Summer Protein Pasta

Healthy Summer Pasta Recipe

On my Instagram story Q&A last week, someone asked me what my go-to healthy weeknight dinner recipe was. I shared my love for Banza pasta, and how I prepare it for an easy dinner at home. You could use any pasta for this recipe, I just like Banza because it’s super high in protein (25g per serving) and is low in carbs. Great for those bikini bodies!

By the way, this is in no way sponsored, I’m just a huge fan of the product and wanted to share the love! I’ve tried other bean-based pastas, but nothing has compared so far. If you’ve found any others that you love, let me know. Banza is definitely not cheap. At my local stores, it ranges from $9-$10/box (I usually buy mine on Thrive Market for $2.95), but given that I usually don’t buy meat for this dish, I can justify that cost if I need to run out and buy it at the store.

This is one of many ways that I like to incorporate protein into my diet as someone who doesn’t eat a ton of meat. I’ll be sharing all of my protein tips next week, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, enjoy this recipe that incorporates two of my favorite summer ingredients: tomato and basil. It’s a fresh and light dish, but the added protein from the pasta really fills you up. Just a warning, you think you’ll be able to finish a huge bowl of it and then you might might have to slow down halfway throuhg.

Scroll down for the full recipe. I hope you love it as much as we do! PS You could easily make this vegan by removing the Parmesan, and using a vegan pesto.

The best summer pasta recipe

Banza Pasta

Summery Protein Pasta
Makes 4 servings

1 box, Banza pasta (I like the rotini, but any kind is fine!)
1 tablespoon, olive oil
1 large clove, garlic
1 tspn, red pepper flakes
Optional: 1 lb, organic chicken sausage
1 can, white cannelloni beans, rinsed
1 head of kale, stems removed, chopped OR 2 large handfuls of baby spinach, chopped
1 cup (or more), basil pesto (my vegan pesto recipe is the best)
3/4 cup, baby tomatoes, cut in half
Sea salt, to taste
Parmesan cheese, to taste

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Rinse thoroughly.
While pasta is cooking, heat oil, red pepper flakes, and garlic in a large sauté pan until fragrant
Add chicken sausage (if using), and cook until browned
Add beans and cook, stirring for about 2-3 minutes
Add greens and cook for 2-3 more minutes
Add cooked pasta and salt, and give it a good stir
Remove from heat and mix in pesto
Serve the pasta mix in large bowls and top with tomatoes and a generous helping of Parmesan cheese

Summer Pasta Salad

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  1. Alexia said:

    Nice summer recipe! If you’re interested in other pastas you can try the red lentil pasta from Trader Joes. It holds up well and is a nice change! We prefer it with a red sauce and a hot chicken sausage.

    5.31.17 · Reply
  2. Brittany Olander said:

    this looks so good- i’m always trying to get protein in my picky eating toddler and this stuff looks like a good way, thanks!

    xo, brittany
    cute rompers round up on my blog today!

    5.31.17 · Reply
  3. graceatwood said:

    okay this sounds so good. I love pasta but don’t eat it because… carbs. Going to order some banza!

    5.31.17 · Reply
    • Do it! You’ll be so happy. I’m a serious addict…

      5.31.17 · Reply
  4. Yum Julia! I can’t wait to try to make this. Any easy pasta dish is right up my alley!
    Xo lauren

    5.31.17 · Reply
  5. Ashley said:

    This looks amazing! You just convinced me to order a few boxes from Thrive with this weeks order. I think it’ll be great post baby for an EASY meal that my mom or I could whip up in between feedings.

    5.31.17 · Reply
    • Exactly! Couldn’t be faster to make and good extra protein for that milk supply 🙂

      6.1.17 · Reply
  6. Carly said:

    This meal looks delish! I could seriously put pesto on everything.

    You’re right about the Banza pasta being so expensive! Especially considering a box isn’t even a full pound of pasta. I know it’s not gluten free, but we use Barilla ProteinPLUS. It’s about the same price as regular pasta and at 17g of protein per serving, it gets the job done for us!

    5.31.17 · Reply
    • Oh interesting! I’ll have to try that. I haven’t seen it but will be on the lookout now.

      6.1.17 · Reply
  7. Jane said:

    This looks really good and easy!

    5.31.17 · Reply
  8. Katherine said:

    This seriously looks so good. Your posts have been so great lately – you seem so happy even though I know you probably don’t feel your best! Thanks for keeping up with great content 🙂

    5.31.17 · Reply
    • Thank you so much for saying that! It’s been a serious struggle in my third trimester, but trying to keep it positive 🙂

      6.1.17 · Reply
  9. Brittany Cerminara said:

    I tried the Banza and was not a huge fan, but I do love the Quinoa/Brown Rice pasta at Trader Joe’s. Can’t wait to try this recipe tonight!

    6.1.17 · Reply
  10. Molly said:

    I found Banza at Whole Foods (in MD) last week for $3.99!

    6.8.17 · Reply
  11. I wanted to come back and tell you that we made this and my husband was raving about it. It was super delicious, thank you!

    6.8.17 · Reply
  12. Aimee said:

    Made this tonight with pesto I had on hand and it was delicious! Going to try it next time with your pesto recipe. Thank you for sharing!

    6.12.17 · Reply