7 Best Substitutes For Red Kidney Beans

Overall, beans are a great source of protein and other minerals. They are such a delight when you incorporate them into your meal. There are many varieties of beans, and they all are unique yet replaceable.

So are you looking for substitutes for red kidney beans to relish your lunch or dinner? Are you looking forward to making some meals but cannot use red kidney beans because of availability or even choice?

Are there great replacements for red kidney beans? Well, yes, there are great replacements for a red kidney in any recipe. Cranberry beans, pinto beans, black beans, adzuki beans, and many others are great replacements.

So let’s find out about red kidney beans and the best substitutes for them!


What are red kidney beans?

Red kidney beans are annuals and a variety of common beans that are mostly enjoyed compared to other beans. The color of these wonderful beans ranges from light red to very dark red.

Indians call it rajma, while Pakistan calls it lobia. The red kidney beans have a kidney-like shape, hence the name ‘kidney beans. Because it is filled with nutrients, many people find the beans very useful.

Red kidney beans contain carbs and fiber. It is rich in minerals and vitamins; folate, iron, copper, potassium, and vitamin k. Many people consider red kidney beans one of the healthiest beans.

They are available as dried beans and canned beans.

Canned red kidney beans

Canned beans are processed beans that are stored in a can for future use. In canning red kidney beans here’s a must-know!

The nature of the water used in canning the beans would affect how the beans turn out to be. If the water is hard, then it would toughen the beans and if the water is soft, then the beans would be tender.

Dried red kidney beans

Many people would prefer dried beans and cook them themselves to achieve their desired result.

How long do red kidney beans last? 

Dried beans, like most beans, would last from 2 to 3 years if they are in the best condition. Store them in a cool and dry place to avoid spoilage. Canned beans also can last for 2 to 5 years.

What can you cook with red kidney beans?

There are plenty of things you can cook with red kidney beans. One of the most is coconut rice and beans.

  • You can cook some chili with red kidney beans
  • Kidney bean salad
  • kidney bean vegetable soup
  • taco soup
  • bean stew
  • scramble eggs with red kidney bean
  • pasta e Fagioli
  • chicken tortilla soup

Red kidney beans fit in so well in all these recipes and so many more!

However, when it’s time to make any of them, and you cannot seem to have the red kidney beans do your bidding, then it is time to use excellent substitutes for red kidney beans.

So, let’s learn about these substitutes.

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7 Best Substitutes For Red Kidney Beans

1. Pinto beans

pinto beans

In Spanish, pinto beans are referred to as ‘judias pintas’, which means speckled beans. It is an essential ingredient in Mexican cuisines.

And although it is popular in Northern Mexico and the Southern United States, a lot of other regions enjoy pinto beans in many recipes.

Pinto beans, like red kidney beans, are an excellent source of protein, minerals, and vitamins. These nutrients make pinto beans quite beneficial for health.

You can use pinto beans to make cornbread, ham, mashed potatoes, chicken taco stuffed, and also it is traditionally served with tamales

Above all, pinto beans are a great substitute for red kidney beans. And like red kidney beans, pinto beans last from 2 to 3 years.

2. Black beans

black beans

Also known as black turtle beans, black beans are a variety of beans that are popular in Latin American cuisine. It is native to the Americas.

These shiny little beans are so nutritious and can easily replace red kidney beans in recipes that call for them.

What can you cook with black beans? You can make some salads with black beans; you can make some hearty stews, chilies, tacos, casseroles, and some side dishes as well.

Dried black beans last for 2 to 3 years, while canned beans can last 2 to 5 years.

3. Cannellini beans

cannellini beans

Cannellini beans are another substitute for red kidney beans. They originate from South America.

Cannellini beans are virtually similar to red kidney beans in size. However, they come in different varieties. Cannellini beans are high in fiber and protein, which helps in healthy body weight and digestion.

They are extremely nutritious. With its tender and nutty flavor, it can fit in most recipes that call for red kidney beans.

4. Cranberry beans

cranberry beans

Many refer to cranberry beans as borlotti beans. It is first bred in Colombia. Also known as Roman bean, saluggia bean, or resococo beans, cranberry beans have a mild nutty flavor that adds taste to the recipe they are used in.

Little wonder it is popular in Italian and Portuguese cuisine. They are popular in salads, soups, and stews. You can also make a pecan cheese ball, cranberry sauce, and cranberry-orange pie with cranberry beans.

So you can replace red kidney beans with cranberry beans and still get rewarding results.

5. Adzuki beans

adzuki beans

Most people confuse adzuki beans with red kidney beans. However, adzuki beans, also known as azuki beans, are just small beans that originate from China. They are the most prominent in Asian recipes.

If you are looking forward to having a substitute that would fit in even with the color, then adzuki beans are a way to go. However, red kidney beans are larger than them.

Their nutritional profile rings a bell as well. You can cook tortilla shells, cornbread, or rice with adzuki beans. Adzuki beans last for 2 to 3 years.

6. Anasazi beans

 anasazi beans

Anasazi beans are ancient heirloom beans. It is a deep red color with a white spotted appearance, almost like the red kidney beans.

It has this nutty and earthy flavor that makes it suitable for baking. It contains minerals like folate, potassium, and iron. Anasazi beans are an excellent substitute for red kidney beans.

7. Canned red kidney beans

canned red kidney beans

We consider this a perfect substitute for red kidney beans. If you do not have dried beans and your recipes call for them, you can easily substitute dried red kidney beans with canned red kidney beans.

You have nothing to worry about since the beans are canned. Most times, the soft texture is irreplaceable. However, this would depend heavily on the water used for canning the beans.

So, you can cook the beans to get your desired result. Before cooking and consuming the beans, ensure you rinse the beans from the can.

Read: 10 Best Substitutes For Provolone Cheese

Frequently asked questions

Are cannellini beans and cranberry beans the same?

No, cannellini beans and cranberry beans are not the same. Although these beans can replace each other respectively in the recipes that call for them, they are not the same.

Cannellini beans are native to South America, while cranberry beans or borlotti beans are first bred in Colombia.

Are red kidney beans and adzuki beans the same?

Since adzuki beans are red beans and have almost the same color as the red kidney beans many people confuse red kidney beans with adzuki beans.

However, the adzuki beans are not the same as red kidney beans. Red kidney beans are larger than adzuki beans. However, adzuki beans are great substitute for red kidney beans.

Read: 8 Best Substitutes For Pine Nuts


These beans are great substitutes for red kidney beans. So, in whatever recipes you decide to use red kidney beans, you can have these great beans replace red kidney beans in recipes that call for it.

So, if you ever wondered what beans are great substitutes for your red kidney beans, then these guides have provided many replacements for your beans when the time calls for it.

It is a good thing that these beans last for a long time. We hope you can make the right choice for your recipe.

Good luck doing that!