The 7 Best Substitutes for Beans in Chili

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Chili has long been a favorite dish of Americans.

It is often cooked with beef, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes or tomato sauce, and spices, although there are several variants.

Beans may be the solution if you’re seeking for a low-carb alternative to chili.

Beans in chili may be used in a variety of recipes.

The issue is that not everyone like meat with their chili.

This means you’ll need to come up with alternatives to utilizing beans in chili while still serving a tasty dinner.

There are several ways to use beans in chili.

Depending on the recipe, several choices will provide a more pleasant flavor for you and your family.

In this post, we’ll look at five different ways to use beans in chili.

The 7 Best Substitutes for Beans in Chili

Every chili recipe will be somewhat different, however certain elements will be included in all chili recipes.

Ground beef or turkey, onions, corn, tomatoes, and chili powder are among the ingredients.

Beans are often included in homemade chili recipes.

Because beans might be difficult for some individuals to stomach, there are various alternatives to using beans in a chili recipe at home.

1 – Lentils

Although lentils themselves do not have a strong taste, they are high in protein, iron, and fiber.

Lentils often absorb flavors from the dish with which they are cooked.

As a result, it is important to use caution while adding spices to your food.

Add items that have a mild taste or that complement the flavor of the lentils.

There are several different types of lentils.

Red lentils, for example, become orange when cooked.

Brown and green lentils taste more nutty than the other types.

Black lentils have an earthy taste.

Each of these has different cooking times.

These ranges are determined by whether they will be divided or entire.

Lentils, although more expensive than regular beans, are an excellent replacement.

2 – Quinoa

Quinoa is a pseudograin, which implies it is not a grain at all.

Therefore, quinoa is gluten-free.

Furthermore, this pseudocereal is abundant in protein and fiber.

It also has more calcium per serving size than milk.

Quinoa is simple to make and only takes around 20 minutes to cook.

It absorbs flavors readily but might taste dull if not properly seasoned.

The taste of the quinoa you use, like any other ingredient, is determined by the recipe.

Nonetheless, this pseudocereal will most certainly complement any chili.

3 – Tofu

Tofu, which is manufactured from soybeans, is another bean alternative in chili.

Tofu is a fantastic source of calcium and protein due to the way it is prepared.

Tofu has a distinct texture that most people are unfamiliar with.

As a result, many people dislike cooking with it.

Tofu, on the other hand, may be a terrific addition to your chili if used correctly.

Tofu is often used as a meat replacement because it resembles the texture of cooked meat.

Tofu absorbs flavors well, thus it is widely used in stir-fry meals or other recipes that involve ground beef or turkey.

4 – Plantains

If you like chili but want to try something different, plantains are a terrific substitution for beans.

Plantains, although starchy like potatoes and yams, do not taste sweet when cooked.

When cooked, they have a taste comparable to potatoes.

Plantains are best cooked by boiling, baking, or frying.

Plantains are popular in many African and Latin American nations.

They are also available in most Asian and Caribbean supermarket shops.

5 – Rice or Sorghum

Rice and sorghum are two contentious bean substitutes.

Theyre not the best option for people who want to avoid gluten, but they can be a healthy choice compared to traditional chili ingredients like beef or turkey.

Rice and sorghum both thicken and provide carbs to the meal.

Rice or sorghum may be an excellent alternative for folks who wish to put their own twist on classic chili by adding anything other than beans, depending on your health requirements and personal preferences.

6 – Mushrooms

Because they absorb flavor well, mushrooms may be an intriguing addition to any chili recipe.

Mushrooms, like lentils and tofu, have a high nutritional value.

You can find mushrooms canned or dried.

Dried shiitake mushrooms are popular in many chili recipes because they combine well with the other spices and veggies in the meal.

It is critical to soak dried mushrooms before adding them to the rest of your components.

This will aid in the reconstitution and absorption of all tastes.

7 – Peas & Split Peas

Protein is abundant in both peas and split peas.

They are quite versatile, which means they may be used in a variety of meals.

This includes chili, of course.

Peas and split peas are excellent flavor enhancers for any vegetarian chili recipe.

Theyre easy to prepare, as well as healthy.

The main disadvantage is that beans take longer to cook than most people would desire for a chili component.

So, if you wish to include them in your chili, soak the peas overnight before preparing the meal.


Chili recipes vary significantly over the globe, but the majority use meat or beans.

Don’t worry if you don’t want to consume meat in your chili; there are plenty of wonderful alternatives.

From quinoa to tofu and mushrooms to split peas, any of these ingredients can be used as a substitute for beans in chili.

Maintain an open mind and try something new.

You could discover a new chili taste that you like over the original.


What can I put in chili instead of beans?

Adding up to 2 cups of soy is a fantastic low carb alternative – tofu, edamame, whole soybeans, or texturized vegetable protein. Replace beans with up to 1 cup cooked grains, such as quinoa, white rice, brown rice, barley, or farro.

What is a keto substitute for beans in chili?

Substitutes for Keto Beans
Black Soybeans – Similar to black beans, they are a popular “dirty” keto bean replacement.
Boiled Peanuts – Sounds strange, but these make a popular keto white bean substitute! …
Keto Chili – In this hearty recipe, you won’t miss the beans.

What is a good protein substitute for chili?

Quinoa, tofu, tempeh, walnuts, and even mushrooms make great substitutes for ground beef. And I have to tell, once you try it, you won’t miss the meat at all.

Are beans essential to chili?

However, whether you use them in lieu of or in addition to meat, you don’t want to omit them for health reasons. Just 1 cup of beans provides roughly 15 grams of protein, up to 15 grams of fiber, potassium, folate, and other nutrients to your meal.

How to make chili thick without beans?

If you don’t have any leftover veggies or beans, thicken your chili with quick oats. Oatmeal is a healthier alternative to cornstarch and all-purpose flour in chili.

Is it still chili without beans?

Is True Texas Chili made with beans? No. A true Texas chili, or chili with carne, will not include beans.

What is a low-carb substitute for beans?

Mushrooms, eggplant, avocado, minced beef, and boiled peanuts are some viable keto replacements for beans. There’s no reason to avoid bean dishes while on keto with these low carb beans and bean substitutes.

What is canned chili with no beans?

Hormel Chili No Beans is produced from a delicious, slow-simmered recipe that includes a savory combination of fiery chili tastes and premium ingredients that are guaranteed to delight. It would be ideal for a chili slider. Or three chili sliders. Hormel Chili is your go-to pick for outstanding chili flavor no matter the celebration.

How do you thicken chili without carbs?

There are two methods to thicken keto chili. One method is to boil the chili with the cover off, allowing the extra liquid to evaporate and thicken the chili. A slurry of xanthan gum and water may also be used to thicken chili. In a small dish, combine equal parts water and xanthan gum.

What is healthier to put in chili?

“By including more vegetables, you’ll increase nutrients, fiber, and satisfaction,” the twins explain. “Bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, crushed tomatoes, onions, and carrots are all great choices.”

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