Banza's New Chickpea Mac And Cheese Cooks Faster Than Ever

Banza was a game changer for pasta lovers looking for a more wholesome product. According to No Good, they were the first to enter the chickpea pasta market, using the legume instead of wheat flour as the base, making the pasta gluten-free and high in fiber and iron. Per Today, the chickpea base, along with added pea protein, also gives the macaroni 25 grams of protein, making it a staple for vegans as well as those with gluten sensitivities.

The New York Times reports Banza was born of necessity when founder Brian Rudolph was experimenting with chickpeas to make a healthier gluten-free pasta for himself. Fresh out of college, he was a fellow with Venture for America, a program for recent entrepreneurial grads. While his idea initially fell flat with his mentors, people were excited about the prospect of more nutritious pasta. So Rudolph entered Banza into a crowdfunding competition sponsored by Venture for America and won, garnering press attention in USA Today, which led to a career-making appearance on the TV show "Restaurant Startup."

Banza introduces a faster, healthier microwave mac and cheese

Two years after they shook up the pasta category, Banza expanded into packaged meals, launching their mac and cheese line in 2016 with four varieties: Shells and Cheddar, Mac and White Cheddar, Mac and Cheddar, and Mac and Creamy Delux Cheddar (via a press release). Like their pasta, mac and cheese lovers weren't choosing between healthfulness or taste. Insider put three brands of boxed mac and cheese to a taste test, and Banza came out on top. The packaged comfort food was the stand out with its creamy, cheddar-filled sauce that adhered well to the gluten-free noodles.

Banza is once again shaking up the packaged pasta market by launching its first microwavable mac and cheese, the Elbows & Yellow Cheddar Mac. Ready in just two minutes, this speedy option has two times the protein, four times the fiber, and 20% fewer carbs than its competitors, according to a press release sent to Tasting Table. The microwavable mac is available at Whole Foods, Target, and Amazon.