Low carb high protein recipes are all the rage these days, due mostly to the huge increase in interest in fitness over the last 10 years. Lots of people often struggle as the perception is that most of the tasty, and sometimes naughty food, is often high in carbs. Here Claudia shares some tasty low carb, high protein recipes, and shows that it can be done without compromising too much on taste.
Proteins are essential macronutrients for our health and wellbeing. “High- protein”, simply means that the ratio between the main macronutrients, carbohydrates – proteins – fats, is more focused towards the protein side.
According to research, the daily recommended protein intake for both men and women bodybuilders is roughly around 1.6 to 2.2 grams per kg of body weight. This is based on this study. The optimal intake varies widely from person to person according to certain factors like muscle mass: the more muscle you have, the more protein you require to maintain the mass. Equally the more physically active you are, the more protein you need.
Another factor that contributes to how much protein you need is whether you are on a weight loss or muscle gain phase. To build muscle you need protein; when you are on a cutting phase you lose both fat and muscle weight, however you should always aim to lose more fat than muscle. It is especially important in this case to focus on a high protein diet to protect lean tissue and increase the fat loss.
If you are unsure about how much protein you should consume every day, try our protein calculator which is fully customisable for your needs.
Once you know what your daily protein intake should be, you can plan your meals in order to maximise protein in each meal. A good start, would be to try and consume foods that are high in protein. We have got a list ready for you here:
Some grain and cereal-based products are also sources of protein, however they are generally not as high in protein as meat and meat-alternative products.
If you are specifically following low-carb, high-protein diet then we recommend the following foods:
Now, if you are short of ideas for low-carb, high protein recipes, take a look at some of our favourites below.
Protein Pancakes (2 pancakes)
Total nutritional value: 280Kcal, 18.1g Carbs, 13.5g Fat, 21.6g Protein
To prepare the protein pancakes, pour the hazelnut flour, the oats and the egg whites into a bowl. Add the peanut butter and honey and mix all the ingredients together. Finally add the milk and mix until you obtain a uniform batter.
Heat a non-stick pan (lightly battered or oil sprayed). Pour a couple of spoons into the pan and cook for 2 minutes, without touching them.
Turn the pancakes and cook for a minute on the other side. Whey they are ready, stack them on top of each other and continue cooking the others. Serve the protein pancakes immediately garnishing them with ingredients of your choice: bananas and berries are our favourite choice, but if you are looking for a low carb option, myprotein do some great zero carb options.
Remember to double the ingredients if you want to make 4 or more pancakes.
Total nutritional value: 352Kcal, 7.1g Carbs, 19.6g Fat, 34.5g Protein
Put a drizzle of oil in a non-stick pan and simmer the finely chopped onion. When the onions are soft (not overcooked) add the spinach.
Whip the egg whites with the blender until they increase in volume but are not firm. While whisking, add the whole eggs, the grated cheese, salt and pepper. Add the egg mixture to the onion and spinach; cook the omelette with the lid on for about 4 minutes until it becomes golden-brown. Detach the omelette from the bottom from time to time using a spatula. Turn the omelette around with the help of the lid and cook on the other side. Slide it onto a plate and serve your frittata hot or warm.
If you like to add a meaty flavour to this recipe you can add either chicken slices or ham. This will also increase your protein intake.
Lemon chicken and green beans
Total nutritional value: 520Kcal – 17g Carbs, 17g Fat, 66g Protein
Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 salt and 1/2 pepper. Heat 5ml of oil in a large pan over medium to high heat. Cook the chicken 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning it once. Transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining oil and green beans to the pan. Sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp for about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic, lemon zest and thyme for 1 minute. Add broth, wine and lemon juice and return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by half, about 1 minute more. Serve with more thyme and lemon wedges.
Total nutritional value: 500Kcal, 7g Carbs, 23g Fat, 57g Protein
To prepare beef stew, start by heating water to boil in a saucepan and add the meat stock. In the meantime, finely chop the celery, carrot and onion; Tie the thyme, sage and rosemary together.
Heat the oil in a casserole, as soon as the bottom is hot, add the chopped celery, carrot and onion and leave it on a low flame for around ten minutes; you can add a little hot stock if necessary. Once the vegetables have thoroughly softened, add the meat.
Turn up the flame and cook thoroughly for ten minutes or so, add salt and pepper to taste, and leave to toast for a couple of minutes: be very careful not to burn it, so stir frequently. Add the red wine, stir, and reduced the heat to low-medium. Add the herbs and fill it with the remaining broth.
Cover with a lid and leave to cook on a medium-low flame for at least 2 hours; be sure to stir occasionally and check to see whether more meat stock needs to be added, so that it doesn’t dry up. Once cooked, remove the herbs and salt to taste.
Remember, it would be a good idea multiply these ingredients to have however many portions of this meal you want. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days or it can also be frozen.
Roasted seabass fillets
Total nutritional value: 448Kcal, 14g Carbs, 24g Fat, 42g Protein
Start by preparing the spring onions: trim the base, cut off the green part of the stem and rinse them in water. Cut the spring onions in half – lengthwise and transfer them to a baking dish, season with ¼ of the oil and add salt and pepper.
Chop the sage, thyme and rosemary with a knife, wash the lemon, dry it and cut it into thin slices. Grease a baking tray with ½ of olive oil. Place the fillets in the tray, season with pepper and salt, and add the chopped aromatic herbs on top. Place the lemon slices over the fillets. Finally, place the spring onions in the pan in between fillets and, add salt and pepper and cook in a preheated static oven at 220° for 20 minutes. When cooked, take the fillets out of the oven, before serving them dressed with a drizzle of oil.
Spinach and ricotta polpette (vegetarian meatballs)
Total nutritional value: 560Kcal, 46g Carbs, 10g Fat, 39g Protein
In a pan, heat the oil together with a whole clove of garlic. Place the washed spinach and let it sizzle over high heat; cook for 5-6 minutes and stir frequently until they soften completely. Remove the garlic and then put the spinach to drain in a colander until they lose the excess water and leave it to cool down. Once cold, chop the spinach finely with a knife. Pour the ricotta into a bowl (if watery, drain it first) and stir with a spoon. Add the spinach and grated cheese, season with salt and pepper and mix.
In order to give the meatballs more consistency, add the breadcrumbs and continue to mix. As soon as the dough is ready, start shaping it into small round balls using your hands – around 20 grams of dough for each ball should get about 12-14 small balls.
On another bowl, beat the egg together with salt and pepper, and then in another small bowl place 10g of breadcrumbs. As the balls are shaped, pass them in the egg first and then bread them with the breadcrumbs.
Once finished, arrange the balls on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cook the spinach and ricotta meatballs in a preheated oven, in static mode, at 200° for about 20 minutes. Serve them very hot!
Banana and peanut butter shake
Total nutritional value: 410Kcal, 26g Carbs, 18g Fat, 39g Protein
Blend all ingredients together in a blender and serve immediately.
Strawberry protein yogurt
Total nutritional value: 388Kcal, 27g Carbs, 14g Fat, 35g Protein
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve. You can swap strawberries to any fruit of your choice.
Tuna and avocado salad
Total nutritional value: 307Kcal, 14g Carbs, 17g Fat, 30g Protein
In a large salad bowl, combine: sliced cucumber, sliced avocado, thinly sliced red onion, and drained tuna.
Drizzle salad ingredients with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper to taste. Mix all together and serve.
My name is Gary and I run All About The Gains.
I am a qualified PT and have been training for 17 years. I have been involved in lots of disciplines from bodybuilding to boxing, functional training to kettlebells, running, Jiu Jitsu and H.I.I.T. I am currently a member of GB top team - an M.M.A gym in south London.
I have spent the last 15 years extensively researching topics on diet and supplements, muscle building, exercise and biomechanics and I write these articles so that the normal person can understand the topic, without having to visit 10+ sites. Each article I write is researched with reference to properly conducted studies. I link to all of these studies so that you can look into it yourself if needed.