Chickpea Pasta Nutrition Facts

Chickpea pasta

These days, there seems to be a trend of shape-shifting foods. First, almonds became milk. Then cauliflower turned into rice. Now, you can purchase pasta made from beans! Chickpea pasta is the latest food crossover to hit the market. This alternative to traditional wheat-based noodles is made by grinding chickpeas into paste. Some add tapioca and pea protein for binding.

Although chickpea pasta may not have the same nutrient profile of the kind made with wheat, it offers plenty of health benefits of its own. With high protein and fiber, plus plenty of micronutrients, these unorthodox noodles are definitely a healthy stand-in for your favorite spaghetti, penne, or lasagna. Plus, many people find it cooks and tastes almost exactly like traditional pasta.

Wondering how this unusual pasta stacks up to the original? We’ve got the details.

Nutrition Facts 

The following nutrition information for chickpea penne pasta is provided by the USDA. These are the nutrients you’ll get in a 2-ounce (57g) serving.

Chickpea Pasta Nutrition Facts

·     Calories: 220

·     Fat: 3.5g

·     Sodium: 65mg

·     Carbohydrates: 33g

·     Fiber: 7g

·     Sugars: 6g

·     Protein: 13g

Carbs 

Carbohydrates make up about 60% of chickpea pasta’s calories. These certainly aren’t empty carbs. The starch in chickpeas is a complex carbohydrate—the good kind that fuels you up and keep you fuller longer. You’ll also get seven grams of fiber in each serving. The remainder of the carbs in chickpea pasta comes from a small amount of naturally occurring sugar.

Fats

Chickpea pasta is fairly low-fat at 3.5 grams per serving. Most of its fats are the healthy polyunsaturated variety provided by chickpeas.

Protein

Bet you never expected your pasta to be a protein powerhouse! At 13g in just two ounces, chickpea pasta is a great source of this macronutrient.

Micronutrients

For a tasty way to work in some vitamins and minerals, grab your pasta pot. Chickpea penne contains 30% of your daily recommended value for iron, plus significant amounts of potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Health Benefits

Chickpea pasta offers a host of benefits that are bound to make you give this pasta-alternative a go.

Serves as an Allergy-Friendly Alternative

For those who can’t eat wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, or eggs, chickpea pasta may be a welcome dietary addition. With just four non-allergenic ingredients, it’s extremely allergy-friendly.

Helps Build Muscle

Chickpea pasta’s nutrient-density makes it a healthy choice overall. At 13 grams of protein, one serving provides over 25% of the daily value. Getting enough protein helps the body build muscle, heal wounds, and make important hormones and enzymes.

Promotes Digestive Health

With seven grams of fiber per serving, chickpea pasta can contribute to better digestion and a healthier microbiome.

Reduces Risk of Chronic Disease

A high-fiber diet also helps reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases. Eating plenty of fiber is associated with lower cholesterol, improved heart health, and reduced risk of obesity.

Boosts Immunity

Getting the right amount of iron can help your support immune system—by preventing iron-deficiency anemia and help the cells of your body function properly.

Allergies 

Ingredients in chickpea pasta can vary. Some brands contain chickpeas, tapioca, pea protein, and xanthan gum. While it’s possible to be allergic to any of these ingredients, it is rare. For most people with food allergies or sensitivities, chickpea pasta is a great choice because it offers the advantage of being free of wheat, gluten, and other top allergens. If you know you have an allergy to chickpeas or legumes, though, you’ll need to stay away from this type of pasta.

Adverse Effects

While the fiber in chickpea pasta is a plus for most people, those who need to be on a low-fiber diet for medical reasons should steer clear of this product.

Varieties

Thus far, only a handful of brands make chickpea pasta, so there's no vast array of different products to try yet. However, you can find chickpea pasta in various forms, like spaghetti, rotini, penne, elbows, and shells.

You also may be curious how a food made with alternative ingredients holds up to "the original," aka pasta made with wheat. Nutritionally speaking, chickpea pasta outpaces wheat pasta (especially the kind made with refined flour) in a number of ways. In fact, other than a slightly higher calorie count and a couple of grams extra fat, chickpea pasta provides superior nutrition than white pasta in virtually every category. The higher fiber and protein content can also improve satiety.

Chickpea pasta contains almost double the protein of refined wheat pasta, at 13 grams versus seven grams. Then there’s its fiber advantage of seven grams versus three. The bean-based noodles are also optimal for those looking to cut carbs: while white pasta contains 42 grams, chickpea pasta comes in at 33. Finally, if you opt for the chickpea variety, you’ll take in more potassium, magnesium, and iron.

How to Prepare

Chickpea pasta’s cooking times are comparable to those of wheat pasta. Banza brand’s chickpea rotini, for example, needs seven to nine minutes to cook, shells need eight to nine minutes, and linguine needs eight to ten minutes. All told, it won’t take long to get a chickpea pasta dinner on the table.

Cooking times and practices may vary from brand to brand. For instance, some chickpea pastas become gummy when cooked. To prevent to reduce gumminess, some manufacturers recommend rinsing the pasta in lukewarm water after cooking.

You may notice that chickpea pasta tends to produce a significant amount of foam while boiling. To prevent this, try adding extra water to the pot, turning the heat down, or adding a bit of oil. Or simply scrape the foam off the top as you cook. 

As for flavor, many people say chickpea pasta’s flavor is indistinguishable from “the real thing”—though some taste testers have noticed a distinct nuttiness in its taste. Because of beans’ natural smoothness, the pasta isn’t gritty or grainy, as can sometimes be the case with whole wheat. Plus, chickpeas’ structure holds up quite well to boiling, so the pasta doesn’t become mushy.

There’s no limit to the ways you can substitute chickpea pasta for wheat-based pasta. If you detect its nutty flavor, use this to your advantage by pairing chickpea pasta with complementary flavors like winter squash, walnuts, or a cream sauce.

To meal prep a take-to-work lunch, make a large batch of chickpea pasta and use throughout the week. Or, if you’re not quite ready to take the plunge with bean-based pasta as a main dish, experiment with it as a flavorful side.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Cherayil BJ. Iron and immunity: immunological consequences of iron deficiency and overloadArch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 2010;58(6):407-415. doi:10.1007/s00005-010-0095-9

Additional Reading