Power Up Your Meal: High Protein Side Dishes

high protein side dishes

Add a tasty twist to your meals with high-protein side dishes. They are perfect for vegetarians, those cutting carbs, or anyone wanting more protein. Each dish packs at least 7 grams of protein. This helps with digestion, muscle recovery, and bone health. Plus, these dishes are quick to make, needing 20 minutes or less.

Key Takeaways:

  • High protein side dishes can add a nutritious boost to your meal.
  • These recipes are quick and easy to make, taking 20 minutes or less.
  • Each serving offers at least 7 grams of protein for optimal nutrition.
  • There are options for vegetarians, low-carb dieters, and meat lovers.
  • Incorporating high-protein side dishes can support healthy digestion, muscle recovery, and bone strength.

Caramelized Broccolini & White Beans

Are you looking for high-protein side dishes? Try this simple yet nourishing combo of caramelized broccolini and white beans. It’s a tasty vegetarian choice. The broccolini gets a nice smoky flavor from the cast-iron pan, enhancing the dish’s taste. Together with protein-rich white beans and a bright parsley and hazelnut sauce, it becomes a delicious, protein-filled side that’ll boost your meals.

Broccolini is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it very healthy. It also helps with digestion thanks to its fiber. White beans are a great source of protein for vegetarians and are low in fat. They add a smooth texture to the meal and keep you full longer.


  1. Preheat a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the broccolini to the hot pan and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until it starts to caramelize and become tender.
  3. In the meantime, prepare the parsley and hazelnut sauce. In a blender, combine a handful of fresh parsley, a handful of toasted hazelnuts, a tablespoon of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth.
  4. Once the broccolini is caramelized, remove it from the pan and set it aside.
  5. Drain and rinse a can of white beans, then add them to the pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook for a few minutes until heated through.
  6. To serve, arrange the broccolini and white beans on a platter and drizzle the parsley and hazelnut sauce over the top. Garnish with additional toasted hazelnuts, if desired.

This dish of caramelized broccolini and white beans is a fantastic side or a light meal on its own. Its blend of flavors and textures makes it a great choice for anyone on a vegetarian or plant-based diet.

“The caramelized broccolini and white beans with the parsley and hazelnut sauce is a match made in heaven! The smoky char from the broccolini, the creaminess of the white beans, and the freshness of the parsley sauce create a harmony of flavors that will keep you coming back for more.” – Chef Anna Smith

Nutrition Facts:

Ingredient Amount Protein (g)
Broccolini 1 cup 3.7
White beans 1 cup 15.2
Hazelnuts 1 oz (28g) 5.3

Boost your meals with this dish of caramelized broccolini and white beans. It’s full of protein and works well with many main dishes. This versatile side is perfect for anyone looking for vegetarian high protein side dishes.

Garlic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Up your Brussels sprouts game with this tasty side dish. It’s all about garlic, bacon, and shallots for a big flavor boost. You can make it early for meal prep. Enjoy a protein-filled side all week long.

Brussels sprouts are not only yummy but are also full of nutrients. They offer fiber, vitamins C and K, and antioxidants. A great choice for any meal.

“These garlic Brussels sprouts with bacon are a tasty and convenient way to incorporate more high-protein side dishes into your meal prep routine. The combination of garlic, bacon, and shallots creates a bold and savory flavor that complements the natural nuttiness of Brussels sprouts. Plus, by making this recipe ahead of time, you can save precious minutes during busy weekdays without compromising on taste or nutrition.”

Begin by slicing and cleaning the Brussels sprouts. Mix them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast until they’re tender and slightly brown. Then, fry the bacon until it’s crispy. Take it out and put it aside. Use the same pan to cook minced garlic and shallots.

Mix the roasted Brussels sprouts in the pan with garlic and shallots. Top with bacon bits and serve warm.

For an impressive look, spread the Brussels sprouts and bacon on a big platter. This makes it easy for everyone to take their share of this delicious side dish.

Feel free to tweak this recipe to match your taste. Add red pepper flakes for spice, or skip the bacon for a vegetarian version. Try sautéed mushrooms or toasted walnuts for a new twist.

Try this protein-rich side dish. It’s a great add-on to your meal plan. Enjoy tasty and nutritious Brussels sprouts throughout your week.

Key Ingredients:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Bacon
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Benefits of Garlic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon:

  • High in protein
  • Packed with fiber and vitamins
  • Offers a savory and flavorful taste
  • Can be made ahead of time for meal prep

Grilled Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad

Looking for a tasty and low-carb side dish? This Grilled Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad is perfect. It’s full of grilled chicken, tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. All mixed with a zesty dressing.

The grilled chicken is the highlight. It brings a smoky flavor to the salad. The chicken pairs well with juicy tomatoes and aromatic basil. Creamy mozzarella pearls add a smooth texture.

This salad is great for those cutting carbs. You can swap pasta for veggies or zucchini noodles. It’s perfect for a low-carb diet, keeping the meal satisfying and protein-rich.

This dish is not just tasty but also very flexible. Serve it at barbecues, potlucks, or as a light lunch. It’s sure to please everyone with its bright colors and fresh taste.

“This Grilled Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad is the perfect combination of flavors and textures. It’s a light and refreshing side dish that’s packed with protein and low in carbs, making it a great option for those watching their carb intake.”

Want a simple yet nutritious meal addition? Choose this Grilled Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad. It’s delicious, with a high protein content. This salad turns any meal from bland to vibrant.

Benefits of Grilled Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad:

  • High in protein
  • Low in carbs
  • Packed with fresh flavors
  • Versatile and easy to customize
  • Perfect for a variety of occasions

Seared Scallops with Escarole Salad

Try seared scallops with escarole salad for a high-protein side dish. The scallops are seared just right. They match well with the crisp, fresh salad. It’s a good choice for those wanting a protein side without hard-to-follow recipes.

Scallops are a great protein source and they cook fast. They are perfect for a quick dinner or a special meal. When seared and paired with escarole, they become a tasty side dish.

To make this, season scallops with salt and pepper. Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Add the scallops and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. They should have a nice golden crust.

As the scallops cook, get the escarole salad ready. Mix escarole leaves, cherry tomatoes, and thinly sliced red onion. For the dressing, combine olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and your favorite herbs.

Put the cooked scallops over the escarole salad. This mix of tender scallops and fresh salad balances flavors and textures beautifully.

For more protein, add quinoa or roasted chickpeas on the side. Try topping the scallops with toasted pine nuts or shaved Parmesan cheese. This adds great taste.

This dish isn’t just tasty but also looks good. It’s perfect for dinner parties or impressing your guests. The seared scallops with escarole salad will dazzle everyone.

Benefits of Seared Scallops

Seared scallops are a delicious protein choice with many health benefits. They have low calories and fat but are rich in protein. This makes them good for weight control and muscle repair.

Scallops provide vitamin B12, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals like zinc and selenium. These help your immune system, heart, and overall health.

With their gentle taste and tender feel, seared scallops can boost any meal. They are both simple to prepare and delightful to eat!

Kale and Chickpea Toasts

Looking for a healthy side dish packed with protein? These Kale and Chickpea Toasts are tasty and simple to make. This dish mixes kale and chickpeas in a satisfying way. It’s a great choice for any meal.

Kale is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It’s a good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Chickpeas add protein and fiber, helping with digestion and fullness.

To start, wash and dry fresh kale. Remove tough stems and tear leaves into smaller pieces. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium. Then, add the kale. Cook it until it starts to wilt.

Next, mix in cooked chickpeas. Season with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs or spices. Cook a few more minutes until everything is hot and the kale is soft.

Get your favorite bread ready for toasting. You can choose whole wheat, gluten-free, or another preference. Toast it until it’s golden brown.

Spread a good amount of the kale and chickpea mix on the toasts. You can add feta cheese or nutritional yeast for extra flavor, if you want.

These toasts can be an appetizer, a light lunch, or a side. They’re full of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Enjoy them by themselves or with a salad or soup for a full meal.

Try making these toasts today. See how the mix of flavors and textures makes them a healthy and satisfying choice.

Tips for Variation:

  • For added crunch, sprinkle some toasted nuts or seeds on top of the toasts.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice or a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a tangy twist.
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices, such as garlic powder, paprika, or cumin, to customize the flavor of the kale and chickpea mixture.
  • Consider adding avocado slices or roasted vegetables as tasty toppings.

Get creative with toppings and enjoy the versatility of these toasts. They’re sure to become a beloved side dish for any event.

Fresh Green Bean Salad with Tahini Dressing

This salad is not your average dish. It’s a mix of crunchy green beans and creamy tahini dressing. Avocado, chives, and spinach make it bright and yum.

Healthy and Protein-Packed

This salad is not just tasty, but it’s full of good stuff too. Green beans and tahini bring protein to the table. This helps your muscles and keeps your immune system strong.

The avocado, chives, and spinach make it both creamy and fresh.

Adding this dish to your meals gives your body what it needs. It keeps you performing at your best.

Simple and Convenient

Making this Green Bean Salad is easy and quick. A few steps and you have a side dish ready to wow.

  1. Blanch the green beans in hot water until they are bright green and crispy.
  2. Mix tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and water to make it smooth and creamy.
  3. Coat the green beans in this dressing.
  4. Throw in avocado, chives, and spinach and mix gently.
  5. Add salt and pepper as you like.

And that’s it! Serve this Green Bean Salad with Tahini Dressing with any main dish. It’s perfect for parties or just to make dinner special. Everyone will love it.

Ingredients Instructions
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed 1. Blanch the green beans in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.
1/4 cup tahini 2. In a small bowl, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and a touch of water.
Juice of 1 lemon 3. Toss the blanched green beans with the tahini dressing until well coated.
1 garlic clove, minced 4. Add in the diced avocado, fresh chives, and spinach leaves, and gently toss to combine.
1 ripe avocado, diced 5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste

Try this Fresh Green Bean Salad with Tahini Dressing for a welcome change. It’s full of colors, flavors, and proteins. Your taste buds will thank you!

Grilled Lemony Chicken and Kale Salad

Searching for high protein side dish ideas that are fresh and tasty? This grilled lemony chicken and kale salad is your answer. It mixes juicy grilled chicken with crunchy kale. Together, they create a harmony of flavor and texture.

The highlight of this dish is the bright lemon dressing. It brings a pop of flavor to every forkful. This tangy dressing pairs perfectly with the grilled chicken and kale. It elevates the meal.

This salad isn’t just delicious; it’s also packed with nutrition. The grilled chicken offers loads of protein. This helps in muscle recovery and growth.

To make the salad even better, try adding other foods. Think cherry tomatoes, sliced almonds, or crumbled feta cheese. They add more nutrients and tastes.

Need a quick dinner or a tasty side? This grilled lemony chicken and kale salad fits any occasion. It’s a choice that’s sure to please.

Southwestern Chicken and Black Bean Skillet

Looking for a quick and delicious protein boost? The Southwestern Chicken and Black Bean Skillet is here for you. This dish mixes juicy chicken breast with hearty black beans. It’s a tasty, nutritious side dish ready in 15 minutes.

A Protein-Packed Delight

This skillet is a treat and health boost all in one. It has lean chicken and fiber-filled black beans. Together, they pack a protein punch that supports muscle growth and repair.

Getting enough protein is key for a healthy body. This skillet makes it easy and tasty to up your protein. It doesn’t sacrifice flavor at all.

Preparation Made Easy

Making this skillet is a breeze. It needs only a few ingredients and a little time. In no time, you’ll have a delicious protein side dish.

“The Southwestern Chicken and Black Bean Skillet is ideal for those with a tight schedule but wanting a nutritious meal. In just 15 minutes, a protein-rich dish is ready without much effort.”

Cook the chicken, then add black beans and spices like cumin and chili powder. The resulting mix is a pleasing Southwestern dish to enjoy.

A Complete and Balanced Meal

This skillet isn’t just a side. It can be the main event of your meal. Serve it with quinoa or rice for a full, balanced dish.

Quinoa provides complete protein, while rice is a great flavor match. Whichever you choose, you’ll have a satisfying meal.

This dish is great for customization. Add bell peppers for a colorful crunch or avocado for creaminess. It can be tailored to your liking.

Table 9: Nutrition Facts

Ingredient Amount Protein Content (per serving)
Chicken Breast 4 oz 35g
Black Beans 1 cup 15g
Quinoa 1 cup 8g
Rice 1 cup 4g
Total 62g

Table 9: The nutrition info given is an estimate and could change with brand and serving size.

So why wait? Try the Southwestern Chicken and Black Bean Skillet today. It’s an easy, high-protein dish that’s both satisfying and energizing!

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

Are you looking for a flavorful twist on burgers? Try these Mediterranean turkey burgers. They use lean turkey meat and mix in Mediterranean spices for a tasty, healthy choice.

Add salty feta cheese and homemade tzatziki sauce on top for an extra flavor boost. This mix of tangy feta and creamy tzatziki makes the juicy turkey patties even better.

Pair them with roasted veggies or a Greek salad for a full meal. These flavors will make you feel like you’re dining by the sea. Plus, they’re packed with protein to keep you full and energized.

So, get your grill ready for these amazing turkey burgers. They’re not just delicious; they’re also nourishing. Enjoy the Mediterranean taste in every bite!


Ingredients Instructions
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. In a bowl, mix ground turkey, breadcrumbs, red onion, garlic, parsley, mint, oregano, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Shape into patties with your hands or a burger press.
  3. Heat a grill or pan over medium-high. Cook the patties for 4-5 minutes each side, or until done.
  4. As they cook, blend Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, dill, lemon juice, and salt for the tzatziki.
  5. After cooking, let the burgers rest for a few minutes.
  6. Serve them on buns or in lettuce wraps, with feta cheese and tzatziki sauce on top.

Crispy Baked Tilapia

Dive into the deliciousness of Crispy Baked Tilapia. It’s a high-protein, low-fat dish. The tilapia fillets are covered in tasty parmesan and breadcrumbs. This creates a delightful crunch. It’s healthy, delicious, and supports an active lifestyle.

To make it, heat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Use parchment paper or grease a baking sheet. Dipping each tilapia fillet in beaten egg ensures coverage. Then press them into a breadcrumb and parmesan mix. Bake the coated fillets for 12-15 minutes or until they flake easily.

Pair this dish with roasted veggies or a fresh salad for a complete meal. The crispy fish mixed with vibrant veggies makes eating a joy. This Crispy Baked Tilapia recipe is perfect for anyone wanting tasty, high-protein meals.

Benefits of High Protein Side Dishes

Eating high-protein sides is great for your health. Protein helps in muscle repair, growth, and supports a healthy immune system. By choosing dishes like Crispy Baked Tilapia, you fuel your body right.

Our high-protein side dishes are both healthy and tasty. They suit various diets, including vegetarian, seafood, or meat preferences. These dishes add protein to your meals and let you try new, delicious flavors.

Remember to include a dish like Crispy Baked Tilapia in your meals. It’s not just tasty but also rich in protein and nutrients. It’s ideal for seafood fans or anyone looking for nutritious, high-protein meals.


Adding high protein sides to your meals is easy and beneficial. You can choose from vegetarian, seafood, or meat options. All are full of protein and taste great.

High-protein sides help your body stay strong. They support muscle building and bone health. They’re also good for your digestion.

Healthy food can be quick and tasty. You don’t need many ingredients or a lot of time. With these recipes, you can make delicious and nutritious dishes.

These high protein sides are perfect for any goal. They’re great for keeping active, eating well, or enjoying delicious meals. Add them to your diet to get the protein your body needs. Explore the benefits of these healthy recipes today.


What are high protein side dishes?

High protein side dishes pack a lot of protein. They boost your meals with extra protein for your body.

Why should I include high protein side dishes in my meals?

High protein sides aid digestion, help muscles recover, and strengthen bones. Protein is key for tissue repair and a healthy diet.

Are there any vegetarian high protein side dishes?

Yes, many vegetarian sides are rich in protein. Look for dishes with beans, lentils, tofu, or tempeh alongside other healthy bits.

Can high protein side dishes be prepared in advance for meal prep?

Definitely! Prepare high protein sides ahead and store them. They’re great for easy, nutritious meals all week.

What are some low carb high protein side dishes?

There are many low carb, high protein sides. They include lean meats, seafood, eggs, and dairy, offering protein without too many carbs.

Are there any easy high protein side dish recipes?

Plenty of high protein side dishes are easy to make. Many take less than 20 minutes, making your cooking quick and simple.

How can I incorporate high protein side dishes into my meal plan?

Pick high protein sides that go well with your main dish. You can also mix different sides for a balanced, nutritious meal.

What are some high protein side dish ideas for meal prep?

For meal prep, consider caramelized broccolini & white beans, garlic Brussels sprouts with bacon, or grilled chicken caprese pasta salad. Seared scallops with escarole salad, kale and chickpea toasts, and fresh green bean salad with tahini dressing are great too. Don’t forget grilled lemony chicken and kale salad, southwestern chicken and black bean skillet, Mediterranean turkey burgers, or crispy baked tilapia.

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