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High-Protein Spaghetti??

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I love little health-food stores.

You can find things you’ve never seen before at the big ole Whole Foods. Case in point: spaghetti made entirely from black beans! Strange pastas just seem to find me; I’ve even seen chocolate pasta before. And you might recall my “mushroom spaghetti” post.

Seeing how much I love pasta, it was a given that I snatched up the following black bean spaghetti as soon as it caught my eye at a little health-food store in Rhinebeck, New York:

black bean spaghetti

The black bean pasta is too cool! Ingredients? Black beans and water. I kid you not, that is it. Protein per serving? 20.5 grams. As someone who tends to favor carbs over protein-rich foods (Mock meat-lover? Notsomuch), I really appreciate that last statistic.

high protein spaghetti

But of course, all of this is a moot point if the pasta doesn’t taste good.

Guess what… it does!  Don’t be discouraged if, upon opening the package, you find a seaweed-type smell. I promise you that—once cooked—these noodles taste nothing like seaweed. They are NOT those smelly shirataki noodles. What, then, do they taste like? The black bean spaghetti has a hearty, yet mild and inoffensive, taste. The texture mimics that of a rubber band, and the noodles are much more filling than regular pasta. (Perhaps this is partially due to their high protein count.) (Above, my dinner from last night: black bean spaghetti, sautéed garlic-y peppers, steamed b sprouts, and walnuts)

The makings of a meal: Layer 1: Yummy rubber bands black bean pasta

high protein pasta

Layer 2: add the brussels guys

NYC2010 266

And finally, Layer 3: Add the sautéed peppers and walnuts


It was delish! But if a dish has garlic, it’s pretty much guaranteed I’ll be a fan.

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. emma says:

    I’m on a shiritaki noodle kick, either angle hair or tofu spaghetti, I also love love love spaghetti squash as a pasta replacement. That bean spaghetti look amazing though, I’m going to have to look for some.

  2. Oh that pasta is right up my street!! I like kamut spaghetti, and chickpea spaghetti – best thing ever, with 20g protein per sevring! I can’t have it now though, cos it’s not vegan – shame!

  3. Jennifer - jcd says:

    I’ve seen a lot of unusual pasta out there, but never this. Very interesting. Your selection of toppings make it look even better!

    My favourite pasta is Tinkyada brown rice pasta, especially the Little Dreams shapes. And the homemade stuff my husband makes on occasion. Then again, I’ve never tried anything adventurous in the pasta department. Perhaps that will be a goal of mine this winter – try some new pastas.

    1. Ooh homemade pasta! I ought to break out my mom’s old pasta maker. I’m lazy, but I remember having so much fun with that thing when I was little. Basically, my sister and I would eat the raw noodles as they came out… then we’d get yelled at lol ;).

  4. Katharina says:

    I am definitely a pasta person! I love the pastas with the cool shapes, and the ones that are stuffed especially like cannelloni, tortellini, and ravioli 😀 I may just hit up an obscure health foods store to see what they’ve got. There’s this one here in Richmond that is the only place that I’ve seen carry the most DELICIOUS lentil dip ever. EVER! I seriously stock up whenever I go. Plus, supporting local businesses is awesome :)


  5. Marina says:

    Wow, that pasta is really strange! How did they make it?!
    I adore pasta, I’m so craving some good pasta dish right now.
    I prefer small shaped ones, spaghetti make me feel like I’m going to choke :/

    1. No clue! I guess, if you wanted, you could put ANYthing through a pasta machine!

  6. Anonymous says:

    oh no! i hate it when i find a tasty product and then fall in love with it but can’t find it again! i would send you a replenishment of the black bean pasta in the mail. but i have never seen it here either!

    1. abby says:

      oops sorry, that above was me. i didn’t mean to be anonymous!

      1. Awwwww Abby, the fact that you’d even offer means so much to me :).

  7. Faith says:

    Whoever developed this is a genius. That much protein in a pasta? Hellz yes!!! I wonder if I can find some online – I’ve never seen that in a store before either!

    1. Good luck… I tried looking for it online (to provide a link to the company in my post), and I couldn’t even find it! The pasta is made by “Explore Asian.”

      1. Jennifer - jcd says:

        Google is a wonderful tool! You can buy the Black Bean Spaghetti here:

        I’m going to see if the health food store near me has anything like this.

  8. shesarunner says:

    That pasta sounds really interesting! I am not a pasta person at all, but black bean pasta sounds really cool (I do like black beans!) and the color is unique.
    I usually like the sauce more than I like actual pasta, so my favorite way to “do pasta” is with zucchini spirals…they have a great texture. Or I’ll just make a raw pesto sauce or some other interesting sauce and use it on something different…like quinoa! It sounds weird, but it’s actually really good. I’ve even made cheezy quinoa using a nutritional yeast sauce.

  9. The Vegan! says:

    I came across my favorite pasta at a Korean restaurant in Indiana. I forget the name of it, but it was made with sweet potato starch and served cold with mushrooms in a light brown sauce. It was sooooo delicious, and I can’t find it anywhere now! I think it was called something along the lines of jabchai (please ignore the horrendous spelling attempt, lol)

    1. mmmmm I might know what you mean! I had some strange yam noodles at a Korean restaurant once too… but it was so long ago that I can’t remember the name. I DO remember loving them, though!

  10. Run Sarah says:

    Lately soba noodles have been my favourite! Those black bean noodles look awesome though. I always find I find the most interesting items at small health food stores or Asian groceries!

  11. Leslie says:

    Look at all those peppers! Sauteed peppers are the best, aren’t they? I love the red ones. Unfortunately, I’m not so big on the green.

  12. Inspired says:

    Woah, you have me wanting to run off to my local HFS right now to see if they carry this pasta! Like you, I sometimes struggle to include a protein source in my meals. If it were healthy to just eat carbs all the time, I would do it!

  13. Caroline says:

    Wow, those look soooo neat! I looooove that color of the noodles and the things you added it too. I wonder if they make chickpea pasta, because I think that would have a great nutty taste, and the extra protein. I’ve been eyeing the spelt noodles in the store, but my favorites right now are udon and thick flat rice noodles like in drunken noodles (dying to find whole grain versions)…why do we think of Italians and pasta?…Asians have such a way with noodles themselves!

    1. Honestly! The Asians really know their stuff… err, I mean pasta! 😉

  14. That’s so cool! I hadn’t heard of that stuff. Honestly, I love all pasta, but confess that rice noodles are still my fav. Can’t get enough Asian food.

  15. Jen says:

    Lately Soba has been my noodle of choice, but I love Angel Hair too. Black Bean spaghetti sounds and looks soooo good! I love the magical fruit :)

  16. Tyler says:

    Soba noodles are currently my favorite type of pasta. I’m dying to try those black bean noodles now! I bet they were delicious with all those wonderful veggies!

  17. Gloria says:

    The WF in Palm Beach has it and I picked up a bag months ago and keep meaning to use it. Now that I know it’s awesome, I will make it a point to try it.. probably in something Asian like a stirfry with brocc. Angel hair and farfalle are my favorite pastas – I wish they made a brown rice variety of these shapes!

    We don’t have a Trader Joe’s anywhere in FL but I’m obsessed with their almond butter and can only get it once or twice a year when I am in NY or Colorado. Maybe we can do a swap? 😉

    1. Oh my gosh, Gloria, I wish I could! But there are no Trader Joes in Dallas either! Hopefully someday soon TJs will realize their mistake and get their butts down here!!
      (Oh p.s. My grandma used to live in Palm Beach! Looooooove that area!)

  18. I’v never seen that before!!! I always love looking for new types of healthy pasta. So far, I like brown rice the best, but maybe that will change i I can find this kind….

    What’s the brand? Maybe it has a website I could look up…

    1. If you read the comments above, you’ll find quite a few people have posted websites! :)
      And I’m thinking I should try brown rice pasta too, now that so many people have mentioned it as a fave!

  19. Rachel Lauren says:

    I must find that pasta! I am going to check my wf’s at lunch time! Luckily I work right next door to one! I found the same webstore that a few others have posted that sell that pasta. So if all else fails, you can always reorder online. That’s quite an impressive amount of protein!

  20. 2Snaps says:

    I just bought some of this pasta from my local health food store because I was so intrigued! I love pasta and I love, love, love black beans, so a pasta made of black beans was more than I could resist! I was excited to see that it wasn’t made with a bunch of junk! They are also gluten free, which is great since I just discovered that I’m allergic to wheat! I’m going to be making some tonight and can’t wait to try them! Thanks for the review! Now I’m even more excited to try them!

    1. Oh I hope you like it! As I said, it’s kinda rubbery… but I think that adds to the fun of eating it! :)

    2. 2Snaps says:

      As an added note to my previous comment, I found these near the Asian foods and not with the rest of the pastas at my local HFS.

  21. Neato! I always like trying the different noodles at the Asian market. I really love the clean bean thread noodles, though they’re mighty slippery. And I agree that shirataki noodles smell like ass.

    1. Smell… and taste too! LOL I bought them once, a long time ago, when I saw “tofu noodles” and thought it was cool… not so much!

  22. Casey says:

    Where is it that you live? I was thinking it was around Austin, but then I saw you mentioned Dallas Whole Foods. Just curious, I live a little north of Dallas.

    1. I live close to Dallas too :).
      Wish I lived in Austin; I love that place!

      1. Casey says:

        I live in Sherman! :) Yes, I love Austin, too!!

        1. Ooh I’ve been there! (Once) I’m like an hour away, I think. I know a few girls who went to Austin College up there.

  23. erinsloves says:

    Oh my gosh that black pasta is just so weird looking!! I love black beans, so I’m sure it tastes good!

    And my fav pasta: Tofu Shirataki noodles..No one else seems to share my love though ): lol
    I think I like them so much b/c they take on the taste of whatever sauce you use, and to me a pasta dish should be more about the sauce then the noodles. BUT if you do ever want to give them another try…After you rinse them with LOTS of water, microwave them for about 2-3 minutes, and the fishy smell totally goes away!

  24. Alexis says:

    I have seen chocolate pasta before, too (at T.J. Maxx Home goods, no less!)
    I recently tried red bell pepper fettuccine (highly recommended) and spinach fettuccine (not bad, either.) I will always be partial to gnocchi and tortellini, though!

  25. Marie says:

    Woah, that sounds awesome! I’m not much of a pasta girl. I kind of like fresh-made linguine or papardelle, though. I bet I would like black bean pasta, too! I’ll have to keep my eye out.

  26. Kiersten says:

    That stuff looks so weird! I’d eat it anyway though. I bought pasta made from soybeans once and it was pretty good. My favorite pasta though will always be plain old spaghetti.

  27. Katie says:

    Regular pasta does 2 things for me:

    1. makes me sleepy, sleep, sleepy.
    2. hurts my tummy

    Therefore, I don’t eat it. But I blame the gluten, so this pasta might be PERFECT for me. I’m going to have to try to find it online. :-) Thanks for the review!

  28. vegetalion says:

    I just discovered that, too! There’s also a soybean kind and MUNG BEAN FETTUCINI, which is my favorite!

    My favorite pasta in the world is the big thick wheat udon noodles in the freezer section of asian grocery stores. They’re so delicious and soak up sauces well.

    1. Mung Bean?! Oh I would love to try that one! You’ve given me an idea: I wonder if my sis in Boston could find it for me… Ooooooooh possibilities!

  29. Tanya says:

    OMG I almost bought that pasta when I was in Vermont several months ago. But….it was just too expensive. I used to love pasta…it was my favorite food. But then I started trying to avoid a lot of flour, so I don’t eat it so much anymore. I do occasionally eat sprouted grain pasta, rice noodles (for pad thai), or udon noodles. Still love my pasta :) As for shapes, I love my pasta shells. I don’t know why…..I just do!

  30. BroccoliHut says:

    I love little health food stores for the same reason–they carry so many more “mom and pop” brands.
    Much to my family’s dismay, I really love the whole grain pasta made with spinach.

  31. I’ve been looking for that pasta – and mung bean pasta too that I saw on Fitnessistas blog! But I can’t find them anywhere :(

    I LOVE pasta. SO SO MUCH! Angel Hair is definitely my favorite. Now you have me craving pasta!!!

  32. Angela says:

    I just saw this pasta at a health food store in NYC and wasn’t sure if it would be any good – I’m so glad you reviewed it here. I’m definitely going to pick some up next time I’m at the grocery store! I am always looking for non-animal sources of protein so this is fantastic news.

  33. Krystina says:

    I love all pasta, but I think my favorite shape is rigatoni.

  34. Laura says:

    OMGOsh!!! they look rather horrible…….but i’d be willing to try them as it annoys me how “unfilling” regular pasta is..even the wholewheat variety!!! xx

  35. Meghan says:

    I actually love regular odl whole wheat pasta, in any shape, what I have more fun with is what to add to it, I like trying all different veggie combinations and difference sauces.

    But I definitely have to try some of the “non-traditional” pastas out there. I think now that the fall is coming I might have to try spaghetti squash pasta for sure.

  36. Eimear Rose says:

    Wheat pasta, even wholemeal, gives me constipation for days. It just sticks in my guts. I love brown rice noodles and soba noodles (as long as they’re pure buckwheat). I have seen some interesting noodles in the health food shop I want to try out, buckwheat sweet potato noodles. I also like zucchini noodles, but sometimes collard greens cut in big long strips and quickly blanched suits me quite well with a sauce that would usually go with pasta.
    As a runner (and newbie triathlete) I find protein-rich plant foods do more for my performance than a high carb diet (even though carbs are the fuel I’m supposed to be burning most on most runs), weird huh?

  37. Stefanie says:

    I have tried that pasta but did not like the texture. It was too rubbery for my liking. The company also makes chickpea and I believe soy bean noodles. After trying the black bean noodles I am afraid to try the others.

    My favorite noodles are soba. I was not happy when my Whole Foods were out of stock for 2 weeks. They restock so I am all good. Second on my list is udon noodles and then whole wheat pasta.

  38. I love the brown rice penne that I’ve found at Trader Joes- it’s just brown rice and water. Gotta love short ingredient lists!

  39. StephORama says:

    Brown rice penne is my favorite, but I’m intrigued by this black bean pasta. I’d totally give it a try!

  40. Black bean spaghetti sounds really interesting, your dinner looks great too! :)

  41. Kelly says:

    Too cool! That’s just begging to be eaten around Halloween… perhaps with a bright orange pumpkin-based sauce? :)

    Currently I’m in love with any of Ezekiel’s sprouted whole grain pastas. They’ve got a fair amount of protein and other awesome nutrients, and I love how dense the noodles are, although whole-grain pasta haters might disagree.

  42. I’m definitely not a pasta fan..I dont know why, just never really have been. I guess cause I’d like to get a bit more nutritionally if it was going to be the main part of the meal? So that black bean pasta is *perfect*!!

  43. tastyandtrim says:

    That black bean spaghetti looks so unique! I have to give it a try :) I bet it would be good as a mexican pasta dish with some corn, tomato, and avocado tossed in!

  44. Now this I want to try! It looks and sounds delicious. I am definitely not a fake meat person either. The stats on that are great! My favorite shape pasta would have to be fettucine.

  45. this reminds me of mung bean noodles that I loveeee they have a rubbery texture as well! YUM I wanna try some of that!!

    carbs=the way to my heart lol…atkins who? hehe

  46. Kelly Michelle says:

    I love that pasta! I buy the mung bean one too. FYI at whole foods you may be looking in the wrong place. At my WF it is NOT with the pasta, it is in the asian section and its all the way at the bottom by the floor so you may have overlooked it by checking with the “normal” pasta.

    1. I wish! I looked everywhere :(. Asian aisle, pasta aisle, even the gluten-free aisle. My next move is to see if my lovely sis in Boston would be so kind as to bring me some when she next comes to visit :).

  47. That pasta sounds interesting , I will have to keep an eye out for that in my stores. I was never a pasta person growing up, so I do not miss it since I can’t really eat it anymore. But that is ok because I am in love with zucchini pasta, cucumber pasta, and kelp noodles 😉 YUMMMM HAHA

  48. Amanda says:

    Hey Katie, I don’t know what part of Dallas you live in, but just FYI I bought this same pasta a couple months ago at the new Whole Foods on Park Lane. Hope that helps. I haven’t tried it yet myself, very excited to see a post about it (and to hear that it’s good).

    1. Hmmm that’s weird. I was just there a few days ago and didn’t see it in the Asian section nor the pasta one. Maybe it’s hiding from me! Or maybe they were just out that day; it gives me hope that they’ll have it again next time I go. Thanks for the heads-up!

      1. Amanda says:

        Aw how annoying! I actually found it just on the edge/end of an aisle, kind of as one of the promotion items. Hopefully it will be back (or easier to find) soon.

  49. My kids would love black pasta – probably more for the color than anything. I would love it for the taste/nutrition. I’ll have to check around here. I’m actually heading to Dallas this weekend – I’ll send you some ‘hello’ vibes.

  50. meg says:

    I have some of that pasta! I bought it out of curiosity but haven’t tried it yet-not sure why! Maybe I’ll have some tonight with sauteed veggies? It looks really good!

  51. Quix says:

    Oh man, I was in love until I heard that it wasn’t available in Texas. I’ll have to check around Austin. I’ll let you know if I find it. :)

    I love black beans and I’m learning to incorporate pasta in my life again (when I was overweight I’d eat such big bowls and then I decided it wasn’t worth it when I started losing weight – just have to be RESPONSIBLE with the pasta consumption, hehe). This would make some delicious spicy southwestern pasta-ish dish…mmm…getting hungry thinking about it…

    1. Oh definitely you should try this pasta, then. Even a small serving is SO filling!

  52. OvoVeggie Alexandra says:

    Oh my goodness.
    This would be perfect for me! I’m an ovo-vegetarian, so the only animal-based product I eat is eggs, but I want to be vegan so bad. I eat them because I NEED more protein, and I just can’t seem to make tofu taste good. :/ (btw, any tips for tofu?)

    As soon as I persuade my dad into buying this (he’s a money freak) I can finally skip out on those egg whites! 😀

    1. I like blending tofu (silken tofu) into things, like chocolate mousse! But I actually don’t eat much tofu at all… and a lot of vegans don’t eat it at all! As long as you’re getting enough calories to meet your energy needs, your body actually will get enough protein. Even foods like broccoli or oatmeal have protein :).
      Also, maybe try the flavored tofus or even tempeh!

      1. OvoVeggie Alexandra says:

        Okay, thanks! :)

        1. Ooh, I also like tofu in my mushroom stroganoff recipe… just had to add that one, because you can’t taste the tofu at all!

          1. OvoVeggie Alexandra says:

            Oh, I saw that recipe the other day and thought about trying it sometime this week :)
            btw, I tried the banana butter, it’s simple yet delicious!

          2. Those are the best kinds of recipes– simple, quick ones ;).

  53. Jacqueline says:

    I had a pasta in France made by Kote company, no store in the US , not black bean either they were great ans so filling,18gr protein. wish I could find something like that here

  54. Sarah says:

    LOVE the brussels sprouts addition! Must keep my eyes open for this pasta too

  55. Georgeann says:

    If you have an Earth Fare store they carry it there. Check Amazon.

  56. Alexis Anne says:

    My mom saw this at Costco and just sent me a box…but they have it on Amazon Prime, too.