9 Best Adzuki Beans Substitutes


Adzuki beans are commonly found in most Japanese dishes.

These beans have this unique nutty and sweet flavor, making them ideal for sweet dishes. Some chefs use them in savory items such as rice, soup, and salads.

That said, at times, adzuki beans aren’t readily available, and in that case, you may want to try a substitute. But which one should it be?

This article explores the top substitutes for adzuki beans, including kidney beans, red beans, black turtle beans, mung beans, and black sesame.

Dig in to find details about each.

9 Top Substitutes for Adzuki Beans

If you want to avoid a cooking disaster, make sure to choose a substitute according to the recipe. Besides, ensure to use the correct quantity.

Now that fruitful information is out of the way, let's find the best substitutes.

1. Red Beans

Red Beans

These beans look pretty similar to adzuki beans and are a popular substitute for the latter. This is because both types look similar and have a special texture.

Although you can’t use red beans in sweet dishes, these work well in savory recipes such as gravies and salads.

Red beans have a much stronger flavor than adzuki beans. So, adding them in a measured quantity is wise and gives your dish a slightly different flavor.

2. Black Turtle Beans

Black Turtle beans

Most people are unaware of these beans, but they work as an excellent alternative to adzuki beans. These beans have a special meaty texture and are often found in cuisines cooked in Latin America.

How to spot them? You may come across wide varieties of black beans. But black turtle beans stand out due to their shiny surface.

These beans may not taste exactly like adzuki beans, but they can substitute the latter and add a different and wholesome flavor to your food. Besides, they are rich in minerals and nutrients, so you don’t mind consuming them for a healthy and fulfilling meal.

3. Kidney Beans

Kidney Beans

Do you want an option that can easily replace adzuki beans any day? If yes, try using kidney beans as a replacement.

Kidney beans are quite like red beans, including their taste and texture. This is why you can add them in salads, soups, and gravies instead of adzuki beans.

These beans have a hard shell, so make sure that you soak them overnight in water before cooking them the next day. Also, since kidney beans contain a high quantity of lectins, you should boil them for 20 minutes at least before using them in your dish.

4. Pinto Beans

Pinto Beans

Have you ever heard of pinto beans? Although these beans are not as sweet as adzuki beans, pinto beans work well in dips, soups, stews, and rice. They also have this unique nutty texture, often loved by both children and adults.

Pinto beans have a hard shell. This is why it is important to soak them in water for some time before cooking. Often found in northern Mexico and USA cuisines, pinto beans are readily available and are the best substitute for adzuki beans.

5. Cannellini Beans

Cannellini Beans

These Italian beans are creamy with a soft texture and an appetizing shape. Cannellini beans also have a nutty and earthy flavor, unlikely to be found in any substitute mentioned above. However, these beans are not as sweet as adzuki beans and can only be used in savory dishes.

When cooked, these beans turn fluffy and give out an incredible taste. Your original recipe may taste different after adding them, but it would definitely excite your taste buds.

You can also add cannellini beans to your red bean paste, which tastes as great as a white bean paste.

6. Mung Beans

Mung Beans

If you love cooking or eating Asian cuisine, you may have come across mung beans at least once in your life. These beans are comparatively new in the American food market and have a high protein content.

Besides making your food taste outstanding, mung beans have many health benefits. For instance, they are packed with healthy nutrients, have high antioxidant levels, help reduce cholesterol levels, are rich in fiber, and decrease high blood pressure.

So, if you decide to create a hearty meal, but can’t find adzuki beans in your pantry, try mung beans in your recipe and feel accomplished.

7. Black Sesame

Black Sesame

Quite similar to cannellini beans, black sesame gives out a nutty and earthy texture, ideal for savory dishes. Black sesame is quite fulfilling and often found in Japanese and Asian recipes.

Have you tried sushi rolls? These also have black sesame, making them mouth watering every time.

You can also grind black sesame to make a powder. This powder is an excellent alternative to a peanut butter paste and is much healthier.

Black sesame doesn’t taste as sweet as adzuki beans, but this option blends well with all the sweet ingredients. So, if you are craving a dessert, black sesame might be worth considering.

8. Great Northern Beans

Great Northern Beans

Are you still looking for a suitable substitute? Great northern beans are like cannellini beans with a mild and nutty flavor. They look slightly large and less appealing; however, if that’s your least concern, try using them in your dish.

Great northern beans taste great in savory recipes. They are hearty and hardy and can make an ideal ingredient for your soups and stews.

9. Cranberry Beans

Cranberry Beans

Consider using cranberry beans if you want to replace adzuki beans with a colorful alternative. These are pink in color with red spots and taste as nutty as chestnuts.

What’s more, they have a soft texture, making every soup, salad, and stew a delight. That said, ensure to soak them overnight to create a perfect recipe.

Final Takeaway

If you love adzuki beans, you would like their substitutes as well. Although they may not make your dish taste similar, the results are always great and impressive. Just make sure you use these beans wisely and add other ingredients to increase the overall value of the final dish.

Adzuki Beans Substitute

  1. Red beans
  2. Black turtle beans
  3. Kidney beans
  4. Pinto beans
  5. Cannellini beans
  6. Mung Beans
  7. Black Sesame
  8. Great Northern beans
  9. Cranberry beans

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