10 protein-rich meals for post-ride recovery

Refuel and repair with these tasty post-ride meals and snacks

When you've been training hard, you need to eat well to help your body feel the benefit of all that extra work. These tasty dishes give you all the natural protein you need to refuel and repair so you're ready to ride the next day. 

We've partnered with Olive Magazine (also published by Immediate Media) to bring you the very best recipes for cyclists. All the recipes are easy to follow and take you through step-by-step how to create everything from homemade nutrition products to tasty and hearty post-ride meals. 

Protein is an important part of the diet for anyone who is training or riding hard. The body needs it not only to repair muscles after exercise, but also build new muscle tissue and to help replenish energy stores.

Protein comes from many sources; most people are familiar with red and white meat, but fish, eggs, nuts, beans and pulses are also excellent sources, with beans and pulses in particular having the advantage that they are also low in fat. 

1. Red quinoa, feta and spinach salad

Fresh and zesty, with protein-packed feta and quinoa
Fresh and zesty, with protein-packed feta and quinoa

This protein-rich dish is perfect for a mid-week lunch, fending off those afternoon hunger pangs. It also works well whipped-up in the evening for dinner that provides your body with the fuel it needs to repair itself. 

Red quinoa, feta and spinach salad recipe at Olive Magazine

2. Quick quinoa and black bean chilli

Warming, flavoursome and filling
Warming, flavoursome and filling

There are so many reasons to love this dish! It's hearty, warming and satisfying. It's also vegan, high in protein and comes in at 343 calories per portion. The smokiness of paprika, the chilli kick, and the freshness of coriander combine to create a lip-smacking effect. It's so delicious that Olive Magazine's web editor Charlotte has declared it her favourite recipe ever!

Quick quinoa and black bean chilli recipe at Olive Magazine

3. Vegan quinoa sushi

Tasty and meat-free sushi — perfect for a pre-prepared evening meal, post-ride packed lunch, or just a healthy snack
Tasty and meat-free sushi — perfect for a pre-prepared evening meal, post-ride packed lunch, or just a healthy snack

The beauty of these tasty sushi treats is that you can make them in advance so you have them ready to go when you need them. Whip up a batch and take them for your lunch, a post-ride dinner on the go, or even just as a snack. The protein-rich quinoa gives your body the fuel it needs to repair itself and the colourful vegetables provide a rainbow of essential vitamins and nutrients. 

Vegan quinoa sushi recipe at Olive Magazine

4. Butternut squash chilli

Butternut squash provides a big dose of vitamins A and C
Butternut squash provides a big dose of vitamins A and C

Another tasty low-fat chilli recipe, this time with butternut squash as the main ingredient and a slightly milder taste. Chunks of butternut squash soak up the chilli flavours and it's ready in just 30 minutes. 

Butternut squash chilli recipe at Olive Magazine

5. Black bean cakes with quinoa and avocado salad

Whip up a batch of these black bean cakes in advance and have something ready to munch on for those post-ride hunger pangs
Whip up a batch of these black bean cakes in advance and have something ready to munch on for those post-ride hunger pangs

With both the black beans and the quinoa providing a good dose of protein, these tasty savoury cakes are perfect for preparing in advance so they are ready to chow down on when you get back from a ride. Or you can whip up a batch and have them for lunch. The quinoa salad tastes fresh and light, with lemon to zest things up — it's the perfect nutrient-rich, high-veg accompaniment. 

Black bean cakes with quinoa and avocado salad recipe at Olive Magazine

6. Tuna, red onion and white bean salad

The perfect protein-rich salad for warm summer evenings
The perfect protein-rich salad for warm summer evenings

Sometimes when you're in a rush the last thing you want to do is start cooking. Luckily, this easy-to-make salad requires minimal preparation: open some cans of tuna and cannellini beans, chop a red onion, and mix the dressing. The fish and beans provide plenty of protein, and the fresh mustard and lemon dressing add plenty of zesty flavour. 

Tuna, red onion and white bean salad recipe at Olive Magazine

7. Three bean soup

Light and tasty, with Italian flavours
Light and tasty, with Italian flavours

A dish that's both light and comforting, this works well for colder evenings and is super-simple to whip up. Cannellini beans, broad beans and green beans are the legumes in question and can be cooked in a vegetable or chicken stock, depending on your preference. A handful of fresh basil and a dusting of Parmesan cheese add satisfying Italian flavours. 

Three bean soup recipe at Olive Magazine

8. Chicken dhansak

Tasty Indian food without the huge calorie hit you get with a takeaway
Tasty Indian food without the huge calorie hit you get with a takeaway

A high-protein and highly tasty dish that satisfies Indian food cravings, and with significantly fewer calories than your favourite takeaway! It's simpler to make than you might imagine and can be prepared in under an hour, which gives you enough time to get that cycling kit in the washing machine and take a quick shower before sitting down to something delicious. 

Chicken dhansak recipe at Olive Magazine

9. Three bean, tomato and spinach stew

This hearty stew is great made up in advance, so all you need to do is reheat a bowl when you get in after a ride
This hearty stew is great made up in advance, so all you need to do is reheat a bowl when you get in after a ride

When you come back from a cold, wet ride you want something substantial that tastes good and warms you up. This tasty stew is not only rich in protein, it's also vegetarian and comes in at under 153 calories per portion!

Three bean, tomato and spinach stew recipe at Olive Magazine

10. Cajun salmon with herb bulgar wheat and yoghurt dressing

Salmon isn't just high in protein. The essential fats it contains are also great for muscle and joint repair
Salmon isn't just high in protein. The essential fats it contains are also great for muscle and joint repair

A dish that looks good enough to serve up to guests, but is secretly pretty easy to prepare. Salmon is not only a great source of lean protein, it is also packed full of nutrients and good oils that can help your body repair itself after exercise. The bulgar wheat, fresh coriander, dill and mint provide a filling and flavoursome base to the dish. 

Cajun salmon with herb bulgar wheat and yoghurt dressing recipe at Olive Magazine

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Aoife Glass

Women's Cycling Editor
A mountain biker at heart, also drawn to the open road. Likes big long adventures in the mountains. Usually to be found in the Mendip Hills or the Somerset Levels in the UK. Passionate about women's cycling at all levels.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Rocky, rough and a long way from anywhere.
  • Current Bikes: Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2015, Juliana Furtado 2013, Canyon Roadlite AL
  • Dream Bike: Juliana Roubion, Liv Avail Advanced SL
  • Beer of Choice: Red wine for the win!
  • Location: Weston Super Mare, Somerset, UK

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