45 Low Calorie High Protein Meals – You’ll Love #32

low calorie high protein meals

Eating low calorie high protein meals can make reaching or maintaining weight loss easier. In fact, maintaining a calorie deficit and ensuring you burn more calories than you consume is essential for weight loss.

Simply put, CALORIES MATTER! But so does protein!

Protein is filling, burns more calories during digestion, and helps you build muscle and increase your metabolism.

So, a diet high in protein that allows you to maintain a calorie deficit is a must for losing weight. But finding recipes low in calories and high in protein can be challenging. 

During my weight loss journey, I struggled to find good recipes to help me lose weight. While I did find many amazing recipes, I would often run into the following: 

  • The recipe didn’t have enough protein
  • The recipe was too high in calories and couldn’t fit into my daily calorie allowance
  • The recipe didn’t taste very good, or a combination of all 3

BUT, after a ton of searches, I found some great recipes that fit all 3 criteria: high in protein, low in calories, and taste AMAZING!

Many of these recipes are under 400 calories, some under 300, and a couple UNDER 200 calories! They are all super high in protein, most containing 20-40 grams, and even some having almost 50!

So get ready because I’m going to share 45 of the best low calorie high protein meals with you!

45 Low Calorie High Protein Meals

Stuffed baked potato on a wood tray - low calorie high protein meals vegetarian

Below, you will find 45 of the best recipes that are high in protein and low in calories. I include breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Let’s start with the first meal of the day–breakfast.

Meals for breakfast

1. Cinnamon Roll Protein Smoothie

Cinnamon breakfast smoothie  in a clear glass - high protein low carb foods

Love smoothies and cinnamon? If so, you’ll love this delicious smoothie recipe. It’s also such an easy way to get more protein.

With just 5 ingredients and 6 if you count the ice cubes, this Cinnamon Roll Protein Smoothie is budget-friendly, quick, easy to prepare, and delicious.

I use Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt for this recipe to get an extra high-protein breakfast. I also use Unsweetened almond milk and a protein powder with 25 grams of protein.

Check out this brand if you are looking for a good protein powder.

When made this way, this recipe has 265.5 kcal and a whopping 31 grams of protein. It’s the perfect way to start your day!

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 265.5 kcal Protein: 31g 

2. Cottage Cheese Egg and Sausage Frittata

Cottage Cheese Egg and Sausage Frittata in a cast iron skillet

If you love eggs, you’ll love this Cottage Cheese Egg and Sausage Frittata. Not only is it high in protein, but you also get some fiber from the spinach. 

It’s super simple to prepare, and you can have a high-protein breakfast on the table in less than 30 minutes. This recipe gives you 21.5 grams of protein for just 233 calories

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 233 kcal Protein: 21.5g

3. Avocado Smoothie

Avocado smoothie in mason jar - one of the best protein powder recipes

If you love avocados, you are going to love this delicious smoothie recipe. This weight loss smoothie is balanced and will keep you full for hours. It’s perfect for breakfast because it is high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats while low in calories.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 388.5 kcal Protein: 32.22 g 

4. Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Frittata

If you love hearty breakfasts, you’ll love this one. Not only is this recipe high in protein, but it also contains sweet potato and kale, making it a good source of fiber that will keep you full, so you’ll avoid unnecessary snacking.  

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 285 kcal Protein: 15g 

5. Low Calorie Mango Protein Smoothie Bowl for Weight Loss

low calorie high protein mango smoothie bowl

Low calorie high protein meals like smoothie bowls are great for fat loss. This Protein Smoothie Bowl is especially great because it has just 252 calories.

And not only is this recipe high in protein, but it’s also high in fiber to keep you full for hours. This recipe makes for a perfect breakfast but could really be eaten at any meal. 

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 252 kcal Protein: 17g 

6. Simple Vegan Omelet

For some, finding protein-rich food for vegetarians can be a bit challenging. But look no further; this vegan omelet is a great option regardless of whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, or if you eat meat.

It checks all the boxes for the perfect weight loss-friendly meal; it’s high in protein, low in calories, and super tasty. Plus, you also get some fiber from the veggies.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 232 kcal Protein: 22 g 

7. Chocolate Protein Overnight Oats

Do you love oats? What about chocolate? Have you ever thought about putting them together for an exciting treat?

Well, if this combination sounds good to you, then you have to check out this chocolate overnight oats recipe. It is super tasty, high in protein, low in calories (under 200), and super convenient.

You just make it the night before and then grab and go in the morning, which is perfect for those who don’t usually have time to make breakfast.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 191 kcal Protein: 18.2 g 

8. Protein Chia Seed Cereal

Protein Chia Seed Cereal in a wooden bowl

This chia seed cereal recipe has got to be one of the best low calorie high protein meals for weight loss.

Why?

This recipe has a whopping 29 grams of protein with just 318 calories. Not only is it high in protein, but it’s also high in fiber and healthy fats–the perfect combination for accelerated weight loss.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 318 kcal Protein: 29 g 

9. High Protein Egg White Muffins with Turkey Bacon

When looking for the best low calorie high protein meals, especially for breakfast, you will naturally find many egg recipes because they provide such a good source of protein. 

But some people don’t love the yolk or may simply wish to refrain from it for health reasons. If that is you, you’ll love these egg white muffins with turkey bacon. 

Did you know that most of the protein from eggs comes from the whites? While both parts of the egg contain ample protein, egg whites do contain more.

A large egg has about 6 grams of protein, with 2.7 grams from the yolk and the other 3.6 grams coming from the whites.

Personally, I prefer egg whites because they are low in calories and high in protein. They are also great if you have been advised by a health professional to eat fewer eggs due to high cholesterol. But even without any restrictions, you’ll love this super tasty recipe. 

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 144 kcal Protein: 20 g 

10. Sweet Potato Hash Protein Bowl

Looking for a hearty breakfast that doesn’t include eggs? Check out this sweet potato hash protein bowl. It’s super delicious, high in protein, and low in calories, just 251 calories per serving!

And that’s not even all. You also get a good source of fiber. With this combination of macronutrients, you are sure to feel full for hours! 

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 251 kcal Protein: 16 g 

11. Strawberry Protein Shake

Strawberry Protein Shake in a tall glass for low calorie high protein meals

If you love strawberry cheesecake, you’ll love this smoothie recipe. It’s like having dessert for breakfast, but a dessert that is actually good for you. 

In fact, this recipe is actually one of the best low-calorie high-protein meals because, at just 206 calories, you get 19 grams of protein! 

Also, this strawberry protein shake provides a good source of fiber, making it even more filling! And even if you are not a breakfast person, give this shake a try because it’s really like starting your day with a healthy, sweet treat.  

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 206 kcal Protein: 19 g 

12. High Protein French Toast With Chocolate And Peanut Butter

If you love French toast but want to kick up the flavor a notch or a couple of notches, then you need to try this recipe! 

Now, of all the low calorie high protein meals for weight loss, this recipe does have a bit more calories. It has 454 calories, but you get 32.9 grams of protein, so it’s well worth the extra calories if it fits into your target daily calorie intake.

If you’re trying to lose weight but need to figure out how many calories to consume for weight loss, check out this post. 

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 454 kcal Protein: 32.9 g 

13. Banana Oatmeal Protein Pancakes {Gluten Free}

Banana Oatmeal High Protein Pancakes stacked on a plate

Have you ever had banana pancakes? Super yummy! Not only do these pancakes taste great and are high in protein, but they are also high in fiber due to ingredients like bananas and oats. 

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 355 kcal Protein: 17 g 

14. Peanut Butter and Jelly Overnight Oats

Are you a fan of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? I love a good P&J, especially on a bagel. Peanut butter has many benefits and can be quite weight-loss-friendly.

It’s high in protein, fat, and fiber. And a meal that is high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats can help keep you full longer, leading to less eating. 

So, what makes this overnight oats recipe so special?

This recipe is perfect because it is very reminiscent of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich but higher in protein and has many good-for-you ingredients. It’s also super balanced and is extremely high in fiber, containing a whopping 17 grams.  

Like protein, there is definitely a correlation between fiber and weight loss. Some studies have shown that people who follow a high-fiber diet have a better chance of achieving weight loss success. So, in addition to increasing your protein intake, increasing your fiber can be very helpful for many reasons, including weight loss.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 402 kcal Protein: 19 g 

And there you have it, the best protein foods for breakfast! 

High protein low calorie meals for lunch

15. Healthy Chicken Burrito Bowl Recipe {LOW CALORIE}

Chicken burrito bowl - low calorie high protein meals

If you love yourself some chipotle, this healthy chicken burrito bowl might be the perfect low-calorie substitute.

It is UNDER 400 calories and contains…WAIT FOR IT, 34.8 grams of protein. This is the ideal meal to help you increase your daily protein intake.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 399 kcal Protein: 34.8 g 

16. Teriyaki Chicken Lettuce Wraps (Low Calorie)

This teriyaki chicken lettuce wrap is perfect for those looking for low-carb, low-calorie, high-protein meals. It’s not only super low in calories and high in protein, but it’s also low in carbs.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 161 kcal Protein: 22 g 

17. Low Calorie Chicken Pho (30-Minute recipe)

chicken pho in a white bowl

If you love Vietnamese takeout but have been trying to avoid ordering out, this recipe might be just what you’ve been looking for. 

This chicken pho recipe has just 262 calories and, wait for it, 40.9 grams of protein! And the best part is you can whip up this recipe in 30 minutes, the time it would probably take you to drive to and from your favorite restaurant. 

And it’s truly one of the best high-protein meals because you get so much protein and taste for so few calories. 

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 262 kcal Protein: 40.9 g 

18. Teriyaki Turkey Meatball Meal Prep Lunch

With a whopping 42.3 grams of protein, this delicious low-calorie, high-protein meal prep is a must-have if you find it challenging to quickly get a healthy, high-protein meal on the table.

It’s a great time saver and a great meal to prepare ahead of time for a super convenient lunch or dinner. Just pick a day to meal prep and pop it in the microwave when you are ready to eat. 

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 345 kcal Protein: 42.3g

19. Citrus Grilled Shrimp and Zoodles {Paleo, Whole30}

shrimp and zoodles in a white serving dish one of the best low calorie high protein meals

If you love shrimp and pasta but want a lower-carb option, try this citrus-grilled shrimp and zoodles recipe. Instead of regular pasta, you use zucchini to make zoodles for an easy faux pasta that makes for the perfect low carb high protein meal.

Get the recipe here

Calories: 338 kcal Protein: 25 g

20. Hummus and chicken wrap (quick, healthy, adaptable)

Looking for low calorie packed lunch ideas for grab and go lunches? Well, this hummus wrap is the perfect grab-and-go lunch.

Not only does this recipe make for a convenient lunch, but it fits the 3 criteria for the perfect weight loss-friendly lunch: delicious, high in protein (32 grams), and low in calories. 

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 335 kcal Protein: 32.6 g

21. Citrus Shrimp and Avocado Salad

This recipe is one of my favorite low calorie high protein meals because it has 2 of my favorite foods, shrimp and avocados.

If you are a big shrimp lover like me, you will love this one. It tastes AMAZING, is super high in protein, and has under 400 calories.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 374 kcal Protein: 31 g

22. Papaya Smoothie For Weight Loss

Papaya smoothie in a tall glass

Ok, so I know what you’re thinking, smoothie for lunch? Yes, smoothies can be used as meal replacements for any meal, not just breakfast. As long as they are balanced, smoothies can act as meal replacements. 

What does a balanced meal look like? You will know you have a balanced meal when it contains all 3 macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. 

For weight loss, you should focus on protein, carbs high in fiber, and healthy fats. 

This papaya smoothie is high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats, and it’s great when you need to prepare a quick lunch.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 382 kcal Protein: 28.56 g

23. Easy Black Bean Soup

bowl of black bean soup is one of the top low calorie high protein meals

Nothing is more comforting on a cold day than a hot bowl of soup. But the truth is a good bowl of soup is great any time, any season. I also love the simplicity of this soup recipe, as it’s super easy to prepare. 

Besides being super yummy, this black bean soup is extra special because it has as much fiber as protein–26 grams of both! So expect to feel extremely satisfied and full for hours!

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 428 kcal Protein: 26 g

24. Chilled Italian Shrimp and Tortellini Salad

Here is another great recipe for the shrimp lovers out there! It’s a pasta dish. And YES, you can eat pasta and still lose weight!

I love this recipe because it’s really great for lunch as it is served chilled. But you could also eat it warm.

As far as low-calorie, high-protein meals go, this one is top-tier. It has just 366 calories and almost 40 grams of protein, 37 to be exact! 

Get the recipe here

Calories: 366 kcal Protein: 37 g

25. Avocado Chicken Salad

Sometimes, simple is just better when trying to figure out what to eat for more protein. This avocado chicken salad is a simple way to increase your protein intake. I especially love this recipe because it has just 295 calories while still providing 22 grams of protein.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 295 kcal Protein: 22 g

26. Smoked Salmon Salad

This smoked salmon salad is the perfect high protein low calorie meal. It’s super easy because you are not really cooking anything besides the eggs. You are simply assembling everything for a quick and easy high-protein meal.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 341 kcal Protein: 23 g

27. High Protein Chili {Kid-friendly, Slow Cooker}

low calorie high protein bowl of chili

This high-protein chili recipe is an excellent dish for the entire family. As noted in the title, it’s super kid-friendly for those picky eaters. 

It’s also delicious and super comforting, especially on a cold evening. And as far as meals high in protein and low in calories go, this recipe fits perfectly. It has just 384 calories with a whopping 36 grams of protein.  

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 384 kcal Protein: 36 g

High protein meals low in calories for dinner

28. Chicken Enchilada Soup 

Cozy up to this chicken enchilada soup recipe, the perfect end to a busy day. This soup is so yummy! Not only does it taste amazing, but it’s also low in calories and high in protein (41 grams, to be exact!) And last but certainly not least, it takes just 30 minutes to prepare!

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 386 kcal Protein: 41 g

29. Skinny Cobb Salad

Do you love a good Cobb salad? If so, you’ll love this lighter version (not lite on taste, just calories!) This recipe is the epitome of low calorie high protein meals. It has, WAIT FOR IT…41 grams of protein, coming in at just 385 calories! 

Get the recipes here.

Calories: 385 kcal Protein: 41 g

30. Spicy Cajun Shrimp, Kale + Cauliflower rice 

This spicy Cajun shrimp recipe is amazing for so many reasons. It is super delicious and has one of the highest protein content on this list. It’s also super low in calories.

But how much protein are we talking about? 

This recipe has 48 grams of protein! And you would think it would be on the higher side of calories, but it has only 322 calories. But that’s not all; you also get a decent amount of fiber.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 322 kcal Protein: 48 g

31. Healthy Chicken Quesadillas

chicken quesadillas on round wooden cutting board

Who doesn’t love quesadillas? Especially when they have just 313 calories and provide 27 grams of protein, the perfect high protein low calorie meal. 

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 313 kcal Protein: 27 g

32. Turkey Bolognese (30 minute recipe) – One of my favs

Turkey Bolognese one of the best low calorie high protein meals

If you’re looking for a delicious meal that is low in calories and high in protein, you’ll love this recipe! This is one of my favorites because it is absolutely delicious and a quick way to get a comforting meal on the table in just 30 minutes.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 356 kcal Protein: 27.8g

33. Southwestern Chicken Casserole

chicken casserole in a white dish

Who doesn’t love a good chicken casserole? What I especially love about this recipe, besides the taste, is that it’s not only high in protein and low in calories but also high in fiber (it contains 12 grams). 

This combination of macronutrients makes for a very balanced meal that can keep you full after dinner, making it less likely for you to snack unnecessarily. 

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 366 kcal Protein: 27 g

34. Garlic Butter Steak Bites

Sometimes, people think steak is off the table when trying to lose weight. But steak is super high in protein. This recipe has almost 50 grams of protein

But as far as whether red meat should be a part of your diet, many experts say it’s perfectly fine in moderation.

Too much red meat has been shown to increase the risk for several conditions, including cardiovascular disease. That said, it’s best to focus on choosing lean cuts like top round roast, bottom round roast, filet mignon, shank, and top sirloin. 

While this recipe doesn’t call for a specific cut, I recommend choosing a leaner cut like the ones mentioned above to reduce the saturated fat. Also, choose grass-fed when possible as they have less fat and are healthier for you. 

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 387 kcal Protein: 49.1 g

35. High-Protein Chickpea Chicken Soup

High protein chickpea chicken soup and one of the best low calorie high protein meals

There’s nothing like a good hot bowl of chicken soup. Chicken soup is good anytime but can be extremely comforting on cold days or when you’re feeling under the weather. But it’s also great for weight loss. Because this recipe has just 284 calories with 26 grams of protein.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 284 kcal Protein: 26 g

36. Baked Chicken Breast (tender, juicy and delicious!)

So it wouldn’t be a weight loss-friendly list of low calorie high protein meals without a baked chicken recipe or two on this list.

This baked chicken breast recipe has just 217 calories per serving, leaving room to pair it with your favorite side dish.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 217 kcal Protein: 24 g

37. Easy Mexican Tuna Salad

If you’re looking for a recipe you can throw together without having to cook anything, this is the perfect recipe for you. This super easy no-cook recipe is super high in protein, containing 38 grams. It also provides a good source of fiber and is low in carbs for those watching their carb intake.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 379 kcal Protein: 38 g

38. Spicy Ground Turkey and Green Bean Stir-fry

I love the simplicity of this meal. You can create a delicious high-protein meal in just 3 easy steps. And when I say high protein, I mean HIGH protein! 

This recipe has 39 grams of protein with just 294 calories. I also like that you get some fiber from the green beans, so try it for a quick but tasty meal.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 398 kcal Protein: 33 g

39. Creamy Salmon Pasta

If you like salmon and want to feel like you’re indulging, check out this creamy salmon pasta recipe. 

It’s super creamy and just delicious! This recipe does have a bit more calories. It has 482 calories, which is still considered pretty low, but it is one of the higher-calorie meals on this list.

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 482 kcal Protein: 35 g

40. Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

chicken fried rice in a black bowl

If you love Chinese food takeout, you’ll love this healthier, low-calorie, high-protein version of chicken fried rice. It has under 400 calories and 25 grams of protein!

Get the recipe here.

Calories: 360 kcal Protein: 25 g

41. Healthy Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli

I love chicken and shrimp alfredo, but traditionally, they’re very high in calories. This healthy version is perfect when trying to lose weight. It’s super high in protein and has just 300 calories and 29 grams of protein. The perfect weight loss-friendly dinner meal.

Get the recipe here

Calories: 300 kcal Protein: 29 g

42. Healthy BBQ Chicken Thighs

Sometimes, you’re just in the mood for some barbecue chicken! This recipe allows you to enjoy barbecue chicken’s taste and protein content without the extra calories. 

Get the recipe here.

Calories 228 Protein 29.5 g

43. Low Calorie Creamy Pasta

low calorie high protein meals - creamy pasta for weight loss

Are you looking for a meatless pasta recipe that is also high in protein? Check out this low-calorie creamy pasta dish! It has 16 grams of protein, 370 calories, and 7 grams of fiber. And the best part is you can whip up this delicious filling meal in just 20 minutes.

Get the recipe here.

Calories 370 Protein 16 g

44. Shrimp Avocado Salad

Shrimp and avocado–two of my favorite things! If you love shrimp and avocado, you should definitely give this recipe a try. 

Of all the low calorie high protein meals, this is one of my favorites; besides the fact it tastes incredible, it’s so easy to prepare.

In about 10 to 15 minutes, you can have dinner on the table, which is super helpful on days you don’t really feel like cooking. 

It has 363 calories and 25 grams of protein. It also provides an excellent source of fiber. 

Get the recipe here.

Calories 336 Protein 25 g

45. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Black Beans and Quinoa

How does quinoa and black beans stuffed in a sweet potato sound to you? If you said tasty, then you’ll want to check out this recipe.

It is meatless, so you may wonder if it is high in protein; the answer is yes: it has 16 grams of protein. It’s also high in fiber, containing 12 grams. So expect to feel full after this meal. It is truly the perfect vegetarian dish! 

Get the recipe here

Calories 401 kcal Protein 16 g

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you lose weight on a high-protein low calorie diet?

Yes, eating low-calorie, high-protein meals is an excellent strategy for weight loss. 

When it comes to weight loss, protein is king! Protein burns more calories. This is all based on the concept of the thermic effect of food.

The thermic effect of food basically measures the number of calories needed to digest the foods we eat. 

Of the 3 macronutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and fats, protein requires the most calories for digestion, requiring around 20-30%.

On the other hand, carbs require just 5-10% of calories, and fats require only about 0-3% of the calories consumed for digestion. 

Protein is also a building block for your muscles, and the more muscles you have, the more calories you burn. 

And lastly, protein is satisfying, i.e., it fills you up and allows you to stay full for longer, which can decrease future cravings, allowing you to eat less and making it easier to lose weight.

What foods are high in protein but low in calories?

high protein foods on a table

Some of the best foods high in protein but low in calories include eggs, specifically egg whites, chicken, turkey, shrimp, tuna, 0% fat Greek yogurt, whey protein powder, beans, salmon, and cottage cheese.

Of Course, there are many more, but these are a good start for getting more protein.

How can I get 30g of protein every meal?

Getting 30 grams of protein at every meal is really not that difficult. Plenty of meals on this list have 30 grams or more in protein but are also low in calories. 

Some of these recipes include Cinnamon Roll Protein Smoothie, which has 265.5 calories and 31 grams of protein; Avocado Smoothie, which has 388.5 calories and 32.2 grams of protein; Low-Calorie Chicken Pho, which has just 262 calories and a whopping 40.9 grams of protein. 

We also have the Healthy Chicken Burrito Bowl Recipe, which has 399 calories and 34.8 grams of protein. And these are just a few; so many more recipes on this list have over 30 grams of protein. 

How much protein should I eat to lose weight?

The amount of protein needed differs from person to person and is based on your body weight. The recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. 

So, if you are a 135 pound woman, your required amount is 48.6 grams ( 0.36 x 135) per day. Keep in mind this is the bare minimum requirement. 

However, when trying to lose weight, it is often recommended that you eat more, a lot more!

An expert recommends you aim for between .73 and 1 grams of protein per pound. So, for that same 135 pound woman looking to lose weight, she should aim for between 98.55 and 135 grams of protein daily.

What is a high protein breakfast?

An example of a high protein breakfast could be a high protein smoothie like a Cinnamon Roll Protein SmoothiePapaya Smoothie For Weight Loss, or simply 1 cup of egg whites. 

As mentioned earlier, egg whites give you a lot of protein for very few calories. One cup of egg whites contains 26 grams of protein for just 126 calories. 

Add some spinach and a slice of whole-grain toast for a complete high-protein, high-fiber, low-calorie meal.

I hope you found these 45 high-protein, low-calorie recipes helpful! Let me know your thoughts about them in the comments.

Other Posts You May Like:

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This post was all about the best low calorie high protein meals.

Dee
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