I usually like chickpeas in my pasta, not as my pasta. But I realize I can't eat carb-heavy meals every day of my life, so I tried Banza, the gluten-free vegan pasta that happens to be 90 percent chickpeas. After deeming it "pasta-lover-approved," it's since become a pantry staple of mine, and I love trying different meals with different shapes (Banza comes in shells, penne, rotini, rigatoni, linguine, and more). When you start with a pasta that has 25 grams of protein per serving — yes, for real! — then making a filling dinner is even easier.

You can use the chickpea pasta just as you would any other pasta dish, whether that's vegan mac and cheese or a chilled pasta salad with pesto and mozzarella. Do note, however, that because of the consistency, Banza's cooking time will affect the texture. Be careful not to boil it longer than the box's recommendation, and for a more al dente finish, taste it after about seven minutes. If you're thinking about adding a box or two to your shopping cart the next time you spot it at Target or Whole Foods, do it, and then peruse the following recipe ideas for inspiration. My next pasta plan of attack: that creamy avocado-lemon sauce.