Kidney beans are a popular red bean used as an ingredient in well-loved recipes, sauces, and more.
Popular in Central American & Mexican cooking the kidney bean is considered a must in many important dishes such as Chili Con Carne.
There are times where you want to make a recipe such as the one above, and you don’t have kidney beans. Are there any alternatives? In this post, you’ll discover 5 excellent substitutes for the mighty kidney bean.
1. Red beans
Red beans are our top substitute for kidney beans. In particular, they go well in stews, chilies, and other dishes like them e.g. soups. They are heavily used in Louisiana Creole cuisines such as red beans and rice.
With a similar nutritional profile to kidney beans, they taste similar and this means they make a good 1:1 replacement without much thought as to how they could affect the flavor of the dish.
2. Pinto beans
Pinto beans are another popular alternative that you can use in place of kidney beans. If you are a fan of Mexican food you may have had Pinto Beans without knowing it as they are the main ingredient in refried beans.
Pinto Beans are used over/instead of Kidney Beans for Chili Con Carne in some areas. So this makes them not just a substitute but an authentic alternative if you’re looking to use them for this purpose.
Pinto Beans work well in almost all Mexican Dishes that call for Kidney Beans. So use them as required.
3. Black beans
Like with Kidney Beans, the Black Bean is also kidney-shaped. It has a deep and rich meaty flavor and is more used in the Southern areas of Mexico and South America respectively.
It is an important ingredient in the Brazilian national dish of Feijoada. It is used in other dishes such as Frijoles Negros, Black-Bean Burrito, and it is popular in both Creole and Cajun cuisine in Louisiana, USA.
Also known as the Black Turtle Bean this bean works well in soups, tortillas, burritos, vegetarian dishes, and more.
4. Lima beans
Also known as the Butter Bean the Lima Bean is mild, creamy, and filling. They are popular in Southern American cooking as they are good at complementing a dish and taking on the stronger flavors from spices or other ingredients.
Lima beans are an excellent kidney bean substitute for those suffering from diabetes, with high levels of soluble fiber content they help balance blood sugar levels and can be a better type of bean for those suffering from insulin resistance.
5. Anasazi beans
The Anasazi Bean is a sweet and tasty bean that can be used as a different option to kidney beans and any of the above beans if you want to try something a little different.
The sweet flavor makes this bean a great option for tostadas, burritos, and tacos when combined with a little lime and cilantro. You can also use Anasazi Beans as a substitute for Kidney Beans in soups.