Nutrition

23 High Protein Snacks That Are Quick And Easy To Make

April 13, 2017 — by Matt Theis0

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Nutrition

23 High Protein Snacks That Are Quick And Easy To Make

April 13, 2017 — by Matt Theis0

Most people don't eat anywhere near enough protein to support their fitness goals. These high protein snacks will ensure you're not one of them...


Whether your goal is to build muscle, lose fat, or simply remain healthy, you need to pay special attention to your protein intake.  Most people tend to center their meals around protein, but very few of us go out of our way to eat high protein snacks.

And let’s face it…

We all love to snack!  Unfortunately, the term “snack” has pretty much become synonymous with “unhealthy” because when most people think snacks they think about sugary, fatty foods, not protein.

But what if we treated our snacks like meals, focusing primarily on protein content?

Keep in mind that a gram of protein provides the same amount of calories as a gram of carbohydrates, but where high carbohydrate intake can cause serious health issues (like diabetes), high protein intake is associated with:

  • Lean Muscle Mass
  • Better Cognitive Function
  • Optimal Bone Health

It’s pretty touch to eat “too much protein”, especially if you’re physically active on a regular basis.  Research indicates exercise can double your body’s protein requirements!

If you don’t work out at all, you need to consume around .8g/kg or .36/lb of body weight to MAINTAIN muscle mass.  If you want to GAIN muscle, you need to up the protein considerably.

A fair amount of research has been conducted in this area, all of which indicates that if you lift every day and want to keep gaining muscle, you’re protein intake should be ATLEAST 1.8g/kg, or .8g/lb, but probably even higher.

Given that higher protein intake–3g/kg, or 1.4g/lb–is not only safe, but actually beneficial in other areas such as brain function and mood.

So, if you’re someone who trains daily and wants to gain muscle, you should try your very best to fall in the range of 1-1.5g per pound of body weight.

If you weigh 160 pounds, eat 240 gram of protein per day.

This may seem difficult if you only eat 3 meals a day.  Most people would have a hard time stomaching 80 grams of protein in once sitting.  Well…That’s where snacking comes in!

Say you’re eating 50g of protein at each meal.  That’s 150 out of your 240 gram goal right there!  Only 90 grams to go.  All you need to do is work some high protein snacks in there, each consisting of roughly 30 grams of protein, and there you go!  1.5g/lb of bodyweight!

Well, it’s not always easy to find high protein snacks that are easy and/or convenient which is why too many of us just opt for some chips and a can of soda and call it a snack…

But that’s not much of a snack, is it?

The Ultimate List Of High Protein Snacks

Coming up with high protein snack ideas can be challenging…But we love a challenge!  That’s why we went ahead and compiled this list, so no matter what, you’ll have this list of options when it’s time for a protein fix…

Peanut Butter And Jelly

Peanut Butter And Jelly

Peanut Butter and Jelly is quite possibly the undisputed heavy weight champ of high protein snacks.  In terms of macronutrients, PB&Js have it all:

  • Protein: 15-20g
  • Carbs: 25-30g
  • Fats: 15-20g

So really, a PB&J is kind of just like a small meal.  They’re quick, they’re easy, and easily manipulated depending on your diet goals.  In recent years, there’s been a trend toward other types of nut-based spreads–like Almond Butter–but make no mistake…

Peanut Butter is still the undisputed champ when it comes to protein content.  So if it’s a high protein snack you want, stick with good old PB&J.  It’s a classic for a reason!

Bulk It Up!

If you’re trying to bulk, try adding A LOT of peanut butter!  It’s full of protein and healthy fats.

Keep It Lean…

If you’re cutting or just generally prefer to eat lean, go easy on the peanut butter and use reduced-sugar jelly.

Greek Yogurt With Granola

high protein greek yogurt

When it comes to protein content relative to fat and/or carbs, nothing beats Greek Yogurt.  Depending on the brand, the macronutrient breakdown is generally something like:

  • Protein: 17-24g
  • Carbs: 15-20g
  • Fats: 5-6g

Greek Yogurt comes in an endless amount  of different flavors and is generally segmented by fat percentage.  The above macronutrient profile is assuming 0 fat, plain Greek Yogurt, with almost all the fats and carbs coming from the Granola.

This makes it hands down one of the absolute best high protein snacks out there.  Furthermore, Greek Yogurt can be combined with an unlimited array of other foods, depending on your macronutrient needs.  This versatility makes it an excellent choice no matter what your fitness goals may be.

Bulk It Up!

Try adding some gronola, fresh fruits, or nuts

Keep It Lean…

Go with plain, low-fat (or 0 fat) Greek Yogurt.  It’s basically just quality protein.

Whey/Casein Protein Oatmeal

protein oatmeal snack

Oatmeal doesn’t contain much protein by itself, but it can easily be made into a delicious, high protein snack by simply adding some Whey protein.  Just mix one scoop of your favorite protein powder with one serving of Oatmeal and there you have it!

  • Protein: 30g (more if you add nuts, milk, etc.)
  • Carbs: 32g
  • Fat: 2g (more depending on what you add)

This versatility ultimately makes Oatmeal one of the easiest, most complete protein-packed snacks there is!

Bulk It Up!

Add Whole Milk, Nuts, and as much sugar as you want!

Keep It Lean…

Use low-fat milk (or none) and a lean protein powder (pure Whey Isolate)

Mixed Nuts

Mixed Nuts Snack
Pretty much all nuts are a complete source of macronutrients.  If you’re ever stuck on an island or lost in the woods and you happen to find a walnut tree…you’re going to be okay.

Seriously, a cup of mixed nuts provides roughly:

  • Protein: 17g
  • Carbs: 16g (8g of fiber)
  • Fats: 65g

If you’re looking for a more complete spectrum of macronutrients in a naturally occurring organism…good luck!  So next time you’re hungry and don’t feel like cooking (or don’t have time to), just grab a handful of nuts!

Bulk It Up!

Pecans and Macadamia nuts contain the most amount of fat, some saturated and some unsaturated.  Given that fats provide 9 calories per gram, this makes both of those the highest calorie options when it comes to nuts.

Keep It Lean…

Almonds, Cashews, and Pistachios contain less fat relative to other types of nuts so if cutting calories is your goal you should stick with those.

Tuna Melt

Tuna Melt Snack

Ah, the Tuna Melt…

I don’t know about you, but there’s something about melting cheese on it and toasting it that makes Tuna tastes a million times better.  Of course, if you’re a bodybuilder prepping for a show, you should probably just eat it out of the can and lay off the cheese and carbs…

But for the rest of us, the Tuna Melt makes for an amazingly delicious high protein snack that also happens to be infinitely customizable.  Don’t like the taste of Tuna?  Just add a whole bunch of seasoning and pretend it’s chicken!

One can of Tuna provides roughly:

  • Protein: 25g
  • Carbs: 0g
  • Fats: 5g (3g unsaturated)

If a high protein snack is what you’re after, Tuna reigns supreme.  At it’s core, it’s essentially just a solid source of complete protein and a little bit of mostly healthy fats.

Bulk It Up!

Add Mayo, cheese, and anything else you feel like adding.  Tuna goes with everything!

Keep It Lean…

Cutting?  Use Olive Oil to make it stick and cut back on the cheese.

Whey Protein Milk Shake

Protein Shake snack

Whey Protein powder is actually what makes a lot of the snacks mentioned here high in protein, but it can just as easily be used by itself to ensure you’re meeting your protein requirements.

Although fats and carbs play a role in increasing satiety (fullness), protein is really what your body wants when it tells you its hungry.  A scoop of pure Whey Isolate provides:

  • Protein: 20-25g
  • Carbs: 8g
  • Fats: 0g

Whey protein is also especially useful for building muscle because it’s particularly rich in BCAAs.  Out of that 20-25g of protein, around 5g is typically comprised of the three BCAAs: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.

So, whether you just woke up and don’t feel like making breakfast or you just crushed legs and can’t walk to the kitchen, just mix a scoop of Whey Isolate with Milk and give your muscles what they need!

Bulk It Up!

Consider using a heavier protein supplement that contains fats and/or carbs.  Mix it with Whole Milk.

Keep It Lean…

Stick with Whey Isolate and use low-fat milk or water.

Peanut Butter Banana Fluff On Toast

Peanut Butter Fluff snack

Peanut Butter And Fluff may seem pretty similar to Peanut Butter and Jelly (and in terms of macronutrients, it is essentially the same thing), but if you’re looking for a high protein snack that’ll leave you feeling full and content, nothing beats Nutterbutters!

  • Protein: 15-20g
  • Carbs: 25-30g
  • Fats: 20+g

Bulk It Up!

Add A LOT of fluff and A LOT of peanut butter

Keep It Lean…

You probably shouldn’t eat Nutterbutters if you’re cutting…

Quest Bar

high protein quest bar

The reason Quest Bars are so much better than just about every other protein bar is because they adhere to the right ratios of macronutrients.  Different flavors may vary slightly, but on average, a Quest Bar contains:

  • Protein: 21g
  • Carbs: 21g (mostly from fiber)
  • Fats: 8g (mostly unsaturated)

So eating a Quest Bar is basically like having a small meal.  It’s the perfect high protein snack for those who live life on the go.

Bulk It Up!

A Quest bar is pretty much a quest bar so…eat two if you’re trying to bulk up.

Keep It Lean…

One of the major reasons Quest Bars are so tasty is BECAUSE they contain fat.  That said, Chocolate Peanut Butter is only 160 calories so if you’re trying to slim down, that would be the way to go.

Hard Boiled Eggs

high protein eggs

Eggs whites were the original protein supplement.  Remember when Rocky woke up and pounded a cup full of raw eggs before training?  Well…that was absolutely!  I’m a firm believer in consuming COOKED eggs, particularly of the hard-boiled variety.

  • Protein: 6g
  • Carbs: 0g
  • Fat: 5g

Luckily, eggs are one of those wonderful things that come pre-packaged naturally.  You can make them anyway you want, but hard-boiled eggs are great because they’re easy to eat (no dripping yolk) and they keep for a while when refrigerated.

Bulk It Up!

Pretty much all eggs (from a chicken) have a similar macronutrient profile, but if you want to bulk it up a little bit, just get larger eggs…Or eat more of them…

Keep It Lean…

If you’re REALLLYYYY trying to cut calories and lean out, just remove the yolk.  The yolk isn’t “bad for you” like we originally thought, but it contains all the fat.  The whites contain all the protein.  So, if you want a high protein snack with virtually no fat, egg whites are a fine option.

 

Protein Pudding

high protein pudding

Protein pudding is exactly what it sounds like…Pudding with protein in it.  Of course, the recipes vary, but you can literally just take pudding mix (any flavor your want) and mix in a few scoops of protein powder.

Whey Isolate works the best because it mixes in easily, but any protein will do.  Just keep in mind you may need to add a little extra moisture beacuse you’re adding extra powder.

Assuming you use Whey Isolate, the macronutrient profile looks something like this:

  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbs: 30g
  • Fats: 4-5g

Bulk It Up!  

Add a whole bunch of sugar and consider drizzling some peanut butter on top

Keep It Lean…

You should probably skip this one if you’re seriously cutting.  There are ways to lower the sugar and fat content of pudding, but that also just kind of ruins  it…

Beef Jerkey

beef jerkey

If you’re looking for a lean, high protein snack to help you get through the day, Beef Jerkey is absolutely one of the best options out there.  Lean beef tends to be the highest protein meat and, since no protein is lost during the drying process, Beef Jerkey is equally high in protein.

The macronutrients in one average-sized (20g) stripe of Beef Jerkey are something like:

  • Protein: 6-8g
  • Carbs: 2g (pretty negligible)
  • Fats: 5g

Bulk It Up!

Beef Jerkey is pretty lean but if you’re bulking, you need protein!

Keep It Lean…

Beef Jerkey is definitely the friend of anyone who’s trying to cut fat because it has none!  Just protein!

Turkey Jerkey

Turkey Jerkey

Turkey Jerkey doesn’t just sound good…It tastes great too!  Like Beef, Turkey is very lean so you can think of Turkey Jerkey as similar to Beef Jerkey in terms of macronutrients.

  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbs: 0g
  • Fats: 0-1g

Bulk It Up!

Turkey Jerkey isn’t particularly useful for packing on pounds but if you need a quick protein fix, it’s a fine option.

Keep It Lean…

Turkey Jerkey is excellent for cutting because it’s basically just protein and sodium.

Cookies And Milk

protein cookies and milk

Santa’s not the only one who figured this one out.  Cookies and Milk makes for a fine high protein snack, providing a complete array of macronutrients.  Protein from milk, carbs and fat from the cookies.

All together, the macronutrient profile of 4 average cookies and a glass of milk looks like:

  • Protein: 10g
  • Carbs: 30g
  • Fats: 20g

Of course, what kind of cookies you use will determine how much sugar and fat you’re eating, but as long as those cookies come with a nice tall glass of Milk, you’ve got yourself a nice high protein snack.

Bulk It Up!

You’re in luck.  Nothing is easier to stuff down that cookies and milk and all those calories add up.

Keep It Lean…

Use low-fat, low-sugar cookies and low-fat milk.

No Bake Protein Bites

no bake protein bites

There are literally thousands of recipes for no-bake protein bites scattered across the internet but the basic formula is pretty simple:

  1. Protein
  2. Oats
  3. Honey
  4. Peanut Butter
  5. Chocolate Chips (optional but delicious)

Mix all those ingredients up, squeeze them into little balls, and there you go!  A delicious, high protein creation that you can eat whenever and whereever.

Bulk It Up!

There’s pretty much an endless amount of ways to bulk up this delicious snack.  You can:

  • Add extra Peanut Butter
  • Use more Chocolate
  • Use a higher fat Protein powder

Keep It Lean…

Trying to keep it lean while maintaining the high protein content?   No problem!  These no bake protein bites can easily be tweaked to contain lower calories and little to no fat.  Just drop the chocolate chips, use natural peanut butter, and don’t OD on the sugar.

Chicken Quesodilla

Chicken Quesadilla

Chicken Quesadillas may seem like more trouble than they’re worth, but if you know what you’re doing, they’re actually quite simple.  The only ingredients you really need are:

  • Chicken
  • Cheese
  • Tortillas

Then al you do is:

  • Put the tortilla in a ban
  • Add Chicken and Cheese
  • Fold it over and press
  • Enjoy!

Assuming you have the ingredients ready, you can whip up this delicious, high protein meal in about 3 minutes!

Bulk It Up!

Add extra cheese, sour cream, etc.  Anything you want to bulk it up!

Keep It Lean…

Go easy on the cheese, heavy on the chicken, and use a whole wheat tortilla.

Edamame With Butter, Garlic, And Parmasean

Edamame

Edamame is one of the few vegetables that actualy provides a meaningful amount of protein.  Generally speaking, people eat vegetables not because they contain complete protein, but because they provide essential vitamins, minerals, as well as other useful phytonutrients.

  • Protein: 17g
  • Carbs: 15g (mostly Fiber)
  • Fats: 5-8g

That’s right…

Edamame packs a whopping 17g of protein per one cup.  What’s more, you can flavor it to taste however you prefer!

Try steaming it with butter, garlic, and parmasean cheese…DELICIOUS!

Bulk It Up!

If you’re bulking, you should be careful not to waste calories on vegetables that don’t provide any real macros.  Edamame is perfect for the dedicated bodybuilder who normally hates vegetables because of the lack of protein.

Keep It Lean…

Dial back the parmasean and butter.  Try lightly steaming and salting your Edamame.

Peanut Butter Waffles

Peanut Butter Waffles

What can we say…Peanut Butter and Waffles just works!  You can make a sandwich out of it or just fold it in half like some kind of peanut butter and jelly quesadilla (without cheese of course).

Depending on how much Peanut Butter and what kind of waffles you use, you’re looking at:

  • Protein: 20-30g
  • Carbs: 30-40g
  • Fats: 15-25g

Your probably thinking “this is basically the same thing as a peanut butter and jelly” and yes, in terms of macros it’s pretty much the same.  But when you put this delicious creation in your mouth and give it a taste, you’ll agree that Waffles are soooo the new bread!

Bulk It Up!

Good.  This is a perfect high protein snack for bulking.  The more peanut butter the better!

Keep It Lean…

Cutting?  Too bad…

Sliced Meat Rollups

Sliced Turkey Rollup Snack

Sliced meat rollups are a simply way to make sure you get your protein fix.  You can add pretty much anything inside them.  Think about it like a burrito made of meat!

  • Protein: 10-20g
  • Carbs: Pretty much none
  • Fats: 3-4g

Bulk It Up!

Throw some cheese in there!

Keep It Lean…

Cut out the cheese and use a source of healthy fats like Avocado to add something extra.

Avocado Egg Cups

Avocado Egg Protein

Whoever invented the baked avocado egg is a genius!  All you need to do is fry and egg, throw it in a hollowed-out Avocado, and bake for a few minutes!

It doesn’t get much simpler than that!

  • Protein: 14g
  • Carbs: 12g
  • Fats: 26g

This isn’t just a high protein snack.  It’s also high in unsaturated (healthy) fats, not to mention all those vitamins and minerals from the egg yolk.

Bulk It Up!

The combination of eggs and avocado provides a super comprehensive blend of saturated and unsaturated fats.

Keep It Lean…

Contrary to popular belief, eggs are NOT bad for you.  You can easily work this snack into your cutting diet.

Banana Bread Protein Muffins

Banana Protein Muffins

Pretty much any baked good can be fortified with protein, but there’s something about Banana Protein Brownies that’s just toooo good!

Simply add a few scoops of protein to the rest of the powdered ingredients for your muffin and compensate for the additional dry powder by adding something wet (like milk, eggs, or even water).

Then just bake until they rise and enjoy your delicious high protein snack!

On average, one of these muffins contains:

  • Protein: 10g
  • Carbs: 15-20g
  • Fats: 10-15g

Bulk It Up!

These will get you there!  Bake a sheet of Banana Protein Muffins once a week and you’ll pack on the pounds no problem.

Keep It Lean…

Use lean ingredients (low fat milk, low-ish sugar, etc.).

Bean Chips

Black Bean Chips

Chips come in all shapes, sizes, and compositions, but Black Bean chips are the clear winner when it comes to protein content.  A handful contains anywhere from 6-10g of protein.  Not the most protein-packed snack on this list, but not bad…

All together, the macronutrient profile goes something like this:

  • Protein: 6-10g
  • Carbs: 15-25g
  • Fats: 5-8g

Bulk It Up!

Go ahead and eat the whole bag.  You can’t go wrong with Black Bean chips.  Good carbs, healthy fats, and a high protein content.

Keep It Lean…

Compared to most other chips, Black Bean chips are quite healthy.  Beans are considered a whole grain!

Tofu

Tofu High Protein

Also referred to as Bean Curd, Tofu has been around forever and if you’re looking for a snack that yields a nice amount of protein, you should definitely be eating it.

Tofu usually comes in blocks, with half a cup containing about:

  • Protein: 10g
  • Carbs: 3g
  • Fat: 6g

The best part about Tofu (in addition to containing high protein) is that it pretty much tastes like nothing so you’re free to flavor it however you please.

Bulk It Up!

Fry it and add whatever sauce you want

Keep It Lean…

Steam it or just eat it plain!

Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese high protein

Cottage Cheese is right up there with Greek Yogurt in terms of protein content.  Just 1 cup contains:

  • Protein: 28g
  • Carbs: 6g
  • Fats: 5-10g (depending on what kind of milk is used)

Cottage Cheese makes for a particularly nutritious late night snack because it’s loaded with Casein protein, the slower digesting kind.

One bowl of Cottage cheese (with your favorite fresh fruit mixed in for flavor, of course) will supply your muscles with a steady stream of amino acids while you sleep, ensuring optimal recovery and muscle growth.

Unfortunately, Cottage Cheese is kind of disgusting to a lot of people, myself included.  I personally like Greek Yogurt because, quite frankly, I can’t get over the lumpy consistency of Cottage Cheese…

If you don’t mind the consistency though, Cottage Cheese is undeniably one of the most complete, nutritious high protein snacks that exists.

Bulk It Up!

If you’re trying to pack on some weight, use a higher fat cottage cheese or try mixing it with some nuts or fresh fruit.

Keep It Lean…

Use low-fat Cottage Cheese to cut out the fat while still maintaining a high protein content.

Snacking WIth Protein In Mind

Whether or not you’re eating one of the snacks we discussed in this article or you’ve decided to go your own way, you should focus on protein content above all else.  Too many people graze on chips and soda, day after day, year after year, and then wonder why they got skinny fat.

Optimizing your diet, meals and snacks included, or protein will make you feel better, perform better, and look better.  So don’t skimp on the protein.  Embrace it!


Matt Theis

I'm Matt, Founder of Momentum Nutrition and SuppWithThat.com. I've spent the better part of the last decade researching and experimenting in the areas of fitness, nutrition, and supplementation, and this is where I write it all down.