This gluten free pasta is super cheesy, creamy, delicious, and tastes like a taco in a bowl! It's also high in protein, with 45 grams per serving!
It's been a while since I posted a cheesy + meaty recipe! I usually love eating fresh foods like salad, but sometimes, especially when the weather gets cooler, I start to crave richer meals.
I do, however, like to keep things light--although this meal is very creamy, it's also lightened up with lower fat alternatives. I'm not saying that fat is bad for you, I'm just saying that too much of it doesn't always make me feel great.
Another thing that's great about this pasta: it tastes like a taco! But better, because it doesn't fall apart 😉 It's also packed with veggies, but you really can't tell!
One simple swap helps this dish become gluten free as well as high in protein, with 45 grams per serving! It's all in the pasta...and a few other additions too 🙂
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So what's the swap? Using chickpea pasta instead of regular! This adds an entire 10 grams of protein per serving, plus a good amount of fiber too. This is the brand I use and I absolutely love it. It really doesn't taste like chickpeas at all...my family had no idea!
Another option is red lentil pasta, if you can't have chickpeas for any reason. You can get them here...both are great options!
The more obvious sources of protein are ground turkey and black beans, which also add a ton more flavor! And there are three more: mushrooms, greek yogurt, and nutritional yeast!
Mushrooms aren't known for being high in protein, but they do have a lot to offer. We're using an entire pound here, adding 15 grams to the whole dish. Plus, they also add some "meatiness" to it too!
As for the greek yogurt, we're not using a ton. It's mostly there to add some creaminess, but you are also adding 6 grams of protein. I use nonfat to keep it light, but use whatever fat content you have. Just make sure it's plain and not flavored.
And finally, nutritional yeast--no, it's not just for vegans! Nutritional yeast offers so many health benefits including (complete) protein, antioxidants, and vitamins, including B12! It adds an additional level of cheesiness to the cheese we're already using, but without the extra heaviness. This is the brand I love!
I really hope you like this recipe! If you decide to make it, be sure to post a picture/story and tag me @nutritiousdelights on Instagram--I'd love to see it!💗
More recipes you might love:
Cheesy High Protein Taco Pasta (Healthy, Gluten Free)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms finely chopped
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 large zucchini grated
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 15 oz can black beans
- 1 cup frozen or fresh corn
- 2 cups tomato puree
- 6 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ cup plain greek yogurt any fat content (I used nonfat)
- 3 cups spinach
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast optional
- ½ cup low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese or full fat
- ½ cup low moisture part skim cheddar cheese or full fat
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic herb seasoning
- ½ teaspoon dried coriander
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder optional
- ½ teaspoon onion powder optional
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 8.8 oz chickpea pasta*
- In a large pan or medium pot, heat oil to 75% heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, then add mushrooms and zucchini. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated and the vegetables have wilted. Add in the turkey and break it up into small pieces, then cook until browned and has an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add in the black beans and corn and all of the seasonings. Lower the heat and add the yogurt, nutritional yeast, cheeses, cooked pasta, and spinach. Cook until the cheese is melted and the spinach is wilted, and serve!