At last, we have healthy mac and cheese. There's nothing more exciting than seeing your favorite comfort food with a healthy twist. So I'm teaching you how to make Banza Chickpea Pasta Mac and Cheese in your dorm room using few ingredients. You can thank me later. 

After many years waiting for gluten-free boxed mac and cheese, Banza finally rolled out their new product line of mac and cheese with its non-GMO chickpea pasta that includes 18 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and 28 grams of net carbs. Plus, it's a great source of calcium and has absolutely no trans-fat.

The Banza Chickpea Mac and Cheese comes in four flavors: Mac and Cheddar, Mac and Deluxe Cheddar, Mac and White Cheddar, and Shells and Cheddar. You can find them all in stores such as Wegmans, H.E.B, Whole Foods and Shoprite. Now for the real questions: is it REALLY worth buying? And that’s what I'm going to find out. 

Preparation and Cooking

vegetable, pasta
Briana Walsh

The directions for cooking mac and cheese are similar to the way you would prepare Kraft mac and cheese (or really any boxed mac and cheese on the market).

The first step is to boil about 6 cups of water. Then add the Banza pasta into the boiling water and cook for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the pasta is cooked to your preference (I cooked mine about 5 minutes because I prefer al dente), strain the pasta. But do not rinse it.

pasta, vegetable, soup
Briana Walsh

Now, as for the milk, butter and cheese part, the directions called for mixing the milk, butter and cheese mix into the pan BEFORE you return the pasta. However, I glazed over the directions and just put the pasta back in the pan first, poured the other ingredients in after, then mixed it up until the sauce was smooth and the macaroni and cheese was ready to eat. This was a slightly different step compared to Kraft Mac and Cheese directions, but it didn't make a difference.

The Taste Test

vegetable, sauce, cheese, pasta, macaroni
Briana Walsh

While not milky as Kraft, Banza Mac and Cheese isn’t bad—it has just the right amount of cheese. The chickpea pasta has an after taste of chickpeas (not a problem because I love chickpeas) but the cheese seems to dry out after cooling. However, this is still seriously addicting. My boyfriend, who also tried it, prefers it cold and compared it to tasting like Mac and Cheetos.

Final Thoughts

The best part about this product is that it made for a filling main meal. With about two servings per box, and only 360 calories per serving, I got to eat a giant serving size, which definitely made me feel full for longer.

Would I buy this again? Although, the Banza Mac and Cheese is a bit more pricey, (about $3.00 for one box at Shoprite, or a pack of six for $30.00  online), I would definitely buy it again. It makes a quick meal and is enough to satisfy a mac and cheese craving without the guilt. However, nothing beats homemade mac and cheese—I would choose that any day of the week.