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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!
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.
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.
Alternative Pasta On Amazon
More Healthy Pasta Recipes
Print The Black Bean Pasta Recipe Below
Black Bean Pasta Salad
- 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
- 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.