20+ Tasty, High-Protein Lunch Ideas for Weight Loss
One of the most challenging parts about weight loss is finding the time, energy, and creativity to try healthier recipes. If you’re someone who’s on the go quite often or is used to ordering in, trying to cook at home to meet your weight loss goals can feel daunting. If you work from home, it’s difficult to figure out what to make for lunch during the week. In order to help you get out of a pattern of ordering takeout or settling for leftovers, we’ve rounded up 20+ of the tastiest high-protein lunches for weight loss to add to your regular rotation.
Why protein? We spoke with Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDN, CDN, an internationally recognized nutritionist and portion control expert and a member of our Medical Expert Board, who explains, “Eating enough protein can be a dieter’s best friend. When you include protein in a meal or a snack, it helps you to feel full longer. This is great for weight loss. Eating protein may also provide other health benefits, including increasing muscle mass. This correlates to your metabolism, so if you have more lean body mass, your metabolism will be faster, making it easier to lose weight.”
Read on for delicious, healthy lunches that will inspire you to commit to your weight loss journey. And the best part is that these high-protein lunches are so seamless to prepare. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don’t miss The Best High-Protein Foods To Eat Every Day To Lose Your Gut.
If you’re looking for a healthy, protein-packed brunch kind of lunch, this frittata recipe is scrumptious and checks all the boxes. It’s chock-full of fresh veggies, including spinach, white onion, and tomato, along with egg whites, which you know are protein powerhouses. The wonderful thing about this recipe is you can have leftovers for another meal!
Get our recipe for Air Fryer Egg White Frittata.
Did you know that chicken can help strengthen your muscles and bones? According to WebMD, the lean protein that’s found in chicken is a stellar way to get your fill of amino acids. Your body utilizes these amino acids to sculpt muscle tissue, which is especially critical as you get older. And the more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn.
So get ready to have a tasty lunch with this protein-packed chicken salad. The lemon tahini dressing is super refreshing and the spinach, chopped celery, and dried cranberries really round out the meal.
Get our recipe for Whole30 Chicken Salad with Creamy Dressing.
Beef is an excellent way to get your fill of protein, and these Whole30-approved beef burrito bowls are your ticket. It’s a healthy take on a classic burrito bowl, without dairy and grains. You’ll benefit from cauliflower, peppers, tomatoes, avocado, and tasty seasonings.
Get our recipe for Simple Whole30 Beef Burrito Bowls.
Take your lunch salad to the next level with this shrimp and spinach salad, complete with warm bacon. Spinach may get a bad rap as being a bit boring and bland, but rest assured, this recipe brings on all the flavor. Plus, according to Medical News Today, shrimp is very rich in protein.
Get our recipe for A Healthy Shrimp & Spinach Salad With Warm Bacon.
Ahi tuna is just jammin’ with protein. And, well, it’s simply delicious! You’ll love this particular recipe, as it’s accompanied by shiitake mushrooms, baby bok choy, and tasty seasonings. It’s finished with a ginger-scallion sauce that’s sure to be one of your new favorite high-protein lunches for weight loss.
Get our recipe for Seared Ahi Tuna in a Ginger-Scallion Sauce.
If you’re a seafood lover and you’re in the mood for a lighter lunch, this versatile shrimp and mango summer roll won’t disappoint. Not only is it so refreshing with the mango, red bell pepper, and cilantro, but it will also fill you up without weighing you down.
Get our recipe for Versatile Shrimp & Mango Summer Roll.
You likely know by now that eggs aren’t just meant for breakfast. In fact, they’re invited to every meal of the day! That’s why you need to have this mug recipe in your life ASAP. The best part is, it’s portioned perfectly in a mug! And if you want something you can grab and go, this is your newest go-to meal.
Get our recipe for Easy Broccoli-Cheese Eggs in a Mug.
Catfish is a nice change of pace for a protein-enriched meal. According to WebMD, catfish has a great reputation for its protein content. Cornmeal also offers protein. Complete with refreshing corn, avocado, and black bean salsa, this recipe is a real lunch treat.
Get our recipe for A Crisp Cornmeal Catfish With Corn Salsa.
According to Chicken of the Sea, tuna is just about 100% protein! So you know you can’t go wrong by whipping up this healthy tuna veggie melt for lunch. This recipe comes complete with reduced-fat cheddar cheese, chopped sweet red peppers, chopped onion and celery, and chopped fresh dill weed. You can enjoy this recipe on whole wheat bagel thins or reduced-calorie wheat hamburger buns.
Get our recipe for Healthy Tuna Veggie Melts.
This quick and tasty curried egg salad will be a new lunchtime favorite. It’s not your plain old egg salad recipe, either. The curry powder and ground cumin brings the flavor profile of this meal to the next level. Get ready for a protein-packed lunch you’ll want to make time and time again.
Get our recipe for Quick & Easy Curried Egg Salad.
These tacos are so easy to make and perfect for getting in lean, plant-based protein for a quick weight-loss lunch. The black beans and sweet potato combination will give you plenty of protein, as well as helpful fiber.
Get our recipe for Black Bean & Sweet Potato Tacos.
Sometimes a salad is a nice lunch solution because it’s easy to make and great to take on the go. This salad gives you a lean protein boost from the chicken, with healthy fats and omega-3s from the avocado and walnuts.
Get our recipe for a Chicken & Avocado Salad.
Rueben sandwiches don’t have to be loaded with calories every time. This turkey option provides plenty of protein with only 365 calories per serving! Using whole-grain bread is an added benefit because you’ll get a boost of fiber as well.
Get our recipe for a Low-Calorie Turkey Rueben.
Chicken is one of the best protein options for weight loss because not only does it have some of the highest levels of protein out of popular cuts of meat, but it’s a lean protein, which means it’s low in fat. These chicken burgers are quick and easy to make and can be placed on a bed of lettuce or a whole wheat bun, depending on your specific goals.
Get our recipe for a Chicken Burger.
Most people love a good Caesar salad, but a lot of the Caesar dressings on grocery store shelves are loaded with fat and extra calories. This recipe is the perfect lower-calorie, high-protein alternative to try when you’re in a bind and need a quick lunch.
Get our recipe for a Grilled Caesar Salad.
If you want something other than a sandwich for lunch but still want to get in a nice boost of protein, this BLT salad is a delicious option. You can use your favorite store-bought ranch dressing for this recipe, or you can make your own!
Get our recipe for a Turkey BLT Salad.
You don’t always have to turn to chicken or turkey when you need protein. Tuna is one of the most protein-heavy fish you can buy, and this tuna burger recipe provides you with plenty of protein and only about 330 calories in each serving.
Get our recipe for an Asian-Inspired Tuna Burger.
You don’t need to order out to enjoy Mexican food. These enchiladas are simple and high in protein, and you can even use leftover rotisserie chicken if you have some in your fridge.
Get our recipe for Chicken Mole Enchiladas.
A sloppy Joe can be messy and healthy at the same time. This turkey alternative has all the nostalgia of the original with only 340 calories.
Get our recipe for Turkey Sloppy Joes.
Lunch sandwiches don’t have to be limited to a boring ham and cheese every time. This grilled chicken and pineapple sandwich is the perfect blend of sweet and a little spice, and the midday protein boost will be helpful to your weight loss goals.
Get our recipe for a Grilled Chicken & Pineapple Sandwich.
To wrap up our high-protein lunches for weight loss, check out this panini with provolone cheese. While leaner proteins like chicken, turkey, and fish are ideal for weight loss, your health is all about balance and treating yourself from time to time. This salami and ham combination on a pressed panini is a delicious staple that will bring your sandwich game up a few notches.
Get our recipe for a Provolone Panini.