Skip to Content

18 Healthy Black Bean Substitutes for Your Home Baking Recipe

It’s always difficult to resist mouth-watering and sugar-filled desserts. However, they mostly contain calorie-filled ingredients such as flour, and they can be quite unhealthy.

Luckily, food scientists have been working on finding substitutions to use in baking to help make desserts healthier. One of the best health substitutes is black beans. 

If you run out of black beans in your kitchen, the best substitutes for them are kidney beans, chickpeas, soya beans, navy beans, red beans, Great Northern beans, lentils, black-eyed peas, and dried black beans.  If you don’t have any of these, there are also some great substitutes that you will never expect such as avocado, pumpkin, cauliflower, ground soy, nuts, peas, pinto beans, sorghum, soybeans, tempeh, and tofu.

Although it may sound scary, pureed black beans can be used to replace flour, and it’s also tasty! Read on if you are keen to find out in detail what can be used as a substitute for black beans.

What Can Replace Black Beans In A Recipe?

Black Beans

Black Beans are legumes that are known as turtle beans because their appearance is similar to that of a hard shell. Like other legumes, black beans are known for their high content of fiber and protein.

They provide important vitamins and minerals that are good for your health. They’re also good for maintaining healthy bones, managing diabetes, healthy digestion, weight loss, lowering blood pressure, and preventing heart disease and cancer.

Here are what you can use as substitutes when you run out of this healthy ingredient.

Kidney Beans

Camellia Brand Dried Red Kidney Beans, 1 Pound (6 Pack) 

Kidney beans have a similar “ancestry†as black beans, and are important for different kinds of cuisines. They are the best substitute for black beans because of their meaty and dense texture– similar to that of black beans.

Another similarity to black beans is their health benefits as they are also rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and more. It aids in weight loss, moderating blood sugar levels, and promoting colon health.

Kidney beans have more flavor and have a tinge of sweetness compared to the mild flavor of black beans. Other than being the best, they are also quite common and easy to find.



Chickpeas are one of the earliest legumes cultivated and also one of the best substitutes for black beans. They are rich in dietary fiber, potassium, vitamins, protein, calcium, and iron.

It helps in the management of weight, digestion, and can reduce the risk of many diseases. Chickpeas have a more grainy texture and slightly nutty flavor, but are not very overpowering.

See also  What Happens If You Put Less Butter When Baking?

They are neutral in flavor and can be used for almost any baking recipe you have that needs beans.

Soy Beans

Soymerica Non-GMO Soybeans - 7 Lbs (Newest Crop). Identity Preserved (IP). Great for Soy Milk and Tofu. 100% Product of USA 

Soy beans are traditionally used in both unfermented and fermented food such as soy milk, tofu, fermented bean paste, natto, tempeh, and more. They are a good source of carbs and fat and are high in protein.

They also have various minerals and vitamins that are beneficial to the health and may even alleviate menopause symptoms. Soya beans have a similar mild flavor to black beans and have a slightly firmer texture.

It is great in absorbing flavors from other ingredients that make them good substitutes for black beans.

Navy Beans


Navy beans are native to America and served as a staple to the US Navy in the 1800s to provide a healthy diet for the sailors.

They might look like ordinary beans but are actually filled with a ton of health benefits such as aiding in diabetes prevention, improving digestion, blood circulation, and more.

Like soy beans, they are great in absorbing flavors and make a great substitute for black beans.

They are quite similar to Great Northern Beans (which appears on this list as well!) with their creamy texture and mild flavor.

Red Beans

Iberia Small Red Beans, 4 lb, Long Shelf Life Small Red Beans with Easy Storage, Rich in Fiber & Potassium, Low Calorie, Low Fat Food 

Red beans are a smaller type of bean and are not the same as kidney beans. They are more pinkish than the scarlet red color of kidney beans and have a smoother texture.

They are a great source of many vitamins and minerals essential to your body and can help improve your overall health and lower the risk of different diseases.

Red beans are creamy and tender just like black beans when cooked, which makes them an excellent replacement for black beans.

Great Northern Beans

Great Northern beans are big white beans that offer a ton of health benefits. They contain rich amounts of vitamins such as B vitamins and minerals such as potassium, iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese.

Great Northern beans are nutty but quite mild, which allows them to absorb different flavors easily like black beans.

[Related Article: Can You Freeze Baked Beans?]


Small Brown Dry Lentils • Family Farmed in Washington State • 100% Desiccant Free • 5 lbs Plastic Free Packaging • Non-GMO Project Verified • 100% Non-Irradiated • Certified Kosher Parve • Field Traced • Burlap Bag 

Lentils are legumes that look like tiny beans that grow in a pod. They contain lots of fiber and protein that can help support heart health, pregnancy, fight fatigue, and contain various highly-nutritious minerals.

The texture may be nothing like black beans, and you may have to cook them differently to use in your recipe, but it’s still a great alternative if you are trying to bring a stronger flavor to your recipe.

Black-eyed Peas

Rani Black Eyed Peas, Dried (Lobhia) 64oz (4lbs) 1.81kg ~ All Natural | Vegan | Gluten Friendly | Product of USA 

Black-eyes peas are grown all over the world and are also known as cowpeas. They contain many nutrients such as vitamin A and large amounts of fiber that aid in digestion.

The ingredient can also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Black-eyed peas have a firm and dense texture that turns tender and soft when cooked.

Its taste goes well with many recipes and can be considered if you run out of black beans in your kitchen.

Dried Black Beans


Dried black beans are different from the usual black beans because they are not as convenient to use. They have similar health benefits to black beans and can be used for recipes that need black beans.

They take a bit longer to cook before they become tender, so it is a bit more inconvenient compared to black beans, but if you find yourself running out of black beans, try considering dried black beans.


Avocado Box, Branch to Box 

Avocado is a berry with a creamy texture that has a range of health benefits. It is rich in many minerals and vitamins that are healthy for the heart, good for the eyesight, improve digestion, and it is also a natural detoxifier.

If you are feeling creative (or adventurous) with your baking, avocado can be used to substitute black beans which gives the recipe a similar fudge-like consistency as black beans.

Canned Pumpkin

Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin, 15-Ounce (Pack of 8) 

Canned Pumpkin sounds like pumpkin… that is canned… but the pumpkins used are not actually those that you use to make jack-o’-lanterns during Halloween.

They’re made using a different kind of pumpkin called a Dickinson squash, which tastes way better than the actual field pumpkins. This is why it’s great for baking.

Canned pumpkin is rich in vitamin A and is highly nutritious, reducing the risk of diseases and improving your immunity. Similar to black beans, it gives you healthy fiber.


Black Bean Substitutes

Cauliflower is a vegetable wherein only the head is eaten. It is rich in nutrients such as potassium, folate, calcium, and vitamin C, supporting hormonal balance, and brain development.

The cauliflower needs to be smashed into “rice†or until it reaches a texture similar to rice. This enhances the flavor of the recipe. They also bake faster than black beans.

Because of this, it’s a great alternative for black beans, especially because it can be used in many dishes.



Using nuts as a substitute for black beans may sound weird, but nuts like walnuts and cashews are especially great alternatives that give your dish a nice surprise.

They are a good source of many nutrients such as protein and fiber. They are filled with antioxidants that help in weight loss and lowering cholesterol and inflammation.

See also  19 Best Applesauce Substitute For Baking List You Need Now

Walnuts have a mild flavor and are subtly sweet, while cashews have a buttery taste.

Although nuts have many benefits, many people are also allergic to them. If you are allergic to nuts, you can consider trying sunflower seeds instead if you can handle their strong flavor.

Pinto Beans


Pinto beans are known because of the pattern filled with speckles that resemble the light brown spots of a Pinto horse. These beans are legumes dense with nutrients.

They are a rich source of nutrients such as fiber, protein, and carbohydrates, among others. Pinto beans can help improve the regulation of blood sugar and may help in heart health and weight loss.

They turn light brown when cooked and have a nutty taste, and can provide a unique texture to your recipe because it is way creamier than other beans. It can be used in similar amounts as black beans.


Bob's Red Mill 2531C244 Whole Grain Sorghum 24 Ounce 

Sorghum is produced all around the world as a cereal grain that is commonly used in baking. It is rich in various nutrients such as vitamin B, magnesium, antioxidants, protein, and more.

It is gluten-free, has lots of fiber, is good for people with diabetes, promotes bone health, aids in weight loss, and is great for the digestive system.

Sorghum is very versatile and can be used to replace black beans in your recipe. Although it may taste a bit different, it can be mashed after cooking to replicate the texture of black beans.


Ragi Tempeh (Tempeh Starter) - 17.6oz (Pack of 2) 

Tempeh is made of fermented soybeans and is fermented into the form of a cake. Tempeh is cholesterol-free and a great way to obtain iron, fiber, calcium, B vitamins, and other minerals.

They have isoflavones that contain chemicals that help fight cancer. They also help lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol, lower inflammation, protect your heart, and more.

It tastes a bit nutty and can be used to substitute black beans in various recipes. Because of its fermentation process, it offers a variety of health benefits as it retains the whole soybean.


Mori-Nu Silken Tofu Extra Firm | Velvety Smooth and Creamy | Low Fat, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan, Made with Non-GMO soybeans, KSA Kosher Parve | Shelf-Stable | Plant protein | 12.3 oz x 12 Packs 

Tofu is also known as bean curd and is made in a process that involves coagulating soy milk. It has a variety of textures such as super firm, extra firm, firm, soft, and silken that you can use in a variety of recipes.

Vegetarians and vegans often rely on tofu for its high protein content, it can help lower cholesterol, and can relieve menopause symptoms.

It is reported to lower the risk of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, kidney function, and more. To replace black beans in recipes, they can be crushed to replicate the texture.