Kidney beans are popular due to their great nutritional content. So it’s no surprise that this nutritious bean may be found in various dishes. They are commonly used in salads, sauces, chiles, etc.
Many health-conscious people like them as an alternative to their diet eating. But what if you can’t find these nutritious beans? In such cases, you can use substitutes like pink beans, black beans, cranberry beans, etc.
If that intrigues you, you must scroll down and learn the best hand-picked kidney bean substitutes that will help you recreate the same taste and consistency, irrespective of the dish.
List of 14 Best Substitutes for Kidney Beans
Though several substitutes for kidney beans are available, we have selected the best alternatives for kidney beans to provide you with a comparable flavor and resemblance. So, what are you holding out for? Explore all of the available options.
1. Pinto beans
Pinto beans, commonly known as speckled beans, are frequently used in Mexican cuisine and are an excellent alternative to kidney beans. These beans are incredibly healthy since they are high in fiber, protein, minerals, and vitamins, significantly helping boost heart health and blood sugar management.
Pinto beans can be purchased dry, boiled, or in cans and can be found at most grocery shops. Furthermore, they are high in antioxidants, which protect the body from toxins.
2. Black Beans
Like every other bean, Black beans are native to America, although they are now available worldwide. Because they are abundant in protein and fiber, black beans are an ideal option for kidney beans. Black beans pair well with chicken and pork dishes; they may also be used in salads and cereals and substitute for kidney beans in soups, casseroles, and stews.
Black beans include a variety of nutrients such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and their fiber content is beneficial for reducing obesity and diabetes and lowering the risk of heart disease.
3. Red Beans/ Adzuki Beans
Red beans are extensively produced in East Asia and are used in many Asian cuisines. Their non-powering flavor perfectly suits soups, salads, stews, and spaghetti. Out of all the beans, red beans are the closest substitute for kidney beans as it has the same amount of protein and has somewhat the same shade as them.
Furthermore, the antioxidants, fiber, protein, and carbs make it nutritionally dense and a perfect companion for people following a diet plan.
4. Anasazi Beans
These reddish-brown and milky white-spotted beans are a popular Mexican and Latin cuisine choice. They are roughly the size and form of pinto beans, and when cooked, they turn somewhat pink. You may eat them with rice, enchiladas, soup, spicy chili, and stew, among other things.
Like other beans, they are also high in nutrients like phosphorus, iron, manganese, protein, and dietary fibers. Their excellent taste and nutritional properties make them an excellent replacement for kidney beans.
5. Borlotti Beans
Borlotti beans, often known as cranberry beans, are a kind of bean that is commonly used in soups and with pasta. This medium to large-sized bean is tan or hazelnut in color with magenta and crimson spots. Aside from soups and salads, they may also be used in curries, burgers, spaghetti, and pizza.
These beans are high in copper, fiber, protein, and iron when it comes to nutritional content. This fiber-rich, low-sodium bean aids with blood pressure and weight balance.
6. Cannellini Beans
Cannellini beans made it to this list because of their similar size and form to kidney beans. These beans have an ivory color and a creamy, nutty texture from the outside. This bean has a rough coat compared to other beans; therefore, soak it in water for at least 5 hours for the best outcomes. It works well as a replacement for kidney beans in various Italian recipes such as bruschetta and spaghetti.
These beans are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which help enhance the immune system, and they are fat-free, making them an excellent choice for individuals on a diet.
7. Pinquito Beans
Pinquito beans are a kind of bean native to Santa Marina, California. Pinquitos are a mix between a pink bean and a little white bean that is commonly used in Santa Maria-style Barbeque. You may add this kidney bean alternative to any side dish, such as chili, or use it as the primary component in any cuisine that calls for kidney beans.
This bean is high in calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, protein, and low-fat content.
8. Navy Beans
Navy beans are an excellent replacement for kidney beans since they have the same creamy and silky feel. Navy beans may be found in various cuisines, including salads, soups, and stews. You may also use them to make various sauces to serve with your pasta.
To make navy beans easy to digest, soak them in water for 3 hours and cook them for 20-30 minutes. These beans are rich in protein and soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol, making them ideal for vegetarian diets.
9. Lima Beans
Lima bean’s flavor may seem different from kidney beans because they don’t have a bean-like flavor. They have a flatter and ivory-white shade rather than red like kidney beans. But its buttery flavor will go great with soups, stews, meat, and various other dishes, including kidney beans.
Lima beans are a heart-healthy snack. Their high fiber content aids in cholesterol reduction. Even better, they’re high in magnesium, which helps control your blood pressure.
10. Mung Beans
Mung beans have been a staple of Asian cuisine for a long time. Though these beans are not physically identical to kidney beans, they have a similar nutty and somewhat sweet flavor. Mung daal is a highly adaptable bean that may be utilized in various sweet and savory cuisines.
Mung beans are high in fiber and vitamin B, which aid in managing cholesterol levels, preventing heart disease, and increasing red blood cell development.
11. Pink Beans
As the name suggests, pink beans are pink-colored beans from the legume family. They are also known as chili beans. Due to their rich flavor and powdery texture, they are used in soups and stews.
Since pink beans are harvested when they are tender, they are dried before being used for cooking. You might also find certain similarities between pink and pinto beans, but it must be noted that pink beans are smaller and rounder.
In terms of nutrition, pink beans are a potent source of fiber, folate, copper, vitamins A, B1, B6, C, potassium, manganese, iron, etc.
12. Cranberry beans
Cranberry beans, also known as borlotti beans, are small legumes with deep red spots. This might make them look like pinto beans. While they originate from Italy, they are highly common in Mediterranean cuisine.
Unlike what the name might suggest, Cranberry beans have nothing in common with cranberries. Instead, they are named so due to the cranberry-colored markings on their outer layer.
They have a nutty flavor, due to which you can add them to your salads, soups, stews, etc.
Since cranberry beans are low in sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat, you can incorporate them into your weight-loss diet.
Hummus is incomplete with chickpeas, so all the hummus enthusiasts are already aware of the texture and taste that this substitute brings to the table. Chickpeas come from the Fabaceae family. They are also referred to as Garbanzo bean or Egyptian peas.
Chickpeas are a superfood loaded with protein, fiber, calcium, iron, etc. You can also find gluten-free chickpea varieties without any additional flavors or ingredients.
Lentils, also known as pulses, are a type of legume. Even though lentil isn’t a bean, they come from the same family.
They have a high proportion of protein with low levels of fat. You will find different types of lentils, like brown lentils, French green lentils, black lentils, yellow and red lentils, etc. You can use either one of them while trying to substitute kidney beans.
FAQs About Kidney Bean Substitute
Are kidney and red beans the same?
No, kidney beans and red beans are not the same things. Even their shapes and shades are also different. The only thing they share is that they are both legumes.
No, kidney beans and red beans are not the same things. The only thing they have in common is that they are both legumes.
How long does it take to cook canned kidney beans?
You’ll need 5 minutes to prepare kidney beans directly from the can. After that, you must cook them for a further 15 minutes, for 20 minutes.
Which bean is the most fiber-rich?
The most fiber-rich beans are navy and white beans. However, all beans are fiber-rich.
Kidney beans substitute in chili?
It is best to use Cannellini beans while trying to substitute kidney beans in chili. It will help you bring the same texture and nutty flavor to the dish.
Can I substitute baked beans for kidney beans in chili?
You can use baked beans for kidney beans in chili, especially if you are cooking for kids. Such a change will add to the flavor of the sauce as well.
Substitute for Kidney Beans in Salads
If you have to substitute kidney beans in salads, pinto beans are the best option. If you do not have access to them, you can try using black beans or cranberry beans.
Substitute for Kidney Beans in Soups
If you are trying to prepare soup without using kidney beans, you can use pinquito beans, pink beans, cranberry beans, or Anasazi beans.
I hope we were able to assist you in determining the best nutritious kidney bean replacements. We can tell you that they will all offer your recipe a distinct and wonderful flavor no matter which beans you use.
It’s OK if you make tiny alterations to your meals now and then; as long as these components don’t damage you, you may continue with these changes. So, pick the best alternatives and put your cooking abilities to the test!
Milburn Adler is a food enthusiast and connoisseur of wine. His area of expertise is food fusions and gourmet foods. He lives to experiment with new recipes every day and spends most of his day looking for fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables.