8+ Greatest Chili Bean Substitutes

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Your hot chili meal would be incomplete without beans. This high-protein snack may transform your chili from ordinary to divine. If you’re seeking for the greatest bean alternative for chili or chili con carne, go no further.

Beans have grown from a wild vine in Central America to one of the most important and adaptable crops. Many types are grown in several places, each with its own particular appearance, texture, and flavor. Apart from being an excellent accompaniment to meals, they are also delicious when made and consumed on their own.

If you think you can only make chili using beans, you’re mistaken. There are several excellent bean replacements for chili, which we will discuss more as you read on.

Best Chili Bean Substitute Options

1. Lentils / Split Peas

4 cups of any in a big pot of chili for as long as necessary. Any of these choices will suffice as a substitute for chili beans that cooks quicker. Lentils are native to the Mediterranean region, whereas split peas are native to Southwestern Asia, however the two may be used interchangeably. You simply need to prepare three dishes.

Another alternative is to boil them ahead of time and then add the chili at the end. Nevertheless, if you’re attempting to cut down on carbs, they may not be the ideal choice. Although though they are simpler to digest than beans, they nevertheless contain phytic acid.

2. Tofu

Tofu is a great bean alternative for chili that will elevate your recipe. This dish originally appears in Chinese Han around 2000 years ago, during the reign of Prince Liu An. Later, during the Nara era, it was transported to Japan, where it is still a popular dish.

Since tofu has no flavor of its own, it enhances the flavors of the other components in chili. It’s also fantastic since it contains less carbohydrates than other bean replacements. Tofu, on the other hand, may be difficult to stomach if you have difficulty digesting beans.

3. Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP)

TVP is the finest chili bean alternative if you want a meat-like texture. The mean was invented in the 1960s by Archer Daniels Midland, a food manufacturing corporation. They generated this by eliminating the lipids from soy flour, resulting in a high protein, low-fat food.

It has a disadvantage despite being a wonderful alternative when you don’t have beans. It includes phytate, which makes it difficult to digest, like most alternatives. Avoid this choice if you are uncomfortable or unable to digest beans after eating.

4. Tempeh

Tempeh is another excellent choice for bringing out the best in your chili. While it is similar to tofu, it is Indonesian in origin. Surprisingly, the dish was found by accident when the byproducts of tofu production began fermenting.

You may want to use them instead of beans since they are simpler to digest and healthier. Break the whole pack into little pieces and add to your meal when you’re nearly through cooking. The main difference is that they contain carbohydrates due to the presence of whole soybeans.

5. Gluten-Free Grains

If you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative, these grains are your best bet. These include rice, sorghum, amaranth, and quinoa, all of which are popular in many nations. Several of these grains provide more protein and less phytate than legumes, making them a healthier choice.

They are simpler to digest than beans since they have lower phytate levels. Nevertheless, some individuals have difficulty digesting wheat, so determine whether this is a viable option before attempting it. You may add them after you’ve finished cooking, or you could cook them in your chili for added taste.

6. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is the most nutritious chili bean replacement. Originally cultivated in Asia, they gained popularity in the 1500s. They first appeared in the United States in the 1990s, before spreading to other countries.

To use, steam the whole head, slice it into smaller pieces, and add to your chili. Florets should be added for a thicker consistency. This will result in a healthful, easy-to-digest dinner with less carbs and more vitamins.

7. Nuts

Want to boost the taste of your chili? Include some nuts. For as long as anybody can remember, nuts have been a staple of the human diet.

You won’t have the same texture and flavor as beans, but you will have something unique. With their high protein content, you won’t be sorry if you add them to your chili after it’s completed cooking. Sunflower seeds are a cheaper alternative to cashews and walnuts.

8. Portobello Mushrooms 

Portobello mushroom’s meaty texture makes it a great substitute for chili beans. The French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort discovered portobello mushrooms in 1708. They gained popular after being marketed as healthy food and are now regularly used in meals.

Portobello mushrooms meet all of the requirements for a bean substitute: minimal carbohydrates and simple digestion. Just slice them as desired, add your chili, and bring to a boil. Make sure there is enough of water available since these mushrooms eat a lot of fluids.


Whether you don’t have any beans or are seeking for a healthy replacement, this list has everything you need. Before examining other possibilities, beef is one of the most typical chili bean alternatives. But, if you want something healthy, cauliflower is a good option.


What can I use in place of canned chili beans?

Depending on what you’re searching for, there are several chili bean replacements. If you prefer a bean with a comparable texture, consider black beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans. If you’re seeking for a similar taste, you may try cannellini beans, great northern beans, or navy beans.

What is a good substitute for beans?

Are you unable to consume beans or lentils? 8 alternatives (with bean-free refried beans and hummus recipe)
#1 Sourgum… #2 Tofu (and soybeans)….
#4 Tempeh… #3 Cauliflower Florets (or cauliflower rice)….
#5 Cashew and walnut nuts (or sunflower seeds)…
#6 Quinoa (as well as other grains)…
#6 Peas (or edamame)… #7 Mushrooms or Eggplant.
More to come…

Can I substitute lentils for beans in chili?

Lentils: why can you eat lentils but not beans? No worries. To cook the lentils, add 12 cup dry lentils per can of beans and 1 12 cup water to the pot. Farro: Farro is a whole grain that may be added to bulk up chili.

What are the best low gas beans for chili?

Beans With the Fewest Gases for Chili

Black beans, navy beans, and pinto beans are examples. While making chili, you want to choose a bean that won’t give you too much gas. Since they are abundant in fiber and protein, black beans are an excellent choice. Navy beans are another healthy choice since they are low in fat and calories.

What beans are best for chili besides kidney?

Pinto beans, black beans, chickpeas, and sweetcorn are excellent alternatives for kidney beans in chili con carne. You may use a combination of these options or just one. You may also eliminate the beans entirely without making any adjustments!

What can I use instead of pinto beans in chili?

Alternatives to pinto beans include black beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, lentils, and chickpeas. Yet, black beans may be the greatest option for pinto beans. Each of these alternatives has a texture and taste profile comparable to pinto beans.

What else can you put in chili?

These are some of the most popular (and successful) flavor enhancers to include in your chili recipe.
Alcohol (beer, wine, or liquor)…
Brine or Vinegar…. Soy Sauce…. Fish Sauce…. Worcestershire Sauce…. Coffee or Espresso Powder…. Chocolate.
More to come…
•Aug 23, 2021

What is a low carb substitute for beans?

Mushrooms, eggplant, avocado, minced beef, and boiled peanuts are some viable keto replacements for beans. There’s no reason to avoid bean dishes while on keto with these low carb beans and bean substitutes.

What is a healthy alternative to canned beans?

Dried beans are more nutritious than canned beans.

Dried beans include more protein, fiber, iron, potassium, and magnesium than canned beans, as well as less sodium (source).

What chili does not use beans?

No bean chili, also known as Texas chili or Chile con carne, is a spicy stew that is made without the use of beans. Meat (typically ground beef), tomatoes, peppers, onions, aromatics, and fragrant spices are all traditional ingredients.

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