How many beans in a 15oz can?

Canned beans are a staple in many kitchens. They are nutritious, convenient, and can be used in a variety of recipes. But have you ever wondered just how many beans are actually in a standard 15oz can?

In this article, we will provide a detailed answer to this question. We will look at the typical size and quantity of various common types of beans found in 15oz cans. We will also discuss some of the factors that can cause variance in the number of beans per can.

By the end of this article, you will have a solid understanding of approximately how many beans you can expect to find in a standard 15oz can, whether they are pinto beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, or any other common type. This knowledge will help you plan recipes and meal prep more effectively.

Typical Bean Types and Sizes Found in 15oz Cans

Here is an overview of some of the most common bean types found in 15oz cans, along with their typical sizes:

Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are medium-sized beans that are pinkish-brown in color. They are one of the most popular beans used in Mexican dishes like burritos and tacos.

– Typical length: 1/2 inch
– Typical width: 3/8 inch
– Typical number per 15oz can: 200-250 beans

Black Beans

Black beans are small, oval-shaped beans with a black glossy exterior. They are commonly used in Latin American, Brazilian, and Cuban cuisines.

– Typical length: 1/2 inch
– Typical width: 1/4 inch
– Typical number per 15oz can: 350-400 beans

Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)

Garbanzo beans are pale tan or cream-colored, round-shaped beans. They have a nutty, buttery flavor and are popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes.

– Typical length: 1/2 inch
– Typical width: 1/2 inch
– Typical number per 15oz can: 130-170 beans

Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are large, kidney-shaped beans that are red in color. They are commonly used in chili, soups, and rice dishes.

– Typical length: 1 inch
– Typical width: 1/2 inch
– Typical number per 15oz can: 90-120 beans

Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans are medium-sized white beans with a smooth texture. They are popular Italian beans used in minestrone soups and Tuscan dishes.

– Typical length: 1/2 inch
– Typical width: 1/4 inch
– Typical number per 15oz can: 350-400 beans

Navy Beans

Navy beans are small white beans used in soups, baked bean dishes, and stews. They have a smooth, creamy texture when cooked.

– Typical length: 1/2 inch
– Typical width: 1/4 inch
– Typical number per 15oz can: 500-550 beans

As you can see, bean sizes and shapes vary quite a bit. But most common bean types in 15oz cans range from about 90 beans on the low end for large beans like kidney beans, up to 500-550 beans for smaller varieties like navy beans. The exact number will depend partially on the size of the individual beans in a particular batch.

Factors Affecting Number of Beans per Can

There are several factors that cause the number of beans in a 15oz can to vary:

Bean Size

As mentioned above, some types of beans like kidney beans are naturally larger than other types like navy beans. Larger beans mean fewer will fit into a 15oz can, while more smaller beans can be packed into the same size can.

Even within the same type of bean, there is natural variability in size depending on the batch. Some batches may produce slightly larger or smaller beans than others, affecting the final count per can.

Degree of Hydration

Canned beans are pre-cooked and packed in a water-based liquid inside the can. Beans can absorb some of this liquid as they cook, causing them to swell up and become more hydrated.

More hydrated beans will take up more space in the can, resulting in a lower number of beans overall. Less hydrated beans will remain a bit smaller and allow more to be packed into the can.

Packing Efficiency

Machines are used to transport pre-cooked beans into cans in manufacturing facilities. Some batches may be packed more efficiently than others, utilizing space in the can better and maximizing the number of beans packed.

Less efficient packing could result in more air gaps and fewer beans making it into the can. Improving packing efficiency allows bean canners to optimize the number of beans per can.

Bean Supplier

Different bean suppliers may use slightly different bean varieties or growing/processing methods that produce beans in a range of sizes and degrees of hydration. All of these factors can contribute to variability in the final number of beans from different batches and suppliers.

Typical Number of Beans in a 15oz Can by Type

Now that we’ve covered the factors that cause bean counts to vary, let’s take a look at the typical number of beans you can expect to find in a 15oz can by bean type:

Pinto Beans – 225 beans

On average, a 15oz can of pinto beans contains about 225 beans. This mid-size bean ranges between 200-250 beans per can.

Black Beans – 375 beans

The smaller size of black beans allows most 15oz cans to contain between 350-400 beans, with the average being about 375 beans.

Garbanzo Beans – 150 beans

Also known as chickpeas, most 15oz cans contain 130-170 garbanzo beans. The average is approximately 150 beans.

Kidney Beans – 105 beans

Kidney beans are one of the larger bean varieties, so 15oz cans typically contain between 90-120 beans. On average, expect around 105 kidney beans.

Cannellini Beans – 375 beans

Similar in size to black beans, cannellini beans also average about 375 beans per 15oz can, in the 350-400 bean range.

Navy Beans – 525 beans

One of the smaller bean types, navy beans produce around 500-550 beans per 15oz can. The average is approximately 525 navy beans.

Visualizing Beans per 15oz Can

To provide an easy visualization of the number of beans typical per can, review the data in this table:

Bean Type Average Number in 15oz Can
Pinto Beans 225 beans
Black Beans 375 beans
Garbanzo Beans 150 beans
Kidney Beans 105 beans
Cannellini Beans 375 beans
Navy Beans 525 beans

As you can see, smaller beans like navy and black beans contain the highest quantity in a 15oz can, while bigger kidney and garbanzo beans have lower counts.

Keep in mind that all of these are average numbers and the actual bean count for any particular can may be slightly higher or lower based on bean size inconsistencies. But this table gives you a helpful benchmark for planning your recipe needs.

Performing an Actual Bean Count

While we’ve provided estimates for the typical number of beans per 15oz can, you may want to perform an actual manual count yourself to get exact numbers for a specific can.

Here is a simple process you can follow:

1. Acquire a 15oz can of the desired bean type. Canned beans can be found in most grocery stores.

2. Drain and rinse the beans thoroughly in a colander to remove any liquid from the can.

3. Spread the beans on a baking sheet or plate in a single layer.

4. Manually count the number of beans, sorting them into groups of 10 or 25 to keep track of your tally.

5. Record the final total number of beans.

6. Repeat this process with a few more cans to account for natural variability in bean counts.

7. Compare your actual counted totals with the typical ranges listed earlier in this article.

Performing your own counts removes estimates and provides real bean numbers you can use for recipes and planning. Just a few minutes of sorting and counting can give you useful data.

Accounting for Drained vs. Undrained Cans

One final factor that can impact the usable number of beans per can is whether the can is drained vs. undrained.

Canned beans are packed in a liquid, which accounts for some of the weight in the can. If this liquid is drained off, the actual usable bean quantity will be reduced.

For example, a 15oz can of black beans might contain:

– 13oz drained beans
– 2oz liquid

So your 375 average beans would come from a 13oz volume after draining, rather than the full 15oz can contents.

Just be aware that draining liquid will reduce usable bean quantity compared to undrained canned weight. Adjust recipes accordingly.


Determining the number of beans in a standard 15oz can depends on the specific bean type, size, and packing method. But typical ranges are:

– Pinto Beans: 200-250 beans (~225 average)
– Black Beans: 350-400 beans (~375 average)
– Garbanzo Beans: 130-170 beans (~150 average)
– Kidney Beans: 90-120 beans (~105 average)
– Cannellini Beans: 350-400 beans (~375 average)
– Navy Beans: 500-550 beans (~525 average)

Larger beans like kidney and garbanzo contain fewer per can, while smaller blacks and navies hold higher quantities. Actual counts may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Draining canned bean liquid reduces usable bean amount compared to the full can contents. Now that you know approximate bean counts, you can better plan recipes and required quantities when cooking with canned beans.

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