Low Carb Bean Alternative – Your Full Guide about Beans

Beans are a great source of dietary fiber, protein, and minerals. Unfortunately, they also contain high carbohydrate content, which can be problematic for people on a low-carb diet. Fortunately, there are some delicious low-carb bean substitutes that have much lower net carbs.

Luckily, you don’t have to skip out on tacos, Indian food, and Asian food just because you’re on a keto diet. Instead, try some of these fulfilling keto alternatives.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to get a little creative with bean alternatives in ways that mimic the texture and taste of some of your favorite bean dishes. You’ll also grasp an understanding of bean types and their nutritional value, including their net carb counts.

beans keto friendly

Bean Types

Let me quickly walk you through the different types of beans and their nutritional values. I ordered the beans following an ascending order for total carbs, as summarized.

Great Northern Beans

They are white beans that are small and oval-shaped. They’re known for the traditional dish “Crock Pot Great Northern Beans”.

Nutritional Value: 15 g carbs; 0 g fiber; 0 g protein; 0 g fat.

Vitamins and Minerals: magnesium, potassium, iron, phosphorus , copper, manganese, zinc, folate, and vitamins B-complex, C, and K.

Lima Beans

Lima beans, also known as butter beans, have a nutty flavor and a creamy texture. They are widely used in soups, stews, side dishes, and casseroles. Lima beans are the second-best option for making veggie burgers.

Nutritional Value: 28 g carbs; 13 g fiber; 13 g protein; 0 g fat.

Vitamins and Minerals: magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, folate, and vitamin B.

Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)

Garbanzo beans are usually used in preparing the famous Arab appetizer “Hummus.” Chickpeas are a type of legume that is native to the Mediterranean region.

Nutritional value: 36 g carbs; 12 g fiber; 14 g protein; 0 g fat.

Vitamins and Minerals: magnesium, potassium, iron, phosphorus , copper, manganese, zinc, folate, and vitamins B-complex, C, and K.

Navy Beans

You must have heard about “navy beans and ham soup,” which perfectly warms your heart on a cold winter day. Navy beans are indigenous to Central America.

Nutritional Value: 39 g carbs; 19 g fiber; 22 g protein; 0 g fat.

Vitamins and Minerals: magnesium, potassium, iron, phosphorus , copper, manganese, zinc, folate, and vitamins B-complex, C, and K.

Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are native to Central and South America. The famous Mexican side dish “Refried Beans” is typically prepared with pinto beans, but in some parts of Mexico, they also use black beans or kidney beans.

Nutritional Value: 39 g carbs; 15 g fiber; 14 g protein; 0 g fat.

Vitamins and Minerals: magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, phosphorus, copper, folate, zinc, and vitamins B-complex, C, and K.

Black Beans

Black beans are a type of common bean that is indigenous to the Americas. They contain plenty of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They are the best option for making veggie burgers.

Nutritional Value: 41 g carbs; 15 g fiber; 15 g protein; 0 g fat.

Vitamins and Minerals: potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, folate , and vitamins B-complex, C, and K.

Red Kidney Beans

Red kidney beans are native to Central America. These beans are used in some famous dishes across countries, such as the Italian soup “Ribollita”, Louisiana’s comfort food “Red Beans and Rice”, and “Rajma,” the most popular vegetarian dish in North India.

Nutritional Value: 41 g carbs; 15 g fiber; 15 g protein; 0 g fat.

Vitamins and Minerals: magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, phosphorus , copper, manganese, folate, and vitamins B-complex, C, and K.

3 Best Keto Friendly Beans

Even though most beans have high carbs, there are a handful of flavorful, low-carb beans. Brining you my top 3 favorite options, here we go:

Green Beans/ String Beans

Green beans are great keto beans that are used in so many delicious keto recipes without rapidly exceeding your daily carb limit, as 1/2 cup of green beans only contains 4 grams of net carbs.

To make a keto-friendly green beans dish, simply steam the beans and season them with salt, pepper, and other herbs and spices as desired. This makes for a tasty side dish that is full of flavor and nutrition.

Black Soybeans

keto beans

Black soy beans win the first place among keto beans since they’re used in a variety of keto dishes, such as keto chili recipes, salads, soups, keto refried beans, and keto bean casseroles. Each 1/4 cup contains 4 grams of net carbs.

With these beans, you won’t need to make dishes without beans like bean-free chili and bean-free hummus!

Edamame (Baby Soy Beans)

This is another bean you can occasionally include in your keto diet. Every 1/2 cup of edamame contains only 5 grams of net carbs and 10 total carbs!

Technically speaking, edamame are a legume rather than a bean. But when the urge for some beans strikes, you can definitely use edamame as keto beans.

4 Keto Bean Substitutes

Still looking for more options! Look no more; here is a list of versatile bean-like options to make your day. 


This keto bean substitute has dual action traits; it has both sweet and savory tastes, making it a great option to pair with a range of proteins such as fish and roast. In addition to combining it with other dominant green flavors.

Green peas are super nutritious, as they’re packed with vitamins and fiber. The amount of net carbs per 1/2 cup is 6.37 g.


Many keto nuts are high in protein, fiber, and nutrients that our bodies need, so it’s a healthy, smart choice as well as a practical one!

One easy option is to have boiled peanuts. 1 cup in the shell contains 13.4 g total carbs, 7.8 g net carbs, 13.9 g fat, 8.5 g protein, and 200 calories.


Mushrooms are an excellent low-carb substitute if you’re looking for something that has the consistency of cooked beans. While they naturally give off a meaty, umami flavor, mushrooms also have a tendency to absorb other tastes.

The unique form of the Enoki mushroom makes it look like bean sprouts. Enoki mushrooms are easily found fresh and in cans and make the ideal addition to soups and salads.

These mushrooms have a total calorie count of 24 per cup, less than 1 gram of fat, 5 grams of total carbs, 3 grams of net carbs, and nearly 2 grams of protein.

Bean Sprouts

A bean sprout is the delicate, crunchy root that emerges from a bean.

Bean sprouts are a well-liked addition to a variety of dishes because of their slightly crunchy texture and sweet taste. Most people are familiar with Mung Bean Sprouts; however, there are plenty of seeds, nuts, and beans that can be sprouted.

Keto Refried Beans Recipe

Enjoy beany-goodness without any guilt. This recipe is designed to replace the traditional high-carb refried beans.


  • 796 ml black soy beans rinsed well
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 4 cups water (approx.)


  1. Slice the jalapeno into chunks and mince the garlic.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium heat, and once it’s hot, add the jalapeno, garlic, cumin, chili, and a little salt.
  3. Stir for a minute or two until the spices are fragrant.
  4. Add black soybeans, and then pour the lime juice and about 2 cups of water—just enough water to cover the beans.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium/low, and simmer for 45 minutes.
  6. Add more water throughout the cooking process so that the beans are just covered. You’ll need about 4 cups of water in total.
  7. Once cooked, use a hand blender to puree until smooth. BON APPÉTIT

 Nutritional Value

1 serving (0.25 cup) contains: 104 kcal, 8.2 g carbs, 6.7 g protein, 6.5 g fat, 274 mg sodium, and 4 g fiber.

Green Beans- Bean Recipes

low carb bean substitutes

You’ll definitely love this easy-peasy recipe. You can always enjoy it on its own or as a side dish. Just remember to be creative in preparing your low carb beans to satisfy your taste buds and stay healthy.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 ounces green beans (trimmed)
  • 1/2 tsp coarse pink salt
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the green beans and stir to coat them in it.
  2. Approximately two minutes later, season with salt and pepper. Green beans should be sautéed for an additional 9 to 11 minutes, or until they are nearly done.
  3. Add the garlic and stir, cooking for an additional 1–2 minutes or until aromatic.
  4. Remove from heat immediately and enjoy.

Nutritional Value

51 kcal; 4 g total carbs; 1 g protein; 4 g fat; 294 mg sodium; 2 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 2 g net carbs.

Beans in a Snapshot

baby soy beans

If you’re looking for delicious low-carb bean alternatives that can add nutrition and flavor to your meals, the options listed above are great choices. With a little bit of practice and experimenting, you can create delicious, healthy dishes that are sure to be a hit with your family.

And remember the rule of thumb: most beans have a high carb count; however, there are several options that have fewer carbs while offering many health benefits.

Don't just listen to your body; also listen to your taste buds.

Ahmed Matar

Not just food lover, I also like to write about foods and diets, especially keto! Finding low-carb food is fun for me regardless of how others find it difficult. Besides having an interest in foods & diets I also like exercising and walking long distance regularly :)

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