Snacks Leave You Starving? These High-Protein Options Are Your 3 PM Cure


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I’ll let you in on a little behind-the-scenes peek into my weekday afternoons. It’s a few hours after lunch, and like clockwork, my stomach starts to grumble. My midday meal isn’t to blame—I’ve made sure to fill my plate with energizing foods. Instead, I’ll chalk it up to the fact that with a morning workout under my belt plus a day’s worth of tasks, my energy is zapped. By mid-afternoon, it can feel like I haven’t eaten in days. Dramatic as that may be, there’s a truth to it. If you’re like me, then you’re familiar with the mid-afternoon hangries. But instead of reaching for another cup of coffee or a cookie to satisfy my sweet tooth, I have another solution. High-protein snack recipes that boost my days with sustained energy.

Listening to your body is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Tired? Take a break. Stressed? Try saying “no” to what doesn’t serve you. Hungry? Eat something energizing, wholesome, and of course, delicious. I ensured that each recipe below checked off all three boxes. Because even on the busiest work days, we all deserve high-protein snack recipes to look forward to.

Featured image from our interview with Megan Roup by Michelle Nash.

Why We Should Prioritize Protein In Our Snacks

Contrary to popular belief, protein isn’t a one-and-done thing. That’s right—we need to be consuming protein consistently throughout the day to sustain energy, support muscle recovery, regulate hormones, and keep our blood sugar balanced. And when it comes to knowing how much protein we need, it’s different for everyone. The answer is nuanced. Factors such as age, gender, body composition, and activity level all come into play. We recommend speaking with your physician, dietitian, or a nutritionist for a personalized look into a protein plan that’s right for you.

Alongside quality sleep and regular exercise, protein can support women’s health in many ways. Consuming protein helps women build lean muscle mass, produce enzymes and hormones, and create a healthy environment for an embryo to grow. If you want to learn more about how protein supports women’s bodies specifically, our resident wellness expert, Edie Horstman, breaks down the importance of protein for women.

Woman reaching in cabinet.

The Best Store-Bought High-Protein Snacks

Brekki Dark Chocolate Oats

I consider oats a perfect breakfast food. Full of fiber, high in protein, and endlessly customizable, they’re my ideal start to the day. Since discovering Brekki’s line of ready-to-eat oats packed with chia seeds, buckwheat, almonds, flaxseeds, and other nourishing ingredients, I’ve now added oats to my everyday, afternoon snacking habits. The amount of protein per serving varies among the different flavors, but I’m obsessed with these dark chocolate oats that pack eight grams in each indulgent bite.

Protein Per Serving: 8 grams

24K Chicken Bone Broth Sachets

PSA: Bone broth is the sexy snack we should all be sipping on. (Vegetarians, this one’s for you.) Each sip soothes digestion while collagen supports healthy nails and glowing skin. Anti-inflammatory turmeric keeps your immunity strong while miso and a mirepoix give this broth a rich, savory flavor. I keep a sachet in my bag at all times for those moments when I need an energizing, hunger-beating boost.

Protein Per Serving: 12 grams

Chomps Original Beef Sticks

Meat sticks are back—but these are a far cry from the Slim Jims of yore. Chomps are packed with smoky, bold flavor and free from fillers, allergens, and added sugars. Made with 100% grass-fed and finished beef, they’re a simple, satiating high-protein snack you can feel good about buying in bulk.

Protein Per Serving: 10 grams

Justin’s Squeeze Pack Classic Almond Butter

Raise your hand in solidarity if you’ve also been known to dive into a jar of nut butter spoon first. Justin’s is for all the salty and sweet enthusiasts among us. These natural almond butter packets require zero stirring—and are perfect squeezed on apple slices or eaten all on their own.

Protein Per Serving: 6 grams

The Only Bean Crunchy Roasted Edamame Beans

Edamame is a powerhouse, plant-based protein source. If you love a little crunch, you’ll be obsessed with these beans’ salty, roasted flavor. They’re a great nut alternative if you’re getting tired of your afternoon almonds.

Protein Per Serving: 11 grams

We recently named these vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free bars as one of the very best protein bars. We’re obsessed with their soft chew, delicious flavor options, and the measly single gram of sugar they contain. (So many protein bars are packed with added sugars.) Oh, and they also boast 15 grams of fiber per serving. Does your protein bar do that?

Protein Per Serving: 20 grams

Perfect Bar Snack Size Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Protein Bars

For when you need a little treat to keep you going, Perfect Bar has you covered. This snack-sized version of the brand’s larger bars clocks in at 150 calories and five grams of protein—pairing your chocolate craving with hunger-satiating nutrients. Replace your go-to Reese’s with this little delight. You’ll be obsessed.

Protein Per Serving: 5 grams

13 High-Protein Snack Recipes That’ll Keep You Satisfied

After you’ve explored and educated yourself on protein’s importance, it’s time for the fun part: high-protein snack recipes! Read on for the recipes that keep us satiated throughout the afternoon and beyond! Get ready to kiss the 3 p.m. slump goodbye.

L. Reuteri Yogurt

L. Reuteri Yogurt

Why We Love It: As a part of her gut-healing journey, Camille has been eating 1/2 cup of this homemade, probiotic-rich yogurt every day. She’s noticed not only a significant increase in energy thanks to the protein but also improved digestion and mood. Seriously, this yogurt works wonders in helping you reach higher levels of health and vibrancy.

Hero Ingredient: While it may sound complicated, there’s not a lot that goes into making homemade yogurt. Just three ingredients—whole milk, inulin powder, and a probiotic or reserved whey from a previous batch of yogurt—make the magic happen. Let’s give it up to this protein-packed, gut-healing trifecta.

Chocolate Banana Almond Butter Smoothie

Chocolate Banana Almond Butter Smoothie

Why We Love It: Though they’ve fallen out of favor on our Instagram feeds, I’m a forever smoothie stan. And while I’d encourage mindful eating above all else, smoothies are an easy solve for simultaneous sipping while you work away. Add to that the fact that you can blend up a bounty of good-for-you ingredients and well, everyone should believe in their magic. This chocolatey delicious drink, included.

Hero Ingredient: When it comes to this smoothie, there are countless superfoods to select from. But despite the limitless options, I’d have to go for the Greek yogurt. It’s my go-to when I’m looking for a rich, creamy texture and protein-packed deliciousness. For those who don’t do dairy, any high-protein alternative is great.

Strawberry Matcha Smoothie

Strawberry Matcha Smoothie

Why We Love It: While most might knock a smoothie for leaving you hungry just a few hours later, this matcha-filled sipper is as satisfying as they come. Yogurt bulks it out with protein, matcha provides sustainable energy, and antioxidant-rich strawberries help regulate blood sugar. You’re welcome to add a scoop of protein powder to make this all the more filling.

Hero Ingredient: This smoothie is packed with so many powerhouse ingredients, but I’ll give it to the coconut milk that keeps this sipper super creamy and filled with healthy fats.

Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl

Why We Love It: Maybe I’m in the minority, but I’ve loved cottage cheese my whole life. Thankfully, everyone seems to understand the hype now with recipes spreading far and wide all over social media. While I’m obsessed with cottage cheese ice cream, banana bread, and using it to top my toast, I could truly eat this breakfast bowl every day. It’s slated for breakfast, but you have the freedom to fit the portion size to your afternoon appetite. Simply spoon some cottage cheese in a bowl and customize with your favorite toppings, or let the options here inspire you.

Hero Ingredient: Full of protein and able to lean savory or sweet, cottage cheese has rightfully earned it’s spot in the limelight.

Vanilla Chia Pudding With Chestnut Honey & Berries

Vanilla Chia Pudding With Chestnut Honey & Berries

Why We Love It: Contrary to popular belief, high-protein snack recipes don’t always have to be savory. And while I tend to reserve chia pudding for breakfast, it’s time I let it shine during other meals of the day. What can definitely be enjoyed as a snack can totally double as dessert. It’s light and literally zero effort. A magic pair.

Hero Ingredient: A little honey or maple syrup keeps things just sweet enough.

Simple bowl of green guacamole

The Only Guacamole Recipe You Need

Why We Love It: Plenty of recipes claim to be the be-all and end-all of guacamole. But trust me, this perfectly creamy, perfectly spicy take is it. This recipe keeps things simple with a minimal mix of ingredients. Avocado (of course), plus a red onion and chile for heat. Add to that a few other choice components, and you have the easiest crowd-pleasing appetizer that’s perfect for any party. You’re also fully welcome to keep it all to yourself. I’ll definitely be doing the same.

Hero Ingredient: The lime juice cuts through and balances the richness of the avocados beautifully.

Ricotta with Pears and Honeyed Pistachios

Ricotta with Pears and Honeyed Pistachios

Why We Love It: Sometimes, you just need a gorgeous, aesthetically pleasing snack to brighten up your afternoon. When that particular craving hits, this is always my go-to. It calls for only seven ingredients (counting the crusty bread) and couldn’t be simpler to whip up. As far as high-protein snack recipes go, this might just be the prettiest.

Hero Ingredient: Camille calls ricotta the “little black dress of your cheese drawer.” I couldn’t agree more.

Raspberry Cocoa Energy Balls

Raspberry Cocoa Energy Balls

Why We Love It: As someone who always seems to be in motion, my favorite high-protein snack recipes are those that I can take with me on the go and pop in my mouth as I please. So it seemed like my snacking dreams had become a reality when I discovered these energy balls. The good news? They’re almost as simple to make as they are to eat. It’s your food processor that does all the work.

Hero Ingredient: Sticky and sweet, dates are my forever fave.

Avocado Toast with a Jammy Egg

Avocado Toast with a Jammy Egg

Why We Love It: What at first might seem like an oversight on this writer’s part is actually the most genius trick in the game. A slice of avocado toast is a snack that’s sure to brighten anyone’s afternoon—and this one is made all the better (and boasts a boost of protein) thanks to the jammy egg. It defines deliciousness and can be jazzed up or made simpler thanks to its endless customizability.

Hero Ingredient: Is there anything more satisfying than popping open a perfect avocado?

Copycat Homemade Perfect Bars from Erin Lives Whole

Copycat Homemade Perfect Bars from Erin Lives Whole

Why We Love It: When Perfect Bars took the snack world by storm a few years ago, you can bet I was on board. While some (most?) protein bars at the time were full of sugar and impossible-to-pronounce ingredients, Perfect Bars decided to disrupt the snack game, packing 20+ superfoods into every single bar. And while I love their convenience, oftentimes, I’ll take the homemade route versus picking something off the supermarket shelves. These are easy to make and even easier to devour. You’ll have no problem making it through the rest of your work day with one of these on hand.

Hero Ingredient: Honey not only holds everything together, but it makes these Perfect Bars perfectly sweet.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies from Well Plated By Erin

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies from Well Plated By Erin

Why We Love It: When it comes to cookies’ crave-worthiness and nutritional benefits, not all are created equal. Case in point, these PB and protein-packed delights. They’re budget-friendly and soft and chewy (hot take: all of the best cookies should be). Oh, and they only take one bowl to whip up. You’re welcome.

Hero Ingredient: The soft, chewy cookie I elaborated on above? You can thank the half-cup of creamy peanut butter for that.

Baked Egg Muffins from Eating Bird Food

Baked Egg Muffins from Eating Bird Food

Why We Love It: When recipes for egg muffins started making their way around the internet, those focused on getting their fill of protein first thing rejoiced. Well, I’m here to say that you have my full permission to enjoy these in the afternoon as well. Actually, scratch that—you don’t need anyone to tell you that you can munch on these whenever you want. They’re simple to prep and easy to pop in a glass container to take with you to work.

Hero Ingredient: I’m of the opinion that feta cheese is always a yes. It’s salty, it’s tangy, and it holds its own in these eggy bites.

Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie from Gwyneth Paltrow

Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie from Gwyneth Paltrow

Why We Love It: Whatever your stance on goop may be, it can’t be denied that Gwyneth’s got an enviable glow. Her secret to vibrant, healthy skin? This smoothie. Blueberries are the key to a clear complexion and the secret to making this smoothie a pretty purple delight.

Hero Ingredient: Protein-packed almond butter fills your cup with healthy fats.





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