The Top 12 Mung Bean Substitutes That Will Amaze You

Mung Bean Substitutes

Last updated on July 10th, 2023 at 07:14 am

Mung beans are an excellent source of protein and can be used to add texture and flavor to dishes. Unfortunately, they can be hard to find or expensive. 

Fortunately, there are a number of great mung bean substitutes that will still give you the taste and texture you’re looking for. 

In this blog post, I’ll discuss- 

  • A brief overview of Mung beans.
  • Top mung bean substitutes.
  • Benefits of Substitution.
  • Where to find mung bean substitution?
  • Frequently asked questions and more.

So, Read on to find out more-

An Overview of Mung Bean

Mung beans are an incredibly versatile and healthy plant-based food. Mung beans have been around for centuries and are a part of many traditional Asian cuisines. 

Nutritionally, mung beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and iron. They also contain important vitamins and minerals like folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C. 

Mung beans can be used in a variety of recipes, from soups to curries to salads. They can also be cooked into a paste and used as a dip or spread. 

A popular mung bean recipe is mung bean sprouts, which are made by soaking the beans in water overnight and then sprouting them until they reach the desired size. 

Why Go For Mung Bean Substitutes?

Mung beans can be hard to find in some parts of the world or even expensive. So if you’re looking for a healthy substitute for mung beans, you’ve come to the right place. 

Lentils, quinoa, black beans, garbanzo beans, and kidney beans are all good alternatives to mung beans. All of these options have similar nutritional values to mung beans and can be used in many of the same recipes. 

When substituting mung beans with one of the options above, you may need to adjust your cooking time and/or method based on what type of bean you’re using. For example, quinoa will cook much faster than mung beans so you’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. 

Overall, mung beans are an excellent source of nutrition and can be used in a variety of recipes. But if you’re looking for an alternative, lentils, quinoa, black beans, garbanzo beans, and kidney beans are all great substitutes that offer similar health benefits.

Top 12 Mung Bean Substitutes

1. Black Mung Beans

Black Mung Beans

Black mung beans are a great substitute for the traditional mung bean and can be used in many of the same dishes. They’re a darker color than the traditional mung beans and have a firmer texture, making them ideal for cooking in savory dishes. 

Black mung beans are most commonly found in South Asian cuisine, but can also be used in salads, soups, and stews.

Like regular mung beans, black mung beans are high in protein and dietary fiber, making them an excellent choice for vegan and vegetarian diets. 

They also provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. When cooked, black mung beans have a rich and earthy flavor that works well with spices like cumin and coriander.

2. Pigeon Peas

Pigeon Peas

Pigeon peas, also known as toor dal or gandules, are a variety of legume that is a great substitute for mung beans. They are commonly used in South Asian, Caribbean, and Central American cuisines. 

Pigeon peas have a sweet flavor and can be used in soups, stews, and curries. They are high in protein and provide a good source of dietary fiber, iron, and B vitamins.

Pigeon peas have a soft texture when cooked, making them ideal for creating creamy textures in dishes. They can be boiled, sautéed, or even mashed and pureed into sauces or dips. 

To cook pigeon peas, first, rinse them in cold water and then add them to boiling water. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Then drain the peas and use them as desired in your recipes.

Pigeon peas are an excellent alternative to mung beans. They offer a similar nutritional profile, are very versatile in the kitchen, and have a pleasant flavor.

3. Peeled Split Mung Beans

Peeled Split Mung Beans

When it comes to mung bean substitutes, peeled split mung beans are a great option. This type of mung bean is processed in the same way as the regular variety, but the difference is that its skin and seed coat is removed. 

This makes them easier to cook and makes them more versatile when it comes to recipes. They can be used as a base for dals and curries, as a thickener for soups and stews, or even as a binding agent for burgers and meatballs. 

Peeled split mung beans are also high in protein and dietary fiber, making them a great choice for vegans and vegetarians. 

Plus, they’re an excellent source of iron, calcium, zinc, and potassium. Finally, they’re low in fat and calories, making them a healthy alternative to other beans.

4. Small Flageolet Beans

Small Flageolet Beans

Small flageolet beans are a type of legume, similar to mung beans, that are often used as a substitution in recipes. 

They are small, light green beans with a mild, nutty flavor. Flageolet beans are popular in French cuisine and are often used in salads and side dishes.

These beans cook quickly, usually within 25 minutes, so they make a great substitute for mung beans. 

Flageolet beans are packed with nutrition, providing protein and fiber while also offering a good source of vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium. 

The beans also contain antioxidants which can help reduce inflammation in the body.

Flageolet beans have a creamy texture when cooked and pair well with other vegetables like carrots, mushrooms, and onions. 

They can be used in soups, stews, curries, and salads. As a substitution for mung beans, they can also be sprouted or boiled and added to stir-fries or used as an ingredient in patties.

Overall, small flageolet beans make a great substitute for mung beans and can be used in many different recipes.

5. Adzuki Beans

Adzuki Beans

Adzuki beans are small, reddish-brown beans that have been grown in Asia for thousands of years. These flavorful beans have a slightly sweet, nutty taste and are popular in a variety of dishes.

Adzuki beans are highly nutritious, containing protein, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber. They also contain important vitamins and minerals, such as folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. 

In terms of nutrition, adzuki beans are considered a great mung bean substitute. They provide similar amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber as mung beans. Additionally, they provide significant amounts of several essential minerals and vitamins. 

Adzuki beans can be used in a variety of recipes, from soups and salads to stews and desserts. They can be cooked whole or split and added to stir-fries or cooked in soups. 

They make an excellent addition to vegetarian dishes and are also commonly used in Japanese dishes like o-nigiri. 

Adzuki beans are also a great way to add flavor and texture to baked goods. From cakes and muffins to bread and bars, adzuki beans add a sweet, nutty flavor and heartiness to recipes.

6. Strawberry Beans

Strawberry Beans

Strawberry beans are a type of light-colored, creamy bean that is widely used in Latin American cooking. They are also sometimes known as white-eyed beans and have a unique flavor and texture. 

The beans come in either dried or canned varieties, which makes them a great pantry staple for any cook. Strawberry beans are usually harvested young, so they have a tender texture and sweet flavor.

These small beans are excellent for making soups, stews, casseroles, and even side dishes. 

The beans can be cooked in a variety of ways, but their soft texture and creamy flavor make them ideal for simmering in sauces or pureed into dips. 

They can also be used as an alternative to mung beans in recipes. Just be sure to soak the beans overnight before cooking, as this will help soften them and make them easier to digest. 

7. Borlotti Beans

Borlotti Beans

Borlotti beans, also known as cranberry beans, are a type of legume that is similar in flavor and texture to mung beans. The beans are high in fiber and protein and are often used in Italian cuisine. 

Borlotti beans can be used in salads, soups, stews, and casseroles. They pair particularly well with vegetables such as onions, carrots, celery, and tomatoes. 

When cooking with Borlotti beans, it is important to note that they have a thicker skin than mung beans so they may take slightly longer to cook. 

One of the great things about Borlotti beans is their versatility. They can be cooked on the stovetop, in a slow cooker, or even in an Instant Pot.

8. Lentils


Lentils are a great alternative to mung beans and are full of plant-based protein and fiber. They are also packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron, phosphorus, and potassium. 

Lentils come in a variety of colors, from red to yellow to green, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Lentils are easy to prepare and cook quickly, usually in about 20 minutes or less. Lentils are also extremely versatile and can be used in soups, stews, salads, curries, and casseroles. 

You can also use them to make burgers, fritters, patties, and more.

To prepare lentils, rinse them in cold water before cooking. Then add them to boiling water and cook for around 15-20 minutes until they’re tender but not mushy. You can also add spices and herbs for extra flavor.

9. Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are an excellent mung bean substitute. They are extremely versatile and can be used in many different dishes. 

They are high in dietary fiber and protein, making them a great addition to vegetarian and vegan meals. Garbanzo beans have a mild flavor and a soft, creamy texture when cooked. 

They can be used to make hummus, soups, stews, curries, salads, and even desserts. They are available dried or canned, so you can use whichever is most convenient for your recipe. 

When using garbanzo beans as a mung bean substitute, keep in mind that they are slightly larger than mung beans and will need to be soaked before cooking. This makes them a perfect option for long-cooking dishes like stews or curries.

10. Kidney Beans

Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are a type of legume that has a deep, reddish-brown color. They are also known as red beans or chili beans, and they have a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. 

Kidney beans are very popular in Mexican cuisine and are often used in dishes such as chili and burritos.

Kidney beans are an excellent mung bean substitute. They have a similar texture and flavor, and they can easily be substituted in any recipe that calls for mung beans. 

They also contain a significant amount of protein, fiber, folate, iron, and magnesium.

When preparing kidney beans, it’s important to note that they must be cooked thoroughly to reduce the risk of food poisoning. 

Additionally, kidney beans should be soaked overnight before cooking to help reduce their cooking time. 

11. Sprouts Bean

Sprouts Bean

Sprouted beans are a popular alternative to mung beans and offer a range of health benefits. Like other beans, sprout beans are a great source of plant-based proteins and fiber. 

They are also high in essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, iron, magnesium, and zinc. 

Sprout beans can be cooked in various ways, from boiling to steaming or adding them to soups, salads, and stews. 

For an added flavor boost, consider lightly sautéing them in oil with spices. They are very versatile and can be used in many dishes. 

Sprouts beans have a mild flavor that makes them a great addition to any meal. Try adding them to curries, stir-fries, casseroles, or simply as a side dish. The possibilities are endless.

12. Snow Peas

Snow Peas

Snow Peas are a great mung bean substitute and can add a nice crunch to a variety of dishes. Snow peas have an earthy flavor that pairs nicely with other vegetables, so they can be a great addition to salads, stir-fries, and more. 

These flat, green pods have a mild taste that allows them to take on whatever flavors they’re cooked with. Unlike mung beans, Snow peas are usually eaten raw or lightly cooked, so they retain their crunchiness and fresh flavor. 

These peas can also be a delicious and nutritious snack when eaten raw. Snow peas contain a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folate, and iron. 

They are also low in calories and fat, making them a great choice for those looking to add nutritious veggies to their diets without adding too many calories. 

Snow peas are easy to prepare and cook. They can be boiled, steamed, or sautéed with other vegetables for a quick side dish. They can also be added to soups or used as a topping for salads.

What Are The Benefits of Substituting Mung Beans?

When it comes to cooking, many of us turn to mung beans as an ingredient. Mung beans are highly nutritious and versatile, making them a great addition to any recipe. But what happens when you don’t have mung beans on hand? 

Fear not, as there are a variety of substitutes that can be used in place of mung beans. Not only can these substitutes offer the same nutritional benefits, but they also come with their own unique health and environmental benefits. 

One of the major advantages of substituting mung beans is the fact that there are a variety of different health benefits associated with each of the alternative ingredients. For examples-

  • Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein and dietary fiber, while black mung beans contain antioxidants that can help fight inflammation. 
  • Pigeon peas are rich in vitamins and minerals, while garbanzo beans are high in iron and zinc. 
  • Peeled split mung beans, small flageolet beans, kidney beans, sprouts beans, snow peas, adzuki beans, strawberry beans, and borlotti beans all offer their own unique benefits in terms of nutrition and health. 

In addition to the health benefits associated with substituting mung beans, there are also several environmental benefits. 

Mung beans require a lot of water to grow, which can put a strain on the environment. By using other ingredients as substitutes, we can reduce the amount of water needed for cultivation.

 Furthermore, some of these alternatives may require less land than mung beans to produce. This means that by using mung bean substitutes, we can help reduce our impact on the environment. 

Overall, there are many benefits associated with substituting mung beans. Not only do these substitutes provide a variety of health benefits, but they also have a positive impact on the environment. 

So next time you find yourself without mung beans in your kitchen, don’t panic – just reach for one of these amazing mung bean substitutes instead.

So, Where to Buy Mung Bean Substitutes?

Grocery stores typically carry a variety of legumes and beans, including mung bean substitutes such as lentils, black mung beans, pigeon peas, garbanzo beans, and peeled split mung beans. You can also find other alternatives like kidney beans, small flageolet beans, sprout beans, and snow peas. 

If you’re unable to find the right mung bean substitutes in your local grocery store, then you can always check out online vendors who specialize in selling a wide range of legumes and beans. 

Additionally, if you’re looking for organic and heirloom varieties, then you can find those too at some online vendors. 

Finally, many farmers’ markets now offer a selection of legumes and beans including mung bean substitutes. Here you can find fresh produce as well as bulk dry goods that are perfect for stocking up on your favorite mung bean substitutes. 

Plus, when you purchase from a local farmers market, you know you’re getting the freshest ingredients possible. 

Last Words

Mung beans are an amazing source of protein and other nutrients, but they can be difficult to find and expensive. 

Luckily, there are a variety of delicious and healthy mung bean substitutes that you can use to enjoy the same benefits.

All of these substitutes offer great flavor and texture while providing essential nutrients like protein and fiber. 

No matter which substitute you choose, you can enjoy the nutritional benefits without having to purchase mung beans. 

It is important to keep in mind that each substitute has its own unique characteristics, so be sure to research each option before making your choice. 

With the right information and a bit of creativity, you can find an excellent alternative to mung beans that suits your tastes and dietary needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are Mung Bean Substitutes Healthy? 

A: Yes. Mung bean substitutes are a great way to introduce more variety and nutrition into your diet. All of the substitutes listed above are packed with vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients like protein, fiber, and antioxidants.

Q: How Do I Store Mung Bean Substitutes? 

A: You should always store mung bean substitutes in a cool, dry place. When possible, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer to maintain their freshness and extend their shelf life. 

Q: Can I Substitute Mung Beans For Lentils? 

A: Yes, you can substitute mung beans for lentils in most recipes. Keep in mind that mung beans cook faster than lentils, so you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. 

Q: What Can I Substitute For Yellow Split Mung Beans? 

A: You can substitute peeled split mung beans, adzuki beans, kidney beans, flageolet beans, or snow peas for yellow split mung beans in recipes. 

Q: Can I Substitute Chickpeas For Mung Beans? 

A: Yes, you can use chickpeas as a substitute for mung beans in most recipes. Chickpeas have a slightly nutty flavor and can help add texture and heartiness to dishes. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time according to the instructions on the package.

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