January 10, 2019

Are Chickpea, Black Bean and Soy Bean Pastas Healthier Picks?

The short answer from a registered dietitian

Healthy bean pastas

Q: I’ve been seeing all the new types of pastas in the grocery aisle. Are those made from chickpea, black beans or soy beans a healthier choice?

Advertisement

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

A: When it comes to spaghetti, there are more nutrient-rich options than standard refined flour noodles.

Ones made from beans (like chickpea, black beans or soybeans) have more protein, more fiber and more iron than traditional spaghetti.

Another smart pick? Substitute spaghetti squash for spaghetti. When you cook this yellow, round squash, the inside flesh of the vegetable actually resembles spaghetti noodles. But, it has far more vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Or there are plenty of kitchen gadgets on the market to make your own noodles out of vegetables such as zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes ― and even beets. No time to DIY it? Most grocery stores now carry veggie noodles in the produce section.

Advertisement

Whatever noodle you choose, just remember that the nutritional value of your dish doesn’t end with the noodle choice.

Choose a healthy fat. Try olive oil or avocado oil, or maybe even some pureed cashews, which can make a nice cream sauce.

Avoid heavy cream-based sauces. Sauces like Alfredo have a lot of unhealthy animal fats. And when choosing a red sauce, look for one with no added sugar. And if it has oil, make sure it’s extra virgin olive oil.

Bump up the veg. Your typical serving size of pasta is somewhere around a half of a cup to a cup. Pump up your bowl with a lot of colorful vegetables, such as roasted eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and peppers.

Advertisement

And mind your cheese, please! While Parmesan cheese is a nice topping, remember a little bit goes a long way. A tablespoon or less is fine, without adding too much unhealthy fat.

Functional medicine registered dietitian Lindsay Malone, RD

Related Articles

Plate  of grilled chicken on a bed of wheat pasta and cooked spinach on a wooden table
December 6, 2023
Recipe: Grilled Chicken Pasta With Spinach and Garlic

Healthier noodles and lighter fare

Pasta Primavera with wheat pasta
February 20, 2023
Recipe: Whole-Wheat Pasta Primavera

Veggies galore, and herbs and spices to boot!

A bowl of chickpea soup made with kale and tomatoes with a wooden spoon in the bowl.
November 16, 2022
Recipe: Chickpea Soup With Pasta and Greens

A hearty vegan feast in only 30 minutes!

A pan of spaghetti and a sauce full of red cherry tomatoes cooking on a stove
August 26, 2021
Recipe: Spaghetti With Fresh Tomato Sauce and Roasted Vegetables

Make your own homemade tomato sauce

Recipe: Macaroni and Cheese with tomatoes
August 15, 2021
Recipe: Mac and Cheese

Try this twist on the traditional, with all the flavor and without all the calories

Linguine with garlic, oven-roasted tomatoes and arugula on a blue plate.
August 9, 2021
Recipe: Linguine With Garlic, Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Arugula

Try this light pasta salad as a first course for a steak barbecue

penne pasta with arugula and asparagus
June 20, 2021
Recipe: Penne Pasta Salad With Asparagus and Arugula

Great for a quick meal at home or to bring to a potluck dinner

Closeup of a bowl of rotini with lemon slices and greens
June 13, 2021
Recipe: Lemon-Ricotta Rotini With Artichoke Hearts

A fresh and filling twist on your run-of-the-mill pasta dish

Trending Topics

close up of keto gummies
Do Keto Gummies Work for Weight Loss? Are They Safe?

Research is inconclusive whether or not these supplements are helpful

Person in yellow tshirt and blue jeans relaxing on green couch in living room reading texts on their phone.
Here’s How Many Calories You Naturally Burn in a Day

Your metabolism may torch 1,300 to 2,000 calories daily with no activity

Older person postioned sideways showing dowager hump.
Dowager’s Hump: What It Is and How To Get Rid of It

The hump at the base of your neck may be caused by osteoporosis or poor posture

Ad