If you’re trying to add more digestion-aiding fiber to your meals, swapping out white spaghetti for a legume-based pasta is a solid way to start. While Banza is a fan-favorite among health foodies, Italy’s best-selling pasta brand just stepped up to the plate and debuted a red lentil and chickpea pasta line that’s as nutritious as it is delicious.
Barilla’s mission is heavily ingrained in executing foods that are both good for consumers’ health as well as good for the planet, President of Barilla Americas, Jean-Pierre Comte, explains in a statement. “This means constantly innovating and improving our products to provide people with high-quality foods that are healthy, sourced from responsible supply chains, and inspired by the Italian lifestyle and Mediterranean Diet.”
After crafting traditional semolina pasta for over 140 years, Barilla created a one-ingredient noodle made with either just chickpeas or just lentils in versatile shapes such as penne, rotini, and casarecce. Each legume option is certified gluten-free, non-GMO, and cooks to al dente in seven to nine minutes. So how do the new legume noodles compare to Barilla’s original blue box?
Blue Box Rotini
Barilla’s chickpea pasta packs in 10 fewer calories, 5 more grams of fiber, and 4 more grams of plant-based protein per two-ounce bowl. It also boasts an impressive 26 grams of net carbs compared to the white pasta’s 39 grams of net carbs, making the chickpea line a wonderful source of slow-digesting complex carbs and satiating nutrients.
The red lentil-based noodles also boast a stellar nutritional profile. One two-ounce serving contains 180 calories, 1.5 grams of fat (0 grams of saturated fat), 0 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbs (6 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar), and 13 grams of protein. The lentil penne and rotini are lower in fat and higher in protein than the chickpea noodles but contain two fewer grams of fiber.
Depending on your health goals, you can choose to purchase either the higher fiber option or the higher protein box—or grab both and mix! Then, get creative with the toppings and toss chunks of herb-roasted chicken, grilled asparagus, and burst cherry tomatoes for deliciously balanced dinner.