10 Protein-Packed Meals For Under $10

Meal prep is hard enough when you aren't on a tight budget. So how do you make sure you're eating a healthy, balanced diet without breaking the bank?

Redditor u/CharmingPudding5 asked the subreddit r/EatCheapAndHealthy for advice. “What protein-rich food can be made under $10?” Here is how frugal Redditors responded to help you plan your next meal.

1. Cottage Cheese and Fruit

Some people stick up their noses to cottage cheese, but it can be very tasty when paired well with another food.

u/icecream42568 loves to eat, “Cottage cheese & frozen fruit.”

Other Redditors like eating their cottage cheese with fresh apples, berries, pineapple, canteloupe mangos, and even tomatoes.

Cottage cheese is an excellent cheap option, according to u/iwishiwereonabeach. “Cottage cheese on a baked potato. It saved my butt so many times in college. It was one of the only proteins I could afford.”

2. Cottage Cheese and Salsa

u/11picklerick11 shared, “Cottage cheese with salsa and hot sauce is amazing also.”

Others chimed in with similar answers. One person loves to eat cottage cheese, black pepper, salt, and bacon bits mixed together for an easy high-protein snack.

Some love cottage cheese with cajun seasoning, steak seasoning, and everything bagel seasoning. It's quite affordable, at around $3 a tub.

3. Lentils

Lentils are a fantastic tasty and cheap option to help add protein to your meals. u/0000GKP said, “A one-pound bag of lentils costs $1.50 and has 112g of protein.”

But how do people prepare lentils to make them mouthwatering?

u/Sharesay suggested, “Diced carrot, diced onion in olive oil for four minutes. Add water or broth with lentils to cover by an inch. Salt & bring to a boil. Lower heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add a bit of meat near the end of cooking time.”

u/Dgfreeman added, “I like to cook mine until they are not quite tender, and then add to a tomato sauce for pasta. It is a nice replacement for ground meat in pasta sauce.”

4. Canned Sardines and Jasmine Rice

u/BenchPressingCtulhu shared, “Tin of sardines on some Thai rice with peanut sauce.”

Other users like other canned fish like Tuna instead to go on their rice. One can of tuna can cost less than $2 and fills you right up.

5. Chick Peas

u/Pahk0 answered, “You can roast or sauté chickpeas with any sort of seasoning to match the meal- Italian, Mediterranean, Indian…heck put ranch seasoning on them and stick it in a delicious salad.”

“Invest in some good seasonings once and you will have months full of tasty meals, even if they are simple.”

Canned chick peas cost around $3 per can.

6. Wild Rice

u/Imaginary-Ruin4022 suggested, “Wild rice is actually fairly high in protein. I'll fry up some cooked wild rice with green peas (also high in protein) and some other veg with garlic, onions, and a splash of soya sauce for flavor, and bam, you got yourself a high protein meal packed with veg.”

This delicious meal is both delicious and affordable. Wild rice costs around $4 per pound, which makes at least one meal's worth.

7. Eggs

Many Redditors bemoaned the fact that eggs cost more than they used to nowadays. But they still make the list. u/BillyLongdraw said, “Eggs are still a cheap source of protein if you compare to most things.”

“Frittatas reheat nicely and you can always use some egg whites to increase the percentage of protein if you don’t want as many calories or fat.”

Sadly, eggs cost around $7 per dozen due to bird flu.

8. Bone Broth

Adding bone broth to your rice or risotto dish can add a ton of protein without you even realizing it.

u/cmc24680 said, “I’ve been making rice with bone broth cartons. The carton costs less than $3 and has 21 grams of protein. That cooked into the rice is tasty and filling.”

9. Rotisserie Chicken

Did you know you can typically find a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store for $4.99 to $7.99?

Even if you want to cook your own whole chicken, you can purchase it for a similar price, like u/Agentxyz11: “We bought a whole young chicken for $6 and cooked it in the air fryer and made broth.”

10. Tofu

You can prepare tofu in so many ways: in soups, as a main dish, or in fried rice.

u/GrouchyFriedScallion said, “Tofu is surprisingly cheap. 500g block is 40g protein, and can be $2.50 CAD.”

“Yes! Tofu gets a bad rep, but it’s all about preparing it right,” added u/NECalifornian25.

With the cost of groceries rising, are you trying any of these ideas for your next meal?

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Featured Image Credit: lenetstan/Shutterstock.

Maya (she/they) is a queer entertainment and culture journalist. They cover interviews, reviews, roundups, news, and more. She loves horror, history, and creativity. They hope their writing both entertains readers and inspires them to think critically. Her favorite pastimes include needle felting, gaming, and drawing.