Chickpea Pasta: Nutrition Facts and Benefits

Chickpea pasta is one of several legume-based pasta varieties to hit the market in recent years.

However, is it a good choice nutritionally? And how does it compare to regular pasta?

This article reviews chickpea pasta’s nutritional properties and potential benefits and downsides.

What Is Chickpea Pasta?

Dried chickpea pasta in a bowl.

If regular pasta is pasta made from wheat, chickpea pasta is simply pasta made from chickpeas.

Making the product involves the following steps (1):

  1. First, chickpeas are ground into flour.
  2. Next, the chickpea flour is mixed with water and formed into a dough.
  3. The pasta mixture then goes through an extrusion machine, forming the pasta into shapes.
  4. After extrusion, the chickpea pasta undergoes a drying process.
  5. Once dry, the next step is the packaging process, and then the pasta is ready for distribution.

Chickpea pasta can be used in the same ways as regular pasta, and it is sold and marketed as a like-for-like alternative.


Like this product, most chickpea pasta should only contain one ingredient: chickpeas or chickpea flour.

However, it is possible to find some ‘chickpea pasta’ products that mix chickpeas with wheat flour or other ingredients. For example, this product is a mixture of chickpea flour, brown rice flour, and potato starch.

For genuine chickpea pasta, it is important to check the label ingredients to confirm the only ingredient is chickpea flour.

Taste and Texture

In terms of texture, chickpea pasta is similar to regular pasta, but it has a slightly coarser and grainier texture.

Regarding its taste characteristics, chickpea pasta has an earthier flavor than regular pasta alongside slightly nutty tones. It isn’t as mild as regular pasta, which could be seen as good or bad depending on one’s position.

However, it does taste like chickpeas, so people who enjoy the taste of chickpeas will probably like chickpea pasta.

Key Point: Chickpea pasta is a pasta product that is similar to regular pasta but with a nuttier, more flavorful taste.

What Nutrients Does It Contain?

Chickpea pasta provides a varied nutritional profile that is somewhat different from wheat pasta.

Nutrition Facts

The following tables show the full nutritional values of cooked chickpea pasta per 140-gram cup.

The data source for nutritional information is the NCC Food and Nutrient Database (2). All daily values (% DV) have been calculated using the nutritional data and the FDA’s published daily values (3).

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories185 kcal
Carbohydrates28.25 g10.3% DV
Fiber4.54 g16.2% DV
Sugars4.62 g
Fat2.83 g3.6% DV
Saturated0.30 g1.5% DV
Monounsaturated0.63 g
Polyunsaturated1.26 g
Omega-30.05 g
Omega-61.21 g
Protein11.38 g22.8% DV
Table 1: Nutrition facts for cooked chickpea pasta per 140-gram cup


VitaminAmount% Daily Value
Choline35.47 mg6.4% DV
Folate179.48 mcg44.9% DV
Vitamin A1.36 mcg0.2% DV
Vitamin B1 (thiamin)0.20 mg16.7% DV
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)0.04 mg3.1% DV
Vitamin B3 (niacin)0.72 mg4.5% DV
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)0.25 mg5% DV
Vitamin B60.20 mg11.8% DV
Vitamin C0 mg0% DV
Vitamin D0 mcg0% DV
Vitamin E0.35 mg2.3% DV
Vitamin K4.73 mcg3.9% DV
Table 2: Vitamin composition of cooked chickpea pasta per 140-gram cup


MineralAmount% Daily Value
Calcium35.44 mg2.7% DV
Copper0.41 mg45.6% DV
Iron3.54 mg19.7% DV
Magnesium53.16 mg12.7% DV
Manganese0.72 mg31.3% DV
Phosphorus155.06 mg12.4% DV
Potassium452.18 mg9.6% DV
Selenium3.51 mcg6.4% DV
Sodium40.05 mg1.7% DV
Zinc1.24 mg11.3% DV
Table 3: Mineral composition of cooked chickpea pasta per 140-gram cup

Benefits of Chickpea Pasta

Here is a summary of some of the main benefits of chickpea pasta.

High In Protein

As with all legumes, chickpeas are relatively high in protein.

With 11.38 grams of protein per 140-gram cup serving, chickpea pasta offers a good protein source.

Adding cheese, meat, fish, tofu, or other protein can help turn it into a protein-rich meal.

Good Source of Fiber

Chickpea pasta provides high levels of dietary fiber.

On this note, a 140-gram cup offers 4.54 grams, which is 16.2% of the daily value (28 grams) (3).


Many people cannot consume gluten-containing foods due to an inflammatory autoimmune disorder called celiac disease. For people with this condition, the immune system overreacts to gluten, which leads to a range of symptoms caused by inflammation (4).

Since wheat is the primary dietary source of gluten, regular white pasta and wholewheat pasta are unsuitable for people following gluten-free diets.

Like edamame pasta and red lentil pasta, chickpea pasta contains no gluten and thus is suitable for gluten-free diets.

Products like chickpea pasta allow people with gluten sensitivity to enjoy a pasta-like experience free of gluten.

Note: as mentioned earlier, it is vital to check the ingredients of any pasta product to ensure it doesn’t contain additional ingredients, some of which may contain gluten.

Good Source of Vitamins and Minerals

As shown in the nutritional profile section, chickpea pasta provides a good range of essential vitamins and minerals, including:

  • 179 mcg of folate, which is nearly half of the recommended daily value (400 mcg). Folate is an important nutrient for producing DNA, properly functioning cells and supporting healthy pregnancies (3, 5).
  • 0.41 mg of copper, which is again nearly half of the recommended daily value (0.9 mg). Among its functions, copper is vital in energy production, the nervous system, and the immune system (3, 6).
  • More than 10% of the daily value for thiamin, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc.

As this shows, not only does chickpea pasta provide protein and fiber, but it also offers good levels of vitamins and minerals.

Lower In Calories Than Regular Pasta

Another benefit of chickpea pasta is that it has fewer calories than regular pasta. For example, a 140-gram cup of cooked chickpea pasta contains 185 calories, whereas the same amount of wheat pasta provides 221 calories (7).

This makes chickpea pasta a simple, beneficial alternative to regular pasta for people trying to lower their calorie intake.

Key Point: Chickpea pasta is an excellent source of protein, fiber, and numerous vitamins and minerals. It’s also comparatively lower in calories than wheat pasta and contains no gluten.

How Does Chickpea Pasta Compare To Wheat Pasta?

Aside from the differences covered so far, chickpea pasta understandably has nutritional differences from wheat pasta.

In this section, we’ll examine some of these differences.

Nutritional Composition

Firstly, the following table will compare the complete nutritional values of chickpea pasta with enriched white pasta and wholewheat pasta.

All values are per 100 grams cooked, with nutritional data sourced from the NCC and USDA FoodData Central databases (2, 7, 8).

NutrientChickpea PastaWhite PastaWholewheat Pasta
Calories132 kcal158 kcal149 kcal
Carbohydrates20.18 g30.9 g30.1 g
Fiber3.25 g1.8 g3.9 g
Sugars3.30 g0.56 g0.75 g
Fat2.02 g0.93 g1.71 g
Saturated fat0.21 g0.18 g0.24 mg
Monounsaturated fat0.45 g0.13 g0.18 mg
Polyunsaturated fat0.90 g0.33 g0.57 mg
Omega-30.04 g0.02 g0.04 g
Omega-60.86 g0.30 g0.54 g
Protein8.13 g5.80 g5.99 g
Choline25.33 mg6.4 mg6.5 mg
Folate, DFE128.20 mcg73 mcg21 mcg
Vitamin A, RAE0.97 mcg0 mcg0 mcg
Vitamin B1 0.14 mg0.27 mg0.16 mg
Vitamin B20.03 mg0.14 mg0.10 mg
Vitamin B30.52 mg1.69 mg3.13 mg
Vitamin B50.18 mg0.11 mg0.27 mg
Vitamin B60.14 mg0.05 g0.09 mg
Vitamin B120 mcg0 mcg0 mcg
Vitamin C0 mg0 mg0 mg
Vitamin D0 mcg0 mcg0 mcg
Vitamin E0.25 mg0.06 mg0.23 mg
Vitamin K3.38 mcg0.5 mcg0.6 mcg
Calcium25.32 mg7 mg13 mg
Copper0.29 mg0.1 mg0.23 mg
Iron2.53 mg1.28 mg1.72 mg
Magnesium37.97 mg18 mg54 mg
Manganese0.51 mg0.32 mg1.32 mg
Phosphorus110.76 mg58 mg127 mg
Potassium322.98 mg44 mg96 mg
Selenium2.51 mcg26.4 mcg36.3 mg
Sodium28.60 mg1 mg4 mg
Zinc0.89 mg0.51 mg1.34 mg
Table 4: A nutritional comparison of chickpea pasta with wheat pasta and wholewheat pasta per 100 grams cooked

Looking at the table, the comparison shows that:

  • Chickpea pasta contains significantly lower calories and carbohydrates than wheat and wholewheat pasta.
  • Chickpea pasta has almost double the fiber content of wheat pasta, gram-for-gram. However, wholewheat pasta contains slightly higher amounts.
  • Out of the three pasta products, chickpea pasta has a higher protein content. It contains more than two grams more per 100 grams.
  • Chickpea pasta generally provides higher amounts of each vitamin and mineral than regular wheat pasta. However, the gap is smaller when compared to wholewheat pasta. Chickpea pasta has significantly higher choline, folate, and potassium content. In contrast, wholewheat pasta has substantially higher levels of niacin (B3), manganese, and selenium.

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index is a scale designed to predict how much specific foods raise blood sugar levels compared to pure glucose (which has a rating of 100). For instance, a score of 100 would significantly impact blood sugar levels, whereas a score of 1 would be minimal (9, 10).

There do not appear to be any studies that tested the glycemic index of chickpea pasta. However, we do know the glycemic index of whole chickpeas.

According to the International Tables of Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Values 2008, chickpeas have a glycemic index of 28 (11).

Additionally, a study entitled ‘Polyphenols and the glycaemic index of legume pasta’ published in 2019 looked at the glycemic index of a legume pasta product made from 60% grass pea flour and 40% chickpea flour. The glycemic index of this product was recorded as 23 (12).

This data shows that a pure chickpea pasta product would likely have a low glycemic index.

In contrast, according to the International Tables of Glycemic Index, regular wheat pasta (spaghetti) has a moderately higher glycemic index of 49 (11).

Key Point: Chickpea pasta has a lower glycemic index than regular wheat pasta and generally provides more nutritional value than wheat pasta and wholewheat pasta.


There are no clear nutritional downsides to chickpea pasta. However, there are still some potential drawbacks:


Chickpea pasta is not prohibitively expensive. However, it does consistently cost more than wheat-based pasta.

This extra expense is undoubtedly something to consider for people on a tight budget.

Potential (Rare) Allergies

Firstly, wheat is one of the nine major allergens, whereas chickpea allergy is comparatively uncommon (12).

In this context, chickpea pasta is at a lower risk for causing allergic reactions than wheat pasta.

That said, chickpea allergy is still an allergy often identified as the cause of severe allergic reactions, and there is little public knowledge of it (13, 14).

A recent 2020 study recently identified several proteins found within chickpeas as the allergens responsible for allergic reactions (15).

Anyone who suspects they may have a chickpea allergy should avoid chickpea pasta and other chickpea products and seek guidance from their medical team.

Key Point: Chickpea pasta has good nutritional value, but the higher cost might be an issue for some people. Chickpea allergies are not as common as wheat allergies, but they do exist.

How To Use

Chickpea pasta can be used as a like-for-like replacement in recipes calling for wheat pasta.

Preparing this pasta is a very similar process too:

  1. Firstly, bring a pan of water to a boil; about 400 ml per 50 grams of dried chickpea pasta should be about right.
  2. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta to the pan and lower the heat.
  3. Simmer the pasta for approximately 5-7 minutes - use the shorter time for a firmer taste and the longer for a softer texture.
  4. Once ready, drain the water from the pan, and then the pasta is ready to use.

Common Questions

Here is some additional information on chickpea pasta designed to answer any common questions people might have.

Does chickpea pasta taste like regular pasta?

The overall taste and texture experience between chickpea pasta and regular pasta is similar. However, there are clear differences between the two, and there will be a recognizable change in taste if swapping between the two. However, chickpea pasta tastes good and has a slightly stronger flavor with slightly nutty notes.

Does chickpea pasta contain only chickpeas?

Some chickpea pasta contains only chickpeas, but this isn't always true. Therefore, it is important to check the ingredients of a product carefully to confirm whether this is the case.

Is chickpea pasta healthier than wholewheat pasta?

Whether chickpea pasta is a better choice than wholewheat pasta really depends on what someone wants from their pasta. Both offer more nutritional value than white pasta, provide a good range of vitamins and minerals, and have distinct differences. Chickpea pasta may be the preference if lower calories or higher protein is a priority. On the other hand, wholewheat pasta offers more fiber on a gram-for-gram basis.

Can you replace white pasta with chickpea pasta in a recipe?

Yes, chickpea pasta is designed as a like-for-like alternative, and it can be used in any recipe calling for wheat pasta. However, it is worth noting that there will be some slight differences in flavor and texture.

Final Thoughts

Chickpea pasta is still a relatively new product on store shelves, but it should be a welcome addition for those who enjoy pasta.

It offers more protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals for fewer calories than regular white pasta. This nutritional value makes chickpea pasta an excellent alternative for those who enjoy the taste.

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Michael Joseph, MSc

Michael works as a nutrition educator in a community setting and holds a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. He believes in providing reliable and objective nutritional information to allow informed decisions.