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In need of a high-protein dinner you can feed your family/particular-eating kiddos and make in less than 15 minutes? Then, don’t miss this easy high-protein pasta recipe. It’s a home run! My kids devour plain red sauce on noodles, and I was tired of them not having enough protein in their meals. So, I came up with this healthy cottage cheese pasta sauce. 

❤️ Why You’ll Love This High-Protein Pasta Recipe

  • High in Protein: One cup of whole milk cottage cheese has 28 grams of protein.
  • Fast and Easy: It doesn’t get much easier than blending a few ingredients and boiling some pasta!
  • Crowd-pleaser: If your kiddos like marinara on their noodles, then they’re sure to enjoy this high-protein sauce. It’s a pretty pinkish-orange color instead of red but tastes like marinara.
  • Meal Prep: Whip up this sauce the day before and refrigerate it until you’re ready to eat. Warm it on the stove and boil pasta, and you’re good to go!
  • Great for Vegetarians: This recipe offers a fantastic way to increase your protein intake without including meat.

🍝 High-Protein Pasta Ingredients 

  • Pasta: Use your favorite kind of pasta. I love Jovial pasta, egg noodles, homemade pasta, or fresh pasta from the grocery store.
  • Marinara Sauce: You can use store-bought or homemade marinara. Primal Kitchen is my favorite.
  • Whole-Milk Cottage Cheese gives this pasta sauce extra protein and a creamy texture.
  • Butter enhances the flavor and adds creaminess.
  • Crushed Red Pepper adds a little spice and complexity. Don’t worry, though–it’s just a quarter teaspoon, so it won’t be too spicy for children.
  • Vegetable or Chicken Broth: Bonafide Provisions is my favorite broth because it has clean ingredients, which makes it much more flavorful than other brands.

Watch me make this high-protein cottage cheese pasta sauce on Instagram.

👩‍🍳 How to Make High-Protein Pasta

  1. Pasta: Boil a pot of salted water. Cook your pasta according to package directions, and then drain it in a colander.
  2. High-Protein Pasta Sauce: Add the marinara, cottage cheese, butter, red pepper, and broth to a blender or food processor. Blend until the consistency is smooth.
  3. How to Serve: Pour the sauce over the noodles and toss to coat.

🪄 Tips and Tricks

  • How to Heat the Sauce: After you blend the pasta sauce, pour it into a small pot to reheat on the stove. You can also microwave it for 30 seconds.

🗒 Variations

  • Protein: Cook some diced chicken, ground turkey, Italian turkey sausage, or ground beef in a skillet and add to the pasta for a protein boost.
  • Vegetables: Add veggies, like mushrooms, bell peppers, or zucchini, to the sauce.
  • Herbs: Top your pasta with fresh basil or oregano.

🗒 Substitutions 

  • Gluten-Free Pasta: If you’re gluten-free, substitute the noodles for your favorite GF brand.
  • Cottage Cheese: Substitute low-fat cottage cheese.
  • Red Pepper: Omit the red pepper to keep the pasta mild.
  • Liquid: If you don’t have broth, use the pasta cooking water. Before you drain the pasta, scoop a cup of water into a mug or measuring cup.
  • Consistency: If you prefer a thicker pasta sauce, use less broth. For a thinner sauce, add more broth or marinara.
  • Want more protein? Serve this blended cottage cheese pasta sauce over high-protein pasta, like one made from chickpeas or lentils.

🍽️ Best served with

I’d serve this vegetarian high-protein pasta with a green salad or vegetable, like air fryer green beans or asparagus. For a meat option, it’d be excellent with chicken, steak, or fish on the side.

👝 How to Store

This high-protein pasta sauce will last for five days in the fridge. To reheat it, microwave it until warm.

It’s also perfect for freezing. 

  • Store it in small one- or two-cup containers so you can pull out small servings as needed. You can also freeze it in smaller portions–pour it into a silicone muffin pan. Once frozen, store in a zip-locked bag or freezer-safe container.
  •  Having frozen sauce means you will have quick and easy dinner options for busy weeknights. Just thaw the sauce the day before or reheat it while frozen in the microwave or on the stove.

🤔 Common Questions

What can you add to pasta for more protein?

Cottage cheese is one of the best things to add to pasta sauce for protein. Even if you’re not a cottage cheese fan, once it’s blended with the marinara, you won’t even know it’s there! You can also buy high-protein pasta and add chicken, sausage, or ground meat.

Can I use low-fat cottage cheese instead of whole-milk cottage cheese?

Yes, this high-protein sauce would also work with low-fat cottage cheese.

Can I use Alfredo instead of marinara sauce?

If you’re more of an Alfredo sauce fan, feel free to swap it for the marinara.

How can I add more flavor to the sauce?

Salt, dried or fresh herbs, onion powder, and garlic powder are all great ways to enhance the sauce’s flavor.

15-Minute High-Protein Pasta

This high-protein pasta cooks in just 15 minutes and is sure to please even the most particular kiddos! Serve this blended cottage cheese sauce over your favorite pasta for quick and easy dinner.

Equipment

  • Blender or food processor

Ingredients 

  • 16 ounces pasta
  • 1 cup marinara
  • 1 cup whole milk cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Instructions 

  • Boil salted water and cook any pasta of your choice according to package directions. Strain once done.
  • Make your sauce by adding marinara, cottage cheese, butter, crushed red pepper, and broth to a blender or food processor.
  • Heat the sauce on stove in a small pot and serve over pasta.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Make this recipe?Mention @itsnicolejaques or tag #nicolejaques!

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About Nicole Jaques

I’m a wife, mom of two, home cook, and avid entertainer. I have developed my own DIY cleaners that are low tox and take pride in having a home that is clean and organized. However, I am human! I like to see dirt under my nails from my garden and my children’s handprints on my windows, and I’m one of the messiest cooks you’ll ever meet!

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