9 Best Black Beans Substitutes

Black Beans

Are you fond of veggie burgers? Well, if I talk about myself, I am a huge fan of vegetarian burgers, especially black bean burgers, despite being a non-vegetarian (and that says a lot). I am sure there are quite a lot of non-vegetarians out there that definitely do love veggie burgers! 

But, aren’t you tired of the same old potato and pea patty? Want your burger to be tasty and packed with proteins and nutrients? In that case, there are bean burgers to the rescue!

Bean burgers are full of protein and extremely healthy. They make a great substitute for protein-rich meat burgers. 

Now you might wonder which beans would bind well and go best in a veggie patty? However, you seem to be all out of black beans. You have definitely come to the right place! This article will help you with the best black beans substitutes!

What are good substitutes for black beans when you are all out of them? A few of the best substitutes for black beans are chickpeas, kidney beans, cauliflower, and nuts. 

However, before I start listing out the substitutes, how about I tell you more about black beans? This will help you understand which substitute for using even better!

Quick Peek: Black Beans

This section has all the information you need on black beans. Read further to know all about black beans, their uses, flavor profile, and even nutritional values!

What Are Black Beans?

Black beans, also commonly referred to as black turtle beans, are a variety of small, shiny beans. They are called turtle beans because of their hard, shell-like appearance. They are very commonly used in Latin American, Cajun, and Louisiana cuisines.

 However, they have now gained popularity in many parts of the world. This is because of their versatile nature and the health benefits they offer. They are also known for holding their shape well after being cooked, despite being tiny. 

Describing Black Beans: Flavor and Texture

Black beans have a hard, black exterior with a creamy white interior. They are soft and creamy and usually do not have an overpowering taste. For this reason itself, black beans are very commonly used. 

The texture of black beans is rich and creamy once they are cooked. Moreover, they hold their shape well after being cooked, even though they are small in size. They bind well together when mashed, which is why they work well for bean patties.

Uses Of Black Beans

Black beans, being packed with protein, are a wonderful meat substitute. They work really well in any and every recipe where you want to substitute meat. They are available dry as well as canned. Both varieties work well in several recipes.

Black beans are extremely popular, especially in Mexican cuisine. They are used to make soups, stews, chili, etc. They make a great filling for tacos, burritos, and quesadillas as well. Black beans can easily make a great side dish or even the hero of your dish!

Black Beans On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

If I start listing out the various health benefits black beans provide, it may never end. Black beans are very healthy and nutritious. They are packed with protein and carbohydrates and have almost no fats. 

Black beans are fibrous and rich in antioxidants. They are a great source of vitamin A and carry essential nutrients like calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium. They provide a lot of health benefits!

They help with healthy digestion, weight management, and lowering blood pressure. Moreover, they are good for the heart as they reduce the level of bad cholesterol. Certain studies say that black beans also help prevent cancer. 

That definitely was some worthy information on black beans! Together, let us dive into the main attraction of this article, the best substitutes for black beans. 

9 Best Black Bean Substitutes

The best substitutes for black beans are listed below.

1. Chickpeas

Chickpeas make the absolute best substitute for black beans. They are high in fiber and protein, just like black beans. They also have a neutral flavor that does not overpower the dish too much.

Chickpeas are very easily available in most shops. They are available in dry and canned varieties. Most people prefer canned chickpeas as they are pre-cooked. However, if you decide to use dry chickpeas, make sure you soak them overnight and cook them for 1-2 hours to be thoroughly cooked.

Another great thing about chickpeas is that they retain their shape just like black beans after being cooked. Hence, they would make a great substitute for black beans in soups, stews, salads, and even burgers! Here is the recipe for chicken chickpea stew.

2. Kidney Beans

Considering the fact that kidney beans are also dark in color, they make a great substitute for black beans. If the color of your food is important to you, kidney beans are a great choice as a substitute. 

Kidney beans are milder in flavor than black beans. Moreover, they hold their shape well, too, just like black beans. They are rich in proteins and other nutrients. They are a great source of vitamin K and other minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. 

You can use kidney beans as an alternative in any recipe that calls for black beans. They definitely go well in soups and stews and make great taco and burrito fillings! Here is the copycat recipe for Wendy’s chili made with kidney beans.

3. Great Northern Beans

Great Northern beans are large white beans that are very closely related to kidney beans. They have a mild flavor with a slightly grainy texture. Since their flavor is not very overpowering, they make a great substitute for black beans.

Your food can be flavored the way you like, as great northern beans would definitely not overpower your food. Moreover, they are also a great source of protein.

One thing, however, is that great Northern beans are white in color. So they will alter the color of your final product. However, if that is not too big of a concern for you, you can positively use them as a black bean substitute. 

4. Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are a type of speckled beans. Just like black beans, they are very commonly used in Mexican cuisine. They have a richer, nuttier flavor and are creamier in texture than black beans. 

Eggs are also a great source of protein and various other vital nutrients, just like black beans. However, one important thing to remember about pinto beans is that they have double the amount of carbohydrate and fat content compared to black beans. 

Despite that, they still have a very high nutritional value. They can make a great substitute for black beans in any recipe. Don’t have pinto beans? Here is a list of pinto bean substitutes.

5. Red Beans

Even though they have the same color, red beans are actually different from kidney beans. Red beans are smaller, have an oblong shape, and are smoother in texture than kidney beans. 

Red beans are tender and creamy when cooked, making them a great substitute for black beans. They are also not very overpowering in taste. Red beans would make a great substitute for black beans, especially in stews, salads, and enchiladas. Here is the copycat recipe for Popeyes red beans with rice.

6. Black Eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas are medium-sized white beans with a black spot originating from West Africa. They have a firm texture when raw and become tender with a nutty, earthy flavor once cooked. 

The flavor of black-eyed peas is often compared with starchy potatoes. They have a strong taste that may alter the overall flavor of your food. They might not work great for recipes that specifically require a neutral flavor. 

However, they do make a great black bean substitute in various recipes. So if these are the only beans you have in your kitchen, you can very well use them in place of black beans.

7. Lentils

Lentils are tiny and lens-shaped and grow in pods. There are a lot of varieties of lentils available in the market. They are rich in protein and fiber. 

Lentils and black beans aren’t really similar to black beans in terms of flavor and texture. However, they are available in various varieties. Yes, there are black lentils too!

They have an earthy flavor and are very low in fat content, just like black beans. Considering the fact that their nutritional values are similar, they can definitely be used as a substitute for black beans!

While lentils might not work as a substitute for black beans in all recipes, they definitely work great in soups and stews. One more thing to remember while using lentils is that they take a shorter amount of time to cook than black beans. 

The best part about using lentils is choosing the variety you like best. So, if you do have them handy, you can definitely use them as a substitute for black beans.

8. Nuts

All of us know that nuts have a very huge variety! While they may not seem a very convenient substitute for black beans, trust me, they do work!

The best part about using nuts as a substitute for black beans is getting creative! You can definitely choose the nut you like best. However, cashew nuts and walnuts do work the best as they provide depth to food. 

Nuts will surely add more flavor to your food than black beans. However, it is important to remember ratios while using nuts as a substitute. 

Make sure you use half the quantity of nuts as a substitute for black beans. This is because nuts are higher in calories than black beans and could make your food too heavy.

9. Cauliflower

Yes, you did read that right! Unconventional. But does it work as a substitute for black beans? 100%, yes. 

Cauliflower has a mild flavor with some nuttiness to it. This would give your food a flavor profile very similar to black beans. However, cauliflower has to be smashed before being used.

You might have to increase the spice content in your dish while using cauliflower in place of black beans. This is because it has a very mild taste.

Smashed cauliflower will, however, give a texture similar to crushed beans. Hence, it can work very well in stews, soups, and dips as a black bean substitute. 

Short Recap

Now you know all the substitutes for black beans. But are you still confused about which substitute would work best for your recipe? Hence, I have broken it down further for you as per suitability, availability, and flavor profile.

Most Suitable: The most suitable substitute for black beans would be Kidney Beans.

Easily Available: The most easily available substitute for black beans would be the unconventional cauliflower.

Best Flavor Profile: Chickpeas would give the best flavor profile when used as a substitute for black beans. 

Final Word

I hope this article has helped you understand all about black beans and their substitutes. Black beans are very nutritious and great for health. They are a rich source of protein, especially for vegetarians and vegans. 

All the options of substitutes given above are definitely worth trying. You can experiment with various recipes, and I am sure the end product will be something you love!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Are black beans the same as kidney beans?

Even though they have very similar tastes and nutritional values, black beans and kidney beans are two different types of beans.

Are black beans healthy?

Packed with protein and vital nutrients, black beans are very healthy.

Are black beans good for weight loss?

Yes, black beans can help with weight management.

What can I eat black beans with?

Black beans can be made into a hearty dip and eaten with nachos. They go well with other Mexican recipes too.

Should you cook black beans?

While dry black beans do need to be cooked, canned black beans are pre-cooked.

Do you need to wash canned black beans?

Not necessarily. However, rinsing them might reduce the flavor of sodium.

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