Is Pasta Good For Building Muscle? Recipes and Tips

Trying to figure out what to eat can be difficult, especially if you’re trying to achieve specific health goals. As you decide what to include and take out of your diet, one of the major foods that get discussed is pasta. When it comes to building muscle and putting on size, pasta can be a valuable part of your diet, as long as you include it properly.

In general, eating pasta can help you gain size and muscle mass thanks to its rich source of calories and carbohydrates. As with any other food, make sure you monitor your intake of it, or you’ll overdo it and gain fat instead.

There seems to be an endless number of different influencers, fitness gurus, and internet personalities that claim they have the key to being fit. While they may have some idea on how to be healthy, what they’re selling can be far from the truth of hard work and dedication. Read on to learn how to incorporate pasta into your path to building muscle.

My Paste with veggies
My Paste with veggies

Using Pasta To Build Muscle

While carbohydrates may be detrimental for those who wish to lose weight, the opposite is true for those who wish to gain muscle. People often focus on getting their protein in for muscle but seem to overlook carbohydrates at times.

Since carbohydrates are the fundamental energy source, they’re important to any athlete. However, any substantial size gain should be supported by an abundance of carbohydrates for the following benefits:

  • Restore glycogen levels
  • Prevent muscle loss
  • Post-workout recovery
  • Carbo-loading prepares athletes for upcoming workouts
  • And repairing muscles of any damage

Since pasta is full of carbohydrates, including it is a great way to fuel and recover from your workouts. Of course, adding lean protein sources, vegetables, and some olive oil makes it even more nutritional.

It should also go without saying that skipping out on any workouts makes carbohydrates counterproductive. If you decide for any reason to stop training, extensive carbo-loading should also be cut to avoid storing fat in the process.

What Nutritional Value Does Pasta Offer?

Pasta is heavy in carbohydrates, the macronutrient responsible for creating energy. While this is undoubtedly valuable, a few warnings must be made. Consuming too many carbohydrates and not using them means they get stored in your body as fat. This is counterproductive to most people’s fitness goals, even those interested in gaining muscle.

This is made even worse when pasta is cooked with oil or butter, packing on unhealthy calories. Additionally, adding heavy amounts of sauce and cheese leads to a meal high in carbohydrates and fats, but low in protein and fiber. Indulging in a meal like this too often can easily lead to unwanted weight being gained.

However, this does not mean that pasta is a lost cause.

Adding grilled chicken or shrimp is a great way to add protein to your meal. Spinach, tomatoes, and other fruits or vegetables also enhance the nutritional value of vitamins and minerals.

As usual, moderation is key, and it’s better to have foods complement other foods rather than throwing them out altogether.

Choosing Between Whole Wheat and Refined Pasta

Many would argue that pasta may be unhealthy, but whole wheat pasta is better and healthier. Whole wheat pasta does contain lower amounts of carbohydrates and higher amounts of other nutrients, including fiber.

On the other hand, the carbohydrates in whole wheat pasta are considered complex and take longer to be fully digested.

When it comes to losing weight, whole wheat pasta is certainly the better alternative. The lower amounts of carbohydrates alone make it the better choice. However, the alternative is true for those who wish to build muscle or work on their athleticism.

The carbohydrates in refined pasta are absorbed quicker, making them more useful for quick recovery from intense exercise.

pasta for muscles

Healthy Pasta Recipe for Muscle Gain

Online, there are tons of pasta recipes ideal for muscle building. While some of them may be great for the job, they are hard to whip up in the kitchen or they don’t taste that good. Below, I will give you a recipe that’s delicious, relatively easy to make — it only takes 30 minutes — and great for building those muscles of yours!

Without any more ado, here’s how to make pan-seared scallops and zucchini spaghetti…


  • 4 ounces of spaghetti (cooked according to packaging directions)
  • 6 large scallops (patted dry with paper towels)
  • 1 large zucchini (spiralized)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup of parsley (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup of basil (chopped)
  • 5 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of avocado oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Saute garlic for 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned.

Add spiralized zucchini to the pan and saute for about 1 minute. Afterward, add cooked spaghetti. Stir in 1 more tablespoon of olive oil, basil and parsley. Cook for about 2 minutes, constantly stirring the ingredients.

Season with salt and pepper and remove the pan from heat.

Grab another pan and heat avocado oil over medium-high heat. Gently place scallops in the pan and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Flip and allow the other side to cook for 2 minutes.

Remove pan from heat once scallops appear seared and opaque.

Place spaghetti in a bowl and top with scallops. Garnish with fresh basil and drizzle with lemon juice and a little olive oil. You may also top pan-seared scallops and zucchini spaghetti with a little grated parmesan cheese.

Best Pasta for Muscle Gain Online

Some of the best pastas for muscle building are those with wheat flour. Bean-based pastas are also an excellent addition to the diet of those who wish to gain muscle mass. You can check out the grocery store near you for the right pasta for the mission. Or you can shop for the best pasta for muscle gain on the internet.

Here are a couple of suggestions if you are in a rush to find the perfect product…

365 Whole Foods Market Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti

The vast majority of reviews of 365 Whole Foods Market Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti say that the product tastes delicious. And, almost always, the result is al dente pasta. Being made from whole wheat, health benefits such as improved digestion, reduced inflammation and lowered heart disease risk can be enjoyed.

Explore Cuisine Organic Black Bean Spaghetti

As the name suggests, instead of milled wheat, Explore Cuisine Organic Black Bean Spaghetti is out of black beans. Besides being high in protein, the product is also gluten-free. And it’s also non-GMO and organic, which means that there is absolutely


Is Pesto Pasta Good for Bulking?

Pesto pasta is good for increasing muscle mass. That’s because it supplies the body with the energy necessary for the performance of strength or resistance training. The energy provided by pesto pasta also helps in the muscle-building and recovery process. But in excess, the energy-dense popular Italian dish can promote the accumulation of fat.

leg workout

Is Pasta Good for Leg Day?

Making pasta a good pre-workout meal during leg day is that it provides the body with much-needed calories and complex carbohydrates. Many professional and competitive bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts and casual gym-goers agree that leg day is the most challenging and exhausting because of all the large muscle groups in the lower limbs.

Is Pasta Good for Sore Muscles?

Consuming pasta is good for healing sore muscles as a result of working out. It’s for the fact that pasta provides the body with complex carbohydrates, which are necessary for the production of insulin. One of the many roles insulin plays is the promotion of muscle building. Pasta also replenishes glycogen in the sore muscles, thus restoring energy.

Is Pasta Good for Bulking?

Adding pasta, in particular the whole wheat type, to the diet is good for individuals who wish to bulk up. Calories in pasta, including those from its complex carbohydrates, allow one to perform difficult exercises essential for increasing muscle mass. Pasta also assists in the repair of muscles and provides the body with energy to prevent muscle breakdown.

Is Spaghetti Good for Building Muscle?

Spaghetti is a type of pasta, and pasta supplies the body with carbohydrates necessary for workout energy as well as muscle repair and recovery. Traditionally, spaghetti is made from semolina or durum wheat. These days, however, most supermarket-bought spaghettis are made from milled wheat. Whole wheat spaghetti is best for muscle building.

Is Pasta Good for Working Out?

Because it contains complex carbohydrates, pasta is a good pre-workout meal for people who are about to hit the gym. In many instances, consuming up to 4 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight is recommended for those who plan on working out for over 60 minutes. Pasta is also an excellent post-workout meal together with protein.

Are Chicken and Pasta Good for Building Muscle?

The pairing of chicken and pasta is excellent for muscle building. That’s because the meal supplies the body with good amounts of protein and carbohydrates, both of which are vital for muscle repair and recovery. Chicken breast with the skin removed is best for building muscle. For the same job, whole wheat pasta is a wonderful option.

Is Chicken Alfredo Good for Building Muscle?

A 1-cup serving of chicken alfredo yields 23 grams of carbohydrates and 17 grams of protein, both of which helps promote muscle building. Due to this, the Italian dish makes for an excellent post-workout meal.

However, it’s a good idea to replace the butter ingredient with light butter to reduce the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol consumed.


Is Pizza Good for Building Muscle?

Although it’s not the optimum meal for those who wish to gain muscles, pizza can assist in muscle building. It has just about everything the body requires for increasing muscle mass, including carbohydrates from the crust and protein from the meat and cheese toppings. For best results, pizza should be consumed moderately.

Which Pasta is Good for Muscle Building?

Generally speaking, whole wheat pastas are the most recommended for muscle building. Besides complex carbohydrates, they also supply the body with dietary fiber plus a handful of other nutrients such as iron, copper and manganese.

However, bean-based pastas are some of the best for muscle building as they are made from protein-packed beans.

Are Noodles Good for Building Muscle?

Something that separates noodles from pasta is that they contain egg. It’s no secret that eggs are rich in high-quality protein, which is vital for repairing and maintaining lean muscles. This makes noodles excellent for building muscle.

In fact, even instant noodles are great for the job, too, although there are artificial preservatives and lots of sodium present.

Is Macaroni Good for Muscle Gain?

Macaroni helps provide the body with the energy necessary for building as well as maintaining muscles. Especially when paired with the likes of vegetable, chicken or tuna salads, this pasta type makes for an excellent post-workout meal. Macaroni can be consumed, too, before a workout session to energize the body and prevent muscle breakdown.

Are hot dog sandwiches good for building muscle?

Hot dogs are frowned upon by health experts because it’s high in sodium and as much as 80% of the calories in them come from saturated fat. However, hot dogs are high in protein, too. Coupled with whole wheat buns, hot dogs can help in muscle building and repair if consumed in great moderation.

Just Before You Have Some Pasta

Refrain from assuming that you should steer clear of pasta dishes because pasta is packed with carbohydrates that may interfere with you obtaining or maintaining your dream physique.

If truth be told, pasta can help make muscle building and repair more efficient.

But just make sure that you consume pasta in moderation in order to gain muscles instead of packing on fat. Also, consider pasta dishes with healthier ingredients, in particular those that can supply your body with the right balance of macronutrients so that you can stay in tip-top shape.

Read Also: How to Keep Pasta Warm After Cooking

Similar Posts