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Why settle for regular pasta when you can have bean pasta?!

The best thing about bean pasta is that you can use it in exactly the same way as wheat-based pasta, but you get a ton more nutrients. So basically, it’s a win, win.

We will take you through everything you need to know about bean pasta, mention some of our favourite vegan bean pasta dishes, and show you our fave brands. 

You’ll be an expert once you’ve read this, and we’re pretty sure once you try bean pasta you’ll never look back!

What is bean pasta?

Bean pasta is a food product that is made from different kinds of beans like black beans and edamame beans, that have been ground down into a flour and then made into pasta-style shapes. You can find a lot of the same kinds of pasta shapes that you can get from wheat pasta, for example, penne, fusilli, and spaghetti. The beauty of this is that it makes it really easy to substitute the pasta in your foods, for example, you can make a vegan bean pasta bolognese, with black bean spaghetti instead of regular spaghetti. Bean pasta is a much closer substitute to real pasta than many others, such as zoodles, because it has a far more similar texture and it’s better at soaking up the flavours of the sauces it’s mixed with. 

Bean pasta is generally gluten-free (although you should still check the ingredients to be sure), so it’s great for anyone who is intolerant or who just wants to keep their gluten intake relatively low. It’s also the perfect way for anyone who isn’t a big fan of beans normally, to still enjoy the rich nutritional benefits that they can provide.

What does bean pasta taste like?

Bean pasta has a similarly neutral flavour to wheat pasta, and it takes on the flavour of the sauce that it is mixed with. You might find that bean pasta has a hint of the bean that it has been made from, but it won’t be overpowering because beans don’t tend to have an extremely strong flavour before being ground down.

One of the only main distinctions between bean pasta and ordinary wheat flour pasta is the texture. Bean pasta has a much chewier texture and it’s far harder to achieve the classic al dente texture than it is with the wheat variety. It’s not a specifically bean-like texture though, so if you don’t usually enjoy the texture of beans then there’s still a good chance that you’ll like bean pasta. 

Other than the texture you’re unlikely to notice a huge difference if you switch out your pasta, and you can use both types in pretty much the same way. We love using bean pasta for a classic vegan pesto pasta, a dairy-free mac and cheese, or a spicy veggie arrabbiata. Yum!

Is pasta made from beans healthy?

Absolutely! Beans have a very impressive nutritional profile as they are full of protein, fibre, iron, and magnesium, so they are an extremely healthy option. Swapping out the wheat-flour pasta in your meal for bean pasta will hugely increase the nutrient content of your food. Bean pasta tends to have slightly less calories than regular pasta, but this of course depends on which legume the pasta has been made from. However, you do get more nutrients per calorie with beans, so they are still preferable to normal pasta if you are on a calorie-restricted diet. Bean pasta is also generally low in fat and free from trans-fats and cholesterol.

The relative healthiness of bean pasta will vary depending on which bean your pasta is made from. For example, chickpea pasta has 15% of the recommended daily value of iron whereas black bean pasta has 30%. 

Bean pasta is also a much healthier option for anyone on a gluten-free diet compared to pasta that is made using gluten-free flour designed to mimic regular wheat pasta. This is because bean pasta contains more nutrients and will usually have considerably less additives like sugar. Bean pasta is also more suited to lower carb diets than ordinary pasta, but it does still contain a fair amount of carbs so consume in moderation if you follow rules like keto.

Top brands to try

There are quite a lot of different bean pastas on the market now, so here are a few of our faves! 

Explore Cuisine - Organic Black Bean Spaghetti: This glorious organic bean pasta is made from black soybeans which are notorious nutritional powerhouses. With 25g protein per serving as well as 11g fibre this delicious bean pasta will keep you feeling both full and nourished. 

Explore Cuisine - Organic Edamame Spaghetti: Edamame beans are one of the best sources of plant-based protein! So this gluten-free bean pasta is ideal if you want to up your protein intake while lowering your carb consumption because it has a whopping 42g of protein per 100g. 

Explore Cuisine - Organic Edamame and Mung Bean Fettucini: If you like your bean pasta to have a bit more texture than spaghetti, then you should definitely give fettucini a go! It has a satisfyingly chewy texture and thanks to being made from nutritious beans it has an impressive 42g of protein per 100g too. 

Explore Cuisine - Organic Fava Bean Fusilli: We love this gluten-free bean pasta because it’s just as tasty as regular pasta but it’s so much more nutritious! The shape of this fusilli bean pasta will catch and hold on to the vegan pasta sauce you cover it in, so that every bite is packed with flavour. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is vegan bean pasta gluten-free?

Usually yes! You will find that the majority of bean pasta is gluten-free because they are generally made exclusively from beans, which are of course naturally gluten-free. However, you might find that some vegan bean pasta has wheat flour mixed in too, to bulk it up, so you should always check the individual packet. Gluten-free bean pasta is a great alternative to standard gluten-free pasta because it contains lots more nutrients like protein and iron. 

What is vegan bean pasta made from? 

Vegan bean pasta is made from different kinds of beans. Common beans found in pasta are black beans and edamame beans, but you might also find other legumes like chickpeas incorporated into your bean pasta. The beans are often first ground down into a powder so that they can then be mixed with water and shaped into different pasta-style shapes, like penne and spaghetti. 

Can I have bean pasta on keto? 

It depends! If the pasta is made exclusively from beans and water then it will probably be keto-friendly, but if there are other ingredients mixed in then you may find that the carbohydrate content is too high for keto. Bean pasta that solely contains beans and water will still contain carbs but the fibre content of the beans will mean that the net carb content will be low, which is fine for a keto diet. For restrictive diets like keto, it’s best to judge each bean pasta on a case by case basis by checking the ingredients and nutrition information carefully. 

How long can bean pasta be stored?

If bean pasta is kept uncooked and in a sealed, airtight container it should have a shelf life of something like 1-2 years. It will say on the individual box when the recommended use by date is so it’s always a good idea to follow this to get the most out of your bean pasta. If you have cooked your bean pasta then it should keep in a refrigerator for 3-5 days, but make sure that you allow it to cool completely before storing. If you’ve cooked a big batch, you can also freeze your bean pasta for up to 6 months in a freezable bag.

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