8+ Pinto Bean Substitutes

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When cooked, pinto beans lighten to a solid beige and have a creamy flavor that pairs nicely with a variety of tastes. Pinto beans may be eaten in a variety of ways, including dry, green, fried, cooked, or ready-made dishes.

These medium-sized beans are classified as Italian flat, Spanish brown, Brazilian red, and Venezuelan yellow. When dried, they have a mottled beige and brown look and are known as poroto frutilla in South America. Peru, China, and Brazil are now the top producers of pinto beans.

Although many individuals prefer Pinto beans, replacements are occasionally required. If you’re out of beans or sick of them, this article is for you.

Pinto Beans Substitutes

The nutritional similarities of most beans is fantastic. Beans may seem different or similar, but their calorie, fiber, and protein composition is comparable. Pinto beans, for example, have 98 calories per 28g portion (6g protein and 4g fiber), whereas red beans have 93 calories per serving.

As a result, your substitution selection will be influenced by aesthetics, flavor, cooking time, and recipe. Check out these top eight pinto bean substitutes:

1. Black Beans

Black beans are first on the list because they are excellent alternatives for pinto beans. They’re also medium to small in size with flavor and texture comparable to pinto beans. In a blind taste test, you’d be hard pushed to identify the difference between the two.

Since black beans are naturally black, any meal in which they are cooked or mashed will take on a dark hue. They also contain less cholesterol, more fiber, protein, antioxidants, and take longer to cook than dried pinto beans. Black beans may be used in place of pinto beans in burritos, tacos, soups, huevos rancheros, and broths.

2. Borlotti Beans

speckled, medium-sized, buttery or creamy, healthy, and delectable. Borlotti beans are widely used in Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian cuisines. Borlotti beans, also known as cranberry or Roman beans, are often confused with pinto beans. They both have speckles.

If cooked properly, these beans provide a deep creaminess to your dish. Serve with savory, garden-fresh foods like as antipasti or anything with lemon juice and olive oil. With Borlotti beans’ high fiber, iron, and protein levels, you won’t be losing out on anything from pinto beans.

3. Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are bigger than pinto beans and may not seem to be a viable substitute, but don’t dismiss them just yet. Once the dish has been cooked, the difference is negligible, especially if it has been simmered for a few hours. Many Mexican dishes, including tacos, refried beans, and casseroles, use kidney and pinto beans interchangeably.

If your recipe calls for pinto beans, white or pink kidney beans are a good substitute, but they are more difficult to obtain. Yet, their protein, iron, potassium, and magnesium contents are almost similar, so don’t be afraid to utilize kidney beans. Kidney beans are an excellent substitution for pinto beans in soups, stews, chili, gumbo, and masala.

4. Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans, commonly known as white kidney beans, are a popular substitute for pinto beans. Cannellini, or white kidney beans, are named after the Piedmont town of Canelli. Cannellini beans, another Italian specialty, are somewhat rougher and bigger than pinto beans.

These bright and adaptable beans are a good alternative for pinto beans in pasta with beans or soups. They include just the proper amount of protein, fiber, and carbs to keep you energetic and satiated all day. If you want them to be as soft as pinto beans, soak them overnight before cooking.

5. Navy Beans

Navy beans are smaller than pinto beans, but they have a comparable taste, texture, and cooking time. Navy beans have a gentler creaminess than pinto beans, yet they are a good pinto bean alternative. Navy beans are the most mashable of these alternatives, making them perfect for refried beans that need mashed pinto beans.

If your recipe calls for pinto beans as an accent rather than the main course, substitute navy beans. Note that, like pinto beans, they soften as they cook, so you won’t need to change any recipes time. Navy beans are a common ingredient in Boston baked beans and might be a good substitution for pinto beans.

6. Red Beans

Red or adzuki beans have a sweeter taste than pinto beans, which have a buttery flavor. They are little yet well-known in Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Red beans may be used in place of pinto beans in savory meals such as curries, beans and rice, hummus, and grain bowls.

Its sweet flavor is distinct from that of pinto beans, although they are equally suitable as substitutes. Sweet potato stew and barbeque sauce are two more sweet meals to which they provide zest. If you soak adzuki beans in water for two to four days, sprouts for a salad will appear in two to four days.

7. Lima Beans

There are no replacements for lima beans that are as unique and bright as lima beans. Peru beans are one of the earliest bean kinds, having been grown before maize. They are becoming a common element in many meals.

They have a bright green hue that makes them ideal for garnishes and side meals. These butter beans have a very smooth texture and are quite starchy, making them a full meal.

8. Chickpeas

This legume is another fantastic replacement for pinto beans. Chickpeas originated in the Middle East, but they have spread around the globe, leaving an indelible impression.

Chickpeas have an earthy, nutty taste and a flesh color comparable to pinto beans. Chickpeas are best cooked with a variety of sauces and spices since they are very bland on their own. Chickpeas are an excellent replacement for pinto beans in soups and salads.


Pinto beans are in a class of their own, but these pinto bean replacements flavor, texture, and nutritional content are comparable. Black beans are an excellent alternative in all situations, although red beans and adzuki give distinct flavors and brilliant hues. Try with these pinto bean replacements and you’re certain to discover a favorite or two.


What can I use in place of pinto beans?

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.

Are pinto beans the same as cannellini beans?

Cannellini and pinto beans are not the same thing. Cannellinis are Italian in origin, but pinto beans are Hispanic. They vary in appearance, cooking time, and general use in recipes.

Are garbanzo beans the same as pinto beans?

Garbanzo beans, often known as chickpeas, are not to be confused with pinto beans. They are smaller, lighter in color, and taste different than pintos.

Are Northern beans the same as pinto beans?

No. White beans are great northern beans, while red beans are pinto beans. While they are not the same beans, you may use whichever beans you have on hand in many recipes.

What is better than pinto beans?

If we’re being picky, black beans are slightly lower in calories, slightly lower in fat, and somewhat higher in protein. Black beans have a few less total carbohydrates than pinto beans.

Can I substitute pinto beans in red beans and rice?

Each of these bean varieties have distinct flavors and are used in a range of cuisines. Pinto beans have a creamy texture and a more earthy flavor than kidney beans, which have a meaty, thick structure with a somewhat sweet flavor. Despite their distinct flavors, you may swap one for the other.

Can I substitute pinto beans for cannellini beans?

Pinto beans are often used in many Italian cuisines and are considerably more widely accessible than cannellini beans, making them an excellent replacement. Moreover, pinto beans pair nicely with the majority of components. As a result, they may be used in stews, salads, and soups.

What’s the difference between navy beans and pinto beans?

Navy beans are well recognized for their use in baked or grilled bean dishes. They have a moderate taste and absorb sauce flavors well, as well as a soft and creamy texture. Pinto beans have a light color, a creamy yet “chunky” texture, and a nutty flavor.

What is the healthiest bean?

5 Heart-Healthy Beans and How to Eat Them
Black Beans: An Antioxidant-Rich Home Staple…
Chickpeas: A Delicious Legume That May Help You Maintain a Healthy Blood Sugar Level.
Navy beans are a high-fiber food that lowers the risk of heart disease.
Pinto Beans are inexpensive and simple to prepare.
Jul 26, 2022: Soybeans: ‘Meat Without Bones’

Can you substitute chickpeas for pinto beans?

Pinto beans, the star of refried beans, are an excellent substitute for chickpeas in stews, chilis, and casseroles. They have a creamy texture and a taste that is earthy and nutty. What exactly is this? In your meal, use them as a 1:1 substitution.

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