Pinto beans are medium-sized legumes that are dark in color while raw but lighten when cooked. They have a creamy, smooth flavor that goes well with a variety of tastes.
While pintos are popular, they are not the only bean available. If you want to create a dish that asks for pinto beans but don’t have any, you may substitute a variety of different beans.
Black beans, navy beans, kidney beans, great northern beans, and black turtle beans are the top five pinto bean alternatives.
- Recommended Pinto Beans Substitutes
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the best beans to substitute?
- Are cannellini beans like pinto beans?
- Which beans taste most like Pinto?
- Which kind of beans are healthiest?
- What beans are closest to pinto beans?
- What are the 9 healthiest beans?
- Do red beans and pinto beans taste the same?
- What are the most neutral tasting beans?
- What is the best tasting bean?
- What bean tastes most like meat?
Recommended Pinto Beans Substitutes
1. Black Beans: The Most Faithful Pinto Beans Replacement
In terms of flavor, texture, and size, black beans are extremely similar to pinto beans. If you like pinto beans but don’t have any on hand, these are the finest option.
Each bean is black with a white patch on top known as a keel. They are oval in form and range in size from medium to tiny, making the typical black bean somewhat smaller than the average pinto bean.
If you’re going from pinto to black beans, you don’t need to change the recipe much. Dry black beans should be cooked for a bit longer than dry pinto beans since they are susceptible to undercook.
Black beans offer a few nutritional advantages over pinto beans. They contain higher levels of antioxidants, fiber, and protein. They also have reduced cholesterol levels.
Potential drawbacks: If you’re making a meal that demands a certain appearance, the deeper hue may be a concern.
In a blind tasting test, black beans are the most likely to prevail over pinto bean replacements.
Navy beans are coming next. You may have had them and not even realized it. They are the ingredient in Boston Baked Beans.
Navy beans have a comparable texture to pinto beans despite being smaller (they are the smallest beans on our list). The two beans have a similar flavor. Both have a creamy, mild taste, with the navy bean being somewhat milder than the pinto.
Navy beans may be used in place of pinto beans if they aren’t the main taste of the recipe. They’re ideal for casseroles, Mexican meals, and other dishes with a lot of components.
Would you want to create refried beans? Navy beans are the most mashable pinto bean replacement. Remember that refried navy beans are white, so they won’t be the hue you’re accustomed to seeing in pinto bean meals.
Navy bean cooking is pretty similar to pinto bean cooking. They soften similarly to heat, so you typically don’t need to change the time of any dish.
Verdict: Navy beans are the finest option for refried beans and in dishes where pinto beans provide mild to moderate flavor touches.
3. Kidney Beans: A Pinto Beans Alternative for Many Specific Dishes
Kidney beans may seem to be a poor substitute for pinto beans at first look due to their greater size and dark red hue.
They are, nonetheless, comparable in flavor and texture. Kidney beans have thicker skin than pinto beans, although the distinction is frequently subtle, particularly if the meal has been cooked or simmered for many hours.
In many Mexican cuisines, kidney beans and pinto beans are used interchangeably. You may substitute them in tacos, casseroles, and refried beans with no discernible change.
They’re also great in semi-liquid meals like chili, soup, and stew. In thicker chilis, many people prefer the bigger kidney since the smaller pinto may get lost amid the meats and cheeses.
However, their great size is a possible disadvantage, as they may overpower a dish when used as a main element.
Kidney beans and pinto beans are nutritionally comparable in that they contain about equal quantities of protein, magnesium, potassium, and iron.
Kidney beans are an excellent substitute for liquid-based dishes such as gumbo, soup, masala, stew, and chili. They’re also one of the most popular Mexican food subs.
4. Great Northern Beans: A Nutritious Substitute Used for Cooking
Great Northern Beans have a similar form and feel to pinto beans, but the Great Northern’s distinctive white hue distinguishes it. (However, don’t be fooled by the name; these beans are considerably smaller than pintos.)
Because of their thin skin and mild tastes, they perform particularly well in soup. They’re also a wonderful option for any slow-cooker recipes.
Great Northern beans may be found in a variety of ham-centric meals. When a dish calls for ham and beans, the Great Northern bean is frequently in consideration.
If you’re in a rush, Great Northern beans are the way to go since they cook in roughly half the time that pinto beans do. They get tougher more quickly than pintos, so you may need to salt them after cooking.
Finally, Great Northern beans outperform pinto beans in terms of nutrients. They include more protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, and a variety of vitamins and minerals.
While not a straight replacement for pinto beans as a side dish, Great Northern beans pair nicely with vegetables, meats, and savory components.
5. Black Turtle Beans: A Sweeter, Earthier Taste Option
Although not as well-known as the other options, black turtle beans are a good replacement for pinto beans.
They taste sweet and flavorful, with a trace of earthiness. Their texture is delicate, allowing for simple mashing.
They’re popular in Mexican and Caribbean cuisine. They may be used in burritos, enchiladas, quinoa chili, black bean soup, and other dishes.
You should allow yourself some more time in the kitchen. Black turtle beans cook more slowly than pintos.
A bean’s hue influences its antioxidant capability. Black turtle beans contain the greatest amount of antioxidant chemicals since they are the darkest form of bean.
While they have a similar texture and size, black turtle beans do not have an identical flavor, thus utilizing them as a recipe substitute is a matter of personal opinion.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some brief answers to frequently asked questions concerning pinto bean substitutes:
If you want the most direct comparison, use black beans (not black turtle beans, which are a distinct species). Black beans are similar to pinto beans in size, shape, texture, and flavor.The primary distinction between the two categories is color.
They’re not. Kidney beans have a thicker skin and a greater size. They are also red, while pinto beans are brown or tan in color.
Despite their differences, kidney beans are a popular and efficient replacement for pinto beans. Both are often used in Mexican dishes such as chilis and casseroles.
They aren’t. Cannellini beans are sometimes known as white kidney beans. They’re often seen in Italian cuisine like minestrone soup and Mexican foods like burritos.
Interestingly, while cannellini beans are more difficult to get in supermarkets, pinto beans are a popular replacement.
You certainly can. Bean replacements work both ways. If your recipe asks for black beans and you don’t have any on hand, pinto beans are the next best thing.
It is worth noting that black beans have less cholesterol than pinto beans. If you have high cholesterol, you may not want to make a permanent move from black beans to pinto beans in your diet.
Many people believe that pinto beans have the right amount of flavor—not too much, but just enough to detect. Their flavor is earthy, creamy, and rich, but not overpowering.
Pinto beans go well with a variety of meals, including meats, spicy sauces, vegetables, and cheeses.
While no other bean tastes exactly like a pinto bean, many others come close in many respects. If you want the most direct alternative to pinto beans, black beans are your best choice.
Navy and kidney beans have comparable qualities and may be used in meals or as a side. Finally, Great Northern beans and Black Turtle beans have subtle flavor differences that complement Mexican cuisines, Italian cuisine, and many other recipes that call for pinto beans.
Whether you need a fast swap to finish a dinner or are seeking for new ways to spice up your favorite meals, these pinto bean alternatives are guaranteed to delight.