What Pasta is the Most Filling – Top 5 List

different kinds of pasta

Satiety is the essential requirement that any food must satisfy. As per studies, foods with a lower glycemic index (GI) provide higher satiety and decrease hunger. However, this is not an exclusive satiety factor. In fact, the satiety levels of food are a combination of several factors.

The ingredients that the food item is prepared with, toppings and garnishing, and the food’s cooking method determine how filling it is. It is not just about the food too. The way you eat your food also has an impact on satiety. When you chew your food well and eat slowly, your body releases hormones indicating that your stomach is full.

So, let us pick one of the world’s favorite cuisine – pasta, and analyze which pasta is the most filling.

300 Varieties of Pasta

There are references in history that Marco Polo, the well-known merchant, and voyager, introduced pasta to Italy from China in the 13th century. However, archaic carvings on the Etruscan tombs in Italy, dating back to the fourth century, depict people preparing cuisine that looks like pasta.

In ancient times in the east, rice flour is believed to have been used to prepare pasta. In Italy, people used hard wheat to make pasta in the form of strands.

Pasta is now popular across the world. There are over 300 varieties of pasta. The prominent ones include spaghetti, ravioli, penne, macaroni, farfalle, lasagna, fusilli, rigatoni, cannelloni, linguine, orecchiette, tagliatelle, and fettuccine. These varieties are basically classifications based on the shape of the pasta.

Different shapes are suitable for different recipes. For instance, long pasta like spaghetti blends well with olive oil and vegetables, while lasagna and penne are ideal for cheese preparations.

Pasta is prepared from different types of flours. The flour is mixed with water to make a dough that is kneaded and passed through molds or dies to get spaghetti, ravioli, macaroni, or tagliatelle.

For the purpose of evaluating satiety levels of pasta, let us look at kinds of pasta based on what they are made from rather than their varieties based on shape.

Hunger, which demands food, is a signal sent out by the body that it is running low on energy and nutrition. Consuming food is not meant to quell hunger alone. Food is a source of nutrients like carbohydrates, fiber, fats, sugar, minerals, vitamins, proteins, and hydration that are required by the body for energy, growth, warmth, healthy immune system, repair, and fighting diseases.

Therefore, alongside measuring the satiety levels of different types of pasta, let us also study their nutrition facts. So, here is our list of pasta that fills you up the most.

Rice Pasta

Rice flour is from where pasta is believed to have begun its journey. Brown rice flour is more commonly used. It is combined with boiling water and prepared as noodles, spaghetti, and linguine. You can also add potato flour or tapioca starch to enhance the tenacity of the pasta. Alternatively, you can use ready-to-make rice pasta.

Rice pasta is usually stir-fried with olive oil or any other vegetable oil and garnished with onion, garlic, capsicum, broccoli, olives, mushroom, and pesto sauce. Although it is prepared with cheese too, it is not very common.

The satiety index of rice is 132, while its GI is 57.6. The fat in oil and fiber in vegetables also contribute to satiety.

To make your rice pasta more filling, try the ravioli variety – ravioli is a stuffed pasta where the stuffing could include meat, eggs, vegetables, and ricotta. Rice spaghetti with cheese will also make a sumptuous meal.

Rice is a staple in Asia. It is eaten as the main meal. Rice is rich in micronutrients, is anti-inflammatory, protects the nervous system, is rich in protein, and cures constipation. The satiety index of rice is 132, while its GI is 57.6. The fat in oil and fiber in vegetables also contribute to satiety.

This pasta is the ideal option if you are a celiac as it is absolutely free of gluten. It is also suitable for the young and old because it is easy to digest.

Here’s a quick look at the nutrition facts of rice pasta.

NutrientComposition in 175 grams
Protein3.1 grams
Fiber1.75 grams
Carbohydrates41.8 grams
Fat0.4 grams
Sodium438 grams

Whole Wheat Pasta

Like the name suggests this pasta is made from the flour of whole wheat grains. It can be brought out in perfect texture in the shape of your choice. It looks darker in color because it contains bran. To prepare the pasta at home, you must mix whole wheat flour with eggs, salt, olive oil, and water. You can also use ready-to-cook whole wheat pasta.

The cuisine is prepared in a multitude of varieties. Whole wheat has a nutty taste. Nevertheless, the pasta can be tossed in oil or cheese and garnished with chili flakes, vegetables, meat, pumpkin seeds, and sauces of your preference.

Whole wheat pasta scores are high on both satiety levels and nutrition. The satiety index of whole wheat is 154. Its GI is 54.

Since you can make all shapes and recipes of pasta with whole wheat, you can choose the one to suit your hunger level. Here are some of the most filling whole wheat pasta preparations in order of their satiety index.

  • Four cheese ravioli
  • Ricotta and spinach filled ravioli
  • Vegetable and cheese macaroni
  • Penne with sausage
  • Creamy farfalle

Since whole wheat pasta retains the bran of the grain, it is one of the healthiest kinds of pasta. You get to consume a high amount of fiber that will protect you from obesity, heart diseases, diabetes, and high blood pressure. However, you should avoid whole wheat pasta if you are gluten intolerant.

Whole wheat comes with the following nutrients.

NutrientsComposition – per 140 grams
Protein7.5 grams
Fiber6 grams
Carbohydrates37 grams
Fat0.8 grams

Semolina flour pasta

Semolina flour is a popular choice for pasta. It is widely used for fresh as well as ready-to-cook recipes as it offers sumptuous bites. Owing to its high gluten content, semolina also helps carry various shapes of the pasta. The dough can be prepared with or without eggs.

This pasta blends perfectly for all preparations. Be it penne, spaghetti, ravioli, or tagliatelle, semolina pasta can be tossed in oil or cheese and adorned with your favorite toppings for an appetizing meal.

Semolina is ideal for a satisfying meal. Its GI is 66. The high load of fiber also helps in providing the feeling of fullness after consuming it. Further, vegetables, eggs, meat, cheese, and oil in your preparation contribute to the satiety and nutrition of eating semolina pasta.

Some of the most filling semolina pasta recipes would be –

  • Chicken cheese penne
  • Fettucine alfredo
  • Baked vegetable lasagna
  • Roasted pumpkin, carrot and cheese ravioli

Semolina is prepared by coarsely grinding whole wheat. Therefore, it has all the goodness of the grain. It is rich in fiber, vitamin B, magnesium, and protein that protect the digestive system and heart besides facilitating weight loss and keeping diabetes in check. However, semolina is high in gluten.

Semolina is ideal for a satisfying meal. Its GI is 66. The high load of fiber also helps in providing the feeling of fullness after consuming it. Further, vegetables, eggs, meat, cheese, and oil in your preparation contribute to the satiety and nutrition of eating semolina pasta.

Chickpea flour pasta

The pasta is prepared from a dough of chickpea flour and water. You may add tapioca flour to enhance tenacity. Make your desired pasta shapes and cook them in water for fresh recipes. You can also dry the pasta shapes and store them for a couple of months for ready-to-cook recipes.

Chickpea flour pasta has a distinct flavor, unlike white-flour pasta. It can be enjoyed with butter or with sauce and vegetables. It can also be added to soups. The pasta is not very common although it is high on protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It has anti-inflammatory properties and helps regulate blood pressure. However, it could cause gas and bloat.

Small amounts of chickpea flour pasta can provide increased satiety and high energy. It also keeps you full for longer as the resistant starch takes time to digest. Chickpea has a low GI of 28.

When you are extremely hungry and are looking for a protein-rich pasta meal, consider the following options.

  • Creamy red pepper penne
  • Spaghetti with roasted vegetables and lemon
  • Zucchini parmesan
  • Spaghetti with avocado cucumber sauce

Here’s a quick look at the nutritional facts of chickpea flour pasta.

NutrientComposition in 57 grams
Protein14 grams
Fiber8 grams
Carbohydrates32 grams
Fat3.5 grams

All-purpose white flour pasta

This is the most common pasta you will find in restaurants. It has a great soft texture, a neutral flavor, and perfect suppleness that make it suitable for all recipes.

All-purpose white flour pasta is usually good for fresh preparations. It must be cooked carefully as it can easily get overcooked and become mushy. The dough usually uses eggs.

The white flour is surely versatile but is bereft of nutrition. It lacks fiber, and hence cannot make a filling meal. The vegetables and cheese in your preparation can provide an immediate sense of fullness but you will soon end up craving more food. Consuming white flour pasta too often is detrimental to your metabolism and gut health. It could lead to several health issues like headaches, constipation, weight gain, high blood pressure and sugar levels, heart diseases, depression, and food addiction.

White flour, which is prepared by processing ground wheat, has a high GI of 85. It is also high in gluten content.

If you must eat white flour pasta to satiate your hunger, pick from the following list. These are filling and also comparably nutritious.

  • Minced meat and vegetable penne
  • Spaghetti carbonara
  • Three cheese ravioli with cherry tomatoes
  • Spinach and ricotta ravioli
  • Linguine with clams
  • Loaded macaroni with chicken and vegetables

 Other components of the flour is as follows.

NutrientComposition in 57 grams
Protein7 grams
Fiber2 grams
Carbohydrates43 grams
Fat1 gram

Pasta can also be prepared using rye flour, AP flour, corn flour, almond flour, oat flour, buckwheat flour, and soy flour. While these may be good for occasional consumption, choose the grain that is predominant in your region and for your ethnicity to avail best satiety and nutrition benefits.

Further, note that pasta recipes with ravioli, penne, fusilli, and fettuccine are prepared with cheese, eggs, chicken, and vegetables and topped with bolognese, pesto, and alfredo sauces score high on satiety and nutrients.