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7 Black Beans Substitutes to Mix Up Your Meals

Ever found yourself staring into the pantry, the black beans glaring back like they’ve had enough of you, too? It’s time to mix things up.

We’ve all been there. The recipes feel tired. Our meals need a rescue.

We’re here to guide you through the wilderness of bean substitutes. We promise, it’s not as daunting as it sounds.

Remember last Thursday? We tried that chickpea swap in the chili. Surprisingly, no one missed the black beans.

This article lays down 7 game-changing alternatives. They’re easy, they’re delicious, and hey, they might just become your new favorites.

Ready to break out of the bean rut? Great, because so are we.

7 Easy Substitutes for Black Beans

In no particular order, here are some of our favorite black bean alternatives. Some may surprise you, but trust us, they all pack a punch in flavor and nutrition.

SubstitutesTasteTextureSuitable Dishes
Kidney BeansMild, earthyFirm, creamyChili, soups, stews, casseroles
Pinto BeansNutty, earthySoft, creamyRefried beans, tacos, burritos, soups
Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)Nutty, earthyFirm, grainyHummus, falafel, curries, salads, soups
LentilsEarthy, slightly pepperySoft, mushySoups, stews, curries, dals
Black-Eyed PeasSlightly sweet, nuttyFirm, creamyHoppin’ John, soups, stews, rice dishes
EdamameSweet, nuttyFirm, crunchySnacks, salads, stir-fries
Adzuki BeansSweet, earthySoft, creamyDesserts, rice dishes, soups

1 – Kidney Beans

Kidney beans step up as a stellar swap. These legumes slide into recipes where black beans once reigned. They bring a solid shape and a taste that holds its own. They’re like the versatile cousin in the bean family.

You toss them into soups, stews, and salads. Their robustness complements a range of dishes. I remember swapping them into our taco night lineup. Nobody blinked an eye, and the plates were clean.

They mix in at a one-to-one ratio. Easy swap. For those curious about shifting their bean game, check out our guide on finding kidney bean substitutes.

2 – Pinto Beans

Pinto beans step in as another solid alternative. They work well in most recipes. These beans have a creamy texture that folks enjoy.

They blend seamlessly into soups and Mexican dishes. Color shifts to a darker tone after cooking. Our group once tried these in a bean dip. It was a hit. Everyone asked for the recipe.

These beans swap in easily, one-for-one. They keep meals interesting. For more on swapping beans, you might like our guide on finding pinto bean substitutes.

3 – Chickpeas

Chickpeas take the stage with flair. They step in smoothly for black beans. You find them in cans or dried. Both forms work wonders.

Chickpeas blend into salads and soups without a hitch. We threw them into a stew once. The result? A hit. Their texture adds a nice bite. Ideal for those seeking variety. We use them one-to-one with black beans.

Looking for twists in recipes? Chickpeas will do the trick. They introduce a fresh edge. For details on using chickpeas as substitutes, you might find our guide on chickpea substitutes helpful.

4 – Lentils

Lentils step in with ease. They fill the gap left by black beans.

Their shape and size vary, adding visual appeal to dishes. Lentils cook faster than many beans. We toss them into almost everything, from hearty soups to refreshing salads. The flexibility of lentils makes them a solid choice.

They absorb flavors like a sponge. This trait makes them a go-to for vibrant meals. Swapping lentils for black beans? We do it at a one-to-one ratio.

Our recipes get a new twist with lentils. Interested in more swaps? Find out how in our guide on finding lentil substitutes.

5 – Black-Eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas have a mild, earthy taste and work great as a substitute for black beans. We added them to salsa and it was a hit. Swap them one-for-one and you’re set. Their creamy texture often surprises people. Add them to your dishes and watch the magic. They might just become your new favorite ingredient, mixing well with almost anything.

Thinking about trying black-eyed peas? They’re amazing in hot dishes or cool salads. Experiment to find your favorite way to enjoy them.

We’ve experimented a lot, tweaking recipes and adjusting cooking times. But with these peas, you’ve got versatility. Stir them into a stew or mix them into a salad. Your taste buds will thank you.

6 – Edamame

Edamame stands out with its bright green hue. It’s different, yet familiar. We often mix it into dishes where beans usually go. It works. Its sweet, slightly nutty flavor complements many recipes. Edamame swaps easily for black beans.

Texture-wise, it’s a win. Edamame has a pleasing bite. We add it to salads, stir-fries, and even pasta. Each time, it adds a fresh twist. One to one is the ratio we use for swapping. Simple.

Interested in edamame as a swap? For different choices, see this article.

7 – Adzuki Beans

Adzuki beans sneak into the scene with charm. They turn any dish vibrant. Not as common, their red skin adds a dash of color. We find adzuki beans a smooth move for swapping with black beans.

Their size is small but don’t let that fool you. They bring a sweet, nutty flavor. Perfect in both sweet and savory dishes. I recall adding them to a pot of chili. No one suspected the switch.

Incorporating adzuki beans is straightforward. We use them one-to-one. Ideal for those wanting to stir up their regular meals. For additional info on substitutes, see finding adzuki bean substitutes.