High-protein pasta has become popular lately. To my knowledge, Banza trailblazed the idea of making plant-based pastas, and other companies quickly jumped on the bandwagon once they saw the demand was there! Athletes, keto-lovers, those pursuing weight loss, and plant-based meal fans all find Banza’s products appealing, so naturally I had to see what the fuss was all about! In today’s review, I’m taking a look at this pasta made from the humble chickpea to see if it’s all it’s cracked up to be.
How Much Does Banza Cost?
So, unfortunately, we are starting off with the bad news–Banza can be hard to find and is pretty expensive.
Banza’s pasta is so wildly popular that they are often out of stock. Popular retailers like Amazon and Banza’s own website carry a wider variety of products, but also sell out quickly. So act fast if you want to grab some!
Elbows – $44, 6-pack
Linguine – $31, 6-pack
Rotini – $20, 6-pack
Rigatoni – $10
Spaghetti – $40, 12-pack
On Banza’s website…
Variety Pack (Penne x2, Shells x2, Rotini, & Elbows) – $22.50
6-pack of Penne – $22
6-pack of Rotini – $22
6-pack of Mac & Cheese Variety – $22.50
12-pack of Spaghetti – $40
6-pack of Vegan Mac & Cheese – $22.50
I know, yikes. I personally think that if you can afford Banza, it’s well worth the cost. However, if you’re ballin’ on a budget…it’s going to be harder to justify spending that much on pasta, especially considering the average box of regular spaghetti costs between $2-$4 (and you get a MUCH greater quantity, which = more meals for your family).
This part makes me so sad, but it makes sense that the cost is high. I can’t say I know the details of Banza’s entire production process, but turning chickpeas into pasta must take some sort of Hogwarts-level sorcery, right? And beyond that, they add pea protein which likely ups the cost, too. So you’ve got to give them some credit for that!
What Does Banza Taste Like?
A lot of people say that Banza is just like regular pasta. For me, the texture is just like regular pasta, but there is an aftertaste that is slightly bitter. However, the good news is that the flavor is easily overpowered by other common pasta ingredients like spinach, cheese, tomato sauce, and a pinch or two of salt! It isn’t hard to add some great flavors and make this pasta into an amazing, plant-based, protein-packed dish.
If you love pasta but want fewer carbs, more protein and fiber, and no gluten, then you should try Banza!
Is Banza Healthier Than Regular Pasta?
From a nutrition standpoint, yes–Banza offers more nutritional benefits compared to traditional pasta.
My first introduction to Banza was by an Instagram influencer who was using it as a low-carb alternative to regular pasta. Pasta is known for being a widely loved food that has the “down-side” of being full of carbs.
While I believe intentionally-sized portions and the addition of protein and fiber can help make any pasta dish a balanced meal, it is true that pasta itself consists of mostly carbohydrates. It hasn’t been long since low-carb diets were the latest health craze, and with the ketogenic diet now being one of the most popular weight loss methods, low-carb, high-protein foods like Banza are attractive to several different health-conscious groups.
Let’s take a look at the nutrition label. What stands out to you? What’s the first thing you notice?
A few things that I’ll briefly highlight:
You are given two different serving sizes. A typical serving size for pasta is 2 oz, which equals about 1 cup of cooked pasta. I like that they included this, because it gives you a good baseline for two different serving sizes, and makes it easier to track macros. People following a ketogenic diet may find this beneficial.
That brings me to my next point: net carbs. People tracking their carb intake will benefit from having the level of detail that this label has. To get net carbs, you simply subtract the grams of fiber from the grams of total carbohydrate. The reason people tracking macros might do this is to calculate the carbs their body is actually absorbing versus fiber, which just passes through!
What Banza is Good For…
-those who are looking for gluten-free pasta
-those looking for high-protein, low-carb pasta
-those wanting vegan or plant-based pasta
-those who can afford the expensive price
-those who want a more nutrient-dense pasta option
What Banza Isn’t Good For…
-those on a low budget. The cost is steep, especially compared to regular pasta. And with cheaper options available to increase the protein in your weeknight spaghetti dinner (like ground beef).
That’s it for this week’s product review! What are your thoughts? What food product should I review next?