5 BEST Black Beans Substitutes in Recipes

Have you ever heard of the magic of black beans?

This multi-talented food can be cooked in a variety of ways, from refried beans to chili, and holds its own as part of those dishes.

But it’s often overlooked for more colorful ingredients – yet so versatile.

If you’re wondering how to incorporate black beans into your cooking routine, look no further.

In addition to learning about all the possibilities with black beans, it’s also great to know several excellent substitutes.

Whether you’re vegan or simply trying out something new, there’s something helpful here for everyone.

So what are you waiting for? Dive in and learn these creative recipes and fantastic substitutions today.

What is Black Bean?

Loaded with flavor and nutrition, black beans make a delicious addition to any culinary recipe.

A hearty source of plant-based protein and dietary fiber, these nutritional powerhouses are a perfect ingredient to incorporate into an array of dishes.

Their mild, earthy taste, paired with their creamy texture, makes them ideal for many meals.

Adding a hint of zestiness when cooked in savory dishes or providing subtle sweetness when included in desserts, versatility is another attribute that makes black beans a popular choice in cooking.

From stir-fry recipes to bean salads, burrito fillings, to chili toppings, the possibilities are endless when it comes to using black beans in the kitchen.

Bursting with flavor and nutrients, this incredible legume can elevate any dish in an easy cooking experience you won’t want to miss out on.

5 BEST Black Beans Substitutes in Recipes

If you are looking for a healthier and tastier alternative to black beans in your recipes, then you have come to the right place.

We’ve rounded up five of the best black bean substitutes that will give your dishes an extra zing.

From navy beans to lentils, these plant-based ingredients provide great flavor and nutrients without added sugar or sodium.

1 – Pinto Beans

The pinto bean is an incredibly unique and versatile ingredient that has been enrapturing home cooks and chefs alike for decades.

Its subtly nutty flavor and distinct texture make it a sought-after ingredient for tacos, chilis, burritos, and salads.

Pinto beans are a perfect accompaniment to all your favorite Mexican dishes, providing the protein-rich foundation you’re looking for in any meal.

They have a soft but not mushy texture that is sure to please even the pickiest eaters.

What some may not know about pinto beans, though, is that they can also be used as an easy substitute for black beans – just add a little extra flavor with some spices or herbs.

With their versatility and deliciousness, it’s no wonder why pinto beans are so popular.

2 – Kidney Beans

Kidney beans have long been a favorite among North and South Americans, but their popularity is quickly growing in other parts of the world as well.

It can be easy to confuse them for their similar-looking cousin – black beans – but there are some key differences that you should know.

Kidney beans have an earthy, nutty flavor and broad texture compared to the more creamy black beans.

Additionally, kidney beans take significantly longer to cook than black beans, so using one instead of the other in a recipe will require some tweaking.

Luckily, these tasty beans can be used in many different dishes – from hearty stews to refried bean quesadillas – for an exciting twist of flavor.

3 – Navy Beans

Navy beans are truly a sight to behold.

This beautiful set of little white jewels tastes like a dream and can make any dish outstanding.

With a mild flavor and firm texture, navy beans are the perfect legume for countless dishes.

Use it in soup or chili to add bulk and carbohydrates, or cook it in a pressure cooker for delicate creamy beans.

Navy beans can also be used as an easy substitution for black beans while cooking – it will still give your dish that heavenly taste you expect minus the added effort.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing navy beans yet, get out there and try some today – you won’t be disappointed.

4 – Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a true dynamite ingredient.

Bursting with flavor, texture, and nutrition, chickpeas are an indispensable element in many cuisines around the world.

They can be found in almost every region of the world – from the Middle East to India, there’s bound to be more than one recipe calling for these gems.

Finer than its other legume colleagues and grittier than most nuts, their texture is like nothing else, and don’t forget about that characteristic earthy taste.

Traditionally used in classic hummus recipes, chickpeas are also the perfect substitute for black beans in Latin American dishes.

With a little seasoning, chickpeas provide a unique crunchy twist to salads and stir-fries alike.

5 – Lentils

Lentils have always been one of the staples of the pantry, a versatile yet delicious option to turn to when you’re short on time – or ingredients.

But did you know that there is more than one type of lentil? And that they don’t just have amazing health benefits – they can also taste delicious and add plenty of texture and nutrition to meals.

Green lentils are probably the most common variety in restaurants.

Unlike red and brown lentils, green ones keep their shape while they cook, so they provide good contrast in salads and soups.

Red lentils tend to be a bit mushier but still pack tons of flavor.

You can often substitute them for black beans in recipes, giving an interesting flavor twist to dishes like chili or burrito bowls.


In conclusion, black beans are an important source of nutrition and flavor in many recipes.

But when time is of the essence, or you’re out of black beans – don’t despair.

There are plenty of delicious substitutes that can make any dish just as tasty, if not more.

Whether it’s pinto beans, kidney beans, navy beans, chickpeas, or lentils, there are plenty of options to choose from to make your dishes unique and tasty.

5 BEST Black Beans Substitutes in Recipes

5 BEST Black Beans Substitutes in Recipes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 – Pinto Beans
  • 2 – Kidney Beans
  • 3 – Navy Beans
  • 4 – Chickpeas
  • 5 – Lentils


  1. Choose a preferred substitute from the provided list.
  2. Follow the cooking instructions for the selected substitute.
  3. Use the correct proportion of ingredients when preparing the substitute.

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