How many calories are in 1 cup of Banza pasta?

Banza pasta is a type of chickpea pasta that is a popular gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat pastas. Many people choose Banza for its high protein and fiber content. However, some people may wonder about the calorie content of Banza pasta compared to traditional pasta varieties.

Quick Answer

There are around 190-210 calories in 1 cup of cooked Banza chickpea pasta, depending on the shape. This is similar to the number of calories found in 1 cup of traditional wheat pasta.

Calories in Different Types of Banza Pasta

The number of calories in 1 cup of cooked Banza pasta can vary slightly depending on the shape:

Banza Pasta Type Calories per 1 Cup
Rigatoni 210
Penne 200
Rotini 190
Elbows 190

As you can see, the difference is minor, ranging from 190-210 calories per 1 cup cooked. Rigatoni is on the higher end while rotini and elbows are on the lower end.

Comparing Banza to Traditional Pasta

Banza pasta has a very similar number of calories as traditional wheat pastas. Here is a comparison of calories in 1 cup of cooked Banza chickpea pasta versus traditional wheat pasta:

Pasta Type Calories per 1 Cup
Banza chickpea rigatoni 210
Traditional wheat rigatoni 200
Banza chickpea rotini 190
Traditional wheat rotini 195

As you can see from the table, Banza pasta contains about the same number of calories per cup as most traditional wheat pastas, with only minor differences of 5-10 calories per cup.

So people choosing Banza for its high protein and fiber should be happy to know that they are not sacrificing calories in exchange. Banza can fit into a healthy diet just like wheat pasta can.

Nutrition Facts for Banza Pasta

Now that we’ve compared Banza to wheat pasta in terms of calories, let’s take a detailed look at the full nutrition facts panel for Banza chickpea pasta:

Banza Chickpea Pasta Nutrition Facts

Here are the nutrition facts for a 1 cup serving of Banza chickpea pasta, cooked:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 200
Total Fat 1.5g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 300mg
Total Carbohydrates 39g
Dietary Fiber 5g
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 13g
Calcium 20mg
Iron 2.5mg
Potassium 135mg

As you can see, Banza is low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. It provides a good amount of protein and fiber per serving. Banza is higher in certain vitamins and minerals compared to traditional wheat pasta thanks to its chickpea base.

Key Benefits of Banza Nutrition

Some of the key benefits of Banza’s nutrition profile include:

  • High protein – With 13g protein per serving, Banza provides nearly 25% more protein than traditional pasta.
  • High fiber – Banza has 5g of fiber per serving, giving it twice as much fiber as regular pasta.
  • Low glycemic index – Banza has a glycemic index of 41, which is considered low. This means Banza won’t spike blood sugar levels as much as regular pasta.
  • Gluten-free – Banza is made from chickpeas so it is naturally gluten-free, making it a good option for anyone with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
  • Vegan – Banza contains no animal products, making it a good choice for vegans and vegetarians.

Due to this great nutrition profile, Banza can be a very healthy and nutritious substitute for traditional wheat pasta for many people.

Factors That Affect Banza’s Calorie Content

There are a few factors that can alter the calorie content in a serving of Banza chickpea pasta:

Serving Size

The calorie count refers to a 1 cup cooked serving. Consuming a serving larger than 1 cup will increase the calories you are consuming. For example, 1.5 cups of cooked Banza pasta would have about 300 calories.

Cooking Method

Banza can be boiled, microwaved or baked. Microwaving tends to add the least amount of extra calories while baking may add some extra calories from oil or other ingredients.

Added Ingredients

What you top your Banza pasta with will affect its overall calorie count. For example, a tomato sauce will add minimal calories while an alfredo cream sauce will add significantly more. Ingredients like butter, oil and cheese will increase the total calories.

Pasta Shape

As mentioned earlier, Banza’s rigatoni shape has slightly more calories than other shapes like rotini or elbow. The differences are small but wider noodle types may have 10-20 more calories per serving since they likely absorb a bit more water when cooked.

Tips for Enjoying Low Calorie Banza Meals

Here are some tips for keeping your Banza pasta dishes lower in calories:

  • Stick to a 1 cup serving size.
  • Choose tomato-based sauces instead of cream-based.
  • Load up on veggies like spinach, broccoli and mushrooms to boost nutrition without many extra calories.
  • Use chicken breast or shrimp instead of higher-fat meats like sausage or meatballs.
  • Limit high-calorie add-ons like cheese, butter and oil.
  • Bake or microwave instead of frying.
  • Season with herbs and spices instead of salt.
  • Rinse cooked Banza under cold water to remove excess starch, which slightly reduces calorie absorption.

Health Benefits of Banza Pasta

Given its stellar nutrition stats, Banza can be a very healthy substitute for regular pasta. Here are some of the top health benefits Banza can provide:

1. Increased Protein

With 13 grams of protein per serving, Banza offers nearly 25% more protein than traditional wheat pasta. This can help with weight management, muscle building, and keeping you full.

2. Added Fiber

Banza contains 5 grams of filling fiber per serving, giving it twice as much as regular pasta. The fiber comes from Banza’s chickpea base. Fiber aids digestion and gut health.

3. Lower Glycemic Index

Thanks to the chickpeas, Banza has a glycemic index of 41, much lower than regular wheat pasta. This means Banza won’t spike blood sugar levels as dramatically.

4. Gluten-Free

Since it’s made from chickpeas, Banza is naturally gluten-free. This makes it a safe option for anyone with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

5. Vegan and Vegetarian

Banza contains no animal ingredients, making it a good choice for vegans and vegetarians looking for a high protein, high fiber pasta option.

6. Higher in Certain Vitamins and Minerals

Thanks to its legume base, Banza contains higher levels of certain vitamins and minerals like potassium, iron, and folate compared to traditional pasta.

Potential Downsides of Banza Pasta

While Banza makes an excellent gluten-free, high protein pasta substitute for many people, there are a few potential downsides to consider:

  • Bean taste – Some people note that Banza has a strong bean flavor, which not everyone enjoys. Selecting sauce flavors that complement chickpeas can help mask this taste.
  • Digestive issues – Due to its high fiber and bean-based content, some find Banza can cause gas or bloating, especially when consumed in large amounts.
  • Texture – Banza’s texture is a bit mushier than traditional pasta. Some dislike the soft, almost creamy texture.
  • Cooking differences – Banza requires a few special considerations when cooking, like more water and time. The noodles tend to break apart more easily and can overcook if instructions aren’t followed.
  • Price – Banza is priced higher than traditional wheat pasta, which may be prohibitive for some consumers.

Overall though, for those who don’t mind the bean taste or texture, Banza makes an excellent gluten-free, low glycemic index, high protein and high fiber pasta option.

How to Cook Banza Pasta

Cooking Banza chickpea pasta is similar to cooking traditional pasta, but with a few differences:

  • Use a larger water to pasta ratio – Use 6-8 quarts of water per 1 lb of Banza pasta.
  • Allow more cooking time – Cook Banza for 2 minutes more than indicated on the package.
  • Stir frequently – Stir Banza pasta every 2 minutes while cooking to prevent sticking.
  • Don’t overcook – Banza turns soft and mushy if overcooked, so watch it closely and drain immediately once al dente.
  • Rinse with cold water – Drain Banza and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process and remove excess starch.

Follow these tips and test Banza frequently for doneness to achieve an al dente chickpea pasta perfect for any sauce topping.

Banza Pasta Recipes

Banza’s chickpea pasta can be swapped 1:1 for traditional pasta in any recipe. The neutral taste and texture of Banza complements both savory and sweet sauces. Here are some tasty Banza pasta recipe ideas:

Savory Banza Recipes

  • Banza chickpea pasta with basil pesto
  • Banza chickpea penne with vegetarian bolognese sauce
  • Garlicky shrimp with Banza rotini
  • Banza elbows with tuna, tomato and spinach
  • Baked Banza pasta with ricotta and mozzarella

Sweet Banza Recipes

  • Banza mac and cheese with butternut squash
  • Pumpkin alfredo sauce with Banza penne
  • Banza pasta with cinnamon peach sauce
  • Chocolate hazelnut Banza rotini

You can make endless creative Banza recipes by substituting it for regular or whole wheat pasta in your favorite dishes.

Where to Buy Banza Pasta

Banza pasta can be found in many major grocery stores, including:

  • Whole Foods
  • Kroger
  • Publix
  • Wegmans
  • Stop & Shop

It is also available from online retailers like Amazon, Thrive Market, Walmart, and the Banza website. Banza offers free shipping on orders over $39.

Look for Banza in the pasta aisle, gluten-free section or alternative flour section in stores. Popular shapes like penne, rotini, elbows and shells are widely available.

The Bottom Line

Banza chickpea pasta contains about 190-210 calories per 1 cup cooked serving, which is nearly identical to traditional wheat pasta. However, Banza really shines in its protein, fiber and nutrient content compared to regular pasta.

Made from chickpeas, Banza is gluten-free, vegan, and loaded with extra protein and fiber that provides health benefits as well as keeps you feeling fuller longer. The lower glycemic index won’t spike blood sugar as dramatically either.

For those looking for a delicious gluten-free pasta alternative that packs extra nutrition compared to wheat, Banza chickpea pasta is an excellent choice.

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