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24 Amazing High Protein Lunch Ideas Under $10

Boost your afternoon with these delicious (and cheap!) high protein lunch ideas.
24 Amazing High Protein Lunch Ideas Under $10Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

While there are numerous delicious options to have for a midday meal, having a high protein lunch will help you feel full and keep you energized for the day. Plus, eating the proper amount of protein can actually help you lose weight, because protein helps you to feel full and satisfied.

To make sure these lunches were high in protein, we calculated some of the protein sources in each meal using the USDA Branded Food Products Database.

How are these high protein lunch ideas under $10?

While the price of buying the ingredients to make these recipes may cost more than $10, if you divide it up per serving, each lunch turns out to be pretty cheap, especially when you compare it to the $10 salad you keep choosing to buy every day at work!

So save some extra money and kick off your afternoon on the right foot with these 24 high protein lunch ideas.

1

Chicken burger with sun-dried tomato aioli

Chicken burger with sundried tomato aolia Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

What better way to get a protein-packed lunch than a patty of meat? This chicken burger patty is a leaner option to the usual hamburger, and it’s great on a bed of fresh greens! Each patty is made up of 4 oz. of lean ground chicken (23 grams protein).

Get our recipe for Chicken Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli.

2

Chipotle shrimp quesadilla

Chipotle shrimp quesadilla Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

A chicken quesadilla sounds nice and all, but what about spicing it up with some shrimp instead? Each quesadilla is made with 2 ounces of medium shrimp (6.6 grams protein) and 1/2 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese (14 grams protein).

Get our recipe for Chipotle Shrimp Quesadillas.

3

Turkey BLT salad

Turkey blt salad Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Skip the bread for your BLT and mix up your favorite ingredients in a salad instead—just add some roasted turkey breast for extra protein! This recipe has 2 ounces of roasted turkey breast per serving (11 grams of protein), along with a strip of bacon (2.5 grams protein).

Get our recipe for Turkey BLT Salads.

4

Egg sandwich with pastrami and swiss

Egg sandwich with pastrami and swiss Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Eggs for lunch? Yes, really! Eggs are packed with protein, making it a great high protein lunch idea, especially when paired with cheese and pastrami like this sandwich. Each sandwich has 1.5 eggs scrambled (9 grams protein), 1 oz. lean pastrami (6 grams protein), and 1 slice low-fat Swiss cheese (9 grams protein).

Get our recipe for Egg Sandwiches with Pastrami and Swiss.

5

Oatmeal with peanut butter and banana

Oatmeal with peanut butter and banana recipe Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Oatmeal is also a breakfast staple, but with all of the protein in one bowl, it could also be considered a great high protein lunch idea! In fact, 1/2 cup of rolled cut oats has a surprisingly high amount of protein (6 grams protein). This bowl also has protein coming from the 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter (1.75 grams protein), and around 1 tablespoon of chopped almonds (1.5 grams protein).

Get our recipe for Oatmeal with Peanut Butter and Banana.

6

Italian tuna melt

Healthy italian tuna melt Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

How can you say no to a deliciously toasty tuna melt? This high protein lunch will give you that extra protein with 2.5 ounces of tuna per sandwich (14 grams protein) and 0.5 ounces of fresh mozzarella (3 grams protein).

Get our recipe for Italian Tuna Melts.

7

Grilled chicken and pineapple sandwich

Paleo grilled chicken pineapple sandwich Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Spruce up your chicken sandwich with some grilled pineapple and extra vegetables! This sandwich packs in the protein with 4 to 6 ounces of chicken breast (29 grams to 44 grams protein) and 1 slice of swiss cheese (6 grams protein).

Get our recipe for Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Sandwiches.

RELATED: No-sugar-added recipes you’ll actually look forward to eating.

8

Breakfast burrito

Healthy breakfast burritos Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Between the black beans, chicken sausage links, eggs, and even the cheese, this burrito is bound to be a great high protein lunch! Each burrito will have 1/2 cooked chicken sausage link (6.5 grams protein), 1 and 1/2 eggs (9 grams protein), 1/4 cup black beans (11 grams protein), and 1/8 cup shredded cheddar cheese (3.5 grams protein).

Get our recipe for Breakfast Burritos.

9

Baked fiery buffalo wings

Healthy fiery buffalo wings Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Having a plate of buffalo wings may seem unconventional for lunch, but this dish is full of protein and it has a low-carb count! This wing recipe makes 8 servings, and each serving is around 2 ounces of wings (18 grams protein). Serve with some blue cheese dip and celery sticks to get the full wing experience!

Get our recipe for Baked Fiery Buffalo Wings.

10

BLT sandwich

Healthy ultimate blt Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Add a fun twist to your usual BLT sandwich at lunch by adding an egg to it for some extra protein! This BLT sandwich has more protein than you think thanks to the egg (6 grams of protein), and 4 slices of bacon (10 grams protein).

Get our recipe for BLT sandwiches.

11

Sunrise sandwich with turkey, cheddar, and guacamole

Sunrise sandwich Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Another great egg sandwich to keep you going in the afternoon! This sandwich may look similar to the original Egg McMuffin, but it packs in the protein in every bite! Each sandwich has 1 egg (6 grams protein), 1 slice of cheddar cheese (8 grams protein), and 2 ounces of smoked turkey breast (11 grams protein).

Get our recipe for Sunrise Sandwiches with Turkey, Cheddar, and Guacamole.

12

Chicken fried rice

Healthy chicken fried rice Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Chicken fried rice sure is yummy, but the amount of sodium hiding in some of those restaurant dishes can be staggering. Get the same takeout-level taste with this healthier chicken fried rice. Each serving has protein coming from the 1 ounce of chicken thighs (5.5 grams protein), 1/2 of an egg (3 grams protein), and even the 1 cup of brown rice (6 grams protein).

Get our recipes for Takeout-Level Chicken Fried Rice.

13

Chicken fajita burrito

Healthy chicken fajita burrito Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Skip the line at Chipotle and make a fajita burrito from scratch instead! This high protein lunch idea contains around 2 ounces (1/2 cup) of cooked chicken per burrito (12 grams protein), 1/8 cup of black beans (5.5 grams protein), and 1/4 cup of shredded jack cheese (7 grams protein).

Get our recipe for Chicken Fajita Burritos.

14

Turkey chili

Serious gluten-free chili Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This lean turkey chili still packs in the protein, perfect for a high protein lunch! Each serving should have around 5 ounces of ground turkey (39 grams protein), 1/4 cup of kidney beans (3.5 grams protein), and 1/4 cup of white beans (3 grams protein).

Get our recipe for Turkey Chili.

15

Warm goat cheese salad

Vegetarian warm goat cheese salad Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

How could you ever say no to breaded goat cheese with walnuts and balsamic? Each salad will have 1 ounce of goat cheese (22 grams protein) and 0.5 ounces of walnuts (around 2 grams protein).

Get our recipe for Warm Goat Cheese Salad.

16

Asian-inspired chicken meatballs

Paleo asian chicken meatballs Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

You may closely associate meatballs with pasta and red sauce, but they can actually be a versatile meat for your high protein lunch needs! Each serving has 4 ounces of ground chicken (23 grams protein) or 4 ounces of ground pork (21 grams protein).

Get our recipe for Asian-Inspired chicken meatballs.

17

Grilled chicken and avocado salad

Grilled chicken salad with cranberries avocado and goat cheese Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Getting sick of your usual salad combination? Switch things up with this superfood-packed salad. Each salad has around 3 ounces of chicken (18 grams protein) and 0.5 ounces of goat cheese (11 grams protein).

Get our recipe for Grilled Chicken and Avocado Salad.

18

Grilled buffalo chicken and blue cheese sandwich

healthy buffalo chicken and blue cheese sandwich Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Skip the fried chicken sandwich and make your own version for lunch instead. Each buffalo chicken sandwich is made with a 6 ounce chicken breast, which adds up to 36 grams of protein.

Get our recipe for Grilled Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese Sandwich.

19

Chicken panini with pesto and peppers

Paleo chicken panini with pesto and peppers Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Between the chicken and the mozzarella cheese, you have a good amount of protein in every bite of this panini. The recipe will have you preparing four sandwiches at a time, making it great for meal prep. Each sandwich contains around 2-3 ounces of chicken (12 to 19 grams protein) and 1 ounce of mozzarella (6 grams protein). This sandwich is great when toasted on a skillet, but it’s also just as delicious if you eat it cold.

Get our recipe for Chicken Panini with Pesto and Peppers.

20

Hard-boiled eggs

hard boiled eggs on a plate cut in half Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Keep lunch simple with two hard-boiled eggs and a side of fresh-cut vegetables with dip. If you’re a vegetarian looking for a protein boost, eggs are the easiest way to get it! A large egg contains 6 grams of protein each, so two eggs would give your lunch 12 grams of protein.

Here’s how long to cook hard-boiled eggs for perfect ones every time.

21

Rice bowl

Quick veggie rice bowl recipe. Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

This veggie rice bowl recipe only takes about 10 minutes to make and is an easy meal to make for multiple people on a tight budget. Fry up an egg (or two) to give it that extra protein!

Get our recipe for Vegetarian Rice Bowl.

22

Chicken salad sandwich with raisins and curry powder

Chicken salad sandwich with curry and raisins Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Who said a chicken salad needs to be drowning in mayo to be tasty? Serve it on top of whole-grain bread, English muffin halves, or even wrap it up in lettuce. Each serving should contain around 3 ounces of chicken (18 grams protein).

Get our recipe for Chicken Salad Sandwich with Raisins and Curry Powder.

23

Crock-pot chicken noodle soup

Crock pot chicken noodle soup with bread on a table. Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Can’t go wrong with a cup of chicken noodle soup on a cold winter day! The protein from the chicken will make this meal filling, plus it’s an easy lunch to throw together right in your slow cooker. Each bowl should have around 2.5 oz. of chicken (13 grams protein).

Get our recipe for Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup.

24

Avocado toast with egg

avocado egg everything bagel seasoning toast on grey plate and marble counter Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Another easy meal to make with fried eggs would be a slice of avocado toast! Fry up an egg (6 grams protein) and place it on some avocado toast for lunch—or even brunch.

If you’re not a huge avocado toast fan, try making one of these 15 toast recipe ideas that go beyond basic avocado instead.

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