The 6 Best High Protein Pasta Recipes

The 6 Best High Protein Pasta Recipes

Pasta is one of the most diverse foods when it comes to flavoring options. But due to its high carbohydrate content and complete lack of protein, it’s gotten a bad rap.

Fortunately, like several of our favorite foods, pasta has been redesigned and loaded with protein to give it a new nutritional makeup. Protein pasta can be made by using store-bought protein noodles or adding protein-dense ingredients to regular or whole-wheat pasta.

While pasta is typically reserved for endurance athletes or those undergoing a bulking diet, adding protein and other healthy ingredients can fit it into any gym goer’s routine. In this article, we will teach you the six best protein pasta recipes. 

Table of Contents:

  • What Is Protein Pasta?
  • 6 Best Protein Pasta Recipes
  • Tips For Cooking Perfect Protein Pasta
  • How to Include High-Protein Pastas in Your Diet
  • Protein Pasta Shopping List
  • FAQs

What is Protein Pasta?

To put it very simply, protein pasta is pasta that contains a higher-than-normal amount of protein. It can vary from store-bought protein noodles, made from high-protein ingredients, or made by adding protein sources to pasta, such as cheese and meat.

The most common way to create protein pasta is by adding high protein low fat foods, such as chicken, lean ground beef, turkey, tofu, or another main protein source. It also usually includes whole-wheat pasta, a much healthier option than regular pasta. 

Other options transform the pasta itself, crafting it from plant proteins, such as legumes, chickpeas, and flaxseed. We’ll explore this difference deeper and provide recipes for both kinds of pasta. 

6 Best Protein Pasta Recipes

Now that we understand the lowdown on protein pasta, let’s get into the tastiest recipes. You’ll find a nice mix here, with some great for cutting and others good for bulking. As always, you can personalize these as much as you like, but then make sure to adjust your macros accordingly.

1) Basic Protein Pasta:

A great take on traditional pasta, this recipe is for the most basic, simple protein pasta meal. It has enough toppings to provide a healthy protein content even if you use regular pasta, although keep in mind doing so will change the macros.

With over 35 grams of protein and made from common pantry staples, you will love this basic protein pasta recipe! 


  • 14.5oz protein pasta, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 24oz of marinara sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian seasonings
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb cottage cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish, or as close to this size as possible. 
  • Cook the pasta based on the instructions on the package. Once it’s cooked, drain it and set aside.
  • In a medium pan, add the olive oil and place over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and garlic, then cook for 2 minutes until you can smell it. 
  • Add the lean ground beef, cooking and breaking it apart until it is no longer pink.
  • Add the marinara sauce and Italian seasonings. Cook until the sauce is warm, then remove it from the heat.
  • Whisk together the eggs, parsley, Greek yogurt, parmesan cheese, and cottage cheese in a different bowl. 
  • Spread a thin layer of meat sauce along the bottom of the baking dish. Add half of the cooked pasta, then half of the cottage cheese mixture, then a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese across. 
  • Add the remaining half of the cooked pasta, followed by the remaining cottage cheese mixture. Pour the remaining meat sauce over the top and, finally, the remaining mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake everything for 35-45 minutes until the cheese is visibly melted. It should be golden brown in spots. Remove from the oven, and garnish with fresh parsley before you slice and serve. 

This recipe takes only five minutes of prep time and should be divided into 8 servings. Each serving will have 280 calories, 36 g of protein, 21 g of carbs, 8 g of fiber, 13 g of net carbs, and 12 g of fat. 

2) Turkey (or Chicken), Pesto, and Broccoli Pasta:

This recipe is super easy to make and can be flexible to your preferences. It doesn’t require a special protein pasta and can be made using fresh, refrigerated pesto or shelf-stable pesto.

With a healthy serving of vegetables, this balanced meal is great for any diet. 


  • 6oz whole-wheat fusilli pasta
  • 3 cups small broccoli florets
  • 2 cups shredded cooked turkey or chicken (8 oz)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • ¾ cup prepared pesto
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper


  • Bring a large pot to a boil.
  • Add the pasta and cook it for 3 minutes, less than the package recommends.
  • Add the broccoli and continue cooking until the pasta is tender and the broccoli is tender-crisp, about 3 minutes more. 
  • Drain the water, then return the pasta and broccoli to the pot.
  • Stir in the turkey (or chicken), tomatoes, pesto, lemon juice, and salt.
  • Divide into four servings and top each with pepper and parmesan cheese.

Each serving will have roughly 420 calories, 30 g of protein, 37 g of carbs, 6 g of fiber, 31 g of net carbs, and 18 g of fat. 

3) High Protein Healthy Mac and Cheese:

Is there any better comfort food than macaroni and cheese? Unfortunately, store-bought mac and cheese is often loaded with fat with a cheese sauce low in nutritional value. Alas, we have a recipe for a delicious, high-protein healthy mac and cheese, which is great for anyone counting macros.

With only five minutes of prep required and under 400 calories per serving, you will love this protein-packed recipe.


  • 1 box Barilla Chickpea Rotini 
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon organic butter
  • 1 cup of any type of milk (we used unsweetened almond milk for this recipe)
  • 1 laughing Cow spreadable cheese wedge (or substitute) 
  • 1 ½ cups reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese (6 oz) 
  • 1 handful chopped baby spinach
  • Sprinkle sea salt and pepper (optional)


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Add the chickpea rotini pasta, or substitute, and cook for about 8 minutes. Add in the broccoli florets after four minutes. 
  • Drain the pasta and broccoli florets, then set aside. 
  • In the same large pot over low/medium heat, add the butter, milk, salt, and pepper. 
  • Once the butter has melted, add in the pasta, broccoli florets, cheese wedge, and shredded cheese. 
  • Let the cheese melt for about 30 seconds, then stir everything together until the pasta is evenly coated with cheese.
  • Finally, add the chopped baby spinach and toss it until wilted.
  • Serve immediately with additional salt, pepper, or cheese if needed.

This cheesy recipe will make four servings, so feel free to adjust the amounts. It can easily be made vegan-friendly by switching to vegan butter, vegan cheddar cheese, and one tablespoon of vegan cream cheese in place of the spreadable cheese wedge.

If you want to add slightly more protein, switch the chickpea pasta to a high-protein pasta. Each serving contains about 395 calories, 42 grams of carbs, 10 grams of fiber, 26 grams of protein, and 17 grams of fat. 

4) Kale, Sausage, and Pepper Pasta:

Another option that doesn’t require protein pasta (but is still loaded with macros), this healthy mixture can be made using any greens you have on hand, making it easy to toss together.

Plus, it’s a one-skillet recipe, so prep and clean-up will be easy. 


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 links sweet Italian turkey sausage (8 oz), casing removed and crumbled
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chopped kale (3 oz)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed pepper (optional)
  • 1½ cups water
  • ¾ cup whole wheat penne pasta 
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese


  • Heat the oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. 
  • Add the sausage and cook for about 2 to 4 minutes, until it’s no longer pink. Be sure to stir while cooking. 
  • Toss the bell pepper and onion into the skillet, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until they are softened.  
  • Stir in the garlic, kale, crushed red pepper, and sausage. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes, until the kale is wilted.
  • Add in the water and pasta while bringing to a boil. Stir occasionally and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the pasta is tender. 
  • Sprinkle it with parmesan cheese and serve hot.

This recipe is packed with healthy vegetables and lean protein, good enough for two servings. Each serving contains roughly 463 calories, 30 g of protein, 46 g of carbs, 8g of fiber, and 19g of fat. 

5) Protein Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs:

This protein-packed version of spaghetti and meatballs will give you all the childhood memories without any of the unhealthy ingredients.

This tasty recipe features store-bought protein pasta and lean ground turkey for a high-quality protein source packed with spices to provide more nutritional value while adding delicious flavor. Looking for a great dessert idea to enjoy after? Try these protein cookies!


  • 2oz Barilla Protein Spaghetti 
  • 10 ounces extra lean ground turkey
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 30 grams finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • ½ cup pasta sauce


  • Add the olive oil to a small pot and place over medium heat. 
  • Season the turkey with salt and pepper. Chop up the garlic cloves and combine them with the ground turkey in a small bowl. 
  • Form as many small meatballs as possible using your hands. Dip each meatball in the egg whites before adding it to the pot. The egg whites are only used to bind the meatballs, so you won’t even taste them. 
  • Cook the turkey in the olive oil by rotating it, ensuring all sides have browned. If you prefer your meatball juicier, try covering them with a lid to lock in the moisture. 
  • In a separate pot, boil water. Once the water is boiling, add the protein pasta and allow it to cook for roughly 5-8 minutes until al dente. 
  • Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water and heat the pasta sauce in the microwave, ideally in a glass container or bowl. 
  • Top with additional parmesan cheese if you prefer, and enjoy.

This recipe makes one massive serving that contains 758 calories, 78 grams of protein, 51 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fiber, and 29.5 grams of fat. It seems more reasonable to divide this into two servings, each containing 379 calories, 39 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, and 14 grams of fat. 

6) Creamy Cajun Chicken Protein Pasta:

If you enjoy creamy pasta packed with spicy flavor, this recipe is for you!

This recipe uses regular pasta and creates its protein content using high-quality ingredients such as chicken breast and cream cheese. Each serving is packed with 38 grams of protein, but with over 500 calories, this recipe might be best for those in a clean bulk workout and diet phase.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 500g chicken breast, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • Pinch of salt
  • 500g pasta
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 100g light cream cheese
  • Chopped chives (garnish)


  • Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan. 
  • Add the red onion, mushrooms, and sliced pepper. Cook for a few minutes until softened, then remove them from the pan and set aside.
  • Add a little more olive oil if necessary, then add the sliced chicken. Fry until completely cooked through and has zero pink. 
  • Add the veggies back into the pan along with the Cajun seasoning and a pinch of salt. Stir thoroughly so it’s evenly mixed. 
  • Add the pasta and chicken stock. Cover the pan and leave to a simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the cream cheese to make the sauce thick and creamy. Serve with a garnish of chopped chives. 

This pasta dish will produce five servings, so feel free to scale down appropriately. This meal is better for a bulking or muscle-building diet, with each serving containing about 516 calories, 38 grams of protein per serving, 71 grams of carbs, and 8.5 grams of fat. 

Tips for Cooking Perfect Protein Pasta

Ready to cook the perfect pasta? Follow these 6 tips and get ready to enjoy a delicious protein-packed meal!

  1. To get an awesome classic pasta taste every time, follow these guidelines:
  2. Add salt to the pot of water to bring it to a boil faster.
  3. It is essential to wait until the water is boiling before adding the pasta. People often like to rush and add the pasta before the water is boiling, but this can ruin your pasta. Be sure to wait for the water to be boiling. It will make a big difference! 
  4. Try to use as lean of meat as possible to keep the calorie count lower. Turkey is the leanest, followed by chicken and beef. 
  5. Leftovers will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an airtight container. It can last up to 6 months in the freezer. 
  6. Microwave your pasta for 30-45 seconds when reheating.

How to Include High-Protein Pastas in Your Diet

All of the recipes we listed make great options for lunch or dinner, but the best time to eat pasta is a few hours around your workout. Its high carbohydrate content will help give you the energy for fuel beforehand, and afterward it’ll help replenish glycogen stores and accelerate your workout recovery.

Pasta is one of the most versatile foods because of the various sauces and seasonings. Whether you use just butter or an elaborate cream sauce, you can use pasta for a wide range of meals. If for some reason you get sick of eating pasta dishes, you can try adding protein pasta to your soup to give it a macro boost. 

Or, you can check out our article on 12 High Protein Lunch Ideas for more great protein-packed meals.

How Do You Increase Protein in Pasta?

The two main ways to increase your protein content in pasta are adding high-protein ingredients or using high-protein pasta noodles.

Try adding ingredients such as meat sauce, where one pound of ground beef contains 65g of protein. You can also add pieces of meat, such as chicken strips, turkey meatballs, or ground beef.

Other ingredients commonly added to increase protein content are Greek yogurt, eggs, and different types of cheese, particularly mozzarella cheese, light cream cheese, and cottage cheese.

Of course, buying protein noodles instead of regular pasta is the easiest way. The best high protein pasta brands to look for include Modern Table Protein Pasta, Barilla, and Banza.

Protein Pasta Shopping List

Ready to head to the grocery store and pick up your ingredients? Make sure to take this shopping list with you.




Lean ground turkey


Chicken breast


Turkey sausage


Lean ground beef






Garlic cloves


Red bell peppers


Fresh basil

Additional Protein



Parmesan cheese


Cream cheese


Greek yogurt


Cottage cheese

Pantry Items

Olive oil


Marinara or pasta sauce


Italian seasoning


Crushed pepper flakes




Cajun seasoning


Chicken stock


Peanut sauce


Let’s answer any remaining questions regarding protein pasta here.

Which pasta is high in protein?

Any brand that sells protein pasta will have the highest protein content. If you don’t want to go that route, try a pea protein based pasta or traditional wheat based pasta.

Is protein pasta a good carb?

Yes, protein pasta is a good carbohydrate, especially if using whole wheat pasta. Nearly all brands of protein pasta are made using high-quality carbohydrates to help keep you feeling full for hours. 

Is protein pasta good for weight loss?

Yes, protein pasta can be used for weight loss if you choose a healthy option and consume it in moderation. Protein helps boost your metabolism and keep you full longer, which is excellent for losing weight. Go for the recipes with less carbohydrates and calories to favor a weight loss diet. 

Is pasta with protein healthy?

Yes, pasta with protein is healthy! High amounts of protein have been shown to help build lean muscle, maintain a healthy weight, and help keep you full longer. Add in the complex carbohydrates and healthy fats, and protein pasta is a complete meal.  

Is high-protein pasta worth it?

Yes, we believe high-protein pasta is worth it! As of this writing, a single box of Barilla Protein Pasta from Walmart is $2.52, while a regular Barilla is $1.84. There are several affordable brands in which the price difference is not that significant, therefore making them worth it. 

Are noodles a good source of protein?

Unfortunately, most noodles are not a great source of protein on their own. Whole-wheat pasta is preferred because it has a higher protein content, roughly 8 g per cup. 

High Protein Pasta: Key Takeaways

As you can see, there are lots of ways to make this classic dish fit your macros while tasting great. Not only does protein pasta offer a new nutritional makeup to the old, carb-heavy versions, but you can mix in all kinds of ingredients to keep thing interesting.

Whether you choose store-bought protein noodles or add protein-dense ingredients to regular pasta, these recipes are sure to satisfy strict dieters and foodies alike. So grab that shopping list, and enjoy trying some of your new favorite pasta dishes!

Looking for more great recipes? Check out the Top 6 High Protein Meal Prep Recipes and these 3 Easy Pancake Recipes!


  1. Liew, Arman. “Protein Pasta (35 Grams per Serving!).” The Big Man’sMan’s World ®, 12 Jan. 2022, Accessed 11 Feb. 2023.
  2. “Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta | High-Protein Meal Prep.” MYPROTEINTM, 28 Apr. 2021, Accessed 08 Feb. 2023.
  3. “Protein Packed Healthy Mac and Cheese.” Eating Bird Food, 19 Dec. 2018,
  4. Ball, Dietitian Jessica, et al. “25 High-Protein Pasta Recipes.” EatingWell, Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.
  5. “Protein Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs.” JOJO COUNTS MACROS, 29 July 2020, Accessed 10 Feb. 2023.

    Les 6 meilleures recettes de pâtes riches en protéines

    Les 6 meilleures recettes de pâtes riches en protéines


    Les pâtes sont un plat populaire dans de nombreuses cuisines à travers le monde. Elles sont un excellent moyen de fournir des glucides et des vitamines essentielles. Cependant, si vous cherchez à augmenter votre apport en protéines tout en profitant de délicieuses pâtes, nous avons les meilleurs choix pour vous. Voici les 6 meilleures recettes de pâtes riches en protéines.

    1. Pâtes au poulet et aux légumes

    Cette recette combine des pâtes à base de farine de blé complet avec du poulet maigre et des légumes frais. Le poulet est une excellente source de protéines maigres et les légumes ajoutent des vitamines et des minéraux. La combinaison de saveurs est délicieuse et satisfaisante.

    2. Pâtes à la bolognaise végétarienne

    Pour une version végétarienne riche en protéines, cette recette utilise des pâtes à base de lentilles. La sauce bolognaise est préparée avec des lentilles cuites, des légumes et des épices savoureuses. C’est un plat copieux qui vous gardera rassasié.

    3. Pâtes au saumon et à l’avocat

    Le saumon est une excellente source de protéines et d’acides gras oméga-3 bénéfiques pour la santé. Cette recette combine des pâtes de blé entier avec du saumon frais, de l’avocat crémeux, des épinards et des tomates cerises. C’est un plat léger et savoureux.

    4. Pâtes au quinoa et aux légumes rôtis

    Les pâtes au quinoa sont riches en protéines et en fibres, ce qui les rend très nutritives. Dans cette recette, les légumes sont rôtis avec des épices et mélangés aux pâtes au quinoa pour créer un plat délicieusement coloré et protéiné.

    5. Spaghetti carbonara aux pois chiches

    Au lieu d’utiliser les traditionnels spaghetti, cette version de carbonara est préparée avec des spaghettis de pois chiches riches en protéines. La sauce est faite d’œufs, de fromage, de pancetta et d’autres ingrédients savoureux. C’est une variante délicieuse et riche en protéines du plat italien classique.

    6. Pâtes à la dinde et aux épinards

    Les pâtes à base de farine de blé complet, associées à la dinde hachée maigre et aux épinards, donnent une recette riche en protéines et en nutriments. Les épinards ajoutent une dose supplémentaire de fer et de vitamines. C’est un plat sain et satisfaisant.


    Q : Les pâtes sont-elles une bonne source de protéines ?

    Oui, les pâtes peuvent fournir une certaine quantité de protéines. Cependant, pour augmenter l’apport en protéines, il est recommandé d’ajouter des ingrédients riches en protéines tels que la viande maigre, le poisson, les légumineuses ou les produits laitiers.

    Q : Quelles autres pâtes peuvent être utilisées pour augmenter l’apport en protéines ?

    Outre les pâtes à base de farine de blé complet, vous pouvez également utiliser des pâtes à base de lentilles, de pois chiches ou de quinoa. Ces options sont riches en protéines et ajoutent une variété de saveurs à vos plats de pâtes.

    Q : Que puis-je ajouter aux pâtes pour augmenter l’apport en protéines ?

    Vous pouvez ajouter des ingrédients tels que le poulet, la dinde, le bœuf haché maigre, le poisson, les fruits de mer, les légumineuses, les œufs ou les produits laitiers comme le fromage ou le yaourt. Ces aliments sont riches en protéines et se marient bien avec les plats de pâtes.


    The 6 Best High Protein Pasta Recipes

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