Few things are as satisfying as diving fork-first into a bowl of saucy, al dente pasta. But what if it could be even more satisfying? Enter high protein pasta.
Remember, protein is an essential macronutrient that your body requires for myriad uses, like building and repairing muscle and producing hormones and enzymes to keep you functioning. Sure, it’s readily found in meat, seafood, tofu, dairy, eggs and even fruits and vegetables…but thanks to a host of new alternative pasta brands, you can also get your daily protein allowance from a heaping plate of penne (or rotini—whatever floats your boat).
According to the National Academy of Medicine, adults should aim for a daily minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or about 7 grams for every 20 pounds. A 3.5-ounce serving of traditional wheat pasta will generally provide seven grams of protein, but pastas made from chickpeas, lentils, peas and even edamame offer a bit more. Here, ten high-protein pasta brands to try for dinner.
1. The Only Bean Edamame Pasta (44g protein)
Edamame is the protein-rich vegetable behind this flourless pasta, which boasts 44 grams of protein and 19 grams of fiber in each 3.5-ounce serving. With 16 grams of net carbs, it’s also one of the lowest-carb pastas on this list. Reviewers praise the texture but note that the flavor and scent is stronger than regular pasta—edamame tastes strongly vegetal, so it makes sense.
2. Tolerant Organic Red Lentil Pasta (25g protein)
With 25 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce serving, this protein-packed pasta—made from red lentil flour—is a nutritional no-brainer. It’s also gluten-free, rich in iron and free of major allergens (like peanuts, tree nuts, soy, sesame, egg and dairy). Reviewers say it tastes mildly nutty like whole wheat pasta, but that the texture can be slightly dry.
3. Chickapea +Greens (24g protein)
Yes, the 24 grams of protein are great, but you also get two full servings of vegetables per 3.5-ounce serving of Chickapea +Greens. This vegan, gluten-free pasta is made from a blend of chickpea, yellow and red lentil flours, plus kale and spinach powders for that veggie bonus. It has 11 grams of fiber and plenty of iron and B vitamins, too.
4. Ancient Harvest Protein Pasta (25g protein)
A blend of green lentil and quinoa flours are behind the 25 grams of protein in this legume pasta from Ancient Harvest. Each serving is also high in potassium and iron, with 7 grams of fiber to keep you satisfied. Reviewers say it tastes very close to traditional pasta but warn to not overcook it.
5. Banza Chickpea Pasta (22g protein)
Banza is a popular alt-pasta option because it’s gluten-free, but at 22 grams per 3.5-ounce serving, it also happens to be one of the highest in protein on the market. That’s because it’s made from chickpeas, which are naturally high in protein. Another bonus? This high protein pasta—which is available in a slew of classic shapes—contains a whopping eight grams of fiber serving, with 25 percent fewer carbs than traditional noodles. And despite being grain-free, its texture and taste are nearly indiscernible from regular pasta. (Just keep an eye on the cooking time to avoid sogginess.)
6. Modern Table Lentil Pasta (21g protein)
Modern Table’s lentil pasta is made from lentils, rice and pea protein, which help it cook up more like traditional pasta than other lentil-only protein pasta varieties. It has five grams of fiber per 3.5-ounce serving, and reviewers mention a “slightly umami” taste that pairs well with bright, savory dishes.
7. ZENB Pasta (17g protein)
With 17 grams of protein per three-ounce serving, ZENB is another great high protein option you can buy. It’s made from whole yellow peas, which are a type of legume (like lentils). What’s more, ZENB pasta contains 11 grams of filling fiber in each serving. The only downsides? It doesn’t come in quite as many shapes as other brands and has 43 grams of net carbohydrates, comparable to a serving of regular wheat pasta if you’re watching your carbs.
8. Barilla Red Lentil Pasta (13g protein)
Another protein-rich option from Barilla is the legume line. We like this penne, which is made entirely from red lentils. It’s gluten-free and vegan-friendly, and each 2-ounce serving contains 13 grams of protein. (Psst: The brand also makes chickpea pasta, but it has slightly less protein.)
9. Barilla Protein+ Pasta (10g protein)
Barilla’s Protein+ line includes seven traditional pasta shapes meant to provide a “classic pasta taste” with the boost of added protein. This pasta is made with a blend of golden wheat and protein from lentils, chickpeas and peas, and has 10 grams of protein per 2-ounce serving (up from 7 grams in the same size serving of regular pasta). TBH, the line is nutritionally more like regular, run-of-the-mill pasta than other options on our list, but if you’re looking for something that tastes traditional, it has the edge. (Also of note: The packaging claims it’s plant-based, but it is made on equipment that processes products with eggs.)
10. Sfoglini Hemp Rigatoni (8g protein)
This New York-based pasta brand is known for its inventive flavors and shapes, and this hemp pasta just happens to have a nutritional advantage too. It contains 8 grams of protein per 2-ounce serving—hemp is a whole plant protein that’s rich in omegas, magnesium, fiber, iron, zinc and phosphorus. The noodles have a subtle nutty flavor that pairs with everything from Parm and butter to summer corn and tomatoes.
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