Power Hour Meal Prep

How I Prep a Week of High-Protein Breakfasts, Lunches, and Dinners in 2 Hours

updated Mar 22, 2022
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)
(Image credit: The Kitchn)

If you’re currently following a high-protein diet, perhaps you’ve fallen into a bit of a chicken breast rut when it comes to your sources of protein. How about a little weekend Power Hour session to break out of your routine and set yourself up for a week of feel-good meals?

This Power Hour Meal Prep Plan requires no more than two hours of your Sunday, and leaves you with a week’s worth of high-protein breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. What do we mean by high-protein? The average amount of protein most people need in a day is 50 grams. This meal plan sets you up with roughly double that — about 100 grams per day — divided between three meals each day.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This meal prep plan is for anyone trying to eat a high-protein diet. The amount of protein each individual needs in a day is highly dependent on a number of factors, including age, sex, weight, exercise level, and overall health. We recommend using this Power Hour as a guide, but ultimately deciding what’s best for you. Generally speaking, a high-protein diet should provide about 0.6 to 0.75 grams of protein per pound of body weight, and 20 to 30% of your calories per day.

Meal Prep Goals

  • Breakfast: An easy, grab-and-go option that provides a jolt of protein in the morning to get us going and keep us going until lunch (five days).
  • Lunch: Feel-good choices that are filled with vegetables but also provide a big dose of protein. They are all also packable (five days).
  • Dinner: Fast, high-protein meals that we can toss together without much effort or thought (four days).
  • Nutritional Goals: Roughly 100 grams of protein a day balanced by plenty of vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.
(Image credit: The Kitchn)

Meal Prep Plan Snapshot

  • Feeds: Two people
  • Prep Time: About 1 1/2 hours
  • Meals Covered: About 75% (no Friday night dinner or weekend meals)
  • Weeknight Cooking Required? Moderate (25 to 30 minutes of light cooking to bring dinner together)

Meal Plan




(Image credit: The Kitchn)
(Image credit: Sheela Prakash)

Shopping List

This week’s shopping list is heavy on produce and pantry items, with some meat and dairy to round it out. It assumes staples like olive oil, salt, and pepper are already on hand.

  • Produce: Clementines or oranges, chives, red onion, 2 lemons, garlic, 2 Persian cucumbers, grape tomatoes (1 pint), avocado, lime, parsley, 10 plum tomatoes (2 1/2 pounds total), fresh oregano, yellow onion, fresh ginger, 1 (14-ounce) bag coleslaw mix, scallions
  • Meat & Seafood: 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (1 1/2 pounds total), hot smoked salmon (1 pound), ground pork (1 pound)
  • Refrigerated: 1 dozen eggs, 1 (15-ounce) tub ricotta cheese, whole milk, Parmesan cheese (1/4 pound), Fontina cheese (1/2 pound), feta cheese (1 pound)
  • Pantry: Quinoa, dried oregano, dried marjoram, Kalamata olives, 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, ground cumin, mayonnaise, 2 (5-ounce) cans tuna, capers, 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, dry pasta, tamari or soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar
  • Other: Crusty Italian or sourdough bread
(Image credit: The Kitchn)

Power Hour: How I Get the Prep Done

  • Make the frittata cups: Prepare and bake the frittata cups according to recipe instructions.
  • Prep grain bowls: While the frittata cups bake, slice the cucumbers and tomatoes, make the feta sauce, and toss the red onion with lemon juice for the grain bowls. Prepare the chicken for roasting.
  • Roast chicken for grain bowls: Once the frittata cups are baked, increase the oven temperature to 425°F and roast the chicken.
  • Cook the quinoa: While the chicken roasts, cook the quinoa. Double the amount called for to have leftovers for dinner.
  • Assemble the grain bowls: Reserve half the cooked quinoa and divide the remainder among 4 lidded containers. Divide the chicken and vegetables among each container and save the feta sauce to pour in before heading out the door each morning.
  • Make the salmon salad: Double the recipe for the salmon black bean salad and assemble. Divide among 4 lidded containers.
(Image credit: Sheela Prakash)
(Image credit: The Kitchn)
(Image credit: The Kitchn)

A Week of Easy, High-Protein Meals


I pack a frittata cup and a clementine or orange for my husband and enjoy the same myself for breakfast at home (16 grams of protein).


  • Monday and Wednesday, Greek Chicken Grain Bowls: In the morning, I drizzle some feta sauce into the containers before handing one to my husband and saving the other for myself to eat at lunchtime (51 grams of protein).
  • Tuesday and Thursday, Spicy Salmon Black Bean Salad: My husband takes a container and I reach for one at noon (49 grams of protein).
  • Friday, Leftover Egg Roll Skillet: We divide what’s left of the Egg Roll Skillet from dinner earlier in the week (22 grams of protein).


  • Monday, Tuna Melts: I keep it extra simple and make tuna melts inspired by this tuna melt recipe. I use store-bought mayo and skip the hard-boiled egg for the sake of ease (34 grams of protein).
  • Tuesday, Feta and Tomato Braised Chickpeas: I follow this quick recipe for tomato braised chickpeas. We eat half, saving the rest for another day, and dunk whatever is left of the bread from the night before into the sauciness (38 grams of protein).
  • Wednesday, Egg Roll Skillet: I quickly cook up this stir-fry in under 20 minutes and serve it over the reserved quinoa I’ve reheated in the microwave (30 grams of protein).
  • Thursday, Leftover Feta and Tomato Chickpeas tossed with pasta: I cook up some pasta, reheat the leftover chickpea mixture in the microwave, and toss them together for a lazy dinner (44 grams of protein).
  • Friday: It’s been a protein-filled meal prep week! We treat ourselves to dinner out.
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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Power Hour Meal Prep is the series where we help you put it all together. We show you how to eat well during the week with an hour or two of Power Hour prep over the weekend. Every plan is different; mix and match to find your own personal sweet spot.