Kidney Beans

By Holly Bieler
Updated on 24. Sep. 2020

Kidney beans are packed with flavor and nutrients. Find out more about this versatile, healthy bean here.

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Kidney beans...

  • ...can strengthen muscles.
    Kidney beans are a great source of protein, which can help strengthen muscles.
  • ...are high in protein.
    100 g of protein contains a considerable 8.7 g of protein.
  • ...supports nerve health.
    Kidney beans contain manganese, a mineral which helps support nervous system health.
  • ...can help prevent certain types of cancer.
    Kidney beans are rich in antioxidants, which have been shown to help prevent certain types of cancer.
  • ...helps protect the body's cells.
    Antioxidants also help protect the body's cells against free radical damage.
  • ...should not be eaten raw.
    Kidney beans contain phytohaemagglutinin, a toxin which can cause vomiting and even death.
  • ...can cause stomach aches.
    Kidney beans can cause flatulence in those with sensitive stomachs.

What You Should Know About Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are one of the most popular beans in the U.S., with a mild flavor and tons of nutritional benefits.


The original home of kidney beans is in Peru. From there, the beans gradually spread to other South and Central American countries, what is now the U.S., and eventually to Europe.


Kidney beans have a slightly sweet taste reminiscent of chestnuts and a pleasantly soft, slightly meaty texture when cooked.

Kidney Bean Cookbook

Find all our recipes with kidney beans here.

How Healthy Are Kidney Beans?

Like all beans, kidney beans are a rich source of protein and fiber. They're also low in fat, making them a perfect food if you're dieting. Kidney beans are also packed with nutrients including magnesium, which supports nerve health. Kidney beans can cause flatulence in those who regularly suffer from it. 

Calories 295
Protein 21 g
Fat 1 g
Carbohydrates 40 g
Fiber 21 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips for Kidney Beans

You can buy kidney beans either dried (loose or packaged) or canned. Both are generally available at most supermarkets.


Dried kidney beans keep for a very long time if stored in an airtight, dark and dry place, as do canned kidney beans. Both can stay good for years.


The quickest way to prepare kidney beans is to use canned beans: simply drain them in a sieve and rinse briefly to remove excess liquid from the can. Dried kidney beans require a little more effort because they need to be soaked. The best way to do this is to place the kidney beans in a bowl before going to bed and leave them to soak overnight in plenty of water. The soaking water should be poured away before preparation and the kidney beans should then be soaked in fresh water. As a rule of thumb: after 12 hours of soaking, kidney beans need about 45-60 minutes of cooking time, depending on size and age. If you use a pressure cooker, this time is reduced by about half.

What to Make With Kidney Beans

Kidney beans' mild, slightly sweet texture makes them a beautiful addition to a variety of meals, including salads, vegetable soups and especially chili, which usually calls for a base of kidney beans. They're delicious in a variety of other meat-based dishes as well, or mixed with rice or another grain for added texture. 

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