Black Beans Vs. Pinto Beans – What You Need To Know

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Whether you are trying to build a healthy burrito or you simply like beans, everything relates to a confusing question – black beans vs. pinto beans? Which one is better for you? No one can deny their health-related benefits, from lowering the risk of heart disease to reducing the amounts of bad cholesterol.

Black Beans Vs. Pinto Beans

black beans vs pinto beans

However, it is important to know what to expect from each type before deciding on one.

Appearance and Origins

Color is the most obvious difference. Black beans are obviously black. They are shiny before, during and after the cooking process. On the other hand, pinto beans have a pink nuance that darkens and becomes brown while being cooked.

Black beans are sometimes referred to as turtle beans, while pintos are wide and long. Both types of beans originated in South America, but they are now available all over the world through trade.


The taste is quite different when you compare black beans vs. pinto beans in a raw state. But whether in a burrito or a salad, they are mixed with other ingredients, so the taste is greatly changed. Generally speaking, black beans are better if you want a dense and rich flavor. On the other hand, pinto beans are earthy and creamy.

The good news is that even if you do not have options, both go with pretty much the same things – veggies, seasonings or spices. You can even mix them up for a strange taste.


The texture is what often makes the difference in black beans vs. pinto beans. It depends on the experience you want to achieve, you should know that black beans are sturdy and hard.

They maintain their shape, so they will feel a bit meaty. They work well with rice, salads, soups or dips. Pinto beans are ideal for fillings, dips, and spreads. They are soft and feel creamy. Some of them might lose their shape when cooked.


One cup of black beans brings in 227 calories, 15 grams of protein and 60% fiber. Pinto beans are similar – 245 calories, 15 grams of protein and 62% fiber. They have similar amounts of iron (20%), calcium (5%), phosphorus (25%) and zinc (12%).

Black beans have more magnesium (30% against 21%), while pinto beans are richer in folate (74% against 64%, vitamin B6 (20% against 6%) and potassium (21% against 17%).


Black beans are more commonly used in the South and Central American cuisine, as well as a series of Caribbean dishes. Pinto beans are mostly related to the South American cuisine. They make a good meat substitute in tacos, yet they can be eaten with meat too.


In the end, deciding between black beans vs. pinto beans is entirely up to you. If you want a healthier option, pinto beans might be a bit better. However, they work with different types of food, so make sure you use them in the right recipes. If you are a big fan of beans, chances are you can have them with everything.

See also: Best Espresso Coffee Beans

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Katie Leslove

I have a passion for cooking different foods every day, and that’s why I have chosen it as the topic for my writings. I cook the dishes, garnish it with green veggies and snap the photo. I like to show those photos to my blog readers. Read More