If you’re replenishing after a workout, trying to build lean muscle mass, or just find yourself hungry and need something more filling, bulking up on protein foods might be the answer. But if you can’t stomach eating another steak or cracking one more egg, it might be time to start drinking protein shakes.
Easy-to-make and portable, these healthy protein shake recipes will ensure you get your fill of these amino acids. One thing to keep in mind: Many of these recipes use commercially available protein powders. When you purchase a powder, make sure you always opt for an organic whey protein (or vegan) variety that’s free of pesticides, naturally sweetened and cold-processed.
I know you’ll love these protein shake recipes that’ll keep you full, strong and satisfied!
23 Protein Shakes & Smoothies
What do you get when you start with a chocolate protein powder base, throw in some shredded coconut, and polish things off with sliced almonds and vanilla almond milk? A shake loaded with 30 grams of protein and 310 calories that’s reminiscent of your favorite candy bar. This shake makes a great on-the-go breakfast or post-workout replenishment.
Photo: Almond Joy Protein Shake / It’s a Mom’s World
2. Banana Split Protein Smoothie
Get the flavor of a banana split sans ice cream with this banana protein drink. With just five ingredients, including fruity pineapple, you’ll feel like you’re on the tropics while getting your fill of protein.
3. Chocolate and Kale Protein Shake
If you’re still not on the benefit-loaded kale bandwagon (seriously, what are you waiting for?), then this protein-packed smoothie might help change your mind. Adding the leafy green to your shake means a dose of vitamins in each sip, while using a chocolate-flavored protein powder helps this feel more like a dessert than a healthy drink.
If you use peanut butter, opt for a brand that has just one or two ingredients, or swap a nut butter instead. If you want to keep the shake vegan, try super-effective brown rice protein powder.
4. Cocoa Almond Protein Smoothie
Among these many delicious protein shake recipes, this is a great one to start your day. It uses no protein powder, instead relying on milk, Greek yogurt, almond butter and flaxseeds to power you through. Adding unsweetened cocoa powder lends extra flavor without added sugar. The kiddos will love this one, too!
Photo: Cocoa Almond Protein Smoothie / Kristine’s Kitchen
5. Coffee Lovers Protein Shake
Add an extra kick to your afternoon pick-me-up with this coffee protein drink. Start with the shake essentials: a ripe banana, vanilla protein powder and almond milk, and then kick things up a notch by adding a half cup of nutrition-rich coffee to the mix. Topped with cacao nibs, not only is this drink better for you than anything the coffee shop sells, but it’s absolutely delicious, too.
When you’re tempted to skip your workout and satisfy a cookie craving instead, turn to this protein shake. With just a few ingredients like milk, vanilla protein powder and your favorite natural sweetener, you’ll have a sippable cookie you won’t feel guilty about eating.
Photo: Cookie Dough Protein Shake / Chocolate-Covered Katie
This fruity kale green drink is full of so much flavor, you’ll be surprised how healthy it is. I love how bananas, pineapples and mango mask any “green” flavor and give this a refreshing taste, while adding vanilla protein powder helps fuel muscles.
8. Decadent Vanilla Almond Protein Smoothie
This recipe might be called decadent, but there’s only yummy, healthy goodness involved. Tripling up on vanilla — with vanilla almond milk, vanilla yogurt and vanilla protein powder — means this smoothie tastes more like a vanilla milkshake while being packed to the brim with protein to keep you full for hours. To avoid the added sweeteners manufacturers add to flavored yogurt products, make your own instead by using full-fat plain yogurt and adding a few drops of vanilla extract.
9. Green Warrior Protein Smoothie
When you’re short on time and energy, sometimes all it takes is one of the most replenishing protein shake recipes. This “Green Warrior” strays from similar drinks by using hemp hearts as its main protein source. Combined with cucumber, fresh mint, apples, grapefruit and celery, this green smoothie is creamy, refreshing and so tasty. When you’ve tired of the same old protein shake, give this one a try.
Photo: Green Warrior Protein Smoothie / Oh She Glows
10. Kale Pina Covado
Loaded with fruits, veggies and healthy fats, this protein shake is seriously good for you. I love how using avocado adds creaminess, while the benefit-rich pineapple lend sweetness and a tropical feel, no matter what the weather outside is!
Photo: Kale Pina Covado / Delicious by Dre
11. Mint Chocolate Green Protein Smoothie
Give those Girl Scouts a run for their money with this protein-rich smoothie. Spinach provides the green hue, but thanks to chocolate protein powder, peppermint extract and a sprinkling of chocolate chips on top, this healthy drink tastes more like dessert than a salad. Try this one in the late afternoon to boost energy levels for an after-work gym session.
Photo: Mint Chocolate Green Protein Smoothie / Nutritionist in the Kitch
12. Oatmeal Cookie Protein Shake
Measuring, mixing, baking: When you have a cookie fix, there’s not always time to whip up a batch. Feed your body one of these healthy protein shake recipes instead. Here, cottage cheese (use full fat or a banana if dairy isn’t an option) provides creaminess and extra protein, while adding old-fashioned oats, cinnamon and vanilla protein powder to the “dough” means tons of cookie flavor. Make this to rev up your mornings.
13. Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Protein Shake
Skip the sugar crash that accompanies sweets and indulge in this drinkable oatmeal raisin cookie instead. With just a handful of ingredients you likely have on hand, like oats, raisins/dates and flavored protein powder, you’ll have a filling taste of your favorite cookie without the highs and lows.
Photo: Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Protein Shake / Dishing Out Health
Frozen peaches are the key to this sweet, tasty protein shake. When combined with protein powder, cottage cheese and seasonings, you’ll get a little taste of peach pie year-round — and a whopping boost of protein.
Instead of downing a pumpkin spice latte in the mornings, swap it for this mega-healthy protein shake. Using pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice adds an autumn feel while still letting you enjoy the benefits of protein. Trust me, your body and wallet will thank you!
16. Quinoa Smoothie
Nutrition-rich quinoa is a complete protein, making the grain an excellent choice for a natural protein drink without the use of powder. Here, it’s combined with your choice of frozen berries, bananas, yogurt and honey for a naturally sweet and creamy drink that’s bursting with protein and benefits. While the end product won’t taste a thing like quinoa, blend well to ensure a smooth smoothie!
Photo: Quinoa Smoothie / My Fussy Eater
Curb candy cravings while enjoying chocolate’s antioxidants with my super simple protein smoothie. Almond butter, cocoa powder and chocolate protein powder make this a creamy, rich drink while helping you reduce hunger and lose fat.
Photo: Reese’s Protein Smoothie / Dr. Axe
18. Samoa Cookie Dairy-Free Protein Shake
A little bit coconut, a little bit chocolate, a whole lot of delicious, this protein shake is another re-creation of a Girl Scout favorite made good for you — sorry to the troops out there. It’s dairy-free but thanks to coconut milk manages to be ultra creamy. Toss in a homemade Paleo caramel sauce and toasted coconut flakes and you’ve got a protein-packed drink that tastes more like dessert.
Photo: Samoa Cookie Dairy-Free Protein Shake / The Kitchen Prep
19. Skinny Apple Pie a La Mode Protein Shake
American pie is the quintessential American dessert, but it might be pushed aside by this skinny protein shake. Made with fresh apples, yogurt and protein powder, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how similar to the baked treat it is while providing that much-needed protein boost.
20. Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie
Ward off hunger pangs with this all-natural protein smoothie. Greek yogurt, almond milk and strawberries (or the berries of your choice) make this a lean, mean protein machine, while ripe bananas and a splash of honey add a hint of sweetness. This one makes enough for two servings, perfect for a light breakfast for you and a loved one.
22. Strawberry Papaya Smoothie
Have you tried papaya? It’s full of fiber, antioxidants and has a great tropical taste. I love using the fruit in this smoothie to start my day bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. When combined with strawberries and protein powder, you’ll get a hearty dose of protein, while adding coconut kefir adds natural probiotics. Try this one; you’ll love it!
Photo: Strawberry Papaya Smoothie / Dr. Axe
23. Very Berry Chocolate Protein Smoothie
Have you been enjoying dessert a little too much recently? Get back on track but still satisfy your sweet tooth with this very tasty protein smoothie. Made with just five ingredients, including protein powder and those miracle chia seeds, you’ll be rewarded with a boost of energy, perfect for a pre-workout snack — or an after-dinner treat.