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40 Must-Try Macro Friendly Recipes

This roundup of macro friendly recipes covers breakfast, main dishes, snacks, and dessert. Most of the recipes are simple and can be made in 30-40 minutes with minimal ingredients. You should leave here with plenty of ideas and inspiration!

What Does Macro Friendly Mean?

That’s a great question!

It probably means something slightly different to every person. But as a broad generalization, macro (short for macronutrient) friendly foods can be categorized as higher protein and either lower fat, lower carb, or a bit of both.

You won’t find many macro counters looking to eat a high fat, high carb, low protein diet. But you’ll find tons of macro counters eating high protein, moderate carbs, and moderate to low fat.

I also like to lump in a non-macronutrient factor of food volume. High volume meals contain lots of food relative to their total calorie count. Compare the calories in a pound of peanut butter vs a pound of broccoli, for example. Vegetables, proteins, and some creative hacks all create high volume foods that would also be considered macro friendly.

There are also factors like the thermic effect of macronutrients (how many calories your body burns during digestion and absorption), but that’s a conversation for another time. Check out this article to learn more about counting macros, and this macro calculator if you need a starting point.

screenshot of Counter's macro calculator

Okay, let’s get to the recipes!

Macro Friendly Breakfast Recipes

Breakfast seems to be every macro counter’s weak spot. Because who has the time or energy to cook a macro balanced breakfast every morning?

That’s why most of the recipes in this roundup opt for bulk prep to reheat for quick meals or grab out of the refrigerator on the go.

1. Breakfast Burrito Bowls

eggs, black beans, peppers, sour cream, and salsa in a bowl

These black bean, cauliflower rice, bell pepper, onion, and taco style ground turkey bowls are perfect for prepping in bulk to pair with freshly fried eggs in the mornings.

  • Calories: 210
  • Protein: 32g
  • Carbs: 19g
  • Fat: 2g

Recipe: Breakfast Burrito Bowls

2. Crustless Spinach and Feta Quiche

quiche in a pie plate with a slice on a white plate

This Crustless Spinach and Feta Quiche is a lighter, lower carb take on a tasty breakfast. Featuring eggs and turkey sausage for protein, as well as plenty of fresh vegetables all topped with tangy feta cheese, this is a hearty morning meal you’re going to love.

  • Calories: 165
  • Protein: 15g
  • Carbs: 4g
  • Fat: 10g

Recipe: Crustless Quiche

3. Blueberry Muffins

blueberry muffins in a muffin tin

These blueberry protein muffins are perfect if you’re looking for a sweeter breakfast option. Perfect for a quick meal on the go!

  • Calories: 190
  • Protein: 9g
  • Carbs: 17g
  • Fat: 10g

Recipe: Blueberry Muffins

4. Macro Friendly Breakfast Casserole

breakfast casserole in a glass baking dish

This egg white breakfast casserole is packed full of protein and veggies for a healthy and satisfying breakfast. Make it in advance for easy breakfasts throughout the week.

  • Calories: 130
  • Protein: 18g
  • Carbs: 9g
  • Fat: 2g

Recipe: Egg White Breakfast Casserole

5. Protein Overnight Oats

glass jar with overnight oats topped with peanut butter

High protein overnight oats are quick, easy and very customizable. This version uses filling, fibrous chia seeds along with protein powder, maple syrup, milk, and cinnamon.

  • Calories: 350
  • Protein: 21g
  • Carbs: 47g
  • Fat: 10g

Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Overnight Oats

6. Breakfast Sausage Patties

chicken sausage patties in a skillet with biscuits

Over 200 5-star reviews!

If you love peppery breakfast sausage patties, this recipe is the perfect macro friendly fix. Instead of fatty ground pork, this recipe uses extra lean ground chicken. It’s great for making in bulk so you always have some patties in the freezer.

  • Calories: 60
  • Protein: 10g
  • Carbs: 0g
  • Fat: 3g

Recipe: Breakfast Sausage

7. Mexican Chicken Chorizo

chorizo breakfast taco on a green plate

Chorizo tacos are at the top of every taco lover’s breakfast taco rankings, but it’s tough to fit them into your macros. Not anymore! This homemade ground chicken chorizo is ultra lean, giving you plenty of room for all your favorite taco fixin’s.

  • Calories: 130
  • Protein: 21g
  • Carbs: 1g
  • Fat: 6g

Recipe: Ground Chicken Mexican Chorizo

8. Sausage Breakfast Biscuits

sausage biscuits on a sheet pan

Fans of frozen breakfast options will love these macro friendly biscuits. Turkey sausage and peppers are paired with a homemade cheesy biscuit dough and baked in large batches. Go to town straight out of the oven or freeze for quick breakfasts on the go later.

  • Calories: 50
  • Protein: 3g
  • Carbs: 4g
  • Fat: 2g

Recipe: Sausage Breakfast Biscuits

9. Low Carb Frittata

frittata in a cast iron skillet

For the times you need to limit carbs in the morning, check out this frittata. It’s packed with bacon, sausage, mushrooms, spinach, and cheese, so you know it has to be good!

  • Calories: 215
  • Protein: 14g
  • Carbs: 3g
  • Fat: 16g

Recipe: Keto Frittata

10. Protein Cinnamon Rolls

protein cinnamon roll on a white plate

I’ve made protein cinnamon rolls in the past, and these blow mine out of the water. Just check out some of the reviews!

  • Calories: 140
  • Protein: 10g
  • Carbs: 16g
  • Fat: 4g

Recipe: Fluffy Protein Cinnamon Rolls

11. High Protein Breakfast Bowls

two beef bowls with fried eggs and a small bowl of salsa verde on the side

With almost 35 grams of protein, this beef protein bowl is topped with eggs and sautéed vegetables for a healthy low carb breakfast.

  • Calories: 485
  • Protein: 34g
  • Carbs: 11g
  • Fat: 32g

Editor’s note: You could use a lean ground beef to reduce the fat even further.

Recipe: Southwest Protein Bowls

Macro Friendly Chicken Recipes (Main Dishes)

Chicken is the undisputed champion of macro friendly protein sources, but it can be a bit boring. The recipes below are far from boring, though.

We’re talking extra creamy chicken soup, cheesy chicken skillets, and even beer braised shredded Mexican chicken.

12. Chicken Taco Casserole

taco ground chicken casserole in a cast iron skillet

Macro friendly recipes don’t have to be complicated. This casserole combines lean ground chicken with a can of beans, diced tomatoes and green chiles, and frozen corn with chopped tortillas and Mexican cheese to make a simple one pan meal that’s packed with protein.

  • Calories: 340
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbs: 26g
  • Fat: 12g

Recipe: Ground Chicken Taco Casserole

13. Teriyaki Rotisserie Chicken Bowls

meal prep container with teriyaki chicken, slaw, and rice

How about a 20-minute recipe? My friend Josh has an awesome blog centered around macro friendly meals and meal prep called The Meal Prep Manual. Be sure to check out more of his recipes and YouTube videos.

  • Calories: 555
  • Protein: 38g
  • Carbs: 63g
  • Fat: 17g

Recipe: Teriyaki Rotisserie Chicken Bowls

14. Cheesy Chicken Broccoli & Rice Skillet

cast iron skillet with cheesy ground chicken and broccoli with rice

If you love cheesy chicken and rice casserole, this recipe will be right up your alley. Everything comes together in one pan in 30-40 minutes.

  • Calories: 405
  • Protein: 31g
  • Carbs: 38g
  • Fat: 14g

Recipe: Cheesy Broccoli Rice with Ground Chicken

15. Creamy Italian Chicken Soup

grating parmigiano reggiano over a Dutch oven filled with Italian chicken soup

This is one of my star recipes of 2023 so far. It starts with lean ground chicken, Italian seasoning, garlic, and Calabrian peppers. Then pasta is cooked right in the same pot, and a creamy lemon ricotta sauce is added to make a creamy chicken soup that’s packed with protein.

  • Calories: 370
  • Protein: 41g
  • Carbs: 33g
  • Fat: 10g

Recipe: Lemon Ricotta Chicken and Pasta Soup

16. White Bean Chicken Soup

two bowls of white bean chicken soup garnished with jalapeño peppers and cilantro

Is it possible to make extra creamy chicken soup without any cream? This recipe is a definitive yes. Between the white beans and chopped corn tortillas, this Tex Mex soup is packed with flavor and surprisingly low fat. Like, it doesn’t make sense a soup this creamy has just three grams of fat per serving.

  • Calories: 255
  • Protein: 23g
  • Carbs: 34g
  • Fat: 3g

Recipe: Tex Mex White Bean Soup

17. Baked Chicken Al Pastor

slicing al pastor chicken with pineapple

Boneless skinless chicken thighs are seasoned, skewered, and roasted in the oven with pineapple for a leaner spin on classic pork al pastor. Perfect for tacos and all your favorite macro friendly Mexican dishes.

  • Calories: 150
  • Protein: 17g
  • Carbs: 7g
  • Fat: 6g

Recipe: Oven Roasted Chicken Al Pastor

18. One Skillet Chicken Shepherd’s Pie

skillet with chicken shepherd's pie

If you’ve ever wanted to make shepherd’s pie but didn’t want to make mashed potatoes OR have the macros for it, this recipe solves both. A simple chicken and veggie filling is cooked in one skillet and topped with premade mashed potatoes and parmesan for a simple, crispy golden brown topped shepherd’s pie. Minimal effort for maximum gains.

  • Calories: 370
  • Protein: 26g
  • Carbs: 36g
  • Fat:16g

Recipe: Chicken Shepherd’s Pie

Editor’s note: You can also use premade mashed cauliflower for the crust to reduce the carbs, if needed. See my cottage pie for an example.

19. Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken

crispy broiled BBQ chicken in a Dutch oven

Everybody knows how to make slow cooker and pressure cooker pulled chicken these days. But did you know you can make awesome pulled chicken in a Dutch oven.

I have two methods—one seared and simmer and the other just thrown together and baked in the oven. You’ll want to check out both variations to get the method and seasoning options.

  • Calories: 205
  • Protein: 22g
  • Carbs: 9g
  • Fat: 9g

Recipes: BBQ Chicken and Mexican Chicken

20. Blackened Chicken Tenders

blackened chicken tenderloins on a plate with dipping sauces and fries on the side

Air fried chicken tenderloins with a homemade blackened seasoning.

  • Calories: 125
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbs: 1g
  • Fat: 3g

Recipe: Blackened Chicken Tenderloins

Macro Friendly Beef Recipes (Main Dishes)

Who says you can’t have red meat on a macro counting diet? Extra lean ground beef and leaner cuts of beef are excellent sources of protein and muscle boosting nutrients.

21. Ground Beef Fried Rice

bowl of ground beef fried rice garnished with sliced scallions and sesame seeds

Lean ground beef is pan fried and finished with a sweet and spicy sauce before teaming up with a blend of riced cauliflower stir fry and jasmine rice. It’s a one pan meal that makes four huge servings with macros that can be easily customized.

  • Calories: 410
  • Protein: 26g
  • Carbs: 42g
  • Fat: 15g

Recipe: Fried Rice with Ground Beef

22. Korean Beef Bowl

bowl with Korean beef, sliced cucumber, carrots, fried egg, cabbage, and rice

These beef bowls come from my friend Lillie of Lille Eats and Tells. Her recipes always have tons of colorful veggies and big flavors, and I love that she practices what she preaches with macro counting. She’s a must-follow resource for macro friendly foods, if you’re unfamiliar!

  • Calories: 440
  • Protein: 32g
  • Carbs: 40g
  • Fat: 18g

Recipe: Korean Ground Beef Bowls

23. Easy Ground Beef Cheesesteak Skillet

holding a halved cheesesteak sandwich

Notice this isn’t called a Philly cheesesteak skillet—just simple cheesesteak. Philadelphia didn’t trademark that term. Sorry!

This skillet makes great macro friendly cheesesteak sandwiches but also works great for sliders, loaded fries and nachos, even pizza.

  • Calories: 280
  • Protein: 24g
  • Carbs: 12g
  • Fat: 14g

Recipe: Shortcut Cheesesteak Skillet

24. Big Mac Casserole

ground beef big mac casserole with lettuce

Hello comfort food! This Big Mac Casserole is so satisfying and is one of those stick to your ribs meals, but made with lighter ingredients and high in protein.

  • Calories: 395
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbs: 36g
  • Fat: 14g

Recipe: Big Mac Casserole

25. Macro Friendly In-N-Out Double Doubles

homemade double double cheeseburger with fries

Let’s not debate where In-N-Out belongs on the fast food burger rankings (it’s near the top). Instead, let’s just make some animal style burgers at home with extra lean ground beef. Recipe includes a low calorie burger sauce.

  • Calories: 415
  • Protein: 33g
  • Carbs: 28g
  • Fat: 18g

Recipe: Homemade Animal Style Double Doubles

26. Slow Cooker Pulled Beef

pulled beef tacos with lime wedges, diced onion, and cilantro

I like to call this Texas pulled beef since it’s a spin on the infamous Mississippi pot roast. It’s super easy to make. Just throw a beef shoulder roast in a slow cooker with beef fajita and ranch seasoning, sliced onions, pickled jalapeño peppers, and butter or beef tallow. You’ll have tender pulled beef for macro balanced tacos, burrito bowls, or all kinds of dishes.

  • Calories: 180
  • Protein: 18g
  • Carbs: 2g
  • Fat: 11g

Recipe: Texas Pulled Beef

27. Vegetable Beef Soup

two bowls of vegetable beef soup with grilled bread on the side

Sometimes you just want a warm, comforting bowl of veggie soup. This recipe makes exactly that with a protein boost via extra lean ground beef and a spicy kick via chipotle peppers. It’s one of my favorite cool weather meals of all time.

  • Calories: 185
  • Protein: 14g
  • Carbs: 23g
  • Fat: 4g

Recipe: Beef Vegetable Soup

28. Stuffed Poblano Peppers

two stuffed poblano peppers garnished with salsa macha, cilantro, and lime wedges

While the recipe calls for making these peppers on a pellet smoker, they’re also great simply baked in an oven. They’re stuffed with taco beef, black beans, corn, and riced cauliflower for a high volume meal.

  • Calories: 220
  • Protein: 18g
  • Carbs: 15g
  • Fat: 9g

Recipe: Mexican Stuffed Peppers

29. Beef Fajitas

grilled beef fajitas on a cutting board

Just like the stuffed peppers above, you can make awesome fajitas on a grill OR on a hot pan or griddle on the stovetop. I developed this recipe with a little help from one of the best beef fajita spots in Texas.

  • Calories: 245
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbs: 4g
  • Fat: 15g

Recipe: Texas’ Best Beef Fajitas

Macro Friendly Snacks and Appetizers

If you’re counting macros for weight loss, snacks and apps may fall by the wayside. A lot of sneaky calories add up quickly with snacks. I bet you’ll find some fun foods in the section for special occasions or for the times you’re not looking to cut calories.

30. Protein Trail Mix

macro friendly trail mix in a glass jar

I put together a guide for the highest protein nuts and seeds last year and decided to put my findings to good use with this trail mix recipe. It’s made with nuts and seeds that have the highest ratio of protein to calories. And it has a few other goodies so you’re actually having a good time, too.

  • Calories: 140
  • Protein: 8g
  • Carbs: 11g
  • Fat: 9g

Recipe: Macro Friendly Trail Mix

31. High Protein Jalapeño Poppers

bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers in an air fryer basket

These air fried poppers are stuffed with a cheesy chorizo blend and wrapped in bacon. What’s not to love about that?

  • Calories: 50
  • Protein: 5g
  • Carbs: 2g
  • Fat: 2g

Recipe: Air Fried Jalapeño Poppers

32. Buffalo Cauliflower Chicken Lettuce Wraps

plate of lettuce wraps with a ranch drizzle

These lettuce wraps make for a tasty and quick weeknight meal. In just 20 minutes, you’ve got a nutritious wrap exploding with flavor.

  • Calories: 215
  • Protein: 29g
  • Carbs: 13g
  • Fat: 6g

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

33. Twice Baked Potatoes

two twice baked potatoes with chopped bacon and chives in an air fryer basket

Whether you make these in an air fryer or oven, the lower fat Greek yogurt based filling is a must try. You get all the tanginess of sour cream stuffed spuds without all the fat. Throw in center cut bacon and you’ve got an awesome dish that’s surprisingly macro friendly for potatoes.

  • Calories: 195
  • Protein: 11g
  • Carbs: 21g
  • Fat: 8g

Recipe: Twice Air Fried Potatoes

34. Macro Friendly Tortillas

holding a breakfast taco made with a macro friendly tortilla

Friend of the blog, Matt Rosenman, has been doing tons of recipes with PEScience’s new unflavored baking protein powder. If you haven’t seen that product or all its applications, look no further than these tortillas!

  • Calories: 105
  • Protein: 9g
  • Carbs: 15g
  • Fat: 1g

Recipe: High Protein Tortillas

35. Carrot Fries

crispy carrot fries on a white plate

If you have an air fryer and haven’t made carrot fries yet, you’re in for a treat. Thanks to grated parmesan, you can make carrots surprisingly crispy. These pass as sweet potato fries for the picky eater in my house, with a fraction of the carbs!

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 2g
  • Carbs: 10g
  • Fat: 8g

Recipe: Crispy Carrot Fries

36. Bang Bang Chicken Dip with Wonton Chips

baked wonton chips with a bowl of chicken dip garnished with scallions and sesame seeds

Come for the crispy baked wonton chips, stick around for the sweet, spicy, creamy chicken dip.

  • Calories: 95
  • Protein: 7g
  • Carbs: 4g
  • Fat: 6g

Recipe: Bang Bang Chicken Dip

Macro Friendly Desserts

Eating a macro balanced diet while still enjoying sweets is tough. If you’re eating a lower fat diet or have a high activity level, however, dessert is more than possible. I used to do a lot of protein powder baking, but I think I’d rather drink a shake and eat the real dessert these days.

The desserts on this list, however, are great ways to incorporate protein in more than shakes. I think you’ll enjoy them, especially if you’re reading this in the warmer months.

37. Vanilla Protein Smoothie Bowl

vanilla smoothie bowl topped with granola and fresh fruit

If you’re reading this during the summer, you’ll definitely want to check out Lillie’s other smoothie bowl recipes.

  • Calories: 175
  • Protein: 27g
  • Carbs: 14g
  • Fat: 2g

Recipe: Macro Friendly Smoothie Bowl

38. Mango Lassi

bowl of mango lassi

A sweet treat good for warm weather, this mango lassi packs 15 grams of protein!

  • Calories: 160
  • Protein: 15g
  • Carbs: 23g
  • Fat: 2g

Recipe: Yogurt Free Mango Lassi

39. No Bake Cheesecake Cups

cheesecake cups topped with fresh berries

These 3-ingredient no bake cheesecake cups are the perfect easy, refreshing and lightened up dessert. With 13 grams of protein per serving, they’re extra satisfying too!

  • Calories: 265
  • Protein: 13g
  • Carbs: 27g
  • Fat: 12g

Recipe: No Bake Cheesecake Cups

40. Macro Friendly Cookie Dough

chocolate protein cookie dough in a glass

Protein cookie dough is a sweet guilt-free treat when you need to curb that sugar craving. It’s rich and chocolatey, but high in protein and healthy fats. And this version is dairy-free, egg-free, and refined-sugar-free!

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 10g
  • Carbs: 11g
  • Fat: 11g

Recipe: Chocolate Protein Cookie Dough

Wrapping Up

I hope you found some new recipes worth trying and macro friendly recipe creators to follow. If you liked this roundup, be sure to check out my ground chicken, protein bowls, and high protein meal prep recipe roundups next.

And if you have any questions about macro counting or cooking for a macro friendly diet, I’d be happy to answer them in the comments below.