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Bodybuilders are known for eating insane amounts of food to attain their fitness goals.
There’s no doubt that it can be hard to find good, healthy food and eat on a budget. If you’re eating 4-6 dishes a day, it can also be exhausting to cook and clean all the time.
Bodybuilding meal prep recipes are the answer. Cook a bunch of dishes at once and eat on it throughout the week.
If you’re looking for some easy bodybuilding meal prep recipes, this list is for you! I’ve put together a list of my staple recipes whenever I’m trying to gain muscle or cut weight.
These are my 32 easy bodybuilding meals.
- 32 Easy Bodybuilding Meals to Build Muscle or Cut Weight
- Quick Bodybuilding Meal Ideas for Breakfast
- Bodybuilding Lunch Ideas
- Bodybuilding Meal Prep Recipes for Dinner
- Vegetarian/Vegan Bodybuilding Meal Prep Ideas
- Quick and Easy Bodybuilding Meals
- What Food Groups Should I Meal Prep for Muscle Gain?
- The Importance of Prioritizing Protein for Building Muscle
- How Much Protein Powder Do You Need to Support Muscle Growth?
- Can You Support Muscle Growth on a Vegan Diet?
- Bodybuilding Meal Prep FAQs
- Final Thoughts On Bodybuilding Meal Prep Ideas
32 Easy Bodybuilding Meals to Build Muscle or Cut Weight
Quick Bodybuilding Meal Ideas for Breakfast
These bodybuilding meal ideas are perfect for helping you build muscle, recover from training, and get in better shape for that new sport you’re looking to try.
1. Egg and Bacon Breakfast Sandwich
Skip the drive-thru line and make your own much healthier version of an Egg and Bacon Breakfast Sandwich at home. Opt for turkey bacon for a lean meat without losing protein. Fry up an egg or two and place them between whole wheat bread for fiber. Don’t forget the veggies! You can even make-ahead and freeze breakfast sandwiches if you’re really short on time.
This recipe uses shredded chicken and eggs for an incredible protein hit. Your choice of cheese (Gruyere is listed but cheddar is a good one too) helps hold together the veggies. Make this quiche on a Sunday and keep it in the refrigerator for a grab-and-go breakfast.
3. Ground Turkey and Sweet Potato Hash
If you’re not eating ground turkey and sweet potatoes in your bodybuilding meal prep, you’re missing out. They’re high in fiber and essential vitamins. Add the two colors of bell pepper this recipe calls for and you’ve got an extremely nutritious meal. Don’t forget the salsa!
4. Cast Iron Egg Skillet
Pre-cook your quinoa or brown rice to save time with this egg skillet. Then just throw everything in your cast iron skillet and set it in the oven. Want more protein? Add turkey sausage.
5. Chocolate and Peanut Butter Parfait
Layers of protein powder, Greek yogurt, and powdered peanut butter combine with coffee in this delicious, eye-opening breakfast option. Prep a few of these chocolate and peanut butter parfait and keep them in the fridge to power your week. Definitely one of the best simple bodybuilding meal ideas on this list! This is a great egg free breakfast idea!
6. Ham, Pepper, and Tomato Omelette
Really, you can throw any ingredients into an omelet and call it good. This one includes healthy veggies and lean ham for a high-protein breakfast. Need to make a batch of this ham, pepper, and tomato omelette? Try it in skillet form instead. Throw in some spinach to pack an extra nutritional punch. This is definitely meal prep for bodybuilding made easy since it’s so quick (and cheap) to make!
Bodybuilding Lunch Ideas
7. Air Fryer Turkey Burger
This air fryer turkey burger is perfect for a quick high protein lunch. Because these patties are so freezer-friendly, you can bulk make them and freeze them for next week. Once made, they only take 10 minutes to cook!
They only contain 3 grams of net carbs and 3 grams of fat while containing a whopping 28 grams of protein.
8. Slow Cooker Bolognese
This slow cooker bolognese is the easiest bolognese recipe I’ve seen. It takes 5 minutes to prep and is packed with protein. The whole recipe is very budget-friendly coming to around $1.65 per portion. This is one of my favorite cheap crockpot meals!
9. 15-Minute Beef Yakisoba (31g protein per serving)
This beef yakisoba is perfect when you want to whip up something fast and delicious! It uses delicious umami flavors and can be made with your favorite steak!
It’s packed with vegetables giving you a substantial boost of vitamins and minerals. This steak yakisoba is perfect to have on a workout day because it’s packed with good energy sources and protein for muscle repair.
Want more steak recipes? Check out these easy steak meal prep ideas.
10. Four-Ingredient Avocado Chicken Salad Sandwich
Avocado and yogurt take the place of mayo in this much healthier version of avocado chicken salad sandwich. Simply pre-cook your chicken and then mix all the ingredients together. Serve with tomato slices and sprouts for a well-balanced lunch.
11. Oven-Baked Fajitas
With a bit of chopping prep, you can have oven-baked fajitas right at home. Instead of standing over a stove and sautéing, you simply throw your ingredients in the oven and walk away. For a vegetarian version, try strips of tempeh. This is one of those bodybuilding meal prep recipes that can really make your work week MUCH smoother when prepped in advance for a grab-and-go lunch.
12. Penne Rosa with Shrimp
Make this penne rosa recipe on Sunday and portion it out for ready-to-go lunches throughout the week. Shrimp, Greek yogurt, and mushrooms come together to boost the protein in this delicious dish.
Bodybuilding Meal Prep Recipes for Dinner
13. Crockpot Glazed Chicken Teriyaki
Start this in the morning before work and come home to a delicious meal. There’s very little prep involved, too—your crockpot does most of the work. One of my favorite easy and delicious bodybuilding protein recipes for sure! This crockpot glazed chicken teriyaki is one of my favorite slow cooker meal prep ideas!
14. Low-Carb Teriyaki Beef Zoodles
When those take-out cravings set in, reach for this healthier option instead. Zoodles (zucchini noodles) take the place of oil-heavy chow mein. Rump steaks and edamame make it a protein-packed meal. Don’t forget the yellow bell peppers for a flash of nutritious color.
15. Double Beef and Bacon Cheeseburger
Lean beef patties and turkey bacon give this burger an incredible amount of protein with half the fat of its fast-food counterparts. Vegetarians, try it with your favorite high-protein imitation beef for even less fat.
16. Simple Turkey Chili
Not quite crock pot simple, but close. Brown ground turkey in a pot, add the remaining ingredients, and let it simmer. This simple turkey chili is an effortless bodybuilding meal prep idea. You could easily turn this into a ground chicken recipe for bodybuilding as well.
17. Greek Marinated Chicken
Make a large batch of this Greek marinated chicken and use it throughout the week in various recipes. Pair it with an orzo salad or steamed veggies for a well-balanced, high-protein dinner.
18. Soy Ginger Flank Steak
Double this soy ginger flank steak recipe to make a large batch of marinade and keep it in the fridge. Throughout the week, soak your steak (or other preferred cuts of meat) in a pre-portioned amount for a quick, delicious meal. Perfect for those busy nights when you need a healthy workout dinner recipe so you can get more time in at the gym without compromising your nutrition!
If you want more ethnic food, try one of my favorite Indian meal prep ideas!
Vegetarian/Vegan Bodybuilding Meal Prep Ideas
19. Slow Cooker Chipotle Bean Chili
This slow cooked vegan bean chilli is perfect for meal prep. It’s healthy, high protein and extremely low in saturated fats. It uses mouth watering smokey Mexican flavors and its so easy for batch cooking!
20. Chocolate Chip Overnight Oats
Whether you eat these for breakfast or take them with you for lunch, overnight oats are an easy way to boost your protein. You simply throw all the ingredients in a mason jar, shake or stir it up, and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. Grab it and go the next morning. (Use flax milk for a vegan option.) This is definitely one of the more filling bodybuilding meals on this list! This chocolate chip overnight oats is one of my favorite meal prep recipes for college students because you don’t need to cook at all!
21. Bean, Kale, and Egg Stew
Two cans of beans, four eggs, kale, and cheese come together to make this bean, kale, and egg stew recipe higher in protein than you’d think. Eat it with a slice of whole-grain toast for a nutritious boost. The eggs and beans in this make it one of my favorite vegetarian meal prep ideas because it’s so high in protein!
22. Mac and Cheese
Yes, you can absolutely include mac and cheese in your bodybuilding meal prep ideas. Greek yogurt and low-fat cheese combine with whole wheat pasta to make this impressive dish. This is a bit higher in calories, but if you’re on a bulk then this pasta meal prep could be great for you.
23. Frozen Vegan Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate can be healthy (and vegan!) too. Melt milk and chocolate in a saucepan, let it cool and blend it with the rest of the ingredients for a delicious, healthful way to get your chocolate fix.
24. Tofu Stir Fry
This tofu stir fry recipe has a few ingredients you may not have on hand, but if you do, it’s so worth it to make. Use whatever veggies are in your fridge or stick with the recipe’s spinach.
25. Vegan Meatballs with Edamame Spaghetti
Throw together these vegan meatballs and serve them on a bed of edamame spaghetti for a high-protein dinner. Choose marinara or shake it up with pesto. Leftovers store well in the fridge for the next night. This is one of my favorite high protein vegan meal prep ideas!
Quick and Easy Bodybuilding Meals
26. Microwave Hot Dogs
Don’t discount the power of the microwave. There are tons of healthy microwave hot dogs available that are made from quality meats and are high in protein. Just heat them up and they’re ready to eat.
27. Quick, Spicy Cajun Salmon with Garlicky Vegetables
This spicy cajun salmon recipe takes just one pan and about half an hour in the oven. Plus, the ingredients are ones you likely already have on-hand. With just a step or two of prep, throw your pan in the oven and wait. Couldn’t be easier. This is one of my favorite pescatarian meal prep ideas for weight loss!
28. Two-Minute Omelette in a Mug
Alright, this one’s a bit less of a “meal prep for bodybuilding” and a bit more of a “ran out of time to prep” but it’s so easy it’s going on the list. To make a healthful omelette in a fraction of the time, just mix all the usual omelette ingredients in a microwave-safe mug and heat it up.
29. Skinny Tuna Melt
Give the diner classic a makeover with this skinny tuna melt version. Use tuna in water and light mayo for a protein boost without the calorie hit. All you do is toast the open-face bread on low heat for a few minutes to melt the cheese and you’re ready to go.
30. Slow-Cooker Chicken Provencal
Set the slower cooker on Sunday for a big-batch of this chicken provencal meal. The only prep work required? Dicing two bell peppers. Then just throw everything in the cooker and walk away for seven hours.
31. High-Protein Pancakes or Waffles
Just mix together your favorite protein powder with eggs and a few other ingredients to make this high-protein, delicious batter. Make a large batch and fry it up throughout your week for effortless breakfasts. These high protein waffles can be a great high-calorie meal prep idea if you’re trying to gain muscle.
32. Slow-Cooker Mango Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
Slow cooker to the rescue again! This mango chicken and sweet potatoes recipe has one step in the middle where you whisk a secondary sauce together and add it to the cooker. Otherwise, it’s super straightforward. This one is a big unique, but the sweetness of the mango can make it a great meal prep for picky eaters who don’t normally like chicken!
What Food Groups Should I Meal Prep for Muscle Gain?
Gaining muscle mass is no easy feat, but with some strategic bodybuilding meal prep, you can get there in no time! The secret to success lies in careful consideration of what you eat. Here’s what you need to know.
Protein is important for muscle growth as it supplies the building blocks needed to repair muscle.
Great sources of protein for bodybuilding meal prep include lean meats like chicken, turkey, and fish. Include enough calories in the form of plant-based protein sources like tofu, lentils, and beans.
Fueling your workouts is not just about pumping iron; it’s about what you put on your plate! Don’t skimp on complex carbs like brown rice, and quinoa. These will give you the energy to crush your healthy eating goals.
Healthy fats are also crucial for building muscle. Chow down on nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil to help regulate those muscle-building hormones.
Ensure you’re eating every 3-4 hours to keep your metabolism revved up.
The Importance of Prioritizing Protein for Building Muscle
When you work out, your muscles undergo muscle protein synthesis (MPS). This process creates new proteins to repair and strengthen muscle fibers.
Gobbling up enough protein after your workout can boost muscle protein synthesis by up to 50%. Protein is made up of amino acids – tiny building blocks for your muscles. Your body can’t make all the proteins it needs, so get them through your diet.
How Much Protein Powder Do You Need to Support Muscle Growth?
If you’re hitting the gym on the reg, you might need more than the average adult’s 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Athletes and weightlifters might want to strive for 1.5 grams of protein. This is how much protein is needed daily to support tissue growth and repair.
If you’re toiling to get enough protein from whole foods alone, protein powders can come to the rescue.
Whey protein is high quality and has a quick absorption rate. However, don’t sleep on other powders like casein, soy, and pea protein – they can be just as effective in helping you reach your healthy eating goals!
Can You Support Muscle Growth on a Vegan Diet?
Building muscle on a plant-based diet is totally doable, but it takes a bit of smarts. Protein is the MVP when it comes to building muscle.
You can find this muscle-fueling element in awesome vegan foods like quinoa, tofu, legumes, seitan, and rice protein powder (move over, whey).
Get the right balance of carbs, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. For all you gym buffs out there, creatine can really up your muscle game. So go wild with your vegan bodybuilding meal prep recipes and try out different supplements.
Bodybuilding Meal Prep FAQs
What’s the Best Way to Meal Prep?
The best way to meal prep is to start small by testing out recipes before you prep a big batch. Find a few recipes that use similar ingredients and create your grocery list. Don’t forget to set aside some time to do the cooking!
Is 2 Meals a Day Enough for Bodybuilding?
If you’re trying to gain muscle then 2 meals a day probably isn’t enough for bodybuilding! Some people have success with intermittent fasting, but it’s harder to build muscle and recover from the gym on only two meals a day.
What Do Bodybuilders Eat for Lunch at Work?
Most bodybuilders will eat a high protein lunch with some kind of healthy carb source and veggies. My favorite lunches are grilled chicken with sweet potatoes and grilled asparagus.
Final Thoughts On Bodybuilding Meal Prep Ideas
For most bodybuilders the hardest part of their lifestyle isn’t going to the gym to train – it’s the diet. Consistently eating 4-6 meals a day is a ton of work and effort.
I hope these easy bodybuilding diet will help you cut weight or gain muscle! I highly recommend learning how to make a few basic recipes that you can keep in your meal plan rotation. This will give you the variety you need to not get bored.
If you have any favorite bodybuilding meal prep ideas, please share them in the comments!
Just like meals, it’s important to use good quality equipment when working out; if you’re a weight or powerlifter, have a look at some of these Olympic barbells.
Richmond Howard started Meal Prepify in 2019 and has helped over a million people learn how to meal prep, get better at meal planning, and create a kitchen they love to use. He’s an avid home chef and loves to bbq, grill out, and make awesome food for family and friends. He’s been featured on MSN, Renaissance Periodization, and Good Financial Cents.