If you’re like most people, you probably have a can or two of red kidney beans in your pantry. But how often do you actually use them? If you’re not using them very often, then you’re missing out on a lot of their health benefits! 

This article takes you through some ways that you can use red kidney beans more often:

Top Best Beans To Eat and Are Beans Healthy? 

What Are Red Kidney Beans?

Red kidney beans

Red kidney beans are a variety of common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). They are usually red, although some may be white, and they get their name from their shape, which is like a kidney. They grow in warm climates and are a popular food in many parts of the world.

A good source of protein, fiber, and several vitamins and minerals. They are low in fat and calories, making them a healthy food choice. Red kidney beans are boiled before they can be added to different recipes.

Whether you add them to salads, soups, or rice dishes, they’ll add flavor and texture to your meal.

How To Cook Beans

There are many different ways to cook beans, but some methods are better than others. The best way to cook beans is to boil them in water for several hours. This allows the beans to release most of their anti-nutrient compound into the cooking water, thus promoting their digestibility and nutrient absorption.

Prolonged cooking also makes them more flavorful.

If you’re in a hurry, you can also cook beans in a pressure cooker. This will speed up the process, but the beans won’t be as flavorful. 

How to Boil Beans

1. Pick through your beans and discard any that are discolored or broken. 

2. Rinse the beans well and place them in a large bowl

3. Cover the beans with water, making sure there’s enough water to submerge them fully

4. Let the beans soak overnight, or for at least 8 hour

 5. Drain the soaked beans and rinse them again. 

6. Place the beans in a large pot with fresh water

7. Bring the pot of water to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer

8. Cook the beans until they’re tender

9. Enjoy them in various recipes

Ways To Use Red Kidney Beans More Often

1. Add them to soups and stews.

Soups and stews are a great way to use red kidney beans. They can be used as a thickener or added for extra protein. 

They are also a good fiber source, making soups and stews more filling. 

Add them to soups and stews when the soup or stew is almost finished cooking. This will prevent them from falling apart and becoming mushy.

If you want a creamier soup or stew, purée some of the cooked beans before adding them back into the pot.

See Jamaican Stew Peas And Dumplings and Red Peas Soup

2. Curry

A Kidney Bean Curry is a hearty, flavorful dish that is perfect for a winter meal. The beans are cooked in a curry sauce with various spices, and the finished dish is served over rice. This curry can be made with either red or white kidney beans, and it is a great way to use up leftover cooked beans.

3. Use them in chili

Red kidney beans make a great addition to chili. They add a hearty, filling texture, and their flavor pairs well with the spices commonly used in chili recipes, like garlic, onions, and tomatoes.

4. Make a healthy kidney bean salad

This salad is packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins and is a perfect option for a quick lunch or dinner. 

To make the salad, combine cooked kidney beans with chopped tomatoes, onions, and garlic.

 Add some freshly-squeezed lemon juice and olive oil for dressing, and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

For extra aroma and benefits, you can also sprinkle some chopped cilantro or parsley. Three Bean Salad

5. Add them to your favorite pasta dish.

Red kidney beans are a great addition to your favorite pasta dish. They add a delicious flavor and texture to the dish you’re sure to love. 

Here are a few tips on how to use red kidney beans in your next pasta dish:

  • Add them to a classic red sauce for extra protein and flavor
  • Toss them with some sautéed vegetables and whole wheat pasta for a healthy and filling meal
  • Create a hearty pasta salad by adding beans, roasted red peppers, and vegan feta cheese
  • Use them in place of traditional meatballs in spaghetti and other Italian-style dishes
  • Make a simple pasta pesto with kidney beans, olive oil, and garlic

6. Top a pizza with kidney beans instead of meat

If you’re looking for a way to enjoy more protein in your pizza without eating meat, you should try topping it with kidney beans.

Cook the beans until they are soft and mashable, then spread them over your favorite pizza crust. Top with your favorite veggies and cheese, and bake as usual. You’ll love the hearty, satisfying flavor the beans add to your pizza!

7. Make a red kidney bean dip

This dip is perfect for parties or as a healthy snack. It is packed with protein and fiber, and it’s very easy to make.

Simply combine cooked red kidney beans (if using canned beans, drain and rinse them well), diced tomatoes, garlic, onion, chili powder, and cumin in a blender or food processor. 

Blend until smooth, then taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, or veggies for dipping. Enjoy!

8. Use them in place of ground beef in recipes

There are many recipes that call for ground beef, but kidney beans can be used as a delicious and healthy alternative.

This substitution works well in dishes like chili, tacos, and shepherd’s pie. 

Simply cook the beans until they are soft, then mash them or leave them whole as desired. 

The flavor of the beans is fairly neutral, so it will not alter the taste of your favorite recipes. Plus, using beans in place of ground beef is a great way to add more protein and fiber to your meal while cutting back on saturated fat. 

9. Make a red kidney bean burger

This is a great alternative to traditional beef burgers. If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy burger option, give red kidney beans a try! 

You can either make your own patties or use pre-made ones from the store. 

For a homemade version, mash up some cooked beans with some bread crumbs, chopped onion, garlic, and spices. 

Form into patties and cook on the stove or grill until browned and crispy. Serve on a whole-grain bun with your favorite toppings.

Health Benefits Of Red Kidney Beans

Red kidney beans are a good source of fiber.

Red kidney beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber. One cup of cooked red kidney beans provides approximately sixteen grams of dietary fiber. This amount represents nearly 60 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber. 

They are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber has been shown to promote regularity and prevent constipation, while soluble fiber can help lower cholesterol levels by binding to bile acids and removing them from the body.

They are a good source of protein

Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. It helps build and repair tissues, produces hormones and enzymes, and provides energy. 

Protein can also help you lose weight, gain muscle, and improve your overall health. 

Protein causes weight loss by increasing your metabolism and reducing your appetite. It can also help you gain muscle by providing the body with the building blocks it needs to build new muscle tissue. 

They are a good source of protein, containing about 16 grams of protein per cup. This is about 30 percent of what you need, making them a great option for those looking to increase their protein intake, whether for muscle building or weight loss.

Red kidney beans contain antioxidants

Red kidney beans are a good source of antioxidants, which are compounds that protect cells from damage. Antioxidants can help prevent or delay some types of cell damage. They work by scavenging or mopping up harmful molecules called free radicals. 

They contain a type of antioxidant called flavonoids. Flavonoids are found in many fruits and vegetables. There are many different types of flavonoids, but the ones found in red beans are called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are what give red kidney beans their red color. They are also found in other red and purple fruits and vegetables, such as cherries, berries, and beets. 

Studies have shown that anthocyanins may help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. They may also help to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of some chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.

Protects against heart disease

Kidney beans contain a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan. This fiber helps reduce cholesterol levels and keep the arteries clear. Kidney beans are also a good source of antioxidants, which also help to protect the heart. 

Additionally, red kidney beans are a good source of potassium and magnesium, which are important for maintaining a healthy heart. So, if you’re looking to protect your heart, be sure to add some red kidney beans to your next meal!

Red kidney beans can help regulate blood sugar levels.

Red kidney beans are a nutritional powerhouse, and their benefits extend to blood sugar regulation. 

These beans are high in fiber and low on the glycemic index, meaning they can help steady blood sugar levels. 

They’re also a good source of protein and complex carbs, both of which help regulate blood sugar. 

In addition, red kidney beans are a good source of magnesium, which is necessary for proper insulin function.

Add red kidney beans to your diet in soups, salads, or simply cooked with some spices as a side dish to experience this benefit.

Red kidney beans can help promote gut health.

Red kidney beans contain a type of soluble fiber called pectin, which can help promote gut health. 

Pectin is prebiotic, meaning it helps feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut. These bacteria are important for maintaining a healthy digestive system and boosting immunity. 

Red kidney beans also contain resistant starch, which has also been shown to increase the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and improve digestion.

Aids in weight loss efforts

In addition to being low in calories, red kidney beans are also high in fiber. Fiber is essential for weight loss because it helps keep you feeling full and satisfied after eating. A diet rich in fiber can help reduce your overall calorie intake and promote weight loss.

Red kidney beans are also a good source of protein. Protein is important for weight loss because it helps build muscle, which in turn helps burn more calories. Red kidney beans are a particularly good source of plant-based protein, making them an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans looking to lose weight.

Side Effects


Red kidney beans contain a variety of anti-nutrients that can interfere with the absorption of nutrients from the diet. These include:

Phytic acid

This is an anti-nutrient that binds to essential minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium, making them unavailable for absorption by the body. Phytic acid also interferes with the digestive enzymes needed to break down carbohydrates and proteins.

Soaking red kidney beans overnight in water can reduce their phytic acid content. Cooking them thoroughly can also reduce phytic acid levels. 


Lectins are a type of protein that can bind to carbohydrates. They are found in a variety of plant-based foods, including red kidney beans. 

While lectins are not inherently bad for you, they can cause digestive issues if you consume them in large quantities.

Additionally, some people may be more sensitive to lectins than others. If you experience any negative side effects after eating foods containing lectins, it is best to avoid them.


Saponins bind to certain minerals in the intestines, preventing their absorption. They can also cause digestive discomfort and may contribute to gas and bloating. Soaking and cooking red kidney beans can help reduce their saponin content.


Final Thoughts

There are endless possibilities when it comes to using red kidney beans. 

Whether you’re looking for a way to add more protein and fiber to your diet or you’re simply trying to find new and interesting ways to use this versatile ingredient, I hope my list has given you some inspiration. 

Do you have a favorite way to use kidney beans that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments below!

Other Kidney Bean Recipes

  1. Sweet Potato And Kidney Bean Curry
  2. 4 Bean Salad
  3. Vegan Red Beans And Rice
  4. Instant Pot Vegan Chili Mac And Cheese
  5. Jamaican Rice And Peas
  6. Quinoa Rice And Peas
  7. Rajma Chawal
  8. Vegan Corned Beef
  9. Best Emergency Food Supply

Kidney bean dip in a brown bowl on brown background

If you enjoyed this post about 9 Ways To Use Red Kidney Beans More Often and would love to see more, join me on YoutubeInstagramFacebook & Twitter!

Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.

Fortunately, because of the Ads on our website, readers and subscribers of Healthier Steps are sponsoring many underprivileged families.