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Spaghetti. Penne. Lasagna. Ramen. Risotto.
Pasta isn’t just food; it’s a delicious meal to enjoy with your family. You can dress it up, dress it down, spend five minutes or spend all day. You can also create recipes that are full of veggies, nutrients, healthy fats, and protein.
For those families looking for protein packed pasta ideas, check out the ingredients below. Each will transform your pasta into a healthy, well-balanced meal. Here are some ways to add protein to pasta at home!
Beans are not only packed with protein; they are full of fiber and zinc (among other vitamins and minerals). Adding beans to your pasta will instantly boost the protein amount, up to 34 grams in one serving! Here are the beans with the most protein per serving (½ cup):
34 grams of protein
Recipe: Vegetable and Edamame Pasta with Basil Cream Sauce
21.5 grams of protein
Recipe: Healthy Kidney Bean Pasta
21 grams of protein
Recipe: Southwestern Black Bean Pasta
20 grams of protein
Some vegetables have a little more protein than you probably expect! Peas, spinach, kale and broccoli (which all happen to go with pasta perfectly) can add a touch more protein to an already delicious dish. Some recipes that are loaded up with veggies include:
If you want to keep the ingredients minimal, whether you’re pressed for time or have picky palettes to feed, you can still add protein to pasta with your sauce selection.
Add sausage, chicken, or beef to your standard tomato sauce.
Béchamel sauce is made with milk, which naturally contains protein and is a fan favorite for kids. Béchamel sauces are versatile; you can add cheese, seasonings, or lemon to keep your pasta sauce interesting. Here’s a basic recipe to get your started.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in flour until it starts to thicken and bubble (about 2 minutes). Slowly add the milk and bring to boil. Stir until desired consistency and then add seasonings.
Puree canned beans with herbs and seasonings for a healthy, creamy, protein-rich sauce.
Adding chicken, beef, fish, or tofu is the most simple and easy way to top your pasta with protein-packed goodness. Some simple and easy ideas include:
Buckwheat noodles, also known as Soba or Udon noodles, have more protein than any other type of noodle (6 grams per cup) and lower calories as well. These Asian noodles are delicious, hearty, and versatile.
Add protein to pasta; so you can have your pasta and eat it too.
*The recipes and bloggers linked to in this blog are not affiliated with a2 Milk®.