The family Fabaceae, also known as Leguminosae, includes over 20,000 plants, all of which are recognized as legumes. Many of these plants produce edible fruits and seeds, which are eaten both fresh as vegetables and dried as staples. Additionally, the seeds and pods of numerous legume plants serve as valuable animal fodder. In culinary terms, the legume category spans a wide range, including familiar items like peas and green beans, as well as staples like soy and navy beans.

List of the Most Familiar and Commonly Consumed Varieties of Legumes

Most of the legumes in the table below are easily available in supermarkets and online stores, with a few exceptions, like horse gram and ice cream beans, that might need a trip to a specialty store or farmers market.

NameProtein/100g (Cooked)Carbs/100g (Cooked)Fiber/100g (Cooked)Iron/100g (Cooked)Common Ways to Prepare
Pea5.4g14g5.1g2.5mgSteamed or boiled, used in salads, soups, or as a side vegetable
Peanut25.8g16.1g8.5g1mgRoasted and eaten as a snack, peanut butter in sandwiches
Lentil9g20g8g3.3mgBoiled and used in soups, stews, salads etc.
Chickpea (Garbanzo Beans)8.9g27.4g7.6g2.9mgBoiled or canned, used in salads, hummus, and various Mediterranean dishes
Mung Beans7g19g7.6g1.4mgSprouted in salads, cooked in soups, stir-fried, or curries
Soybean16.6g9.9g6g5.4mgUsed for making tofu, soy milk, edamame, and soy-based products
Green Beans (French Beans)1.8g7.1g3.4g1mgSteamed, sautéed, or blanched, often used as a side vegetable
Black-Eyed Peas7.6g25.7g6.7g2.5mgBoiled, used in Southern dishes like Hoppin’ John
Lima Beans7.8g19.7g7g2.4mgBoiled or steamed, added to casseroles or succotash
Pinto Beans8.2g21g9g2.4mgBoiled or refried, used in burritos, soups, and stews
Kidney Beans8.7g22.8g6.4g2.1mgBoiled or canned, used in chili, salads, or rice dishes
Snow Pea2.6g7.6g2.6g2.1mgEaten whole, often used in stir-fries and salads
Split Pea8.3g41.4g16.3g2.5mgBoiled, used in soups, stews, or mixed with rice
Pigeon Pea7.2g25g4g1.5mgBoiled, used in Indian, Caribbean, and African cuisines
Navy Beans8g23.9g9.7g2.6mgBaked or boiled, used in soups, stews, and casseroles
Adzuki Beans7.5g29.6g7.3g4.7mgBoiled, sweetened, and used in desserts or red bean paste
Snap Pea2g7.6g2.6g2.1mgEaten whole, often used in salads and stir-fries
Horse Gram22.3g57.6g24.5g6.7mgBoiled, used in soups, stews, or sprouted in salads
Broad Beans7.6g19.6g7.6g2.7mgBoiled or pureed, used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine
Lupin Beans36g42g15g9.8mgSoaked and boiled, used in salads or ground into flour
Black Gram25.2g63.3g18.1g7.6mgUsed in Indian cuisine, particularly in dosas and idlis
Field Pea5.4g20.6g5.7g2.5mgBoiled, used in soups, stews, or mixed with rice
Winged Beans4g25g4g3.7mgStir-fried or cooked, used in various Asian dishes
Black Turtle Beans8.7g23.7g16.5g8.2mgBoiled, used in Latin American and Caribbean cuisines
Ice-cream Beans15g1g1.5gN/ASeeds eaten raw or roasted, sometimes used in desserts

Some More Types of Legumes

  • Honey Locust
  • Carob
  • Jack Beans
  • Pacay
  • Sword Beans
  • Dragon Tongue Beans
  • Runner Beans
  • Tepary Beans
  • Siberian Peashrub
  • Bambara Groundnut
  • Chipilín
  • Asparagus Beans
  • Wattleseed
  • Prairie Turnip
  • Blue Fenugreek
  • Bitter Beans (Stink Beans)
  • Grass Pea
  • Moth Beans
  • Cicer
  • Flageolet Beans
  • Shucky Beans
  • Ricebeans
  • Water Mimosa
  • Flat Beans
  • Madras Thorn
  • Lablab Beans (Hyacinth Beans)
  • Dixie Lee Pea
  • Sea Island Red Pea
  • Yellow Paloverde
  • Bolita Beans
  • Tahitian Chestnut
  • African Locust Beans
  • Catjang
  • Alb-Leisa
  • Black Adzuki Beans
  • Sorana Beans
  • Tarbais Beans
  • Zig-Zag Vine Fruit
  • Sweet Detar
  • Appaloosa Beans
  • Namu-Namu
  • Strap Wattle
  • Geocarpa Groundnut
  • Buffalo Pea
Fun fact: Even though licorice also belongs to the legume family, it is not included in lists of legumes because we don't eat its fruits or seeds.

Legumes vs. Pulses vs. Beans

These three terms are often used interchangeably, but some distinct differences exist between their meaning. As mentioned above, ‘legumes’ is an umbrella term for all plants from the Fabaceae family and their edible parts.

Legumes vs Pulses with Examples

Next comes pulses, comprising only those legumes that yield edible seeds deemed dry food grains for human consumption, as defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It does not include legumes consumed as vegetables like snap peas and green beans, oilseeds like soybeans, or forage crops.

Defining beans can be challenging, given the term’s subjective and somewhat arbitrary nature. Generally, most dried legumes in the pulses category are classified as beans. However, there are exceptions, like lentils, which are not classified as beans despite being pulses.

The meaning of the term extends further to encompass legumes with edible pods, such as green beans, consumed as vegetables. Still, pod vegetables like peas are not counted as beans. Among oilseeds, soybeans are beans, but peanuts are not.


1. Are there any beans that are not considered legumes?

All beans belong to the family Fabaceae, so there are no beans that are not botanically considered legumes.

2. Are legumes gluten-free?

Legumes are typically gluten-free and safe for people with gluten intolerance. Types of legumes and beans that often feature on lists of gluten-free foods include all types of beans, chickpeas, and lentils.

3. Are coffee beans considered legumes?

Though called a ‘bean’ due to its resemblance to true beans, coffee is not related to legume at all. It belongs to the Rubiaceae family, unlike leguminous plants that come from the Fabaceae family.