When you’re tight on time and hunger strikes, opting for a quick snack might be your best bet.
However, many grab-and-go snacks are high in refined carbs, calories and leave you feeling hungry, unsatisfied, and craving more food.
The secret to avoiding dissatisfaction is finding healthy snacks that are high in protein!
High protein snacks are great for a variety of reasons. Whether your focus is weight loss, muscle gain, overall recovery, or just want to avoid hunger until your next meal, protein will help!
Here are 18 healthy high-protein snack ideas!
Low-Calorie High Protein Snacks
If your priority is weight loss, finding snacks that have a majority of their calories from protein is going to be helpful! This keeps the calories low while also helping you feel full and maintain lean body mass.
Also, you may notice that most of these snacks are also low in carbs. This means that if you are following a low-carb or keto diet, these snacks should also work!
Drinking a whey protein shake as a mid-meal snack is a great, low-calorie way to get some protein on the fly.
A single scoop of most protein shakes on the market offer around 25 grams of protein and around 120 calories per serving. There are many flavors available, and you can easily mix it with some plain flavored Greek yogurt to make a delicious chilled snack!
You have a vast array of options when you buy cottage cheese. You can find different curd sizes, fat amounts, and some pretty unique flavors at many large retailers.
This healthy high protein snack can be very low in calories if you choose the lower-fat varieties. One cup of low-fat cottage cheese provides 28 grams of protein and only 163 calories!
Shrimp is often forgotten about when it comes to low-calorie high protein snacks. A 3-ounce serving of shrimp contains only 84 calories and a whopping 18 grams of protein. That means almost all of the calories in shrimp comes from protein. To add some flavor, dip it in a low-calorie shrimp cocktail sauce.
Additionally, if you see shrimp on sale, you can buy it in bulk and keep it frozen for a long time!
Tuna is another low-carb, high protein food that makes a very healthy and convenient snack! Just one cup contains 39 grams of protein, making it incredibly filling.
Additionally, tuna is a good source of other nutrients, like B vitamins and selenium, and contains omega-3 fatty acids.
You can find tuna at any grocery store in plenty of varieties and container options.
Jerky is meat that has its fat trimmed off, cut into strips, and then dried. This makes it shelf-stable and convenient.
It is very high in protein, containing around 9 - 12g of protein per ounce!
Jerky is commonly made out of beef, chicken, turkey, or salmon and can be found in most grocery stores. Be sure to check the nutrition label, as some flavored versions can contain quite a bit of sugar and excess calories.
With around 20 grams of protein per cup, Greek yogurt is an ideal high-protein snack. Opting for the low-fat options will keep the protein high and bring the calories down quite significantly.
To add even more protein, get a plain flavored Greek yogurt and add a scoop of your favorite flavored protein powder to make a delicious protein snack.
High Fat High Protein Snacks
If your goal is to maximize muscle gain while following a keto diet, most of the snacks listed in the low-calorie section above will work. However, if you’re trying to put on a few pounds, you might be looking for high protein snacks with a few extra calories.
Here is a list of high-fat high protein snacks.
Peanut Butter Celery Sticks
Take some cut-up celery sticks and dip them in your favorite peanut butter (or any nut butter) for a filling higher protein snack with a few extra calories to help you in your bulking goals!
Peanut butter contains around 4-5 grams of protein per tablespoon. Be aware of how much you are eating, though. It can be pretty easy to overconsume something as calorie-dense as peanut butter.
Most people either love canned sardines or hate them. Either way, sardines make a great healthy high protein snack! They can come packed in water, oil, tomato juice, or other liquids in a small tin can.
Sardines are also low mercury fish since they primarily live on plankton.
On average, four small sardines contain 12 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat. They are also a great source of vitamins, minerals, and omega 3s.
Like some other items on this list, eggs are a great low-carb, high protein snack that’s also packed with fat.
They are also portable and easy to make! Simply place them in some boiling water for 6-10 minutes, depending on how runny you like the yolk, throw them in a container, and go about your day! You can also sprinkle some salt on them for an extra bit of flavor.
One hard-boiled egg contains 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat.
String cheese is a classic snack! It’s convenient to carry around and super affordable.
There is a large variety of string cheese, including low-fat and no-fat options. However, the regular full-fat version contains about 5 grams of fat and 7 grams of protein.
Another high-protein snack option to consider is Almonds! They have a wide variety of flavors ranging from unflavored to spicy. You can usually buy almonds in pretty large bags and just keep them at your desk or in your car for a quick handful when you’re in a pinch.
Almonds contain about 14 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein per serving. Keep in mind; the high-fat content makes them high in calories, so be conscious of serving sizes!
Vegan High-Protein Snacks
Following a vegan diet can make it pretty tricky to get enough complete protein. Most high protein vegan foods don’t contain complete protein. This makes it a good idea to mix and match different foods to create a snack that contains adequate levels of all nine essential amino acids.
You’ll also notice that a lot of the snacks listed above will also qualify as vegan. The almonds and peanut butter are both vegan options.
Vegan Protein Powder
Finding a high-quality vegan protein powder can be a great way to get enough protein while on a vegan diet. Most good brands will combine different sources of plant proteins to create a complete protein!
Vega is a vegan protein company that combines different protein sources and adds BCAAs to create a complete protein powder!
Try to find powders that offer around 25 grams or more of protein per serving.
Vegan Protein Bars
Most stores have a whole aisle filled with different protein bar options, and a good chunk of them are vegan! Not only are they a great high protein vegan snack, but they are usually affordable and offer a lot of conveniences as there is no preparation necessary.
Cubed tofu that has been marinated, roasted, or seasoned is one of the best high protein snacks for a vegan diet.
A single 3 ounce serving of tofu contains 8 grams of protein which is pretty high for a plant-based snack! It’s also one of the few vegan snacks that contain all nine essential amino acids.
Homemade High Protein Snack Recipes
If you don’t mind spending a bit of time in the kitchen, here are a few homemade options that you can customize to your liking!
Homemade Protein Peanut Butter Balls
Protein Peanut Butter Balls are a quick and easy high protein snack that can provide a fast post-workout protein hit.
There are plenty of these protein ball recipes online, but here is one option.
Mix 2 scoops of your favorite protein powder with ½ cup peanut butter, 1 cup of try oats, and ¼ cup chocolate chips or dried cranberries. Once everything is mixed together well, roll them into small balls and place them in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Store in a Tupperware container, and enjoy!
Who doesn’t like pancakes!? Protein pancakes are a delicious muscle-building snack that you can eat fresh or store for later.
To make these, simply combine 1 cup of oatmeal, 1 cup of cottage cheese, 1 cup of egg whites, and 1-2 scoops of your favorite protein powder. Mix well and pour onto a well-heated pan coated in olive oil or oil of choice.
Cook each side for 2 - 3 minutes or until the edges are brown.
Tuna salad can be a delicious, flavourful, high-protein snack that you can make in bulk and eat over 4-5 days.
This recipe is low carb and packed with protein!. It contains only 2 grams of carbs and 15 grams of protein per serving.
High Protein Egg Muffin
Want a quick high-protein recipe for breakfast that is also keto-friendly? If so, this recipe checks all the boxes.
It only takes a few ingredients and can be done in less than 20 minutes. Oh, it’s also delicious!
These high-protein egg muffins contain 9 grams of protein and 7 grams of fat per serving!
High protein snacks are important for anyone looking to build muscle, lose weight, or maintain good health. They not only support lean body mass but help you feel full and satisfied.
While many snacks can be high in processed carbs and calories, there are plenty of smart high protein options that you can enjoy even if you’re short on time.