Given up carbs and craving pasta? A new breed of high protein pastas might be just what you need. Healthista has picked the best
Life can be tough when you’re trying to hit a high protein intake. Especially if you just caught Jamie Oliver on the television whipping up a beautiful pasta dish. But instead of switching off the telly and avoiding carb-laden pasta altogether, trade it in for a yummy pasta alternative. Healthista rounds up the best types of protein pasta that’ll keep your happy tum feeling full and satisfied AND keep you within your macros score.
Best for gluten-free folk: Organ Buckwheat Spirals
Protein: 11.2g per 100g
Calories: 362 calories per 100g
These pasta spirals are made from two ingredients, a little bit of rice flour and (you guessed it) – buckwheat! That means they’re both wheat and gluten-free (yes, it’s time to tune in #gf people). Even though it has wheat in the name, buckwheat isn’t related to wheat at all and actually belongs to the rhubarb family of plants.
Where can I get it? Organ Buckwheat is available for £2.19 here.
Best for a powerful protein-punch: Dr Zaks High Protein Pasta
Protein: a whopping 50g protein per 100g pasta
Calories: 372 calories per 100g
Dr Zak’s pasta is made with traditional durum wheat, which is perhaps why it’s the closest tasting and feeling to the real thing you’re likely to get from a pasta alternative. But don’t be fooled – it still has 55 percent less carbohydrate than traditional white pasta. So where does the protein come from? Soya? Nope. The pasta is free from soya (great for allergic-types) and instead, the brand uses a combination of pea protein isolate and fresh eggs (sorry vegans).
Where can I get it? Dr Zak’s high protein pasta is available for £4.99 here.
Best for the environment: Clearspring Organic Chickpea Pasta
Protein: 22g protein per 100g
Calories: 357 calories per 100g
Chickpeas are a famously high source of protein for those on a vegan/veggie diet. This organic pasta is made from naturally gluten-free chickpea flour and a pinch of psyllium husk (for extra fibre). Clearspring say that not only is it great with your favourite sauce but also tastes great in a salad in the sunnier months. Plus it’s produced in a gluten and wheat free factory that only uses renewable energy – wow!
Where can I get it? Clearspring Chickpea Pasta is available for £3.49 here.
Best for surprising dinner guests: Bugsolutely Cricket Pasta
Protein: 21.7g protein per 100g
Calories: 388 calories per 100g
Maybe keep the content of this pasta secret until after your dinner guests have tried it (providing they’re not veggie!) The pasta is made up of 80 percent wheat flour and the other 20 percent is cricket. Yep, the Jiminy kind. The brand says the pasta’s distinctive brown colour matches its earthy taste. Not only is cricket pasta good for you (it contains high levels of protein, calcium, iron, vitamin B12 and Omega 3) but it’s also good for the world. Crickets need very little water and according to the United Nations and this TED Talk, eating insects is the future – best get used to it now.
Where can I get it? Bugsolutely Cricket Pasta is available for £5.90 here.
Best for beautifying your dish: Profusion Lentil and Flax Penne
Protein: 26.3g per 100g
Calories: 379 calories per 100g
This red lentil and flax penne from Profusion is packed with protein and natural flax fibre (it has 7.4g fibre per 100g). The pasta is gluten and grain free so it offers a fun and tasty alternative to traditional wheat pasta – bye, bye starchy carbs. The pasta is easy and quick to cook PLUS doesn’t that gorgeous red colour promises to make your dinner look seriously Insta-worthy?
Where can I get it? Profusion Lentil and Flax Penne is available for £3.49 here.
Best for ingredients: Food for Life Ezekiel Wholegrain Fettuccine
Protein: 16g per 100g
Calories: 375 calories per 100g
While the other types of pasta on this list boast having minimal ingredients, that is the real selling point of this Food for Life fettuccine. Ezekiel pasta is made from sprouted grains, legumes and seeds – wheat, barley, millet, lentils, soybeans and grain spelt to be exact. The brand says the food is sprouted to maximise the nutritional benefit (it contains lots of iron) and digestibility. This completely flourless pasta is a complete protein.
Where can I get it? Ezekiel Wholegrain Fettuccine is available for £4.79 here.
Best for fibre: Really Healthy Pasta Mungbean Penne
Protein: 23.6g protein per 100g
Calories: 327 calories per 100g
This mung bean pasta is big on protein AND fibre. It contains 16.7g of fibre per 100g. It’s completely organic, cooks up in just five minutes, is gluten free (has zero additives, fillers or GMO) and in fact is only actually made from ONE ingredient (if you don’t count water). Mung bean flour is a colourful alternative to wheat pasta for any gluten-free people with a penchant for pasta.
Where can I get it? Really Healthy Pasta Mungbean Penne is available for £2.99 here.
Best for vegan bodybuilders: Rustichella Pasta Young High Protein Pasta
Protein: 50g protein per 100g!
Calories: 360 calories per 100g
Much like Dr Zak’s, this pasta alternative has 55 percent fewer carbs than your usual pasta PLUS it packs a whopping punch of 50g protein per 100g. The main difference? This one is perfect for you vegan types. Rather than egg, the protein in this pasta comes largely from soy. Apart from isolated soy protein, the only other ingredients are durum wheat semolina, gluten and wheat fibre.
Where can I get it? Rustichella Pasta Young High Protein Pasta is available for £4.99 here.
Best for a nutrient-dense swap: Atlantic Kitchen Sea Spaghetti Organic Seaweed
Calories: 178 calories per 100g
Protein: 10g per 100g
Word on the street is, seaweed is THE health food to have in your cupboard this year. Even everyone’s favourite prime time telly chef, Jamie Oliver himself is a fan, calling the stuff ‘the most nutritious vegetable in the world.’ Sea spaghetti is not only high in magnesium but it also contains heaps of iodine (helps with your thyroid), calcium AND vitamin C – phew! Not to mention the fact that it contains around half the calories of the rest of the pastas on this list.
Where can I get it? Atlantic Kitchen Sea Spaghetti Organic Seaweed is available for £5.95 here.