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8 Best Substitutes For Kidney Beans

Kidney Beans are a great source of dietary fiber, with one cup containing 9 grams. They also contain B vitamins such as folate and thiamin, minerals like iron and manganese, as well as protein. Kidney beans are very good for those suffering from various ailments. Diseases related to the heart or blood pressure, diabetes mellitus type II (non-insulin-dependent diabetes), and high cholesterol levels.

For people who have problems with blood sugar levels, kidney beans are an excellent choice to add to their diet. They are a great source of soluble fiber. Which helps slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and reduces its peaks after meals. They also contain a certain type of starch known as resistant starch. This helps reduce blood sugar levels since it absorbs slowly and avoids causing sudden dips in blood sugar after meals.

You can do replacement kidney beans with Pinto Beans, Black Beans, Red Beans, Borlotti Beans, White Beans, Bulgar, Anasazi Beans, Tepary Beans.

Substitutes For White Kidney Beans

  1. Pinto Beans
  2. Black Beans
  3. Red Beans
  4. Borlotti Beans
  5. White Beans
  6. Bulgar
  7. Anasazi Beans
  8. Tepary Beans

1. Pinto Beans:

8 Best Substitutes For Kidney Beans

During the winter months, many people will include kidney beans in chili. One way to make sure that you are using a substitute for kidney beans is to use pinto beans instead. Pinto beans contain exactly the same amount of protein per cup as kidney beans. So if you are trying to reach your daily intake goals, it makes no difference which one you choose.

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Pinto beans also contain a significant amount of antioxidants and they support heart health due to folate. They also promote digestion and help prevent constipation by providing dietary fiber.

The only challenge is figuring out how to make sure that you are purchasing pinto beans from a reliable source. Many of these beans are produced in the U.S., but some of them come from Mexico. They may be available at your local supermarket or natural food store.

2. Black Beans:

Substitutes For Kidney Beans

Black beans also contain high amounts of resistant starch, which helps slow down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream. They are also full of fiber and antioxidants that protect your cells from free radical damage. It only happens due to their high content of anthocyanins, quercetin, and rutin.

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You can use these little beans as kidney bean substitutes in any recipe that calls for them; however, there is one thing you need to remember – they take longer to cook than pinto or white kidney beans. So allow yourself more time for preparation if you are planning on using black beans instead. The only challenge when it comes to using black beans as a substitute is making sure that you purchase them from a reputable source. Because they too come from where you live as well as from Mexico.

3. Red Beans:

8 Best Substitutes For Kidney Beans

Many people use red kidney beans as a substitute for white in chili, which is wonderful if you have food allergies. You can easily adjust your recipes to use red kidney and pinto beans instead of white in order to be sure that you will not suffer any reactions when eating it.

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To save time, you might try using canned beans since these are ready-to-use whenever needed. However, if this does not work out well for your schedule or budget due to the expense involved, you may want to consider using dried beans instead because they are cheaper and take longer to cook.

Red kidney beans do contain more magnesium than pinto or black beans per serving; however, since there is no real difference between the amounts of carbohydrates and fiber contained in each of them, you can substitute any of these types of beans for kidney beans without causing an issue with your blood sugar.

4. Borlotti Beans:

Kidney Beans substitutes

Borlotti beans are often referred to as cranberry beans, which is where the name originated. They contain approximately 30% more protein per cup than kidney beans do and the same amount of dietary fiber when measured by weight. There is also a significant difference in their cellulose content – borlotti beans have much less than pinto or black beans do.

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This makes it easier for your body to digest them and there will be fewer problems with managing bowel movements. Borlotti beans are very versatile so you can add them to soups, chili, casseroles, and salads for an interesting twist on recipes that you may already enjoy eating.  They are available at a reasonable price from many online vendors if you cannot find them at your local grocery store.

5. White Beans:

Kidney Beans substitutes

Some people think that white beans are the same thing as navy beans but they are not – navy beans come from dried Great Northern white beans. White kidney-like beans have been in use since ancient times by many countries; however, it was in the 1940s that America began to grow them on a wide-scale basis.

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You can use them just like any other type of bean substitute for kidney beans. Also, you do not need to worry about their flavor impacting the taste of your favorite dishes. Because these little guys have very little or no flavor when you cook, which also makes them easy to digest.  White kidney-like beans may bring more fiber than some of the other varieties mentioned here but there is nothing else special about them so feel free to experiment with them if you wish.

6. Bulgar:


You might never have thought of using this healthy grain as a kidney bean substitute but it can be used to make wonderful dishes such as bulgur wheat recipes or stuffed peppers made with bulgur instead of rice, which may cause some digestive problems for many people. Bulgur is not technically a grain since the kernels are cleaned and parboiled before they are processed into flour or cracked so that they will cook faster. You do not need to worry about ingesting pesticides when you eat foods with bulgur; however, some people do prefer products made from organic bulgur wheat.

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Amaranth:  These seeds and stems come from several varieties of leafy plants; however, the healthiest part is the tiny grain. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has not set any standards for labeling these little guys but you may have heard them called by many other names such as Chinese spinach. It contains more protein than barley and less fiber than green peas do. You can use it as a substitute for rice, corn, chestnuts in your favorite recipes instead of using beans or legumes to boost the overall nutritional value of your meal while reducing carbohydrates at the same time.

7. Anasazi Beans:

Anasazi Beans

These beans are a recent addition to the list of kidney bean substitutes. They have been used for thousands of years by the Native Americans as well as other indigenous people located in the Southwest region of America but they gained popularity after a man named Steve Sando created recipes made with them that were considered dishes worth traveling many miles to consume.

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These little guys do not cause gas because they contain 0% raffinose sugars plus 1 gram per serving, which makes them a great ingredient if you suffer from heartburn or bloating. The amount of dietary fiber contained in Anasazi Beans is almost 25% higher than what is found in white kidney beans – this is yet another reason why this particular bean should be on your list when making substitutions for kidney beans.  You can use them in soups, stews, and chili – they are not good candidates for recipes that you want to thicken with a roux or flour paste.

8. Tepary Beans:

tepary beans

These beans contain more protein than the other types of bean substitutes for kidney beans. They were very popular among southwestern Native American tribes due to their pinto-type appearance as well as the fact that their flavor is similar to pine nuts.  

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The nutritional value of these little guys is quite high; however, some people find them difficult to digest because they have a harder outer coating than other bean varieties so if you end up getting gastric distress from eating them, it might be best to avoid using them as a substitute for kidney beans in recipes. If not taken with sufficient amounts of liquid, the outer coating may remain in your digestive tract to cause an obstruction which can be very painful and dangerous.


What are good substitutes for white kidney beans?

Organic white kidney beans can be substituted directly in most recipes calling for dry or canned kidneys. Only the time needed to cook them will vary, as organic varieties tend to take longer.

How do I substitute organic white kidney beans for canned kidneys in a recipe?

Substitute 3 1/2 cups of drained, rinsed and well-cooked organic white kidney beans for one 28-ounce can of canned kidneys. If your recipe does not call for the cooked beans to be mashed, drain the canned kidneys first. Using an immersion blender, pulse a couple of times so the beans are roughly chopped.

What are good substitutes for kidney beans in chili?

Kidney beans are a traditional ingredient in many types of chili. In order to substitute, try red lentils as a base, yellow split peas or pinto beans instead of kidney, and brown rice instead of white rice.

Why are canned kidneys not recommended?

Canned organic kidney beans have been processed at high temperatures, which can lead to additives and a loss of nutrients. Prepared correctly in your kitchen, the food retains more vitamins and minerals than commercial brands.

Why do I need to soak my beans?

Soaking beans allows them to reach their full potential for digestibility and nutrition. The process of soaking also helps them cook faster and more evenly. This is essential to prevent the small white kidney beans from sticking together.

How long do I need to soak my organic kidneys?

Most advocates recommend a 24-hour soak, although 36 hours is optimal for maximum digestibility and reduced flatulence potential. For a quick soak, bring your beans and water to a boil and then let them sit at room temperature for six hours. For optimal flavor (and a lower GI index), soaked beans can be cooked immediately or stored in the refrigerator overnight before use.

How long do I need to cook my organic white kidney beans?

Boiling time will vary depending on the type of bean and how long it was soaked. For an easy-to-follow guide, refer to Tim Ferriss’ four-hour beans recipe.

How do I store cooked organic beans?

Cooled boiled organic white kidney beans can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. They also freeze well for up to three months.

What kind of beans are best for soup?

When it comes to soups, the rinsed and well-cooked organic white kidney bean will certainly do the trick. If you’re looking for something different, try using chickpeas in place of kidneys for a thick texture that is high in heart-healthy fiber.

How much cholesterol is in kidney beans?

One cup of cooked organic white kidney beans contains 155 milligrams of cholesterol. Although this is less than most other varieties, be sure to watch your intake if you are trying to keep your blood levels low. Substituting less cholesterol-rich ingredients such as cauliflower or cabbage may be necessary for some recipes.


If you are trying to reduce the amount of gas that you get from eating foods containing beans or legumes then substitute white kidney-like beans or Anasazi Beans and use them instead of any other type of bean substitute for kidney beans as they contain a minimal amount of raffinose sugars.  Although these two types do not contain much protein, all the others listed here provide a fair amount so feel free to experiment with these if you want to boost your daily intake of protein.

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