10 Protein-packed Recipes With Only 5 Ingredients Each

Busy people don’t always have time to prepare time-consuming recipes with lots of ingredients. Searching high and low for obscure ingredients is rarely fun when you have a million other things to do. What you need are some simple, quick, high-protein recipes you can make with only a handful of ingredients.

That’s what we’ve created here. These 10 high-protein recipes can each be made with only five ingredients, as well as a few kitchen staples you probably already have on hand. You can whip up these recipes on a weeknight or after a workout. You can toss them together in the morning for a quick lunch later, or meal-prep them in advance.

That’s also why I wrote The Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook. In my book, I provide over 150 simple recipes—many of which can be made in 30 minutes or less, can be frozen for later, or can be cooked in a slow cooker.

A note: For the recipes here, and all the recipes in my cookbook, you should always have seven pantry ingredients on hand—kitchen staples so essential I don’t count them toward the five “main” ingredients in each recipe. Those seven ingredients include:

  • salt
  • black pepper
  • olive oil
  • cooking spray (a cooking-friendly oil also works)
  • honey
  • fresh garlic
  • fresh lemon (for the juice and zest)

Toby Amidor is the owner of Toby Amidor Nutrition and best-selling author of The Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook, and The Greek Yogurt Kitchen.

25 Genius Meal-prep Recipes That Will Last You All Week


Hélène Dujardin 1 / 10


1. Miso-garlic Pork Chops

This simple, Japanese-inspired pork chop recipe has a great macronutrient profile, only five ingredients (besides your typical kitchen staples), and a quick prep time.

Read the full recipe for miso-garlic pork chops here.

Natalie Knezic 2 / 10


2. Ginger Egg Salad

This salad is loaded with proteins, extremely light, and very nutritious. It’s perfect in a sandwich with fresh arugula and veggies or as party food served with veggies or chips—no mayo necessary.

Read the full recipe for ginger egg salad here.

Angie Asche 3 / 10


3. Pesto Baked Chicken

This four-ingredient chicken dish is perfect for any busy work night. Serve it with a side of brown rice or whole wheat pasta and cooked seasonal vegetables for a balanced, post-workout meal.

Read the full recipe for pesto baked chicken here.

Manuel Villacorta 4 / 10


4. Asparagus Quinoa Salad

The red quinoa in this salad provides plant-based proteins, all jam-packed with all the essential amino acids and antioxidants. And by combining it with cilantro, you’ll get a delicious Latin twist.

Read the full recipe for asparagus quinoa salad here.


5. Grass-fed Beef and Mushroom Marinara Over Spaghetti Squash

Blending mushrooms and ground beef is a perfect way to add vegetables and an array of nutrients to a dish. It also helps bulk up the portion without adding on too many excess calories or artery-clogging saturated fat.

Read the full recipe for beef and mushroom marinara over spaghetti squash here.

Courtesy of Welch's 6 / 10


6. Halibut With Balsamic Roasted Grapes

The glaze is created using 100% grape juice made with the dark purple Concord grape, so it brings heart-healthy polyphenols (plant nutrients) to your plate, while the balsamic roasted grapes add a sweet and tangy taste, all for just 350 calories.

Read the full recipe for hailbut with balsamic roasted grapes here.

Courtesy of Pulses.org 7 / 10

7. Lentil Quinoa Pilaf

“With 14 grams of protein per serving, this five-ingredient, plant-based recipe is a perfect lunch and dinner staple,” says Dana Angelo White, M.S., R.D.

Read the full recipe for lentil quinoa pilaf here.

Dixya Bhattarai 8 / 10


8. Salsa Chicken

Punch up the flavor of beef, chicken, and fish by topping it with low-cal salsa. Half a cup of salsa provides 35 calories, 2 grams of protein, and 8 grams of carbs. It’s also brimming with potassium and vitamin B6, and numerous antioxidants.

Read the full recipe for salsa chicken here.

Kristina LaRue 9 / 10


9. Montmorency Tart Cherry Tuna Salad Avocado Bowls

Montmorency tart cherries are packed with anthocyanins, a natural compound that contributes to its bright red color and sour-sweet taste. Studies have linked tart cherries beauties to numerous health advantages, including helping ease muscle pain after a workout.

Read the full recipe for tart cherry tuna salad here.

Lisa Lotts 10 / 10


10. Baked Pesto Salmon

This spin on pesto salmon uses breadcrumbs to add a crunch to every bite. Packing protein and healthy fats in equal measure, it’s the perfect way to get Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet.

Read the full recipe for baked pesto salmon here.


by Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D.