11 Best Pigeon Peas Substitutes |Vegan, Easy to Cook

Are you searching for a mouthwatering and nutritious substitute for pigeon pea? 

Look no further than I get the 11 best pigeon peas substitutes, from Black-eyed peas to fava beans.

All Pigeon peas alternatives are high in protein, and they taste great too. Plus, they’re easy to cook. 

What is Pigeon Peas?

Pigeon peas are a variety of legumes popular in many parts of the world, especially in India and Africa. They are often used in curries and other dishes and have a nutty flavor. 

Pigeon peas have a high protein and fiber content while being low in fat. They’re also high in vitamins and minerals, including iron and potassium.

Pigeon peas are available dried, canned, or fresh.

What is pigeon pea good for? 

Pigeon pea is a suitable source of protein and fiber. It also contains vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, and folate. 

Pigeon pea can be cooked and eaten as a main dish or side dish. It can also be used to make soups, stews, curries, and other dishes.

What do pigeon peas taste like?

Pigeon peas have a nutty, earthy flavor similar to black-eyed peas. They are often used in the Caribbean and Latin American dishes such as rice and beans, stews, and soups.

11 Best Substitutes for Pigeon Peas


Yellow-eye pea is a type of legume. The flowers are white or pale yellow, and they grow in clusters of 3-5 blooms. The fruit is a pod, which contains 2-3 peas. The peas are green when they are young, but they turn yellow as they mature.

The yellow-eye pea is native to the Mediterranean region. It has been cultivated for centuries in that part of the world. 

It was introduced to the Americas by Spanish colonists, and it quickly became popular in both North and South America. Today, the yellow-eye pea is grown in many parts of the world, including Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

The yellow-eye pea is a popular food crop because it is both nutritious and delicious. Peas are a suitable source of protein, fiber, and vitamins, and they can be used in a variety of dishes. 

They are often cooked with rice or other grains, and they can also be used in soups and stews. The yellow-eye pea is also sometimes ground into a flour that can be used to make bread and other baked goods.


Navy beans are a variety of common beans, usually white in color. They are also called haricot beans or Boston beans. Navy beans are small, oval-shaped, and have a smooth texture.

Navy beans are an amazing source of protein, fiber, and iron. They are also a good source of folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. 

Navy beans are a low-fat food and are cholesterol-free.

Navy beans can be cooked in a variety of ways. They can be boiled, baked, fried, or stewed. 

Navy beans can also be used in soups and salads.

Navy beans are an excellent substitute for pigeon peas. They have a similar texture and flavor but are lower in calories and fat. 

Navy beans’re also a satisfactory source of fiber and protein.

Navy beans are a fantastic choice if searching for a healthy, flavorful, and nutritious bean. They’re versatile and can be used in many different dishes.

lima beans are good substitute for pigeon peas


Baby lima is another excellent option to alternate pigeon peas in soup and curry. If you want to substitute baby lima beans for pigeon peas in a recipe, you’ll need to cook the lima beans for longer than the pigeon peas. 

· This is because lima beans are larger and have tougher skin. You’ll also need to add more water to the pot, as lima beans absorb more liquid than pigeon peas. Keep these things in mind when you’re cooking with baby lima beans!

4. EDAMAME – Best Pigeon Peas Substitutions in Salads

One of the best pigeon pea substitutes is edamame. These beans come from soy and have a slightly nutty flavor that works perfectly in salads and stir-fries.

Edamame also has a similar texture to pigeon peas. Hence, it makes for a perfect replacement if you’re looking to create a dish with a similar consistency.

If you can’t find edamame, another good option is to use black beans. They have a slightly different flavor, but they’ll still work well in most recipes.


Replace Dried Pigeon Peas for pigeon peas if fresh are not available. If you love dal as much as we do, you will adore this dish! 

It is simple to make and can be served with Indian bread or rice. Dal Makhani is a classic Punjabi dish made with whole black lentils, red kidney beans, butter, and cream. This recipe uses less oil and less cream than the traditional one but still has all the flavors.

6. BLACK-EYES PEAS -Similar to Pigeon Peas

The black-eyed pea, also called the cowpea, is a legume grown for its edible beans.

The black-eyed pea is an annual herbaceous plant that grows to about 2 meters (6.6 ft) in height. 

black eyed peas are excellent alternative to pigeon peas

The flowers are white or pink and borne in axillary racemes. The fruit is a pod containing 1-5 seeds.

The black-eyed pea is cooked and eaten in many parts of the world. It is often used as an ingredient in soups and stews or simply boiled and served with rice. 

The beans can also be ground into flour, which is used to make various dishes, including porridge, cakes, and bread.

The black-eyed pea is a useful source of protein, iron, and dietary fiber. It also contains various vitamins and minerals, including folate, calcium, and magnesium.


If you want to substitute lentil beans for pigeon peas, you will need to change the cooking time. Pigeon peas are a bit tougher than lentils, so they take longer to cook. 

You will also need to add more water to the dish, as lentils absorb more liquid than pigeon peas. 

Keep an eye on the dish as it cooks, and add more water if necessary. When the lentils are cooked through, they should be soft and easy to mash. 

If they are still challenging, you will need to cook them for longer. Once the lentils are cooked, you can proceed with the recipe as usual.


Fava beans have a slightly sweeter flavor than pigeon peas, so you may need to adjust the other ingredients in the recipe accordingly. 

Additionally, fava beans are more prominent and denser than pigeon peas, so you’ll need to use more of them to get the identical effect. 

Finally, fava beans take longer to cook than pigeon peas, so give them plenty of time to soften up before serving. 

Fava beans can easily be used as a delicious and healthy substitute for pigeon peas in any recipe with a little tinkering.


White acre peas are field pea, also called cowpea. They are small, tan-colored beans with a delicate flavor. The plants grow to about 2 feet (0.6 m) tall and produce 10-12 peas clusters. 

White Acres are suitable for fresh eating, canning, and freezing. In your cooking, substitute white acre peas for pigeon peas; you’ll need to use about twice as many white acre peas as you would pigeon peas. 

· This is because white acre peas are larger and will take up more space in your dish.

· Additionally, you may find that the White acre peas have a milder flavor than pigeon peas, so you may want to add a bit more seasoning to your dish.


Try using pinto beans as a substitute if you’re searching for a delicious way to switch up your typical pigeon peas dish! 

Pinto beans have a nutty flavor that pairs well with rice, and they can be used in many of the same dishes as black beans. Give them a try the next time you’re in the mood for something new!


Our last, not least alternative to pigeon peas is chickpeas. Chickpeas are healthy and nutritious and have a tasty nutty flavor. 

You can use them to make soups, salads, pasta dishes, casseroles, etc.

Chickpeas are a valuable source of protein, fiber, and other nutrients.

Read More- Ideal chickpea flour substitutes

Pigeon peas vS Lentils

There are many types of peas and lentils, but the most common are pigeon peas and green lentils. 

Both of these legumes are nutritious and can be used in various dishes. Yet, there are some key distinctions between them.

Pigeon peas are small, round, and dark green. They have a nutty flavor and are famous in Caribbean and Indian cooking.

Green lentils, on the other hand, are larger and more oblong. They hold a negligibly sweeter flavor and are commonly used in French and Middle Eastern dishes.

Pigeon peas are a suitable source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They can be cooked and used in various dishes, such as soups, stews, curries, and rice dishes. 

Green lentils are also a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They can be cooked and used in many different ways as well, such as in salads, soups, stews, casseroles, and veggie burgers.

So, what’s the difference between pigeon peas and lentils? 

Well, it really relies on what you’re looking for. If you want a legume with a nutty flavor that can be used in various dishes, then pigeon peas are a good choice. 

Suppose you’re looking for a legume with a sweeter flavor and is commonly used in French and Middle Eastern dishes. In that case, green lentils are a better option. 

Whichever type of pea or lentil you choose, you’ll get a nutritious and delicious addition to your meals.

Dry vS Green Pigeon Peas

Dry versus green pigeon peas are a common topic of discussion in the Caribbean. 

While both types of pigeon peas are used in many popular dishes, there are some key differences. 

Here is a glance at the key differences between dry and green pigeon peas:

-Dry pigeon peas are smaller in size and have a darker color than green pigeon peas.

-Dry pigeon peas have a more intense flavor than green pigeon peas.

-Dry pigeon peas take longer to cook than green pigeon peas.

-Green pigeon peas are more commonly used in dishes served with rice, while dry pigeon peas are more often used in dishes that are served alone or with other side dishes.

When it comes to choosing between dry and green pigeon peas, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. 

Both types of pigeon peas can be used in various dishes, and each offers its own unique flavor and texture. Try both types of pigeon peas and see which you prefer!

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FAQs Related To Pigeon Peas & Its Alternatives 

Q1. What are pigeon peas similar to?

Pigeon peas (Cajanus cajan) are a legume that is popular in many parts of the world, especially in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. 

Pigeon peas are similar to other legumes such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas. Pigeon peas are abundant in protein and fiber and have various applications.

Q2. Can you substitute pinto beans for pigeon peas?

Pinto beans are a variety of common beans and can be used as a substitute for pigeon peas. 

Pigeon peas, commonly known as toor dal or arhar dal in Indian cuisine, are a species of legume. They have a strong, nutty flavor and are often used in curries and other dishes.
Pinto beans have a similar flavor to pigeon peas but are not as strong. When substituting pinto beans for pigeon peas, you may want to add some additional spices to your dish to help compensate for the difference in flavor.

Q3. Are pigeon peas the same as lentils?

Pigeon peas and lentils are two different types of legumes. 
Pigeon peas are a type of dried bean that is often used in Indian and Caribbean cuisine. At the same time, lentils are a type of small, round seed that is popular in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. 

While they may be used similarly, pigeon peas and lentils have different flavors and textures.

Q4. Are pigeon peas similar to Black Eyed Peas?

Pigeon peas, also known as black-eyed peas, are a type of legume that is commonly used in various cuisines around the world. 

While they are technically two different types of beans, they are very similar in appearance and taste. 

Pigeon peas have a little nutty flavor and a firm texture, while black-eyed peas are slightly sweeter and have a softer texture. 

Both types of beans can be used in soups, stews, and salads or simply cooked on their own as a side dish.

Q5. What is pigeon pea good for?

Pigeon pea is an adequate source of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. It can be cooked in various ways and is often used in curries and stews. 

Pigeon pea is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help lower cholesterol levels. 

Additionally, pigeon pea may help regulate blood sugar levels and promote gut health.

Q6. What is pigeon pea called in English?

Pigeon pea is also understood as Cajanus cajan or red gram. It is a legume that is native to the Indian subcontinent.

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