powder, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and nuts/seeds instead of plain milk.

Getting to 40g of protein at breakfast is possible by being creative with ingredients and combinations! Let me know if you need any specific recipe ideas.


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