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7 Pinto Beans Substitutes to Mix Up Your Meals

Ever find yourself staring at your pantry, the bag of pinto beans glaring back? We all have.

Here’s the scoop: You’re not alone in the bean dilemma. We decided to get creative.

There’s a whole universe of beans and legumes just waiting to step up to the plate. Black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas – you name it, we’ve tried swapping them in.

And guess what? Our meals leveled up.

This isn’t just about substituting; it’s about transforming your dinner game.

Ready to shake things up? Stick with us. You won’t believe how simple swaps can make a big difference.

7 Easy Substitutes for Pinto Beans

In case you need some inspiration, we’ve got you covered with 7 tasty and healthy alternatives to pinto beans.

Bean/LegumeTasteTextureSuitable Dishes
Black BeansMild, earthyDense, meatySoups, stews, salads, salsa, dips, vegan burgers
Kidney BeansNutty, earthySoft, creamyChili, soups, stews, casseroles
Cannellini BeansNutty, earthyTender, semi-firmPasta dishes, stews, salads
ChickpeasNutty, earthyFirm, grainyHummus, falafel, curries, salads, soups, stews, vegan burgers
LentilsEarthy, slightly pepperySoft, creamySoups, stews, curries
Black-Eyed PeasSlightly sweet, nuttyFirm, creamyRice dishes, stews, salads
Navy BeansMild, nuttySoft, creamyBaked beans, soups, stews, dips, casseroles

1 – Black Beans

These little guys are versatile. We’ve thrown them into soups, salads, and even brownies. Yes, brownies. Their texture is smoother than pinto beans, making them a great addition to dishes where you want a softer bean.

Their color adds a striking contrast to most meals, making your dish Instagram-worthy. They cook quick, perfect for last-minute meal plans.

We usually go for a 1:1 swap ratio for black beans in recipes calling for pinto beans. It’s a game-changer. If you’re looking to mix things up even further, check out other ideas on black bean substitutes.

2 – Kidney Beans

Kidney beans add a pop of color to any dish. They’re slightly bigger than pinto beans.

We found out they absorb flavors well, making your meals rich and full-bodied. They need a bit more time to cook compared to pintos.

Kidney beans shine in slow-cooked dishes. Their firmness holds up, especially in stews and chili.

We swap them in at a 1:1 ratio. It’s easy, really. They have a knack for making every dish hearty.

For those eager to experiment further, kidney beans can open up a new dimension of meal prep.

Find more swap ideas here.

3 – Cannellini Beans

These beans step in seamlessly for pinto beans. Their mild flavor works in a wide range of dishes. We tossed them in pastas and bean salads.

Their creamy texture blends well. Ideal for smoother dips and spreads. We’ve noticed they don’t overpower other ingredients. This quality ensures your dish’s original flavor shines through.

We use them one-for-one in recipes asking for pintos. This swap has saved our dinners more than once. If this sparks your interest, you might want to see other alternatives for Cannellini beans.

4 – Chickpeas

Chickpeas, oh they’re a solid swap. We often use them instead of pinto beans. They have this creamy insides with a slight bite on the outside. Perfect for salads and hummus.

These beans bring a nutty flavor. It shifts the whole vibe of a dish. We’ve tossed them in curries and even smashed them on toast. It works.

The ratio? Straight-up 1:1. Recipes seem to welcome chickpeas with open arms. And if your curiosity goes further, you might find swapping insights on this page.

5 – Lentils

Lentils come in as a stealthy switch. We slide these in for pinto beans. They nail it in soups. They merge well in salads. We’ve spotted them playing nice in a slew of dishes.

Their variety adds color. Textures vary, offering a spectrum of choices. We lean on them for their adaptability. They’ve sidestepped into many of our go-to recipes.

We swap lentils in at a 1:1 ratio. This move keeps meals on point. For those digging deeper into alternatives, lentils hold more secrets. You might catch more swap tips here on lentil substitutes.

6 – Black-Eyed Peas

Black-Eyed Peas, oh they’re solid. We toss them in instead of pintos. Their flavor? Darn good; kind of earthy. Toss them into salads or soups; they stand out.

They have a firm texture that keeps its shape well during cooking. We swap at a 1:1 ratio. Tried them in stews too. They added a nice twist.

Their cooking time? Pretty similar to pinto beans. Made our meal prep smooth.

Found out they’re great in dishes where pintos usually star. Our meals? Upgraded.

7 – Navy Beans

Navy Beans slide right into recipes, no fuss. Their smooth texture and mild flavor make them a top choice for a wide array of dishes. We often mix them into our soups and casseroles. They blend in without taking over the spotlight.

They also cook up quite nice, keeping their shape but getting tender enough to enjoy. We’ve found they’re a good stand-in for pinto beans because they don’t mess with the dish’s overall vibe. We use them one-to-one in swaps. This keeps things simple.

Got a recipe calling for pinto beans and thinking of trying Navy Beans instead? You’ll want to look at more ideas on finding substitutes for Navy Beans.