Healthy Cooking

6 High-Protein Pasta Salad Recipes for Your Next Summer Get-Together

Francesca Krempa

Photo: Stocksy / Susan Brooks / DAMMANN
Pasta salad is easy enough to throw together for a large group and the leftovers often taste even better the next day. Most healthy pasta salad recipes only require a few fresh ingredients, like mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, olives, or grilled chicken, which makes it a budget-friendly dinner idea for a family, too. In fact, there’s really no wrong way to make a pasta salad if you’re feeling creative.

High-protein pasta salad recipes make an especially a satisfying meal with plenty of carbohydrates to fuel your body. (Tip: Banza chickpea pasta, in a variety of shapes, adds even more protein to every bite.)

If you’re looking for high-protein pasta salad recipes brimming with healthy goodness, you’ve come to the right spot.

The best high-protein pasta salad recipes

1. Kale pasta salad

Looking for a way to clean out the fridge and make use of some leftovers? Chef Klancy Miller’s kale pasta salad is all about creatively using what you have to make a pasta salad that’s tasty and good for you. This recipe calls for fusilli mixed in with some not-so-classic ingredients, like walnut halves (for a boost of protein), zesty turmeric (for a little kick), and pomegranate seeds (yes, you use fruit in pasta salad recipes). The result? A dish that’s loaded with protein, fiber, and healthy fats that only takes 30-minutes to make.

2. Spicy soba noodle salad

Photo: W+G creative

No, not all pasta salad has to be slathered in mayonnaise and served chilly. This spicy salad nixes the elbow macaroni and instead uses soba noodles, a buckwheat noodle from Japan, as the star of the show. Developed by chef and Well+Good Council member Candice Kumai, this dish is topped with savory Alaskan scallops for protein along with hearty greens and the tangiest soy dressing you could ever imagine.

Get the recipe: Spicy soba noodle salad

3. Creamy vegan white pasta with summer vegetables

If you’re a fan of a veggie-filled dish, this one’s for you. Minimalist Baker’s vegan white pasta dish is brimming with sauteed summer veggies like red onion, summer squash, leafy spinach and fresh tomatoes. It’s entirely plant-based, making it a great vegan meal to whip-up, while its cashew-based sauce give it an extra punch of protein. Eat it hot off the stove or chill it for a crisp pasta salad the next day.

Get the recipe: Creamy vegan white pasta with summer vegetables 

4. Sesame and broccoli noodle salad

high-protein pasta salad recipes
Photo: Deliciously Ella

Deliciously Ella’s colorful sesame and broccoli noodle salad is definitely not your mother’s pasta salad. Between the crunchy broccoli florets, crunchy cashews, and creamy tahini, this savory salad is delicious and nutritious. It’s a great choice is you’re looking to make use of more leftovers for a deliciously vegan meal.

Get the recipe: Sesame and broccoli noodle salad 

5. Italian chicken pasta salad

Photo: Averie Cooks

Here’s a classic to bring to your next summer picnic. Averie Cooks’ Italian chicken pasta salad has all the fixings of a traditional pasta salad, like tomatoes, zucchini, and bell pepper. Throw in some grilled chicken breast, basil, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning, however, and you have a tasty twist on the traditional dish.

Get the recipe: Italian chicken pasta salad 

6. Grilled Broccoli and pepperoncini pasta salad with basil

high-protein pasta salad recipes
Photo: The First Mess

This is the perfect recipe to keep you cool in the hot summer heat. The First Mess’ grilled broccoli and pepperoncini pasta salad has a little bit of everything: summer vegetables, chickpeas, crispy peppers, and crumbled vegan cheese, to name a few. But the real hero of this dish is the lemony oregano dressing, which effortlessly complements all those savory flavors.

Get the recipe: Grilled Broccoli and pepperoncini pasta salad with basil 

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