Black Bean Pasta Salad Recipe

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This black bean pasta is healthy, delicious, and makes a great lunch or dinner.

I came across the most wonderful pasta at Whole Foods the other day. The only thing in the ingredient list is non-GMO black beans! And as it turns out, they also have pasta made with chickpeas, red lentils, brown lentils, and more. I was thrilled!

Clean Eating Black Bean Pasta Salad Recipe

What is Black Bean Pasta?

Black bean pasta is pasta that is made from black beans and nothing else. It’s an amazing invention! It’s made by grinding up dry beans and mixing that with water to make pasta dough. Some companies use starches to help hold everything together, others do not.

Is Black Bean Pasta Healthy?

As long as you don’t have any health-related issues with beans, any bean pasta is a great choice for healthy eating. It’s particularly wonderful for those who are gluten-free and has plenty of fiber.

What Do Black Bean Noodles Taste Like?

They are remarkably similar in flavor to regular, wheat-based pasta. While there is obviously a slight difference in flavor, it’s about as close as you can get without using wheat. In fact, I’ve tried many of these types of pasta, and based on flavor alone, they are really pretty similar.

How Is Bean Pasta Different From Regular Pasta?

While the flavor is similar, where they differ is texture. And I don’t just mean a difference in texture between wheat and bean pasta. I mean the texture can change significantly between not only beans and brands, but pasta shapes too. I have found that even when using one brand, the shapes of the pasta change how they cook. Some cook well, some… not so much. Shape matters.

Best Bean Pasta Shapes

When it comes to cooking bean pasta, shape matters for the final texture. Here is how I rank them from best to not so good.

  • Best – Rotini seems to be the best shape across all brands. It cooks evenly and has a similar texture to wheat-based pasta.
  • Next best – Penne pasta. Here again, it cooks evenly. But it is a bit thicker than rotini, so you often need to cook them a minute or two longer than what the package calls for to get them properly tender.
  • Next best – Cavatappi pasta. It’s right up there with penne pasta. It cooks well, even if it needs an extra minute or two.
  • Mediocre – Macaroni is moderately okay when cooked. The flavor is fine, but I find that it tends to cook unevenly. I have tried a few brands and it seems to be the same across all of them.
  • Wost – Shells and spaghetti are the worst. For some reason, the shells do not cook evenly, and the spaghetti goes from undercooked to mushy in the blink of any eye. You have to get pretty lucky to get it just right

Please keep in mind, the above information is simply based on my experience. If you’ve had different experiences, let me know below!

Where To Buy Black Bean Pasta

I get mine at Whole Foods. These are typically a health food store type of item. So if you don’t have Whole Foods near you, check your local health food store. Trader Joe’s has their own brand, and of course, Amazon is an endless resource. I will leave some links below.

What To Serve With Black Bean Pasta

You can serve just about anything you would serve with regular pasta! Try a rustic garlic bread or a green salad. Even a side of soup would be great here.

Tips For Cooking Black Bean Pasta

Any gluten-free pasta has a different set of rules. Black bean pasta is no exception. Here’s how to get a great result every time.

  • Salt the pasta water – Many people don’t do this and they miss out on amazing flavor because of it. Pasta tastes so much better when salt has been added to the pasta water.
  • Stir the pasta – Unlike wheat-based pasta, any gluten-free pasta needs stirring during cooking. It doesn’t have to be constant, but stir it frequently. This ensures that the pasta cooks evenly.
  • Rinse the cooked pasta – Once it’s cooked, you’ll drain it and rinse it. Wheat-based pasta shouldn’t be rinsed. But gluten-free pasta should always be rinsed. This washes off the starch that could make your pasta mushy and sticky.

Optional Recipe Additions

  • Chopped bell peppers – Any color you prefer.
  • Corn – You can cook this with the pasta for convenience.
  • Cayenne pepper – If you want a spicy kick.
  • Tomato sauce – If you want more of a “spaghetti” flavor.
  • Chili powder – This will give it more of a southwestern flavor.
  • Fresh cilantro – For garnish
  • Fresh parsley – For garnish
  • Lime juice – Sprinkled on at the end as a garnish. Avoid if using parmesan cheese.

Black Bean Pasta Recipe Ingredients

2 cups dry black bean penne pasta – Cook this to package directions using the tips above.

2 medium garlic cloves – Finely minced

½ cup chopped red onions – Chop these small.

2 tsp. olive oil – Or any oil you prefer to cook with.

½ tsp. ground cumin

1 cup cherry tomatoes – Cut them in half. Grape tomatoes work well too.

¼ cup fresh, chopped cilantro – Loosely packed for measuring.

½ medium avocado – Just ripe.

Salt and pepper – To taste.

Grated parmesan cheese – For garnish

How To Make Black Bean Pasta

Cook the pasta to package directions.

While the pasta cooks, sauté the garlic and onions in the olive oil until the onions are translucent and the garlic just begins to brown slightly.

Strain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.

Stir the cumin into the pasta.

Once the garlic and onions are done, quickly add the pasta and cherry tomatoes to the pan, keeping the heat at a medium level, and stir briefly to combine and coat the pasta in garlic and onions. (do this for no longer than 1 minute at most. You don’t want to cook the tomatoes.)

Return the pasta to the mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, avocado, and season to taste with parmesan, salt, and pepper.

How To Store Black Bean Pasta

Pack this in an airtight container and store it in the fridge.

How Long Does This Black Bean Pasta Last?

If stored properly, this pasta recipe will last about 3 to 4 days. However, it is recommended that you store this without the avocado. Keep that separately, splashed with lemon juice.

How To Reheat Black Bean Pasta

Microwave – You can reheat this in the microwave. Use a microwave-safe container and cook on high power for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not reheat with the avocado added.

Stovetop – This can be reheated in a pot on the stovetop if you don’t mind adding a little oil. Keep the heat on medium and stir constantly. Do not reheat with the avocado added.

The Pasta

This is the brand I used (not paid to promote them). But there are more at the links below. Any alternative pasta will work for this recipe. It doesn’t have to be black bean pasta.

Clean Eating Black Bean Pasta Salad

Alternative Pasta On Amazon

More Healthy Pasta Recipes

Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry

Print The Black Bean Pasta Recipe Below

Clean Eating Black Bean Pasta Salad Recipe

Black Bean Pasta Salad

A deliciously different option for pasta night!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 142kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry black bean penne pasta
  • 2 medium garlic cloves (minced)
  • ½ cup chopped red onions
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
  • ¼ cup fresh, chopped cilantro (loosely packed)
  • ½ medium avocado
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta to package directions.
  • While the pasta cooks, sauté the garlic and onions in the olive oil until the onions are translucent and the garlic just begins to brown slightly.
  • Strain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
  • Stir the cumin into the pasta.
  • Once the garlic and onions are done, quickly add the pasta and cherry tomatoes to the pan, keeping the heat at a medium level, and stir briefly to combine and coat the pasta in garlic and onions. (do this for no longer than 1 minute at most. You don’t want to cook the tomatoes.)
  • Return the pasta to the mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, avocado, and season to taste with parmesan, salt and pepper.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 152mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 6.8mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1.7mg

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10 Comments

  1. My first grader loves his Laptop lunch box too! I agree, it makes me keep variety in his lunch everyday. And it keeps his food separate and organized. My son is a picky eater!
    Question for you, what lunch tote do you use? By the time I pack his lunch with a Thermos of water and an ice pack, it’s a bit bulky. Just curious what you found that works. Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Stacy – I have one of their carrying cases. The flat rectangular one that holds a water bottle. I love it and it’s easy for Mini Chef to carry.

  2. I have a laptop lunch box for myself, I bought one for my granddaughter when she started school, then my teenage daughter decided it looked pretty cool and asked for one on her 16th Birthday, I’m an Early Childhood Educator as well as a child development support worker and see first hand at the centres where I do my work how much parents could bennefit from using these systems for their children ( and them selves) . Another bennefit along with so many others, is that for many children and specifically with children who have sensory issues kids often don’t like theirfood items,to touch other food items. I’ve been following your blog for quite a while ( and little chef) and always enjo your interesting and tasty recipes, thanx, Val

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Val – Thanks so much! These are definitely something that would benefit many.

  3. Here is my clean eating pinterest board with your recipes and many others: http://www.pinterest.com/hellobekah3292/clean-eating-recipes/

    My favorite clean lunch to pack is organic cheese with clean whole wheat crackers, grapes & apple slices with organic almond butter. We also like to do organic plain greek yogurt with some clean strawberry jam mixed in to flavor it up with less sugar.

  4. My favorite clean eating lunch is a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread.

  5. Find my clean eats board here with tons of your other recipes: http://www.pinterest.com/lindsx16/clean-eats/

    My favorite clean lunch is a good ol’ salad. I make a salad every day for lunch to bring to work. In the past month there was only one day I didn’t pack one! I like to mix up my veggies depending on what I get delivered that week (I use a produce delivery company) but I always include unsalted sunflower seeds! They are my favorite add in, perfect crunch and flavor to any salad.

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