This healthy high protein tomato pasta with chicken & spinach is so creamy but has no cream. The smooth cottage cheese gives it a luscious texture and along with spinach and chicken a protein boost. With 41.5 grams of protein per serving, and only 487 calories, this a great option for those looking to up their protein intake.
Cottage Cheese is having the biggest moment on social media right now. People are coming up with the most incredible recipes using this humble ingredient. I love how it adds an instant protein boost without too many calories.
Check out my recent recipe for high-protein cottage cheese waffles which are so delicious and so nutritious, or my cottage cheese toast ideas (easy, healthy, tartines).
It is better to use smooth cottage cheese here and lucky we can buy it that way. If you can’t find it, simply process crumbly cottage cheese in a small food processor until smooth.
Cottage cheese has always been a staple in a weight loss regime. Growing up, my mother ate a lot of it when she was dieting. Fortunately, there are way more exciting ways to eat it now.
I add it to my scrambled eggs, spread it on toast with avo and egg, add it to pancakes and waffles, and dollop it into any sauce that’s appropriate.
What are the health benefits of cottage cheese:
- Cottage cheese is a versatile and delicious ingredient, that offers numerous health benefits. Firstly, as mentioned, cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein, making it a favourite among people looking to support muscle growth and repair.
- It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. Additionally, cottage cheese is low in carbohydrates and fat, making it a suitable choice for those following a low-carb or low-fat diet.
- Cottage cheese has loads of calcium which is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth.
- Furthermore, cottage cheese contains beneficial nutrients like phosphorus, selenium, and B vitamins, which support various bodily functions, including energy metabolism and cell health.
San Remo asked me to make a recipe reel for Instagram and so this creamy high protein tomato pasta with chicken & spinach came about. I used the gluten-free pasta in the range which you wouldn’t know was gluten-free. It has the same taste and texture as regular pasta.
As a carbohydrate-obsessed person who is currently on a weight-loss journey, I was beyond thrilled to discover that pasta has a decent amount of protein in it. It adds calories for sure, but with portion control and added protein, I can incorporate this into my healthy eating regime.
Health benefits of chicken breast meat:
Chicken breast is widely regarded as an excellent source of protein due to its remarkable nutritional profile and numerous health benefits. Packed with high-quality, complete protein, chicken breast contains all the essential amino acids that our bodies require for muscle growth, repair, and overall maintenance. Its lean nature, with minimal amounts of saturated fats, makes it an optimal choice for those looking to maintain a healthy weight and cardiovascular health.
The versatility of chicken breast allows for various cooking methods, making it easy to incorporate into a wide range of dishes. Additionally, its rich protein content helps promote satiety, aiding in appetite control and weight management.
Tips and substitutions for this High-protein creamy pasta sauce:
- To make this vegetarian, replace the chicken with tofu.
- To lower the carbohydrate count of this dish, you can use this sauce on spaghetti squash or other cooked vegetables of your choice.
- To increase the protein count, add another chicken breast. You will need to adjust the calories too.
- If you are not worried about calories, add crispy bacon to this pasta and it would be even more delicious.
- I have used low-fat cottage cheese in this recipe as that is what I prefer, but you could use fat-free, or full-fat.
Nutritional information of the high protein tomato pasta sauce with chicken and spinach
The nutritional information is based on the San Remo gluten-free pasta that I used for this recipe. It happens to be dairy and egg free too making it vegan. The product is 98% fat-free and cooks in 8-10 minutes.
Check the protein and calorie count of the pasta you use and adjust. Wholewheat pasta is lower in calories and has a different protein value.
San Remo also has a high-protein pasta made from grains which has a mind-boggling amount of protein in it.
This recipe makes 4 generous portions with a total of 487 calories per portion and 41.5 grams of protein.
Other recipes you might like:
Recipe – Makes 4 generous portions.
High-protein tomato pasta with chicken & spinach
- 2 Tbsp olive oil dividend
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- Pinch of chilli flakes optional and add more if you like it spicy
- 2 x 400gm tins of chopped peeled tomatoes
- 2 tsp sugar optional
- 200 gms smooth low-fat cottage cheese
- 15 gms fresh basil chopped
- 100 gms baby spinach leaves or normal roughly chopped
- 250 gms San Remo gluten-free penne
- 3 skinless boneless chicken breasts cooked how you would like to see notes
- 30 gm parmesan freshly grated to serve
- Sea salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a medium to large pot and sauté the onions until softened and translucent. About 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and pinch of chilli and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add the 2 tins of tomatoes and season the sauce well with salt and pepper. Cook on a gentle heat for 45 minutes.
- While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add a generous amount of salt (1 tablespoon for 5 litres of water).
- Cook the pasta according to the pack's instructions and to the level of al dente you prefer.
- Cook the chicken in advance either grilling, pan frying, oven or air frying. Brush the breasts with the second tablespoon of olive oil and cook as desired. Remember to season well with any of your favourite seasonings such as garlic powder, salt, herbs etc.
- If you are wanting a smoother sauce, blitz the sauce with a stick blender. Alternatively, leave it chunky.
- Add the smooth cottage cheese to the sauce and stir to combine.
- Add the shredded basil and chopped spinach and simmer for about 3 minutes on low until cooked.
- Add the chopped chicken and cooked pasta and heat through as needed.
- Check to season and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Dish up 4 generous bowls and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.