17 Muscle Building Post-Workout Meal Ideas


We’ve picked out 17 of our favourite high protein post-workout meals to help you recover and refuel after a tough workout.

If you’re trying to build muscle, get stronger, play faster or burn fat, then you know the importance of the post-workout meal.

After you’ve been exercising it’s important to think of three main elements of post-workout nutrition: muscle repair, fuel replenishment and hydration. Your post workout meal should include around 20-40 grams of quality protein. You’ll need carbohydrates to replace the glycogen you’ve used for fuel during exercise. And last, but not least, you need to replace the fluids that you’ve lost through your hard work and sweat.

Now you could just neck a quick protein shake and grab a banana to scoff in the car or on the walk back to work but these 17 post-workout, carbohydrate rich, high protein meals that we’ve listed are far tastier that a cheap and nasty shake!

1. Cajun Chicken Jambalaya

This is a delicious recipe for cajun chicken jambalaya

Via Food For Fitness: Cajun Chicken Jambalaya Recipe

This is an absolute winner of a recipe that is one of the most downloaded recipes from our website! Cajun Chicken Jambalaya is a spicy, high protein, gluten free dish that you will love.

2. Healthy Chicken Jalfrazi

post workout curry recipe

Via A Taste Of Fitness

This is a great little number. Super quick to throw together, super low-calorie, packed with flavour.

3. Spicy Thai Chicken and Quinoa

spicy thai chicken recipe

Via Pinch of Yum

Whoa baby – this Spicy Thai Chicken is seductive. From the moment it first sets your mouth on fire, it’s going to have you hooked with its flavor-loaded, saucy, sticky exterior and light-your-face-on-fire spice status.

4. Sweet Potato Stovies

sweet potato stovies recipe

Via Food For Fitness: Sweet Potato Stovies Recipe

This easy recipe for sweet potato stovies takes hardly any time to prepare, it can be scaled to feed more hungry folks and it can be easily frozen.

5. Shrimp Pasta With Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce

post workout recipes

Via Gimme Some Oven

This Shrimp Pasta with Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce recipe is simple to make, full of delicious flavors, and it also happens to make for GREAT leftovers!

6. Authentic Indian Chicken Pilau

Authentic Indian Chicken Pilau

Via Food For Fitness: Authentic Indian Chicken Pilau

This dish is loaded with delicious, fragrant spices that add a wonderful, authentic flavour to the dish. There’s cloves, cardamom, fennel and coriander which often feature in traditional Indian cookery.

7. Spicy Mexican Steak & Rice

Mexican Beef & Rice Recipe

Via Food For Fitness: Spicy Mexican Steak & Rice Recipe

Everyone love’s Mexican food; the colours, the smells, the spice, the warmth and the amazing flavours are what makes Mexican food so amazing. This is simple, quick and family friendly dish for Mexican steak and rice that is ridiculously easy to make.

8. One Pot Chicken Stroganoff

chicken stroganoff recipe

Via Well Plated

Quick, easy, and delicious One Pot Creamy Chicken Stroganoff! A healthy, homemade version of everyone’s favorite comfort food. Ready in 30 minutes!

8. Spanish Chicken & Rice With Chorizo

post-workout chicken recipe

Via The Mediterranean Dish

A simpler version of Arroz con Pollo, this Spanish chicken and rice recipe with chorizo is every bit a satisfying and flavorful, one-pan-wonder!

9. Chicken Biryani

post-workout biryani recipe

Via Food For Fitness

A delicious recipe for Chicken Biryani. This is a simple but yummy, one-pot meal that is packed with flavour but doesn’t require lots of washing up.

10. One-Pot Chicken Enchilada Rice

Via Food For Fitness: One-Pot Chicken Enchilada Rice

One-pot meals make mid-week cooking a doddle. Throw everything into the one pan, all the ingredients take on a delicious flavour and you’ve hardly got any washing up to do either. What’s not to like?

11. One Pot Greek Chicken & Lemon Rice

post-workout meal

Via Recipe Tin Eats

The beauty of this is that it is all made in one pot.. Cooking the rice with the chicken on top adds extra flavour to the rice because the chicken juices get soaked up by the rice. It’s a delicious post-workout meal.

12. Thai Sweet Potato Fish Cakes

thai sweet potato fish cakes recipe

Via Food For Fitness: Fish Cakes Recipe

Fish cakes are delicious, but the problem with most recipes is that they are loaded with cream and butter which means they’re tasty, but the fat content is rarely helpful if you’re trying to eat healthily. We’ve got your back, we’ve made a high protein, low fat recipe for fishcakes using slow digesting, high fibre sweet potatoes.

13. Chicken & Chorizo Paella

Via Food For Fitness: Chicken & Chorizo Paella

Paella is THE classic Spanish dish. It’s easy to make, delicious, extremely versatile and it tastes like being on holiday.

14. Bruschetta Chicken Pasta Salad

bruschetta chicken pasta salad

Via Cafe Delites

Bruschetta chicken pasta salad is a must make for any occasion! With Italian seasoned grilled chicken and a good kick of garlic and Parmesan cheese, this is one pasta salad that will impress.

15. Slow Cooker Pulled Beef Ragu

 slow cooker beef ragu recipe
Via Food For Fitness: Slow Cooker Pulled Beef Recipe

You’re going to like this recipe! Juicy, tender, pulled beef that falls apart in the mouth coated in a rich Italian tomato ragu. What’s not to like?

16. Thai Chicken Street Noodles

thai chicken post-workout meal

Via How Sweet It Is

This is a delicious savoury, peanut-y Thai recipe for chicken and noodles.

17. Healthy Chicken Shawarma Quinoa Bowls 

healthy Chicken Shawarma Quinoa Bowls

Via Peas & Crayons

We’re loving this recipe for healthy Chicken Shawarma Quinoa Bowls with a super easy hack for creating make-ahead lunches for work or school. The flavors are out of this world!!

Scott is the owner and founder of Food For Fitness. He is a fat loss coach, speaker and fitness writer with a masters (MSc) degree in Applied Sports Nutrition.