Recombinant proteins have been extensively employed as therapeutics for the treatment of various critical and life-threatening diseases and as industrial enzymes in high-value industrial processes. Advances in genetic engineering and synthetic biology have broadened the horizon of heterologous protein production using multiple expression platforms. Selection of a suitable expression system depends on a variety of factors ranging from the physicochemical properties of the target protein to economic considerations. For more than 40 years, Escherichia coli has been an established organism of choice for protein production. This review aims to provide a stepwise approach for any researcher embarking on the journey of recombinant protein production in E. coli. We present an overview of the challenges associated with heterologous protein expression, fundamental considerations connected to the protein of interest (POI) and designing expression constructs, as well as insights into recently developed technologies that have contributed to this ever-growing field.