I’m a big fan of high-protein meals, so when I discovered this delicious high-protein pasta salad recipe, I was instantly hooked! This dish is not only packed with flavor, but also with a good source of protein to help fuel my day. With a combination of whole wheat pasta, grilled chicken, and a delicious homemade dressing, this salad is sure to become a favorite in my household. I can’t wait to share this recipe with you, so let’s get cooking!
High-Protein Pasta Salad Recipe
- 1 16 oz package of whole-wheat pasta
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups cooked and diced chicken
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- Welcome to your High-Protein Pasta Salad cooking adventure! Here’s what you’ll need:
- oz package of whole-wheat pasta
- /4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- cloves garlic, minced
- /4 cup white balsamic vinegar
- teaspoon dried oregano
- /2 teaspoon salt
- /2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- cups cooked and diced chicken
- cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- /2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- cups baby spinach, chopped
- tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- Let’s get cooking!
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes.
- Strain the cooked pasta and transfer it to a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine the garlic, white balsamic vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta and gently toss to combine.
- Add the chicken, tomatoes, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, baby spinach, and basil to the bowl and gently toss again.
- Serve immediately and enjoy your delicious High-Protein Pasta Salad!
- Serving size: 1/5 of recipe
- Calories: 479
- Fat: 19.3g
- Saturated fat: 4.5g
- Carbohydrates: 51.2g
- Fiber: 7.3g
- Sugar: 6.3g
- Protein: 25.6g
- Cholesterol: 54.6mg
- Sodium: 632mg
What other high-protein ingredients can be added to pasta salad?
When it comes to adding high-protein ingredients to a pasta salad, there are so many options! There’s tofu, seitan, tempeh, and even edamame for an extra hit of plant-based protein. For an animal-based protein boost, you could add chicken, tuna, or hard-boiled eggs. Or, you can throw in some nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds, for an additional crunch and protein boost. You could also add some cooked quinoa or cooked lentils to the mix. If you’re looking for a bit of dairy, some crumbled feta or ricotta cheese would also make a delicious addition.
What are the benefits of eating high-protein pasta salad?
The benefits of eating high-protein pasta salad are plentiful! Here are just a few:
- High in Protein: High-protein pasta salad offers a great source of protein, which can help to build and maintain strong muscles, bones, and skin.
- Low in Fat: Unlike regular pasta salad, high-protein pasta salad is low in fat, making it a healthier option for those trying to watch their calorie intake.
- Versatile: High-protein pasta salad can be served as a main dish or side dish, making it a great addition to any meal. Plus, you can customize it to include your favorite ingredients, like vegetables, nuts, and cheese.
- Long Lasting: High-protein pasta salad can last up to five days in the fridge, making it a great meal prep option for busy people who want to get ahead on their meal planning.
What are some tips for making high-protein pasta salad?
Cook the pasta al dente. Al dente pasta will be slightly firm, so it won’t become mushy when mixed with the other ingredients.
- Choose high-protein ingredients. For a high-protein pasta salad, opt for ingredients like hard-boiled eggs, tuna, beans, or lean meats.
- Add in some vegetables. To make your high-protein pasta salad extra nutritious, add some vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, or cucumbers.
- Don’t forget the fat. Healthy fats are important for a balanced meal, so add some olives, nuts, or avocado to your salad.
- Drizzle with a homemade vinaigrette. To add flavor and bring the salad together, mix together olive oil, vinegar, and your favorite herbs and spices.
How do you make a vegan version of high-protein pasta salad?
Making a vegan version of high-protein pasta salad is easy and delicious! Here are the key steps for making this tasty dish:
- Start with a vegan-friendly pasta such as quinoa, lentil, or chickpea-based pasta.
- For protein, mix in your favorite vegan-friendly ingredients such as chickpeas, edamame, nuts, and seeds.
- For flavor, add in fresh herbs, spices, and diced vegetables.
- Dress the salad with a vegan-friendly dressing such as a tahini-based dressing.
- Add in a crunchy topping such as toasted nuts and seeds.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.
Can high-protein pasta salad be prepared ahead of time?
Absolutely! Preparing high-protein pasta salad ahead of time is a great way to save time and energy. Not only does it mean that you can prepare and enjoy a delicious meal without spending time fussing in the kitchen, but it also allows you to have healthy and nutritious meals ready to go when you’re on-the-go.
There are a few simple tricks that can help you make your high-protein pasta salad ahead of time. Firstly, it’s important to select pasta that won’t become soggy when stored in the fridge. Whole wheat, quinoa, and gluten-free pastas are all suitable options. Secondly, always make sure to cook the pasta al dente, as overcooked pasta will become too soft when stored.
When storing your high-protein pasta salad, it’s also important to use a container that is airtight. This will help keep the ingredients fresher for longer. If you’re using a creamy dressing or sauce, it’s best to wait to add it until you’re ready to serve the salad, as the dressing can cause the salad to become soggy.
Finally, if you’re looking to pack your salad for lunch, make sure to carry it in an insulated container with an ice pack to keep its temperature regulated. It’s also a good idea to store the salad away from direct sunlight, as this can make the ingredients spoil quicker.
By following these simple tips, you can prepare a delicious high-protein pasta salad ahead of time and enjoy it fresh when you’re ready to eat.