Three High Protein Pasta Recipes

The truth about pasta. Why is it so great?

Spaghetti, ravioli, tortellini, penne and lasagna are just a few of the 600 of pasta shapes in existence, according to the National Pasta Association. Pasta is classified into categories according to its size such as short, long, cooked in broth, dumpling-like, stretched or stuffed. The word ‘pasta’ in Italian translates to dough and is commonly made from flour, water or eggs. 

Fresh pasta is made with plain or ‘000 flour and dried pasta is made from durum wheat. Pasta naturally contains low amounts of sodium, is cholesterol free and provides essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, thiamin, riboflavin, fibre and folic acid. Eating pasta as part of a balanced diet has numerous benefits that include lower rates of metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, some cancers and improved aging and mortality. One serve of pasta equates to ½ a cup or 75-120g of cooked pasta. According to the Australian Guide to Healthy eating is recommended to eat between 3-9 serves of carbohydrate foods per day, depending on age and sex. So eating one serve of pasta, can contribute to your daily carbohydrate intake. 

Pasta is carbohydrate rich food, that provides our body with energy and fuel to think, move and do things we enjoy. When pasta is made from high protein durum wheat and cooked ‘al dente’ (soft and somewhat firm) is has a low glycaemic index (G.I.). A Low G.I. food refers to how rapidly carbohydrates impact your blood glucose and insulin levels. Consuming a low G.I food allows for slower digestion and a gradual increase in blood glucose and insulin levels, making you feel fuller for longer. 

Reheating pasta can enhance the availability of resistant starch, a component of dietary fiber, in the dish. Resistant starch is more difficult to digest where it normally does, which is in the small intestine. Therefore, it surpasses the small intestines to the large bowel where it helps your gut bacteria stay happy and balanced. 

As evident from the information provided, pasta boasts numerous advantages, making it a great choice in the context of a healthy and balanced diet. Not only does pasta have a minimal environmental impact, but it is also cost-effective, readily available, easy to prepare and store, convenient, and versatile in terms of various types, sauces, and accompaniments. 

Salmon Pesto Pasta (Serves 4)



  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil (60g)
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 25g cashews
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Salmon & Pasta

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g salmon fillet
  • ½ tsp salt 
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 400g cherry tomatoes halved 
  • 120g rocket
  • 400g pasta of choice 



  1. Place peeled garlic, pine nuts and cashews in a saucepan over a medium heat, until slightly brown.
  2. Place garlic, pine nuts, cashews, basil leaves, olive oil, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper into a food processor, blender or mortar and pestle. Blend/combine until mixture is smooth.

Salmon Fillet

  1. Heat saucepan on a medium heat, once hot add olive oil and salmon fillets. Cook for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Remove from saucepan, remove skin and flake salmon into pieces.


  1. Boil water in a large pot, add pasta and a pinch of salt.
  2. Cook as per instructions.
  3. Save 1 cup of pasta water to add to the sauce.
  4. Combine pesto, pasta and pasta water.
  5. Gently stir in cherry tomatoes, rocket and salmon into pasta and serve. 

Creamy Capsicum Chicken Pasta (serves 4)


Capsicum Sauce

  • 160g raw cashews
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 3 large red capsicums
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 brown onion
  • ½ tsp of salt 
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp of chili flakes (optional)

Chicken & Pasta

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 300g of chicken breast
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ¼ bunch of basil leaves
  • 400g pasta of choice



  1. Dice onion and garlic. 
  2. Cut capsicum into pieces.
  3. Heat saucepan on a medium heat, once hot add olive oil, onion, garlic, capsicum, cashews and pine nuts. Cook for 8-10 minutes until ingredients are slightly brown.
  4. Add onion, garlic, capsicum, cashews, pine nuts, salt, pepper and chilli flakes to a blender. Blend until smooth and combined. 


  1. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. 
  2. Heat saucepan on a medium heat, once hot add olive oil.
  3. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes or until brown. Remove from saucepan.


  1. Boil water in a large pot, add pasta and a pinch of salt.
  2. Cook as per instructions.
  3. Save 1 cup of pasta water to add to the sauce.
  4. Combine pasta, sauce and pasta water in saucepan and cook for a few minutes until pasta is cooked and the sauce has thickened.
  5. Add chicken pieces to the pasta and sauce and mix through.
  6. Garnish with basil, cheese and chili flakes (optional)

Turkey and Vegetable Pasta – Serves 4


  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 500g of turkey mince 
  • 1 tbsp of mixed Italian herbs
  • ½ tsp of salt
  •  ½ tsp of pepper
  • 2 tsp of tomato paste
  • 2x400g tinned tomatoes 
  • 1 capsicum
  • 5 mushrooms
  • 1 small handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 400g of your choice of pasta


  1. Finely dice onion, garlic and capsicum. Cut mushroom in halves and slice thinly.
  2. Heat saucepan on medium heat, when hot add olive oil and onion. Saute onions for 3 minutes or until slightly brown.
  3. Add turkey mince to saucepan and break it apart into small pieces with spoon. Cook mince for 5-10 minutes or until slightly brown. 
  4. Add garlic, mixed Italian herbs, salt, pepper and tomato paste to saucepan and stir.
  5. Add capsicum, mushrooms and tinned tomato to saucepan and cook for 20 minutes or until liquid reduces on a low heat. Stir occasionally throughout the 20 minutes.
  6. Boil water in a large pot, add a pinch of salt and pasta. Cook as per packet instructions. 
  7. Once pasta is cooking, save ½-1 cup of pasta water.
  8. Drain pasta and add to the saucepan with the additional pasta water. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until water is absorbed into the pasta and the sauce becomes thick.
  9. Serve with basil leaves and your favourite type of cheese (optional)

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