12 Best Substitutes for Pinto Beans You May Already Have

I was making a dish for a potluck party, and I needed to bring something that would feed a lot of people. I didn’t have enough pinto beans on hand, so I did some research online to see if there were any good substitutes.

I came across a few different options, but I wasn’t sure which one would work best. No one was saying which substitute was better, what ratio to follow, and so on.

So I decided to put together a list of substitutes for pinto beans, with the exact ratios to use as a replacement and examples of how I’ve used them. Hopefully, this will help anyone who finds themselves in the same predicament!

Here are some good substitutes for pinto beans:

Substitutes for Pinto Beans

  1. Black Beans
  2. Navy Beans
  3. Great Northern Beans
  4. Adzuki
  5. Borlotti Beans
  6. Black Turtle Beans
  7. Cannellini Beans
  8. Kidney Beans
  9. Lima Beans
  10. Anasazi Beans
  11. Black-eyed Peas
  12. Chickpeas

Black Beans

If you’re looking for the overall best replacement, black beans are a great choice. They have a similar taste and texture to pinto beans, making them a seamless substitution in most recipes.

One issue you may run into with pinto beans is the pigment. If the color of the beans is critical to your recipe, you may want to consider other substitutes.

Here’s a pro tip; while store-bought black beans are widely available, homemade is always best. Black beans are easy to cook and can be made ahead of time, making them a convenient substitution for pinto beans.

They can be used in many different ways, especially as a side dish and if your black beans are dry, it may take longer to cook. So make sure your beans are not overcooked.

Navy Beans

Navy beans, also known as haricot or Boston beans, are a type of small white beans. The term “navy bean” is a reference to their use in Navy food service, where they have been a staple since the early 1900s.

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Navy beans are also popular in the Midwestern United States, where they are commonly used in chili and other dishes. Despite their name, navy beans can actually be used as a substitute for any type of small white beans, including pinto beans.

The key difference between navy beans and pinto beans is that pinto beans are typically used in Mexican dishes, while navy beans are more commonly used in American dishes.

Nevertheless, navy beans can be used as a replacement for pinto beans in any dish where small white beans are called for.

Some benefits of using navy beans as a substitute for pinto beans include the fact that they are less expensive and more readily available than pinto beans.

In addition, navy beans have a higher protein content than pinto beans, making them a healthier choice for those who are looking to increase their protein intake.

Before you cook them, soak them in cold water for at least 4 hours so they double in size. Navy beans may be cooked, mashed, sautéed, or added to salads. They taste great with curry and are also delicious with spicy salsa.

Great Northern Beans

Great Northern beans can be substituted for pinto beans in most recipes. However, they have a distinct flavor that some may find off-putting. And some actually consider it a rich flavor. So, I think it depends on you to decide whether it will work for your recipe or not.

What I know is that they are a good source of fiber and protein, and they contain vitamins and minerals such as iron and magnesium. They are also low in calories and fat, making them a healthy option for those watching their weight.

When substituting great northern beans for pinto beans, be sure to take these health benefits into account and keep the ratio one-to-one. Great northern beans can be used as a healthy and delicious substitute for pinto beans in many recipes.

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The most frequent application of these beans is in stews, but they may also be used in bean soups and other bean dips.

Adzuki

Adzuki beans, also known as red Asian types of beans, are popular in Japan and other parts of Asia. Adzuki beans have a sweet taste, which makes them great with meat or rice dishes.

They are small, red, and kidney-shaped. Adzuki beans are a good source of protein, fiber, iron, and magnesium. They contain no saturated fat or cholesterol.

Adzuki beans are also a good source of folate, potassium, and copper. And they cook quite fast too.

They can be used in soups, stews, casseroles, salads, and rice dishes. Adzuki beans can also be used as a replacement for meat in vegetarian dishes.

Borlotti Beans

Borlotti beans also referred to as cranberry beans, are a type of legume that is often used as a substitute for pinto beans.

These beans are typically beige with pink spots, but lose their color after cooking.

Borlotti beans are highly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to salads and casseroles. They taste great in Italian and Portuguese recipes, especially the delicious Feijao a Portuguesa.

They also taste good when paired with bacon, tomato, garlic, or sausage.

In addition to their culinary uses, borlotti beans are also a good source of fiber and protein.

Black Turtle Beans

Black turtle beans are a type of common bean that gets their name from their small, black, turtle-shaped appearance.

It is popular in Latin American and Caribbean cuisine and is often used in soups, stews, and rice dishes.

Pinto beans are similar in size and shape to black turtle beans, but they are light brown in color. Black turtle beans will change the look of your dish, but they will not change the flavor.

In fact, they have a slightly sweeter flavor than pinto beans. Black turtle beans are also higher in fiber and lower in calories than pinto beans. So, if you’re looking to cut down on calories or increase your fiber intake, black turtle beans are a great choice.

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Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans are a type of white kidney bean that can be used as a substitute for pinto beans in many recipes.

While they have a similar taste and texture, Cannellini beans are slightly larger and creamier than pinto beans.

They can be prepared in the same way, making them a great option for those who are looking for a quick and easy substitution.

Moreover, Cannellini beans offer a number of health benefits. They are high in fiber and protein, and they contain a variety of vitamins and minerals.

For these reasons, Cannellini beans make an excellent substitute for pinto beans in both cooked dishes and salads.

Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are often used as a substitute for pinto beans. This is because they have a similar taste, texture, and flavor.

Kidney beans are also easy to find, making them a convenient option for those who do not have access to pinto beans.

Also, kidney beans are more nutritious than pinto beans, and they contain fewer calories.

Finally, kidney beans are a good source of fiber and protein. So they are a healthy and delicious alternative to pinto beans.

If you’re cooking dark kidney means, you may have to cook them for longer because they have thicker skins than the light-colored kidney beans.

Lima Beans

Lima beans, also called butter beans, are a smooth-textured legume with a distinct, nutty, and sweet taste. But if they get overcooked, they give a bitter and sulfurous taste.

They are great in all types of bean recipes but best used as a side dish or in bean dips.

Lima beans are also a good source of fiber and protein, making them a healthy choice for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Plus, they’re versatile and easy to find in most grocery stores.

Anasazi Beans

Anasazi beans, also known as adzuki and Appaloosa beans, are a variety of heirloom beans that are named after the Anasazi people of the southwestern United States. They look elegantly white with patches of brown. They’re gorgeous!

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These beans are not easy to find, but they are definitely worth seeking out if you can get your hands on them.

Anasazi beans have a sweeter, nuttier flavor than pinto beans, and they hold their shape better when cooked.

In addition, they are higher in protein and fiber than pinto beans. For all these reasons, Anasazi beans make a great substitute for pinto beans in any recipe, whether in soups, stews, and other dishes.

And they are easier to digest. So if you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious way to change up your usual bean dishes, give Anasazi beans a try.

Black-eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas are a type of legume that is often used as a substitute for pinto beans. This is because they have a similar taste and texture.

Black-eyed peas are also easy to find, making them a convenient option for those who do not have access to pinto beans.

White with a black stain on them that looks like an eye, you will encounter them in the cuisine of southern countries and they can successfully replace your pinto beans in soups, stews, or bean dips. Add some bacon and your tastebuds will thank you.

Chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a type of legume that can be used as a substitute for pinto beans.

While they have a similar taste and texture, chickpeas are slightly larger and creamier than pinto beans.

They can be prepared in the same way, making them a great option for those who are looking for a quick and easy substitution.

In addition, chickpeas offer a number of health benefits. They are high in fiber and protein, and they contain a variety of vitamins and minerals.

For these reasons, chickpeas make an excellent substitute for pinto beans in both cooked dishes and salads.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a Pinto Beans Substitute in Chili?

There are several substitutes that can be used in chili in place of pinto beans. These include black beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas.

What is the Best Substitute for Pinto Beans?

The best substitute for pinto beans will depend on your personal preference. However, some of the most popular substitutes include black beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas.

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What is the Nutritional Value of Pinto Beans?

Pinto beans are a good source of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They are also low in calories and fat.

Can I substitute Lentils for Pinto Beans?

Yes, lentils can be used as a substitute for pinto beans. This is because they have a similar texture and taste.

What is the Difference Between Pinto Beans and Black Beans?

The main difference between pinto beans and black beans is their color. Pinto beans are light brown with dark spots, while black beans are completely black.

What is the Difference Between Pinto Beans and Kidney Beans?

Pinto beans and kidney beans are similar in appearance. However, pinto beans are smaller and have a smoother texture. Kidney beans are larger and have a coarser texture.

Conclusion

So, there you have it. A list of substitutes for pinto beans. Whether you’re looking for a replacement because you can’t find pinto beans or you’re simply trying to change things up, one of these substitutes is sure to do the trick.

If you’re wondering what substitute I chose to prepare for the potluck party, it’s black beans. I followed a 1:1 ratio and cooked the dish according to the recipe.

When it was time to eat, everyone loved the dish! I was so relieved that I had made a good choice with the substitute.

That’s why I’m an evangelist of black beans as a substitute for pinto beans. I highly recommend black beans, because they have a similar taste and texture, so you won’t be able to tell the difference.