17 of the best high protein smoothie recipes! From whey, vegan, and protein powder free with a bunch of different flavors – you’ll love these smoothie recipes for breakfast, lunch, or post-workout!
I LOVE a good protein smoothie. To be quite honest, I have one almost every day, whether homemade or pumping up my SmoothieBox. There are so easy to make, super customizable for endless flavor options, and loaded with nutrients (if made right).
I know smoothies can sometimes get a bad rap – mostly for being sugar bombs and drinking so many calories so quickly. But if done right, they can be a great addition to any diet. The most important thing is it needs to be filling (protein, fat, and fiber!). There is nothing worst than having a smoothie and then being hungry an hour later.
So we are rounding up 17 high-protein smoothie recipes to help inspire you. Broken down by protein options, you are sure to find one you love!
Keys to making a healthy smoothie
While you might think there isn’t a right or wrong way to make a smoothie, you do want to put some thought and effort into it. Not only do we want it to taste good, but we want to set ourselves up to feel full and satisfied and our blood sugar balanced.
Here are some key components and ingredients to building a healthy smoothie:
- frozen fruit – a must to make a delicious and cold smoothie. I suggest 1-2 servings (just as if you were eating fruit). Anything goes – bananas, berries, pineapple, mangos, peaches, pears, cherries, and more. Not all the fruit has to be frozen, but some aspects of the smoothie should.
- vegetables – not a necessity, but I love to add some to up the vitamins and minerals. And you usually can’t taste them. Some of my favorites are frozen cauliflower/cauliflower rice, spinach or kale, cooked and then frozen sweet potato, beets, and zucchini.
- protein – any kind you like! This is going to help slow down digestion and keep you full. Check out my favorite options below.
- liquid – the liquid is what helps bring it together and blend. Anything from dairy milk, non-dairy milk, or all-natural juice will work. Opt for as little liquid as possible to make your smoothies thick and creamy.
- healthy fats – along with protein this is going to help slow down digestion and help with fullness. Anything from nuts, nut butter, seeds, coconut milk, coconut oil, avocado, or full-fat dairy (yogurt or milk).
- natural sweeteners – if needed (be mindful of how much fruit you have) you can add some honey, maple syrup, or Medjool dates to sweeten it up.
- flavor additions – anything from cacao powder, to maca to help balance hormones, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, matcha, flaxseed, and more.
- optional toppings – I love making mine super thick and into a smoothie bowl and then toppings with granola.
How to add protein to a smoothie
Protein is essential to have at every meal. It is the building blocks for our tissues, organs, nerves, and muscles…(provide structure and function), helps with blood sugar balance (having stable energy) by slowing down the absorption of carbs, and digests slowly and helps with feeling full to name a few.
Without it (and healthy fats), smoothies can feel pretty unfulfilling and have our blood sugar spike and then crash. Thus, leave us hungry an hour or two later.
Here are some ways to add protein to a smoothie:
- protein powder – whey protein, plant-based, or collagen are all great options
- greek yogurt – opt for greek yogurt which has more protein than regular yogurt. This will also add some creaminess.
- cottage cheese – 14 grams of protein per 1/2 cup!
- milk – cow’s milk will have more protein than your typical plant-based milk
- Nuts, nut butter, and seeds – peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, tahini, chia seeds, hemp hearts, sunflower seeds…
- tofu – a good vegan option and blends up super creamy with a neutral taste.
- beans – another great vegan option that also adds some fiber. Opt for black beans or neutral-tasting beans like cannellini beans.
Our daily protein intake should be tailored to our physiological needs, goals, activity, satiety levels, and digestion status.
A blender is also a key factor in making a smoothie. If adding a lot of frozen ingredients, you want it to be powerful enough to break everything up and blend until smooth. My favorite blender for smoothies is Vitamix. I’ve had a couple of the past decade and they are amazing!
Whey protein smoothies
Coffee Protein Smoothie with cold brew coffee, banana, protein powder, cashew butter, chia seeds, and cinnamon for the perfect on-the-go breakfast or post-workout protein shake.
Strawberry Protein Shake that tastes exactly like strawberry cheesecake. This protein powder smoothie recipe has a few simple ingredients – frozen strawberries, bananas, vanilla protein powder, Greek yogurt, and almond milk.
Creamy Mango Smoothie with just mangos, milk, yogurt, and protein powder. Super easy to make!
Triple Chocolate Protein Shake filled with protein powder, cocoa, banana, milk, and almond or peanut butter. This protein shake is good enough to pass for a healthy milkshake!
Vegan protein smoothies
Pineapple Avocado Green Smoothie is nutrient-packed, thick and creamy, loaded with veggies, fruit, healthy fats, fiber, and protein, and tastes like the tropics thanks to pineapple, coconut milk, and lime.
Blueberry Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie is packed with antioxidant-rich berries and greens. Just 5 ingredients, 5 minutes, and 1 blender required!
Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie with carrot juice, fruit, protein powder, and a few spices. Tastes like liquid carrot cake!
Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie is just like pumpkin pie with whipped cream but it’s totally acceptable for breakfast because it’s packed with protein and healthy fats. Just a plant-based protein to keep it vegan.
Orange Creamsicle Protein Smoothie tastes like childhood! Made with fresh oranges, coconut milk, hidden veggies, protein, and vanilla and tastes just like your favorite orange creamsicle popsicle you loved as a kid.
Banana Berry Smoothie is dairy-free, packed with a good source of fiber, and contains the perfect balance of quality protein, carbs, and healthy fats. Makes for a tasty and nourishing breakfast or snack.
High protein smoothies without protein powder recipes
Chocolate Beet Smoothie is made with beets, greek yogurt, nut butter, and cacao. The combo of chocolate and beets packs vitamins, minerals, & antioxidants and is loaded with protein, healthy fats, and carbs. It makes a great option for pre-workout.
Black Bean Brownie Smoothie uses black beans to pump up the protein. Naturally sweetened with just banana and dates, this bean smoothie is totally vegan and dairy-free, and delicious!
Protein smoothie recipes for weight gain or muscle gain
Favorite Chocolate Protein Shake! This is my go-to after workouts – packs protein, carbs, fruit, and veggies to help build muscle and optimize recovery (hello gains!). It tastes like a chocolate milkshake!
Apple Cinnamon Weight Gain Smoothie is a great way to gain weight by increasing your calories with a delicious whole foods packed smoothie.
Protein smoothie recipes for weight loss
Chocolate Protein Shake that tastes like ice cream! Low in calories, carbs, and fat but a decent amount of protein without any toppings (customize to your needs). A delicious way to up the protein and have a sweet treat.
High Protein Smoothie Bowl is easy to make, perfect for getting in an extra serving or two of protein, and keeps you energized throughout the day. Use any kind of protein powder you like.
Snickerdoodle Smoothie is a sweet cinnamon treat and makes the perfect breakfast, snack, or post-workout bite! Low in fat and packed with protein.