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Meal Replacement Smoothies: 3 Easy Recipes to Try at Home

Making a protein-packed, nutritionally-dense smoothie may be easier than you think! In this article, we’ll be breaking down what makes a smoothie work as a meal replacement, as well as several simple recipes you can try on your own.

Meal replacement smoothies: Building a perfect smoothie involves combining protein, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats in a way that fits with your dietary goals. The best recipe for you is one that fits in with your dietary goals and tastes great.

smoothie for replacing meal

Meal Replacement Smoothies – Convenient and Healthy Option

If you struggle to get enough calories throughout the day, or just don’t have time to make a full meal, smoothies can be a quick and easy way to get all the nutrition you’d get from a proper meal. As long as you have a nutritionally complete recipe, there’s nothing wrong with having a smoothie for lunch or a smoothie for dinner. 

While smoothies can be a healthy option, they can also work against you if you’re not mindful of the ingredients you’re adding. Below we’ll be going over how to optimize your smoothies for macronutrients, micronutrients, and fiber intake to help you meet your nutritional goals. 

Essential Nutrients for Meal Replacement

A good meal replacement smoothie will include macros that work for your diet, and a solid amount of micronutrients and fiber to make it a well-rounded meal. 

igredients for meal replacement shaker

First, consider how much protein, carbs, fat, and total calories you want in a meal replacement drink. This will help determine not only what ingredients you use, but how much of them you use as well. Someone who’s bulking will want a shake that’s higher in total calories and may want to include extra sources of carbs and fats alongside protein. Someone on a cut, meanwhile, will want to make a lower-calorie drink and focus mostly on protein. 

Regardless of dietary goals, including some fiber and micronutrient-dense ingredients is always a good idea. High-fiber diets are associated with better overall health and the majority of Americans do not get enough fiber. So, including high-fiber ingredients in your smoothie is a great way to help meet your daily fiber needs. Also including foods rich in micronutrients (ie. vitamins and minerals) is a great way to round out your smoothie, and make it a more complete meal substitute. 


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Building the Perfect Smoothie

Now that we’ve covered the nutrients that go into a high-quality meal replacement shake, it’s time to start picking out some ingredients. An ideal meal replacement smoothie will include some liquid, a protein source, fruits and vegetables for fiber and micronutrients, healthy fats, and some optional flavor enhancers. Let’s take a closer look at all of these ingredient types. 

1. Pick a Liquid

First, determine what liquid you plan on using. The three main options are:

  • Water
  • Juice
  • Milk (Dairy or Plant-Based)

While milk of some kind will be the go-to for most people, juice can work well for fruitier recipes. Water may work for some recipes, especially if you’re looking to limit calories, although almond milk can be a good low-calorie option as well. Dairy milk or a plant-based option like soy will be your best bet if you’re looking for higher protein. 

2. Pick a Protein Source

Next, be sure to add some protein to your smoothie. Consider:

  • Protein Powder (Dairy or Plant-Based)
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Milk (Dairy or Soy)
  • Seeds (Hemp, Chia, Flax, etc.)
  • Nut Butter

Protein powder will typically be your best bet here, whether it’s dairy or plant-based. One scoop can easily add 20-30g of protein to your smoothie, improving the flavor as well. However, Greek yogurt is a great whole-food alternative that provides additional micronutrients like Calcium and B Vitamins. 

adding protein in shaker

Keep in mind that using either dairy or soy milk will also add a solid amount of protein. Seeds or nut butter will also add some protein as well, although they are primarily fat sources. 

3. Pick Fruits and Vegetables

Here’s where you can start getting more creative. Some options include:

  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Spinach
  • Kale

These are just a handful of ideas, but pretty much any fruits and veggies can work in a smoothie if you combine them with the right ingredients! Choose options that you enjoy, but also work with your nutritional goals. 

4. Pick Some Healthy Fats

Next, add in some sources of healthy fats, which can include:

  • Nut Butter
  • Seeds (Hemp, Chia, Flax, etc.)
  • Avocado
  • Coconut Oil (High Quality)

Some fat sources like seeds and nut butter can be a way to get some extra protein in. However, there’s nothing wrong with adding low protein sources of fats like avocado and coconut oil, especially if you’re trying to maximize your smoothie’s calorie count. 

preparing meal replacement shaker

Just keep in mind that coconut oil is high in saturated fats, and we generally recommend prioritizing unsaturated fats like those found in seeds. 

5. Enhancing Flavor and Texture

Finally, depending on the recipe you’re using, you may want to round it off with some flavor/texture enhancers. These can include: 

  • Cinnamon
  • Ice/Frozen Fruit
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Fresh Ginger

Things like cinnamon, cocoa, and ginger are all great sources of polyphenols with antioxidant properties as well! Of course, not all of these ingredients will work with every smoothie, so only use them when you feel they’re appropriate!

3 Meal Replacement Smoothie Recipes

Now that we’ve gone over a long list of ingredients you can use, let’s start putting them together into complete meal replacement smoothie recipes. We’ll also be including the approximate calories for each shake, although they may vary slightly depending on ingredients used and accurate measurements. 

picking ingredients

Keep in mind that the ingredient amounts listed below can easily be tweaked to fit your own needs. Feel free to experiment with these recipes, we’d love to hear about your variations in the comments below! With that being said, let’s get into the recipes.

1. Peanut Butter Banana Mass Gainer

First, we’re starting with a recipe perfect for anybody in bulk. This would make a perfect breakfast meal replacement smoothie, but could easily be used as a lunch smoothie or dinner smoothie as well. High in total calories and protein, this is an ideal homemade mass gainer recipe. 

Between the milk, protein powder, peanut butter, and hemp seeds, you should easily be able to get 50g+ of protein from this smoothie. The ingredients are well-rounded to provide plenty of healthy fats and fiber as well. 

This is probably one of the easiest ways to get 1000+ calories in a single serving, making it perfect for hard-gainers in bulk. However, feel free to lower the ingredient amounts or sub out some higher-calorie ingredients to make it more suitable for cutting as well. 


  • 2 Cups of Milk
  • 1 Scoop of Protein Powder
  • 2 tbsp. of Peanut Butter
  • 1-2 Frozen Bananas
  • 3 tbsp. of Hemp Seeds

Protein: 53.7g

Fats: 40.7g

Carbs: 107g

Calories: 993

Optional Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. of Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of Cocoa Powder
  • ¼-½ Cup of Oats

Cinnamon and cocoa powder would make great additions as flavor enhancers to this recipe. If you want to up the calories, carbohydrates, and fiber even more, consider adding some oats as well, although keep in mind they can make the texture rather gritty.

drinking meal replacement shaker

2. Tropical Fruit Smoothie

Next is a very different recipe from the one above that’s much more friendly for those eating in a caloric deficit. For those who want something fresh and fruity, this is the meal replacement drink for you. 

Because we’re using fruit juice and Greek yogurt here instead of milk and protein powder, this will be a lower protein smoothie than the recipe above. Feel free to sub juice for water if you want an even lower-calorie smoothie. Either way, you should still be able to get 20g+ of protein, all for relatively low calories. 


  • 2 Cups of Orange Juice or Water
  • ¾ Cup of Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • ½ Cup of Frozen Mangos
  • ½ Cup of Pineapple
  • 2 tbsp. of Chia Seeds

Protein: 21.7g

Fats: 9.6g

Carbs: 79.1g (44.6g w/o Orange Juice)

Calories: 477 (339 w/o Orange Juice)

Optional Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. Fresh Grated Ginger
  • 2 tbsp. of Coconut Oil
  • Other Fruits (Strawberries, Blueberries, etc.)

This recipe would work great with a bit of fresh ginger to add a spicy kick that pairs perfectly with the tropical fruit. Coconut oil would work great as an additional source of fat and a way to boost the calories. Also, feel free to sub out mango and pineapple for any fruit of your choice – the basic recipe should work with most fruit!

meal replacement shaker

3. Super Greens Shake

Finally, if you want to prioritize micronutrients and fiber above all else, consider going for this super greens shake. This combines greens along with avocado for healthy fruits, as well as additional fruits and protein powder to make a bright green shake chocked full of nutrients. 

As with the recipe above, we recommend using fruit juice or water. Fruit juice will give this shake a sweeter flavor, while water will keep the calories lower. Still, with the addition of a high-quality protein powder, this shake will be low-calorie and high-protein, making it perfect for cutting. 


  • 2 Cups of Orange Juice or Water
  • 1 Large Handful of Spinach or Kale
  • ½ Cup of Strawberries
  • ½ an Avocado
  • 1 Scoop of Protein Powder

Protein: 25.5g

Fats: 7.7g

Carbs: 46.7g (12.2g /w/o Orange Juice)

Calories: 349 (211/w/o Orange Juice)

Optional Ingredients:

  • Greens Powder or Spirulina
  • 1 tbsp. of Fresh Grated Ginger
  • Other Fruits (Mango, Blueberries, etc.)
  • 2 tbsp. of Hemp or Chia Seeds
shaker instead of meal

This is the perfect recipe if you want to include some greens powder or spirulina with your smoothie for added nutrition. As with the tropical shake, ginger or different fruit would also work great here. And, while the avocado gives you plenty of healthy fats, a few tbsp. of seeds or coconut oil would work great here as well. 

Optimize Your Smoothie to Your Goals and Needs

Whichever recipe you plan on making, it’s important to optimize the smoothies for your personal needs. Specifically, consider how many calories you need per day for your goal, whether it’s to gain or lose weight. 

If you want to make meal replacement smoothies for weight loss, we recommend prioritizing protein, fiber, and micronutrients in your smoothie. This makes the Tropical Fruit Smoothie and Greens Shake Great options. With that being said, you could easily adapt the Peanut Butter Banana shake to your needs by using almond milk, and less peanut butter or hemp seeds. 

recept of meal replacement shaker

For someone on a bulk, feel free to add more carbohydrates and fat alongside your protein sources to maximize calories. This is exactly what the Peanut Butter Banana Mass Gainer is meant for. However, feel free to add other high-calorie ingredients like seeds and coconut oil to the other recipes as well. 

Addressing Specific Nutritional Needs 

Beyond considering your caloric and macronutrient needs, think about your additional needs as well. This can include fiber intake and micronutrients, as well as any special ingredients for recovery or energy.

If you want to prioritize fiber, be sure to add plenty of fiber-rich ingredients like fruits, veggies, seeds, and oats. If there are any specific micronutrients you want to target, consider adding fruits and veggies that help you meet your goals. 

Meanwhile, consider adding any supplements or additional ingredients that will help you meet your goals. Consider creatine for boosting exercise performance and recovery, or  

Protein Source We Recommend to Your Smoothie – Grass-fed Whey by Transparent Labs

Grass-fed Whey by Transparent Labs

Transparent Labs Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate
  • Serving Size: 32.96 grams
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.8
  • Protein Percent Of Weight (%): 85%
  • Proteins: 28 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 1 gram (depends on flavor)
  • Fat: 0.5 gram (French Vanilla only)
  • Added Sugar: 0 gram
  • Calories Per Serving: 120
  • Recommended By AthletesHafþór Júlíus BjörnssonTerron BeckhamPaul Sklar

Throughout this article, we’ve recommended adding protein powder to your smoothies, but which protein should you use? Our top pick is Transparent Labs’ Grass-Fed Whey. 

Made from 100% grass-fed dairy, Transparent Labs offers some of the highest-quality protein powder on the market. Each serving contains 28g of protein for only ~130-150 calories, making it ideal for any diet. 

Each serving will cost you ~$2.00. While this is a premium supplement, it’s still a great deal for anybody looking for a reliable, high-quality source of protein for their smoothies. Meal

Replacement Supplement We Recommend – Clean Meal by Kaged

Clean Meal by Kaged

  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein per Serving: 28g
  • Carbs per Serving: 18g
  • Dietary Fiber per Serving: 2g
  • Added Sugars per Serving: 0g
  • Fats per Serving: 4.5g
  • Calories per serving: 240
  • Serving Size: 58.6g
  • Price per Serving: ~$2.50
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended by Athletes: Andrea SomerColt NicholsKris Gethin

While the smoothie recipes in this article make great meal replacements, what if you just want a complete meal replacement powder instead? In this case, we recommend Clean Meal by Kaged

Each serving contains 240 calories, which includes 28g of protein, and solid amounts of 21 different micronutrients. This makes it an easy and convenient source of protein and micronutrients, although it could easily be combined with additional ingredients for more calories and micronutrients as well. 

This also isn’t much more expensive than Transparent Labs’ Whey Protein at ~$2.50 per serving, making it a great option for anybody looking to prioritize added micronutrients in a protein supplement. 


Overall, making a homemade meal replacement smoothie isn’t difficult if you know which ingredients to add! As long as you have a protein source paired with plenty of fruits, veggies, and healthy fats, you’re well on your way!

If you’re interested in a high-quality protein powder, give Transparent Labs’ Grass-Fed Whey. And for an easy meal replacement powder, try Clean Meal by Kaged

Do you have any tips for making healthy meal replacement smoothies? Are you planning on trying any of our meal replacement shake recipes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


  1. The Nutrition Source, “Fiber,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, (Accessed Apr. 13. 2024)
  2. The Nutrition Source, “Yogurt,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, (Accessed Apr. 13. 2024)
  3. The Nutrition Source, “Fats and Cholesterol,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, (Accessed Apr. 13. 2024)
  4. Richard B Kreider, et. al, “ International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition volume 14, Article number: 18 (2017).
  5. Brad Heins, “Grass-Fed Cows Produce Healthier Milk,” University of Minnesota, (Accessed Apr. 13. 2024)
  6. Photos made by Torokhtiy Media Team.

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Jacek Szymanowski

Author: Jacek Szymanowski

Certified Nutritionist,
M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology
Performance Architect,
Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Experience: 20 years

With over 30 years of fighting experience, specialization in nutrition coaching for athletes, and expertise in metabolic health and dietary strategies, Jacek offers a comprehensive approach to optimizing your performance and well-being. Backed by a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology, Jacek remains at the forefront of scientific advancements, ensuring that his coaching is always evidence-based and up-to-date.

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