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Bodybuilders are known for eating insane amounts of food.
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 meals a day, it can also be exhausting to cook and clean all the time.
Meal prepping is the answer. Cook a bunch of food at once and eat on it throughout the week.
If you’re looking for some bodybuilding meal prep ideas, this list is for you! We’ve put together a list of our staple recipes whenever I’m trying to build muscle or cut weight.
These are our 32 favorite meal prep ideas for bodybuilding.
Breakfast Bodybuilding Meal Prep Ideas
Skip the drive-thru line and make your own much healthier version 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.
If you’re not eating 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!
Pre-cook your quinoa or brown rice to save time with this breakfast. Then just throw everything in your cast iron skillet and set it in the oven. Want more protein? Add turkey sausage.
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 and keep them in the fridge to power your week. Definitely one of the best simple bodybuilding meal ideas on this list!
Really, you can throw any ingredients into an omelet and call it good. This one includes healthful veggies and lean ham for a high-protein breakfast. Need to make a batch? 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!
Lunch Meal Prep for Bodybuilding
Get all the flavors of a cheesesteak with a fraction of the fat. Grill up strips of sirloin, saute some veggies, and slap it between your favorite bread of choice with pepper jack cheese. Toast each side for a few minutes and enjoy.
There are a few ingredients in this recipe you might not have readily available, but it’s so worth making. Bake marinated chicken with broccoli, toast some cashews, and throw it all together. It’s a perfect way to shake up the otherwise boring and traditional chicken, broccoli, and rice dish.
Way healthier than its mayonnaise-laden counterpart, this pasta salad is low fat and high protein. Simply grill some strips of steak, boil your high-protein pasta of choice, toss with the cooked veggies and cheese, and you’re good to go. Make a large patch over the weekend and enjoy it throughout your week. You don’t typically think of pasta salads in meal prep recipes for bodybuilding, but this one kicks things up a notch.
Avocado and yogurt take the place of mayo in this much healthier version of chicken salad. Simply pre-cook your chicken and then mix all the ingredients together. Serve with tomato slices and sprouts for a well-balanced lunch.
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.
Make this 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
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.
Start this in the morning before work and come home to a delicious, big-batch meal. There’s very little prep involved, too—your crockpot does most of the work. One of our favorite easy and delicious bodybuilding protein recipes for sure!
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.
Not quite crock pot simple, but close. Brown ground turkey in a pot, add the remaining ingredients, and let it simmer. It’s an effortless bodybuilding meal prep idea. You could easily turn this into a ground chicken recipe for bodybuilding as well.
Make a large batch of this 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.
Double this 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!
Vegetarian/Vegan Bodybuilding Meal Ideas
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!
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!
Two cans of beans, four eggs, kale, and cheese come together to make this vegetarian recipe higher in protein than you’d think. Eat it with a slice of whole-grain toast for a nutritious boost.
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.
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 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.
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.
Check out this list of high protein vegetables
Easy Bodybuilding Meal Prep Ideas
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.
This 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.
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 healthier 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.
Set the slower cooker on Sunday for this big-batch meal. The only prep work required? Dicing two bell peppers. Then just throw everything in the cooker and walk away for seven hours.
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.
Slow cooker to the rescue again! This 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.
Bodybuilding Meal Prep FAQs
How much protein do I need?
That will vary based on a large variety of factors. In general, however, it’s usually safe to start with 1.2–1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
Do I need to eat meat to build muscle?
Absolutely not. Lean meats like the ones we’ve listed here have their place, but if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you can absolutely still be a bodybuilder and gain muscle.
What’s the best way to meal prep?
Fortunately, we’ve written a comprehensive guide to help you get started! If you’re new to meal prepping, we’d suggest you don’t go too gung-ho right away. Have a favorite recipe? Double it, and you’ll have another meal ready to go. If you want to dig in a little further, 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!
What should I eat between meals when bodybuilding?
Prioritize snacks that are high in protein, healthy fats, and dense carbs. Basically, you want your food to be as nutrient-dense as you can make it.
It’s incredibly important to make sure you’re eating the right stuff when you’re trying to improve your bodybuilding efforts. This bodybuilding nutrition guide covers all the different things to consider for nutrition, to keep your body performing at top level.
Final Thoughts On Bodybuilding Meal Prep Ideas
Few images fit the word “fitness” quite like bodybuilding. But the important thing to remember is that muscle mass is not the goal so much as having a healthy body. All of the recipes in this post are not just delicious and high in protein, but they’ll give your body the nutrition it needs to stay healthy and perform for you.
Try fitting some of these bodybuilding meal ideas into your regular meal prep routine, even when you’re not working out hard!