10 Best Substitutes For Black Beans

substitute for black beans, black bean substitute, black bean substitution

Substitute For Black Beans

substitute for black beans, black bean substitute, black bean substitution


Black beans are a variety of common beans, they are usually small and as the name suggests black in color, Black beans are also referred to as black turtle beans due to their hard, shell-like appearance. Just like other varieties of common beans, black beans is a popular ingredient used in many countries for their recipes, the protein content of black beans makes it a very desirable source for protein for lots of people, it is the reason it is very popular. There are times when it would be difficult to get some black beans or you have run out of it at home, at such times you need viable black bean substitute. At such moments, you would need this list of replacements for black beans.


Health Benefits of Black Beans

There are many reasons for which black beans are a popular choice of beans for many cooks, some of such reasons are what I have listed below.

  • Managing diabetes
  • Lowering blood pressure 
  • Maintaining healthy bones
  • Aids digestion
  • Prevent cancer


Substitute For Black Beans

As stated earlier, the essence of this post is to furnish you with a list of viable alternatives to black beans you could introduce to your cuisine next time you are cooking. To be on this list, these black beans replacement have to provide the same or very similar nutritional benefit as black beans as well as have very similar or close taste as black beans. For that reason, most of these substitute for black beans meet the requirements and are an excellent choice, lots of experienced cooks have also confirmed them to be great choice to replace black beans in recipes.

Black-Eyed peas

The medium-sized, edible bean of the black-eyed pea or black-eyed bean is a legume that is grown all over the world. It is a subspecies of the Old World plant known as the cowpea, which was domesticated in Africa. Black-eyed peas is one of the best substitutes for black beans in any of your dishes.

Kidney Beans

A type of common bean is the kidney bean. It is called after the human kidney because of the resemblance. Other red beans, such as adzuki beans, should not be mistaken for kidney beans. Kidney beans have a meaty, dense texture that is similar to black beans. It is a great substitute for Black beans in any recipe.

Instead of being bland like black beans, kidney beans have a stronger flavor and a hint of sweetness. Kidney beans differ from black beans in flavor profile in addition to color and shape but it is a great substitute for Black beans.

Pinto Beans

A common bean variety is the pinto bean. They are referred to as frijoles pintos, or “painted beans,” in Spanish. It is the most widely consumed bean in Northern Mexico and the Southwest of the United States based on crop yield and is often consumed whole or mashed before being refried. They are a great substitute for beans in different dishes, most especially in Mexican dishes. 

Substitution ratio: 1 cup cooked black beans =  1 cup cooked pinto beans


Unlike most other substitutes for black beans on this article, mushroom is not a type of beans, which to some people would seem strange that a none-bean is substituting black beans, but nevertheless, mushrooms when chopped in small pieces have been proven to be an unusual  but great substitute of black beans. The nutrients fiber, protein, and antioxidants in mushrooms are abundant and low in calories. They might also lower the chance of getting serious illnesses like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.

Mushrooms can have a meaty texture, so they can work well as a substitute for black beans in salads, tacos, etc.

Red Beans

Red beans have a traditional oblong form but are much smaller than kidney beans. Red beans and kidney beans are both red, but red beans are brighter and almost pinkish, and red beans have a much “beanier” flavor.

Red beans are one of the best substitutes for Black beans.


The chickpea is an annual legume that belongs to the Fabaceae family and subfamily Faboideae. Its numerous varieties are also known as Egyptian pea, garbanzo bean, or Bengal gram. High-protein foods include chickpea seeds.

When blended, chickpeas get creamy and are perfect for making something very delicious. Chickpeas are another great substitute for Black beans. Interestingly, some of the substitutions for chickpeas can equally be usedass substitutes for black beans.

Navy Beans

Navy beans are a species of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), which was domesticated first in the Americas. It is a dry white bean with an oval, somewhat flattened shape that is smaller than most other varieties of white beans


There are many different types of lentils, which are smaller than black beans. When cooked, green lentils retain their shape and tend to be a little more substantial. Additionally, there are yellow, black, brown, and red lentils.

Soya Beans

Soya beans are one of the best substitutes for black beans. The Soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, the soybean, or soya bean is commonly cultivated for its edible bean, which has a variety of purposes. Soybeans are typically used to make non-fermented foods like tofu and tofu skin, as well as soy milk.

Great Northern beans

They resemble red kidney beans and are bigger than navy beans. Soups like minestrone use them. Butter beans are commonly referred to as lima beans. Great Northern beans, commonly known as “giant white” beans, are bigger than both navy and cannellini beans but smaller than the latter. 


Those are some of the most popular and widely accepted substitutions for black beans that are nice and very nutritious. In the next section I would be answering some popular and frequently asked questions about black beans substitutes.

FAQs About Black Beans Substitutes

A good substitute for black beans is the black-eyed peas, it is similar in shape and size, it is also very nutritious. Other good substitutes for black beans are great northern beans, soy beans, lentils, red beans, navy beans, chickpeas, kidney beans etc.

  • What can I substitute for black beans in tortilla soup?

Pinto beans and garbanzo beans are usually the most reliable substitutes for black beans in tortilla soup. You could also use other kinds of beans like great northern beans, soy beans, lentils, red beans, navy beans, chickpeas, kidney beans etc.

  • Are black beans and red kidney beans the same?

No, black beans and red kidney beans are not the same, black beans are usually black in color, small in size with a hard shell while red kidney beans are red in color, shaped like a kidney and also much larger than the black beans.

  • Can I use red beans instead of black beans?

Yes you can use red beans instead of black beans in your recipe, red beans is an excellent substitute for black beans in many recipes around the world. It also tastes very good.

  • Are pinto beans similar to black beans?

The major similarity between the two is that both pinto beans and black beans are different varieties of the common beans. Asides that, they are different in shape, size, color as well as in nutritional content.

  • Can you substitute black beans for lentils?

Yes, you can substitute black beans for lentils in your food. Black beans and lentils are legumes and can easily substitute for each other in recipes where possible.

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