A Quick Guide to Choosing a Pinto Beans Substitute

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Pinto Beans Substitute – Beans are an integral part of different types of diets and cuisines. They are known for their diverse health benefits. Pinto beans are also among them with health benefits coming from a variety of innate nutrients. These nutrients range from fiber to folate.

Pinto beans are also among the widely used legumes in Mexican, Latin, and South American cuisines. Another reason why these beans are versatile is their ability to get cooked in various ways. Yes, you can use them in different ways. For example, you can smash them to add to spreads or cook them to add to stews and baked items.

pinto beans substitute

Pinto Beans Substitute – 3 Options to Try

Perhaps due to the diverse uses of these oval-shaped and cream-cum-brown beans in your cuisine, you may have stored it in enough quantities in your kitchen. However, there can be times when there are not enough beans for the recipe you are cooking.

This is when you need a pinto beans substitute. You may even choose to go out and buy some from the grocery store. However, in case the store does not have these cheap and usually available beans, a substitute is what you need for either a canned or dried form. Here are some substitutes to consider:

#1. Kidney Beans

With an appearance like human kidneys, kidney beans are certainly a healthy pinto beans substitute. The taste is not exactly the same but the overall flavor and taste are truly commendable.

Kidney beans can either be in dark or light color although there is a bit difference in terms of textures. Of these two types, the light-colored beans share the maximum resemblance with pinto beans when it comes to comparing the two in terms of texture. It is also easy to smash these beans just as pinto beans.

On the other hand, dark beans differ then pinto beans in terms of skin that is tougher in the former. It also takes more time as well as effort to smash red beans than the light ones. Still, dark kidney beans are a popular choice for making chili-based dishes. For these recipes, light beans are not usually preferred.

See also: Can you freeze Baked Beans?

Nevertheless, you can consider both the varieties in rice-based and salad recipes. As a popular alternative to pinto beans, kidney beans are specifically used in regions where beans are extensively used such as Mexico.

#2. Garbanzo Beans or Chickpeas

These are beans of medium size and are somewhat in a square shape instead of in the standard oval shape. Still, they are widely used as a good alternative to pinto beans across the globe. This is perhaps because these beans are widely cultivated in different regions of the world.

Just like other beans, these beans are also soaked and cooked. They emit a bit nutty flavor. Chickpeas are used as an alternative in Mexican cuisine, especially in soups and starters. However, they are commonly used in making hummus and falafel, which are famous Middle East recipes.

#3. Black Beans

These are also oval shaped beans with small size. While there are many forms of black beans, the suitable alternate to pinto beans is black turtle beans that become purple or brown upon cooking.

In terms of taste, these form of black beans are somewhat sweet and emit a typical earthy flavor. Surprisingly, these beans also have a taste that is somewhat like mushrooms. Although black beans are used in place of pinto beans in stews and soups, you need to know that their skins do come out quite quickly. So, you can cook them directly without soaking.


Most of these pinto beans substitutes are likely to be available in your kitchen if you are a great fan of beans. So, now there will be no delay in cooking your favorite pinto beans recipe.

See also: Best Espresso Coffee Beans