31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (2024)

These dinners are so delicious, you'll hardly believe they only took you 20 minutes. Each of these meals has a rich source of protein, like chicken, fish or chickpeas, for a dinner with at least 15 grams of protein per serving. With a high-protein salad, sandwich or pasta dish on the menu, you're sure to feel satisfied at the end of the day. Recipes like our Crispy Fish Taco Bowls and Caprese Sandwich are simple, healthy meals to make again and again.

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One-Skillet Bourbon Chicken

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (1)

Bourbon chicken gets coated in a slightly sweet-spicy sauce for a flavorful dinner that comes together quickly, making it perfect for busy weeknights.

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One-Pot Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Pasta

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (2)

This creamy chicken and mushroom pasta recipe makes for an easy weeknight dinner. Using store-bought rotisserie chicken saves time when cooking, and leftover chicken would work just as well.

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15-Minute Salmon & Creamy Orzo with Spinach & Mushrooms

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (3)

In this quick salmon dinner, salmon fillets are paired with creamy orzo, wilted spinach and earthy mushrooms. Cooking the salmon at a high temperature helps speed up the cooking in this healthy dinner recipe. Look for presliced mushrooms to speed it up even more.

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Crispy Fish Taco Bowls

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (4)

The adobo sauce in a can of chipotles lends earthy heat to the crema that tops these bowls. Don't toss out the unused peppers! Freeze them in an airtight container and pull them out to add to sauces, marinades or chili.

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Cod Fish Tacos

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (5)

Let your oven do the work for these quick and simple cod fish tacos. Broiling the cod allows the fish to stay moist and flake easily once finished. Hot sauce adds a punch of acidity and mild heat, while sour cream makes a creamy slaw that adds crunch to the taco.

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Caprese Sandwich

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (6)

This caprese sandwich is fresh from the basil and hearty from thick, crusty ciabatta. The sun-dried tomatoes deepen the flavor. Topping the bread with a layer of basil leaves and using toasted bread helps to keep the sandwich from getting soggy if you need to make it a few hours ahead.

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Chickpea Salad Sandwich

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (7)

This vegan chickpea salad sandwich is lemony, bright and surprisingly delicious. It's got all the flavors of a classic tuna salad sandwich—dill, lemon and a bit of garlic—but with chickpeas instead to add a vegan source of protein and a healthy boost of fiber. Celery brings a nice crunch.

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Frittata with Asparagus, Leek & Ricotta

31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (8)

Serve this spring-vegetable-loaded frittata with an arugula salad and a hunk of crusty bread. Tip: This recipe cooks quickly, so be sure to have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go.

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Scallops & Spring Vegetables with Olive-Caper Pan Sauce

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (9)

This quick-cooking scallop dish can be on the table in just 20 minutes. Packed with vegetables, protein and a flavorful sauce, it makes a great weeknight main for two. Petite carrots are harvested before they reach full maturity, making them thin and quick to cook. Snatch some up from the farmers market early in the season.

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Chicken Caprese Sandwich

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (10)

This chicken caprese sandwich has all the classic flavors of a caprese salad with an added boost of protein from grilled chicken. Using store-bought grilled chicken makes assembly quick and easy. This sandwich for one is made in a skillet but would work equally well in a panini press if you have one on hand.

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One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp & Broccoli

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (11)

Shrimp and broccoli cook quickly in this easy, one-pot recipe, making it perfect for busy weeknights. Serve this healthy shrimp recipe over whole grains or rice.

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Spinach & Artichoke Dip Pasta with Chicken

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (12)

If you love warm spinach and artichoke dip, then you'll love that we turned this classic dip into a creamy pasta dish with chicken. And here's what's almost as good as the flavor of this comforting dish: the fact that this healthy dinner takes just 20 minutes to prepare.

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Prosciutto, Mozzarella & Melon Plate

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (13)

This perfect picnic for two is great for an outdoor date night or even just a quick, romantic dinner at home. The fresh fruit, vegetables and cheese pair perfectly with prosecco for sipping. Chocolate-dipped strawberries for dessert make the meal extra special.

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Veggie Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (14)

Maya Feller, M.S., RD, CDN, of Brooklyn-based Maya Feller Nutrition, upgrades this popular budget-friendly combo. "Adding veggies to a classic sandwich—in this case, broccoli, zucchini and red bell pepper—boosts the nutrient density of the meal," she says.

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Chopped Salad with Chicken & Creamy Chipotle Dressing

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (15)

This chopped salad with chicken is smoky and zesty thanks to the creamy chipotle dressing. Cilantro adds a pop of freshness to each bite.

Gochujang-Glazed Salmon with Garlic Spinach

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (16)

Gochujang, a Korean red chile paste, and honey give this salmon a little bit of sweetness and a whole lot of spice.

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One-Pot Chicken & Broccoli Pasta

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (17)

This creamy chicken and broccoli pasta makes for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. We opt for small shells in this recipe, but any other small pasta, like orecchiette, would work, too.

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Turkey, Cheese & Veggie Plate

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (18)

This colorful picnic dinner idea features tasty munchies you don't need utensils for and mild flavors that kids prefer, like deli meat, cheese and crunchy raw veggies. It's easy to assemble this complete menu, and adults will enjoy it as much as the kids. The menu calls for store-bought hummus and cookies, but you can easily make them yourself.

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20-Minute Chicken Cutlets & Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Tomato Sauce

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (19)

This low-carb chicken dinner whips up in only 20 minutes, thanks to thin-cut chicken breast and packaged zucchini noodles. If you have a spiralizer and want to make your own zucchini noodles, use two medium zucchini.

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Green Goddess Salad with Chicken

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (20)

For this cucumber, tomato, Swiss cheese and chicken salad recipe, a healthy green goddess salad dressing recipe gets its creaminess from avocado, buttermilk and herbs. Any extra dressing is delicious served over grilled chicken or flaky white fish, such as cod or flounder.

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Easy Chicken Tinga Rice Bowls

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (21)

Leftover chicken tinga, pinto beans and bell peppers combine to make a hearty, flavorful rice bowl. Finish with your favorite toppings like avocado and lime wedges.

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Lemon-Garlic Pasta with Salmon

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (22)

Wondering what to do with leftover salmon? This is a delicious and easy way to turn it into another weeknight-friendly, quick dinner. Don't forget to reserve some pasta water—its starch thickens the lemon-garlic pasta sauce and makes it silky-smooth.

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Lemon-Garlic Chicken with Green Beans

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (23)

This easy lemon-garlic chicken recipe calls for cutlets, which cook in less than 10 minutes! Can't find them? Make your own from chicken breasts. Place each breast on a cutting board and, with your knife parallel to the board, slice into the skinny side of the chicken breast in a single smooth motion. The side of green beans is cooked right in the same pan as the chicken, so this 20-minute easy, healthy dinner is not just a snap to prepare—the cleanup is a cinch too.

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Skillet Ravioli Lasagna

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (24)

This easy inside-out ravioli lasagna is the ultimate weeknight comfort food—no layering or mixing bowls required. Feel free to swap in ground turkey for the beef. Look for fresh mozzarella balls (also called "pearls") in the specialty cheese section of your grocery store.

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Beef Pad Thai

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (25)

We've bulked up the serving size of beef pad thai by adding in lots of healthy veggies like matchstick carrots, snap peas and scallions. Look for whole-grain brown-rice pad thai noodles to add an additional 3 grams of fiber to each serving.

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Spinach & Feta Scrambled Egg Pitas

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (26)

This meatless dinner comes together in only 15 minutes, thanks to the convenience of frozen chopped spinach and crumbled feta. We've added a flavorful burst of sun-dried tomato tapenade to spread over the whole-wheat pita before nestling the scrambled eggs inside. If you can't find it, basil pesto or sun-dried tomato pesto also works well.

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Quick Shrimp Puttanesca

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (27)

Because refrigerated fresh pasta cooks much faster than dried pasta, this Italian pasta dish will be on the table lickety-split! Puttanesca, traditionally made with tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies and garlic, gets a makeover with shrimp for extra protein and artichoke hearts to boost the vegetable servings (and the fiber!). If you can't find frozen artichoke hearts, sub in drained canned artichoke hearts.

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Fruit, Veggie & Cheese Plate

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (28)

This healthy fruit, veggie and cheese plate is easy and affordable to pull together for a fun snack-style dinner at home or can be packed up and enjoyed as an outdoor picnic.

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Teriyaki-Glazed Cod with Cauliflower Rice

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (29)

This healthy fish recipe comes together fast with just three ingredients you can always have on hand in your freezer and fridge. Store-bought teriyaki glaze makes a great marinade for cod that doubles as a sauce for the cauliflower rice.

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Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Dressing

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (30)

This hearty vegan salad is loaded with plant-based power ingredients: chickpeas, quinoa and hummus. We love the crunch of the sunflower seeds and the unexpected flavor of roasted peppers.

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One-Pot Chicken Pasta with Cajun Seasonings

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31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (31)

This one-pot chicken pasta dish with Cajun seasonings is a snap to whip up. Here we use the technique of stirring often to help the starches release for natural creaminess. We love the spicy flavor profile of Cajun seasoning, but you can substitute different spices depending on what you have on hand.

31 High-Protein Dinners You Can Make in 20 Minutes (2024)
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