Whether you’ve been following a high-protein diet for a while or are looking to get started this week, we’ve put together a week of satisfying, protein-packed meals — all the way from breakfast through dinner — that you can prep in just one (two-hour) session. Here’s what we’re cooking.
My Meal Prep Goals
- Breakfast: Easy grab-and-go breakfasts that are filling enough to fuel busy mornings, thanks to a focus on protein (5 days).
- Lunch: High-protein lunches that provide a balance of carbs and fat to keep us full until dinner (5 days).
- Dinner: Dinners that are quick-cooking and focus on maximizing protein intake to finish out the day (5 days).
- Nutritional Goals: Well-balanced family meals that provide a hefty dose of protein throughout the day.
Meal Prep Plan Snapshot
- Feeds: 2 adults and 2 kids for breakfast and dinner, and 2 adults for lunch.
- Prep Time: About 2 hours.
- Meals Covered: About 80% (no weekend meals).
- Weeknight Cooking Required? Meal components are prepped, and dinners require about 30 minutes of mostly hands-off cooking.
My Meal Plan
- Cottage Cheese Muffins with Roasted Red Peppers and Feta
- French Ham and Cheese Baguette Sandwich
- Instant Pot Butter Chicken
- Tofu and Broccoli Salad with Peanut Butter Dressing with Baked Tofu
- Ground Beef Taco Casserole
- Stuffed Chicken Breast with Spinach and Cheese
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Vegetables
- Warm Fajita Steak Salad
My Shopping List
This is the list of ingredients that I bought or used for this week’s meal plan. I always shop my pantry and refrigerator before grocery shopping and rely on staples like vegetable and olive oils, kosher salt, and black pepper. This week I’m using a variety of spices to add flavor, many of which you probably have in your pantry already, so check there before heading to the grocery store. Note: In order to make enough muffins to last the week I plan to double the recipe.
- Produce: 1 avocado, 12 ounces broccoli slaw, 1 bunch chives, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 bunch parsley, 1 head garlic, 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, 1 lemon, 3 limes, 3 yellow onions, 1 red onion, 5 red or orange bell peppers, 1 small head red cabbage (or radicchio), romaine lettuce, 1 tomato, 3 zucchini, 1 (16-ounce) package extra-firm tofu
- Meat & Seafood: 3 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8), 1 pound flank steak, 1 pound lean ground beef, 1 to 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
- Dairy: Unsalted butter, cottage cheese, cream cheese, feta cheese, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 8 ounces thinly sliced Gruyère cheese, 10 large eggs, Greek yogurt or sour cream, almond milk
- Dry Goods: Cornichon pickles, roasted red peppers, Dijon mustard, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, smooth peanut butter, salsa, almond meal, cornmeal, cornstarch, baking powder, cayenne pepper, chili powder, dried basil, dried oregano, garam masala, garlic powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground turmeric, onion powder, paprika, smoked paprika, dark brown sugar, roasted peanuts, 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, coconut milk, 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, tomato paste, vinaigrette salad dressing, tortillas
- Bakery: Baguette
- Deli: 8 ounces unsmoked thinly sliced ham
- Freezer: 1 (10-ounce) box frozen spinach, shelled edamame, frozen rice or cauliflower rice
Power Hour: How I Get the Prep Done
- Cottage Cheese Muffins with Roasted Red Peppers and Feta. (Protein: 11 grams) Grab a breakfast muffin from the fridge and eat chilled, or slice in half and toast until warm. These muffins are packed with protein from cottage cheese and almond meal, keeping us full until lunch.
- Monday and Tuesday, French Ham and Cheese Baguette Sandwich: (Protein: 35 grams)
- Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Instant Pot Butter Chicken: (Protein: 36 grams) Heat the portioned butter chicken and serve with steamed rice or cauliflower rice.
- Monday, Tofu and Broccoli Salad with Peanut Butter Dressing with Baked Tofu: (Protein: 23 grams) Pull peanut dressing from the fridge to bring to room temperature for easy mixing. Prepare and bake the tofu as recipe instructs. Toss broccoli slaw and julienned bell pepper together; divide between serving bowls. Top with the baked tofu, crushed peanuts, and cilantro. Drizzle with the peanut sauce.
- Tuesday, Ground Beef Taco Casserole: (Protein: 30 grams) Take the baking dish out of the fridge while the oven heats to take the chill off. Bake, but remember it’ll probably take a few minutes longer than the recipe states because it is cold from the fridge and not carrying the residual heat of the stove. While it bakes, dice the tomato and pull the chopped lettuce and Greek yogurt or sour cream from the fridge. I like to serve a scoop of casserole on top of a bed of lettuce, while my kids use tortilla chips to scoop the casserole. And cheese — there’s gotta be extra shredded cheese.
- Wednesday, Stuffed Chicken Breast with Spinach and Cheese: (Protein: 62 grams) Cook the stuffed chicken breast in a skillet — I use my 12-inch cast iron skillet to give myself room to maneuver. I still have extra chopped romaine to use up this week, so I serve a simple salad with a store-bought vinaigrette.
- Thursday, Grilled Pork Tenderloin (Protein: 28 grams) with Grilled Vegetables: (Protein: 6 grams) Tonight’s dinner is my favorite of the week and it couldn’t be easier because it’s all made on the grill. Take the pork, vegetables, and the dressing out of the refrigerator before heating the grill to take the chill off. Make sure to shake the dressing well to emulsify.
- Friday, Warm Fajita Steak Salad: (Protein: 18 grams) Season and cook steak in a skillet, then set aside to rest. Cook the prepped onions and peppers in the same skillet. Divide romaine and cabbage between bowls and top with steak, onions, and peppers. My kids get a deconstructed salad and a quartered cheese quesadilla.
Power Hour Meal Prep is the series where we help you put it all together. We show you how to eat well during the week with an hour or two of Power Hour prep over the weekend. Every plan is different; mix and match to find your own personal sweet spot.
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