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21 Healthy High Protein Side Dishes

Whether you’re vegetarian, a bodybuilder or just conscious of your protein intake, having enough protein in a meal is important. That’s where a good high protein side dish becomes your best friend.

Having a couple of these healthy side dishes in the wings is a great way to ensure you’re getting everything your body needs with your main dish.

Take these healthy sides with you while on the go, use them as meal-prepped snacks for the week, or bulk your family dinner table with your favorites.

high protein sides

1. Chicken Salad with Apples

chicken salad with apples

Source: allnutritious.com

Per Serving:

• Calories: 316

• Fats: 9.5g

• Protein: 25g

• Carbs: 36g

• Fiber: 4.5g

• Sugar: 26g

First up is a unique salad packed with high-protein lean chicken to keep you going. With nuts, a savory Greek dressing, and plenty of chicken.

This is a great side dish to bulk up your main course. To keep the apples crispy and fresh, I’d recommend serving this pretty soon after you make it.

2. Indian Lentil Curry

Indian lentil curry

Source: wholenewmom.com

Per Serving:

• Calories: 226

• Fats: 5g

• Protein: 14g

• Carbs: 33g

• Fiber: 16g

• Sugar: 3g

Dal is a staple in India thanks to how filling and delicious it is. Plus, it’s super easy to make to get your grams of protein.

You can use this dal recipe as a side dish for a larger Indian-style meal like a thali.

3. Chicken Zucchini Pasta

chicken zucchini pasta

Source: allnutritious.com

Per Serving:

• Calories: 327

• Fats: 16g

• Protein: 19g

• Carbs: 29g

• Fiber: 3.6g

• Sugar: 20g

Next is a recipe of mine that pairs chicken and zucchini to create something delicious! The onions and zucchini cook with the chicken, keeping it moist and flavorful.

Plan your dinners all week long with these high protein dinner recipes!

4. Pinto Beans

pinto beans

Source: recipesfromapantry.com

Per Serving:

• Calories: 196

• Fats: 6g

• Protein: 10g

• Carbs: 25g

• Fiber: 6g

• Sugar: 1g

These smoky, tomato-packed pinto beans sing with incredible flavor and are one of the best healthy side dish recipes.

Best of all, the fresh pinto beans are like little balls of pure protein. So, you know these are a great option to help fill you up healthily.

5. Mexican Bean Salad

mexican bean salad

Source: allnutritious.com

Per Serving:

• Calories: 287

• Fats: 10g

• Protein: 12g

• Carbs: 39g

• Fiber: 13g

• Sugar: 4.7g

Speaking of beans, this Mexican bean salad is another one of my recipes. A light and refreshing salad with plenty of fresh colorful vegetables, this is a side dish I reach for often.

This dish is loaded with black beans, fresh herbs, bell peppers, and lime juice but the real hero of this dish is the dressing, so make sure you’re generous with it!

6. Vegan Sprouted Lentil Salad

vegan sprouted lentil salad

Source: rachnacooks.com

Per Serving:

• Calories: 168

• Fats: 4g

• Protein: 10g

• Carbs: 24g

• Fiber: 9g

• Sugar: 4g

Sprouted beans and lentils are technically “living,” meaning they’re packed with good things like chlorophyll and other micronutrients. They’re also super high in protein!

You should try these tasty protein chocolate chip cookies after your meal!

7. Cheesy Garlic Broccoli

cheesy garlic broccoli

Source: allnutritious.com

Per Serving:

• Calories: 363

• Fats: 20g

• Protein: 24g

• Carbs: 28g

• Fiber: 10g

• Sugar: 6.7g

You only need three ingredients to create this delicious bake. That’s right: three! Broccoli, parmesan cheese, and a generous dose of garlic cloves are an unbeatable trio in this recipe.

Broccoli is quite high in protein as well as fiber making it the perfect addition to any easy recipes. That’s what makes this such a great dinner side dish with simple ingredients.

8. Cauliflower Ham Casserole

cauliflower ham casserole

Source: wholesomemadeeasy.com

Per Serving:

• Calories: 358

• Fats: 26g

• Protein: 23g

• Carbs: 10g

• Fiber: 2g

• Sugar: 4g

Cauliflower is another cruciferous vegetable that needs a little more love. This cauliflower and ham casserole delivers a high-protein healthy side with a dose of cheesy goodness.

This casserole is super easy to whip up in advance. Freeze and reheat when you’re ready to eat.

9. Vietnamese Shrimp Salad Rolls

Vietnamese shrimp rolls

Source: mikhaeats.com

Per Serving:

• Calories: 66

• Fats: 1g

• Protein: 9g

• Carbs: 5g

• Fiber: 1g

• Sugar: 2g

These Vietnamese shrimp salad rolls are the perfect option and are super juicy and packed with flavorful protein.

Since they’re so portable, you can use these in any situation. Take them on a picnic, use them as meal prep for your work lunches, or enjoy them at dinner.

10. Protein Corn Bread

protein corn bread

Source: summeryule.com

Per Serving:

• Calories: 223

• Fats: 11.3g

• Protein: 10.2g

• Carbs: 21.2g

• Fiber: 1.5g

• Sugar:

The only thing better than eating cornbread is knowing that said cornbread is good for you. This wholewheat cornbread offers an easy high-protein substitute for standard cornbread.

Best of all, it tastes the same! Serve these mini loaves with a dab of butter and watch your guests descend on them.

11. Quinoa Tuna Salad

quinoa tuna salad

Source: babaganosh.org

Per Serving:

• Calories: 270

• Fats: 9g

• Protein: 15g

• Carbs: 34g

• Fiber: 4g

• Sugar: 5g

Quinoa and tuna are a match made in heaven. The fresh vegetables help brighten this dish, packing it with flavor and nutrients.

Crumble a generous amount of feta on top to counter that brightness with some much-needed creaminess.

12. Crispy Fried Anchovies with Tartar

crispy fried anchovies with tartar

Source: babaganosh.org

Per Serving:

• Calories: 313

• Fats: 14g

• Protein: 26g

• Carbs: 19g

• Fiber: 1g

• Sugar: 1g

Anchovies have much more protein than many people think. These crispy anchovies are so great as a high-protein side dish.

The crunchy coating and delicious fishy flavor create the perfect summer side dish. Be generous with the lemon and tartare sauce here!

13. Tuna Pasta Salad

tuna pasta salad

Source: babaganosh.org

Per Serving:

• Calories: 316

• Fats: 11g

• Protein: 16g

• Carbs: 39g

• Fiber: 4g

• Sugar: 5g

While a standard pasta salad is delicious, it’s got nothing on its high-protein cousin. This tasty tuna version has all the elements you know and love from a pasta salad with some added tuna.

This is a great flavorful side dish to make in advance and take on the road, to a picnic, or a potluck!

14. Chicken Pasta Salad

chicken pasta salad

Source: healthycookingtour.org

Per Serving:

• Calories: 474

• Fats: 17g

• Protein: 30g

• Carbs: 52g

• Fiber:

• Sugar: 4g

This delicious side dish covers you if you’re after a slightly fancier pasta salad. Bright vegetables and seasoned chicken are the day’s heroes in this cold pasta dish.

You can also make this dish ahead of time. Although, it might be more at home on a dinner party table than a road trip. This is one of the best healthy side dish ideas.

15. Air Fryer Chicken Wings

air fryer chicken wings

Source: thesaltandsweet.com

Per Serving:

• Calories: 316

• Fats: 83g

• Protein: 59g

• Carbs: 37g

• Fiber: 2g

• Sugar: 3g

Enjoy healthy, high-protein wings for any occasion with this convenient air fryer recipe. How you season your chicken is up to you. However, make sure to try the Greek yogurt marinade in the recipe.

You must try these other high protein chicken recipes for your high protein diet!

16. Instant Pot Refried Beans

instant pot refried beans

Source: ifoodreal.com

Per Serving:

• Calories: 181

• Fats: 1g

• Protein: 11g

• Carbs: 33g

• Fiber: 8g

• Sugar: 2g

Put down the can of refried beans and step away from the takeout menu. This homemade Instant Pot refried beans recipe is just as easy to make and twice as healthy. Not to mention, it tastes great!

Serve this as a delicious side on Mexican night. It goes with burritos, tacos, nachos, fajitas, and more.

17. Eggplant Chickpea Stew

eggplant chickpea stew

Source: thesaltandsweet.com

Per Serving:

• Calories: 281

• Fats: 11g

• Protein: 15g

• Carbs: 60g

• Fiber: 16g

• Sugar: 15g

Eggplant is so underrated. This Lebanese Moussaka is going to help change that! Every bite of the vegan Moussaka sings with rich and hearty Lebanese flavors, high protein content, and health benefits.

On a plant-based diet? Try these tempting high protein vegan recipes!

18. Turkish Style Borlotti Beans

Turkish style beans

Source: cookingorgeous.com

Per Serving:

• Calories: 255

• Fats: 8g

• Protein: 12g

• Carbs: 37g

• Fiber: 13g

• Sugar: 4g

This perfect dish is also called Barbunya Pilaki, meaning ‘Turkish Style Borlotti Beans.’ While it’s great as a side dish, the rich flavors and hearty beans could also work as a standalone lunch.

While this simple dish looks (and tastes) like it takes hours to create, you can enjoy this dish in just forty minutes.

19. Instant Pot Mexican Pinto Beans

Mexican pinto beans

Source: fromvalerieskitchen.com

Per Serving:

• Calories: 257

• Fats: 5g

• Protein: 14g

• Carbs: 41g

• Fiber: 10g

• Sugar: 3g

Don’t settle for canned baked beans. Instead, whip out the Instant Pot and create your batch of high-protein, delicious beans. This kind of side dish doesn’t feel like it should be good for you, but it is!

Thanks to the Instant Pot, you can set and forget the mixture. Come back less than half an hour later to a tasty side dish ready to enjoy.

20. Mixed Bean Salad Balela

mixed bean salad balela

Source: greenbowl2soul.com

Per Serving:

• Calories: 232

• Fats: 8g

• Protein: 10g

• Carbs: 33g

• Fiber: 10g

• Sugar: 6g

This Middle Eastern-style balela is perfect for summer meals outdoors. The Arabic flavors and cold salad are ideal for kicking off your summer picnic season.

You can easily use this dish as a meal prep side as well! It cooks up well in big batches and keeps for a long time.

21. Spicy Baked Beans

spicy baked beans

Source: fromvalerieskitchen.com

Per Serving:

• Calories: 380

• Fats: 9g

• Protein: 15g

• Carbs: 65g

• Fiber: 14g

• Sugar: 18g

Our final recipe is another take on the all-important baked beans. Impress your guests or treat yourself with a fragrant pot of these delicious beans from your slow cooker in a healthy way.

Enjoy a protein-packed dessert post-meal with this yummy protein banana bread!

21 Healthy High Protein Side Dishes

Packed full of healthy ingredients, these high protein side dish ideas are the perfect addition to a wholesome, nutritious meal. 
4.50 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course High Protein
Cuisine American
Servings 8 -12 sides

Ingredients
  

  • 1. Chicken Salad with Apples
  • 2. Indian Lentil Curry
  • 3. Chicken Zucchini Pasta
  • 4. Pinto Beans
  • 5. Mexican Bean Salad
  • 6. Vegan Sprouted Lentil Salad
  • 7. Cheesy Garlic Broccoli
  • 8. Cauliflower Ham Casserole
  • 9. Vietnamese Shrimp Salad Rolls
  • 10. Protein Corn Bread
  • 11. Quinoa Tuna Salad
  • 12. Crispy Fried Anchovies with Tartar
  • 13. Tuna Pasta Salad
  • 14. Chicken Pasta Salad
  • 15. Air Fryer Chicken Wings
  • 16. Instant Pot Refried Beans
  • 17. Eggplant Chickpea Stew
  • 18. Turkish Style Borlotti Beans
  • 19. Instant Pot Mexican Pinto Beans
  • 20. Mixed Bean Salad Balela
  • 21. Spicy Baked Beans

Instructions
 

  • Scroll up to get a bunch of easy, yummy, and delicious recipes. Don't be afraid to get creative with the ingredients, you might discover a flavor you didn't know you liked.
  • Get your shopping list going and make sure you've got all the ingredients.
  • Get cooking and make your next High Protein Side Dish!

Notes

Which one of these recipes was your favorite? Let me know in the comment section or on Pinterest!
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below with your rating! I love the feedback and respond to every comment!
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