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5 Protein Pastas That Are Worth The Money

With pasta, there are endless pastabilities for carb loading.

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Pasta is one of the easiest ways to consume digestible carbs in the days leading up to a race. But while we’re all so focused on carb loading, we might forget to pack in the protein while we’re at it. An endurance athlete requires 1.2-1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of weight, and if you’re plant-based, reaching that number can be difficult. 

Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN, says that plant-based protein pasta isn’t necessarily healthier than regular pasta, but it makes it easier for some to meet protein and fiber needs.  

“It’s a great alternative for plant-based runners to get additional protein without relying on adding meat products to pasta dishes,” Schlichter says. “Plus, fiber is an important nutrient mainly found in carbohydrate foods. Many Americans are falling short on daily recommendations for fiber, which range from 25 grams a day for women and 38 grams a day for men.”

These pastas are high in fiber because they’re made with ingredients like edamame, chickpeas, and green lentils. While there might be a plethora of options, Schlichter says it doesn’t make a ton of nutritional difference which you pick.

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“Each bean or legume pasta will have a slightly different nutrition profile, but if a person is eating balanced and varied meals throughout the day, eating edamame pasta versus lentil pasta won’t make a huge difference in overall nutrition,” she says. “It may be catered to a person’s individual budget, taste preference, and what’s accessible.”

We put together our favorite protein pastas below based on nutritional value and taste. 

ZENB Rotini Pasta

Box of 6, $29.99

Serving size: 2 oz.

200 calories

36g carbs

1.5g fat

12g protein

7g fiber 

This pasta is made with yellow peas – a variety of legume with more iron and magnesium than green peas. Yellow peas are packed with vitamins and minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, folate and zinc.  

Why it’s our pick: you can’t beat one single, whole food ingredient!

Tolerant Organic Red Lentil Pasta

Box of 6, $23.94

Serving size: 3 oz.

300 calories

50g carbs

2g fat

21g protein

9g fiber

Tolerant pasta is free of most major allergens like peanuts, dairy, sesame, tree nuts, eggs, soy, and wheat. This pasta has a powerful 21g of plant-protein and 9g of dietary fiber, both of which will leave you feeling satisfied, fueled, and full.

Why it’s our pick: no allergens, no problem! 

Ancient Harvest Protein Pasta: Green Lentil Penne

Box of 6, $25.99

Serving size: 2 oz.

200 calories

37g carbs

1g fat

14g protein

2g fiber

Ancient Harvest’s Protein Green Lentil Penne Pasta is made with green lentil flour and organic quinoa flour, both great plant-based proteins. This brand is great for variety, as it comes in elbow, angel hair, rotini, and more. While it’s a little lower in fiber, the amount of protein makes up for it in our eyes.

Why it’s our pick: variety, variety, variety!

RELATED: What Kind of Protein Should Runners Be Eating?

The Only Bean Pasta

Box of 6, $28.99

Serving size: 2 oz.

190 calories

20g carbs

3.5g fat

25g protein

10g fiber

Made with black beans, The Only Bean Pasta Black Bean Spaghetti has a whopping 25g of protein in a 2 oz. serving. With one powerhouse ingredient – organic black soybeans – this pasta contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, great for your digestive system.

Why it’s our pick: 25g of protein. Do we need to say more?

Barilla Protein+

One box, $2.50

Serving size: 2 oz.

190 calories

28g carbs

1g fat

10g protein

5g fiber

This pasta is Schlichter’s pick, with a single serving offering 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. “It’s available in pretty much all grocery stores at a good price point,” she says. “And the fiber content isn’t overly high, so it may be a great protein pasta to ease into.”

Why it’s her pick: great price point and can be found in most major grocery stories. 

Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN, is the creator of Bucket List Tummy and Nutrition for Running, and co-host of the endurance podcast, Nail Your Nutrition



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