60g Protein Meal: 12 Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

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It might seem daunting to try to hit a high protein target, especially if you need up to 60g of protein at each meal.

To help you, I’ve prepared a list of 12 meal options with 60g of protein each, focusing on a mix of different choices for lean protein from both animal and plant-based sources. 

These meals recreate many traditional favorites including pasta and pizza with a high-protein twist.

In this article, I’ll also explain:

  • Whether an intake of 60g of protein per meal is appropriate
  • Who should (and shouldn’t) eat 60g of protein per meal
  • Some tips on how to get 60g of protein per meal

Want to learn more about meal planning? Check out our complete guide on How To Make A Meal Plan For Bodybuilding.

Should You Consume 60g Of Protein In A Meal?

You may have heard that 20-25g of protein is the maximum amount in a single meal that can be used for muscle-building purposes.  

However, that study was specifically looking at fast-digesting proteins without the addition of other macronutrients. 

Adding other foods to provide carbs and fats for a balanced meal will slow down nutrition absorption, which allows for higher protein intake.

The amount of protein that the body can absorb is much higher than widely believed; any amounts that are not put towards muscle growth will be broken down for energy or simply excreted.

This study suggests a maximum of 0.55g of protein per kg of body weight per meal, but that is not an absolute rule and would depend on the number of meals per day needed to achieve the daily total.

How To Get 60g of Protein Per Meal: 4 Tips

How to get 60g of protein per meal 4 tips

Here are my top four tips to get 60g of protein per meal:

  • Increase your serving sizes
  • Incorporate egg whites
  • Include protein powder
  • Choose high-protein substitutes

1. Increase Your Serving Sizes

The simplest way to get started on a higher protein intake is to increase the serving sizes of each protein source that you already eat, especially when it is a lean source of protein.  A serving size that is 25-50% bigger will provide 25-50% more protein.

Applying this one tip to a meal with 40g of protein can increase it to 50-60g of protein.  

For example, one can of tuna contains 30g of protein. An extra half can of tuna is not much more food, but increases the protein content to 45g.  Serving the tuna on multigrain bread (10g of protein) with a slice of cheese (5g of protein) creates a meal with 60g of protein.

2. Incorporate Egg Whites

Egg whites are an excellent fat-free source of protein, with 7g per ¼ cup of liquid egg whites.  Egg whites are easy to add to a variety of dishes including smoothies, scrambles, stir fries, and even oatmeal to boost the protein content.

A common problem when trying to increase protein content is that many sources of protein also contain fat, which can lead to going over fat macros.  Egg whites are an easy way to avoid this problem.

For example, an omelet made with 3 eggs would have 18g of protein and 15g of fat. Removing one egg and adding ½ cup of liquid egg whites increases the protein content to 26g and reduces the fat content to 10g. Side dishes such as bacon, ham, or sausage and added ingredients in the omelet can increase the total protein content to 60g.

Related Article: How To Increase Protein Intake Without Increasing Your Fat

3. Include Protein Powder

On average, 1 scoop of protein powder provides approximately 25g of protein.  This makes it an easy way to increase the protein content of meals and drinks. 

The protein powder can either be consumed as part of a protein shake on the side, or added directly to the dish.

Many protein powders are sweetened, which makes them popular in smoothies, oatmeal, and pancakes, and they can be used in high-protein baked goods such as cakes, brownies, and muffins. 

Unflavored protein powders are great choices for stirring into savory dishes such as soups or stews or chili.  

4. Choose High-protein Substitutes

There is a large selection of products that are higher in protein than traditional versions, including high-protein pasta, high-protein bread & wraps, high-protein ice cream and even high-protein potato chips. 

All of these foods can be substituted for the regular versions to increase protein content.

I am personally a big fan of legume-based pastas such as Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti (24g of protein per serving) or Chickapea Spirals (15g of protein per serving).

I love making my lunchtime sandwiches and wraps with Flatout Breads (10g of protein per wrap), and a serving of Quest Nutrition Protein Chips (20g of protein per serving) on the side.

Then, I can finish my day with a bowl of Halo Top high-protein ice cream (~17g of protein per pint).  

60g Protein Meal: 12 Examples

Here are 12 meals with 60g of protein. If you’re looking for more meal and recipe inspiration, check out our full meal plan category.

1. Mexican Breakfast Burrito

mexican breakfast burrito

A breakfast burrito is a delicious way to get a high-protein start to the day by using eggs and egg whites, light cheese, a high-protein wrap and black beans for a high-fiber, plant-based boost in protein. 

The egg whites and light cheese keep the fat content in check, and you get a balanced meal.

Using a high-protein wrap instead of a regular wrap and swapping in some egg whites for whole eggs is a way to keep the overall food volume manageable, giving you a tasty morning meal.

Ingredients and Protein Macros:

  • 2 eggs – 12g protein
  • ½ cup liquid egg whites (4 large egg whites) – 14g protein
  • 1 oz (28g) light shredded cheese – 8g protein
  • 1 cup black beans – 14g protein
  • 1 high-protein wrap – 10g protein
  • ¼ cup (63g) salsa – 2g protein

TOTAL: 60g of protein

2. Chocolate Protein Pancakes with Peanut Butter

chocolate protein pancakes with peanut butter

Protein pancakes are a delicious way to enjoy a breakfast that is usually extremely high in carbohydrates in a more balanced way. 

You don’t even need to buy any fancy protein pancake mixes; protein powder makes a great base for pancakes with just a few extra ingredients.

I’ve gotten the very best results for my own protein pancakes using Quest Nutrition brand protein powder

Quest has an isolate-casein blend and includes some thickeners and emulsifiers (xanthan gum and sunflower lecithin) that give a great texture to the finished pancake.

Ingredients and Protein Macros:

  • 1.5 scoops (42g) protein powder – 36g protein
  • 2 tbsp (16g) high protein powdered peanut butter – 9g protein
  • 1 tbsp (5g) unsweetened cocoa powder – 1g protein
  • ¼ cup liquid egg whites (2 large egg whites) – 7g protein
  • ¼ cup milk – 2g protein
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tbsp (22g) smooth peanut butter, for spreading on top – 6g protein

TOTAL: 61g of protein

3. Spinach, Mushroom & Feta Omelet with Turkey Sausage

spinach, mushroom & feta omelet with turkey sausage

This flavorful omelet is a great choice for the weekends to give you a satisfying high-protein meal that is much lower in fat than a similar meal would be at a restaurant for brunch. 

Turkey sausage is much lower in fat than traditional pork sausage and adds a great protein boost to the meal.  

The omelet ingredients also add more protein to the overall dish, as well as providing vitamins and fiber for your overall health.  

Multigrain bread adds an additional 5g of protein per slice, along with fiber and carbohydrates for a balanced meal.

Ingredients and Protein Macros:

  • 2 eggs – 12g protein
  • ½ cup liquid egg whites (4 large egg whites) – 14g protein
  • 1 oz (28g) light feta cheese, crumbled – 7g protein
  • 4 oz (113g) mushrooms, chopped – 4g protein
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach – 1g protein
  • 3 links turkey sausage – 12g protein
  • 2 slices multigrain bread, toasted – 10g protein

TOTAL: 60g of protein

4. High Protein Strawberry & Chia Overnight Oats

high protein strawberry & chia overnight oats

This make-ahead meal is a perfect grab and go option for the morning.  The combination of protein powder, high-protein milk and Greek yogurt transforms oatmeal from its usual role as a high-carb breakfast to a protein powerhouse.

Adding chia seeds also adds a few more grams of protein overall, and contributes to a great texture for this meal that will fill you up for hours.  

You can experiment with different flavors of protein powder and fruits to create your favorite combination.

Ingredients and Protein Macros:

  • ¾ cup (60g) rolled oats – 8g protein
  • 1 scoop (30g) vanilla protein powder – 25g protein
  • 1 cup (250mL) high-protein milk (Fairlife) – 13g protein
  • ½ cup (125g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt – 12g protein
  • 1 tbsp (6.5g) chia seeds – 2g protein
  • 2 oz (113g) sliced strawberries

TOTAL: 60g of protein

5. Choco Berry Protein Smoothie

choco berry protein smoothie

A smoothie is a bodybuilder classic, but anyone can benefit from this form of nutrition.  Smoothies are very convenient because all ingredients are mixed in a blender and the end result is portable.

It can also be easier to drink calories compared to chewing food, which makes smoothies helpful for a calorie surplus.

High-protein milk serves as the base, and the addition of both Greek yogurt and protein powder make it easy to achieve a high protein target in a single drink.

Ingredients and Protein Macros:

  • 1 cup (2350mL) high-protein milk (Fairlife) – 13g protein
  • ¾ cup (175g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt – 17g protein
  • 1 scoop (30g) chocolate protein powder – 25g protein
  • 1 cup (160g) frozen mixed berries – 2g protein
  • 1 tbsp (5g) unsweetened cocoa powder – 1g protein

TOTAL: 58g of protein

6. Tuna Sandwich & Potato Chips

tuna sandwich & potato chips

A high-protein diet doesn’t have to mean giving up on “regular” meals like sandwiches in favor of chicken breasts and broccoli all of the time. 

Swapping whole-grain bread for white bread increases the protein content, and high-protein potato chips make a huge contribution to the protein content of the meal.

You can make the protein content of this meal even higher than 60g by using plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo for the tuna salad, or as part of a creamy dip with dried herbs for the veggies.

Ingredients and Protein Macros:

  • 1 can tuna packed in water, drained – 30g protein
  • 1 tbsp (15mL) mayonnaise – 0g protein
  • 2 slices multigrain bread – 10g protein
  • 3 oz (85g) baby carrots – 1g protein
  • 1 bag (1.1 oz / 37g) protein chips – 20g protein

TOTAL: 61g of protein 

7. Chef’s Salad With Chickpeas & Homemade Dressing

chef’s salad with chickpeas & homemade dressing

A chef’s salad is a great way to combine a lot of different protein sources into one meal. The addition of chickpeas increases the protein and fiber content and adds fun new texture and flavor.  This meal is naturally low in carbohydrates.  

Making your own homemade salad dressing with Greek yogurt as the base creates a much higher-protein option than using traditional dressings. 

This recipe for Greek yogurt salad dressing includes 1 full cup of Greek yogurt – use a quarter on your salad to get 6g of protein.

Ingredients and Protein Macros:

  • 4 oz (113g) lean deli ham slices, chopped – 18g protein
  • 4 oz (113g) lean deli turkey slices, chopped – 18g protein
  • 1 oz (28g) reduced fat cheddar cheese, cubed – 7g protein
  • 1 egg, hardboiled & sliced – 6g protein
  • ½ cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed – 6g protein
  • Large bowl of chopped iceberg lettuce – 0g protein
  • 1 oz (28g) chopped cherry tomatoes – 0g protein
  • ¼ serving homemade Greek yogurt salad dressing (or just combine ¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp lemon juice, your favorite dried herbs, and salt & pepper, to taste) – 6g protein

TOTAL: 61g of protein 

8. Plant-Based Brown Rice Bowl

plant-based brown rice bowl

Many new plant-based meat replacement products are making it easy to hit your protein targets even without animal protein sources. 

Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is a soy-based alternative to ground beef that has been around for a long time, and provides the protein for this vegan meal.

Brown rice at the base of this bowl provides a source of complex carbohydrates and fiber to provide long-lasting energy, and the vegetables add beautiful color and beneficial nutrients.

Ingredients and Protein Macros:

  • 3 oz (85g dry weight) TVP, reconstituted (pour ~¾ cup boiling water over the TVP, stir and let stand for 5-10 minutes) – 44g protein
  • ¼ cup (45g dry weight) brown rice, cooked – 3g protein
  • ½ cup canned miniature corn, drained and rinsed – 2g protein
  • 4 oz (113g) steamed broccoli florets, chopped – 4g protein
  • 4 oz (113g) mushrooms, chopped – 4g protein
  • 2 tbsp (30mL) soy sauce – 2g protein

TOTAL: 59g of protein 

9. Steak Fajitas

steak fajitas

Fajitas are a flavorful way to get a balanced meal that includes protein and fat from the meat and cheese, and complex carbohydrates from the tortillas and vegetables (which also provide fiber and vitamins). 

Swapping plain Greek yogurt for sour cream lowers the fat content and increases the protein.

You could also add your favorite beans as a side dish, such as black beans or pinto beans, as a way to increase the fiber and protein content even more, or reduce the amount of steak by 1oz (28g) for each ½ cup of beans to make the meal more plant-based.

Ingredients and Protein Macros:

  • 3 small white flour tortillas – 5g protein
  • 5 oz (142g) cooked flank steak strips – 40g protein
  • 2 oz (56g) chopped bell peppers – 0.5g protein
  • 2 oz (56g) chopped onion – 0.5g protein
  • ¼ cup (1 oz / 30g) low fat shredded cheese – 8g protein
  • ¼ cup (63g) salsa – 2g protein
  • ¼ cup (58g) plain non-fat Greek yogurt – 6g protein

TOTAL: 62g of protein 

10. Pork Tenderloin & Sweet Potato With Brussels Sprouts

pork tenderloin & sweet potato with brussels sprouts

Grilled pork tenderloin is an easy way to get a break from chicken breasts, which can feature heavily in a high- protein diet. 

Pork tenderloin is low in fat, which means that you can increase your serving size to increase your protein intake without going over your fat macros.  

The colorful sweet potato and brussels sprouts add a few grams of protein to this meal, while also providing a healthful source of carbohydrates, fiber and other nutrients to create an overall balanced dish.

Ingredients and Protein Macros:

  • 10 oz (280g) raw weight pork tenderloin, grilled – 52g protein
  • 8 oz (227g) sweet potato, cubed and steamed – 4g protein
  • 4 oz (113g) Brussels sprouts, roasted – 4g protein

TOTAL: 60g of protein 

11. BBQ Chicken Protein Pizza

bbq chicken protein pizza

The explosion of new pizza toppings and combinations in the last several years beyond Italian deli meats has opened the door for lots of high-protein combinations that are lower in fat. 

Combine that with new higher-protein pizza crusts, and you can successfully include pizza in even a very high-protein diet.

For this pizza, you’ll use your favorite BBQ sauce instead of pizza sauce for the crust to give the pizza a sweet, smoky flavor.

Another personal favourite of mine is a high-protein Hawaiian pizza, with lean Canadian back bacon and pineapple on a high-protein crust with traditional tomato pizza sauce.

Ingredients and Protein Macros:

  • 3 Flatout Thin Pizza Crusts, Rustic White – 15g protein
  • 3 tbsp (45mL) BBQ sauce – 0g protein
  • 4 oz (113g) cooked chicken breast (cooked weight, not raw weight), shredded – 34g protein 
  • 2 oz (56g) chopped green bell peppers – 0.5g protein
  • 2 oz (56g) chopped sweet onion – 0.5g protein
  • 1½ oz (42g) low fat shredded mozzarella cheese – 11g protein

TOTAL: 61g of protein 

12. High Protein Pasta & Chicken Meatballs with Cheese

high protein pasta & chicken meatballs with cheese

New legume-based pastas are a great way to transform a meal that would have previously been very high in carbs to a high-protein meal.  Extra lean ground chicken provides more protein and significantly less fat per serving than ground beef.

A fresh and bright spinach salad on the side adds a few more grams of protein as well as valuable vitamins and fiber for a healthy  meal.  Opting for a yogurt-based dressing adds another gram of protein and is lower in fat than traditional oil-based dressings.

Ingredients and Protein Macros:

  • 4 oz (113g) extra lean ground chicken, shaped into meatballs and baked – 22g protein
  • 3oz (85g) dry weight Chickapea Spiral Pasta, cooked – 22g protein
  • ½ cup jarred pasta sauce with vegetables – 2g protein
  • ¼ cup reduced fat Parmesan cheese – 6g protein
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach – 1g protein
  • 4 oz (113g) mushrooms, chopped – 4g protein
  • 2 tbsp yogurt salad dressing – 1g protein

TOTAL: 58g of protein

Who Should Be Eating 60g Protein Meals?

What is most important is hitting your daily protein target, first and foremost. If you’ve covered that, then the next important element is aiming to spread protein intake evenly over the course of the day, with a similar protein content in each meal.  

People who need 60g of protein per meal would likely have a high overall protein target and/or a limited number of meals to hit that target.

As an example, a total daily protein target of 240g of protein might mean four meals per day with 60g of protein in each.  This high protein target would likely only apply to extremely active individuals, most often larger males with high training volume and active jobs.

Or, if your daily protein target is only 120g but your schedule only has time for two meals in the day, you would need to consume 60g at each of those meals. This could happen in the case of shift work.

For Sedentary Individuals

Sedentary individuals will likely not be eating 60g of protein per meal.  

The average sedentary adult requires approximately 0.36g of protein per pound of body weight.  

For a person who weighs 165lbs, this would be 60g of protein per day, which most often won’t be consumed in a single meal.

For Athletes

Some athletes who are only able to eat 3 times per day will likely need to include 60g of protein per meal.  

Increasing activity level means increasing protein requirements.  Therefore, the recommendation for people who exercise regularly is 0.5-0.9g of protein per pound of body weight.  

For an athlete that weighs 200lbs, and is consuming the high end of the recommended range, they will require 180g of protein per day, which would be 60g of protein per meal. 

For Bodybuilders

Bodybuilders with large amounts of muscle mass and high training loads requiring a high calorie intake could also need 60g of protein per meal.

Our most common recommendation for bodybuilders is an intake of up to 1g of protein per pound of body weight per day, providing ~25-35% of total daily calories.  

For example, a bodybuilder with a daily intake of 4000 calories and 25% from protein would have 250g of protein to eat.  This is around 60g of protein per meal for 4 meals.

If you’d like help determining the correct calories and macronutrient split to help you with your training goals, please arrange a complimentary consultation with one of our team members.

Other Meal Plan Resources

Check out other high-protein meals and recipe ideas in the following articles:


Daniel R Moore and others, Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 89, Issue 1, January 2009, Pages 161–168, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.2008.26401

Schoenfeld, B.J., Aragon, A.A. How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? Implications for daily protein distribution. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 15, 10 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-018-0215-1

Helms, E.R., Aragon, A.A. & Fitschen, P.J. Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 11, 20 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-11-20

About The Author

Lauren Graham

Lauren Graham is a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified nutrition coach. She focuses on helping busy professionals balance healthy eating and purposeful movement.  Lauren has a background in competitive swimming and is currently competing as a CrossFit athlete.  She has a passion for training, teaching, and writing. 

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