6 Substitutes for Black Beans

Black beans are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Packed with protein, black beans are the preference of health coaches and dieticians near and far. 

Whether you don’t like black beans or you can’t find them at your local store, there are some options for a substitution you could consider.

Popular alternatives to black beans include kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, black-eyed peas, soybeans, and even mushrooms. 

You might be sad to replace your favorite black beans with an alternative, but these swaps offer their array of health benefits and nutritional content. Many of these substitutions are just as healthy, and taste great, too!

Alternatives to Black Beans

Oftentimes, black beans are abundant on the shelf of your local grocery store. Yet, they are so common that you may be unable to find them at times, due to their popularity. 

When this happens, consider the following substitutes for black beans:

  • Kidney Beans: As an obvious choice for replacing black beans, kidney beans are similar in their size, texture, and nutritional benefits. They don’t break down easily and hold up well when cooking and reheating.
  • Chickpeas: Typically used in cold salads or tacos, chickpeas are the same as black beans in their appearance, yet they have a different flavor. Chickpeas puree well, so they would be a good substitute for black beans in certain recipes.
  • Lentils: Packed full of protein, lentils are small and soft in comparison to the larger and firmed black bean. They can be purchased cooked or dry, too.
  • Black-eyed Peas: Black and white, blackyed peas can resemble the appearance of black beans when cooked. Upon heating, though, they tend to be creamier and mushier in texture than black beans.
  • Soybeans: Even though this alternative may not be your top replacement option for black beans, soybeans maintain their shape and structure in heating and cooking. They also cook quickly, which is an advantage on busy weeknights.
  • Mushrooms: Black beans are great for replacing meat, and so are mushrooms. Mushrooms also get very dark when they cook, so their appearance can resemble that of black beans when they are turned into a broth.

When you are considering a black bean substitute, you must keep these benefits in mind if you plan to use an alternative long-term. Find an alternative that fits within the same nutrition profile of black beans to ensure you are getting all the essential vitamins and nutrients you need.