High-Protein Thanksgiving Recipes

First off, I want to be clear that I don't have anything against carbs, but I think we can all agree that most Thanksgiving foods are super high-carb and low in protein.

This is why we usually feel like we're going into a food coma 15-min into our meal and need to unbutton our pants (if we're staying at home this year are sweatpants acceptable? Asking for a friend).

Anyways, I wanted so share some high-protein recipes just in case you want to switch things up this year!

Higher protein foods will fill you up longer without making you feel like a giant potato. This way you can stop counting down the hours until you can take off your pants, and enjoy your time with friends and family.

These recipes also contain smaller portion sizes and are well-suited for small gatherings or individual servings!

Let's get to it.

High-Protein Appetizer: Quick & Easy Meatballs (Serves 4)

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 20 min

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Low Carb, High Protein

What you need:

  • 1 lb. (500g) lean ground beef

  • 1 small onion, finely diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 red pepper, diced

  • 1 egg

  • ½ cup (30g) buckwheat flour

  • ¼ cup coriander, chopped

  • 1 tsp. oregano

  • 12 slices streaky bacon

What you need to do:

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place all the ingredients apart from the bacon in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well using your hands. Once everything is well combined, form 12 meatballs the size of a golf ball (use a ¼ cup for measuring). Wrap each meatball in a slice of bacon and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. For the last 4-5 minutes, set the oven to grill/broil for the meatballs to have a crispy outside layer.

Macros per serving:

  • Cals: 309

  • Fat: 14g

  • Carbs: 9g

  • Protein: 36g

High-Protein Salad: Chicken & Orange Walnut Salad (serves 2)

Prep: 10 min

Cook: 10 min

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, High Protein, Contains Nuts

What you need:


  • 3 tbsp. of honey

  • 2 tbsp. mustard

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp. orange juice

  • ⅓ tsp. cinnamon


  • 7 oz. (200g) chicken breast

  • 4 handfuls rocket

  • ¼ iceberg lettuce

  • 1 orange

  • ⅓ pomegranate fruit, seeds

  • ¼ cup (30g) pecans, roasted

What you need to do:

Peel orange and cut out the pulp and set aside. Squeeze the juice from the rest of the orange and keep it for the sauce. Mix the ingredients of the dressing in a cup, season with salt and pepper. Cut the chicken breast into 4 smaller pieces, season with salt, coat with olive oil and place on a hot grill pan — grill for 4 minutes on both sides. Drizzle the chicken pieces with a tbsp. of dressing and continue to grill for about 1.5 minutes on a slightly lower heat. Turn over then drizzle with another tbsp. of dressing, and grill for another minute. Remove from the pan and set aside. Once cooled slightly slice into pieces. Mix the salad leaves and divide it between two plates, then top with the orange and chicken. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and roasted pecans. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve.

Macros per serving:

  • Calories: 458

  • Fat: 20g

  • Carbs: 47g

  • Protein: 28g

Pro Tip: If you need to cut the carbs down, reduce honey to 1 tablespoon and use half the orange.

High Protein Main Dish: Salmon Teriyaki with Green Beans and Sweet Corn Rice (Serves 4)

Prep: 10 min + 1 hour

Cook: 15 min

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, High Protein, Meal Prep (Freezer Friendly)

What you need:

  • 4 salmon fillets (5 oz./150g each)

  • 5 oz. (150g) green beans, frozen

  • 1 cup (150g) sweetcorn

  • 3.5 oz. (100g) brown rice

  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds

  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil

For the Sauce:

  • 8 tbsp. soy sauce

  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup

  • 1 tbsp. lime juice

  • 4 tbsp. grated ginger

  • 2 garlic cloves, grated

What you need to do:

Make the marinade by mixing all the sauce ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the skin off the salmon then rinse, dry and marinate in the prepared sauce for 1 hour.

In the meantime, cook the rice according to the instructions on the packaging. Add the green beans to the cooking rice 4 minutes before it is cooked, then drain. Next, add the sweetcorn and mix well.

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Place the salmon into an oven safe dish, leaving the marinade aside. Bake for 8-10 minutes. 3 minutes before the end of baking, sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Transfer the marinade into a small saucepan and heat until it thickens. Mix in the sesame oil, take off the heat and set aside.

To serve, divide the rice and salmon between plates, then drizzle with the teriyaki sauce.

Macros per serving:

  • Calories: 507

  • Fat: 19g

  • Carbs: 40g

  • Protein: 45g

Pro Tip: If you want to make this low-carb, cut down on the maple syrup (or use a low calorie alternative). You can also eliminate the rice and just have the green beans and corn.

High-Protein Dessert: Cherry Sorbet (Serves 4)

Prep: 10 min

Cook: 1 hour

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian

What you need:

  • 1 ¾ cups (400g) frozen pitted cherries

  • 2 tbsp. honey

  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

  • 4 tbsp. vanilla soy yogurt (e.g. Alpro)

  • 4 tbsp. water

  • Mint leaves, to serve

What you need to do:

Blitz the frozen cherries in a food processor or high speed blender with the honey, 1 tbsp. of lemon juice, 4 tbsp. of yogurt and 4 tbsp. of water until smooth.

Spoon into a freezer-proof container then freeze for 1 hour.

Scoop out the sorbet into serving glasses, top with mint and serve immediately.

The ingredients will make approx. 8 scoops of sorbet (2 per serving).

That's all I got today folks! Hopefully this gives you some ideas on how to pack in the protein this Thanksgiving, so you can #getthosegains.

If you like these recipes, you'll be happy to know that they're part of my High-Protein Recipe Pack that comes FREE when you purchase my new program, The Comeback Athlete!

The recipe pack contains 52 high-protein recipes, as well as TWO meal plan guides and shopping lists that you can use to plan out your meals post Thanksgiving feast. Check it out!

Stay tuned for my upcoming post where I'll be giving some of my own personal tips on how to enjoy Thanksgiving without completely wrecking yourself!

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