16 Complete Protein Pairings with Black Beans

Summary:

  • Black bean is high in protein - about 14.5 grams per cup.
  • However, black bean provides only 8 of the 9 essential amino acids sufficiently - it is a little low on methionine.[1]
  • Black bean pairs well with chia seeds, sesame seeds, wild rice, hemp seeds or nori to create a complete protein profile. [2] More black bean pairings and detailed analysis below.

A complete protein is a protein source that "contains adequate proportions of the nine essential amino acids" that our body can not produce on its own.

World Health Organization [2], National Academy Press [3]

We analyzed the amino acid composition of black beans, and found both vegan and vegetarian pairings with black beans that creates a complete protein profile. Read on to discover new combinations of foods to enjoy!

Details on how we calculate complete protein profiles.

image of black beans source

Amount of Protein in Black Beans

A great source of protein, a single cup of black beans contains 14.5 grams of protein, or about 29% of recommended daily values. [1]

To get the adequate amount of protein with black beans alone, you will need 3.5 cups of black beans (830 grams) for an average female, or 4.1 cups of black beans for males. [4] That's about 755 calories.

Full nutritional profile for black beans
USDA Source: Beans, black turtle, mature seeds, canned

Macronutrients in 1 cup (240g) of black beans:

% of RDV Amount
Calories
10.9% 218 kCal
Carbohydrates
0% -
Total fat
1.1% 0.7 grams
Protein
28.9% 14.5 grams

Essential Amino Acids in Black Beans

Black bean contains abundant amounts of 8 out of the nine essential amino acids. Proportionally, black bean is a little short on methionine.[1]

To have adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids with black bean alone, you will have to eat 4.5 cups of black beans (1089 grams) for an average person. [2]

That's about 31% more black bean to compensate for the lack of methionine, compared to the protein requirement alone.

The amount of each essential amino acid in 1 cup (240g) of black beans:

Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [1] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
28.9% 14.472g
Histidine
63.2% 0.398g
Isoleucine
79.5% 0.684g
Leucine
65% 1.229g
Lysine
59.2% 1.013g
Methionine
22% 0.19g
Phenylalanine
57.3% 0.854g
Threonine
59.2% 0.533g
Tryptophan
66.5% 0.173g
Valine
77.3% 0.835g

More Complete Protein with Black Beans

Top vegan pairings with black beans include:
  1. Chia Seeds
  2. Sesame Seeds
  3. Wild Rice
  4. Hemp Seeds
  5. Nori
  6. White Rice
  7. Cornmeal
  8. Pumpkin Seeds
  9. Quinoa
  10. Carrots
  11. Brown Rice
  12. Tortilla
Although dairy and eggs are generally considered complete proteins, some types of vegetarian food pair more efficiently with black beans. These include:
  1. Mayonnaise
  2. Sour Cream
  3. Caramel
  4. Egg

Vegan 1. Chia Seeds and Black Beans


image of chia seeds
image of black beans

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, chia seed is high in methionine, which is complementary to black bean.

A ratio of 0.5 cup of black beans (126g) and 0.2 ounce of chia seeds (7g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.05:1 of chia seed to black bean will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for chia seeds
USDA Source: Seeds, chia seeds, dried

Table of amino acids of 0.5 cup black beans and 0.2 oz chia seeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [5] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
17.5% 8.8g
Histidine
39.1% 0.25g
Isoleucine
48.3% 0.42g
Leucine
39.2% 0.74g
Lysine
35.1% 0.6g
Methionine
16.3% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
34.9% 0.52g
Threonine
36.6% 0.33g
Tryptophan
46.5% 0.12g
Valine
46.7% 0.5g

Vegan 2. Sesame Seeds and Black Beans


image of sesame seeds
image of black beans

Sesame seed is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in methionine, complementing the profile of black bean.

For example, 0.5 cup of black beans (126g) and 0.8 tablespoon of sesame seeds (8g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.06 to 1:2 for black bean to sesame seed by weight.

Full nutritional profile for sesame seeds
USDA Source: Seeds, sesame seeds, whole, roasted and toasted

Table of amino acids of 0.5 cup black beans and 0.8 tbsp sesame seeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [6] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
17.9% 8.9g
Histidine
39.4% 0.25g
Isoleucine
48.4% 0.42g
Leucine
39.5% 0.75g
Lysine
33.6% 0.58g
Methionine
16.6% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
34.8% 0.52g
Threonine
37.2% 0.33g
Tryptophan
46% 0.12g
Valine
47.5% 0.51g

Vegan 3. Wild Rice and Black Beans


image of wild rice
image of black beans

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, wild rice is high in methionine, which is complementary to black bean.

A ratio of 0.5 cup of black beans (126g) and 4 tablespoons of wild rice (41g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.32 to 1:14 for black bean to wild rice by weight.

Full nutritional profile for wild rice
USDA Source: Wild rice, cooked

Table of amino acids of 0.5 cup black beans and 4 tbsp wild rice :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [7] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
18.5% 9.2g
Histidine
40% 0.25g
Isoleucine
49.7% 0.43g
Leucine
40.1% 0.76g
Lysine
35.2% 0.6g
Methionine
17.2% 0.15g
Phenylalanine
35.5% 0.53g
Threonine
36.9% 0.33g
Tryptophan
42.6% 0.11g
Valine
49.4% 0.53g

Vegan 4. Hemp Seeds and Black Beans


image of hemp seeds
image of black beans

Hemp seed is a great source of protein, and is high in methionine, complementing the profile of black bean.

For example, 0.5 cup of black beans (126g) and 0.5 tablespoon of hemp seeds (5g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.04 to 1:1.9 for black bean to hemp seed by weight.

Full nutritional profile for hemp seeds
USDA Source: Seeds, hemp seed, hulled

Table of amino acids of 0.5 cup black beans and 0.5 tbsp hemp seeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [8] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
18.5% 9.3g
Histidine
41.3% 0.26g
Isoleucine
49.6% 0.43g
Leucine
40.2% 0.76g
Lysine
35% 0.6g
Methionine
17.2% 0.15g
Phenylalanine
35.2% 0.52g
Threonine
38.5% 0.35g
Tryptophan
42.4% 0.11g
Valine
49.2% 0.53g

Vegan 5. Nori and Black Beans


image of nori
image of black beans

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, nori is high in methionine, which is complementary to black bean.

A ratio of 0.5 cup of black beans (109g) and 14.2 sheets of nori (37g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.34:1 of nori to black bean will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for nori
USDA Source: Seaweed, laver, raw

Table of amino acids of 0.5 cup black beans and 14.2 sheet nori :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [9] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
17.4% 8.7g
Histidine
36.9% 0.23g
Isoleucine
47.3% 0.41g
Leucine
39.3% 0.74g
Lysine
31.7% 0.54g
Methionine
16.2% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
32.8% 0.49g
Threonine
36.4% 0.33g
Tryptophan
36.3% 0.09g
Valine
48.9% 0.53g

Vegan 6. White Rice and Black Beans


image of white rice
image of black beans

White rice is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in methionine, complementing the profile of black bean.

For example, 0.5 cup of black beans (109g) and 0.6 cup of white rice (108g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:1 to 1:20 for black bean to white rice by weight.

Full nutritional profile for white rice
USDA Source: Rice, white, medium-grain, enriched, cooked

Table of amino acids of 0.5 cup black beans and 0.6 cup white rice :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [10] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
18.3% 9.1g
Histidine
38.3% 0.24g
Isoleucine
49.1% 0.42g
Leucine
40.8% 0.77g
Lysine
32.3% 0.55g
Methionine
17% 0.15g
Phenylalanine
35.3% 0.53g
Threonine
37.1% 0.33g
Tryptophan
41.9% 0.11g
Valine
49.6% 0.54g

Vegan 7. Cornmeal and Black Beans


image of cornmeal
image of black beans

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, cornmeal is high in methionine, which is complementary to black bean.

A ratio of 0.5 cup of black beans (114g) and 3.7 tablespoons of cornmeal (28g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.24 to 1:1.1 for black bean to cornmeal by weight.

Full nutritional profile for cornmeal
USDA Source: Cornmeal, yellow (Navajo)

Table of amino acids of 0.5 cup black beans and 3.7 tbsp cornmeal :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [11] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
19.2% 9.6g
Histidine
41.8% 0.26g
Isoleucine
49.8% 0.43g
Leucine
49.6% 0.94g
Lysine
33.1% 0.57g
Methionine
17.9% 0.15g
Phenylalanine
36.6% 0.55g
Threonine
37.6% 0.34g
Tryptophan
37% 0.1g
Valine
49.5% 0.53g

Vegan 8. Pumpkin Seeds and Black Beans


image of pumpkin seeds
image of black beans

Pumpkin seed is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in methionine, complementing the profile of black bean.

For example, 0.4 cup of black beans (92g) and 3.4 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds (14g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.15:1 of pumpkin seed to black bean will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for pumpkin seeds
USDA Source: Seeds, pumpkin and squash seeds, whole, roasted, without salt

Table of amino acids of 0.4 cup black beans and 3.4 tbsp pumpkin seeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [12] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
16.1% 8.1g
Histidine
35.4% 0.22g
Isoleucine
45.6% 0.39g
Leucine
36.2% 0.68g
Lysine
33.7% 0.58g
Methionine
15% 0.13g
Phenylalanine
30.4% 0.45g
Threonine
33% 0.3g
Tryptophan
42.5% 0.11g
Valine
48.4% 0.52g

Vegan 9. Quinoa and Black Beans


image of quinoa
image of black beans

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, quinoa is high in methionine, which is complementary to black bean.

A ratio of 0.5 cup of black beans (109g) and 0.4 cup of quinoa (75g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.7:1 of quinoa to black bean will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for quinoa
USDA Source: Quinoa, cooked

Table of amino acids of 0.5 cup black beans and 0.4 cup quinoa :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [13] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
19.8% 9.9g
Histidine
44% 0.28g
Isoleucine
49.9% 0.43g
Leucine
40% 0.76g
Lysine
37.5% 0.64g
Methionine
18.4% 0.16g
Phenylalanine
35.4% 0.53g
Threonine
37.9% 0.34g
Tryptophan
45.3% 0.12g
Valine
48.1% 0.52g

Vegan 10. Carrots and Black Beans


image of carrots
image of black beans

Carrot is low in protein, and is high in methionine, complementing the profile of black bean.

For example, 3.3 tablespoons of black beans (50g) and 2.4 carrots (173g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 3:1 of carrot to black bean will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for carrots
USDA Source: Carrots, raw

Table of amino acids of 3.3 tbsp black beans and 2.4 large carrots :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [14] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
9.2% 4.6g
Histidine
24.1% 0.15g
Isoleucine
32% 0.28g
Leucine
22.9% 0.43g
Lysine
22.5% 0.39g
Methionine
8.6% 0.07g
Phenylalanine
19% 0.28g
Threonine
49% 0.44g
Tryptophan
21.8% 0.06g
Valine
27.1% 0.29g

Vegan 11. Brown Rice and Black Beans


image of brown rice
image of black beans

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, brown rice is high in methionine, which is complementary to black bean.

A ratio of 0.4 cup of black beans (100g) and 0.6 cup of brown rice (124g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:1.2 to 1:22 for black bean to brown rice by weight.

Full nutritional profile for brown rice
USDA Source: Rice, brown, long-grain, cooked (Includes foods for USDA's Food Distribution Program)

Table of amino acids of 0.4 cup black beans and 0.6 cup brown rice :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [15] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
18.9% 9.4g
Histidine
39.3% 0.25g
Isoleucine
48.9% 0.42g
Leucine
41.1% 0.78g
Lysine
31.8% 0.54g
Methionine
17.6% 0.15g
Phenylalanine
34.9% 0.52g
Threonine
37.8% 0.34g
Tryptophan
43.4% 0.11g
Valine
49.5% 0.54g

Vegan 12. Tortilla and Black Beans


image of tortilla
image of black beans

Tortilla is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in methionine, complementing the profile of black bean.

For example, 0.4 cup of black beans (100g) and 2.5 tortilla (60g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.6 to 1:23 for black bean to tortilla by weight.

Full nutritional profile for tortilla
USDA Source: Tortillas, ready-to-bake or -fry, corn

Table of amino acids of 0.4 cup black beans and 2.5 tortilla tortilla :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [16] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
18.9% 9.4g
Histidine
43.1% 0.27g
Isoleucine
47.5% 0.41g
Leucine
49.5% 0.94g
Lysine
30.4% 0.52g
Methionine
17.6% 0.15g
Phenylalanine
35.3% 0.53g
Threonine
39.1% 0.35g
Tryptophan
37.4% 0.1g
Valine
48.4% 0.52g

Vegetarian 13. Mayonnaise and Black Beans


image of mayonnaise
image of black beans

Low in protein, mayonnaise is high in methionine, which is complementary to black bean.

A ratio of 0.5 cup of black beans (120g) and 0.5 cup of mayonnaise (108g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.9:1 of mayonnaise to black bean will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for mayonnaise
USDA Source: Salad dressing, mayonnaise, regular

Table of amino acids of 0.5 cup black beans and 0.5 cup mayonnaise :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [17] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
16.5% 8.3g
Histidine
36.1% 0.23g
Isoleucine
47.9% 0.41g
Leucine
37.9% 0.72g
Lysine
34.1% 0.58g
Methionine
15.4% 0.13g
Phenylalanine
32.8% 0.49g
Threonine
36.2% 0.33g
Tryptophan
40.3% 0.1g
Valine
46% 0.5g

Vegetarian 14. Sour Cream and Black Beans


image of sour cream
image of black beans

Sour cream is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in methionine, complementing the profile of black bean.

For example, 0.5 cup of black beans (114g) and 0.3 cup of sour cream (52g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.45:1 of sour cream to black bean will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for sour cream
USDA Source: Cream, sour, cultured

Table of amino acids of 0.5 cup black beans and 0.3 cup sour cream :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [18] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
16.3% 8.2g
Histidine
37.7% 0.24g
Isoleucine
47.7% 0.41g
Leucine
39.8% 0.75g
Lysine
36.5% 0.62g
Methionine
15.2% 0.13g
Phenylalanine
32.7% 0.49g
Threonine
36.3% 0.33g
Tryptophan
40% 0.1g
Valine
46.2% 0.5g

Vegetarian 15. Caramel and Black Beans


image of caramel
image of black beans

Low in protein, caramel is high in methionine, which is complementary to black bean.

A ratio of 0.5 cup of black beans (114g) and 0.3 cup of caramel (114g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:1 to 1:8 for black bean to caramel by weight.

Full nutritional profile for caramel
USDA Source: Toppings, butterscotch or caramel

Table of amino acids of 0.5 cup black beans and 0.3 cup caramel :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [19] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
16.5% 8.3g
Histidine
37.4% 0.24g
Isoleucine
49.7% 0.43g
Leucine
39.7% 0.75g
Lysine
36% 0.62g
Methionine
15.4% 0.13g
Phenylalanine
32.8% 0.49g
Threonine
36.6% 0.33g
Tryptophan
31.6% 0.08g
Valine
47.2% 0.51g

Vegetarian 16. Egg and Black Beans


image of egg
image of black beans

Egg is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in methionine, complementing the profile of black bean.

For example, 0.5 cup of black beans (120g) and 0.2 egg (12g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.1:1 of egg to black bean will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for egg
USDA Source: Egg, whole, raw, fresh

Table of amino acids of 0.5 cup black beans and 0.2 large egg :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [20] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
17.4% 8.7g
Histidine
37.4% 0.24g
Isoleucine
49% 0.42g
Leucine
39.3% 0.74g
Lysine
35.9% 0.61g
Methionine
16.2% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
34.1% 0.51g
Threonine
36.9% 0.33g
Tryptophan
40.8% 0.11g
Valine
48% 0.52g


Complete Protein Pairings