Pasta salad is a protean dish that can include a variety of proteins to add flavor, appearance, and nutritional value. Here are some proteins used in pasta salad:

  1. Grilled Chicken: Grilled chicken breast or thigh meat is a popular choice. It adds a source of protein and a flavor.
  2. Salami or Pepperoni: Cured meats like salami or pepperoni can provide a bold, salty taste to the pasta salad.
  3. Shrimp: Cooked and chilled shrimp add a light and seafood flavor to the salad.
  4. Tuna: Canned tuna, either packed in water or oil, is a convenient and protein-rich option. Flake it and mix it into the pasta salad.
  5. Ham: Diced or cubed ham is another option that adds a smoky and salty element.
  6. Turkey: Sliced or diced turkey, whether roasted or smoked, can be a tasty and lean protein source.
  7. Cheese: While not a traditional “protein,” cheese adds a protein component to the salad. Options like feta, mozzarella, or Parmesan work well.
  8. Beans: Vegetarian protein sources like beans (such as chickpeas, black beans, or kidney beans) can be added to make the salad more filling.
  9. Hard-Boiled Eggs: Sliced or chopped hard-boiled eggs can provide a creamy texture and additional protein.
  10. Tofu: For a vegetarian or vegan option, cubed and marinated tofu can be added to the pasta salad.
  11. Salami or Pepperoni: Cured meats like salami or pepperoni can provide a bold, salty taste to the pasta salad.

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