Food and Nutrition
Food and Nutrition
Food and Nutrition
Food and Nutrition

10 High Protein, Healthy Pescatarian Meal Ideas

Jump to RecipeThree shrimp tacos on a baking sheet.

Whether you are pescatarian or you are looking to add more pescatarian meals into your diet, these are a few recipes that are healthy, delicious and packed with protein.

There are so many ways to get in enough protein without needing a ton of animal products. All of the recipes shared below have a high protein content from all different sources to help give you a wide range of ideas when it comes to creating a pescatarian meal plan.

Benefits of a Pescatarian Diet

A pescatarian diet, which primarily consists of plant-based foods and seafood, offers a ton of health benefits. This dietary choice combines the nutritional benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle with the protein-rich benefits of consuming fish and seafood.

One of the key advantages of a pescatarian diet is its positive impact on heart health. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. These essential fatty acids contribute to lower levels of triglycerides, improved blood vessel function, and reduced inflammation in the body.

Fish in a pescatarian diet also provides an excellent source of high-quality protein. This makes it an ideal choice for individuals seeking a well-balanced protein intake without relying on meat from land animals.

The abundance of vitamins and minerals in an increased amount of vegetables, legumes, and seafood adds another layer of nutritional value to the pescatarian diet. Plant based foods give you a boost of fiber, vitamin, and minerals while fish is a rich source of vitamin D, iodine, and selenium, all of which play crucial roles in maintaining optimal health. Vitamin D is essential for bone health and immune function, while iodine is crucial for thyroid function, and selenium acts as a powerful antioxidant.

From an environmental perspective, following a pescatarian diet can also be more sustainable than a meat-centric one. Overfishing and environmental concerns related to fish consumption are valid, but choosing sustainably sourced seafood can mitigate these issues. Additionally, reducing reliance on land-based animal agriculture can contribute to lowering greenhouse gas emissions and alleviating pressure on natural resources.

What are high protein foods for pescatarians?

Pescatarians, who include fish and seafood in their diet while avoiding other types of meat, still have various high-protein options to choose from. Here are some excellent sources of protein for pescatarians:

  1. Fish: Fish is a primary protein source for pescatarians. Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and trout, are particularly rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Other protein-rich fish options include tuna, cod, haddock, and tilapia.
  2. Shellfish: Shellfish like shrimp, crab, lobster, mussels, and clams are not only delicious but also packed with protein. They are low in fat and offer a variety of essential nutrients.
  3. Lean White Fish: White fish, such as sole, halibut, and flounder, are low in fat and calories while providing a good amount of protein. They are versatile and can be prepared in various ways.
  4. Tofu and Tempeh: Tofu and tempeh are plant-based protein sources that work great in a pescatarian diet. These soy-based products are versatile and can be used in various dishes.
  5. Eggs: Eggs are a great option when looking for a high-quality protein source. Pescatarians who include eggs in their diet can benefit from the protein and various nutrients found in both the egg white and yolk.
  6. Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is a dairy product rich in protein. It can be a tasty and convenient snack or breakfast option for pescatarians looking to increase their protein intake.
  7. Cheese: Some pescatarians include dairy in their diet, and cheese can be a good source of protein. Options like cottage cheese, mozzarella, and feta are relatively high in protein.
  8. Edamame: Edamame, or young soybeans, is a plant-based protein source that can be enjoyed as a snack or added to salads and stir-fries.
  9. Quinoa: While not seafood, quinoa is a complete protein source that can be a valuable addition to a pescatarian diet. It is versatile and can be used as a base for salads, bowls, or side dishes.
  10. Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, peanuts, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are some of the easiest ways to add more protein to your diet. They also provide healthy fats and other essential nutrients.
  11. Whole Grains: Whole grains such as quinoa, farro, wild rice, and buckwheat are great additions to add into your diet because they are filled with protein, and fiber. These whole grains work as the perfect base for many meals.

When following a pescatarian diet, it's essential to focus on a variety of protein sources to ensure a well-rounded and balanced nutritional profile. Additionally, choosing sustainably sourced seafood is crucial to support both personal health and environmental sustainability.

10 Best High Protein Pescatarian Meals

All of these recipes fit into a pescatarian diet. This list has some vegetarian diet meals as well as recipes that are for a plant-based diet. One this about eating a pescatarian diet is getting a variety of plant foods as well as the addition of fish, eggs, and dairy.

Adding a mix of these recipes into your weekly meal plans with give you a great variety of foods and nutrients.

Superfood Salmon Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

On a bed of spring mix, this salad has protein packed salmon, quinoa, and pumpkin seeds. It is also paired with a bunch of healthy veggies to have vitamins and protein to this delicious meal. I love having this as lunch or dinner.

A large quinoa salad topped with salmon.

Chili Lime Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Crema Slaw

Shrimp tacos are a great way to get in a lot of protein. If you want to add in extra, use whole wheat tortillas or add some greek yogurt on top.

Three shrimp tacos.

Seasoned Tempeh and Black Bean Burrito Bowls

This is one of my favorite plant based bowls that is a high-protein meal. It is loaded with tempeh, black beans, and brown rice to give it a healthy mix of proteins.

tempeh burrito bowl topped with greens and sour cream.

Easy Smashed Chickpea Sandwich

Want to add protein to your sandwich without using deli meat, chickpeas are the answer. Once they are mashed up they create a similar texture to chicken or tuna. Just 1 serving has about 28g of protein. Depending on the type of bread you choose you could add a few extra grams.

Smashed chickpea sandwich cut in half.

Black Lentil Dal

When looking for a hight protein meal without the meat one of my favorite choices is lentils. Lentils are packed with protein, iron, and fiber. This black lentil dal is loaded with spices that create a depth of flavor you will fall in love with. it works great as a main course served with aside of brown rice or naan.

A bowl of black lentil dal.

Falafel Gyro

Whether you want to pan fry your falafels or make them in an air fryer, these falafels work great both ways. The come together fairly easily and are packed with chickpeas and herbs. You can even add more protein packed topping like hummus, feta, or hemp seeds to really boost the protein content of this meal

Two falafel pitas on a plate.

Healthy Greek Salad with Quinoa and Chickpeas

A salad is not what you typically think of when thinking high protein foods, but this salad is packed with quinoa, roasted chickpeas, nuts, and hummus. It is a perfect lunch on it’s own or add it as a side to your main meal.

If you are looking for other high protein salads, check out this post on High Protein Vegetarian Salads to get some inspiration.

A large bowl of greek salad with a ton of toppings.

Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce and Crispy Tofu

Soba noodles are made with buckwheat which is high in protein and fiber. This recipe is a healthy meal that I reach to time and time again. Along witht hat the sauce has protein packed peanut butter sauce and a topping of crispy tofu. I love this meal because you can really switch up the veggies and toppings to your liking. If you want even extra protein I love to add some edamame on top.

Soba noodles in a peanut sauce and topped with tofu.

Spinach and Red Pepper Quiche

An egg breakfast is a great way to start your day off with some protein. This quiche doesn’t just have eggs but also greek yogurt to bring that extra protein and also to give the quiche a creamy flavor to it.

A spinach and red pepper quiche on a cooling rack.

Three Bean Veggie Chili

Any meal that is packed with beans is a great go to protein source and one of my go-to vegetarian meals. This chili has three types of beans and is loaded with veggies. Chili is a perfect meal if you are looking for something to meal prep for the week.

Two bowls of three bean veggie chili.

I hope these recipes give you some pescatarian meal prep ideas and vegetarian meals with lots of protein to start adding into your diet.

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