According to dieticians, From sweet to savory, these high-protein snacks are guaranteed to squash hunger (and taste great).
By Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD
But, choose something protein-packed and you may be pleasantly surprised at how little you need to eat to feel full. “Protein is an important nutrient that helps keep you fuller for longer,” says Amy Gorin, RDN, founder of Amy Gorin Nutrition in New York City.
“Ensuring your snacks have protein can help prevent mindless munching during the day that can add empty calories to your diet,” says Elizabeth Shaw, RDN, CPT, a California-based dietitian and author.
But how much protein should be in a snack? Both Shaw and Gorin say around 10 grams is the ideal amount. “I would consider anything more than 15 grams as more of a mini-meal, so 10 grams is the sweet spot,” says Shaw. Aim to keep your snack under 300 calories, too.
“I like to pair protein-rich ingredients with foods that offer healthy fats and fiber, both of which also help keep you satiated,” adds Gorin. “If you eat a snack that’s mainly carbs, you’ll likely be hungry again a lot more quickly.”
With that, this list of snacks features healthy combos that come in around 10 grams of protein with plenty of healthy fats and fiber in the mix. Ready to beat hunger? Reach for these high-protein snacks when you need something tasty to beat hunger in between meals.
Toast can be a high-protein snack to enjoy morning, noon, and night, says Shaw. “Using your favorite whole grain toast as a base, mix a little cinnamon and a dash of honey with full-fat cottage cheese and slather it on toast,” she says.
Protein: 14 grams per toast
Everyone could use a sweet pick-me-up in their day, and this blueberry chia pudding does the trick. It’s the ideal combination of tasty treat, protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Plus, it’s beyond simple to meal prep for a grab and go snack. In a small container, combine 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, ¼ cups chia seeds, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 cup fresh blueberries, and 1 cup plain Greek yogurt. Stir it together and refrigerate overnight.
Protein: 14 grams per serving
“Homemade protein bars can be a great thing to prep ahead and keep around to satisfy your snack cravings,” says Shaw. “I also love that you can really customize these based on what you have on hand and your personal and/or dietary preferences,” she adds. Many recipes require simple ingredients like oats, dates, nuts, and protein powder. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Shaw’s raw chocolate peanut butter protein bars.
Protein: 12 grams per bar
Don’t have time to whip up a batch of homemade protein bars? There are plenty of healthy protein bars to choose from at your local grocery store. Look for options made with whole ingredients that contain at least 7 grams of protein and around 3 grams of fiber. Stick to 180 to 250 calories, with no more than 12 grams of sugar (the lower, the better). Try the CLIF Nut Butter Filled Bars for 7 grams of protein or RX bars for 12 grams.
Protein: 7+ grams per bar
When hunger strikes, don’t head to the fridge. Instead, look to the freezer for your favorite microwaveable sushi appetizer. These green bean pods serve up plant-based protein and gut-filling fiber for just 95 calories per serving.
Protein: 9 grams per 1/2 cup
6 Black bean wrap
If you had a sad desk lunch and need a little protein to power you through the afternoon, roll up a black bean and hummus wrap. Cut a whole wheat tortilla in half and fill with a ½ cup of black beans, ¼ cup of hummus, a tablespoon of chopped bell pepper, a teaspoon of diced red onion, and a squeeze of lime juice. Because who doesn’t want to feel like their having a Mexican fiesta for a snack?
Protein: 9 grams per wrap
Artisanal jerky is going mainstream, and this dried meat delicacy is packed with protein. Brands like Krave, EPIC, and Lorissa’s Kitchen make interesting flavors, such as black cherry barbecue, smoked salmon maple, and Szechuan peppercorn. If jerky is a once in a while treat, feel free to opt for any type of meat that satisfies your taste buds. But if you’ve always got a bag of jerky in your purse, try to look for ones that are made with salmon, turkey, or chicken for a leaner piece of protein.
Protein: 9 grams per ounce (about the size of half a bag, one bar, or one stick)
Don’t have tortillas? No problem—throw together a few simple ingredients to make a protein-rich vegan salsa. The combination of black beans, tomato, orange juice, and tomato makes the quickest and most flavorful salsa recipe that you’ll want to put on everything from crackers to crudité.
Protein: 8 grams per 1/3 cup
9 String cheese
Serious question: Do you peel your string cheese or take a bite out of it? Either way you eat it, this portable snack contains just 80 calories per stick, plus a healthy dose of bone-building calcium.
Protein: 7+ grams per stick
High-protein smoothies can be made so many different ways, but it’s best to opt for ones that have quality protein in the form of Greek yogurt, milk, or nut butter. “This coffee-flavored smoothie is full of protein-offering ingredients, like soy milk and Greek yogurt,” says Gorin. For a fruit-based smoothie, try this immune-boosting tropical sunshine smoothie. If you prefer to add a protein powder, reach for one of these healthy options.
Protein: 10+ grams per smoothie
11 Bean-based pasta
If you plan on hitting the post-work spin class, fuel up with some bean-based pasta, like Banza’s chickpea pasta. For a snack portion, stick with the suggested 2-ounce serving size and serve with high-quality marinara sauce, like Rao’s Homemade. Of course, adding veggies to the mix is always encouraged!
Protein: 12+ grams per 2 ounces
12 Egg muffins
Eggs boast an impressive 6 grams of protein per large egg, but you may not always have time to whip up an omelet. Instead, cook up these egg muffins from Prevention’s 30-day meal prep plan, which pack the flavor of egg, turkey bacon, mozzarella cheese, peppers, spinach, and spices into one bite-sized snack.
Protein: 8 grams per 2 muffins
“Top ½ cup plain cottage cheese with a couple of tablespoons of pistachios for a high-protein, delicious snack,” says Gorin. “Pistachios are one of the highest-protein snack nuts, and they offer the incredibly satiating trio of plant-based protein, healthy fat, and fiber,” she adds.
Protein: 13 grams per ½ cup
14 Frozen yogurt
No, we’re not talking about that type of frozen yogurt, but this one may be just as good. Made with frozen Greek yogurt, 100 percent juice, and peanut butter powder, this PB&J Frozen Yogurt from Snacking Sneakers is a high-protein treat you will look forward to eating all day.
Protein: 12 grams per ½ cup
15 Roasted pumpkin seeds
Seeds are an often-overlooked food group that offer plenty of satiating protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Simply toss them in a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake at 250 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes for a crunchy snack. Looking for something sweeter? These maple and vanilla roasted pumpkin seeds are a mouth-watering snack that you’re going to want to make in large batches
Protein: 9 grams per 1/4 cup
Oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast. Make a heaping bowl of loaded oats (roughly ½ cup raw makes 1 cup cooked) for a fiber-rich, high-protein snack. To up the protein ante, cook the oats with ½ cup of milk and ½ cup of water. Top with fruit, like apples, pears, berries, unsweetened coconut flakes or bananas, and a tablespoon of chopped nuts, hemp seeds, or flax seeds.
Protein: 10 grams per 1 cup cooked
17 Tofu nuggets
Eat nuggets like you’re a kid again with this meatless tofu nuggets recipe from Delish Knowledge. It is as simple as dredging tofu pieces in flour, cornstarch, and spices and baking in the oven. If you think you don’t like tofu, then you haven’t tried these nuggets! Bonus: Tofu is low in calories, contains all of the essential amino acids, and is a great source of magnesium, zinc, and iron.
Protein: 11 grams per 4 nuggets
18 Tuna salad wrap
Make tuna salad fun again with this fresh, flavorful wrap. Mixed with tangy Greek yogurt and lemon juice, grapes and celery for sweetness and crunch, arugula for greens, and walnuts for healthy fat, this tuna salad wrap recipe is a simple high-protein snack to make that will instantly squash your hunger.
Protein: 15 grams per wrap
Homemade energy bites come in many shapes and sizes, but most include protein-rich ingredients, like nut butters or seeds. This chocolate peanut butter variety combines two popular flavors alongside oats to serve up a bite-sized high-protein snack.
Protein: 14 grams per 2 bites
20 Greek yogurt dip
Greek yogurt isn’t just for eating with a spoon. Grab a fiber-rich fruit or veggie, like apples or celery sticks, and get dippin’. Mix some yogurt with honey, or even peanut butter powder for the easiest protein-packed dip around. Fancy something savory (and a little bit fancy)? Try this spiced chickpea Greek yogurt dip.
Protein: 10 grams per 1/3 cup of dip
21 Homemade cheddar muffins
Let’s be honest, most muffins are just cupcakes without the frosting, but not these savory cheese muffins (which happen to be gluten-free!). Made with zucchini, white cheddar, and egg, each muffin in this recipe from Marisa Moore Nutrition packs a protein punch.
Protein: 10 grams per muffin
22 Protein pancakes
Protein pancakes are a thing, and you can thank us later for introducing you to them. There are a ton of varieties on Pinterest, but this gluten-free pancake recipe from Edwina Clark includes eggs, flax seeds, and Greek yogurt for a filling snack. If you rather reach for a mix, go for this option from Kodiak Cakes, which packs 14 grams of protein per serving.
Protein: 10+ grams per 1 large pancake
Homemade chicken salad is always the ultimate palate pleaser. Combine 2 cups of chopped leftover grilled or rotisserie white meat chicken with ½ cup of crunchy fruits and veggies, like chopped celery and apple. To make it healthier than traditional chicken salads, coat the chicken mixture with ¼ cup of mayonnaise and ¼ cup of low-fat Greek yogurt and season with salt and pepper.
Protein: 15 grams per ½ cup
This Asian lettuce cups recipe is made with protein-rich chicken breast combined with a spicy Asian slaw. “Each serving has 11 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and only 1 gram of saturated fat, and it’s a delicious way to add protein to any meal,” says Toby Amidor, MS, RDN, author of Smart Meal Prep for Beginners.
Protein: 11 grams per 2 cups
25Turkey + apple roll-up
Don’t feel like cooking anything? Take a slice of deli turkey and wrap it around an apple slice. The varying textures and flavors pair together really nicely.
Protein: 12 grams per 2 roll-ups