Everyone’s favorite alternative pasta brand, Banza Pasta made from chickpeas, is an obvious substitute for pasta in all traditionally Italian pasta recipes. That’s a given. They’ve got your penne, your spaghetti, your ziti... I can go on. 

Banza’s variety of pasta shapes and rice are a no brainer swap in your diet. It tastes just as good as the real thing and, when it comes to the rice shape, takes less time to cook than the original. As an additional benefit, the stuff made from chickpeas has much more protein and fiber and fewer carbs than the original. It’s safe for gluten-free and vegan diets. 

Now that we all know why Banza Pasta makes a great substitute, it’s about time I told you how to incorporate it into your normal diet. As I said before, Italian cuisine is an obvious parallel. The options, however, span all cuisines from all cultures. Here are a few of the most creative swaps to keep your tastebuds dancing with Banza all week long.

Italian: Baked Ziti

Italian may be the most straightforward and basic option for your Banza-based meals, but that also means it’s the OG. The GOAT. And what screams classic Italian family meal more than baked ziti? Turn that classic dish into a protein-packed dream while keeping your vegetarian friends happy by using banza instead of sausage. You can follow Banza’s recipe here or make it up as you go, just remember to slightly undercook your Banza if you’re going to be baking it.

Mediterranean: Greek Pasta Salad

Pasta salad doesn’t have to be the ugly duckling of your backyard barbecue. And it doesn’t have to be off-limits for your gluten-free friends either. The chickpea pasta base actually adds to the Mediterranean theme in this pasta salad dish that’s great as either a main or a side.

Spanish: Paella

Seafood and carbs? Count me in. Count me in double if I can make it with a few less carbs, more protein, and a lot more fiber than the original. As if that wasn’t enough to convince you, Banza paella will take much less time to cook than the traditional rice-based dish, so you’ll avoid all hanger issues.

#SpoonTip: If you're of age, Paella automatically tastes 10x better with a nice glass of red wine. Treat yourself.

Hawaiian: Poke

It’s about time you stopped going out for $20 poke bowls that don’t even fill you up and figure out how to make it for yourself. This dish is super customizable, just add whatever poke toppings are your favorite. It can even be plant-based if you substitute roasted beets or crispy tofu for the traditional salmon or tuna protein.

Mexican: Burrito Bowl

Move over Chipotle. There’s a new favorite in down. Using the newest addition to Banza’s chickpea-based lineup, you can make your own cilantro lime rice at home and then top it with all of your favorites. This is a great option when you’re cooking for a crowd because everyone can make their meal exactly how they like it.

Vietnamese: Pho

My pho cravings don't end when the cold weather goes away. There's something so comforting about a warm bowl of noodles, no matter what temperature it is outside. I love how, with this recipe, I can enjoy a plant-based meal that's good for both me and the environment. I don't even miss the meat and I certainty don't miss the sodium overload that I get when I eat pho out. 

Japanese: Sushi Bowl

I’m one of those people that is so obsessed with sushi that I tried making it at home. I went out and bought the bamboo mat and everything. One attempted sushi dinner later, and it’s been three years and I’ve never tried again. Sushi is an art form, but you don’t need to be an artist to make a delicious sushi bowl using all of your favorite sushi ingredients. Banza can even take the place of a traditional protein so you can go full plant-based with seaweed, carrots, cucumbers, avocado, and sweet potato toppings. Oh and don’t forget the soy sauce. 

Indian: Curry

Indian food doesn’t have to be confined to eating out or Trader Joe’s frozen meals (although I can’t deny that those are delicious). Using this recipe, you can experiment with making your own curry. As an added bonus of using Banza, you won’t spend the entire time worrying about whether or not your rice is going to come out perfectly fluffy. Just follow the boiling directions and it’s perfect every time in less than 10 minutes.

Chinese: Ramen

This one goes out to all you college kids out there. Ramen in a cup may sound good until you finish and you’re still starving and about to die of thirst from all the salt. Make your own with Banza pasta for an extra boost of protein and fiber that’ll actually leave you satisfied. Not only with the meal, but also with the fact that you actually cooked something for yourself. Go you.

American: Macaroni and Cheese

If Italian ain’t the OG, then good old American macaroni and cheese certainly is. The very least you can do is sub those pasta noodles for Banza. If you want to go all the way, try making a plant-based cheese sauce. I’d be willing to bet you’ll barely notice the difference and you’ll definitely feel a whole lot better having stayed away from all that gluten and dairy. It’s a win-win whatever way you put it.

Don’t you see now? Banza isn’t just a simple swap for when you’re craving some simple pasta. You can use it to whip up a gourmet meal from just about any cuisine you can imagine. Impress your friends and family by making one of these recipes. I bet they won’t even be able to tell you snuck some healthy food right under their noses.