Professionals Health Connection

Nutritious Protein Recipes

Nutritious Protein Recipes (and healthy too!)

Nutrition Education Series

You may have recently finished our Protein Quiz, and would like a few tasty and nutritious protein recipes to try. Choose lean meats, beans, and fish as they are healthy and nutritious sources of protein. Remember, you can always experiment by adding or changing ingredients. Have fun and enjoy!

30-Minute Chili

This recipe is quick to make and delicious. Beans are naturally low in fat, free of saturated fat and trans-fat as well as a cholesterol-free source of protein.

Black Bean Burgers

Black beans and cooked rice are used as the base of these delicious burgers. Flavored with scallions, garlic and spices, these are sure to please the whole family.

Beef and Noodles

with home-made seasoning

This protein-filled dinner makes it easy to put food on the table even when you’re short on ingredients. Serve it with cooked vegetables from the freezer for a complete meal.

Beets, Beans, and Greens

This salad is full of protein and nutrients thanks to its bright beets and cooked beans.


Nutritious Protein Recipes – 30-Minute Chili

This recipe is quick to make and delicious. Beans are naturally low in fat, free of saturated fat and trans-fat and also a cholesterol-free source of protein.

30-Minute Chili

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Serving size: 3/4 cup / Prep Time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-pound ground beef
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 cups Light red kidney beans (cooked)
  • 1 can tomato soup (no water added)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (or to taste)
  • 10 drops hot pepper sauce (to taste, if you like)

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, brown the meat for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the meat; add onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add kidney beans, soup, and chili powder and heat for 5 minutes.
  4. If using hot pepper sauce, add that too.

Source:  Recipe adapted from Justbeans.com.


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Nutritious Protein Recipes – Black Bean Burgers

Black beans and cooked rice are used as the base of these delicious burgers. Flavored with scallions, garlic and spices, these are sure to please the whole family.

Black Bean Burgers

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Prep Time: 30 minutes; Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 can 15.5 ounce low-sodium black beans (drained and rinsed with cold water)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 scallions (green and white minced about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped fresh cilantro (or basil leaves or a combination)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano or basil
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 whole-wheat buns

Directions

  1. Add beans to a bowl and mash with a fork until chunky. Add the egg and mix well.
  2. Add precooked rice, scallions, garlic and oregano, salt and pepper and mix until well combined.
  3. Divide the mixture into 4 portions and form each portion into a patty about ¾ to 1 inch thick.
  4. Place a large skillet on the stove on high heat. When the skillet is hot, add oil. Add burgers and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side until browned on both sides and heated throughout. Place on a whole wheat bun.

Notes

  • Use old-fashioned rolled oats, leftover cooked barley or Panko breadcrumbs instead of prepared rice.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings such as lettuce, tomato, guacamole, salsa, low-fat cheese, or low-fat yogurt.

Source: USDA Center for Nutrition


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Nutritious Protein Recipes – Beef and Noodles

This protein-filled dinner makes it easy to put food on the table even when you’re short on ingredients. Serve it with cooked vegetables from the freezer for a complete meal.

Beef and Noodles

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 3/- pound ground beef, 85% lean
  • 1 1/2 cups water (can take up to 2 cups water)
  • 2 cups egg noodles, uncooked (or any shaped pasta)
  • 7 Servings Home-Made Seasoning Mix
  • – salt (optional)

Directions

  1. Brown 3/4-pound ground beef in a large skillet, drain the fat.
  2. Add water, egg noodles or pasta, and home-made seasoning mix. Stir.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 15-20 minutes or until noodles are tender.
  4. Taste; then add a small amount of salt, if needed.
  5. Refrigerate leftovers.

Source: Colorado State University and University of California at Davis

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Home-Made Seasoning Mix

Keep this seasoning mix on hand and use it whenever you want to boost flavor without adding salt.

Home-Made Seasoning Mix

  • Servings: 40
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 3/4 cup dried, minced onion
  • 2 cups dried milk, non-fat

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Store in airtight container.
  3. Use in recipes as indicated.


Recipe makes about 40 Tablespoons, or 2.5 cups.

Source: Colorado State University and University of California at Davis

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Nutritious Protein Recipes – Beets, Beans, and Greens

This salad is full of protein and nutrients thanks to its bright beets and cooked beans.

Beets, Beans, and Greens

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (or vinegar)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • salt and pepper (optional) (to taste, optional)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sliced cooked beets (can use canned or fresh)
  • 1 head of lettuce (washed and torn into pieces)
  • 2 cups cooked beans, rinsed (any kind)

Directions

  1. To make dressing, combine lemon juice, garlic, mustard, oil, salt and pepper (optional) in a large bowl.
  2. Place the sliced beets in a small bowl. Toss 1 Tablespoon of the dressing with the beets to coat.
  3. Toss the greens and beans with the remaining dressing in the large bowl.
  4. Place onto plates and top with beets.

Source: University of Maryland Extension. Food Supplement Nutrition Education Program.

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Do you have favorite Nutritious Protein Recipes you’d like to share?

Tell us about your favorite protein recipe. What do you like about it? Is it healthy or a ‘special occasion’ kind of meal? Share with us!

For additional Resources, visit Meal Prepify:

30 High Protein Meal Prep Ideas for Muscle Growth

Thank you for spending part of your day with us. We hope you enjoy these nutritious protein recipes. Wishing you the best of health!

Visit USA Choose My Plate for additional food planning resources