10 Legume Varieties

These are various legumes in wooden bowls.

There are many different types of legumes, and you can eat them in a variety of ways, including split, crushed into flour, or dried whole. Legume plants include pulses, which are dried legume seeds and number in thousands. Beans and peas are also legumes since they are part of the same botanical family.

When you hear the word pulse, you’re likely thinking of the seeds that can be used to make a thick soup. Beans, chickpeas, and peas are well-known dried legumes. Lupins, chickpeas, and lentils are lesser well-known dried legumes.

Legumes are extremely healthy foods. For vegetarians who are not consuming any meat, they are an excellent source of protein and fiber. It can be a little perplexing to pick from a large number of legume types and variations. Choosing and using them effectively might also be a challenge.

If you want a straightforward answer, you can choose any type of legumes you want. They are all extremely nutritious and taste great. Numerous advantages apply to all legumes, regardless of which one you choose.

Even so, if you don’t know where to begin, start by exploring the different types of legumes available. And if you are a fan of eating a diverse range of foods, start by incorporating different types of legumes into your diet.

Eating beans regularly makes sense because of the numerous health benefits they provide.

Anything else than a substantial supply of beans would leave your food storage plan woefully short of what it needs to be effective. The amount of protein present in dried beans, peas, and lentils is unmatched in non-animal foods.

The protein composition of the most popular types of legumes ranges from 20% to 35%. As with most non-animal proteins, they aren’t complete on their own for human consumption, but when paired with the incomplete proteins present in grains, they form complete food. As a result, grains and legumes are frequently described as an entire food group.

Even if the people preparing meals have little knowledge of nutrition, you see both meat and legumes paired together as substantial protein sources.

Beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts are all members of the legume family, which is one of the most diverse in the plant kingdom. A large range of edible legumes is now readily available to us. This is because of the cultivation of different types of lentils over many centuries and continents.

Lentils come in colorful varieties and have distinct appearances and names. Adzuki beans, an Asian kind of soybean, is one, while “zipper peas,” a form of field pea that is widespread in the South of the United States, is another. Millions of different color combinations and patterns can be found on different lentils, ranging from bright white to dark crimson and from dull green to deep black.

Let’s have a look at the different types of legumes:


Legumes like lentils are extremely popular. In Asian and Mediterranean cuisine, as well as many other dishes, they’re frequently used.

They’re well-liked because of how useful they are. In addition to being quick to prepare, lentils also don’t require any soaking time before cooking. The fact that they’re pre-portioned makes it simple to whip them up when you’re in a hurry for dinner.

For example, when it comes to lentils, you can choose from a wide variety of colors and sizes. The nutritional profile varies slightly depending on the hue. When you cook with them, they act differently, as the green or brown ones are less likely to be mushy.

Lentils are complex to cook since they cook quickly and can get mushy. Bringing the lentils to a simmer fast and then reducing the heat until the water barely bubbles is a good strategy to remember.

Cooking the lentils as part of a stew or soup is most popular and tastes delicious.

Lentils are also cost-effective because of their low cost and long shelf life. Despite the fact that fresh lentils are preferable, dried lentils can be stored safely for up to a year.


If you’ve never heard of peanuts being classified as a legume, you’re not alone. Legumes include both edible seeds and plants that grow in pods, which includes nuts like peanuts.

Peanuts are commonly referred to as nuts because of their texture and nutritional profile, which resemble botanical nuts. But a lot of food items that we refer to as nuts aren’t actually nuts at all.

Peanuts do have a price advantage over tree nuts. There’s no difference in price between an almonds’ worth and an almonds’ worth of peanut butter, yet the latter is significantly more expensive.

As a result, peanuts are actually legumes and a convenient source of protein. For example, eating peanut butter on toast instead of jam for breakfast will provide you with greater and long-lasting energy.

In addition, peanuts are one of the few legumes that can be eaten raw without fear of poisoning your digestive system or your body. It is simple to include them in dishes, such as a stir-fry with a handful of raw peanuts. Roasting them enhances their flavor even further.


Soybeans are one of the most versatile types of legumes because of how many different ways they can be put to use.

For starters, soybeans are frequently used in the production of oil once they have been processed. After that, the oil can be refined for use in cooking or industry. Processed foods such as bread, pastries, pies, and salad dressings commonly include soybean oil.

Soybeans can also be utilized as animal feed or in industries.

A by-product of soybean is soy milk. Besides being a dairy substitute, this is also an ingredient in a variety of meals, including tofu, soy sauce, tempeh, and fermented bean paste are just a few of the fermented meals that use soybeans.

Soybeans are widely used in part because they are cheap to produce. This type of legume is also more divisive than others.


In the past, there were just a few varieties of chickpeas, such as the light tan Kabuli bean and various colored Desi chickpeas. These days, chickpeas come in many different hues and varieties.

When it comes to eating chickpeas, most people associate them with the Middle Eastern dishes hummus and falafel. If you don’t want to make a soup, try adding chickpeas to another dish, such as a salad or stew.

Other chickpea recipes, such as those using roasted chickpeas, are becoming increasingly popular. Nuts have more calories per serving than these, so they’re a better choice for those trying to lose weight.

Cooking chickpeas primarily involves boiling them in water. For those who used dried chickpeas, this may require some patience. To make it easier to cook, soak the chickpeas first. It’s possible to employ other cooking methods like sous vide or pressure cooking on occasion.

Read more here: Broccoli vs. Peas | Spring Pea and Fava Bean Risotto

Kidney Beans

There are several classic dishes that call for kidney beans as well. Red kidney beans are the most common, but you can also find purple, white, cream, and striped kidney beans.

To be sure, the beans are heavy in carbs, but they’re also a good source of fiber and protein. Actually, boiling kidney beans contain roughly 27% of their total calories as protein.

One of the reasons beans are so popular is because of their high protein content. Their protein content is comparable to that of meat, making them a more affordable option. For this reason, vegetarians and vegans should pay special attention to the nutritional value of beans.

Cannellini Beans

White kidney beans are also known as cannellini beans. As you might expect, they’re all white and have very thin skin. You may easily utilize them in a variety of recipes because of their moderate flavor.

Soybeans such as Great Northern and navy bean are comparable. In a recipe, one type of bean can readily be replaced with another.

Black Eyed Peas

It’s a common misconception that black-eyed peas are, in fact, a type of bean. These beans are white with a black ‘eye,’ making them simple to recognize.

A few more varieties of beans that are similar are cranberry beans, black beans, lima beans, and Romano beans. There are a number of substitutes you can use in place of black-eyed peas when you run out.

Mung Beans

The sprouted variety is the most popular in the United States. In Indian and other Asian cuisines, they’re a common ingredient. They’re also related to the field peas that grow all throughout the South. They have a circular, tiny shape and a variety of colors, ranging from mild green to almost black. They cook fast without the need for soaking.

Fava Beans

Known as “wide” or “horse beans” in Europe and the Mediterranean, these beans are less well-known in the United States. Fava Beans have a flat, broad shape with a reddish-brown tint to them. Although this legume is one of the oldest in European culture, it is more difficult to use.

It is common to peel beans since the hull is stiff and does not allow for heating to tenderize it. Because the skinless bean crumbles so easily, it’s usually pureed. Favism is a hereditary sensitivity to undercooked beans and plant pollens that affects some people of Mediterranean descent.

Pinto Beans

The Pinto bean is a staple of Tex-Mex cuisine. It is one of the most popular beans in the United States, especially in the southwestern region. It’s shaped like a bean and has a speckled pattern on its shell in tans and browns. Its tofu-like flavor goes well with a wide range of cuisines.

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