5-Minute Muscle Meals!

Are you sick of the same old canned tuna, protein bar, or chicken salad? If you're short on time, then check out these 5-minute muscle meals!
Are you sick of the same old canned tuna, protein bar, or chicken salad? If you're short on time, like most bodybuilders, but still want to add taste and variety to your diet, check out these muscle meals that you can prepare in only 5 minutes!

The Key To Quick Meals

Obviously you can't cook a chicken breast in 5 minutes. This article is intended to show you new and tasty ways to prepare meals based on some staple ingredients. The key to these quick meals is to always have these staple ingredients on hand and cooked, if necessary.

This only requires shopping and cooking about twice a week, then refrigerate or freeze the remaining food to last through the work week. In the morning, prepare these quick meals and take them in your cooler for a full day's supply of muscle-building protein and complex carbohydrates.

The Staples

    Cooked In Advance:

    • Cooked skinless chicken breast
    • Cooked brown rice
    • Boiled eggs
    • Cooked pasta

    No Cooking Required:

    • Canned salmon/chicken/tuna
    • Lean deli meat (turkey, chicken breast, roast beef)
    • Canned vegetables (corn, green beans, chickpeas, red and white beans, crushed tomatoes)
    • Fresh fruit (bananas, apples, pears, strawberries)
    • Canned fruit (in its own juice)
    • Low-fat cheese sticks
    • Low-fat, low-sugar yogurt (such as Light-n-Fit Carb Control)
    • Low-fat cottage cheese
    • 100% whole wheat bread and/or whole wheat tortillas
    • Quick cook oats (or oatmeal packets)
    • Nuts (peanuts, soy nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans)
    • Nut Butters (peanut butter, almond butter, macadamia nut butter, soy nut butter)

The Recipes

    Grilled Chicken Wrap


      • cooked shredded chicken breast
      • 1 whole wheat tortilla
      • shredded lettuce (may substitute with cabbage or spinach)
      • light or nonfat creamy dressing (i.e. ranch, Caesar)
      • 1 slice 2% or nonfat singles cheese


      1. Lay tortilla on a flat surface.

      2. Place shredded chicken in center of tortilla and drizzle with dressing.

      3. Top with cheese and shredded lettuce.

      4. Roll up tightly; secure with toothpick and wrap in plastic wrap if not eating immediately.

        (Note: You can microwave the wrap for 30-60 seconds before adding lettuce to melt the cheese.)

    Chicken, Rice & Beans


      • Cooked Shredded Chicken Breast
      • 1/2-1c cooked brown rice
      • 1/4 can red beans
      • 2 tbsp. barbeque sauce


      1. In large bowl or tupperware, combine rice, beans, and chicken.

      2. Add barbeque sauce and stir together until well-coated.

    Salmon Burgers


      • 1 can salmon
      • 1/4c oats (may substitute with brown rice or chunks of whole wheat bread)
      • 2 tbsp. dried onion
      • 1 tsp. garlic powder
      • ground black pepper
      • salt (optional)
      • 1 egg white


      1. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and form into large ball. (If too runny, add more oats; if too dry, add another egg white or a few teaspoons water.)

      2. Heat skillet to medium heat.

      3. Divide mixture into 4 sections and form patties about 1/2" thick.

      4. Spray skillet with cooking spray and add patties to skillet, cooking 2 minutes on each side or until browned.

        (Note: This recipe requires more prep work, so for faster preparation, make patties the night before. The salmon is already cooked, so browning is just for flavor and to bind the ingredients together.)

    Egg Salad Sandwich


      • 3-4 boiled egg whites (may keep 1-2 yolks)
      • 2 tbsp. low fat mayonnaise
      • 1 tbsp. yellow mustard
      • ground black pepper
      • 2 slices 100% whole wheat bread
      • shredded lettuce or spinach leaves
      • 1/2 can tuna (optional for more protein, or just use more whites)


      1. Chop egg whites and add to medium bowl.

      2. Add mayo, mustard, black pepper, and tuna.

      3. Mix well and spread over bread.

      4. Top with lettuce or spinach leaves and second slice of bread.

    Tuna Casserole


      • 3-4c cooked pasta
      • 1-2 cans tuna (drained)
      • 1/2c low fat cottage cheese (drained)
      • 1/4c shredded low fat cheddar cheese
      • 2 tbsp. low fat mayo
      • ground black pepper
      • 1/2c canned peas (rinsed & drained)


      1. In medium bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until well-mixed.

      2. Microwave for approximately 1 minute when ready to serve.

    Click Here For A Printable Version Of This Page...

Cooking Alternatives

Even with these fast meals, there will be times when you find yourself stuck without anything to eat. A good solution is to keep a stash of food in your desk at work and in your car or purse.

Your "food stash" can consist of any of the following items:

  • Pouch tuna
  • Protein bars
  • RTD shakes
  • Canned fruit in its own juice
  • Oatmeal packets
  • Precooked pouch rice
  • Peanut butter
  • Rice cakes or corn thins
  • Whole wheat crackers
  • Canned chicken/tuna with "pop top"
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts

Also, keep diet-friendly condiments in small packets, such as mustard, low fat or nonfat salad dressings/mayo, ketchup, and black pepper.

Diet plays a major role in meeting your bodybuilding goals, whether you are in a leaning out phase or a gaining phase.

Use these quick meals and tips to ensure you are never left missing a meal, and missing a chance to feed your growing muscles with the protein and carbs they need!