5 BEST Kidney Beans Substitutes to Try

Are you looking for a substitute for kidney beans in your favorite recipes or perhaps a healthier or more flavorful option? Well, look no further.

In this article, we will provide you with the five best alternatives to kidney beans, which include black beans, pinto beans, navy beans, chickpeas, and lentils.

Read on to learn more about each of these beans and their unique flavour and health benefits.

What are Kidney Beans?

Kidney beans are a type of legume that originated in Peru and South America.

They are usually dark red in color and have a pleasant, nutty flavor.

They are also known as red beans and are popular in Tex-Mex and Latin American cuisine.

Kidney beans are an excellent source of protein and are a great substitute for meat in many dishes.

They are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

They are a good source of essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, and many essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

They are also a good source of potassium, folate, and vitamin B6.

The beans have a distinct, slightly sweet taste and a creamy texture.

They can be used in chili, soups, salads, and many other dishes.

They are also a great addition to stews, burritos, and tacos.

For a meatless meal, simply add kidney beans to rice or quinoa for added flavor.

When cooking with kidney beans, it is important to rinse them thoroughly before adding them to the dish.

This will help remove any dust, dirt, or debris.

It is also important to cook them thoroughly as they can contain toxins if not cooked correctly.

Kidney beans are a versatile ingredient and can be used in a variety of dishes.

They can be served as a side dish, added to salads, sautéed, or used in soups, stews, and chili.

When using kidney beans in place of meat, it is important to remember to keep the dish’s flavor in mind and make sure to season it accordingly.

Overall, kidney beans are a nutritious and tasty addition to any meal.

With their nutty flavor and creamy texture, they are sure to add flavor to any dish.

Don’t forget to rinse them thoroughly and cook them thoroughly for optimal nutrition and taste.

5 Kidney Beans Substitutes to Try

1 – Black Beans

Black beans are an excellent alternative to kidney beans and can be used in many different recipes.

The main difference between the two beans is that black beans have a slightly sweeter flavor and a firmer texture.

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This makes them great for adding to dishes such as burritos, enchiladas, soups, salads, and more.

They are a staple in many Latin American countries, and they are becoming increasingly popular in the U.


thanks to the variety of recipes they can be used in.

They have a rich, earthy flavor that pairs well with many other ingredients, making them a great addition to any dish.

The mild flavor of black beans also makes them a great substitute for kidney beans, as they are more subtle and won’t overpower other flavors.

When it comes to texture, black beans are quite firm when cooked, making them a great choice for recipes that require a little more texture.

They are also a great option for those who want a bit of a bite without the creaminess of kidney beans.

When substituting black beans for kidney beans, it is important to note that the two beans have different cooking times.

Kidney beans will typically cook faster than black beans, so you may need to increase the cooking time of the dish if you are using black beans as a substitute.

When it comes to taste, black beans have a slightly sweet flavor that pairs wonderfully with onion, garlic, peppers, and other South American flavors.

This makes them a great option for chili, refried beans, and other traditional Latin recipes.

2 – Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are a type of small, kidney-shaped bean commonly found in Mexican and Southwestern-style cuisine.

Similar to other members of the legume family, they have soft, beige-colored exteriors and delicate interiors.

With a mild and pleasant flavor, pinto beans are an ideal substitute for kidney beans when it comes to creating flavorful dishes.

They are an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates.

This makes them a staple for anyone looking to follow a healthy and balanced diet.

They are also remarkably versatile and can be used in a variety of cooked dishes or as a convenient alternative to other beans or legumes.

When cooked, pinto beans have a creamy, slightly nutty flavor that is perfectly complemented by spices, herbs, and other flavorful ingredients.

The beans have a slightly firm, tender texture that holds up well to longer cooking times.

Pinto beans can be boiled, fried, simmered, or baked in a variety of dishes.

When substituting pinto beans for kidney beans, it’s important to remember that pinto beans have a more delicate flavor.

Therefore, the dish may need to be adjusted to make up for the flavor difference.

Try adding a bit more of the spices and herbs used in the original recipe to give the dish more flavor.

Additionally, pinto beans may take slightly longer to cook, so you may need to extend the cooking time.

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3 – Navy Beans

Navy beans, also known as haricot beans, are an excellent substitute for kidney beans in many recipes.

Despite their small size and mild flavor, navy beans offer a great source of protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals.

In addition, they have an earthy flavor which makes them a great addition to savory dishes.

They have a nutty flavor, ranging from mild to robust, depending on the recipe.

They have a smooth, creamy texture and break down easily in cooking, making them an ideal substitute for kidney beans in many dishes.

The beans range in color from light tan to dark brown, depending on their maturity and variety, and are most commonly found canned or dried.

Due to their mild flavor, navy beans are often used in dishes such as soups, stews, and casseroles.

They also make a great addition to vegetarian dishes and can be added to chili, tacos, and burritos for added protein and flavor.

Dried navy beans often require soaking and a long cooking time, but canned navy beans are ready to use and can be added directly to a recipe.

When substituting navy beans for kidney beans, it’s important to note that the flavors and textures are slightly different.

Navy beans are slightly sweeter, creamier, and have a smoother texture than kidney beans.

For this reason, it’s best to add additional flavorings to the dish, such as chili powder, cumin, herbs, and spices.

This will help to create a more robust, robust flavor.

4 – Chickpeas

Chickpeas are an ideal substitute for kidney beans when cooking.

These small, round legumes are incredibly versatile and are a great way to change up a recipe if you don’t have kidney beans on hand.

Chickpeas are widely used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines and are a great source of both protein and fiber.

When it comes to taste and texture, chickpeas are fairly similar to kidney beans.

Like kidney beans, they have a subtly nutty flavor and can be cooked in a variety of ways.

The difference between the two beans is that chickpeas are slightly firmer and have a slightly sweeter flavor.

When substituting chickpeas for kidney beans in a recipe, the ratio is generally 1:1.

This means that if a recipe calls for one cup of kidney beans, you can substitute one cup of chickpeas instead.

However, the cooking time may vary depending on the dish.

When it comes to cooking with chickpeas, there are endless possibilities.

They can be boiled, roasted, stewed, and even added raw to salads.

They can also be used in place of kidney beans in a variety of dishes, such as soups, stews, curries, and even salads.

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5 – Lentils

Lentils are a great alternative to kidney beans and are often used interchangeably in recipes.

Lentils are a type of edible pulse, which are the dried seeds of legumes like peas and beans.

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be used in a variety of dishes to add flavor and nutrition.

When selecting lentils, look for dry or packaged lentils that are uniform in color and free from any signs of spoilage.

Lentils are also available canned, but preferably you should opt for the dry variety.

When cooked, lentils have a nutty, earthy flavor and a firm but tender texture.

Lentils are high in protein, fiber, and key minerals like iron, zinc, and phosphorus.

They can be eaten as a side dish, added to soups, casseroles, and salads, or pureed into dips and spreads.

Because of their small size and firm texture, lentils can be used as a direct substitute for kidney beans in cooked dishes.

Lentils also have a shorter cooking time than beans, so other ingredients don’t have to be cooked as long.

Lentils also absorb flavors well, so they can be used to add depth to dishes.

When using lentils as a substitute for kidney beans, you may need to adjust the recipe slightly.

If a recipe calls for kidney beans that have already been cooked and canned, replace them with the same amount of cooked lentils.

If the recipe calls for uncooked kidney beans, replace them with about two-thirds of a cup of uncooked lentils per one cup of kidney beans.


In conclusion, kidney beans are a powerful, healthy dietary staple that can be used in many different recipes.

However, there are a variety of other types of beans that can be used as substitutes in a pinch.

Black beans, pinto beans, navy beans, chickpeas, and lentils are all great alternatives to kidney beans that can add their own unique flavors and textures to your dishes.

Whether you’re looking for a plant-based substitute or just want to mix things up, these five types of beans make excellent stand-ins for kidney beans in most recipes.

Ultimately, there are endless possibilities when it comes to preparing healthy meals with beans as the main ingredient.

Try adding some of these substitutes for kidney beans to your recipes and enjoy.

5 BEST Kidney Beans Substitutes to Try

5 BEST Kidney Beans Substitutes to Try

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 – Black Beans
  • 2 – Pinto 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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