Kidney beans are a beloved and nutritious ingredient that is widely used in many dishes worldwide, including chili, stews, salads, and dips. They’re not only flavorful but also packed with essential nutrients such as protein, fiber, iron, and various vitamins and minerals that are vital for a healthy diet.
However, for those who have dietary restrictions or cannot find kidney beans at their local grocery store, finding a substitute with a similar taste and texture can be a challenge.
Fortunately, there are many excellent alternatives available on the market, such as black beans and pinto beans, that offer the same creamy texture and essential nutrients as kidney beans.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best substitutes for kidney beans that provide similar taste, texture, and nutritional benefits. So whether you need a substitute due to dietary reasons or just want to give something new a try – we have got you covered.
Best Substitutes For Kidney Beans in Soup
If you’re looking to make a delicious and hearty soup but don’t have any kidney beans on hand, don’t worry! There are plenty of great substitutes that can be used to make a delicious and nutritious soup.
1. Black Beans
Black beans are one of the best substitutes for kidney beans due to their similar creamy texture and slightly sweet taste. It is an ideal ingredient in chilis, soups, and other savory dishes, including most vegan and vegetarian recipes.
If you’re a fan of Mexican or Latin American cuisine, then you’ve likely encountered black beans before in recipes such as burritos, quesadillas, and black bean salads. Furthermore, black beans provide essential nutrients such as protein, fiber, and iron, which makes them an excellent addition to any meal.
2. Pinto Beans
Pinto beans are another great substitute for kidney beans. Although they are slightly smaller in size and have a milder flavor, their texture, and taste resemble kidney beans a lot.
They are also rich in fiber and potassium, so they are a great choice if you want to lower your blood cholesterol levels and regulate the fluids in your body.
3. Cannellini Beans
Cannellini beans, also known as white kidney beans, are a type of bean that has a creamy texture and a mild flavor. They are commonly used in Italian soups because of their nutty and earthy flavor. It’s even more perfect when paired with bread.
Navy beans, also called pea beans, are another type of white bean that has a similar taste and texture to kidney beans. They are rich in protein, fiber, and magnesium, which are great if you want to lose weight and regulate your blood sugar level.
They may be slightly smaller in size and have a milder flavor than your usual kidney beans, but they can instantly make any type of soup creamier. With enough creativity, you can turn them into a great dish that can be enjoyed by everyone in your family.
5. Great Northern Beans
Originally from Peru, Great Northern beans are a larger kind of white bean that has a creamy texture and nutty flavor. They can be typically found in the market, dried or canned, and are perfect when paired with ham and soup.
They’re also a good source of protein, fiber, and iron, making them a healthy addition to your diet, especially if you are looking to build muscles and gain some mass.
Best Substitutes for Kidney Beans in Fried Dishes
If you are looking to cook something quick and easy, then you can never go wrong with fried dishes. But when it comes to frying, the texture of your ingredients is just as important as their flavor. Luckily, there are several kidney bean alternatives that can deliver both.
6. Lima Beans
Lima beans are a type of legume that has a buttery texture and a slightly sweet taste, making them a great option for fried dishes like fritters or patties.
7. Garbanzo Beans
Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, have a nutty flavor and a firm texture that resembles cooked potatoes. They’re commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, such as in hummus, falafel, and salads. They can also add an interesting twist to fried dishes such as falafel or veggie burgers.
8. Adzuki Beans
Adzuki beans are small, reddish-brown beans that have a slightly sweet taste and nutty flavor. They are typically called red beans and are used in many Japanese and Chinese desserts, such as mochi.
So if you’re a fan of Asian cuisine and looking to buy a great alternative to kidney beans at the market, adzuki beans could be the perfect choice for you.
9. Black-Eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas are a type of legume that has a slightly earthy flavor and firm texture similar to that of kidney beans, so they are great for adding texture to dishes such as hushpuppies and fritters.
Lentils are a type of legume that has a firm texture and slightly nutty flavor, similar to kidney beans. Their small size allows them to cook quickly and absorb the flavors of the dish they’re cooked in. So when used in combination with other beans, lentils can add depth and complexity to any fried dish.
Healthy Substitutes for Kidney Beans
Kidney beans are a great source of nutrients, including protein and fiber, but if you’re looking for some healthy substitutes, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you’re looking to mix up your meals or simply trying to eat healthier, you should consider adding these substitutes to your diet.
11. Split Peas
Split peas are a type of legume with an almost creamy texture and slightly sweet taste, similar to kidney beans. They often appear in soups or stews as an easy substitute for kidney beans. Plus, split peas have lots of minerals and nutrients- making them an incredibly nutritious addition to any meal.
12. Mung Beans
With their crunchy texture and earthy flavor, mung beans are a popular substitute for kidney beans in Asian cuisine. They are a popular added ingredient in a variety of dishes like curries and stews because of their antioxidant properties.
Soybeans are an incredibly versatile legume that can be used in soups, stews, and salads alike. Aside from containing dietary fiber, which promotes digestive health, soybeans are also a rich source of plant-based protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body.
In a study published in the National Library of Medicine, regular consumption of soybeans has also been linked to reduced risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and certain types of cancer.
14. Cranberry Beans
Borlotti beans (cranberry beans) are a type of bean with a unique texture and slightly sweet flavor that is often used in Italian cuisine. So if you’re looking for a nutritious alternative to kidney beans that pairs perfectly with Italian dishes, you could try searching your local market for this ingredient.
15. Fava Beans
Fava beans (also known as broad beans) are a type of legume with an earthy, buttery texture similar to kidney beans. They’re often featured in Mediterranean cuisine and pair perfectly with garlic bread for an unforgettable flavor!
Other Substitutes for Kidney Beans
If you are feeling adventurous and want to try something different, there are a few less-known but equally flavorful substitutes for kidney beans that can add an interesting twist to your dishes.
16. Anasazi Beans
Anasazi beans are a rare variety of beans with an exquisite texture and delectable flavor. Not only are these beans packed full of antioxidants, but studies have linked them to strengthening the immune system as well as decreasing the risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease or cancer.
17. Yellow Eye Beans
Yellow Eye Beans are a unique type of legume with a tender, meaty texture and slightly nutty flavor. Not only are they packed full of essential vitamins and minerals, but they are also low in fat and high in antioxidants – making them the ideal addition to any diet!
18. Scarlet Runner Beans
These large, vibrant beans make an excellent substitute for kidney beans in chilis, stews, and salads. Their meaty texture and slightly sweet taste complement spicy dishes perfectly.
19. Flageolet Beans
Flageolet beans are small, delicate beans with an earthy flavor that often appear in French cuisine. Traditionally served alongside lamb or seafood dishes, flageolet beans could make a great substitute for kidney beans if you’re searching for something different.
20. Calypso Beans
Calypso beans are a type of bean with a unique appearance, featuring black and white speckles. These delicious legumes go great with pasta, salads, and rice dishes alike.
There are plenty of healthy and delicious alternatives to kidney beans available on the market. Not only do these beans add flavor and texture to dishes, but they also provide essential nutrients like protein, fiber, and vitamins to your diet.
By adding these alternative beans to your meals, you can improve your overall well-being and lower the risk of chronic diseases. So next time you’re making a recipe that calls for kidney beans, don’t be afraid to experiment with one of these alternatives and experience new flavors and textures in familiar dishes!