If you always find yourself hungry after meals or you want to stop yourself snacking throughout the day it might be time to up your protein levels. From chicken to lentils, we’ve rounded up some rather important foods packed full of protein which are perfect for munching on when you’re in need of that protein fix...
High protein foods and recipe ideas
If you always find yourself hungry after meals or you want to stop yourself snacking throughout the day it might be time to up your protein levels.
From chicken to lentils, we’ve rounded up some rather important foods packed full of protein which are perfect for munching on when you’re in need of that protein fix.
Protein plays a big part in our diets and is key to keeping us fuller for longer. The amount of protein we each need really depends on our age, current diet and general fitness levels. For example a teenage girl will need less protein in her diet in comparison to an adult woman, a man who exercises on a daily basis will need more protein than a man who doesn’t exercise daily or a person on a vegetarian diet is likely to need more protein than a person who eats meat.
Keeping this in mind, the average recommended daily intake (RDI) of protein for an adult woman is about 45 grams a day and the average for an adult man is about 55g. So, if you’re feeling the hunger and want to start eating a little healthier, it’s time to substitute some of those carbs for protein instead!
Click through to see all of our high protein foods and recipe ideas…
First on the list are lentils:
Protein per 100g: There is about 9g of protein in a 100g serving of lentils which is just about a fifth of your average RDI.
High protein recipes
- If you’re looking for something healthy and filling our lentil and pancetta warm salad is the perfect choice. Handful of lentils, diced pancetta and eggs makes this dish a protein feast.
- Our easy-to-make lentil and chickpea soup might not look the part, but it tastes delicious and is a great way of getting some protein into your diet at lunch time.
- Feed your whole family with a Moroccan red lentil and lamb stew. The lentils in this recipe provide most of the protein along with the tender chunks of lamb.
Healthy cooking tip: Cook your lentils in water with half a stock cube. It’ll add flavour to your lentils and you won’t need to add any extra salt to them afterwards.
- Burritos are a great choice if you're looking for something protein filled. A delicious mixture of minced beef and beans will keep you full most of the evening plus you can add nuts or seeds to the mix. The homemade guacamole will count towards your five-a-day too.
- Tender meatballs and soft cannellini beans make all the difference in our meatballs and beans in tomato broth recipe. Not only is it only 300 cals per portion, it's also full of protein too!
- Nothing beats a hearty bowl of warming chilli con carne. This dish includes minced beef and kidney beans. It's so filling that you might not need the rice or bread to serve.
- Turkey is just like chicken - full of protein. Our turkey curry is high in protein as it's packed full of turkey chunks and green beans too which have 1.8g of protein in a 100g serving.
- Our turkey hash cakes are just like fish cakes, swapping the fish for turkey instead. You can add ground nuts to the mix for even more protein. The yogurt dressing adds to the protein count too.
- If you want something light for lunch make it a turkey salad. Our recipe combines chunks of turkey with pecan nuts and blue cheese which are both packed with protein.
- Serve your salmon fillet on a bed of protein-packed beans. Our griddled salmon with white beans and bacon does exactly that with some small pieces of bacon scattered throughout for added flavour.
- If you fancy trying something different for lunch our Moroccan fish soup is sure to please. It combines fish with chickpeas (another source of protein) and veggies to make a light but filling dish.
- Add some spice to your fillet of cod with Antony Worrall Thompson's spiced cod and beans recipe. You get plenty of protein from the fish, beans and chorizo.
- Our Stilton, apple and walnut salad is the perfect example of how to make a healthy and protein packed dish in one. The walnuts add to the protein count and the apple and salad leaves count towards your five-a-day.
- If you're looking for something simple our cheese and ham omelette is sure to tick the box. Egg, ham and cheese are all packed with protein - add some veggies to make this dish a little healthier too.
- Treat the family to this hearty cheese, spinach and walnut pasta bake. The cheese and the walnuts provide the protein and the spinach adds some iron to the mix too. Cut the fat count by choosing skimmed milk and lower-fat cheese too.
- Give your salad a filling makeover by adding some chickpeas and tuna. Both are high in protein and will help you to stop snacking.
- Our delicious sausage and chickpea stew is sure to keep the whole family fuller for longer. Plus this dish is just bursting with flavour too. Warming, hearty and delicious - what more could you want?
- Our couscous, chickpea and salmon salad doesn't take long to make. Your source of protein in this dish is from the salmon and the chickpeas which when added together nearly make your RDI of protein.
- Smoked salmon and egg makes a delicious combination and is packed full of protein too. Add in some fresh asparagus spears and you've got a hearty brunch for the whole family. Try our smoked salmon and asparagus omelette.
- If you're bored of scrambled egg on toast jazz it up a bit like our scrambled egg and crab on garlic croutes recipe. The white crabmeat and the four eggs really up the protein count in this recipe.
- If you love making omelettes, you'll love making frittatas too. Whip up our mushroom and sausage frittata for a delicious lunch or light dinner. Served with some fresh salad leaves, you've got a dish which will keep you fuller for longer.
- Our chicken, pea and noodle salad recipe (pictured above) is oozing with protein from both the chicken and the toasted cashew nuts sprinkled throughout. You can adjust the quantities in this recipe too - the more nuts, the better!
- If you fancy trying something new why not make it our chicken tagine with couscous? The chicken and chickpeas are your main source of protein in this recipe and swapping rice for couscous makes this dish even healthier.
- Salads don't have to be plain and boring. Add some protein to the mix. Our big and tasty chicken Caesar salad is packed with chicken, egg and even bacon - it's a protein party on a plate!
- Quinoa and chicken make a delicious combination - and they're both full of protein. The quinoa will add a nutty texture to the dish and is perfect served with finely chopped veggies scattered throughout.
- Make a hearty sausage and lentil casserole to feed the whole family. Not only is this casserole full of protein-packed sausages and lentils, its also got plenty of quinoa in it too.
- It doesn't take much to make this lentil, squash and mushroom stew with quinoa. A creamy sauce, plenty of quinoa and lentils (your two main sources of protein) and some tender butternut squash chunks make this dish extra special.
- Our superfood salmon salad is bursting with protein and is a super healthy option at dinner time. The salmon, chopped nuts and mixed seeds provide most of the protein.
- If you fancy making something different, these seeded tuna fishcakes are sure to do the trick. Just serve with fresh salad leaves for lunch or dinner. The tuna and the mixed seeds will keep you fuller for longer.
- Stuffed peppers are just delicious and if you've never stuffed a pepper before now is your chance, stuff them with buts, seeds and whatever else tickles your fancy. You could even add mince to the mix for a pepper full of protein.
- Our Sichuan pork stir-fry recipe combines pork and handfuls of cashew nuts together to make a protein-packed dish. You could make this dish even healthier by swapping the rice for couscous or quinoa (another source of protien) instead.
- Paella is a great recipe when you're trying to get protein into your diet in bulk. Our traditional Spanish paella uses pork, chicken, chorizo and prawns which means you won't have to have a big portion and you'll be full to the brim in no time!
- Ditch the sauce and make this light and healthy pork and cashew nut stir-fry in just 25 mins. The more nuts you add, the better.
- Our Brazilian bean risotto is perfect for feeding the whole family at the weekend. The protein in this recipe is taken from the sausage, bacon, cheese and kidney beans - they'll be no room for dessert after this dish!
- Have you ever made a bean burger before? If you're looking for something with lots of flavour and protein, a bean burger is the perfect choice. Served with or without a bun and with some fresh salad leaves, our bean burger blends cannellini, butter and kidney beans together.
- Our hearty sausage and bean casserole only takes 40 mins to rustle up and it's a great way to get some veggies into your kids diet. The sausage and the bean combo add up to just under a half of your RDI of protein.