I’m a Dietitian on a Budget & These Are My Favorite High-Protein Dinners

Protein is trending right now, and for good reason. The essential macronutrient is crucial for numerous body functions, including building lean muscle, supporting healthy bones and promoting nourishing digestion. Getting enough protein (roughly 46 grams for adult women and 56 grams for adult men, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans) can help us feel and function at our best. However, many people think the best way to meet their protein needs is through eating meat, and lots of it, but that doesn’t have to be the case. As a dietitian on a budget, I lean on recipes that use plant-based proteins like beans and eggs, more affordable cuts of meat like chicken thigh or canned fish and smaller meat portions so that I can stay full and fueled without breaking the bank. These recipes, like our Cheesy Marinara Beans and 25-Minute Sweet Potato & Bean Enchiladas, are some of my favorite dinners that boast at least 15 grams of protein per serving. For more budget friendly tips and recipe inspiration, check out our weekly Thrifty column.