Gluten-Free Chickpea Pasta

Protein-rich chickpeas are serving as the base for gluten-free pastas.

Protein-rich chickpeas are serving as the base for gluten-free pastas.

The gluten-free market is growing. A primary driver of this expansion is the rising number of people adopting a protein-rich plant-based diet. Flour substitutes that are plant-based and protein-rich, like chickpea flour, are being used to make pasta. This is just another wonderful development for gluten-free consumers who also have the option to benefit from the gluten-free Passover market. This movement has manifested itself in OU kosher-certified Banza chickpea pasta which uses protein-rich chickpea flour to create a similar texture and taste to grain pastas.

The Gluten-Free Market

In a press release, Accesswire noted that the current global gluten-free market is valued at over $6 billion with projections to reach over $14 billion by 2032. The greatest growth is taking place in the United States. U.S. consumers are looking towards gluten-free in many areas, such as dieting, health and functionality. It’s not only a market that caters to those who suffer from celiac disease, an autoimmune disease triggered by the consumption of gluten, but has expanded to the masses.

The Institute of Food Technologies (IFT), noted in an article how gluten-free products are now widely available in the food industry. Laura Allred, from the Gluten Intolerance Group, noted, “Barely 10 years ago, consumers often had to shop extensively, sometimes traveling considerable distances, to find the products that were available to them. Today, gluten-free products are widely available at mass merchandisers, supermarket chains, and c-stores, as well as most natural product retailers.” She further notes, “The gluten-free industry continues to grow alongside the other major growth sectors in consumer-packaged goods, especially vegan and vegetarian foods. These products were once largely made from wheat gluten, but are now made from a variety of grain, plant, and even fungi-based proteins.”

Gluten-free pasta is part of an industry that exceeds $40 billion.

Gluten-free pasta is part of the pasta market which is worth in the billions,

If you look at the pasta market, then Allred’s words paint a larger picture about the gluten-free market which is taking advantage of plant-based proteins. Just last year Vantage Market Research valued the global pasta market to be worth in excess of $41 billion with an estimate to exceed $64 billion by 2028. John Dickie, author of Delizia! The Epic History of the Italians and Their Food, explains why pasta has such a global impact. He said, “It’s always been an industrial product. It is definitely one of the things that has contributed to its success – it’s easy to transport and has a long shelf life. It has commercial genes.” His words never rung truer in recent times, when the world was overcome by the Covid-19 pandemic. Dry foods that could be stored became crucial. We previously wrote about this notion in regard to filling a pantry.

The Plant-Based Market

By 2030, Bloomberg predicts the plant-based food industry to be worth over $160 billion. Shrene Write of Ardent Mills notes, “The plant-based food and beverage market shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, we continue to see significant growth as consumers look to foods that align with their individual values — both personal and planetary.” ADM, an OU kosher-certified company, is heavily invested in the pea protein area, as chickpeas have an exceptional nutrition profile.

Plant-based proteins are of similar caliber to animal-based ones, and are easily accessible, nutritious and diet-conducive. We did quote expert nutritionist Leah Wilheim in the past who noted that meat has one advantage in that its iron is more easily digestible than vegetables, but this can be compensated for and overall the plant-based diet offers outstanding nutritional benefits. In an article, VegNews, a leading plant-based magazine, discusses the wide-ranging benefits of a plant-based diet including the fact that it has anti-inflammatory capabilities, can protect against heart disease and can lower the risk of acquiring Type 2 diabetes.

Chickpea flour is versatile and durable to create an even texture.

Chickpea flour is versatile and durable to create an even texture.

Chickpea flour which is made by grinding the chickpeas offers superb texture and delectable taste to the final product. Recently, we highlighted OU kosher-certified CHKP, which produces pareve yogurt made from chickpeas. CHKP’s co-founder and CEO Noam Sharom, a food entrepreneur who uses the latest technologies in developing his products, said, “Chickpeas are the perfect legume, with a naturally slightly sweet taste that you can turn in any direction.” In highlighting the trending nature and flavorful taste of chickpea flour, The Economist notes that one no longer needs to exclusively associate chickpeas with the universal hummus dish. Future Market Insights reported that the chickpea flour market was worth in excess of $4 billion with projections that it will reach a value topping $6 billion by 2032.

The Nutritional Value of Chickpea Pasta 

Better Homes & Gardens titled its pasta category, “Pasta Alternatives 2.0” and wrote, “Gluten-free pastas made from chickpeas, lentils, and rice are taking permanent residence in many pantries these days.” In reinforcing the health benefits of chickpea pasta, Ellen Albertson, RD, a wellness coach, said on cleanplates, a site dedicated to healthy eating, “It’s lower in simple carbohydrates and more nutritious than regular pasta. As a plant food, it’s also a sustainable source of protein and contains resistant starch which may help stabilize blood sugar and improve gut health.”

ScienceDirect, a database of scientific and medical peer-reviewed journals, brings to view a research paper, “Substituting wheat with chickpea flour in pasta production delivers more nutrition at a lower environmental cost.” The paper accentuates the fact that “Consuming chickpea pasta… has a clear nutritional benefit in terms of fiber, essential fatty acids, and protein,” furthering the notion that this kind of pasta has significant nutritional value.

Banza Chickpea Pasta

The many varieties of Banza's chickpea pasta.

The many varieties of Banza’s chickpea pasta.

Banza specializes in producing chickpea pasta that is entirely gluten-free. They make all of their products in the U.S. In a press release, Brian Rudolph, co-founder and CEO of Banza, said, “Chickpeas, and more broadly beans, are one of the best foods for human health and the environment. Our mission is to inspire people to eat more of them.” This is evident from their impressive collection of different chickpea pasta variations.


Chickpea pasta enjoys a gluten-free status as it’s plant-based. It is an outgrowth of the chickpea, a versatile bean that has the functional quality of being able to be eaten as a stand-alone food or to be ground into flour to form an appetizing and finely textured pasta. This places it as a driver of various markets. BBC News reported on a worldwide survey performed by a universal development organization, Oxfam, to discover what people’s favorite food is and the answer was pasta. Considering that pasta is now connected to the gluten-free and protein-rich category, its potential is limitless.

Recipe for Herbed Pasta Salad courtesy of


Steven Genack
Steven Genack has worked at OU Kosher for more than ten years with a specialty in ingredients. He is an attorney and former editor of a newspaper. He has a wide array of interests including playing tennis, golf and basketball and reading biographies and memoirs.