What Does Kidney Beans Taste Like, Anyway?

Kidney beans are one of the most common types of beans in the world. They have a deep red color and this, along with their shape, resembles a human kidney; hence their names. These little beans are used in a wide variety of dishes and are known for their health benefits such as being an excellent source of plant-based protein.

While the taste of kidney is not something that will knock you off your feet, it is pleasant and the texture is something that many people enjoy. If you are new to these types of beans, you will be pleased to know that this versatile food can be easily incorporated into your diet. So, without further ado, let’s get acquainted with the kidney bean.

What Do Kidney Beans Taste Like?

Kidney beans are small red beans that come from the common bean family. While they may look like other types of bean, the adzuki bean, for example, it is important not to confuse them as they are two different things. That being said, there are similarities and it is possible to substitute them for other types of red bean; but more on that later.

Kidney beans have a very soft, smooth texture and become even more so with cooking. Unlike a lot of other red beans, the kidney will retain much of its deep red color after it has been cooked making it popular in dishes where visual appeal is just as important as taste.

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The flavor of the kidney is by no means overpowering, if you don’t like strong tasting foods then the delicate, slightly sweet flavor of the kidney bean will likely appeal to you. Some compare the taste as texture of kidney beans to meaty textures and while this is true, it isn’t so much so that it becomes unpleasant.

What’s The Difference Between Kidney Beans And Pinto Beans?

There are many different types of red bean and to someone who isn’t familiar with these, it can seem pretty confusing. Kidney beans are slightly larger than many other kinds of red beans but a lot of people still confuse them with things like the adzuki bean and the pinto bean.

The pinto bean is a lot smaller than a kidney bean and typically comes in a much lighter shade. While a kidney is often a deep red or crimson shade, the pinto bean tends to err more on the pink side having a pinkish or light red hue. The word pinto comes from the Spanish word for paint and this likely related to the flecks or spots of brown that can sometimes be seen on pinto beans.

Kidney beans also have a slightly different flavor to pinto beans. Pinto beans tend to be much earthier and often have a very creamy texture.

What Kind Of Beans Are Best For Chilli?

You may have been researching the kidney bean after seeing it featured in a recipe for chilli. Chilli con carne is a popular dish that often features kidney beans. While it is possible to use other types of bean in chilli, kidney beans are considered to be the best for several reasons.

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For example, kidney beans are excellent at retaining their flavor, shape, color, and texture even after cooking whereas a lot of other types of bean struggle to do this. What’s more, kidney beans are wonderful flavor absorbers and so if you use them in chilli, they will soak up the spices and deliver intense taste in every mouthful.

Which Beans Are The Healthiest?

According to Healthline, kidney beans are among the most healthy beans on the planet. Being a natural source of food, most beans have some healthy benefits but which would work best for you depends on your health goals. Chickpeas are seen to be one of the healthiest types of bean, although in theory, they are actually a legume.

If you’re looking to include kidney beans in your diet, you can count on it that they will provide you with some impressive health benefits. For example, the kidney bean is a great source of plant protein but also has high fiber levels. This means that they will slow down how quickly you absorb sugar and this can go towards controlling your blood sugar levels.

Moreover, the kidney bean is filled with a variety of vitamins and minerals such as manganese, iron, and thiamine.

There are two varieties of kidney beans; the red ones that you are probably used to seeing and white kidney beans which are sometimes called cannellini beans. There have been studies to show that this white variety of kidney bean may be able to help weight loss. The research showed that those taking a kidney bean supplement were able to lose up to 5.5lbs more weight than those who did not take it.

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Can You Live On Beans And Rice?

If you ever find yourself in a survival situation, a combination of amino acids found in rice and beans would tide you over nutritionally speaking. However, that doesn’t mean that you should only eat rice and beans as your main diet. Not only would it be very bland, but you wouldn’t be getting the essential vitamins and minerals from other things like fruits and vegetables.

What’s more, there has been research to demonstrate that eating too much white rice might do more harm than good. The results of tests showed that there is higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes from this type of diet.


Kidney beans are one of the most commonly eaten beans in the world and they are extremely versatile. While they are often confused with other types of red beans, they have a unique flavor that is sweet and a texture that is smooth yet dense, like meat.