38 High-Protein Dinners You'll Want to Make This Winter
Keep your energy up with these high-protein dinner ideas that will leave you feeling fueled and satisfied. Whether you're trying to build muscle or lose weight, protein is a key part of any diet. These dinners contain at least 15 grams of protein per serving, so you can hit your goals and enjoy lots of winter produce, like potatoes, onions, kale and cauliflower. Recipes like our Cheesy Ground Beef & Cauliflower Casserole or One-Pot Lentil & Vegetable Soup with Parmesan are filling ways to end your day.
White Chicken Chili Casserole
This easy, one-skillet casserole is packed with heat thanks to two kinds of peppers, poblanos and jalapeño. If you want to increase the spice level, leave the seeds in the jalapeño. Finish with your favorite toppings like Cheddar, cilantro and crumbled tortilla chips.
One-Pot Beef Stroganoff
This one-pot beef stroganoff recipe cuts down on the dishes, but not on flavor! Mixed mushrooms and sirloin steak layer on the umami flavors, while sour cream with a hint of Dijon mustard carries the sauce. Coating the steak in baking soda before cooking helps to tenderize it, but you can skip this step to speed things up if needed.
Curry Chicken Potpie
Here the crust goes on the top instead of the bottom, inverting the classic chicken potpie recipe, so be sure to get the one that comes as a roll instead of already in a tin.
Ground Beef & Potatoes Skillet
In this healthy ground beef and potatoes recipe, ground beef and potatoes are paired with colorful veggies, including kale, tomato and peppers. Everything is cooked in one skillet, which allows for layers of flavor to build quickly while also cutting back on the number of dishes.
One-Skillet Bourbon Chicken
Coating the chicken in cornstarch might seem like an extra step, but the reward is twofold: it gives the chicken a crispy exterior and also thickens the sauce. Legend has it that bourbon chicken was originally named after Bourbon Street in New Orleans; it can often be found on menus at Chinese American restaurants.
Cheesy Ground Beef & Cauliflower Casserole
Ground beef and cauliflower combine to create a hearty weeknight casserole that both kids and adults will love. Serve with tortilla chips and sour cream.
One-Skillet Cheesy Ground Chicken Pasta
Make this cheesy ground chicken pasta recipe for a busy weeknight dinner. Serve with a simple side salad and a glass of red wine.
One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp & Broccoli
Shrimp cooks quickly in this easy one-pot recipe, making it perfect for busy weeknights. Serve over whole grains or rice.
One-Pot Lentil & Vegetable Soup with Parmesan
This lentil-vegetable soup is packed with kale and tomatoes for a filling, flavorful main dish. If you have it, the Parmesan cheese rind adds nuttiness and gives the broth some body.
Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Canned pumpkin adds mellow background flavor and works to thicken up this turkey pumpkin chili. Smoked paprika adds flavor with a hint of spice. This chili is on the thicker side—if you want it thinner, add a bit more water.
3-Ingredient Sweet Potato & Brussels Sprout Hash with Chicken Sausage
Apple-flavored chicken sausage adds flavor and protein in this quick dinner hash that uses a bag of shaved Brussels sprouts as its hearty, high-fiber base. Steaming the cubed sweet potatoes in the microwave cuts way down on total cook time.
Smothered Potato Latkes
For the crispiest latkes, don't overlook the instructions in Step 5. After you drain the excess moisture from the potatoes and onion, you'll see a milky white substance at the bottom of the bowl. It's potato starch—and including it in the latke mixture not only helps them hold together, but also makes for crispier results. A topping made with brisket leftovers makes these even more special. Read more about this recipe.
One-Pan Baked Chicken & Potatoes
With just one skillet, you can make baked chicken and potatoes with ease. The chicken cooks directly on top of the potatoes to add flavor while also cutting down on the number of dishes to clean.
Spicy Chicken Pasta with Peppers & Onions
Inspired by the flavors of fajitas, this healthy chicken pasta is packed with color and spice. We use a mix of chili powder, cumin and chipotle powder to add heat and flavor.
Cheesy Smothered Pork Chops with Garlicky Mushrooms & Kale
Fans of French onion soup will love sinking their teeth into these smothered pork chops. Served with a mess of garlicky veggies, this is a weeknight winner.
Balsamic Steak with Brussels Sprout Slaw & Mustard Mashed Potatoes
Brussels sprouts are available already shredded in many supermarkets, but if you want to DIY, use your sharpest knife or a mandoline or pass them through the feed tube of a food processor fitted with the slicing attachment.
Chicken & Stuffing Casserole
Stuffing is not just for Thanksgiving with this easy chicken and stuffing casserole. And speaking of Thanksgiving, if you have leftover turkey, feel free to substitute it for the chicken in this comforting and healthy recipe. It's also a great use for extra carrots, celery, onions and day-old bread you might have on hand around the holidays. There's no boxed stuffing mix or canned soup in this lighter take on the comfort-food casserole, but it's still super-easy to make. Poultry seasoning helps humble bread to taste like stuffing, while thickened chicken broth takes the place of canned soup. There are plenty of veggies in this one, too, making this a healthy casserole you can feel good about serving year-round.
Buttermilk Fried Tofu with Smoky Collard Greens
Dipping tofu in buttermilk makes the coating stick for a crispy pan-fried tofu, reminiscent of fried chicken. Spicing up the collards with paprika coats them with smoky flavor while keeping this dish vegetarian. And this quick, easy and healthy dinner comes together in just 25 minutes, so it's great for busy weeknights.
Black Bean Fajita Skillet
You can often find presliced and ready-to-cook fresh vegetables in your grocer's produce section. Use these to your advantage to cut down on dinnertime prep. Here, presliced fajita vegetables are sautéed with canned black beans and Southwest seasoning for a quick and easy Tex Mex-inspired meal. Plus, this recipe requires just three ingredients, not including basics like salt, pepper and oil. You can easily take your bowl up a notch by adding some cheese, sour cream or another tasty topping.
French Onion Dip Chicken & Rice Casserole
This creamy French onion dip chicken and rice casserole topped with crispy potato chips is perfect for game day or whenever you want a comforting meal the whole family will love.
Chicken & Cauliflower-Rice Casserole
Get your veggies and your protein fix in this easy, gluten-free chicken and cauliflower-rice casserole. Riced cauliflower stands in for traditional rice, making this creamy casserole low in carbs but—with the simple combination of Cheddar cheese and chicken—suitable for even the pickiest of eaters.
15-Minute White Bean, Kale & Kielbasa Soup
This quick soup recipe is done in only 15 minutes thanks to convenience products like frozen chopped onion and precooked kielbasa. You'll have a warming winter soup on the table in no time!
White Chicken Lasagna
This creamy white chicken lasagna features no-boil noodles and precooked chicken to keep things simple and streamlined. Presliced mushrooms, frozen spinach and preshredded cheese also help shorten the prep time. Make this easy lasagna recipe anytime you're short on time and have leftover chicken on hand.
Creamy Sausage & Kale Pasta
This quick, comforting gluten-free pasta is perfect for weeknights when cooler weather sets in. Red lentil pasta is coated in a creamy, savory sauce flavored with sausage and packed with plenty of kale. Serve with a green salad on the side.
Chicken Parmesan Casserole
We took the best parts of chicken Parmesan—ooey-gooey cheese, crispy breadcrumbs and plenty of tomato sauce—and spun them into an easy family-friendly casserole. We simplified it by skipping the breading on the chicken and, instead, loaded the top of the casserole with cheese and breadcrumbs. Serve with a crisp green salad to complete the meal.
Sheet-Pan Salmon with Sweet Potatoes & Broccoli
The vibrant combo of cheese, cilantro, chili, and lime—inspired by Mexican street corn—makes this salmon sheet-pan dinner burst with flavor.
Chicken & Kale Soup
This easy chicken and kale soup will keep you warm on a cold and rainy day or any day that calls for a simple, hearty soup. For convenience, you can make this soup with frozen kale without the need to thaw it beforehand.
Southwestern Cauliflower Rice Bowls with Shrimp & Avocado Crema
These healthy Southwestern cauliflower rice bowls, topped with black beans, corn and smoky chipotle shrimp, get a cool-down from homemade avocado crema and take just 30 minutes to make.
Black Bean-Cauliflower "Rice" Bowl
This aromatic cauliflower rice bowl comes together in minutes and is a simple meal for one. Using frozen riced cauliflower instead of rice keeps the carbs in check—and makes for quicker prep.
Shepherd's Pie with Cauliflower Topping
In this easy shepherd's pie recipe, we keep the carbs in check by using creamy mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes. The ground beef filling is cooked in the same skillet used for baking the pie, making assembly (and cleanup) a breeze.
Baked Halibut with Brussels Sprouts & Quinoa
Fish plus two sides? It seems fancy but this healthy dinner comes together in just 30 minutes.
Shrimp Cauliflower Fried Rice
Cut down on carbs and amp up your veggie servings with this healthy cauliflower fried rice with shrimp, broccoli, bell peppers and garlic. Everything is cooked in one wok or skillet, but in stages, so each element keeps its integrity in the finished dish instead of being all mushed together—it may seem fussy, but it's worth it and actually quite easy. Resist the urge to stir the cauliflower rice right away; letting it cook undisturbed for a few minutes allows it to brown and develop sweet, nutty flavors. This better-than-takeout healthy dinner comes together in just 25 minutes, so it's perfect for busy weeknights.
Sheet-Pan Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts & Gnocchi
In this healthy dinner recipe, chicken thighs, Brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes and packaged gnocchi are all roasted on the same sheet pan for a complete meal that couldn't be easier to make. And though it's simple, this dish gets tons of flavor from seasonings, including garlic, oregano and red-wine vinegar. It all adds up to a dish that's ready to go into heavy weeknight rotation in your house.
Cast-Iron Skillet Pizza with Sausage & Kale
A piping-hot cast-iron skillet turns pizza dough into a puffy, crisp-bottomed crust (similar to focaccia). If you have children, let them help make this easy pizza recipe: While you cook the sausage, have the kids tear up the kale—no knife required!
Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Layering apple slices into grilled cheese sandwiches adds a little crunch to a favorite soup dipper. And creamy butternut squash soup with ginger, cumin and turmeric is a nice change of pace from grilled cheese's usual tomato soup partner. Serve the duo for a comforting and easy weeknight dinner for the family. The soup keeps well in the fridge, so save leftovers for lunch or dinner later in the week.
Slow-Cooker Carne Picada Tacos with Avocado Salsa
Loosely translated as "minced meat," the traditional texture of carne picada ranges from finely chopped to ground. Here we start with brisket, which becomes nice and tender in the slow cooker, then shred and chop the meat before serving. The seasoning is flavorful but not too spicy. Blistered jalapeños added at the end will satisfy the heat-lovers in the family. Pile the brisket into warmed corn tortillas, with lettuce, the jalapeños, cheese and avocado salsa for a healthy dinner that'll wake up your taco night routine.
Chicken, Avocado & Quinoa Bowls with Herb Dressing
Arrange the toppings individually on these protein-packed grain bowls so each bite has a contrasting taste and texture. Make big batches of the salad dressing, quinoa and roasted chicken thighs and you'll have healthy meal-prep lunches or dinners for days. Though the chicken thighs take just 15 minutes to prep, you can also make the salads with leftover chicken or store-bought cooked chicken to make prep even faster.
California Turkey Burgers & Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Inspired by an option at the West Coast chain In-N-Out Burger, this turkey burger recipe keeps the carbs in check with a lettuce wrap instead of a bun. The side of sweet potato fries bakes while you prep the burgers, so this entire healthy dinner is ready in under 30 minutes.