Pasta Face-off! Quinoa vs Whole Wheat

Pasta Face-off! Quinoa vs Whole Wheat. Ever wondered what the difference is between whole-wheat and quinoa pasta? Check out this post about the benefits (and the taste!) of both.

There is a whole lot of pasta eaten in my household. It’s my go-to dinner when I have no idea what to cook. I always have a few boxes of whole wheat pasta in the cupboard, so I can just throw together whatever I have on hand to make a healthy, yummy dinner.

Not long ago, I was in the grocery store, and I spotted Ezekiel sprouted grain pasta and thought, ‘I need to try that immediately.’  You see, I love love love Ezekiel sprouted grain bread, so my rationale was the pasta would be just as good. When trying a new, healthy food, my litmus test is to NOT tell Fran, then gauge his reaction. If he loves it, or doesn’t even notice the difference, he can’t later claim to dislike the healthy alternative.

I cooked up the Ezekiel noodles, taste-tested one to see if it was al dente…and spit it out in horror. It tasted AWFUL. And there’s very little in the way of health foods that I dislike. I threw the cooked pasta out, and the half-full box went right after it. Then I posted a helpful warning to Facebook:

Pasta Face-Off! Quinoa vs Whole Wheat

My trainer friend Erich commented I should try quinoa pasta instead (this was actually one of his tips when I canvassed all my fitness friends for their best advice). I was gun-shy after this experience, but he assured me it was way better. So I went and bought this Quinoa/Corn rotelle and did another Don’t-Tell-Fran-He’s-Not-Eating-Real-Pasta experiment.

Pasta Face-Off! Quinoa vs Whole Wheat

Taste Test – Quinoa vs Whole Wheat Pasta

The taste was not markedly different to whole-wheat pasta, but the texture was different – it actually reminded me of egg noodles. It was a little softer and doesn’t have that kind of gritty texture to it.

And the husband litmus test? It went something like this:

Me: “So, you like the dinner?”

Fran: “Yes, it’s delicious. I always like pasta.”

Me: “You think the noodles are good?”

Fran: “Okay, what am I eating now? Do I even want to know?”

So it’s officially an approved dinner staple now.

What Are the Health Benefits of Quinoa vs. Whole Wheat Pasta?

Since I often cook meatless dishes (we’re not vegetarians, but we don’t eat a lot of meat), I’m always looking for new protein sources to supplement my veggie meals. Quinoa is a great source of protein and the obvious benefit for many people is that it’s gluten-free, so if you’re Celiac or just gluten intolerant, it’s a great alternative to wheat pasta. Here are the face-off stats, so you can see the pros for each type of pasta:

Pasta Face-off! Quinoa vs Whole Wheat. Ever wondered what the difference is between whole-wheat and quinoa pasta? Check out this post about the benefits (and the taste!) of both.As you can see, it really depends on your health needs as to which is the better choice for you. Then your only decision is how to serve your pasta. I love my delicious pasta recipe, with bacon, kale, parmesan and pine nuts. I also love using Oh She Glows’ avocado sauce for a simple (and uh-mazing) dinner with a salad. 

Have you tried any new foods recently? Hit or miss?

Vegetarian friends, what are your favorite ways to incorporate protein into pasta dishes?

Comments

  1. Fran - Husband/Victim of Trickery says:

    Ordinarily, I don’t like being duped but, in this case, I was ok with it. My wife’s dietary ruse offered me a tasty alternative to my beloved pasta. Those Quinoa noodles were really good. Now if I could just remember how she got me to eat kale. Impressive.

  2. First your husbands comment is hilarious. Fortunately my husband will eat anything. But I as well must be careful with the trickery lol. Thanks for the comparison. My husband is 100% born in Italy and pasta is a huge staple in our house, unfortunately I didn’t grow up with his pasta metabolism… Alas I bought quinoa pasta the other day, if all goes well I think we’ll have to stick to it. Mostly because I just can’t deny those healthy qualities!

    • Ha ha! He is pretty funny. Honestly, it’s not *too* different from regular pasta. Maybe if you have a pretty robust sauce with it your husband won’t notice as much. (Who am I kidding – 100% Italian he’ll probably be horrified!) Let me know how it goes. 🙂

  3. Thanks for your article! I tried the quinoa pasta today (the same brand you used), and I have to say – not bad! I agree that there’s a similarity to egg noodles, but happily I found the quinoa pasta to be a bit heartier and firmer than flimsy egg noodles. My only complaint would be the color – the corn in the quinoa pasta makes it very yellow. The creamy butternut squash puree I topped it with masked the yellow hue to an extent, but for some reason it still bothered me! After all, we eat with our eyes first. Still, I’ll definitely try this again, and soon! I think variety is important, and I’m happy to have found a new healthy grain that gets the job done!

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      I’m so glad you tried it! Yes, the yellow color is a bit odd – if you use a tomato based sauce it seems to mask that a bit more, too. It’s a good alternative to wheat pasta, for sure.

  4. We eat quinoa pasta in our house too. My 3 kids love it, as does hubby. Ours is 100% quinoa though, no corn. It’s slightly different (a softer pasta) but equally Delish!

  5. I had a box of this pasta that was thrown out by another before it was cooked didn’t even get to try it. Went out and bought anothere same brand just different type of noodle. Looking fwd to it.

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