25 High-Protein Lunch Ideas

Most of us could use more protein in our meals, which is why we're excited about these protein-packed lunches that will leave you feeling satisfied until dinner time.

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Speedy Salmon Patties

I combine seven easy ingredients for this salmon patty recipe. When I was a girl growing up on the farm, my mom often fixed these when we were late in the field. These salmon cakes are also tasty with chopped green peppers added to the mixture. —Bonnie Evans, Cameron, North Carolina

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2 / 25

Tuna Cheese-Waffle Sandwiches

I love cheddar waffles (or chaffles) as well as tuna salad sandwiches. Combining the two makes for an incredible lunchtime stack. The dill pickles in both the waffles and salad add extra crunch and flavor. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois. If you like this, then you must check out these recipes for high-protein meals.
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Blackened Tilapia with Zucchini Noodles

I love quick and bright meals like this one-skillet wonder. The way it tastes, you’d think it takes a lot more effort, but it goes from prep to dinner table in half an hour. The recipe works well with any light fish, or even shrimp. —Tammy Brownlow, Dallas, Texas. Here’s a 7-Day high-protein meal plan to support your goals.
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Greek Chicken Pasta

This hearty main dish has great Mediterranean flavor. I left out the olives, and my family still loved it. —Susan Stetzel, Gainesville, New York
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Copycat Southwest Chicken Salad

My husband and I loved this salad the first time we ate it at Applebee's. After eating it three times my husband asked them for the ingredients in the dressing. The waitress told us the ingredients, so I went home and worked on a version we feel tastes just as delicious. —Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia

You’ll also love these high-protein salads.

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Hawaiian Pulled Pork Lettuce Wraps

We love this easy slow-cooker recipe on Sunday afternoons. It’s equally comforting and light for lunch or dinner. We serve ours with sweet potato oven fries and roasted green beans. —Arlene Rakoczy, Gilbert, Arizona
7 / 25

Cinnamon Whiskey BBQ Chicken Wraps

Chicken, bacon, cheese and an amazing barbecue sauce make this a family favorite! The sauce can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator. —Jolene Martinelli, Fremont, New Hampshire
8 / 25

Cafe Rio Copycat Pork Bowls

My friends are big fans of Cafe Rio's sweet pork tacos, so I came up with this version to eat in the comfort of our own homes. Serve the pork in flour tortillas or taco shells, or enjoy it on its own. —Donna Gribbins, Shelbyville, Kentucky

Don’t forget the snacks!

9 / 25

Buffalo Chicken Crunch Wraps

My daughter-in-law loves Buffalo chicken, so I came up with this easy-to-make crunch wrap using all the same flavors and grilled it in a panini press. In less than 30 minutes, you'll have a hot, crunchy pocket of spicy, cheesy chicken ready for a quick weeknight dinner or weekend lunch. The wraps are fantastic served with extra blue cheese dressing or sour cream for dipping. We also enjoy them served with fresh veggies, like shredded lettuce or sliced cucumbers. —Theresa Ravencraft, Marysville, Ohio
10 / 25

Sesame Pork Roast

My trick to making a tasty roast that’s pull-apart tender is marinating a boneless cut of pork in a tangy sauce overnight before cooking it slowly the next day. It’s unbeatable. —Sue Brown, San Miguel, California
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Breaded Pork Chops

These traditional pork chops have a wonderful home-cooked flavor like the ones Mom used to make. The breading makes them crispy outside and tender and juicy inside. Why not treat your family to some breaded pork chops tonight? —Deborah Amrine, Grand Haven, Michigan
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Easy Chicken Fried Rice

After my first child was born, I needed meals that were satisfying and fast. This easy chicken fried rice is now part of our regular dinner rotation. — Alicia Gower, Auburn, New York
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Chorizo Burgers with Green Chile Aioli

Chorizo does all the work seasoning these burgers, and the aioli comes together in minutes. Wrap the juicy patties in lettuce for a keto version. Don't worry—the carb lovers in your home can still enjoy them on buns. —Becky Woollands, North Ridgeville, Ohio
15 / 25

Shrimp Cobb Salad

This shrimp cobb salad is quite healthy. I often use a grill pan, but you can simply saute, too. Feel free to use any greens you like. — Nicholas Monfre, Hudson, Florida
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Air-Fryer Bacon Cheeseburgers

This juicy burger only takes minutes to cook in your air fryer. I enjoy topping it with crispy bacon and my special fry sauce. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Easy Chicken Alfredo

This dish's classic sauce is almost as simple as opening a jar but tastes so much better. The easy chicken Alfredo recipe can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Chicken

I love the Strawberry Poppyseed Salad at Panera Bread but can't always make it to the restaurant, so I created my own version. It's quick, delicious and ready when I want it. —Diane Sahley, Lakewood, Ohio
19 / 25

Pressure-Cooker Thai Sweet Chili Pork Bowls

Grab that bottle of Sriracha! This Thai pork dish is a standout weeknight meal you won't want to miss. My pressure cooker does the hard stuff, but I still get the props. —Debbie Glasscock, Conway, Arkansas
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Air-Fryer Loaded Pork Burritos

Air-fryer burritos are quick and easy—the perfect dinner for the whole family. Don't be afraid to load your tortillas with pork, beans, cheese and rice. —Fiona Seels, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
21 / 25

Pressure-Cooker Cuban Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I lived in Florida for a while and loved the pork served there, so I went about making it for myself! The flavorful meat makes amazing Cuban sandwiches, but you can use it in traditional pulled pork sandwiches and tacos, too. —Lacie Griffin, Austin, Texas
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Tropical Chicken Cauliflower Rice Bowls

This tropical favorite is a delicious and healthy dinner with tons of flavor! You can substitute regular rice for the cauliflower rice if desired. —Bethany DiCarlo, Harleysville, Pennsylvania
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Copycat Chicken Salad

This recipe is incredibly easy to make, and your family will love it. The sweet pickle relish gives it its signature taste. I like to use a thick, crusty oat bread for this sandwich. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Chicken Verde Quesadillas

I used the corn, peppers and zucchini in my fridge to create these quick and easy quesadillas. Dollop with sour cream and you’re good to go. —Julie Merriman, Seattle, Washington
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PB&J Pork Sandwiches

I came up with this recipe for one of my daughters who loves peanut butter and pork! The result has become a favorite—kids and grown-ups alike often request it for dinner. —Jill Cox, Lincoln, Nebraska

Up Next: High-Protein Breakfasts

Lauren Jarvis-Gibson
Lauren has spent more than eight years writing lifestyle, health and wellness content for publishers like Allure, Teen Vogue and Thought Catalog. As Taste of Home's assistant editor, she ran the Holiday, Healthy and Desserts newsletters, and wrote and edited everything from recipe tutorials to healthy eating tips. After work hours, you can find Lauren trying out new pasta recipes, obsessing over her dog, Andre, and working on her third book of poetry.