Pasta is a staple in the American diet and a food loved by many (myself included!). Not only is pasta versatile, affordable, and easy to prepare, but absolutely delicious. While traditional pasta contains a little bit of protein – about 7 grams per 2-ounce serving – there are several alternative pasta varieties that pack in some extra protein.
Protein is not only essential for building and maintaining our muscles, bones, skin, and hair, but also vital for digestion, hormone regulation, and carrying oxygen throughout the body. Additionally, plant-based eating patterns can lower the risk of several diseases and lead to a healthier, longer life.Try one of these twists on pasta to boost your protein intake #saslife #platemoreprotein Click To Tweet
Below are 5 higher protein pasta options to consider giving a try the next time you find yourself on the pasta aisle.
1. Chickpea Pasta
Of all of the higher protein pasta varieties, pasta made from chickpeas may be one of the most popular. You can find chickpea pasta in a variety of shapes from various brands on most grocery store shelves, including Harris Teeter, Publix, Target, Walmart and Wegmans among others. Chickpeas are a great source of fiber, B vitamins and iron, and one 2-ounce serving of chickpea pasta contains 11 grams of protein.
2. Red Lentil Pasta
Red lentil pasta is another higher protein pasta variety that you can find on most grocery store shelves, including Publix, Walmart, Trader Joe’s and Target. This pasta is made only from red lentil flour. Red lentils are rich in fiber and are a source of several vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium, folate and manganese. At 13 grams of protein per 2-ounce serving, red lentil pasta is an excellent option for your next pasta dinner.
3. Edamame Pasta
With a whopping 24 grams of protein per serving, edamame pasta packs nearly double the amount of protein as some of the other higher protein pasta options! Made only from soybeans, edamame pasta is significantly higher in fiber, iron, calcium and potassium compared to traditional pasta and many of the other higher protein pasta options. Unlike several plant-based sources of protein, the soy protein in soybeans contains all nine of the essential amino acids, which are the amino acids that our bodies cannot make and that we must get from our diet. You can pick up a box of this soy-based pasta from Harris Teeter, Publix or add it to your next Amazon delivery.
4. Black Bean Pasta
Along with edamame pasta, black bean pasta is a standout in terms of protein, with 25 grams of protein per 2-ounce serving. Black bean pasta also provides 11 grams of fiber per serving, making it a great option if you are looking to boost your fiber intake. This pasta is an excellent source of calcium, iron, folate and potassium. You can pick up black bean pasta on your next trip to Harris Teeter or Publix, or add it to your next Amazon delivery.
5. Protein+ Pasta
Protein+ is another higher protein pasta option that you can find on most grocery store shelves (Harris Teeter, Wegmans and Walmart among others). This pasta is made from a mixture of pea protein as well as wheat, lentil, chickpea, barley and spelt flours. Since it contains wheat flour, the flour used to make traditional pasta, it more closely resembles the classic taste and texture of pasta. However, at 10 grams of protein per 2-ounce serving, this pasta can help boost your protein intake beyond the 7 grams of protein found in traditional pasta.
Chicken Pesto Pasta
Makes 4 servings
8 oz pasta of choice (chickpea, red lentil, etc.)
1 cup pesto (I used one container of Trader Joe’s Vegan Kale, Cashew, & Basil Pesto)
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 cups broccoli florets (can also use mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, or any vegetable of choice)
2 tsp garlic powder, divided
2 Tbsp water
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tsp Green Goddess seasoning blend (or any dried herbs of choice)
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Season the chicken breasts with garlic powder, Green Goddess seasoning blend, salt and pepper.
2. Air fry (or use oven convection setting) the chicken at 400ºF for 15 minutes or until fully cooked through, flipping halfway. Once cooked, slice into bite-sized pieces.
3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high. Once the oil is hot, add broccoli florets in an even layer. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until the broccoli starts to brown, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and add in water and garlic powder. Cover pan with lid and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until the broccoli is bright green and tender.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions.
5. While the pasta cooks, combine the pesto and Greek yogurt in a small bowl.
6. Once the pasta is cooked, drain well in a colander. Add the pasta, tomatoes and pesto sauce to the skillet with the broccoli. Stir to combine.
7. Top with parmesan cheese and chicken and enjoy!