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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Kidney Beans

Kidney beans didn’t make it to your pantry this time? No sweat!

We’ve got the scoop on the top five swaps that’ll save your dish without missing a beat.

Ever been in a chili pinch or faced a salad saga without these red beauties? You’re not alone.

That’s why we’re here to chat about alternatives that are just as satisfying and might even surprise you with a new flavor twist.

From weeknight dinners to big bash sides, these substitutes are game changers.

Stick around to find out how to keep your cooking cool, even when a key ingredient goes missing.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Kidney Beans

If you’re looking for a substitution for kidney beans in your favorite recipes, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are the five best substitutes that you can use.

1 – Black Beans

Black beans are a popular legume that is incredibly versatile and full of nutrition.

High in protein, fiber, and iron, these beans can be used to make burritos, soups, salads, or simply enjoyed as a side dish.

With its earthy flavor, it has a delightful smoky taste and creamy texture when cooked soft.

Compared to kidney beans, black beans provide a slightly more earthy flavor but can be substituted if needed.

When making chili or other dishes requiring kidney beans, use the same amount of black beans as you would kidney beans for the same great results.

2 – Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans are a type of small white beans that have a nutty, bittersweet flavoring.

They are a popular staple in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine and can be found in many delicious dishes.

These beans have a creamy texture that lends itself to many different uses, from soup to salads.

Although similar to kidney beans, Cannellini beans have their own unique aroma and flavor.

A great way to substitute for kidney beans is by using an equal amount of Cannellini – the only difference being the mild sweetness that Cannellini adds.

If you’re looking for a flavorful kick to your meal, try using Cannellini beans for your next recipe.

3 – Pinto Beans

Pinto beans have a long and rich history, originating in Peru and then migrating to Mexico.

Though they can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes, most pinto beans are medium-sized with mottled brown or dark red skins.

The key to their earthy taste is to soak them overnight before cooking them.

They have a meaty texture and nutty flavor that makes them ideal for a variety of dishes, such as refried beans and molletes.

For those looking to substitute kidney beans in recipes, pinto beans can make a great alternative – however, you may need to adjust the timing when adding them into cooking mixtures.

Their unique qualities make pinto beans an essential pantry staple.

4 – Navy Beans

Navy beans are small, white-colored beans that have become popular for their health benefits and deep, nutty flavor.

Nutritionally, navy beans are packed with protein, complex carbohydrates, and dietary fiber, making them an excellent addition to a healthy diet.

With a tougher skin than other types of dried beans, navy beans keep their shape more during cooking, so you won’t end up with a mashed mess on your dinner plate.

They also have a creamy texture that melts in your mouth when eaten as part of a warm dish.

Navy beans make an ideal substitute for kidney beans when making chili or any other type of bean dish.

When substituting one bean for another, it’s important to remember that they might cook to different levels, but the same general taste and texture can still be achieved.

5 – Great Northern Beans

Great Northern Beans are an impressive addition to any pantry.

Their nutty taste and firm texture make them perfect for soups and stews, adding a delicious heartiness to dishes.

The great thing about Great Northern Beans is their versatility – when ground up, their earthy flavor lends itself beautifully to pastries and baking recipes.

If you’re looking for a healthier substitute for kidney beans in your favorite chili recipe, Great Northern Beans are the way to go.

Thick and filling with a mild flavor, they won’t overpower the other flavors in the dish yet still offer that extra bit of delight that chili lovers know and love.


In conclusion, if you’re looking for a delicious substitute for kidney beans, there are plenty of options out there that offer equally as tasty results.

Black beans, Cannellini beans, Pinto beans, Navy beans, and Great Northern Beans all have their own unique flavors and textures, which make them ideal for substitution in recipes.

Experimenting with different types of legumes can add an exciting twist to your meals and give you a delicious way to explore vegetarian cuisine.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Kidney Beans

No kidney beans in the pantry? Not to worry! These 5 superb substitutes will lend a similar texture and taste to your recipes, ensuring your dishes are as hearty and satisfying as ever.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Black Beans
  • Cannellini Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Navy Beans
  • Great Northern Beans


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Kidney Beans
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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