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10 High Protein Snacks That Are Satisfying and Tasty

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When hunger strikes between meals and you crave a truly fulfilling snack, protein is key. You don’t have to cook a full meal or rely on expensive protein Protein Snacks every time you need a pick-me-up. Just incorporating a convenient protein source—such as nut butter, a boiled egg, or a cup of yogurt—into your snacks can prolong satisfaction, ward off cravings, and prevent energy slumps.

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Why Eat High Protein Snacks?

Eating a snack containing Protein Snacks can promote a sense of fullness, stabilize blood sugar levels, and provide a sustained source of energy for both the body and the brain,” explains Nichole Dandrea-Russert, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian and the author of The Fiber Effect. “Numerous grab-and-go snacks tend to be laden with processed carbohydrates and sugar, which can leave you feeling hungry and drained instead of satisfied and invigorated,” Dandrea-Russert suggests opting for snacks rich in unprocessed carbohydrates, plant-based protein, and healthy fats.

Healthy Protein Sources for Every Snack

When considering protein—an essential macronutrient crucial for fueling our bodies—we often immediately think of animal-based sources such as meat and eggs. While animal protein foods indeed offer complete protein sources for energy and satisfaction (for those who consume meat and dairy), they are not the sole options available. Many plants and plant-based foods are rich in hearty protein. Additionally, even for meat-eaters, diversifying protein sources by incorporating nuts, whole grains, seeds, beans, and certain fruits and vegetables provides not just protein but also plant-specific nutrients like fiber, healthy fats, and anti-inflammatory compounds (antioxidants!).


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Here are some of the top high-protein snack options, both plant- and animal-based, recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025:

  • Lean meats
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese)
  • Seafood
  • Legumes (beans, peas, lentils)
  • Nuts and nut kinds of butter
  • Seeds and seed butter
  • Soy Products (tofu, edamame, tempeh)

How Much Protein Per Snack?

Trying to space your Protein Snacks intake throughout the day for enough fuel and energy is ideal (but not necessary). And since protein is readily available in so many foods, snack time is the perfect opportunity to work your way toward those daily protein needs. Don’t worry or fix too much on counting grams or measuring portions—but a helpful goal for goal is to make sure there are at least 5 grams of protein per snack.

A great protein-boosting hack: Remember that swapping your usual white toast for 100% whole wheat or whole-grain toast, for example, will yield a few bonus grams of protein, since non-refined, whole grains and grain products include slightly more protein than naturally refined, white grains. If you’re focused on increasing your protein at snack time, small swaps like this can make a difference—and make each snack more satiating.

How Much Protein Do You Need Per Day?

Each person’s protein needs are different, depending on factors such as their lifestyle, activity level, age, and gender. Generally speaking, a basic formula for figuring out how much protein your body needs per day is to multiply your current weight by 0.8 kilograms. Very active people are advised to eat even more protein, so in kilograms can multiply their weight by 1. (Divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to convert to kilograms).

High Protein Snack Ideas

Steamed Edamame:

Steamed Edamame:
Steamed Edamame (PHOTOS:GETTY IMAGES)

 

One of the best nutritional benefits of edamame, aka soybeans (and other soy products, such as tofu) is that they are complete proteins. This means they contain all nine essential amino acids, a rarity in plant foods. One cup of edamame contains about 18 grams of protein! You can buy frozen edamame in either the shell or their pods for a super-quick and easy breakfast. Microwave them to steam or leave them in soft boiling water for a few minutes – then drain, sprinkle with sea salt, and enjoy.

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Somewhere near the stove or microwave? Stock up on snack packs like Seapoint Farms dry-roasted edamame. One serving size (one pack) provides 20 grams of protein, so you can wave the hanger goodbye.

Whole Wheat Toast With Nut Butter

Whole Wheat Toast With Nut Butter
Whole Wheat Toast With Nut Butter (PHOTOS: CAITLIN BENSEL)

 

One of the easiest ways to boost the protein content of your snack is to add one or two tablespoons of your favorite nut butter. Two tablespoons of almond butter, for example, gives you close to 7 grams of protein—roughly what you get from eating one egg.

Cottage Cheese Toast

Cottage Cheese Toast
PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES

 

Cottage cheese is its moment of comeback, and that means big things for snacking. This soft, light, high-protein cheese pair are delicious with sweet snacks like jam, watermelon, grapefruit, and apple slices—but it’s also delicious and satisfying with savory accompaniments. Spread cottage cheese on your favorite toast and top with chopped tomatoes, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and a drizzle of cracked black pepper. Or try finishing with chili oil, scallions, and lemon zest. One cup of low-fat cottage cheese provides 28 grams of protein, so this toast topper goes far to keep you full.

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Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas
PHOTOS: GRACE ELKUS

 

Also called garbanzo beans, chickpeas are a type of legume (well, technically a type of pulse, legume seeds inside the plant) that are extremely nutrient-dense—high in protein and fiber, but relatively low in fat. One cup of chickpeas provides more than 14 grams of protein. You may know chickpeas for their starring role in hummus (another top-choice snack dip), but they’re also super flavorful when roasted until crisp and seasoned with spices. (P.S. If you’re sick of croutons, crispy chickpeas are next-level salad toppers!).

Oatmeal With Nuts and Fruit

Oatmeal With Nuts and Fruit
PHOTOS: JEN CAUSEY

 

Oats are a star complex carbohydrate, which is packed with a good bit of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and, yes, protein. A cup of plain oatmeal cooked in water contains more than 5 grams of protein, which you can supplement by adding milk, chopped nuts, nut butter, hemp hearts, chia seeds, or even a poached egg.

Greek Yogurt With Granola and Berries

Greek Yogurt With Granola and Berries
PHOTOS: GREG DUPREE

 

Yogurt is the perfect snack food, providing calcium, probiotics (gut-healthy bacteria), and lots of good protein. Greek yogurt, in particular, is very protein-packed, offering anywhere from 15 to 20 grams. For example, eating a single-serving cup of Fage 0% plain Greek yogurt (5.3 ounces) provides you with 16 grams of protein. Add chopped nuts and granola for flavor, texture, sweetness, and even more protein, plus some fresh berries for vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber.

Tuna or Chicken Salad on Toast, Crackers, or Veggies

Tuna or Chicken Salad on Toast, Crackers, or Veggies
PHOTOS: JEN CAUSEY

 

Tuna salad and chicken salad are high-protein lunch fixtures (22 grams of protein in 3 ounces of tuna; 26 grams of protein in 3 ounces of chicken breast). But you can also soothe afternoon hunger with some forkfuls. Eat it plain-gen from the container or use whole-wheat toast, seed crackers, apple slices, pickles, salad cups, cut veggies, or pita as a tasty scooping vehicle.

Protein-Packed Smoothie

Protein-Packed Smoothie
PHOTOS: FRED HARDY

Work smoothies even harder between your meals by incorporating solid protein sources. Some of our favorites include nuts/nuts. Includes nut butter, oats, seeds, hemp hearts, Greek yogurt (regular yogurt and skiers are great too), cow’s milk, and kefir.

This creamy mocha smoothie recipe makes one serving and includes half a cup of milk, plus a tablespoon of almond butter for a thick, caffeinated, just-sweet-enough sip that sneaks in nearly 7 grams of protein—basically not too shabby for a nutritionally grown milkshake!

Anchovies or Tinned Fish on Toast

Anchovies or Tinned Fish on Toast
PHOTOS: GREG DUPREE

While this snack may be high in sodium (so maybe not every day is great), eating tinned fish like sardines and anchovies on a piece of toast can feel like a delicious, decadent afternoon feast that seriously delivers on lean protein and heart-healthy fats. A 3-ounce serving of sardines (about a tin) will get you close to 23 grams of protein. Even eating two or three small sardines on a slice of whole-wheat toast gives you 9 grams of protein. Delicious.

People also ask

Q: What snacks are very high in protein?

  • Greek Yogurt. Plain, nonfat Greek yogurt is a versatile high-protein snack, with 156 grams containing about 16 grams of protein. …
  • Hard-boiled eggs. …
  • Hard Cheeses. …
  • Edamame. …
  • Cottage Cheese. …
  • Jerky. …
  • Tuna. …
  • Roasted Chickpeas

Q: How can I get 20g of protein in a snack?

  1. Higher Protein Dairy Options. cheese sticks, Greek yogurt cups, cottage cheese cups, and individual chocolate milk.
  2. Dried Fruit (that satisfies a sweet tooth) raisins, cranberries, dried figs, apricots, dates.
  3. Complex Carbs.

Q: How do I increase my protein intake?

  1. Add Protein to Every Meal and Snack. Protein should be included in every meal and snack that you eat. …
  2. Eat More Legumes. …
  3. Swap Cereal for Higher-Protein Options. …
  4. Add Collagen to Your Coffee and Tea. …
  5. Use Nuts and Seeds in Plant-Based Recipes. …
  6. Buy Greek Yogurt Over Regular. …
  7. Eat High-Protein Carbs. …
  8. Buy Easy-to-Use Proteins.

Disclaimer

This article is purposive for intended general information and does not mark individual circumstances. It is not an alternative to professional advice or help. It should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician must be consulted to diagnose and treat any medical condition. Any action you take due to the information on this page is entirely at your own risk and responsibility!

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Rishi Govind is a nutritionist and nutrition counselor in New Delhi, India. He is a Postgraduate and passionate about his work. Rishi has over 3 years of experience helping people change their relationship with food and their bodies. He specializes in helping people with chronic dieting issues, food allergies and sensitivities, and digestive problems. Rishi's approach is rooted in the belief that everybody is unique and deserves individualized attention. Rishi is passionate about helping his clients feel their best. He is committed to helping them find peace with food and their bodies so they can live their lives to the fullest.

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