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Substitute for Kidney Beans – 9 Healthy Alternatives!

If you search for a substitute for kidney beans and get muddled by the varieties of beans around you, then there is no need to worry. Here, we will help you get rid of this confusion real quick!

The best substitutes for kidney beans are cannellini beans, lima beans, adzuki beans, black beans, borlotti beans, Anasazi beans, pinto beans, mung beans, and chilli beans. You can also go for chickpeas, but since they come in different shapes, these beans would be more helpful.

This post will discuss nine healthy kidney bean replacements to help you select the one which will give the perfect taste to your recipe.

So, let’s get started!

A Quick Overview of Kidney Beans

Kidney beans have this name because of their utterly oval and curved shape with red colour. They are popular in sauces and salads and even used as an enhancement in many other dishes. 

These beans are sweet and nutty in flavour and contain healthy nutrients like dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins, and protein. Besides their taste, people add kidney beans to their recipes for some health benefits. 

Kidney beans come in both canned and dried forms. They also replace vegetarian meat in burgers, sandwiches, and tacos.

But what will happen if you run out of kidney beans? Which will be the best replacement for kidney beans? 

Let’s move further to the main point. 

Best Kidney Beans Alternatives

Here are some surprising substitutes that will help you replace kidney beans when you run out of them or can not find them anywhere. 

Undergo the list below; look through the flavour profile of each bean to choose the suitable one for your recipe.

1. Cannellini Beans

cannellini beans substitute for kidney beans

Cannellini beans, known as white kidney beans, can be the perfect substitute for kidney beans. They originated from Italy and are common in Italian cuisines like pasta, bruschetta, and other dishes like soups and salads. 

They deliver a creamy and nutty texture to your dish and contain protein which is good for health. You can also use cannellini beans to replace meat in several recipes, just like kidney beans.

2. Lima Beans

lima beans substitute

Lima beans can be another good replacement for kidney beans. Lima beans are a traditional native food in Peru.

You can easily use lima beans in soups, beef stew and casseroles. Moreover, lima beans are also best at delivering a delicious taste to beef and chicken dishes, and that’s what makes them a good substitute for kidney beans. 

Note that this bean does not provide a beanie flavour, but its tenderness makes your recipe flavorful. 

3. Adzuki Beans

Adzuki Beans substitute for kidney beans

Adzuki beans, also known as red beans, are popular in Asian recipes because of their sweet and nutty flavour. They are also red-coloured beans, just like kidney beans but a bit different shade. 

You can use adzuki beans as a replacement for kidney beans in recipes like soups, salads, stews, chilis and many more.

Furthermore, adzuki beans also work in desserts like brownies and mochi cakes, or you can also make sweet soup quickly to get rid of summer days. 

4. Black Beans 

black beans substitute for kidney beans

Black beans are small kidney-shaped beans, most popular in Latin American and Mexican cuisines. They have a rich, lasting flavour with a sweet and meaty taste. 

These beans are high in protein and dietary fibre and deliver a similar earthy texture, making them a good kidney beans alternative.

You can easily replace them with kidney beans in tacos, dips, soups, stews, casseroles, burgers and chilis.

5. Borlotti Beans

borlotti beans substitute

Borlotti Beans, also called cranberry beans, can be a good replacement for kidney beans. They come in white with reddish lines and provide a slightly sweet flavour and creamy texture that will work well in kidney beans recipes.

You can use borlotti beans in soups, salads, tacos, stews, and Italian dishes like pasta or minestrone. 

6. Anasazi Beans

anasazi beans substitute

Anasazi beans can be another good kidney beans alternative. They are purple and white antique beans, popular in Mexican dishes

These beans deliver the same sweet and earthy flavour with a creamy texture as kidney beans. You can use them in recipes for kidney beans, specifically hot chilis, soups, and stews.  

7. Pinto Beans

pinto beans substitute

Pinto beans are also a good replacement for kidney beans. They come in light brown and deliver an amazing buttery and creamy texture. You can add these beans to any recipe that calls for kidney beans.

As a Mexican food lover, you must have enjoyed pinto beans regularly. Pinto beans are a common ingredient in taco soup and make other dishes mouth-watering.

8. Mung Beans

mung beans substitute

Mung beans are neither red nor kidney-shaped, but they still make a great substitute for kidney beans. Because what matters is the taste, and the slightly sweet and nutty flavour of mung beans is all you need. 

You can use mung beans in salads, stews, soups and curries. Furthermore, mung beans are best for sweet and spicy recipes. A sweet mung bean soup on winter nights is a great idea!

Also, you can eat mung beans because they are a healthy substitute for kidney beans; they contain high nutrients that help prevent heart disease and cancer risks. 

9. Chilli Beans

chili beans substitute

Chilli beans are great for chilli dishes requiring kidney beans and can also save you time. Because these beans are made with chilli seasonings and sauce, adding them to chilli recipes is easier.

Although, you do not need to add other ingredients because chilli beans have it all. But you can adjust seasonings according to your preference. 

Apart from that, chilli beans make a great alternative to kidney beans. Must try!


Kidney beans are the best way to enhance your dish with their colour and creamy texture. But if you are still looking for them or want to try something new, this blog is written for you!

The substitutes mentioned above are the best options to replace kidney beans in any recipe you want. Just go through each bean’s flavour profile and find yours. 

We hope you enjoyed reading this and found newer ways to fulfil your toothsome recipes!

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