So often I hear from clients and followers that the thought of meal prepping meals feels so overwhelming. They love the idea of being prepared for the week but feel totally lost and stressed over actually making it happen.
Whether you’re a busy stay-at-home mom, working professional, or somewhere in between, meal prepping your lunches can save you so much time and energy while also helping you to stay on track.
In this article, I will share some meal-prepping tips and my favorite high-protein lunches that are perfect for meal prep! Let’s dive in and see how easy it is to set yourself up for a week of success while hitting your macros and staying on track.
Why We Love Meal-Prepped, Protein-Packed Lunches
- It helps you get set up for a successful week of eating because you’ll have your lunch at the ready when hunger strikes. Drive-throughs don’t seem so inevitable when you have a healthy, high-protein lunch ready to eat.
- High-protein meals will help to keep you fuller for longer, balance your blood sugar, and assist with building and repairing your muscles.
- We can control the portions and macronutrient profile. When you have goals, you know exactly what you need to eat at each meal to hit them. Meal prepping your lunches gives you that control.
- You’ll save a bunch of time. Although the thought of carving out some time to meal prep seems like a lot when you really stop and add it up, the hour or so that you spend at the beginning of the week to set up your high-protein lunches will end up saving you for the rest of the week. Whether you spend time waiting in a drive-through, standing in front of the fridge wondering what to eat, or cooking a meal each and every day, meal prepping will without a doubt save you some time.
- It’s very budget-friendly. It goes without saying that eating out multiple times per week is expensive. One way to keep your financial and calorie budget on track is to prepare your meals at home and buy them in bulk. You can buy a big thing of protein, a carb source, and veggies, cook them, split them up, and eat them all week for less than if you were to go out to eat even once or twice per week.
Meal Prepping Tips: Lunch Edition!
Lunch can sometimes be tricky, especially during the week. Whether you work in the home or outside the home, the time allotment that we have for lunch is usually pretty tight. For many of us, the most convenient thing to do is to grab something from the drive-through or Uber Eats a meal so we don’t have to worry about trying to prepare something ourselves.
The problem is that meals out tend to be much higher in calories. And since we aren’t in control of the ingredients and portion sizes, we’re guestimating at what we’re eating and can end up being grossly off with our macros for the day.
This is where meal-prepped lunches will come in clutch! I’m going to share with you some tips to make it quick and easy next.
- Dedicate some time each week to making a plan: Yes, meal prepping takes some planning and thought. I like to spend some time at the end of my week, on Friday or Saturday to think about what lunches I want to eat for the upcoming week. If you need help planning or coming up with ideas, our Free Weekly Meal Plans are a great place to start! When you sign up for our list, you’ll get a meal plan delivered to your inbox every Friday morning to help you get inspired for the week ahead.
- Find some recipes that you love. Do you have a favorite lunch recipe that you could eat on repeat? Great! Give yourself a few minutes to think about what food and meals you look forward to at lunchtime and go from there. The last thing you want to do is meal prep a lunch that won’t sound appealing to you by the time lunchtime comes around.
- Keep it simple! You don’t need to find intricate recipes that require a bunch of ingredients and steps. I like to recommend that clients take the 2-2-2 approach to meal-prepping lunches - prep 2 proteins, 2 carb sources, and 2 veggies, and then mix and match them throughout the week. Easy as pie!
- Choose foods and meals that will keep well for at least a few days. You don’t necessarily have to choose meals that you will eat all week long, but making sure that they’ll last you at least 2-3 days will help make sure that you’re getting the most out of your time and energy spent prepping lunches.
- Be mindful of food that needs to be warmed up before eating. Sometimes, lunches need to be eaten on the go, and if we’re avoiding multiple meals from a drive-through or gas station, having a meal prepped lunch that doesn’t require a microwave or any special heating element will come in handy.
Our Top High-Protein Lunch Meal Prep Ideas
Below are some of our favorite meal-prep-friendly lunch ideas! All of the following recipes are high in protein and guaranteed to fill you up and allow you to stay on track with your macro-tracking goals.
Thai Chicken Wrap
This wrap is so simple yet ridiculously delicious. If you’re meal prepping this for the week, I recommend putting your wrap together minus the Thai sauce and just adding it on right before you eat to prevent it from getting soggy and to preserve the flavors.
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Tuna Noodle Casserole is a classic comfort dish. It’s easy, cheap, and full of protein. Plus, it keeps really well when portioned out in the refrigerator for easy weekday lunches.
Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
This Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad is so versatile and will probably become one of your all-time favorite lunch recipes. Meal prep a batch for the week and eat it on bread, with crackers, or all by itself!
High Protein Italian Chicken Pasta Salad
I’m a sucker for a good pasta salad, and this High Protein Italian Chicken Pasta Salad makes the perfect meal-prepped lunch. When it comes to pasta salads, the longer the dressing sits on the salad, the better, making this the perfect lunch to enjoy for a full week.
Turkey Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs
Can meatballs be a pain to make? Sure, but when you’re making a batch of delicious homemade meatballs for the whole week that are full of protein & flavor, you won’t mind! This recipe is perfect for mixing up your lunch meal prep by adding different carbs and veggies that pair well.
Chicken Fried Rice
Skip your usual Chinese food takeout and make a batch of our Macro Friendly Chicken Fried Rice at home instead, you won’t be sorry! This dish is full of flavor, stands up to the meal prep taste test (can be eaten for several days without getting weird!), and only requires one pan.
One Pot Lasagna
Speaking of one pan, our One Pot Lasagna is one of our most popular and beloved recipes of all time. If you like warm, comforting pasta dishes but dislike how long they take to make or how calorically dense they are, this recipe is your answer.
Sheet Pan Fajitas
Sheet pan meals are ideal for meal prepping. Add your ingredients to a sheet, pop it in the oven, divide it up amongst your lunch meal prep contains, and voila! Lunch is ready to go.
Cheeseburger Pasta Casserole
It's hard to describe just how good this Cheeseburger Pasta Casserole is. Meal prepping cheeseburgers would be tough, but this cheeseburger casserole? A piece of cake, and you won’t believe how good it tastes.
Loaded Italian Sub Salad
Salads are a meal-prepping staple and a lunchtime favorite. Add this Loaded Italian Sub Salad to your lunch rotation and watch how easy it is to have a delicious lunch at the ready! Just don’t forget to leave the dressing to be applied just before eating.
Buffalo Chicken Pasta With Cottage Cheese
Another epic pasta dish that also makes a great meal-prepped lunch option. There’s something so comforting about knowing that you have a delicious pasta dish (with a hefty serving size!) waiting for you when the lunch whistle blows.
Loaded Burger Bowls
Loaded Burger Bowls are one of my go-to lunch recipes for meal prep. These are easy to put together, are full of flavor, and honestly better than any burger I could go out and grab during my lunch hour.
High Protein Taco Salad
This High Protein Taco Salad recipe will blow your mind. Packed with both protein and flavor, you can easily put together a few bowls, pop them in the fridge, and enjoy them all week long.
Want More High Protein Lunch Meal Prep Ideas?
Here at FHM, we’re committed to making eating macro-balanced meals easy, accessible, and most importantly, delicious! You won’t find any boring, bland diet foods around here. One key to being successful with your nutrition goals is to make sure that you’re feeling excited and inspired by the foods and recipes you’re making.
We add multiple brand-new recipes to our lineup of healthy, macro-friendly meals each and every week. To get access to our best recipes, come check out our Monthly Macro Membership which gets you a minimum of 3 brand new recipes each week along with meal planning software to help you stay on track and save time each week!