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The 5 Best Substitutes for Black Beans

Looking for a delicious and healthy legume to add to your next meal? Look no further than black beans.

Packed with fiber, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals, black beans are a versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes.

Not to mention, they are incredibly affordable.

If you’re looking for some recipe inspiration, check out these five delicious recipes that feature black beans as the star ingredient.

What are Black Beans?

what are black beans

Black beans are a variety of the common bean, Phaseolus vulgaris.

Native to Central and South America, black beans have been a staple food in these regions for thousands of years.

Classified as a legume, black beans are a good source of protein, fiber, and iron.

They are also low in fat and calories, making them an excellent addition to a healthy diet.

Black beans can be cooked in various ways and are often used in soups, stews, and salads.

When purchasing black beans, look for firm, shiny beans free of blemishes or cracks.

Avoid beans that are dull in color or have any sign of mold.

Store black beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

With proper storage, they will stay fresh for up to six months.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Black Beans

If you’re looking for a black bean alternative, look no further.

Here are the five best substitutes for black beans.

1 – Kidney Beans

kidney beans

Kidney beans are one of the most popular varieties of beans, and for a good reason.

Not only are they delicious, but they’re also packed with nutrients.

Kidney beans are a good source of protein, fiber, and iron, making them perfect for any meal.

They’re also low in fat and calories, making them an ideal food for those watching their weight.

Kidney beans are a great option, whether you’re looking for a healthy side dish or a hearty main course.

2 – Pinto Beans

pinto beans

Pinto beans are a legume that originates from Central and South America.

They get their name from their speckled appearance caused by patches of reddish-brown color on their beige skins.

Pinto beans are popular in many dishes, such as chili and refried beans, and they are a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins.

When cooked, pinto beans have a nutty flavor and a creamy texture.

In addition to being eaten on their own, pinto beans can also be used as an ingredient in soups, stews, and salads.

3 – Great Northern Beans

great northern beans

Great Northern beans are a type of white bean named for its region of origin, the Great Northern Plains.

These beans are large and kidney-shaped, with a creamy white color and a mild, delicate flavor.

Great Northern beans are often used in soups and stews, as they hold their shape well and absorb the dish’s flavors.

They are also a good source of protein, fiber, and iron.

When cooked correctly, Great Northern beans can be a delicious and healthy addition to any meal.

4 – Chickpeas


Chickpeas are a type of legume that originated in the Middle East.

They are a staple food in many cultures and are used in various dishes.

Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber, and they are a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Chickpeas can be cooked in various ways, and they can also be sprouted.

Sprouted chickpeas are often used in salads or topping on soups and stews.

Chickpeas are versatile and nutritious, making them an excellent addition to any diet.

5 – Lentils


Lentils are an essential part of many cuisines around the world.

They are packed with nutrients, and their earthy flavor makes them a versatile ingredient in soups, stews, and salads.

Lentils come in many different varieties, each with its unique flavor and texture.

The most common type of lentil is the brown lentil, which has a nutty flavor and firm texture.

Other popular types of lentils include green, red, and black lentils.

Regardless of the type, all lentils need to be cooked before being eaten.

The cooking time will vary depending on the variety of lentils, but most lentils will be tender after about 20 minutes of simmering.


Overall, black beans are a delicious and nutritious food that can be enjoyed in various dishes.

However, a few substitutes can be used if black beans are not available.

Kidney beans, navy beans, and chickpeas are all good substitutes for black beans in taste and texture.

Hence, if you are looking for a substitute for black beans, these are the best options.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Black Beans

The 5 Best Substitutes for Black Beans
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Kidney Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Great Northern Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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