10 High-Protein Lunch Recipes to Support Heart Health

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Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma Recipe - How to Make Chicken Shawarma

Protein might not be the first nutrient to come to mind when discussing heart health, but it plays an important role in keeping one of your body’s hardest working muscles strong. Additionally, to help support muscle repair and keep you fuller for longer, these lunches provide at least 15 grams of protein per serving from some of the best heart-conscious proteins, like beans, chicken, fish, legumes, and whole grains. Additionally, each dish is prepared with minimal amounts of saturated fat and sodium to support a heart-healthy diet in general. Recipes like our Chicken Shawarma with Yogurt Sauce and Sweet Potato, Kale & Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing are incredibly healthy and, dare we say, absolutely delicious!

1. Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

The grilled chicken in this flavorful burrito bowl is glazed with a hot chipotle sauce. For a healthier supper, load it up with veggies and replace the rice with quinoa to add nutrition.

2. Sweet Potato, Kale & Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

Sweet Potato, Kale & Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

These substantial kale salads are ideal for meal prep lunches because they keep well for four days. Just before serving, dress this salad and sprinkle the peanuts on top to prevent the ingredients from becoming soggy. Replace the chicken breast with roasted tofu for a delicious vegan alternative (see Associated Recipes).

3. Chicken Shawarma with Yogurt Sauce

Chicken Shawarma with Yogurt Sauce

High heat and dark meat are the secrets to cooking juicy chicken without using a spit in this nutritious recipe. The chicken’s tender texture and appealing char are both attributed to the yogurt in the marinade. Bright flavors are maintained by adding more yogurt to the sauce along with crunchy cucumbers and herbs.

4. Vegan Superfood Grain Bowls

overhead shot of vegan grain bowl with edamame, beets and avocado

Prewashed baby kale, microwaveable quinoa, and precooked beets are just a few of the convenience food shortcuts that help make this nutrient-dense grain bowl recipe come together in just 15 minutes. Store these in advance to have on hand for quick lunch or dinner preparation on hectic evenings.

5. Smoked Salmon Salad Niçoise

smoked salmon salad nicoise

This version of the traditional Niçoise salad swaps out the tuna for smoked salmon and adds extra veggies in place of hard-boiled eggs and olives.

6. Mason Jar Power Salad with Chickpeas & Tuna


This power salad’s 26 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber will keep you full for hours. You can avoid massaging or cooking the kale by tossing it with the dressing and letting it stand in the jar until it becomes sufficiently tender.

7. Red Lentil Soup with Saffron

Red Lentil Soup with Saffron

Turmeric, cumin, and saffron are common Persian culinary spices used in this filling red lentil soup. Savor it with steaming rice or a warm baguette.

8. Chicken & Cucumber Pita Sandwiches with Yogurt Sauce

Greek Chicken & Cucumber Pita Sandwiches with Yogurt Sauce

In this light Greek-inspired chicken pita recipe, cucumbers serve two purposes: they’re sliced to add a refreshing crunch to the pita and grated to give a cool flavor to the quick cucumber-yogurt sauce. Serve these sandwiches as a light lunch or a nutritious dinner.

9. Chicken & Cabbage Soup with Pesto

a recipe photo of the Chicken & Cabbage Soup with Pesto

A store-bought pesto adds flavor to this one-pot soup of chicken and cabbage. Large, high-fiber butter beans provide a creamy taste, but you can easily substitute them with navy or cannellini beans if you’d like. Once the cabbage is soft, simply shred or chop cooked chicken and add it to the soup to reheat. This soup is a great way to use up leftover chicken.

10. Chicken with Spinach & Tomato Orzo Salad

Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo Salad

Baked chicken breasts cook in the oven while you quickly put together a veggie-rich, whole-wheat orzo salad with a simple homemade vinaigrette. This makes dinner suitable for the weekend. This 400-calorie meal can be made ahead and frozen for a tasty packed lunch the next day.


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