Easy, Quick Lunches with 30 Grams of Protein {Perfect for Summer}

If you’re trying to follow a higher protein diet, for example 120 grams per day, it is difficult to do so if meals are less than 30 grams of protein. I find that lunches are often the one of the hardest meals (second to breakfast) to consume that amount of protein! Who wants to make an elaborate lunch everyday? Not me.

That’s why I have come up with this list: lunch ideas with 30 grams of protein that are perfect for summer. They are light, refreshing, simple to throw together yet healthy and filling.

A chicken salad sandwich on a white plate for 30 grams of protein lunches main header image.

Salads, sandwiches, easy to throw together power bowls… these ideas do take a little bit of prep work. However, I have included some meal prep tips to make your life a little easier – so you have a high protein lunch to bring to work with you everyday!

Or, if you’re a stay-at-home mom – you will only have to worry about making your kids lunches (and you won’t feel the need to eat their leftover chicken nuggets).

Why Consume a High Protein Lunch?

If you’re reading this post, you probably know most of the advantages of consuming a higher protein diet. From keeping us fuller for longer, reducing appetite, decreased mindless snacking, increased muscle protein synthesis, and blood sugar stabilization – just to name a few.

Ideally, protein should be evenly distributed throughout the day. It takes a little bit more awareness and planning (as I always say) but with consistency it can become routine.

Summer Meal Prep Tips

  • Choose a block of time during your week to do some meal prep. Or, divide into short periods of time throughout the week.
  • Practice component cooking: one day, cook up a bunch of quinoa and refrigerate or freeze. Then, make extra chicken with dinner one night and save some (again, you can easily freeze) for lunch prep when you have the time.
  • Use a vegetable chopper and just bulk chop a bunch of vegetables to use throughout the week. That way, you only have to clean it once.
  • Think about small additions to your meals that will add extra protein: shredded cheese (6 grams per 1/4 cup), beans (6 grams per 1/2 cup), nuts, hemp seeds, or utilize Greek yogurt to make high protein sauces.
  • Balance nutrition and convenience as needed! Get some microwavable rice packets, frozen veggies, canned beans, frozen cauliflower rice, etc… whatever you need to make your life easier.

Salads with 30 Grams of Protein

Salads are the perfect vessel to create a high protein lunch. They’re packed with veggies and it’s easy to add in those little additions to increase the protein content.

A high protein grilled chicken salad in a white bowl on a dining table.

Cobb Salad (Allrecipes): At 32 grams of protein per serving, this is your typical cobb salad with bacon, hard-boiled eggs, chicken, bleu cheese, and tomatoes. Easily customize with your favorite dressing.

High Protein Avocado Chicken Salad (Beauty Bites): This salad comes to 44 grams of protein due to the combination of chicken and hard-boiled eggs.

Salmon Salad with Asian Ginger Sesame Dressing (Recipe Tin Eats): 37 grams of protein in this healthy salad, due to the addition of salmon and edamame.

Summer BBQ Chicken Chopped Salads (How Sweet Eats): The black beans add some additional protein and fiber. The chicken and corn are grilled to add an extra flavor dimension. However, you could just use baked chicken and canned corn if you’re short on time.

Greek Chicken Salad in a Jar (Ambitious Kitchen): This healthy, Greek-inspired salad is assembled in a jar – so it’s easily portable. Store for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Easy Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad (Haute & Healthy Living): If you have some already grilled chicken, this salad comes together quickly. In addition to chicken, there are fresh strawberries, feta cheese, spinach, chopped pecans and a homemade strawberry balsamic dressing.

Quick Power Bowls

Two shrimp taco bowls prepped in storage containers for meal prep, sitting on a cutting board next to a bowl of Greek yogurt avocado cream sauce.

Power bowls are easy to throw together and customize. This is where buying already frozen veggies or grains comes in handy! You could even use a store-bought sauce for flavor.

Salmon Quinoa Bowl (Walder Wellness): Salmon and veggies are roasted on a baking sheet, then combined with quinoa and a creamy lemon tahini dressing! Tahini is a condiment made from ground sesame, and it contains ~2.5 grams of protein per tablespoon.

Shrimp Taco Bowl: You just need 25 minutes to cook this entire dish. If you use microwaveable or already-prepared rice, this recipe is can be done in a pinch! It only takes a couple minutes to cook the shrimp – then it’s topped with a Greek yogurt avocado sauce.

Mediterranean Grain Bowl: This is a super refreshing grain bowl with quinoa, garbanzo beans, fresh veggies, chopped walnuts, feta cheese, and chicken. Drizzle some olive oil and vinegar and it’s ready to go.

Quinoa cucumber chickpea salad portioned out in storage containers for low calorie high protein meal prep.

Similar to the above recipe, I love this super easy and quick Mediterranean Chicken, Cucumber and Tomato Salad. If you have leftover grilled chicken, it takes less than 10 minutes to prep!

All the ingredients except the dressing in a wooden bowl prior to mixing.

Sandwiches and Wraps

Two halves of a chicken salad wrap on a white plate on the counter in a kitchen.

Healthy Egg Salad (Eat the Gains): A simple egg salad made with Greek yogurt for extra protein. This recipe has 23 grams of protein per serving. Spread it on a higher protein wrap or two slices of bread and it’s an quick and easy lunch idea!

A slice of bread is typically 5-6 grams of protein. You could also dip some Quest Protein Chips into the egg salad for a quick lunch or snack.

For those who can’t handle dairy, try a higher protein plant-based yogurt – like Kite Hill Dairy-Free Greek Style Yogurt.

Healthy Tuna Salad (Feel Good Foodie): Along that same note, this is a tuna salad version with Greek yogurt (19 grams of protein). Eat with a side of nuts, on a sandwich or high protein wrap.

Healthy Moroccan-Spiced Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad (Ambitious Kitchen): A high protein chicken salad with Moroccan spices. With 21.8 grams of protein per serving, you will need to add some hemp hearts, nuts, or make it into a sandwich to reach 30 grams!

Also, you could pair it with a glass of milk – which provides 8 grams of protein. It stores for 3-5 days in the fridge!

Taco Lettuce Wraps (Kirbie Cravings): This is a low carb recipe that is relatively simple to throw together with over 26 grams of protein. Meal prep instructions included.

Overnight Oats/Yogurt/Cottage Cheese Ideas

Reduce your meat intake and embrace the beauty of Greek yogurt, protein powder, and cottage cheese.

A masor jar of banana cinnamon overnight oats topped with whipped cream with a spoon in it.

Banana Cinnamon Overnight Oats: While usually a breakfast recipe, I don’t see why you can’t make it for lunch! Talk about easy meal prep (under 5 minutes). This recipe does use protein powder. Easily customize with your favorite fruits and flavors.

Cottage Cheese Bowl: Sweet or savory, a cottage cheese (or yogurt) bowl is a SUPER easy way to increase your protein at lunch. 1 cup of cottage cheese is 28 grams of protein!

Plus, the possibilities are endless! Top with cucumber slices, salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar. Make it Greek and add some Kalamata olives. Or, California style with hard-boiled eggs and avocado slices. Like a sweeter bowl? Top some cottage cheese with berries and drizzle with honey.

Adult Lunchables

I love the adult lunchables trend! It kind of reminds me of a girl dinner – but lunch instead.

This Adult Lunchable from Modern Nonna hits that 30 grams of protein mark with pepperoni, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs.

An infographic comparing different foods and their protein content per serving.

Again, this is easily customizable! Swap the pepperoni for turkey, chicken, beans, or some of the Greek yogurt chicken salad. Read food labels to find crackers higher in protein! Use the protein table above to build your own lunchable.

Related Posts:
How to Get 120 Grams of Protein Per Day (with Meal Plans)
Protein Bowl Recipes
30 Breakfasts with 30 Grams of Protein

I Hope This Inspired You!

This post was written as summer is knocking at the door: start it with success with these meal prep tips and lunch ideas! Eat them as written, or use these recipes and meal principles to build your own high protein lunch.

No more scavenging around last minute for what to make or eating your kids’ leftover French fries. I write this as someone who does this often! Therefore, I need to make it more of a priority to plan my lunches, too.

Feel free to share what your favorite easy lunch is!

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