When you live a busy lifestyle, snacks can be useful when
hunger hits and you don’t have time to prepare a meal.
The key is to make sure your snacks are nutritious and contain
Here are 30 high-protein snacks that are healthy and portable,
so you can enjoy them even when you’re on the go.
Jerky is meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips and
dried. It makes an excellent and convenient snack.
Beef, chicken, turkey and salmon are often made into jerky. It
can be found at most grocery stores, but keep in mind that
store-bought versions are typically high in
added sugar and artificial ingredients.
Your best bet is to make your own jerky, using only meat and
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2. Trail Mix
The dried fruit and nuts in trail mix make it very high in
calories, so it is important to not eat too much at a time. A
handful is a reasonable serving.
3. Turkey Roll-Ups
Turkey roll-ups are a delicious and nutritious high-protein
snack, consisting of cheese and veggies wrapped inside slices
of turkey breast.
They are essentially a sandwich without the bread.
You can make roll-ups by placing four turkey breast slices on a
plate and then spreading each with a teaspoon of cream cheese.
Place a pickle or strip of cucumber and a tomato slice on the
turkey and roll them into wraps.
Each wrap provides about five grams of protein from the turkey
and cheese, as well as some extra nutrients and fiber from the
tomato and cucumber.
4. Greek Yogurt Parfait
Greek yogurt is an
ideal healthy and high-protein snack, with 20 grams of protein
per one-cup serving (224 grams). It has been shown to be more
filling than yogurts with lower protein contents (14, 15).
To make yogurt even more delicious and filling, you can make a
parfait by combining one cup of yogurt with granola and mixed
berries in layers.
The addition of granola to yogurt provides four more grams of
protein per ounce. However, be mindful of how much you use, as
granola is high in calories and easy to overeat. A tablespoon
or two is a reasonable serving size (17).
5. Veggies and Yogurt Dip
Veggies are great for snacking,
but they’re not very high in protein on their own. You can
increase your protein intake by pairing them with yogurt dip.
Yogurt dip is typically made by combining yogurt with herbs and
flavorings, such as dill and lemon juice, as in this recipe. For more protein, it’s best to use
Greek yogurt, which contains almost twice the amount of protein
as regular yogurt (18, 14).
For convenience, make a batch of yogurt dip ahead of time and
portion it out into snack-size containers so you can grab it
when you need it.
Tuna is loaded with protein and makes a very healthy and
convenient snack. One cup contains an impressive 39 grams of
protein, making it extra filling (19).
7. Hard-Boiled Eggs
In addition to being nutritious, they are also versatile.
Hard-boiled eggs make a great portable snack.
One hard-boiled egg consists of six grams of protein, which
will keep you full and satisfied until your next meal. Their
fullness-promoting properties may also reduce the number of
calories you consume later in the day (20, 21).
8. Peanut Butter Celery Sticks
Celery sticks spread with a tablespoon or two of peanut butter
make for a delicious and easy snack. They contain a decent
amount of protein from the peanut butter, which provides 4
grams of protein per tablespoon (32 grams) (22).
One study found peanut butter to be more filling than whole
nuts, such as almonds or chestnuts (23).
9. No-Bake Energy Bites
Energy bites are a delicious, high-protein snack made by
combining a variety of ingredients, such as nut butter, oats
and seeds, and then rolling them into balls.
The best part about energy bites is that they don’t require
baking. You can prepare a batch ahead of time so that you have
a snack available when you need to grab one and go.
Here is a recipe for peanut butter energy bites,
which provide five grams of protein per serving.
10. Cheese Slices
incredibly healthy and filling, in addition to being a quick
and easy snack. It is an excellent source of calcium,
phosphorus and selenium, and it contains small amounts of many
other nutrients (25).
In one study in overweight men, calorie intake decreased by 9%
after they consumed cheese for a snack (26).
Another study found that children who ate a combination of
cheese and vegetables for a snack needed significantly fewer
calories to make them full, compared to those who ate potato
A reasonable portion size for cheese is around 1–2 ounces
(28–57 grams). Since it contains a significant amount of
it is best to consume it in moderation.
11. Handful of Almonds
Eating a handful of almonds
or another type of nut for a snack is a simple way to fill up
An ounce of almonds provides six grams of protein, in addition
to high amounts of vitamin E, riboflavin, trace minerals and
healthy fats (28).
Almonds are also high in calories, so it’s important to stick
with the recommended serving size. A handful is equivalent to
around 22 almonds.
12. Roasted Chickpeas
A half-cup serving (82 grams) contains 7.5 grams of protein and
6 grams of fiber, in addition to providing some of almost every
vitamin and mineral. They are particularly high in folate,
iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese (31).
The combination of fiber and nutrients in chickpeas may help
reduce the risk of several conditions, such as heart disease,
type 2 diabetes and some cancers (32).
One tasty way to prepare chickpeas for a snack is by roasting
them with some basic seasonings and olive oil. Roasted
chickpeas are crunchy and portable, so you can take them with
you and enjoy them when hunger hits.
13. Hummus and Veggies
Hummus is made from cooked and mashed chickpeas that are
blended with tahini or olive oil, then used as a dip or spread.
A 1/3-cup serving (113 grams) contains 6.5 grams of protein,
making it a filling snack that’s also high in many other
Veggies are a fantastic, high-nutrient food to pair with
hummus. To enjoy this snack on the go, simply place some carrot
or celery sticks vertically in a portable container with hummus
in the bottom.
14. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is known for being high in protein. It’s a
filling snack that can be eaten on the go.
There are 14 grams of protein in a half-cup (113 grams) of
cottage cheese, which ends up being 69% of its total calorie
Cottage cheese is also a good source of some other important
nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B12
and riboflavin (34).
You can enjoy cottage cheese on its own or combine it with
fruits and nuts for a delicious snack.
15. Apple With Peanut Butter
peanut butter taste great together, and they also make for a
nutrient-dense, high-protein snack that provides many health
The fiber and antioxidants
in apples may improve gut health and reduce the risk of heart
disease, while peanut butter has been shown to increase HDL
(the “good”) cholesterol and reduce LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol
and triglycerides (35, 36, 37, 29).
Despite the positive effects that peanut butter may have on
your health, it is fairly high in calories, so is best consumed
16. Beef Sticks
sticks are a great high-protein and portable snack, but it’s
important that you choose the right type.
The beef sticks you consume should consist of beef and salt
only, and maybe some seasonings. Ideally, they should be made
beef, since it contains more healthy omega-3 fatty acids
than grain-fed beef (39).
Most beef sticks contain about six grams of protein per ounce
(28 grams) (40).
17. Protein Bars
Protein bars are an easy way to consume a significant amount of
They are much healthier if you make them on your own, as
store-bought versions are often high in added sugar and other
Larabars are a popular protein bar made with minimal
You can also easily make a batch on your own by following this
recipe, which uses nuts, dates and dried
18. Canned Salmon
Canned salmon is an excellent high-protein snack that you can
take with you wherever you go. Just one ounce provides eight
grams of protein and high amounts of a few other nutrients,
including niacin, vitamin B12 and selenium (41).
You can eat canned salmon on its own or add some extra flavor
with a little bit of salt and
pepper. It tastes great when paired with crackers or chopped
19. Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seed pudding has become a popular snack in recent
years — and with good reason. It’s delicious and healthy, in
addition to being high in protein.
There are four grams of protein in one ounce of chia seeds, and
they provide some other nutrients, such as calcium, phosphorus
and manganese (45).
Moreover, they’re notable for their high omega-3 fatty acid
content, which provides several health benefits (46).
For example, snacking on chia seeds may help lower triglyceride
levels, which is important for reducing the risk of heart
To make chia seed pudding, soak chia seeds in milk for a few
hours until it achieves a pudding-like consistency. Then add
flavorings like vanilla and cocoa, as in this recipe.
20. Homemade Granola
Granola is a baked snack food that consists of rolled oats,
nuts and a sweetener such as honey. It makes a filling snack
due to its protein content. Most types of granola provide at
least four grams of protein per ounce (17).
Store-bought granola tends to be high in added sugar, which can
be avoided by making your own granola at home. All you have to
do is bake oats, dried fruit and seeds together, such as in
Although it is healthy in moderation, granola is quite high in
calories. One cup provides almost 600 calories, so it is easy
to overdo it. To keep your intake in check, stick with a
serving size of about 1/4 cup.
21. Pumpkin Seeds
seeds are perfect for a quick snack, and they’re also high
in protein and some other valuable nutrients.
One ounce of pumpkin seeds contains five grams of protein, as
well as a significant amount of fiber, magnesium, zinc and
polyunsaturated fatty acids. They also provide disease-fighting
antioxidants, including vitamin E and carotenoids (48).
Furthermore, their protein and fiber contents make them a great
snack to curb hunger until you’re able to eat a full meal. They
can be eaten raw, or you can try roasting them with some
spices. An appropriate serving size is about 1/4 cup.
22. Nut Butter
Nut butter is perfect for when you need a quick and portable
In the US, you can find single-serving nut butter packs. These
are often found in the nut butter section or in the checkout
lanes of many grocery stores.
One common brand is Justin’s, which offers peanut butter, almond
butter and hazelnut butter. Their single-serving peanut butter
packs contain eight grams of protein and are made with only two
ingredients — dry-roasted peanuts and palm oil.
23. Protein Shakes
While getting your protein from whole food sources is ideal,
shakes make for an easy snack that will sneak some protein
and other nutrients into your diet.
They can be made with several
types of protein powder, including whey, egg, soy and pea
protein, in particular, may be beneficial for fullness. In
one study, men who consumed a snack bar that contained whey
protein consumed significantly fewer calories than those who
ate a lower-protein snack (12, 52).
In another study, a snack of yogurt with added whey protein
reduced appetite more than a carb-rich snack with the same
amount of calories (53).
Generally, a scoop of protein powder provides about 20 grams of
protein, which is sure to keep you full until your next meal
To make a protein shake, simply combine a scoop of protein
powder, a cup of milk or juice, a cup of ice and fruit, if
desired. Then pour it into a portable container so you can take
it with you wherever you go.
Edamame are immature soybeans
that are still in the pod. They are high in protein, vitamins
and minerals, and make for a quick and easy snack.
One cup of edamame provides some of just about every nutrient
that you need, including 17 grams of protein, 52% of your daily
need for vitamin K and over 100% of your daily need for folate
Typically, edamame is served as a steamed dish. Many stores
offer pre-cooked and frozen varieties that need to be heated in
a microwave. All you have to do is place the heated edamame in
a portable container so you can enjoy it on the go.
To enhance the flavor of edamame, add spices and seasonings of
25. Avocado and Chicken Salad
Additionally, avocados are high in some important nutrients,
including vitamin K, vitamin E, potassium and folate (56).
To make this easy salad, simply combine cooked chicken breast
and avocado with some seasonings and chopped veggies, such as
in this recipe, which contains 22.5 grams of
26. Fruit and Nut Bars
Fruit and nut bars are a crunchy and high-protein snack
that can be eaten on the go.
They are typically pre-packaged, which isn’t always the
healthiest option. However, some brands use natural ingredients
without added sugar.
Most KIND Plus bars contain between 5–10 grams of protein, in
addition to lots of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
27. Lentil Salad
A lentil salad is a great snack. It’s highly nutritious and a
plant-based source of protein. In fact, one cup provides 18
grams of protein, along with high amounts of iron, folate and
In addition, lentils provide over 50% of your recommended daily
fiber intake. The specific type
of fiber found in lentils may promote a healthy gut because
it helps feed the good bacteria in your colon (58).
The combination of protein, fiber and carbs in lentils is
especially helpful for promoting fullness, and consuming them
regularly may be helpful for controlling diabetes and reducing
the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer (59, 60, 61).
To make lentil salad, combine cooked lentils with chopped
veggies, spices and a dressing of your choice. It tastes great
when topped with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, such as in
28. Overnight Oatmeal
is easy to make, portable and very nutritious.
Oats are high in protein and loaded with many vitamins and
minerals. In addition, one serving of 234 grams provides 16% of
your recommended daily fiber intake (62).
In one study, oats resulted in greater fullness and a reduced
desire to eat, compared to ready-to-eat cereal with the same
amount of calories (63).
Another study compared perceived hunger and food intake after
consuming either oatmeal or oranges. Those who ate oatmeal
experienced less hunger immediately after eating and consumed
less food later on in the day (65).
To make overnight oatmeal, mix a 1/2 cup of milk with a 1/2 cup
of oats. For extra flavor, add some peanut butter, chia seeds
or fruit, like in this recipe. Place in a covered jar overnight,
and they’ll be ready to enjoy as a healthy snack the next day.
29. Egg Muffins
Egg muffins are a super healthy snack with lots of protein.
They’re made by mixing eggs with veggies and seasonings,
pouring the mixture into a muffin tin and then baking the
They are also very convenient, as they can be eaten hot or
cold. You can increase their nutrient content by making them
with veggies and add more protein by topping them with a
tablespoon or two of cheese.
This egg muffin recipe combines eggs with broccoli, onions and
30. Cheesy Popcorn
In addition, some research has shown that popcorn is a
particularly filling snack. In one study, those who ate popcorn
were less hungry and ate less than those who ate potato chips
Despite popcorn’s filling effects, it’s not incredibly high in
protein on its own. You can significantly increase the protein
content by adding Parmesan cheese, which provides 10 grams of
protein per ounce (68).
To enjoy cheesy popcorn as a snack, simply combine three cups
of popcorn with two tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
Take Home Message
High-protein snacks are important to have around when hunger
hits between meals, as they keep you full and satisfied.
While many snacks can be unhealthy, there are plenty of healthy
and portable options that you can enjoy even when you’re
crunched for time.