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banza chickpea pizza CAT
Courtesy of Banza

  • Value: 17/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Quality & Ease of Use: 19/20
  • Aesthetic: 20/20
  • Taste: 18/20
  • TOTAL: 94/100

In many households, pizza night is sacred. It’s a time to sit back, relax and let the oven do the work. But no matter how many mushrooms or peppers you pile on that pie, you’re not fooling anyone. Between the sauce, the cheese and that carb-loaded crust, pizza isn’t exactly the healthiest of dinner options. That is until Banza got ahold of it.

You know Banza: That bright orange box that put the protein-packed chickpea on the map. It makes the dried pasta, rice and mac & cheese your plant-based sister-in-law swears by and it’s had the nutrition blogs and health nuts buzzing since its launch in 2014. If you haven’t tried it, we highly recommend heading straight to the nearest grocery store to give it a go. And while you’re browsing through the aisles, keep an eye on the frozen section because as of today, Banza is changing the way we think about pizza with its first-ever frozen option made from (you guessed it) chickpeas.

RELATED: The 7 Best Gluten-Free Pastas You Can Buy at the Grocery Store

Why chickpeas, you ask? “Chickpeas are one of the most nutrient-dense and environmentally friendly foods available,” Brian Rudolph, CEO & Co-Founder of Banza explained in a recent press release. “At Banza, we’re demonstrating the versatility of the ingredient and increasing consumption by using them to upgrade some of America’s favorite foods.” And pizza is most certainly at the top of that list. If you’re a skeptic like us, take a gander at the nutrition facts. Banza’s new pizzas have more protein and fiber, and less sodium and carbs than the leading wheat and cauliflower-based pizzas. You read that right, the little chickpea just dunked on the all-mighty floret. So the next time your aunt insists you try her homemade cauliflower flatbread, you can just smile and nod.

Now, onto what really matters: the taste. In addition to a build-your-own plain crust option, Banza’s new line comes in three ready-to-eat varieties including four cheese, roasted veggie and Margherita. There's no doubt that it's smaller than your average frozen pizza so, because of that, I don't think it's suitable for families (unless you buy three). Nevertheless, it works great as a meal for two with a salad on the side, so on a particularly lazy Tuesday, I grabbed the classic Margherita and threw it in the oven. Thirteen minutes later it was ready to consume.

I’m going to be honest with you: It tastes like a healthy pizza, but as someone who loves the garbanzo bean on its own, I was floored by how un-garbanzo beany it tasted. It's not the doughy, greasy, decadent kind of pizza you order at 2 a.m. on a Saturday, but the light, clean, satisfying kind I didn’t know existed until now. The crust was thin and crispy, while the center was soft and doughy. Like an unleavened flatbread, it was slightly sweet and flakey on the edges but not as thin or dry all the way through. If matzah and naan had a baby, this would be it. And the best part? I actually felt good after (shocker, food that fuels). Full but not bloated, satisfied but not guilty. I can’t say the crust was the star of the show, more of a vehicle to carry the toppings, but if you’re looking for a healthier way to enjoy your weekly pizza night(s) this is it, folks.

If we’ve piqued your interest taste buds, Banza pizza is available now at Target, Whole Foods Market, Wegmans and Heinen’s. If you’re more of a couch shopper, you can also find it online at Amazon and EatBanza.com. Because whoever said pizza night can only be once a week never met everyone's soon-to-be favorite legume.

$50 for 4 at Amazon

The PureWow100 is a scale our editors use to vet new products and services, so you know what's worth the spend—and what's total hype. Learn more about our process here.

RELATED: 9 Plant-Based Pizza Recipes That Are Easy to Make at Home

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