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Dinner meals for weight loss

If you’re embarking on a weight loss journey, you’ll want to be sure you’re getting enough protein with your meals. If you’re unsure how to do this, these 10 high protein dinner meals for weight loss are a great place to start.

Many of my clients search for healthy recipes online, but nutrition experts do not always vet these recipes. Often, they are not as healthy as they seem, so it’s best to search for dietitian-approved meals.

To help you through the chaos, I sourced my Registered Dietitian colleagues for their favorite tried-and-true dinner recipes to lose weight. Let’s get to them!

1. White Bean Turkey Burgers

Dinner Meals for Weight Loss

These white bean and turkey burgers are a weight-loss-friendly version of their traditional counterparts and include green chilis for heat if desired.

“White bean turkey burgers are a satisfying way to enjoy tons of fiber, protein, and flavor (the number one reason we choose foods), all of which are important on a weight loss journey! This burger gives you plenty of opportunities to add toppings to your taste and according to your health goals,” says Lexi Cole, RD, CCMS of To Taste Culinary Nutrition.

Beans also add a nice texture to burgers and an element of moistness to accompany a leaner protein like ground turkey.

Pro tip: Omit the chilis if you would like a milder version. You can also serve it on top of lettuce instead of a bun for a lower-carb take on this meal.

Nutrition facts per burger + bun (without toppings):

Calories: 325

Protein: 29 g

Fiber: 7 g

2. Easy Chicken Burrito Casserole

If you and your family love Mexican food, this super simple chicken burrito casserole is a fun twist on the traditional Taco Tuesday meal. 

“This easy chicken burrito casserole offers comforting flavors but is high in protein and fiber! It requires little effort and minimal cleanup. This is also ideal for meal prep since it makes 8 servings, “ says Elysia Cartlidge of hauteandhealthyliving.com.  

Every Tuesday in our house, we make a variation of a traditional Mexican meal. This meal is going to be on repeat in our house as it’s big on flavor and nutrition but is easy to make.

Nutrition facts per serving:

Calories: 343

Protein: 29 g

Fiber: 2 g

Pro tip: Serve with baby carrots on the side for some crunch and added fiber and as a healthier alternative to chips.

3. Rainbow Veggie and Tofu Rice Bowl

Dinner Meals for Weight Loss

If you want to incorporate more plant-based meals into your rotation, this is an excellent one to try. I am always sharing tofu recipes with my clients because it is a high-quality, low-carb, plant-based protein that is super quick to make. 

And since it is very mild in flavor, it is incredibly versatile and easy to sneak into veggie-packed dishes.

“I love grain bowls because they can easily be modified using the proteins, grains, and veggies you have on hand. This Rainbow Veggie and Tofu Rice Bowl supports weight loss by filling you up with nutrient-rich ingredients that are also low in calories, says Colleen Wysocki Woods of zestnutritionservice.com. 

Nutrition facts per serving: 

Calories: 378

Protein: 17 g

Fiber: 5 g

Pro tip: Pat tofu with paper towels thoroughly before cooking to drain any excess liquid. This helps the tofu crisp up deliciously, keeping its firm, meaty texture!

4. Zucchini Stew

Dinner Meals for Weight Loss

This is another wonderful vegetarian option on days you’re pressed for time, as it only takes 15 minutes to make! It’s packed with satisfying fiber which is shown to support weight loss. To bump up the protein to at least 20 grams (what I recommend as the minimum per meal for weight loss), you can add your favorite grain or ground turkey or chicken if you so desire.

“Zucchini stew is a nutrient-rich and quick recipe that is perfect for a weekday dinner. When you pair it with a whole grain such as farro, quinoa, whole wheat couscous, barley, or brown rice, you’ll get a balanced dinner that supports weight loss with filling fiber and protein, says Sheri Berger, RDN, CDCES, a plant-based dietitian and founded of sheriberger.com.

Nutrition facts per 1-cup serving:

Calories: 171

Protein: 8 g

Fiber: 6 g

Pro tip: Adding ½ cup of a grain or lean ground chicken or turkey will easily bump the protein content to at least 20 grams.

5. Sheet Pan Salmon and Asparagus:

Dinner Meals for Weight Loss

As a full-time entrepreneur and mom of 2, I find sheet pan meals to be a lifesaver. They are effortless to assemble, quick, and require minimal cleanup. What’s better than minimal dishwashing after a long day? 

“This Sheet Pan Salmon and Asparagus meal is perfect for busy weeknights! Have a high protein low carb dinner ready in less than 25 minutes,” says Lara Clevenger MSH, RDN, CPT of laraclevenger.com.

This meal is perfect if you prefer lower-carb meals or a keto lifestyle, as it only contains 4 grams of carbs. 

Salmon is highly nutritious and packed with protein and anti-inflammatory fats (this is where fish oil supplements are derived from). These healthy fats are good for the heart, mind, and may even support fat-burning in the body. Yes, you want to eat fat to burn fat! It’s all about getting in the right types of fat – and salmon is one of them.

Nutrition facts per serving: 

Calories: 218

Protein: 24 g

Fiber: 2 g

Pro tip: Choose wild-caught fresh sockeye salmon whenever possible. This is the most nutritious type of salmon, the highest in omega-3 fats, and, in my opinion, tastes the best.

6. Cottage Cheese Tomato Sauce Pasta

Dinner meals for weight loss

Cottage cheese is still all the rage in the social media world. If you’re not a fan of its texture, sneaking it into smoothies, eggs, and sauces like this delicious recipe is a great way to boost that meal’s protein.

“This Easy Cottage Cheese Tomato Sauce Pasta tastes like a comfort meal, yet it provides 36 g protein and 5 g fiber. The high protein sauce is easy to make, just blend cottage cheese, tomato sauce, and parmesan cheese. Protein and fiber will keep you feeling full longer to aid in weight loss. I usually add a side of frozen vegetables or a salad to this meal,” says Sarah Alsing of delightfullyfueled.com.  

Using key ingredient swaps like Banza chickpea pasta, ground turkey, and cottage cheese, this easy recipe packs the protein and fiber punch needed to keep you full between meals.

Nutrition facts per serving:

Calories: 380

Protein: 36 g

Fiber: 5 g

Pro tip: If you prefer a milder pasta flavor compared to Banza chickpea pasta, I also love the Barilla Plus protein pasta. 

7. Mediterranean Grain Bowl

Dinner meals for weight loss

The Mediterranean diet is ranked the best diet for the 7th straight year in a row by U.S News and World Report for its versatility and health-promoting ingredients. This bowl is inspired by Mediterranean ingredients that are anti-inflammatory and delicious.

“This Mediterranean grain bowl has all the makings of the highly touted Mediterranean diet – healthy fats, whole grains, beans, lean meat and lots of veggies. The flavors are simple, fresh, yet flavorful,” says Alex Evink, RD of moderatelymessyrd.com. 

With high protein and filling ingredients like chicken breast, chickpeas, and quinoa, this meal is perfect for someone looking to lose weight without feeling deprived.

Nutrition facts per serving:

Calories: 472

Protein: 34 g

Fiber: 8 g

Pro tip: For a lower-carb version, go lighter on the beans and heavier on the chicken.

8. Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Chili

Dinner meals for weight loss

If you love chili and spicy food, you’ll love this crockpot buffalo chicken chili recipe. Packed with lean protein from skinless chicken breast and fiber from various veggies, this recipe helps support lean muscle growth to help support a healthy metabolism.

This is truly a healthy comfort meal that maintains great flavor for leftovers. You can make it the low and slow way in the crockpot, on the stove-top, or in an Instant Pot if you have one.

Nutrition facts per 1-1.5 cup serving:

Calories: 264

Protein: 27 g

Fiber: 6 g

Pro tip: If you prefer less spice, you can reduce the amount of hot sauce added.

9. Cozy High Protein Lentil Soup

Dinner meals for weight loss

Making lentil soup is one of my favorite ways to enjoy lentils’ yummy flavor and nutritional benefits. 

This high-protein, low-cal lentil soup is the ultimate cozy winter meal. It’s rich in warm spices packed with veggies, protein, and fiber for a balanced meal everyone can enjoy.

I also love that this recipe calls for bone broth instead of traditional chicken or vegetable broth to bring the protein content higher than what would be typical for a lentil soup. Bone broth also provides additional health benefits, such as supporting joint, skin, and gut health due to the specific proteins present.

Nutrition facts per serving:

Calories: 259

Protein: 19 g

Fiber: 16 g

Pro tip: This recipe contains a pretty hefty amount of fiber, which is beneficial for weight management and overall health. However, if you’re not used to eating a lot of fiber at once, I’d recommend starting small with this recipe to allow your digestive system to adapt to it.

10. High protein stir-fry with shrimp

Dinner meals for weight loss

Anything with shrimp is one of my favorite high protein dinner meals for weight loss, as it packs a lot of protein for the calories it contains. Frozen shrimp is also super quick to make and cooks up in minutes.

This super simple shrimp stir fry recipe is nutritious and a great meal for busy weeknights. It contains 25 grams of satisfying protein per serving with only 250 calories, so you can (and should!) add a cup of basmati, brown rice, or cauliflower rice if you prefer a lower-carb option.

Nutrition facts per serving:

Calories: 250

Protein: 25 g

Fiber: 3 g

Please note the nutritional facts from these recipes are estimates based on calorie calculators. 

How Much Protein Per Meal Should I Eat?

While everyone’s needs vary depending on weight, activity level, and health status, I typically recommend 20-30 grams of protein per meal.

This is the amount of protein needed for most people trying to lose weight and increase their physical activity because of it. Once you start going lower than 20 grams per meal, you may feel hungry more often and generally think about food all the time. 

I recently had a client say how shocked she was at how much better she felt eating more protein and fiber and how it’s helped her lessen the constant food noise in her head.

To do this, simply start with determining how much protein you need per day, then try to break it up as evenly as possible with each meal and snack if snacks are part of your plan.

If you’re unsure how much protein you need daily, I figure this out for you in my 1:1 Sustainable Weight Loss program. In addition to 1:1 guidance and accountability, you’ll receive a tangible plan that I create for you using an easy-to-use meal-planning app called EatLove.

Learn more about Protein

Protein is and will remain an essential part of any sustainable weight loss plan. Use these high-protein dinner meals for weight loss to help get a jumpstart in your journey. In my client-only meal plan app, I share hundreds of mix-and-match dinner ideas for weight loss tailored to your needs and preferences so you never run out of ideas.

To learn more about protein, find out the best sources, and get more meal ideas, check out these additional blogs for more:

And if you’re ready to get the guidance, structure, and accountability from a weight loss dietitian, contact me to schedule a free call to see if my program is a good fit for you.