Types of Kidney Beans

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Commonly, people think of kidney beans as being red (the kind we find in typical chili recipes). In reality, there are other kinds of kidney bean as well, and each has a distinctive appearance and can be used for a variety of dishes.

Cannellini Beans

These beans have exactly the same shape and flavor as the dark red variety, but are a creamy white color.


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Also called fayots, these beans are a little smaller than traditional kidney beans and have a light green color when dried. They cook to a creamy consistency and are often found in French dishes.

Red Kidney Beans

Perhaps the most common variety, you will find this bean in ethnic dishes and in bean salads. A combination of white (cannellini) and red kidney beans is often used for bean salad.



Smaller than the red kidney bean common in the United States, caparrones from Spain are the same color. Shorter and rounder than the traditional variety, they are found in typical dishes from La Rioja.



Kidney bean are a good source of potassium, fiber, magnesium and folate. Eaten warm or cold, they make a good accompaniment or main dish.



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