Since Banza Pasta was born, it has exploded past boutique health food stores and stormed through thousands of regular supermarkets onto the dinner tables of a million total customers to date. Banza Pasta is currently the fastest growing pasta brand, and for good reason.

Banza's goal is to make "the foods people love better, by adding more nutritious ingredients." From what I can tell, they're right on track. Each serving of Banza not only has fewer carbs than traditional pasta, but it also has significantly more protein, fiber, and micronutrients. 

In line with their goal of making Banza Pasta a simple swap into everyone's routine, they recently started a campaign titled #BanzaPlusPlants. The goal is to increase the number of entirely plant-based meals that everyone eats, not just vegetarians and vegans. Banza challenged their customers everywhere to make plant-based recipes for a change to win free pasta.

Eating plant-based is more sustainable in the long run and, with the added protein from Banza, no one needs to worry about turning to animal proteins. According to Banza, the recipe challenge proved that "a plant-based diet can be a decadent, indulgent experience." 

Although the #BanzaPlusPlants challenge has closed officially, the recipes are out there for everyone to try. Here are some surprisingly plant-based recipes, paired with the perfect shape of Banza Pasta. 

Penne: Vegan Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

Penne is one of the most classic pasta shapes, so it's only logical that a classic pasta sauce be paired with it. Although pesto is not traditionally vegan, this recipe allows even people with dairy allergies to enjoy the refreshing herby taste. Then, you can top with either roasted or sundried tomatoes for extra veggies. 

Elbows: Vegan Mac and Cheese

Even people with dairy allergies and those dedicated to being vegan should be able to enjoy a comforting bowl of macaroni and cheese. Thanks to the recent trendiness of the plant-based diet, several alternative cheese sauces have been developed. This one uses a combination of cashews and nutritional yeast for the cheesy flavor and carrots for yellow cheesy color. 

Shells: Broccoli Alfredo

Growing up, I vividly remember my favorite frozen meal being chicken and broccoli alfredo. Now, I can enjoy it without the stomach ache thanks to this plant-based alfredo recipe. It pairs perfectly with shell Banza pasta because they hold little cups of the sauce for a burst of flavor in every bite. 

Rotini: Lasagna Soup

If I had to pick one dish that reminds me of visiting my grandma's house, it would have to be lasagna. There's just something about the combination of salty meat, creamy cheese, and slightly chewy noodles that makes for the ideal bite.

If you don't have time for assembling a huge lasagna, try making this lasagna soup recipe using plant-based cheeses. Not only is it easier and faster to make, but it will leave you feeling amazing afterward. 

Rigatoni: Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff

I'll be honest that when I tried this recipe, I had never actually had authentic beef stroganoff. I've never been one to choose a creamy sauce over red sauce or pesto. I will, however, be incorporating this one into my normal meal rotation. I think it pairs perfectly with the chunkier rigatoni noodles because you can get the right balance of mushroom, sauce, and noodle in every bite. 

Ziti: Baked Ziti

I would probably be excommunicated from my Italian family if I didn't include a baked ziti recipe for ziti Banza pasta noodles. This one uses a combination of cashews, nutritional yeast, and vegan parmesan for creamy and cheesy flavor. As an added bonus, it incorporates my newfound favorite veggie, brussels sprouts, for a crunchy element on the top. 

Wheels: Cold Pasta Salad

This recipe plays off of Nancy Silverton's recipe that calls for chickpeas by substituting Banza pasta wheels. The wheel shape is the perfect vehicle for cold vinaigrettes in all kinds of pasta salads, but this is the perfect recipe to get you started, especially in the summer time.

Although the original recipe calls for salami and provolone, just exclude them. With the added protein and fiber from Banza pasta, you'll still feel satisfied. 

Cavatappi: Caprese Pasta

The only time I ever willingly eat raw tomatoes is in the height of summertime. I love to slice up some fresh mozzarella, add basil and viola it's an instant appetizer or meal.

Adding caprese ingredients to a fun and sturdy pasta shape like cavatappi makes for a perfect potluck contribution at your next neighborhood party. Try using Miyokos creamery vegan mozzarella, or if you're feeling especially adventurous, you can make your own.

I bet your friends won't even notice they're getting extra servings of protein and fiber with a fraction of the carbs. 

Linguini: Red Sauce with Lentil Meatballs

Pasta and meatballs are a close second to lasagna when it comes to the list of most comforting Italian dishes. I remember going to my grandma's house and chowing down on softball-sized meatballs and huge plates of linguini on special Sunday nights. 

Although I won't go so far as to say this recipe for lentil meatballs tastes exactly like regular meatballs, it's a fantastic alternative for when you're trying to add more plant-based meals to your diet. 

Spaghetti: Creamy Beet Pasta

If you're looking for a recipe to wow your friends or family, you've come to the right place. With the help of naturally-stunning beets, you can make your pasta really pop. This recipe doubles up on the chickpeas by using hummus to make a plant-based sauce that's still creamy.

Angel Hair: Summer Roll Pasta Salad 

Although my personal favorites are skewed a little toward Italian cuisine, this asian summer roll pasta salad recipe is a go-to for work lunches and quick week night dinners. Angel hair is the perfect pasta shape to pair with the thin carrot and zucchini noodles so they're all the same size. 

For an extra boost of protein, it also adds tofu, which I'm normally not a huge fan of. In this case, however, the marinade's flavor always has me reaching for seconds. 

As you can see, eating a more plant-based diet doesn't have to mean making any sacrifices at all. With the help of Banza pasta, you'll be getting more than enough protein and fiber to fuel any hard workouts or hard-core studying that you need to do without resorting to animal proteins. Be sure to tag #BanzaPlusPlants if you decide to make any of these recipes. 

#SpoonTip: Huge shoutout to Banza Pasta for providing me with some free samples of their different pasta shapes to try out these recipes.