Kidney Diet Tips

Protein Pasta, Please!

What is protein pasta?

Simply put, it is a pasta product that has enough plant protein sources to become a protein-dense food. This is a great option to include in your diet if you are looking for alternative food choices to increase your protein intake, looking for more plant protein options, follow a vegetarian diet or if you do not like meat-heavy meals.

These pastas also add nutritional value to your meals. Benefits of protein pastas include:

  • High amount of fiber
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • High protein versus regular pastas

When you eat protein, your body uses it to build and repair muscles, making it easier to recover from exercise or injuries. Protein also boosts your immune system, helping your body fight off infections. Plus, eating protein makes you feel full for longer, which can help you manage your weight.

Types of Protein Pasta

  • Lentil
  • Edamame
  • Chickpea
  • Quinoa
  • Mixed multi-grain

Each has their own taste, texture and nutritional value. Some distinct flavors and textures include nuttiness and tenderness with the quinoa pasta; earthy flavor and tenderness with edamame and lentil pastas; and nuttiness and chewiness with the chickpea pasta. Cooking instructions on the box are simple to follow and are similar to regular pastas.  

Ideas for Using Protein Pasta

Protein pastas are quite easy to use in your diet any day of the week! Enjoy these pastas with your sauce of choice and any favorite vegetables, and herbs and spices for garnish and flavor. They are an easy substitute for any pasta type to enrich your meals. You can find varieties of spaghetti, penne, elbow, rotini and cavatappi at your local grocery store in the pasta aisle.

There are many health benefits to choosing protein pastas in your diet. The major differences between protein pasta and regular pasta are that protein pastas are high in protein, low in carbohydrates, a good source of energy and some are even gluten-free. There are also countless pasta recipes to try with these substitutions that will enhance any pasta meal.

Bon appétit!

References: Accessed 7/2/2024 Accessed 12/1/2023.

Additional Kidney Diet Resources

Visit and explore these diet and nutrition resources:

DaVita Food Analyzer

DaVita Dining Out Guides

Today’s Kidney Diet Cookbooks

DaVita Kidney-Friendly Recipes

Diet and Nutrition Articles                                                                              

Diet and Nutrition Videos

Kidney Smart® Virtual Classes

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.

Justine Magallanez, MS, RDN, LDN

Justine Magallanez, MS, RDN, LDN

Justine, a registered dietitian for 7 years, is a DaVita renal dietitian. She has experience in long term care and menu planning, and is passionate about her experience in oncology nutrition. She is a native Texan living with her husband and young son. When Justine is not working, she enjoy gardening, reading and paddle boarding.