Pinto beans are delicious and nutritious. But variety is the spice of life. So you may be looking for a pinto beans substitute from time to time. Or you may not have access to pinto beans. Sometimes finding an alternative is necessary.
What Are Pinto Beans?
Pinto beans are a type of common bean that is popular in Latin American and Southwestern cuisine. These small, plump legumes have a creamy texture and mild flavor. So they are easy to use in a variety of dishes, such as soups, stews, salads, and even baked goods. Pinto beans are a staple ingredient in Mexican cuisine and are enjoyed in refried beans, chili, tacos, and creamy dips.
You can buy dried or canned pinto beans in most grocery stores. When cooked with flavorful ingredients like garlic, onions, and spices, pinto beans become a satisfying and nourishing main dish or addition to any meal.
What Is Another Name for Pinto Beans?
Another name for pinto beans is "mottled beans." Pinto beans got their name from their appearance, which resembles a painted or "pinto" horse. They are also referred to as mottled beans due to the speckled pattern on their outer skin. No matter what you call them, pinto beans are delicious.
The Best Pinto Beans Substitute
Pinto beans are a staple in many dishes, but sometimes finding a replacement is necessary. Here are some options for pinto bean substitutes in your recipes:
- Black beans
Black beans may be the best pinto beans substitute. They have a similar texture and flavor to pinto beans, making them a great substitute in soups or chili.
- Kidney beans
Another option is kidney beans, which also have a comparable texture and can be used in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine.
- Cannellini beans
These white kidney beans also have a similar texture and can be used in the same way as pinto beans. But their white color will make them look different in your dish.
These small legumes can be cooked and added to dishes in place of pinto beans. They are especially good in dishes where the beans are mashed or pureed, such as refried beans or dips.
Chickpeas can be substituted for pinto beans in a recipe. But they may have a nuttier flavor than pinto beans and give a different visual appeal.
While these substitutes may work well in some dishes, they may not be suitable replacements in others. For example, using chickpeas in a traditional Mexican dish featuring pinto beans may not have the same authenticity or overall flavor profile.
It is always best to use the specified ingredient when possible, but these alternatives can be useful in a pinch. Experiment with different types of beans to find which best fits your taste preferences and the desired dish.
Black Vs Pinto Beans
Black beans may be the best pinto beans substitute. The decision between black or pinto beans comes down to personal preference, but how do they compare?
The main difference between black beans and pinto beans is their texture. Black beans tend to hold their shape better during cooking, while pinto beans become softer and more mashed-like.
Black beans have a sweeter taste compared to pinto beans, which have a more earthy flavor.
Both types of beans are rich in protein, fiber, and nutrients, making them a great addition to any healthy diet.
White Beans Vs Pinto Beans
White beans, such as cannellini beans, and pinto beans are both excellent sources of plant-based protein. But there are some differences in taste and texture. White beans tend to have a milder flavor and smoother texture, while pinto beans have a heartier, earthier taste and firmer texture.
Pinto beans are often used in Mexican cuisine, while white beans often appear in Italian dishes. Both are nutritious options to incorporate into your meals. The choice between white beans and pinto beans comes down to personal preference in taste and texture.
Pinto Bean FAQs
Pinto beans have a mottled, speckled appearance with shades of brown and red on the outer shell. When cooked, they become creamy and tender with a nutty flavor.
Pinto beans have a mild, earthy flavor with hints of sweetness. They also have a firm texture that holds up well in dishes like chili or burritos. Pinto beans pair well with spicy seasonings like cumin and jalapeno peppers, as well as complementary ingredients like onions, tomatoes, and avocado.
There are several varieties of pinto beans, including the Chico, Pawnee, Rio Zape, and Tepary. The most common variety in grocery stores is the Chico pinto bean. All types have a similar taste, and you can use any type in recipes.
Yes, pinto beans are healthy. They are high in plant-based protein and provide important vitamins and minerals, such as iron, folate, and magnesium. They are also a good source of fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels and improve digestion.
Black beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, lentils, and chickpeas are all good alternatives for pinto beans. But black beans may be the best pinto beans substitute. Each of these options offers a similar texture and flavor profile as pinto beans. It is important to note that each type of bean will have its own unique flavor, so it may not be an exact replacement for pinto beans. Try experimenting with each of these substitutions to see which you prefer.