Whether it’s fueling up before hitting the gym or taking a midday snack break to avoid the 2 p.m. lull, high-protein snacks are the tastiest way to keep on going. Protein snacks are the perfect way to fill up just enough, and give us longer-lasting energy than the usual, carb-heavy options. Here are 31 of our favorite protein-packed snacks!
1. Cottage-Style Fruit
2. Beef or Turkey Jerky
Be careful to avoid sodium- and sugar-filled brands, but low-sodium, natural, or lightly-flavored options are a great source of protein. A one-ounce serving (the size of most single-serve packs) contains about 9 grams of protein! This chewy snack is also super portable and keeps fresh for months when packed properly.
3. Mixed Nuts or Trail Mix
Mixed nuts provide an easy way to get a delicious dose of protein in a convenient, shelf-stable package. Try a mixed bunch for variety and a combo with dried fruit for some added sweetness. The best bang for your protein buck? Almonds and pistachios. They’re higher in protein than their nutty peers.
4. Pumpkin Seeds
Those orange gourds aren’t just for Halloween. Pumpkin insides, scooped out to make room for spooky faces, can actually make a healthy little snack once they’re washed, dried, and nicely roasted. Just 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds has about 14 grams of protein, making it the perfect pre-workout snack!
5. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Inexpensive and loaded with nutrients, eggs are one of the best ways to get a healthy dose of protein. Try hard boiling and pre-peeling a dozen at the start of the week and throw one in a small Tupperware container each day for an easy on-the-go snack. (Feeling extra famished? Slice the egg and place it on a piece of whole-wheat bread.)
6. Nut Butter Boat
Any vehicle for nut butter is perfection in our book. Try loading a few celery sticks with 1 tablespoon of any nut butter (almond, cashew, walnut) topped with a few whole almonds or raisins. If you’re not a fan of celery, try scooping out the middle of an apple and filling it with your nut butter of choice.
7. Deli Rollup
Top 2 slices of deli meat (turkey, chicken, or roast beef work great) with 1 slice of cheese and a shake of pepper. Add a slice of tomato or some lettuce for extra veggie points!
8. Mini Bean-and-Cheese Quesadilla
It might take an extra minute to prep, but combining these two high-protein treats is totally worth it. Fold 1/2 cup black beans, 1 tablespoon salsa, and 1 slice cheddar cheese in a small flour tortilla. Cook in a dry nonstick pan until the cheese is melted and tortilla is lightly browned. Then wrap it in foil and stick in a plastic baggie for easy transport.
9. Shake It Up
When it comes to protein shakes, the combinations are endless, and one scoop can go a long way! Our favorites? The “Protein Creamsicle:” 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 1 cup orange juice, and 1 cup ice blended until smooth. (Thanks @JCDFitness!). And also the “Star-buffs Shake:” 1 cup iced coffee (with ice) and 1 scoop chocolate whey protein, blended.