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Best Freezer-Friendly Recipes To Get More Protein

Best Freezer-Friendly Recipes To Get More Protein
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    Body builders aren't the only ones who need protein everyday. 

    Protein is necessary for maintaining our immune system, promoting cell growth, and making important neurotransmitters and enzymes, just to name a few functions. 

    Most of us get enough protein as the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is only 0.8g of protein per 1kg of body weight. To figure out that amount for you in pounds, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36. For example, a 150-pound woman only needs a minimum of 54g of protein per day. That's roughly only 8 ounces of chicken for an entire day.

    Animal vs Plant-Based Proteins 

    The type of protein we eat is important. Protein is made up of 22 amino acids, 13 of which our bodies produce, and 9 that we must get through food called essential amino acids. Most animal proteins contains all 9 of the essential amino acids while most plant-based protein contains only some. However, by mixing different types of plant-based proteins, you can ensure you are still getting all 9 essential amino acids. 

    Amount of Protein in Animal Foods 
     animal sources of protein

    Amount of Protein in Plant-Based Foods

    plant based protein sources

     

      How Your Freezer Can Help You Get More Protein

      Protein sources are often more expensive than vegetables and grains, so buying in larger quantities is a cost-savings way to make sure you get quality protein for less money. However, having a freezer full of raw protein doesn't lead to a fast dinner. By prepping your protein into individual portions, such as cooking 5 pounds of ground beef into a spaghetti meat sauce then freezing it in ½-cup, 1 cup, and 2 cup portions, you can have a budget-friendly dinner ready in minutes. When you're trying to eat healthy and not reach for the takeout menu, having homemade frozen food is like giving your future self a gift. 

      Souper Cubes allow you to freeze your meals in ½-cup, 1 cup, and 2 cup portions so you only defrost what you want, when you want it.  

      If you're new to freezer meal prep, check out this Ultimate Guide to Freezer Meal Prep. It has everything you need to know from what you can freeze, how to freeze, and how to defrost your food. 

      Freezer-Friendly Recipes with Protein

      The best way to make sure you're getting the protein you need isn't with protein shakes or bars, it's by eating foods that are naturally high in protein. To help, we've compiled a list of our favorite high-protein recipes that you can make in batches and freeze. By having a freezer full of delicious food that also happens to be high in protein, you'll make sure you're getting quality protein at an affordable price everyday. 

      Chocolate Peanut-Butter Protein Shake - 26g protein per 2 cups

      chocolate peanut butter protein shake

      (recipe and photo: EatingWell.com) 

      This tasty chocolate and peanut butter smoothie skips protein powder in favor of high-protein ingredients like Greek yogurt, soy milk, and peanut butter. Make a triple batch and freeze it for a ready-to-go high-protein breakfast reminiscent of a milkshake. 

      How to Freeze: freeze the protein shake in ½-cup, 1 cup, or 2 cup portions.

      How to Defrost: the night before serving, place the frozen shake in a mason jar or glass in the fridge to thaw. 

      Beef & Potato Stew - 42g protein per 1½ cup serving

      beef & potato stew

      (recipe and photo: EatingWell.com) 

      Soups and stews get even better the day after making them so it's only natural for them to be perfect for the freezer. This classic Beef & Potato Stew loaded with protein-rich beef and nutritious vegetables is easy enough for a weeknight but also impressive enough for company. Serve it with hunk of crusty bread to sop up all the delicious sauce. 

      How to Freeze: freeze the stew in ½-cup, 1 cup, or 2 cup portions.

      How to Reheat: place the stew in a microwave-safe bowl and cook in the microwave on high in 1 minute intervals, stirring occasionally, until hot. Or place the stew in a small pot on the stove and add a splash of water. Reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. 

      Creamy White Chicken Chili - 23g protein per 113 cup serving

      creamy white chicken chili

      (recipe and photo: EatingWell.com) 

      With quick-cooking chicken thighs, cumin, canned chopped green chilis and canned beans, this Creamy White Chicken Chili is super-flavorful and comes together in minutes. Making your own homemade chicken stock will make this even more delicious, too.

      How to Freeze: freeze the chili in ½-cup, 1 cup, or 2 cup portions.

      How to Reheat: place the chili in a microwave-safe bowl and cook in the microwave on high in 1 minute intervals, stirring occasionally, until hot. Or place the chili in a small pot on the stove and add a splash of water. Reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. 

      One-Pot Lentil & Vegetable Soup with Parmesan - 17g protein per 1½ cup serving

      lentil & vegetable soup

      (recipe and photo: EatingWell.com) 

      Requiring only 15 minutes of active time, this Lentil & Vegetable Soup gets tons of plant-based protein from the lentils. Plus, it's also a good way to use that Parmesan rind that you've been saving and this soup also has 9g of fiber! Learn more why fiber is so important here

      How to Freeze: freeze the soup in 1 cup or 2 cup portions.

      How to Reheat: place the soup in a microwave-safe bowl and cook in the microwave on high in 1 minute intervals, stirring occasionally, until hot. Or place the soup in a small pot on the stove and add a splash of water. Reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. 

      Stuffed Cabbage Soup - 20g protein per 1½ cup serving

      stuffed cabbage soup

      (recipe and photo: EatingWell.com) 

      Skip rolling stuffed cabbage and make it into this freezer-friendly Stuffed Cabbage Soup instead. It only requires 20 minutes of active time and makes enough for 8 servings of a filling and protein-packed meal thanks to lean ground beef and brown rice. 

      How to Freeze: freeze the soup in 1 cup or 2 cup portions.

      How to Reheat: place the soup in a microwave-safe bowl and cook in the microwave on high in 1 minute intervals, stirring occasionally, until hot. Or place the soup in a small pot on the stove and add a splash of water. Reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. 

      Hearty Chickpea & Spinach Stew - 32g protein per 2 cup serving

      chickpea and spinach stew

      (recipe and photo: EatingWell.com) 

      This protein-packed stew is thick without the use of cream by using a brilliant hack. Half of the chickpeas are mashed and added to the broth, creating a luscious texture that makes this Chickpea & Spinach Stew creamy. Because it's so thick, you'll need an extra splash or water or broth when you reheat it after freezing. 

      How to Freeze: freeze the stew in 1 cup or 2 cup portions.

      How to Reheat: place the stew in a microwave-safe bowl and cook in the microwave on high in 1 minute intervals, stirring occasionally, until hot. Or place the stew in a small pot on the stove and add a splash of water. Reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. 

      Broccoli & Quinoa Casserole - 18g protein per 114 cup serving

      broccoli & quinoa casserole

      (recipe and photo: EatingWell.com) 

      Made with quinoa, beans, and Greek yogurt, this casserole provides protein without meat. Make a double portion and freeze half in portions so you always have a protein-packed side-dish on hand.

      How to Freeze: prepare through step 2, spooning the mixture into ½-cup, 1 cup, or 2 cup portions instead of a baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup cheese and freeze. 

      How to Reheat: place a frozen quinoa casserole cube in a microwave-safe bowl and add a splash of water. Cook in the microwave on high in 1 minute intervals until hot. Or place the casserole in the Souper Cubes baking dish, or other broiler-safe dish (not glass) and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350F until hot, 35-45 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and broil until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

      Cheesy Ground Beef & Cauliflower Casserole - 26g protein per 1 cup

      cheesy beef & cauliflower casserole

      (recipe and photo: EatingWell.com) 

      This super-easy, 30 minute beef and cauliflower casserole gets tons of flavor from chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, and ground chipotle chili. For an extra bump of protein and fiber, serve over brown rice. 

      How to Freeze: omit the pickled jalapeños and freeze the casserole in ½-cup, 1 cup, or 2 cup portions.

      How to Reheat: place the casserole in a microwave-safe bowl and cook in the microwave on high in 1 minute intervals, stirring occasionally, until hot. Or place the casserole in a small pot on the stove and add a splash of water. Reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Serve topped with the pickled jalapeños. 

      What are your favorite high-protein recipes to freeze? 

      We would love to hear your ideas or better yet, post a photo of your cubes organized in our Freezer Meals & Recipes Facebook Group!


      Happy Freezing!

      Take your freezer meal prep to the next level.

      Shop our selection of freezer-friendly containers today!